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Category Archives: Health Care

Ideal Cardiovascular Health and Cognitive Aging in the Northern Manhattan Study

Ideal Cardiovascular Health and Cognitive Aging in the Northern Manhattan Study. Hannah Gardener, ScD; Clinton B. Wright, MD, MS; Chuanhui Dong, PhD; Ken Cheung, PhD; Janet DeRosa, MPH; Micaela Nannery; Yaakov Stern, PhD; Mitchell S. V. Elkind, MD, MS; Ralph L. Sacco, MD, MS. Journal of the American Heart Association, May 2, 2016.
Background: “The American Heart Association defi ned target levels for 7 cardiovascular health (CVH) factors: smoking, body mass index, physical activity, diet, blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose. We hypothesized that a greater number of American Heart Association ideal CVH metrics would be associated with less decline in cognitive performance in our multiethnic population. Methods and Results—A subsample from the population-based Northern Manhattan Study underwent repeated neuropsychological testing (mean interval 62 years). Domain-specific Z scores were derived by using factor analysis for the domains of Episodic Memory, Semantic Memory, Executive Function, and Processing Speed, based on initial performance and decline over time. Linear regression models were constructed to examine the relationship between the number of ideal CVH metrics at enrollment with later cognitive performance and decline, adjusting for sociodemographics and magnetic resonance imaging brain markers. Among 1033 participants (mean age at initial cognitive assessment 72 8 years, 39% male, 19% black, 16% white, 65% Hispanic; n=722 with repeat testing), 3% had 0 ideal factors, 15% had 1 factor, 33% had 2 factors, 30% had 3 factors, 14% had 4 factors, 4% had 5 factors, 1% had 6 factors, and 0% had 7 factors. An increasing number of ideal CVH factors was associated with better processing speed at initial assessment and less decline. The association was driven by nonsmoking and glucose. Among those with better cognitive performance at initial assessment, positive associations were observed between the number of ideal CVH factors and less decline in the domains of Executive Function and Episodic Memory.
Conclusions: The number of ideal CVH metrics was associated with less decline in the domains of Processing Speed and, to a lesser extent, of Executive Function and Episodic Memory. Ideal CVH promotion benefits brain health and cognitive aging.

Research on the science of exercise vs diet

Via Vox: Why you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight, explained with 60+ studies by Julia Belluz and Javier Zarracina on April 28, 2016 – Exercise is excellent and critical for maintaining good health, but eating less is the key to maintaining a weight ideal for you. It is not one or the other – anContinue Reading

New Scientist – Google AI has access to huge haul of NHS patient data

Via New Scientist, Hal Hodson: ” It’s no secret that Google has broad ambitions in healthcare. But a document obtained by New Scientist reveals that the tech giant’s collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service goes far beyond what has been publicly announced. The document – a data-sharing agreement between Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMindContinue Reading

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: April 2016

“The April Kaiser Health Tracking Poll continues Kaiser Family Foundation tracking of perceptions of the safety of drinking water. KEY FINDINGS: The majority of individuals living in the Midwest rate the job being done by their state to ensure the safety of the public drinking water as fair or poor. Women are less confident inContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Defense Health Care, Indian Health Service, SEC InfoSec, Missile Defense, Public Transit, Veterans Justice, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Defense Health Care: DOD Is Meeting Most Mental Health Care Access Standards, but It Needs a Standard for Follow-up Appointments, GAO-16-416: Published: Apr 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2016. Indian Health Service: Actions Needed to Improve Oversight of Patient Wait Times, GAO-16-333: Published: Mar 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2016. Information Security: OpportunitiesContinue Reading

Reduced Disparities in Birth Rates Among Teens Aged 15–19 Years — United States, 2006–2007 and 2013–2014

CDC – “Births among Hispanic and black teens have dropped by almost half since 2006, according to a new analysis published by CDC. This mirrors a substantial national decline: births to all American teenagers have dropped more than 40 percent within the past decade. Despite this progress, key challenges persist for many communities, according toContinue Reading

New Health Data Available in Social Explorer Maps

Via Social Explorer: “County level health data from 2010 to 2015 are available on our site are now available as maps, in addition to reports. Start exploring a variety of health factors including obesity, smoking, excessive drinking, access to healthy foods and medical care. These data were compiled by the County Health Rankings and RoadmapsContinue Reading

Spring Cleaning? Start with Your Medicine Cabinet Right Away

“Have you checked on your medications lately? Are they expired or are you no longer taking them? This Saturday, April 30 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Collect your leftover prescription drugs and take them to a local site for a safe way to dispose of medication. Learn more about why discarding old or unused medication is important.”

Graphic: Bike to Work Day

“To commemorate Bike to Work Week (May 16-20) and Bike to Work Day (May 20), the U.S. Census Bureau presents a graphic showing the percentage of people biking to work in cities with a population of 100,000 or more. The percentages are derived from the 2014 American Community Survey. Internet address: www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2016/comm/bike2work.html.”

Politico Testimony – Chernobyl poisoned my childhood

“In the early days of the Chernobyl disaster [April 1986], many still had faith in the Communist Party, but by late ’88, delusions about the Soviets were long gone. Fear of reprisals had receded with the deaths of strongmen Leonid Brezhnev and Yuri Andropov (known as the Butcher of Budapest after the 1956 Hungarian uprising).Continue Reading

Commentary – What Do Your Social Media Posts Reveal About Your Health?

[email protected]: “What have you shared on social media today? Did you comment on last night’s election results; mention that you’re going to the gym later; sympathize with a friend who’s been in the hospital; describe your meal at a favorite burger joint, or display pictures of your daughter’s jazz dance recital? And what do thoseContinue Reading

Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Via FAS – CRS report – Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Sidath Viranga Panangala, Specialist in Veterans Policy. April 21, 2016. “The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), operates the nation’s largest integrated health care delivery system, provides care to approximately 6.7 million unique veteran patients,Continue Reading