Cardiovascular Health Negatively Impacted by Advancing Age: Impairs Dilatory Function of Arteries

Cardiovascular Health

Researchers have recently discovered that cardiovascular health is negatively impacted by increasing age. The aging process impairs the dilatory function of arteries, the research study revealed and understanding this could help in creating potential treatments for a few vascular diseases.

Cardiovascular disorders are the primary causes of fatality across the world and are normally related to restricted flow of blood within the arteries. Erik Boerman, the lead author of the research study conducted under the aegis of the University of Missouri School of Medicine and published in the Journal of Physiology, reported, ‘We found that the older arteries had a significantly lower number of sensory nerves in the tissues surrounding them and they were less sensitive to an important neurotransmitter responsible for dilation’.

Dilation is the process of the blood vessel becoming wider to enhance blood flow. This study, particularly focused on mesenteric arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the small intestines, of mice that were 24 months and 4 months old which corresponds to the mid-60s and the early 20s in humans.

In the absence of any stimulation for dilation, the arteries of both the older and younger mice dilated in almost equal measure. However, when stimulation for dilation was applied through the use of CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide), the arteries in the younger mice dilated as per expectations while that in the older mice did not dilate equally well. Boerman said that on investigation, the team found that the number of sensory nerves around the arteries in older mice was 30% less than that in the younger mice.

Boerman opined that the reduced number of sensory nerves and poor neurotransmitter function of the arteries in the older mice leads to age-dependent dysfunction of these mesenteric blood vessels. Boerman added, ‘The importance of this discovery is that if we can identify why this happens in mesenteric arteries, it may be possible to prevent the same thing from happening in other blood vessels throughout the body’. By 2050, the population of the elderly is expected to double and hence understanding the process of aging is a critical focus of multiple research studies.

The study dubbed, ‘Depressed Perivascular Sensory Innervation of Mouse Mesenteric Arteries with Advanced Age’, also had contributions from Steven Segal, a professor of physiology and medical pharmacology at the MU School of Medicine. Funding for the research was from the National Institutes of Health.

Increased Intake of Sugar Sweetened Beverages by Children Lowers Good Cholesterol

A group of scientists from the Tufts University claim that increased intake of sugar-sweetened beverages by children lowers the content of good cholesterol in the body.

The findings of a study conducted by this group of nutritional researchers showing the link between SSB intake and good cholesterol levels was published in the Journal of Nutrition.

The study involved investigating blood lipid levels in relation to intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) in a group of ethnically and racially diverse sample of school children from the Boston area. Children in the age group of 8-15 were registered for the study dubbed ‘Daily D Health Study’, a randomized vitamin D supplementation trial. Fasting lipid concentrations were tested in 613 adolescents and children while the SSB consumption was self-reported. The lipid tests were performed at the start of the program and again after a year.

About 85% of the children reported SSB consumption and the study revealed higher triglycerides were in proportion to higher SSB intake. About 18% of the registered set of children consumed 7 or more servings of SSBs every week or at least one a day. ‘The increase in good cholesterol was greatest among children who decreased their intake by one or more servings of SSBs per week compared to those whose intake remained the same or increased’, said Jennifer Sacheck, lead author and associate professor at Tufts University.

Maria Von Rampay, who was part of the study team and is a research associate at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, warned that increasing SSB intake results in accumulation of multiple risk factors including low HDL-Cholesterol, high concentration of triglycerides, obesity and insulin resistance in children. This could in turn put them in a higher risk for future cardiovascular diseases. Dietary changes are an alterable and controllable factor to prevent future health risks and in the prevention of diseases, she added.

Jennifer Sacheck opined that SSBs in addition to being devoid of any nutritional value are also displacing beverages high in nutritional content which are critical for children’s development and growth. The non-availability of high-quality nutrition is further aggravating the potential harmful effects of sugar sweetened beverages, she said. These findings are a warning to minimize or cut down the intake of sugar sweetened beverages among children and adolescents.

Low Doses of Aspirin Taken Daily for 5 Years Potentially Lowers the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

A new Danish research study which was published in the latest edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that daily intake of low doses of aspirin for five years potentially lowers the risk of colorectal cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly occurring non-skin cancer in the US after lung, breast and prostate cancers.

About 132,700 Americans are reportedly diagnosed for colorectal cancer every year with about 49,700 resulting in fatalities. Globally, colorectal cancer is the third-most prevalent non-skin cancer with almost 1.4 million people being diagnosed every year, according to a study published recently in the International Journal of Cancer.

The Danish report claimed that a daily intake of 75-150 mg of aspirin reduced the risk of colorectal cancer by 27%. To understand the concept of low-dose; one tablet of the regular aspirin from Bayer contains 325 mg of aspirin. The study further added that other types of NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen and naproxen reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by 30% to 45%. While earlier studies did suggest that using aspirin or other NSAIDs regularly could protect against colorectal cancer, the ideal dosage and duration of treatment was not conclusively reached.

So, the scientists referred to data collected from 10,280 adults in northern Denmark who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1994 and 2011. The researchers also identified 10 ‘controls’ for each patient; people who did not have colorectal cancer, but who shared the same gender, age and lived in the same neighborhood taking the number of participants in the study to more than 113,000.

The scientists also referred to national databases to get information regarding the prescription medicines that all these adults had taken. In Denmark, over 90% of low-dose aspirin and 85% of NSAIDs are prescribed by physicians, while the rest are OTC drugs and therefore difficult to quantify. Those patients who were prescribed low-dose aspirin at least two times had 6% lesser chances of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer as compared to patients who never took aspirin.

However, marked benefits were seen when low-dose aspirin is taken for five years or more; the risk of colorectal cancer for such adults reduced by 27% as compared to adults who did not take the aspirin at all. Dr. Soren Friis from the Danish Cancer Society Research Center and the lead researcher in this study also opined that the duration of low-dose aspirin treatment should be at least five years for substantial protection against bowel cancer.

The report also revealed that other NSAIDs offered better benefits. Adults who took high-intensity painkillers for a minimum of 5 years were 30% less likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer than adults who did not resort to NSAIDs. However, the researchers had no control over other factors such as diet, body mass index and alcohol use; nor did they have data regarding family history of the patients all of which could be contributors to the risk of colorectal cancer. Yet, the report claimed that the biological plausibility of their collected findings is high.

Omega-3 Supplements Do Not Prevent Cognitive Deterioration: Claims US Study

A recent large clinical trial conducted by the US National Institute of Health revealed that omega-3 supplements do not prevent cognitive deterioration.

The report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr Emily Chew, the deputy director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications and a deputy director at the National Eye Institute and a lead author on the research, claimed that contrary to popular belief, there are no benefits of taking Omega-3 supplements to stop cognitive decline.

The benefits of omega-3 are believed to be got by regular intake of fish foods such as tuna, salmon and halibut, all rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Dr Chew said that foods rich in omega-3 are known to be beneficial for the heart, eye and brain health. However, she claimed that from the data collected in the recent research conducted by her team, there is no extra benefit from the intake of omega-3 supplements in pill form, in the prevention or slowing down of cognitive degeneration.

Dr Chew and her team worked with participants whose average age was 72 years and who were diagnosed with early or intermediate age-related macular degeneration (AMD). About 58% of the participants were female. The scientists investigated the possible benefits of omega-3 supplements on cognitive decline. The data was collected from 4000 patients over a period of five years for this study.

The participants were randomly chosen to take either a placebo or omega-3 pills. The enrolled participants were given cognitive and memory function tests when the study began. The tests were repeated after two years and again after four years. The scientists found that each sub-group’s cognition scores decreased to a similar extent, irrespective of what kind of nutritional supplements they were on.

Lenore Launer, a senior scientist at the National Institute of Aging, said that the timing and the pattern of diet could have an impact. More research is needed to see if these supplements’ intake was started before the onset of AMD or if by using a different dietary pattern could have a different outcome, Launer said.

With increasing longevity, there is an imminent increase in the number of people who may be affected by the Alzheimer’s disease. With an intention to find a cure quickly, researchers are looking for methods to prevent the most commonly occurring form of dementia. According to Alzheimer’s disease International, about 46.8 million from across the world suffer from dementia and this number is estimated to reach 131.5 million by 2050.

Autism Linked to Enhanced Creativity and Divergent Thinking Capabilities: British Study

A recent research carried out by the scientists in the University of Stirling and the University of East Anglia in Scotland reported that autism is linked to enhanced creativity and divergent thinking capabilities.

Although autistic children are perceived to face increased challenges in the social and empathetic realms, the recent report reveals that they have enhanced capabilities in creative thinking and can excel in problem-solving, more than a normal child. The report of the study was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

The research involved 312 participants, of whom 75 were diagnosed as autistic. The non-autistic participants exhibited sub-threshold autistic characteristics or were borderline autistic. Fox News reported that the participants were shown a series of abstract objects and images and were asked to explain what they thought of each object/image. Also, participants were asked to list out as many uses as they can think of for everyday ordinary objects like bricks, paper clips etc.

According to the Science World Report, this team of scientists found that the participants with increased autistic traits responded slower than those with lower autistic traits. However, the answers given by the more autistic group were more creative than those of the group that showed lower autistic traits.

Autistic people do not use conventional expressions and thought processes, said Nira Marshal, head of the Brain and language lab at Israel’s’ Bar-IIan University. Consequently, she said, autistic people’s answers and perceptions are more unique and more creative than the normal person’s ideas. Catherine Best, health researcher at the University of Stirling and co-author of this report told The Guardian that this study goes to show how people who think differently and often are characterized as disabled, exhibit superior creativity in some domains.

Autism Myth Busters reports that there are geniuses evident in our history that perhaps had some form of autism but were not diagnosed as the concept of autism was unknown then. Albert Einstein, for instance, was known to have learning disabilities and difficulty in picking up languages in his childhood, both of which are early symptoms of autism. He was always behind school schedule despite his high IQ and had issues keeping a job due to his difficulty in social interaction.

Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of Ambitious About Autism, said in The Guardian that many myths and misconceptions exist about autism including antisocial behavior and lack of empathy. Lasota commented that in reality autistic individuals struggle with trying to fit in their emotions and caring traits into everyday activities. Lasota added that this report helps us to understand that being different in this world can have advantages and can be seen as positive traits.

Temple Grandin, an autistic researcher and activist in Colorado State University, informed Reuters Health that mild autism can actually have intellectual advantages in some fields. He claimed that if all autistic traits were to be removed, creative minds in the realms of math, science, art and music could be lost.

Weight Loss Programs under Physicians’ Supervision Likely to be More Effective

A recent study conducted under the aegis of John Hopkins University claimed that weight loss programs under physician supervision is likely to be more effective than those without a doctor’s supervision.

Dr Wendy Bennet, assistant professor at John Hopkins and lead author for this study reports that their research highlights the importance of having doctors as part of any weight loss program for improved effect.

Managing weight is an unpleasant and abhorring task that many are forced by compulsion to undertake owing to the risks of obesity. Many follow extreme workouts or fad diets or sometimes even surgery to shave off the extra fat in their body to reach desirable body weight. This new study now claims that weight loss programs have a better chance at success when a doctor’s advice/supervision is taken.

The researchers studied data from 347 obese individuals collected over two years. The people under study were free to get physician help for weight loss. After two years, the patients were asked to fill up a survey form and give information regarding their relationship with doctors during the weight loss stint. The results of the study were published in Patient Education and Counseling Journal.

The report revealed that regular doctor visits helped obese patients lose up to 11 pounds on an average. The people who lost more weight with their doctor’s help and advice found their physicians very helpful.
The study also found that those who lost the lowest amount of weight gave the lowest ratings for their physicians.

Dr Bennett was also of the opinion that a successful doctor-patient relationship results in enhanced empathy, trust, collaboration and good interaction thereby improving the chances of weight loss immensely. This was because the patients are likely to be more honest and strictly adhere to their doctor’s prescriptions.

The scientists involved in the research study also opined that insurers ought to join in these weight loss measures by offering insurance plans. Then, obesity, which is a bane that is taking explosive proportions in the country, is bound to be controlled in a better way despite the fact that the health benefits associated with weight loss overshadow financial benefits.

Innovative Tool to Measure Cost vs Benefits of Cancer Therapies

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network announced that it has developed an innovative tool that will measure the cost versus the benefits of cancer therapies.

In response to steeply rising costs for cancer treatments, the highest US authority for oncology, the NCCN, claimed that its new tool will help patients decide the worth of following up with an expensive treatment especially one that may not increase the chances of survival substantially.

This tool is expected to break the demand for less effective therapies thereby influencing the prices of these treatments. The doctors who developed this tool claim that they are responding to patients’ needs to know whether it is worthwhile spending so much on something that may prove quite fruitless. The NCCN is a conglomerate of 26 cancer care hospices and are the highest guideline makers for issues related to oncology.

The protocols set out by NCCN are diligently followed by the health care professionals to treat cancers based on disease stage, age of the patient and diagnosis among other factors. This new innovation is aimed at offering options to cancer patients who are hit by the soaring drug prices so that they can make informed choices regarding their treatment.

NCCN’s chief executive, Dr Robert Carlson said that companies evolving effective and appropriately priced treatments will welcome this tool and if a drug is exorbitantly priced, then patients have a right to know about it beforehand. The tool will present the assessments in a simple easy-to-read table form with each of the five affecting factors in different colors to represent scores from 1 to 5. This tool is expected to eventually be incorporated into hospital technology systems and into products of McKesson and IBM Watson.

According to Financial Express, this tool is being seen by a few pharmaceutical companies including Calgene Corp, Roche Holding AG and Novartis AG as a threat as their profits are expected to take a hit. This is because many of their expensive cancer treatments hardly have any positive effect on patients’ quality of life and/or longevity although it turns in huge profits for the companies.

Other medical groups are also working out options to overcome challenges associated with escalated costs of cancer therapies. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is evolving alternatives for evaluating cancer treatments. Earlier this year, in June, New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center announced the launch of an interactive tool named ‘DrugAbacus’ that enables patients to calculate the cost of 54 drugs based on factors such as novelty and side effects.

Protracted Working Hours Increase Risk of Stroke by Up to 33%

A recent study, published in the Lancet medical journal, reported that protracted working hours increase the risk of stroke by up to 33%.

The study said the more number of hours you work; the higher is your stroke risk. Those working 41-48 hours per week had a 10% higher risk; those working 49-54 hours/week had a 27% higher risk and for those working 55 hours a week, the risk increased by 33%, the report revealed. This study, one of the largest studies on the issue was led by researchers from University College, London, and conducted across three continents.

Risk of stroke for people working long hours was connected to three other probable factors, including higher alcohol consumption, stress and physical inactivity. Physical inactivity increases the risk of stroke through different biological reactions and alcohol consumption is a contributing factor, because people working long hours are more prone to heavy drinking. The Lancet report was based on a review of 17 studies which followed and collected data of 528,908 people over a 7.2 year average. The increased risk of stroke remained after taking into account higher alcohol consumption, stress and physical inactivity.

Longer working hours also upped the risk of coronary heart diseases by 13% after accounting for other risk factors such as socioeconomic status, age and sex. For the study on coronary heart disease, the research team separately compiled and reviewed 25 studies that tracked data on over 600,000 people from USA, Australia and Europe. Data was collected and tracked for an average of 8½ years.

The causes related to heart diseases and stroke is a complex study combining environmental and genetic factors. But experts opined that the three factors that were a certain risk include higher alcohol consumption, stress and physical inactivity. The outcome from this study reaffirmed the results of earlier studies linking lengthy working hours to increased health risks. This study also urged doctors to pay specific attention to cardiovascular risk when they advise people working long hours.

Other experts who were not part of this study were taking these outcomes seriously and pointed to stark differences across countries over an average working week. Lengthy working hours is not insignificant, said Urban Janlert from Sweden’s Umea University. Although some countries have legislation to restrict working hours, laws were not being implemented, Janlert said. Among the developed countries, Turkey had 43% of working people putting in 50 hours, while in Netherlands; this proportion was less than 1%.

Teenagers Using E-Cigarettes More Likely to Become Users of Combustible Tobacco: US Study

A recent study conducted by Adam Leventhal from Keck Medical School of the University of Southern California and his team, reported that teenagers using e-cigarettes are more likely to become users of combustible tobacco.

E-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes are devices that can give a feeling of smoking by delivering nicotine-containing aerosol (which is a heated combination of propylene glycol, water and glycerin). While these devices are assumed to be less harmful than conventional smoking, this study revealed that the users of e-cigarettes are more likely to switch to traditional smoking options such as hookah, cigarettes and cigars.

The study involved tracking 2,530 high school children (9th graders) from ten public schools in Los Angeles who never used combustible tobacco initially, when the study started in 2013. The follow-up assessments were done after six months (spring 2014) and again after 12 months (autumn 2014). At each of these assessments, some students admitted switching to combustible tobacco in the self-assessed surveys.

The numbers were as follows: Out of 222 students who were using e-cigarettes initially, at the 6-month assessment, 31% reported use of traditional smoking options as against 8% of students who were not on e-cigarettes at the start of the study. At the 12-month assessment stage, 25% of e-cigarette users reported starting off on tobacco-based smoking as against 9% of e-cigarette non-users.

These outcomes proved that using e-cigarettes or ‘vaping’ increases the risk of starting off on combustible tobacco use during adolescence which in turn could lead to smoking related health risks which could reach epidemic levels, warned the report. While this study does not have any conclusive evidence linking vaping to traditional tobacco use, it definitely throws light on the increased possibility of such a situation.

Many experts opined that 14-year-old children need not use any product. Hence, this study reiterates the need for appropriate action that protects young children and decreases the demand for e-cigarettes, commented Dr Nancy Rigotti from Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, opined that this study reiterates the fact that we need to be vigilant of teen smoking patterns considering its ill-effects and addictive capabilities.

An interesting statistic regarding smoking is that e-cigarettes’ usage among American adolescents increased to 13.4% in 2014 from 4.5% in 2013, as per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. During the same period traditional cigarette usage decreased from 12.7% to 9.2%.

UK Health Officials Advocate Prescription of E-cigarettes for Smokers to Quit the Habit

Health officials in the UK advocated the prescription of e-cigarettes to enable smokers to quit the habit.

The study which was commissioned and authorized by Public Health England found ‘vaping’ E-cigarettes or puffing an electronic cigarette was an effective way to push smokers to kick the habit. The battery-powered E-cigarettes were reportedly 95% safer than conventional tobacco-filled cigarettes and could be a ‘game changer’ in the realm of public health in the country, said Professor Ann McNeill from King’s College London who co-authored the government-backed study.

Smoking is a deadly killer and the main cause of preventable fatalities, accounting for more than 80,000 deaths annually in the UK and vaping could be of great help to deter this onslaught. A little less than one out of every 5 people in the UK smokes. Smoking is a dangerous killer and quitting the habit is the best thing to happen for any smoker, said the director of health and well-being in PHE, Kevin Fenton.

Although e-cigarettes are not completely risk free from the negative effects of nicotine, in comparison to the effects of traditional cigarettes, the risk is a mere fraction. Only 2.6 million out of the 8 million smokers in the UK take the vaping route. It is yet to gain popularity, mainly because the devices are not licensed either by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) or by the Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This means the doctors cannot prescribe nor recommend the devices for the smokers.

The PHE-commissioned study found that e-cigarettes do not cause as much harm as conventional cigarettes, which means that if smokers can switch to vaping from puffing, the risks associated with smoking is almost totally removed. So, say the officials from PHE, it is imperative that e-cigarettes be made available on NHS despite conflicting reports about their safety. If all smokers switched to e-cigarettes, about 75,000 lives could be saved annually, claimed the PHE report. The PHE’s goal is to ensure the first non-smoking generation is reached by the year 2025.

Again, quite contrary to public perception, there is no evidence to show that e-cigarettes were the first step in picking up the smoking habit by non-smokers and children. However, another very recent study conducted in the US for high school students in California found that the children and non-smokers who started off with e-cigarettes were more likely to try the traditional form of smoking too.

Academics Debunk Theory Linking Violent Video Games with Aggression

A number of academics, including Dr. Mark Coulson, professor at Middlesex University, debunked a theory reported by the American Psychological Association that linked violent video games with aggression.

Studies connecting excessive aggression to people playing violent video games have been a raging controversy for almost two decades now with no conclusive theory either confirming or dismissing the connection. The recent report published under the aegis of the American Psychological Association reiterating this link has only deepened the controversy further.

The report was a result of the review of multiple studies that were conducted between 2005 and 2013 in an effort to connect violent behavior to playing aggressive video games. A taskforce committee sent up by the APA reviewed these studies and published a report confirming the link between playing violent video games and aggressive behavior. The review of the studies illustrated a consistent relation between excessive use of violent games and increased aggressive cognitions and decreased empathy and pro-social behaviors, the report claimed

However, the report also claimed that though some studies propounded that the neurological changes and criminal behavior are connected, there seems to be no conclusive evidence of the same. The APA’s theory was although there is no conclusive evidence that violent and aggressive games like Grand Theft Auto led to criminality and that there is no one deciding factor that drives criminal or violent behavior in humans, playing aggressive video games can definitely be taken as one risk factor. The APA report exhorted game creators to enhance parental control for such games.

Many academics came out in criticism of the report claiming that the review was incomplete and the methodology used to arrive at the results was faulty. A large portion of the material taken up for the study was not reviewed at all, the academics, over 200 in number, held. While Dr. Coulson admitted that using aggressive video games had the potential for short-term negative effects, there is no evidence linking it to long-term effects in the form of violent and/or criminal behavior. Participating in a ‘Call of Duty’ game could have a pumping effect, but there is no connection between playing and the criminal urge to mug someone, Dr. Coulson opined.

Light to Moderate Alcohol Intake Escalates Breast Cancer Risk in Smokers

A recent health report published in the British Medical Journal claimed that even light to moderate alcohol intake escalates cancer risk in smokers.

The standard for light to moderate is one drink (15g) of alcohol per day for women and two drinks (30g) per day for men. While the role of drinking, whether light or heavy but independent of smoking, in the causes of cancer is very hazy, this study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health confirmed that the combined effects of drinking and smoking enhanced the risks of cancer.

The study tracked the health and drinking and smoking habits of 47,881 men and 88,084 women for 30 years and in the follow up study found that 7,571 cancers and 19,269 cancers were diagnosed in men and women respectively. The research team found that light to moderate alcohol has a small and insignificant increase on the risk of cancer even for non-smokers.

The study also found that the risk of increase from intake of light to moderate alcohol was seen in men who either still smoked or those who had at some time in the past smoked, but the risk for non-smokers among men did not increase. However, for women, increase in the risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer, because of intake of light to moderate alcohol increased even for non-smokers.

Experts now say that while there seems to be no safe and guaranteed level of drinking; staying within recommended limits definitely reduces the health risks. The risks from alcohol include higher probability of getting throat, mouth, liver, bowel and breast cancer; combination of smoking and drinking increases this risk even further; all alcohol types can cause cancer; the more the alcohol intake, bigger the risk of cancer; reducing alcohol intake could reduce the risk of cancer.

Jurgen Rehm from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health opined that given the results of this large study which proved the link between smoking- and alcohol-related cancers, it would be prudent for people with a family history of cancer to either reduce alcohol consumption or perhaps altogether abstain from it.

Failing to Treat Hearing Loss Leads to Depression: Researchers Say So

While it might sound a contradictory opinion to make, the research team which spent analyzing a group of people found that failing to treat hearing loss issues at once can lead to mental depression on the long run.

From a doctor’s perspective, it may sound biologically unwarranted because a depressed state doesn’t have any direct connection with sensory perception. However, when assessed at a closer range, it was found that the lack of ability to easily understand a conversation or the things going around them frustrates them, which eventually leads to loneliness and depression.

The detailed study and its results were submitted at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention. The research team gathered at least 2,304 people for this particular study. Majority of them were older men and women because hearing loss is an issue that is usually found with the elderly. The group also consisted of younger people who suffered the problem due to various issues, including chronic diseases, accidents and other scenarios.

After studying them for months, the study found that at least 50% of people with hearing loss face depression if they fail to seek hearing aids or other form of treatment. Similar to visionary problems, the ability to hear sounds and voices is an important sensory organ for the human brain to function properly. When it fails to do its duty, people start getting frustrated easily and start feeling anxious or lonely. The condition slowly deteriorates to a point, where they became extremely depressed.

Unless and until psychological treatment is provided by professionals, it is tough to bring them out of depression because many in the group have already avoided treatment for years. It was a mental issue that was caused over prolonged periods, which require solutions that are equally extensive, concluded the team.

A wide range of problems are faced by people with hearing issues apart from depression. Many of them tend to develop dementia over a period of time, while others face social isolation, which results in cognitive disorders. If they are treated the right way and use peripherals to help them hear better, they can easily come back to normal life and have better control over their emotional outcomes, according to David Myers, a Psychology professor at Hope College in Michigan.

The research was conducted for academic purposes, but for a common man, it is evident that they should immediately treat any kind of problem, be it physical or mental to lead a peaceful life.

Research Team Claims Bodybuilding Supplements could Provoke Eating Disorders

At first look, anyone with built, lean muscle mass might personify the best of healthy lifestyle. But, in reality, it is not easy to achieve such a structure without a strenuous workout and strict diet.

Despite all their efforts, some men just can’t achieve the muscular frame. And, there are those who can’t wait for months to get a toned body. In such scenarios, they obviously seek bodybuilding supplements to help acquire the looks. While they are completely legal and a lot of professionals use them, the issue arises when people start misusing them for all the wrong purposes.

A team the from California School of Professional Psychology set to out find the truth behind body supplements and came out with shocking results. At first, men who work out on a regular basis use them to boost results. However, with time, the research team found that more than 40 percent of these men tend to increase their supplement usage.

Instead of consuming them at intervals, they sometimes use creatine powder, protein bars and glutamine capsules as diet replacements. Supplements were never made and marketed to be used instead of a healthy diet. Instead, they were promoted to help bodybuilders boost protein level in their body and keep fat under control. Consuming them in large quantities, on a regular basis could not only lead to eating disorders but can create adverse health effects, warned the research paper.

Over 195 men who used supplements and visited the gym regularly were interviewed by the research team out of which 22% admitted they used supplements instead of food and 8% had serious health issues that their doctors advised them to stop using them immediately. At least 3% faced kidney or liver damage due to regular consumption of supplements.

Out of the 40% who used it regularly, over 29% of men were fully aware that the bodybuilding supplements have altered their diet and have been causing side effects. Yet, they refuse to stop using them and resume a normal diet. Social pressure and increased stress on men to look their best in the selfie age is said to be one of the important reasons behind this drastic change.

The supplements are also widely promoted and are available almost everywhere including college book stores, grocery supermarkets and nutritional food outlets. Such easy availability has also prompted a majority of men who had no intentions of going for such powders and capsules, but were lured into doing so boosted by the fancy marketing strategies.

Research Proves Consuming Spicy Foods Increases People’s Lifespan

A recent research study has confirmed that people who consume spicy food items on a regular basis tend to live longer than those who consume it once in a week or not at all.

Before data from this study emerged, a majority of people believed that spicy food ingredients including chili and pepper could cause adverse side effects. They were usually associated with health problems. People considered that a healthy, balanced diet should have less fried and non-spicy food items.

The study has confirmed that all these were misconceptions that prevail among people for a long time. Based on the analysis made, people who consume spicy items on a regular basis can avoid a wide range of health issues including diabetes, lung and heart diseases. Besides, it also prevents cancer which is a surprising find that the team has made. The results apply for both men and women.

If you don’t consume alcohol and opt for spicier foods throughout the week, you will not only avoid cancer, but a variety of diseases caused in the lungs. However, the British Medical Journal which published the study also added that it had the best effects on women when compared to men, due to genetic changes.

It was conducted by a group of specialists and medical experts. The research was funded and pioneered by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. The group picked people who were in the age group of 30 to 79 years. A total of 487,375 participants voluntarily signed up for the program which was conducted through several weeks.

Before the test began, the volunteers had to fill up a lengthy questionnaire. It helped the researchers learn more about these food habits, consumption of spicy food on a weekly basis, their measurements and the general health condition. At the end of the test, the team concluded that those who consumed them had 14 percent lesser chances of death, while who opted for spicy dishes once or twice in a week faced 10 percent chances of an earlier death.

It is believed that the bioactive materials found in these food items including Vitamin C and capsaicin help prevent some of the common issues that affect the heart and the lungs. The spices also play an integral role in promoting overall health as it acts as an anti-oxidant, helps reduce cholesterol that causes obesity, fights inflammation and cancer. It is not easy for someone to immediately change their diet, but if you could avoid a couple of diseases, it doesn’t hurt to add some spice to your daily meal.

Legionnaires’ Disease will be Curbed: NYC Health Department

If the legionnaires’ disease had not affected so many people and become such a massive outbreak in such a short period, officials wouldn’t have commenced the necessary action to curb it in time.

The general public, especially the people who live in Bronx, were the ones who suffered the most. Over 86 people have been diagnosed with the disease so far and recent reports indicate that the number is steadily increasing despite meticulous efforts triggered by the New York City health department.

At least seven people, who were identified to be infected by the disease, died in South Bronx. The big question that the residents have at the moment is why the officials delayed the treatment and eradication methods for so long. They have a common opinion that if they responded to the bacteria as soon as it occurred, a lot of people could have been saved and the total infected number would have never risen to such huge proportions.

In response to the situation, Mayor de Biasio has passed a new legislation. Health authorities in association with the local teams will start investigating all large units in buildings and de-contaminate every cooling tower that is infected by the bacteria. Recently, health experts concluded that the legionnaires’ disease spread through contaminated water. It doesn’t spread through consumption of water, but rather in the moisture found near the cooling towers, air conditioning units and water displacement setups.

With tens of thousands of cooling towers in the city, it is nearly impossible for the city officials to analyze them all and fix them in a short period. However, they will commence the action to support the new legislation.

“A complete registry with every building in the city equipped with a cooling tower will be prepared. The legislation will favor this after which regular inspections of all the buildings will be conducted,” said the Mayor.

Any building that doesn’t meet the health guidelines and are disobeying the law will be severely penalized so that the mistake is not repeated. A total of 17 towers have been tested so far out of which 5 were found to be infected and de-contaminated.

“The government should take responsibility and protect every citizen irrespective of their social status. The common sense proposal will ensure it happens from now. The legionnaires’ disease has been steadily affecting people since 2002, mostly the poorer lot. A proper inspection could have saved plenty of lives”, said Ruben Diaz, President of Bronx Borough.