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Using existing treatment earlier saves COVID-19 patients’ lives

The lives of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are being saved by doctors using an existing medical treatment at an earlier stage.

Dr Luigi Sedda of Lancaster University analyzed the results from the team at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (WWL). Their research has now been published in the medical journal BMJ Respiratory Open.

CPAP treatment, often used at home to help people with sleep problems, helps to keep the lungs open and makes breathing easier.

He said: “We show that Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) in the first days of hospitalization seems to save between 10% to 20% of patients. However, it is important to underline that this was a pilot study with a small sample size, although comforting evidence is starting to emerge elsewhere.”

According to NHS England, 96% of people who died with Covid had at least one serious health condition and the majority are over the age of 80.

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Pandemic social isolation linked with high blood pressure

Lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with an increase in high blood pressure among patients admitted to emergency. That’s the finding of a study presented at the 46th Argentine Congress of Cardiology (SAC).

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SAC 2020 is a virtual meeting during 19 to 21 November. Faculty from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) will participate in joint scientific sessions with the Argentine Society of Cardiology as part of the ESC Global Activities program.

“Admission to the emergency department during the mandatory social isolation period was linked with a 37% increase in the odds of having high blood pressure – even after taking into account age, gender, month, day and time of consultation, and whether or not the patient arrived by ambulance,” said study author Dr. Matías Fosco of Favaloro Foundation University Hospital, Buenos Aires.

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Inconsistent mealtimes linked to heart risks – AHA

Eat less; move more; live longer. Also, the American Heart Association (AHA) says to stay healthy, don’t just watch what you eat – watch when you eat it.

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New research is driving that point home by looking at the impact of changes in meal timing from day-to-day and from weekday-to-weekend. Those changes were associated with several important heart health risk factors, including changes in waist circumference, body fat, blood pressure and blood sugar, said lead researcher Nour Makarem, an associate research scientist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York.

Her own previous work had shown that eating more in the evening can increase a person’s risk for heart disease. “But here, we show that it’s not just about eating timing – it’s also about the day-to-day regularity and the weekend-weekday regularity in our food intake,” Makarem said.

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Weekend funnies

Hope you had pleasant and healthy holiday. And now … the weekend.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Since 2020 is an unique Thanksgiving, I thought it might be nice to be reminded of how smoothly it went last year.

Best wishes to you and yours at Thanksgiving! It;s good to count our blessings.

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And, now for some Thanksgiving silliness to go with your turkey …

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Tony

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Oldie, but goodie …

Faithful readers know that growing up in the 1940’s, I became a Wonder Woman fan as a kid. And now, you unfaithful readers know it, too. I wanted to share this piece of early comic art with you because, although it is over 70 years old and meant for children, the information, simple as it is, stands up today.

Brush your teeth, get plenty of sleep, exercise, fresh air and eat healthful foods. With the exception of the teeth, I have posted numerous times on each of Wondy’s remaining chart items. The more things change …

As an 80-year-old who follows these rules, I would like to echo Wonder Woman’s words, “It’s fun to be healthy!”

Tony

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Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure – Johns Hopkins

Fewer than half of people with high blood pressure have it under control. The problem: When your pressure is too high for too long, it can stretch and damage your arteries.

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The resulting health problems can include heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, memory loss and cognitive decline. So it’s important not to brush off high blood pressure. Your first line of defense: Try these lifestyle changes as natural ways to lower blood pressure. Try these lifestyle canges as natrual ways to lower blood pressure.

  1. Balance nutrients. Learn the top sources of each.
  2. Put Probiotics to work for you.  See how you can put this finding to work for you.
  3. Lose even a little weight. Read more about the implications for your heart health.
  4. Did you know that physical activity can be as beneficial to your heart as medication in some cases? Find out just how it works and how to get started with simple steps.
  5. Relieve stress. Practice yoga.

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Don’t be SAD … Seasonal Affective Disorder

It seems like 100 years ago that I took care of my aunt who was suffering form Alzheimer’s Disease. Going into her first afflicted winter, I recalled her having told me that she “always felt down” in the winter time. Not long before that, her physician had said to me that it would be no problem keeping her in her home if she didn’t become aggressive. As I wanted her to remain in her home, I started looking into Seasonal Affective Disorder.

During this time of long hours in our homes due to the pandemic, and with the onset of shorter, darker winter days, I thought it would be worthwhile to talk about SAD.

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Here is what the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says about SAD.

Many people go through short periods of time where they feel sad or not like their usual selves. Sometimes, these mood changes begin and end when the seasons change. People may start to feel “down” when the days get shorter in the fall and winter (also called “winter blues”) and begin to feel better in the spring, with longer daylight hours.


In some cases, these mood changes are more serious and can affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities. If you have noticed significant changes in your mood and behavior whenever the seasons change, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression.

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Exercising with Arthritis – NIA

I suffer from severe osteoarthritis in my hands, specifically, my thumb joints. For people with arthritis, exercise can reduce joint pain and stiffness. It can also help with losing weight, which reduces stress on the joints.

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Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among older people. It occurs when cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends of the bones within the joints, breaks down and wears away, according to the National Institute on Aging. For people with arthritis, exercise can reduce joint pain and stiffness. It can also help with losing weight, which reduces stress on the joints.

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Weekend funnies …

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A few kilograms weight loss nearly halves risk of diabetes – Study

Eat less, move more, live longer. And, now, it seems, also dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes.

Losing a few kilograms in weight almost halves people’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes – according to a large scale research study led by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia.

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A new study published in the international journal JAMA Internal Medicine shows how providing support to help people with prediabetes make small changes to their lifestyle, diet and physical activity can almost halve the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The findings come from the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study (NDPS) – the largest diabetes prevention research study in the world in the last 30 years. The NDPS clinical trial ran over eight years and involved more than 1,000 people with prediabetes at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The study found that support to make modest lifestyle changes, including losing two to three kilograms of weight and increased physical activity over two years, reduced the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 40 to 47 per cent for those categorized as having prediabetes.

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Fish: Why (and How) to Choose this Healthful Protein – Tufts

Dietary guidelines from governments and health organizations around the world agree: a healthy dietary pattern includes around two servings of fish a week. Most American adults get less than the recommended eight ounces per week. What makes fish such an important part of a healthy diet, and what are the best choices for health and the environment?

Fish and Health: A versatile, high-quality protein source that is relatively quick and easy to cook, fish have been studied in connection with numerous health benefits. Eating fish has been associated with lower blood pressure and lower risk of stroke and heart attack, and has also been studied for lowering risk of depression, cognitive decline, and other chronic conditions. In 2006, Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and editor-in-chief of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, and colleagues published a study examining the impact of fish on heart disease. This study concluded eating approximately one to two three-ounce servings of fatty fish a week could reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.

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Common Medications and Vitamin B12 Levels

Vitamin B12 plays many crucial roles in the body. It is involved in neurologic function, red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, and a number of important chemical reactions. Vitamin B12 deficiency, while not common, can cause megaloblastic anemia (a disorder of the red blood cells that can cause symptoms such as fatigue, pale skin, and lightheadedness) and neurological and cognitive disorders.

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Consumption of animal products (like fish, meat, chicken, and dairy) and fortified foods (like breakfast cereals) generally provides plenty of B12 to meet our needs. Because plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains do not contain this vitamin, strict vegans should be conscious of their B12 intake. People who have had bariatric surgery or who have had part of their intestines removed, as well as those with absorptive disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, are also at increased risk for B12 deficiency. Additionally, the ability to digest and absorb B12 may decline with age. Now, long-term use of several common medications has been added to the list of reasons to monitor B12 status.

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Life After COVID-19 Hospital Stay: Major Lasting Effects on Health, Work and More

Surviving a case of COVID-19 that’s bad enough to land you in the hospital is hard enough. But life after the hospital stay – and especially after an intensive care stay – is no bed of roses, either, according to a new study. 

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Within two months of leaving the hospital, nearly 7% of the patients had died, including more than 10% of the patients treated in an intensive care unit. Fifteen percent had ended up back in the hospital. The data come from more than 1,250 patients treated in 38 hospitals across Michigan this spring and summer, when the state was one of the earliest to experience a peak in cases. 

When researchers interviewed 488 of the surviving patients by phone, around 60 days after their hospitalization, they heard a litany of health and life woes. They’ve published their findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Healthy Lifestyle Habits May Lower the Risk for Developing Dementia

Can your eating habits and physical and mental activity lower your risk for developing dementia as you age? Obviously, it is important to learn all we can about how health habits affect the risks for developing dementia, a debilitating decline in memory and other mental abilities. Experts expect the number of people with dementia worldwide to rise to 82 million by 2030 and to over 152 million by 2050.

A team of researchers designed a study to learn more about whether adopting healthier lifestyle habits can help prevent or slow the onset of dementia. It was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers suggest that prevention strategies should focus on lowering dementia risk for people who are starting to experience cognitive decline, specifically subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

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Weekend funnies

Hope you are ready for some lightweight ideas. That’s Friday’s fare.

Tony

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