Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Chilled Summer Soups


Chilled Pea, Lettuce and Herb Soup

Tomato-Cucumber Soup With Basil

Chilled Yogurt Soup With Spinach and Chickpeas

Watermelon Gazpacho

Yogurt Soup With Spelt, Cucumbers and Watercress

General Medicine/Family Medical

Respiratory Disorder Seen in Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans

By Jennifer Warner

Study Shows Some Service Members Return From the Middle East With Constrictive Bronchiolitis

July 22, 2011 — Breathing problems in some soldiers returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan may be signs of a respiratory disorder rarely seen in healthy young adults, a study shows.

The research suggests that exposure to unknown toxins in the Middle East may be behind unexplained breathing problems in otherwise healthy veterans.

Americans Are Flocking to Alternative Therapies

By Bill Hendrick

Survey Shows 38 Million Americans Visit Providers of Alternative and Complementary Therapies

July 22, 2011 — Most Americans believe that prescription medications are the most effective treatments for many common illnesses, but a Consumer Reports survey of more than 45,000 people finds that three-fourths of us are turning to alternative therapies like yoga and acupuncture.

The new report says 38 million adults make more than 300 million visits per year to acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and other practitioners of alternative and complementary techniques.

Stopping Daily Aspirin Risky for Some

by Kathleen Doheny

Patients With Heart Disease History Who Stopped Daily Aspirin Increased Heart Attack Risk by 60%

July 20, 2011 — For patients with a history of heart disease, stopping aspirin can increase the risk of having a heart attack, according to a new study.

Patients with a history of heart disease who stopped taking a low-dose daily aspirin had a 60% increased risk of having a heart attack over the three-year follow-up, compared with patients who continued the daily aspirin, says study researcher Luis A. Garcia Rodriguez, MD, director of the Spanish Center for Pharmacoepidemiologic Research (CEIFE) in Madrid.

His study is published online in BMJ.


FDA Warning on Atrial Fibrillation Drug Multaq

By Daniel J DeNoon

Doubling of Deaths Halts Multaq Study; FDA Mulls Risk to Current Users

July 22, 2011 — If you’re taking the atrial fibrillation drug Multaq, the FDA wants you to call your doctor right away.

Don’t stop taking the drug — that could be dangerous. But the FDA wants patients to be aware that a clinical trial of Multaq, called PALLAS, was halted when the drug doubled the risk of death, stroke, and heart failure hospitalization in heart patients with permanent atrial fibrillation.

Frogs That Spread Salmonella Are Being Sold Again

By Bill Hendrick

Sales Resume for African Dwarf Frogs That Are Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

July 20, 2011 — A California company whose African dwarf frogs have been linked to at least 241 cases of salmonella illness going back to 2009 has resumed selling the tiny animals after a temporary pause.

The CDC says most of those sickened by the frog-borne bacteria have been children under the age of 5. The federal agency has warned parents that the amphibians, a type of water frog, are widely available from pet stores and online retailers.

Women’s Health

Breastfeeding May Cut Risk of Asthma for Baby

By Kathleen Doheny

Study Shows Exclusive Breastfeeding for 6 Months Offers the Most Protection From Asthma

July 21, 2011 — Breastfeeding for at least six months appears to reduce the risk of a child developing asthma, new Dutch research suggests. Exclusive breastfeeding offered even more protection, the researchers found.

The link between breastfeeding and asthma risk has been reported before. However, the new study is believed to be the first to link the length of breastfeeding with the number of wheezing episodes a child has later on.

Ob-Gyn Group Recommends Annual Mammograms in 40s

By Salynn Boyles

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Issues Guidelines on Breast Cancer Screening

July 20, 2011 — Women in their 40s should have a mammogram every year just like older women, the nation’s largest group of ob-gyns now says.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) had previously recommended mammograms every one to two years beginning at age 40, with annual screening recommended after age 50.

Tall Women Linked to Greater Cancer Risk

By Denise Mann

Study Suggests Taller Women Have Higher Risk of a Variety of Cancer Types

July 20, 2011 — Taller women are at greater risk for many types of cancers compared with shorter women, a new study suggests.

In the study, cancer risk rose by about 16% for every 4-inch increase in height. The risk of total cancer increased with height, as did the risk of many different types of cancer including breast, ovary, uterine, and colon cancer as well as leukemia and melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer.

The findings appear online in the Lancet Oncology.

Men’s Health

‘Explosion’ of Sex-Spread Hepatitis C in HIV-Positive Men

By Daniel J. DeNoon

CDC: Hepatitis C From High-Risk Sex Is ‘Widespread’ in U.S., Europe, Australia

July 21, 2011 — There is an ongoing “explosion” of deadly hepatitis C among men who have sex with men.

It’s spread mainly by anal sex, often enhanced by methamphetamine, according to a report in the July 21 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Gene Mutation May Be Linked to Male Infertility

By Salynn Boyles

Study May Lead to New Ways of Treating Infertility in Men

July 20, 2011 — Researchers say they have discovered a genetic mutation that may explain a significant proportion of male infertility.

The finding could potentially improve current testing, which still fails to find a cause for infertility in about one in five couples. And it could lead to earlier treatment of these couples.

Pediatric Health

No Risk of Behavior Problems for Working Moms’ Kids

By Denise Mann

Researchers Say Mothers of Young Kids Don’t Have to Feel Guilty About Working Outside the Home

July 21, 2011 — Kids whose moms work outside the home are no more likely to have behavioral or emotional problems at age 5 than kids whose moms stayed at home, a study shows.

The study is published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.


Clues to Early Detection, Treatment of Alzheimer’s

By Charlene Laino

Brain, Blood Changes Occur Decades Before Alzheimer’s Symptoms

July 22, 2011 (Paris) — Brain and blood chemistry changes that indicate Alzheimer’s disease can be detected 10 to 20 years before memory loss and other cognitive symptoms develop, according to doctors studying  families with inherited forms of the disease.

Studying people genetically destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease at a young age will help researchers understand the changes that occur prior to the development of the “type of Alzheimer’s everyone recognizes — the [non-inherited] form of the disease that  typically strikes people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s,” says  John C. Morris, MD, of Washington University in St. Louis.

Many Older Americans Have Mild Cognitive Impairment

By Charlene Laino

Study Shows Global Rate of Mild Cognitive Impairment Is Similar to U.S. Rate

July 22, 2011 (Paris) — Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is relatively common, affecting between 10% and 20% of older adults in the U.S. and four Western European countries, new data suggest.

The global perspective on MCI — presented for the first time at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference — also showed that major risk factors for developing MCI are older age, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and the presence of the ApoE4 gene variant that has been linked to Alzheimer’s.

Hearing Loss May Skew Alzheimer’s Test Results

By Charlene Laino

Study Shows Poor Hearing May Cause False-Positive Results on Cognitive Tests

July 21, 2011 (Paris) — If you’re going to take your elderly parents in for a memory checkup, you may want to have their hearing tested first.

So suggest researchers who found that a substantial number of people may have false-positive results on cognitive tests designed to detect dementia due to undiagnosed hearing problems.

Mental Health

Being Optimistic May Reduce Risk of Stroke

By Joanna Broder

Study Suggests Optimism May Help Lower Your Chances of Having a Stroke

July 21, 2011 — Findings from a new study suggest that being optimistic may reduce your risk of stroke.

The observational study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, is published online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

People who are optimistic expect a favorable outcome. They also tend to focus on the most hopeful aspects of a situation.

Exercise Sharpens Older Minds

By Charlene Laino

Physical Activity Linked to Lower Rates of Cognitive Decline, Researchers Say

July 20, 2011 (Paris) — Two new studies add to growing evidence that physical activity helps to keep older people’s brains sharp.

Neither study shows cause and effect, only that there is an association between exercise and cognitive health.

But in both studies, participants who exercised the most were substantially less likely to suffer memory loss and other signs of cognitive decline, compared to their more sedentary counterparts.


Food Boredom May Lead to Weight Loss

By Salynn Boyles

Study Participants Ate Less When Offered the Same Food Every Day

July 21, 2011 — A new study suggests that one path to successful weight loss might be culinary boredom.

Researchers found that when people were offered the same food over and over again, they tended to eat less overall.

The study expands on a growing body of research suggesting that the unprecedented level of variety in the American diet may be a major contributor to the obesity epidemic

 Not All Belly Fat Is Bad for the Heart

By Brenda Goodman

Researchers Say Latest Research Points to Fat Deposited in Skeletal Muscle and the Liver

July 21, 2011 — A new study shows that where a person stores body fat may be more important for heart disease risk than how big they are.

Doctors have long wondered why some obese people appear reasonably healthy, while others seem to be on a path toward heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Omega-3s Linked to Lower Dementia Risk

By Charlene Laino

Study Shows Eating Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Cut Risk of Dementia

July 20, 2011 (Paris) — A diet rich in certain omega-3 fatty acids may lower the risk of developing dementia, researchers report.

In a study of more than 2,000 older women and men followed for nearly five years, the more omega-3-rich oily fish they ate, the lower their risk of developing dementia.