Mar 28 2015

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

A Colorful Passover Seder

 photo wellpassover-tmagArticle.jpg

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Time

The Passover meal is one of the most meaningful gatherings in Judaism, symbolizing the Jews’ flight from slavery in Egypt. As the cookbook author Joan Nathan writes, the annual event gives her “chills, knowing that I’m following what was written in the Bible more than 2,500 years ago.” [..]

But thousands of years of tradition doesn’t mean you can’t still find moments of creativity and color in your Passover meal. We have collected some of our favorite Martha Rose Shulman recipes to help you set a delicious and meaningful Passover table.

~ Tara Parker-Pope ~

Egg Lemon Soup with Matzos

No schmaltz is needed for this comforting Greek-style soup – the matzos are crumbled right into the broth.

Bitter Herbs Salad

Endive, romaine and chicory are present on many Sephardic ritual platters, but here these pungent greens form the basis for a salad with a garlicky dressing.

Braised Greek Artichoke Bottoms with Lemon and Olive Oil

These brightly flavored artichokes, served cold or at room temperature, can be made a day ahead of time.

Sweet Potato and Apple Kugel

I’ve looked at a number of sweet potato kugel recipes, and experimented with this one a few times until I was satisfied with it.

Broccoli, Quinoa and Purslane Salad

Slice the raw broccoli very thin for this delicious salad. If you can’t find purslane you can substitute mâche.


FDA Warns of Mixing Heart Drug, Hep C Meds

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Adding Harvoni or Sovaldi to amiodarone could cause dangerous slowing of heart rate, agency says

March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — A potentially life-threatening slowing of the heart can occur when the common heart drug amiodarone is taken with new hepatitis C medications, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

The dangerous slowing of the heart — called symptomatic bradycardia — can occur when amiodarone is taken with the hepatitis C drugs Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) or Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and combined with another direct-acting antiviral for the treatment of hepatitis C.

General Medicine/Family Medical

Can Weight-Loss Surgery Reduce Asthma Flare-Ups?

By Nina Flanagan, HealthDay

Emergency visits, hospitalizations for airway disease dropped by half after procedure, study finds

March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — In obese people with asthma, weight-loss surgery has been linked to a significant reduction in serious asthma flare-ups, new research suggests.

“We found that risk of an emergency department visit or hospitalization for asthma exacerbation decreased by half after bariatric [weight-loss] surgery and remained significantly lower for at least 2 years,” the study authors wrote in the report.

3 Drinks Per Day May Raise Liver Cancer Risk

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Expert panel looked at data on over 8 million people to come up with risk factors for the disease

March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) — People who have three or more alcoholic drinks per day could be raising their odds for liver cancer, according to a report from a panel of experts.

But there was good news for java lovers: The report, from the World Cancer Research Fund International, found “strong evidence” that drinking coffee might actually lower a person’s odds for liver cancer.

In-Patient Rehab Not Always Needed After New Knee

By Alan Mozes, HealthDay

People do just as well with in-home physical therapy, study finds

March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Patients who choose at-home physical therapy instead of in-patient rehabilitation after knee replacement surgery do just as well when it comes to complications, long-term pain management and movement recovery, new research indicates.

“Based on these findings, we are encouraging more patients to consider going home so they can receive their aftercare in a home environment instead of at an in-patient rehab facility,” said study lead author Dr. Douglas Padgett, chief of the Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Kitchen Towels Can Make You Sick

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Researchers find cellphones a potential source of cross-contamination, too

March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Hand towels are the top contamination hazard in the kitchen, according to a new study.

Cellphones are another potential source of kitchen cross-contamination, the researchers found.

Cross-contamination refers to the accidental transfer of potentially hazardous germs from one surface to another.

FDA OKs Drug for Diabetes-Linked Eye Condition

Eylea injections appear to ease diabetic retinopathy, studies show

March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the use of Eylea, an injected drug, to treat diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetic macular edema.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. A third of those over 40 with diabetes have some form of the eye condition, according to 2008 data, the CDC said.

Low Back Pain and Obesity, Smoking, Drinking …

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay

Researchers say that modifying these factors might help ease condition

March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — People suffering from lower back pain who smoke, drink, are depressed or are obese may be able to ease their agony by making some lifestyle changes, a new study suggests.

“If you have lower back pain that is not explained by a spinal problem but is more of a muscle pain, things like obesity, alcohol abuse, smoking and depression, factors that you can affect, can be contributing to it,” explained lead researcher Dr. Scott Shemory, an orthopedic surgeon with Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.

Frequent Antibiotic Use and Type 2 Diabetes Risk

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Data on 1 million people suggests a higher risk of the illness linked to changes in gut microbes

March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Repeated use of certain antibiotics may increase a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from one million people in the United Kingdom and found that those who were prescribed at least two courses of four types of antibiotics — penicillins, cephalosporins, quinolones and macrolides — were more likely to develop diabetes.

Seasonal Flu/Other Epidemics/Disasters

New Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise in Human Trials

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

It appeared to provoke good immune response in Chinese study, but larger trials are needed

March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — An experimental Ebola vaccine shows promise in an early clinical trial, but requires much more testing, researchers report.

The trial included 120 healthy adults in China who received either a low or high dose of the vaccine, or a placebo. Twenty-eight days later, 38 of 40 people in the low-dose group and all 40 of those in the high-dose group showed an immune response to the vaccine.

No serious side effects occurred among the participants who received the vaccine.

Ebola May Hit Young Children Hardest, Study Finds

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

Babies, toddlers get sick faster and die sooner than older children and adults, study finds

March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Ebola appears to do its damage faster in young children than it does in adults, a new study reports.

Young children infected with Ebola during the current West African epidemic developed symptoms and required hospitalization sooner than adults. They also died days earlier than did adults with the infection, according to research from the World Health Organization’s Ebola Response Team.

Women’s Health

E-Cigs May Pose a Risk in Pregnancy, to Children

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay

Nicotine can harm developing brains, experts say

March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Nicotine exposure from e-cigarettes may damage the developing brains of infants in the womb, as well as the brains of children and adolescents, suggests a new review of nicotine’s effects.

Animal experiments have shown that exposure to nicotine can harm developing lungs and brains, according to the review’s senior author Dr. Tim McAfee, director of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health. The harm in the animal brains occurs in areas involved in thinking and language development, and short- and long-term memory, he said.

Diabetes, Advanced Breast Cancer Linked in Study

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Findings suggest need to modify screening methods

March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Women with diabetes may have an increased risk of being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, a new study from Canada shows.

“Our findings suggest that women with diabetes may be predisposed to more advanced-stage breast cancer, which may be a contributor to their higher cancer mortality,” Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, said in a hospital news release.

Painful Knee Arthritis May Be Tied to Early Death

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Connection is likely due to limited mobility, researcher says

March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Painful knee arthritis is associated with an increased risk of premature death in women, a new study suggests.

Women with osteoarthritis-related knee pain — the type associated with normal wear and tear — were nearly twice as likely to die early from any cause, and more than three times as likely to die from heart problems as those without knee pain from arthritis, the British researchers found.

Men’s Health

Midlife Fitness May Be Cancer Fighter for Men

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay

Study shows lower risk of lung, colon tumors at 65 and older

March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Fit middle-aged men appear less likely to develop lung and colon cancer in later life than their out-of-shape peers. And if they do develop cancer, they are more likely to beat it, a new study suggests.

Nearly 14,000 men underwent treadmill tests at midlife and had their medical records reviewed at age 65 or older. Researchers found that the fitter guys had roughly half the risk for lung and colon cancer compared with unfit men. Their risk for death from these cancers was about one-third lower.

Pediatric Health

Autism and Risk for Gut Troubles in Children

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

In study, kids with the behavioral disorder were more prone to symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation

March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Children with autism tend to have more gastrointestinal problems early in life compared to other children, a new study finds.

Researchers compared these GI symptoms — such as diarrhea, constipation and food allergy/intolerance — during the first three years of life among three groups of Norwegian children. One group included 195 children with autism, another included more than 4,600 children with developmental delays, and the third group included more than 40,000 children who developed typically.

Scientists Spot Gene Tied to Girls’ Severe Autism

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

Research aims to get at root causes of the disorder

March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Researchers say they’ve discovered a new genetic cause of autism, singling out a rare gene mutation that appears to hamper normal brain development early on in powerful ways.

The gene, CTNND2, provides instructions for making a protein called delta-catenin, which plays crucial roles in the nervous system, said senior author Aravinda Chakravarti, a professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Institute of Genetic Medicine.

Prenatal Pollutant Exposure May Cause Kids Trouble

By Kathleen Doheny, HealthDay

Small study found higher risk of ADHD symptoms, other thinking and behavioral problems

March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Exposure to common air pollutants before birth may make children more likely to have the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other thinking and behavioral problems, a small new study suggests.

“Exposure to air pollution in pregnancy and during early infancy [and] early childhood seems to produce brain disturbances in the left side of the brain, in direct proportion to the amount of exposure to air pollution that women experience in pregnancy,” explained study author Dr. Bradley Peterson. He directs the Institute for the Developing Mind at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.


People May Grow More Trusting With Age: Study

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

And that could mean more happiness, too, researchers say

March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Far from the “grumpy old men” stereotype, people may actually become more trusting — and happier — with age, a new study suggests.

“When we think of old age, we often think of decline and loss,” study co-author Claudia Haase, an assistant professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, said in a university news release.

Kidneys From Dead Older Donors May Help Seniors

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Many of these organs would otherwise get thrown away, researcher says

March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Far from the “grumpy old men” stereotype, people may actually become more trusting — and happier — with age, a new study suggests.

“When we think of old age, we often think of decline and loss,” study co-author Claudia Haase, an assistant professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, said in a university news release.

Hope to Live to 100? Check Your Genes

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

DNA’s role in lifespan rises dramatically in extreme old age, study finds

March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Healthy eating and exercise might help most people live to a respectable old age, but making it to 95 or 100 might require help from your DNA, a new study finds.

“Genetic makeup explains an increasingly greater portion of the variation in how old people live to be,” especially for people approaching or exceeding the one-century mark, study co-author Dr. Thomas Perls, of Boston University, said in a university news release.

Many With Alzheimer’s Aren’t Told by Doctor

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

Researchers found patients were more likely to be informed only after their disease had advanced

March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Doctors are not telling a majority of their patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s that they have the degenerative brain disease, a new report shows.

The research, conducted by the Alzheimer’s Association, involved patients whose Medicare records listed treatments that are specific to Alzheimer’s disease.

Should Older Runners Embrace the ‘Barefoot’ Craze?

People over 30 may take more time to safely adjust to ‘minimalist’ shoes, study suggests

March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — It’s the latest thing among avid runners: “minimalist” shoes that approach the way humans first ran — barefoot.

But a new study suggests that runners over the age of 30 who transition from traditional running shoes to minimalist shoes should do so cautiously to avoid injury.

They ”probably need to do it much more slowly, over a longer time period,” said study lead author Dr. Scott Mullen, a researcher at the University of Kansas Hospital Sports Medicine and Performance Center in Kansas City.

Mental Health

Anorexics’ Brains React Differently to Hunger

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Study also finds changes in areas that regulate self-control

March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) — People with anorexia nervosa have an abnormal brain response to hunger signals, a new study finds.

“When most people are hungry, they are motivated to eat,” study first author Christina Wierenga, an associate professor of psychiatry at the the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, said in a university news release.

Could Smoggy Air Raise Your Anxiety Level?

By Amy Norton, HealthDay

Possibly, one study suggests, while another links pollution to increased stroke risk

March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Air pollution may take a toll not only on physical health, but mental well-being as well, two new studies suggest.

In one, researchers confirmed a long-studied connection between air pollution and cardiovascular health — finding evidence that dirty air may help trigger strokes in vulnerable people.


More Whole Grains May Boost Life Span

By Randy Dotinga, HealthDay

But study found you’ll need to eat a lot to gain most benefit

March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — In more good news for those who fill up on bran cereal and quinoa, a new study suggests that older people who eat a lot of whole grains may live longer than those who hardly ever eat them.

Even the obese and sedentary appear to gain a benefit, the researchers added.

People should “eat more whole grains and reduce intake of refined carbohydrates,” said study co-author Dr. Lu Qi, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Could a Diet Help Shield You From Alzheimer’s?

By Alan Mozes, HealthDay

Scientists say the MIND eating plan significantly reduces risk of the brain disorder

March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Scientists say they’ve developed an anti-Alzheimer’s diet.

While it couldn’t prove cause-and-effect, the new study found that adults who rigorously followed the so-called MIND diet faced a 53 percent lower risk for Alzheimer’s, the most common type of dementia. Those sticking to the diet just “moderately well” saw their Alzheimer’s risk drop by roughly 35 percent.