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Running – Even a Little — Helps You Live Longer

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Even a little running on a regular basis can extend your life, Australian researchers say.

They analyzed 14 studies that included more than 232,000 people whose health was tracked for between 5.5 and 35 years. During the study periods, nearly 26,000 participants died.

The collective data showed that any amount of running was associated with a 30% lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 23% lower risk of death from cancer.

Even as little as 50 minutes of running once a week at a pace slower than 6 mph appeared to be protective, according to the authors of the study published online Nov. 4 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

They said that makes running a good option for people who say they are too busy to exercise.

The reasons running is associated with a reduced risk of premature death are unclear, and the study doesn’t establish cause and effect, said lead researcher Zeljko Pediscic. He’s an associate professor of public health at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.

His team also noted that the number of studies analyzed was small and considerable variation in their methods may have influenced the results.

Even so, any amount of running is better than none, the authors suggested.

“Increased rates of participation in running, regardless of its dose, would probably lead to substantial improvements in population health and longevity,” they concluded in a journal news release.

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Sources

SOURCE:British Journal of Sports Medicine, news release, Nov. 4, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Many Black Americans Live in Trauma Care ‘Deserts’

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Black neighborhoods in America’s three largest cities are much more likely to be located in a “trauma desert,” an area without immediate access to a designated trauma center, a new study finds.

Census data for neighborhoods in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles revealed that neighborhoods made up of mostly black residents are more often 5 miles or more away from a trauma center, compared with white or Hispanic neighborhoods, researchers said.

“We found that black neighborhoods were the only neighborhoods that were consistently in trauma deserts,” said lead researcher Dr. Elizabeth Tung, an internal medicine and primary care instructor with University of Chicago Medicine.

This means that medical care for stabbings, shootings and beatings is lacking in the urban areas most affected by violent crime, the researchers said.

Tung’s team noted that the rate of violent crime in rural Thurmont, Md., is five victims for every 10,000 people. The rate just 60 miles away, in urban Baltimore, is more than 25 times higher.

“When you think about who needs access to these services, it’s really the poor inner-city neighborhoods, and those are the neighborhoods least likely to have access,” Tung said.

Previous studies have associated urban trauma care deserts — or regions located more than 5 miles from a trauma center — with higher transport times and an increased risk of death, according to background notes in the study published online March 8 in JAMA Network Open.

For the new study, the investigators analyzed data from the 2015 American Community Survey, an annual research effort by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The researchers used the survey to assess the racial makeup of specific neighborhoods in the three largest U.S. cities. They found large proportions of majority-black neighborhoods in Chicago (35 percent) and New York City (21 percent), but not in Los Angeles (3 percent).

The investigators then compared the location of those neighborhoods to the sites of adult level I and level II trauma centers within the three cities.

Continued

The findings showed that black-majority neighborhoods were eight times more likely to be located in a trauma care desert in Chicago and five times more likely in Los Angeles. They also were nearly twice as likely in New York City to be in a trauma care desert, in models adjusting for poverty and race.

Interestingly, Hispanic-majority neighborhoods did not consistently have the same problem. They were actually less likely to be located in a trauma care desert in New York City and Los Angeles, and slightly more likely in Chicago, according to the report.

Many “safety net” trauma hospitals in poorer urban areas have shut down or scaled back operations over the years, as welfare and Medicaid funding have tightened, Tung said. This makes emergency care less available to people in those neighborhoods.

Examples include Michael Reese Hospital on the south side of Chicago, which closed in 1991 due to economic hardship, and Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital in Los Angeles, which lost its trauma center designation in 2004, the researchers noted.

On the other hand, activists in New York City rallied around Harlem Hospital and headed off its closure twice, which could explain why the Big Apple’s black communities are not as likely to be in a trauma care desert, Tung said.

It’s not cheap to operate a trauma center, said Dr. Lisa Marie Knowlton, an assistant professor of surgery at Stanford University Medical Center.

“The process of accreditation and maintenance of certification for level I trauma hospitals is a rigorous and costly process, and although many safety-net hospitals in urban settings provide level I care, they are already at financial risk,” said Knowlton, who wrote an editorial accompanying the new study.

“The tremendous cost to the hospital and system for providing care to vulnerable uninsured patients who lack adequate post-discharge resources places any hospital in these urban environments at risk,” Knowlton explained.

Physical proximity isn’t the only measure used to assess an area’s access to emergency care, said Dr. Rade Vukmir, a critical care specialist in Traverse City, Mich., who is also a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Continued

“The question of how long does it take to get to emergency care is really the underpinning of what we do. In a rural environment, it’s a distance problem,” Vukmir said. “In a suburban and sometimes urban environment, it’s a congestion problem,” as ambulances battle traffic to deliver patients to a hospital.

Tung and Knowlton pointed out that providing better emergency care to neighborhoods in trauma care deserts will involve large-scale policy changes and programs.

“Additional state and federal funds should be allocated toward the provision of emergency services, including trauma care, regardless of patients’ ability to pay,” Knowlton said. “Further subsidization of safety-net hospitals providing critical services to high-risk patients in urban settings is warranted.”

Medicaid expansion could prove crucial in expanding funding to struggling urban hospitals, Knowlton added.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Elizabeth Tung, M.D., internal medicine and primary care instructor, University of Chicago Medicine; Lisa Marie Knowlton, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of surgery, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, Calif.; Rade Vukmir, M.D., critical care specialist, Traverse City, Mich., and fellow, American College of Emergency Physicians; March 8, 2019,JAMA Network Open,  online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Is 100 the New 80? What’s It Take to Live Longer?

Laura Bridges celebrated her 100th birthday this month. The year she was born in rural Oglethorpe County, GA, the flu killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. As a result, U.S. life expectancy that year was just 36 years for a man and 42 for a woman. The following year, life expectancy rose back up to the more typical 55.

These days, while statistical life expectancy in the U.S. is about 80 years, living well into one’s 80s or 90s is a perfectly realistic expectation for many. Even centenarians — people who are 100 years old or more — are on the rise. In 2015, some 72,000 Americans were centenarians. That’s a whopping 43% increase from just 50,000 in 2000.

As centenarians’ numbers grow, researchers want to know what separates them from those who live the average, expected 80 years. Of course, you can’t underestimate the value of exercise, a good diet, and other healthy choices. But studies show genes are pretty important, too. So do you have to win the genetic lottery to live a whole century? Or can science unlock the secret to spreading the genetic wealth?

The Case for Genes

Asked if she expected to live a hundred years, Bridges says, “Sure! I take after my grandmother.” Bridges has in fact outlived her grandmother, who lived to be 99. Her sister Virginia lived to 99 as well. Another sister, Dot, is 90.

Longevity runs in families, which has led scientists to search for the genes that might give some a chronological edge.

“Several genes have been identified,” says Sofiya Milman, MD, director of human longevity studies at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY. “Most [long-lived people in our research] have a few of these genes, but not all of them. And there are probably many more genes we can discover.”

Longevity researchers like Milman aren’t just studying people who live to a very old age, but people who age very well. After all, if you want to live to an exceptionally old age, you’re probably interested in more than just extra years. You want to enjoy those extra years with a sharp mind and good physical health.

The SuperAging Study, an ongoing clinical trial at Northwestern University, includes people who are older than 80 but still have the memory of someone in their 50s. It’s not such a tall order. Exceptionally old age and exceptionally good health for that age, both in body and brain, seem to go hand in hand. “We think they might be on a different trajectory of aging,” says Emily Rogalski, PhD, who leads the SuperAging Study.

The trial compares super-agers’ brains to the brains of average-agers — people whose overall health and memory align with their age. Super agers’ brains, the study has found, look more like the brains of 50-year-olds than like the brains of 80-year-old average-agers.

Other studies support the idea of a slower biological clock as well. In a study that compared older adults ages 95 to 112 with much-younger older adults, many of the exceptionally long-lived people developed age-related illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and stroke, up to 24 years after the average age for developing these conditions.

“They don’t just live longer, they live healthier, and maybe that’s why they live longer,” Milman says. A follow-up to this study found that children of long-lived people tend to have lower rates of age-related diseases, too.

Bridges has enjoyed a disease-free life herself. She lived independently in the home she purchased with her husband, Joseph “Joe” Bridges, in the Atlanta suburb Doraville in 1962 until she was 98. When she began to show signs of dementia at 98, some 20 years after the average age it develops, her son moved her to an assisted living facility.

Researchers have begun to identify genes that might contribute to the slower aging Bridges and others like her enjoy. In some cases, the gene’s function explains why it might extend life. For example, one gene variant common in exceptionally long-lived people is connected to higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Another, also connected with higher HDL, seems to come with better overall health of the arteries. A couple of other genes associated with longevity appear to regulate inflammation and oxidative stress, a type of cumulative damage to the cells. Both are precursors to many age-related chronic diseases. Researchers have found other genes that seem to be common in centenarians or other long-lived people, though they don’t know what those genes do.

The Case for Lifestyle

Of course, genes don’t explain everything. They don’t tell scientists why life span, and the number of centenarians, has increased so much in the last 100 years.

“We’ve extended life expectancy almost a third of a century [in that time], and that’s mostly from environment,” says Claudia Kawas, MD, who co-leads The 90+ Study at University of California Irvine. The study explores aging well and dementia in people 90 years old and up.

Kawas notes that improvements in public health, such as reduced pollution, discovery of antibiotics, development of vaccines, i

mprovement in education, and lifestyle changes have all added to life expectancy. In the last 20 years, aggressive treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol have helped, too.

Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, former director of the CDC, credits public health advancements with 25 of the 30 years that lifespan has increased in the U.S. in the last century. It’s due to ongoing scientific, medical, and public health advancements, and lifespan is expected to increase. Half the children born in the U.S. in 2000 could live to be 103 years old, projections say. Genes may account for only a quarter to a third of human lifespan. When you choose a lifestyle that promotes longevity, you could reap many of the same benefits as those who hit the genetic jackpot at birth.

Keeping up with your friends seems to contribute to aging well, too. Bridges has held on to the same two gal pals since 1962. “I’ve got Eleanor and I’ve got Betty,” she says. The three moved to the same street in Doraville within a month of one another in 1962, saw each other through the deaths of their husbands, all within in the same 6 months, and continued to visit as often as they could until Betty passed away last year.

The super-agers in the Northwestern University study say that they have more satisfying, high-quality relationships than their average-ager peers. They are more likely to say they have friends they can trust and who share their interests.

“When you’re staying in touch with your friends, deciding to go out to lunch rather than stay at home, maybe in addition to making you feel good, that’s doing something good for your brain, too,” Rogalski says.

Maybe all of these things — a healthy lifestyle, rewarding relationships — make a person happy. Or maybe happy people seek out these things. Either way, happiness seems to be a predictor of longevity. In a study that followed more than 31,000 adults for 24 years, those who rated themselves “very happy” were less likely to die during the study than those who called themselves “pretty happy” or “not happy.”

Asked for her secrets to a long, healthy life, Bridges offers with a shrug that maybe it’s the vegetables she’s eaten a lot of. She’s exercised from time to time, she adds, never smoked or drank, and she’s worked hard. “And I’m happy,” she adds. “I’ve always been happy.”

Leveling the Genetic Playing Field

Bridges, like many others her age, may simply have a genetic edge over others in the race to live the longest — and the best. “I don’t know why I’m living so long,” she laughs. “I can’t figure that one out.” Those who aren’t so lucky will have to pick up the slack with plenty of leafy greens and exercise, and a life that’s heavy on friends and free of tobacco.

But one day, what scientists learn now from the genetically lucky could give everyone a boost. If aging at a slower pace protects the exceptionally old from many diseases at once, how can science slow the ticking of average-agers’ clocks, too?

Currently, scientists attack age-related, chronic diseases in the same way they attacked contagious illnesses 100 years ago: one by one. That worked for contagious conditions, but that’s not the right approach for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions, says Jay Olshansky, PhD, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he studies centenarians. “When you reduced infectious diseases, you got decades of life in return, but we only get marginal improvements in longevity when we make [improvements in] the major diseases that kill us today.”

That’s because when you reduce the risk of death from one age-related disease, something else takes its place. “If you cure cancer or heart disease,” Olshansky says, “you’re going to get more people with Alzheimer’s disease.”

The solution? Slow the aging process to reduce risk of all age-related diseases rather than just one. In much the same way that many new cancer therapies target the gene that causes the cancer, new drugs could one day switch certain genes on or off to help average-agers live longer, disease-free lives.

Current research explores the possibility for targeted therapies, as well as other drugs, to slow the aging process. One good candidate is metformin, a safe, cheap medication for type 2 diabetes that’s been in use for more than 50 years. Studies suggest that it delays aging in animals. The TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin) trial, expected to launch late this year or early next year, will be the first clinical trial to test the hypothesis in people.

“A minor intervention that slows aging would be bigger than a cure for cancer,” says Olshansky, “because it would influence more than just cancer. It would influence heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, everything that goes wrong with us. If we could slow aging, our world would change in very positive ways.”

Sources

Laura Bridges, centenarian.

Sofiya Milman, MD, director of human longevity studies, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.

Emily Rogalski, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago.

Claudia Kawas, MD, professor of neurology and of neurobiology and behavior, University of California, Irvine.

Jay Olshansky, PhD, professor of public health, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, former director of the CDC.

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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‘Right’ Amount of Carbs May Help You Live Longer

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — You’ve probably heard about the high-carb diet and the low-carb diet, but a new study suggests a moderate-carb diet could be the key to longevity.

Researchers followed more than 15,000 people in the United States for a median of 25 years and found that low-carb diets (fewer than 40 percent of calories from carbohydrates) and high-carb diets (more than 70 percent of calories) were associated with an increased risk of premature death.

Moderate consumption of carbohydrates (50 to 55 percent of calories) was associated with the lowest risk of early death.

“This work provides the most comprehensive study of carbohydrate intake that has been done to date, and helps us better understand the relationship between the specific components of diet and long-term health,” said senior study author Dr. Scott Solomon, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The researchers estimated that from age 50, people eating a moderate-carb diet would live another 33 years, four years longer than those with very low carb consumption, and one year longer than those with high carb consumption.

The investigators also found that all low-carb diets may not be equal. Eating more animal-based proteins and fats from foods like beef, lamb, pork, chicken and cheese instead of carbohydrates was associated with a greater risk of early death, while eating more plant-based proteins and fats from foods such as vegetables, legumes, and nuts lowered the risk.

The study authors noted, however, that the participants’ eating habits were self-reported and only assessed at the start of the study and six years later. Their eating habits could have changed over 25 years, which might affect the link between carbohydrate intake and longevity, the scientists explained.

The researchers also analyzed data from more than 432,000 people in more than 20 countries and found that those with high and low carbohydrate intake had shorter life expectancy than those with moderate carbohydrate intake.

The results of the study were published Aug. 16 in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Continued

Because this was an observational study, it could not prove cause and effect.

“While a randomized trial has not been performed to compare the longer-term effects of different types of low-carbohydrate diets, these data suggest that shifting towards a more plant-based consumption” is likely to help prevent major deadly diseases, Solomon said in a news release from the journal.

According to study leader Dr. Sara Seidelmann, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight-loss strategy.”

However, she said, “our data suggests that animal-based low-carbohydrate diets, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, might be associated with shorter overall life span and should be discouraged.”

Seidelmann suggested that, “instead, if one chooses to follow a low-carbohydrate diet, then exchanging carbohydrates for more plant-based fats and proteins might actually promote healthy aging in the long term.”

Two experts who wrote an editorial accompanying the study added a note of caution.

“Such differences in risk associated with extreme differences in intake of a nutrient are plausible, but observational studies cannot completely exclude residual confounders when the apparent differences are so modest,” according to Andrew Mente and Salim Yusuf, of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE:The Lancet Public Health, news release, Aug. 16, 2018

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Trump ‘live figure’ thumps Merkel at Berlin’s Madame Tussauds

BERLIN (Reuters) – Madame Tussauds in Berlin unveiled its latest attraction on Tuesday – a posturing Donald Trump figure striking a picture of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a punchball.

A performer with a mask of U.S. President Donald Trump hits a punching ball with a mask of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Madame Tussauds wax museum in Berlin, Germany, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Unlike the usual wax figures, the new moving “Trump” in the Berlin museum is an actor wearing a silicone mask modeled on the billionaire U.S. president, dancing to the Abba hit “Money, Money, Money”.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Relations between the two leaders got off to a frosty start, although Trump said they had had a “great meeting” on the sidelines of a NATO summit last month.

Trump was measured in 1997 for New York’s Madame Tussauds when he was real estate developer.

The Berlin museum’s spokeswoman Nina Zerbe said it took nine people and more than two months to make the silicon mask, which has real hair.

“Ultimately, people find him funny and want to take pictures with him. They don’t feel repelled,” she said. “We noticed a year ago when we put up the wax figure that he is not someone who is perceived as negative or whom visitors want to harm.”

Reporting by Berlin bureau; Writing by Alexandra Hudson; editing by David Stamp

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Neil Gaiman, Teri Hatcher Join LAIKA LIVE Lineup

Teri Hatcher and Neil Gaiman

Teri Hatcher and Neil Gaiman

The new and expanded LAIKA LIVE exhibit, celebrating the Oscar-winning animation studio’s stop-motion magic in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter this week, will welcome two very special guests.

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Coraline, author Neil Gaiman will head to 350 Fifth Avenue to join LAIKA President & CEO Travis Knight and guide online fans on a Facebook Live tour of the exhibit on Saturday, July 21 starting at 11 a.m. The tour will be moderated by Dan Casey and hosted by media partner Nerdist. From 12:30-2 p.m., there will be a first-come, first-serve a limited autograph signing of Coraline-only items (available in the on-site store).

Another crucial creative player in Coraline, Teri Hatcher (voice of Mother/Other Mother) will be at LAIKA LIVE on the morning of Thursday, July 18. The celebrated actress will be taping footage for her “Hatching Change” YouTube channel series, Van Therapy.

Hours of operation and a short video about the exhibit available at laika.com.

+      Neil Gaiman is the award-winning author of books, graphic novels, short stories, and films for all ages. In addition to Coraline, some of his most notable titles include one of 2017’s 10 top-selling novels, Norse Mythology, the groundbreaking Sandman comics series, The Graveyard Book (the only book ever to win both the Newbery and Carnegie medals), and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the UK’s National Book Award 2013 Book of the Year. He is the writer/showrunner of Amazon’s six episode limited series Good Omens, based on the book of the same name that he wrote with Terry Pratchett. The film adaptation of his short story How to Talk to Girls at Parties and the television adaptation of his novel American Gods were released in 2017, with Season Two of American Gods coming in 2019.

+      Teri Hatcher has delivered memorable performances in movies, television and on stage since 1990, from her wildly successful portrayal of Susan Mayer on ABC’s award-winning Desperate Housewives to Lois Lane on Lois & Clark. This has earned Teri a host of accolades, from Golden Globe Awards to Emmy nominations. In addition to a widely successful acting career, Teri is a health advocate and an avid cook, having studied at the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, and having most recently won The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer, as well as the popular television show Chopped. Embarking on a new journey, Teri is breaking into the digital world launching her new YouTube channel, “Hatching Change”—the story of her quest to unite and inspire people from all walks of life to learn to be healthy, conquer life’s toughest questions, and once and for all stop eating junk out of a box with her shows Van Therapy, which follows Teri having conversations and connecting with everyday people out and about in Los Angeles; and Don’t Eat ‘It’ Out Of a Box, wherein she gives tutorials on alternatives to boxed meals and snacks. Her easy-to-follow tutorials are as funny as they are informative and educational.

Teri Hatcher

Teri Hatcher

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

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Study: Weekend Sleep-Ins May Help You Live Longer

May 29, 2018 — New research is trying to put to bed the idea that too little sleep during weekdays can’t be counteracted by a longer sleep during weekends.

A study of nearly 40,000 people showed that for people younger than 65, getting an average of 5 hours or less of sleep per night over the weekend increased the odds of death by 52%, compared with getting at least 7 hours of sleep.

Having short sleep on both the weekdays and weekend, as well as having long sleep at both times, also raised the risk in this age group.

But the death rate among people who got less sleep during week and more sleep on the weekends did not differ a whole lot from those who averaged 7 hours per night.

“Possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep,” write the investigators, led by Torbjörn Åkerstedt, PhD, of the Karolinska Institute’s Department of Clinical Neuroscience in Stockholm, Sweden. But they say more research is needed.

There were no significant links between sleep and risk of death in people 65 or older.

No U-Shape?

“Previous studies have found a ‘U-shaped relationship’ between mortality and (weekday) sleep duration,” the investigators write. This means “both short and long sleep [was] associated with higher mortality,” they add.

But study results have been inconsistent, they say, especially when it comes to measuring weekday or weekend sleep.

In the current study, the researchers studied 43,880 people in the Swedish National March Cohort, all of whom filled out a 36-page questionnaire on lifestyle and medical history. Of those, 38,015 people were followed for 13 years (October 1997 through December 2010).

They were placed into subgroups based on average sleep at the beginning of the study, from “short” (less than 5 hours per night) to “long” (more than 9 hours per night). A reference group received 7 hours of sleep regularly.

‘Speculative’ Results?

There was a 65% higher death rate for people who regularly slept less than 5 hours on all nights, compared with people who regularly slept 6 to 7 hours per night. There was a 25% higher death rate for people who averaged 8 hours or more of sleep on all nights.

The suggestion that sleeping more hours over the weekend may compensate for staying up late during the week, at least in the younger age group, appears to differ from past research, the investigators say. But they point out that this is probably because “previous work has focused on weekday sleep only.”

The study was funded by AFA Insurance and the Italian Institute of Stockholm, Sweden. The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Medscape Medical News

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Take These 5 Steps to Live 10 Extra Years

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Americans could add years to their lives with just a handful of healthy habits, a large, new study suggests.

Right now, the typical 50-year-old American can expect to live another 30 to 33 years, according to government statistics. But based on the new study, those who maintain five lifestyle habits could add roughly a decade to that life expectancy.

The key factors include the usual suspects: not smoking; eating healthy; exercising regularly; maintaining a normal weight; and drinking only in moderation.

But researchers said the new findings put those lifestyle choices in a different perspective.

“Our findings have significant public health implications, because they demonstrate the great potential of diet and lifestyle changes in improving life expectancy,” said senior researcher Dr. Frank Hu. He is chair of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, agreed.

“These five things can empower every one of us to make a huge difference,” she said.

The habits are also realistic, Steinbaum noted. For example, moderate exercise — such as brisk walking for 30 minutes a day — was enough.

“That isn’t a crazy amount of exercise,” Steinbaum said. “It doesn’t require you to join a gym.”

Unfortunately, few Americans stick to that magic five. According to Hu’s team, only 8 percent of U.S. adults in recent years have met all five goals.

The United States also lags behind nearly all other wealthy nations when it comes to longevity — ranking 31st in the world for life expectancy at birth in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

The new findings come from two studies that have followed over 123,000 U.S. health professionals since the 1980s. Over the years, the participants gave detailed information on their diets, exercise habits and other lifestyle factors.

By 2014, just over 42,000 participants had died. The Harvard team looked at how the five lifestyle factors figured into people’s longevity. They also used government health data to estimate the impact of those factors on the U.S. population’s life expectancy.

Continued

On average, the researchers found, people who adhered to the five healthy habits were 74 percent less likely to die during the study period, versus those who maintained none of those habits.

Those who followed all five good lifestyle habits were also 82 percent less likely to die of heart disease or stroke, and 65 percent less likely to die of cancer, the findings showed.

“Regular” exercise meant moderate or vigorous activity for at least 30 minutes a day. Moderate drinking meant no more than one alcoholic drink per day for women, and no more than two per day for men.

Meanwhile, people were considered to have a “healthy” diet if they scored in the top 40 percent on a standard measure called the alternate healthy eating index.

Hu said he couldn’t give any precise descriptions of what those healthy diets looked like.

But, he said, the scoring system gives people points for eating vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, fish and poultry, and “good” fats from sources like olive oil and nuts. They are also rewarded for minimizing added sugar, red meat and sodium.

The researchers estimated that at the age of 50, U.S. women who’ve maintained those five healthy habits can expect to live another 43 years. Their male counterparts can expect to live for roughly 38 more years.

The outlook was much different for women and men who’d achieved none of those lifestyle goals. They could expect to live another 29 and 25.5 years, respectively.

It all illustrates how much “personal power” people have, Steinbaum said.

At the same time, she said, not all Americans have equal opportunities to take care of themselves. If you’re unable to afford healthy food, or have no safe place to walk for exercise, those “simple” lifestyle measures are not easy.

“This is a public policy issue, too,” Steinbaum said. “How can we make healthy food more accessible? How can we make sure people have places to be physically active?”

The study cannot answer the question of whether a 50-year-old who changes her lifestyle can tack years onto her life expectancy. The study participants were between the ages of 30 and 75 at the outset, and Hu said his team assumed that their reported habits had been constant through adulthood.

Continued

But, Hu said, previous studies have shown that people can cut their disease risks by adopting healthy habits at any point.

The findings were published online April 30 in the journal Circulation.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D., chair, department of nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston; Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., spokesperson, American Heart Association; April 30, 2018,Circulation, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o Voicing Live Animation ‘Jack’ for Baobab

Jack: Part One

Jack: Part One

Immersive animation powerhouse Baobab Studios (INVASION!) announced Friday that Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Black Panther) will lend her voice talents to the first-ever live animated experience, Jack. Directed by visionary French filmmaker Mathias Chelebourg, the project combines immersive theater with VR technology and animation in a vibrant reimagining of the classic Beanstalk fairytale.

Nyong’o signed on to play the Giant after viewing the project early in its run at the Tribeca Film Festival, where Jack: Part One is showing at the Virtual Reality Arcade through Saturday.

“When casting the key role of the Giant we were inspired by the social movements of today to dismantle all preconceived notions of who should play the part,” said Baobab Chief Creative Officer, Eric Darnell. “It suddenly came to us that we wanted a dynamic and powerful woman to voice the role and we are overjoyed that Lupita saw the experience and decided to lend her incredible talents to Jack.”

“I was incredibly intrigued by the concept of Baobab’s Jack, which brilliantly incorporates the best of both art forms through mind-blowing VR technology,” said Nyong’o. “When I experienced Jack firsthand this week and met its revolutionary director, Mathias, I knew I had to be a part of this innovative project.”

The experience brings a new dimension to the ol’ Fee! Fi! Fo! Fum! of the 5,000 year-old story by putting viewers into Jack’s shoes, letting them grasp the magic beans and feel the thrill of adventuring in the realm of the giants. Each Jack audience member gets a VR headset before stepping through a door and onto a physical stage that is magically transformed into animated scenery. Once inside, they are able to roam freely, completely immersed in and interacting with a fantastical world and its characters (played by live actors) using sight, sound, smell and touch.

“The opportunity to bring Jack to life with Baobab Studios has been an exhilarating experience for me and my team,” said Chelebourg. “The daily response at the Festival is truly overwhelming and humbling. Adding the sheer brilliance of Lupita, a world-renowned star and exceptional talent, has propelled me straight through the clouds and into the land of the giants.”

The second installment of Jack will build on Baobab and Chelebourg’s successful collaboration, and introduce viewers to the land of the Giantess.

Jack: Part One

Jack: Part One

Jack: Part One

Jack: Part One

Jack: Part One

Jack: Part One

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o

Mathias Chelebourg

Mathias Chelebourg

Animation Magazine

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“Abandon all hope, you who enter here” ~ Dante’s Divine Comedy While Dante was compelled to navigate The Nine Circles of Hell to banish “misery” and obtain “bliss” in the Divine Comedy, Hells Fire OG Live Resin Crumble eliminates the need for such a trying expedition. Hells Fire OG Live Resin Crumble concentrates may sound […]
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