Being ‘Born-Again’ Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study
Older adults who say they’ve had a life-changing religious experience are more likely to have a greater decrease in size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain critical to learning and memory, new research finds.
According to the study, people who said they were a “born-again” Protestant or Catholic, or conversely, those who had no religious affiliation, had more hippocampal shrinkage (or “atrophy”) compared to people who identified themselves as Protestants, but not born-again.
The study is published online in PLoS ONE.
Read the full article here: http://www.philly.com/philly/health/132456883.html
Study: Heart Attacks Can Trigger Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
One in eight people who suffer a heart attack or other acute coronary event experience clinically significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a meta-analysis of 24 studies led by Columbia University Medical Center researchers. The study also shows that heart patients who suffer PTSD face twice the risk of having another cardiac event or of dying within one to three years, compared with those without PTSD. The findings were published today in the online edition of PLoS ONE (note: the paper will be available online once the embargo lifts: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0038915).
“While most people think of PTSD as a disorder of combat veterans and sexual assault survivors, it is also quite common among patients who have had a severe coronary event,” said lead author Donald Edmondson, PhD, assistant professor of behavioral medicine at CUMC. “Not only are such events life-threatening, but their psychological impact can be devastating and long lasting.”
PTSD is an anxiety disorder initiated by exposure to a traumatic event such as combat, disaster, or sexual assault. Common symptoms include nightmares, avoidance of reminders of the event, and elevated heart rate and blood pressure.
Each year, about 1.4 million people in the United States experience an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), a term used to describe any condition brought about by sudden reduced blood flow to the heart. Numerous small studies have suggested that ACS-induced PTSD is common and can have serious health consequences, but its prevalence is not known.
To get a better idea of the scope of the problem, Dr. Edmondson and his colleagues performed the first combined review, or meta-analysis, of clinical studies of ACS-induced PTSD. The 24 studies in the meta-analysis included a total of 2,383 ACS patients from around the globe.
The study found that overall 12 percent, or one in eight, of the patients developed clinically significant PTSD symptoms, with four percent meeting full diagnostic criteria for the disorder.
“Given that some 1.4 million ACS patients are discharged from U.S. hospitals each year, our results suggest that 168,000 patients will develop clinically significant PTSD symptoms. That is quite substantial. However, there is abundant evidence that psychological disorders in heart patients are underrecognized and undertreated. In fact, underdiagnosis may be even more pronounced in cardiac practices than in other types of medical practices,” said Dr. Edmondson.
“This is a serious problem for individual patients, as well as for the healthcare system as a whole,” he said. “PTSD appears to double a heart patient’s risk for a second cardiac event and for death, which adds hundreds of millions of dollars to annual health expenditures.”
“Fortunately, there are good treatments for people with PTSD,” Dr. Edmondson said. “But first, physicians and patients have to be aware that this is a problem. Family members can also help. We know that social support is a good protective factor against PTSD due to any type of traumatic event.”
“The next step is further research to assess whether treatment can reduce ACS-induced PTSD symptoms and reduce the associated risk for ACS recurrence and mortality,” said Dr. Edmondson.
Dr. Edmondson’s paper is titled, “Posttraumatic stress disorder induced by acute coronary syndrome: A meta-analytic review of prevalence and associated clinical outcomes.” The other contributors are Safiya Richardson (CUMC), Louise Falzon (CUMC), Karina W. Davidson (CUMC), Mary Alice Mills (VA Boston Healthcare System), and Yuval Neria (CUMC).
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants HL-088117 and CA-156709. It was supported in part by Columbia University’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) grant No. UL1RR024156 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences – National Center for Research Resources/NIH. Dr. Edmondson is supported by NIH grant KM1CA156709.
Source: Columbia University Medical Center
Eating disorders are common in older women, study shows.
By Janice Lloyd, USA TODAY
Historically, eating disorder research has focused on teens and young women, but the study out Thursday in the International Journal of Eating Disorders shows 13% of women ages 50 and older struggle with the problem — some for the first time in their lives. Eating disorders are more common in women than men and include purging, binge eating, excessive dieting and excessive exercising.
The researchers surveyed 1,849 women online from across the nation in attempt to find out how older women feel about their bodies and to estimate the prevalence of eating disorders. There are 53 million women in the USA older than age 50, the authors write, noting previous studies have reported a lower risk for eating disorders as women mature.
“The disorders have serious physical as well as emotional consequences,” says lead author Cindy Bulik, director of the eating disorders program at the University of North Carolina. “Part of my goal is to make this an issue all doctors need to be aware of regardless of a women’s age. Many think eating disorders end at age 25. They exist at every age, we’re finding.”
The average age of the current study participant was 59. The survey consisted of multiple choice, fill-in, and open-ended questions on body image, aging, eating, and weight-loss attitudes and behaviors.
Among the findings showing how weight issues can impact life negatively: A whopping 79% said their weight or shape affected their self-perception, 41% checked their body daily, and 36% spent at least half of their time in the last five years dieting. These behaviors and attitudes put women at higher risk for “full-blown eating disorders,” the authors write.
In addition, 13.3% reported having symptoms of eating disorders. The report finds purging and binge eating were occurring in all ages among those 50 and older. The reasons for eating disorders are complex, Bulik says, but one reason is crystal clear.
“We have that constant bombardment of messages to look perfect, to be skinny and to be in control,” says Janice Bremis, executive director of the Eating Disorders Resource Center in Campbell, Calif. “It’s on television, in magazines, and women wonder ‘How can I ever be perfect like that.’ ”
One misguided “solution” is purging — eliminating food through vomiting or other means. Among all participants, 8% reported purging (in the absence of binge eating) within the past five years.
“The purging number screams out desperation in my mind,” says Bulik. “It’s an extreme behavior. Even after age 50, they’re desperately trying to control their weight. What really surprised me is that even in the 75-84 age group, they were still endorsing purging.”
Women used a variety of unhealthy methods to drop pounds, including diet pills (7.5%), excessive exercise (7%), diuretics (2.5%), laxatives (2%) and vomiting (1%).
Bulik says the disorders might be more dangerous in older women than in the young “because the body is less resilient as we age.” The disorders cause cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal problems and can lead to obesity, which also is linked to cancers and other health problems.
The World Is Fat (Especially America)By CATHERINE RAMPELL NYT Blog The world could stand to shed a few pounds. Fifteen million metric tons, in fact, according to a new study.In the study, published in the open-access journal BMC Public Health, researchers used country-specific data on body mass index and heights to estimate the biomass of the world’s entire adult population.
They concluded that in 2005, the global adult human biomass was about 287 million metric tons. (A metric ton is 1,000 kilograms, or about 2,200 pounds.) About 15 million metric tons of that biomass were the extra pounds of people who were overweight (here defined as having a body mass index value above 25). About 3.5 million metric tons of that total biomass were because of obesity (having a B.M.I. above 30).
The United States is to blame for a lot of those spare tires. While America holds about 5 percent of the world’s adult population, it accounts for about a third of the excess weight because of obesity.
Pennsylvania residents beg to be poisoned with fluoride
(NaturalNews) A small Pennsylvania town that was in the process of ending its water fluoridation program appears to be reversing course, all because of a few local, and very vocal, residents that literally begged township supervisors to keep poisoning their water with toxic fluoride. According to the York Daily Record, a 4-1 vote by West Manheim Township supervisors to end water fluoridation has now been reversed, which means West Manheim Township could remain the only municipality in York Water Company’s entire service area that fluoridates its water supply.
Typically it is city officials or government mandates that are responsible for trying to force water fluoridation on the public, while local residents are usually the ones petitioning officials not to illegally mass medicate their community with fluoride drugs. But in West Manheim Township’s case, widespread local ignorance about fluoride’s toxicity appears to have created a situation where city officials are the ones fighting against a few loudmouthed fluoride fanatics who insist on poisoning everyone with the toxic waste byproduct.
Though the outcry convinced several township supervisors to rescind their votes, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) still has the final say on whether or not to continue fluoridating West Manheim Township’s water supply. Area residents also have until June 19 to express comments of opposition to forced water fluoridation. If you or someone you know lives in the West Manheim Township area, they can send comments to:
Mr. Rod Nesmith
Director, Safe Drinking Water Program
DEP South Central Region
909 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, Pa. 17110
West Manheim Township apparently populated by zombies, deniers
While millions of Americans are waking up to the truth about fluoride, and pushing to have this highly toxic chemical removed from their water supplies, West Manheim Township residents are largely demanding to be poisoned with it. Typifying what Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, recently wrote about the five dominant personalities you will likely encounter in America today, West Manheim Township appears to be dominated primarily by zombies and deniers (http://www.naturalnews.com/036159_zombies_sociopaths_deniers.html).
This is evident not only by the mere ten percent of local residents that wrote township officials to oppose fluoride — the other 90 percent expressed support for fluoride — but also by the numerous letters to the editor that were submitted to local newspapers in the area following the vote reversal, including this little gem submitted to PennLive.com (http://www.pennlive.com), and this one submitted to the York Daily Record (http://www.ydr.com).
Fortunately, though, not everyone in West Manheim Township is completely brain damaged by the fluoridated water.
“Fluoride is a dangerous toxin,” wrote one West Manheim Township area resident, who was obviously outnumbered by the droves of mindless drones that demanded their water remain fluoridated, in an opposing letter to the editor. “If you need proof, simply read the back of your toothpaste tube. [Fluoride] is quickly absorbed through mucus membranes into the bloodstream and bio-accumulates in the cells. How much of this bombardment can your cells take?”
Sources for this article include:
Prescription Painkillers Overtake Car Crashes as Leading Cause of Accidental Death in America
Prescription painkillers have topped car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., according to a new report.
Research by the National Center for Health Statistics show that drug poisoning is now a more common way to go than being killed on the road.
It follows recent celebrity deaths from painkillers, including Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger and Anna Nicole Smith.
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