Public Health

Heavy snoring and sleep apnea may be linked to memory and thinking decline at an earlier age, according to a new study - but treating the disorders with a breathing machine may delay the decline. 

For the study, the medical histories for 2,470 people ages 55 to 90 were reviewed. Participants were categorized as either free of memory and thinking problems, in early stages of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or with Alzheimer's disease. The researchers also looked at people with untreated sleep breathing problems versus those without the sleep breathing problems and also untreated versus treated people with sleep breathing problems.

A new study has found that wind instrument players have a reduced risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.

The findings presented at the Sleep and Breathing Conference 2015 suggest that this could be considered beneficial to those individuals who are at high risk of developing sleep apnea. Researchers in India conducted lung function testing in 64 people who played a wind instrument and compared results to a control group of 65 people who did not play any wind instruments. All participants also completed the Berlin questionnaire, an established method used to assess the risk of sleep apnea. 

A study of college students links eating in restaurants with high blood pressure, even in young people.

Globally, high blood pressure - hypertension - is the leading risk factor for death associated with cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that young adults with slightly elevated blood pressure are at very high risk of hypertension. Eating meals away from home has been shown to be associated with higher caloric intake, higher saturated fat intake and higher salt intake, which are thought to cause high blood pressure.

Although I have done my share of writing on Dr. Oz (much of it humorous, and some just in poor taste), the following has nothing to do with me.

E-cigarettes, battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution, have been sold in the United States since 2007 and are marketed as an option to help smokers kick the habit.  Instead of a nicotine patch or chewing gum, e-cigarette users inhale the vapor.

It's obviously safer than smoking but anti-cigarette advocates in the United States of America are also against this 'vaping' because of the presence of cigarette companies as investors. Originally, smoking awareness was to get people to get rid of smoking but a campaign against a smoking cessation product means it is more of a desire to get rid of certain companies.

A new study has found that after just five days of eating a high-fat diet, the way in which the body's muscle processes nutrients changes.

When food is eaten, the level of glucose in the blood rises. The body's muscle is a major clearinghouse for this glucose. It may break it down for energy, or it can store it for later use. Since muscle makes up about 30 percent of our body weight and it is such an important site for glucose metabolism, if normal metabolism is altered, it can have consequences on the rest of the body and can lead to health issues.

Physical activity that makes you puff and sweat is key to avoiding an early death, a large Australian study of middle-aged and older adults has found.

The researchers followed 204,542 people for more than six years, and compared those who engaged in only moderate activity (such as gentle swimming, social tennis, or household chores) with those who included at least some vigorous activity (such as jogging, aerobics or competitive tennis).

They found that the risk of mortality for those who included some vigorous activity was 9 to 13 per cent lower, compared with those who only undertook moderate activity.

A lower percentage of children are eating "fast food" on any given day, and calories consumed by children from those types of burger, pizza and chicken restaurants also dropped, according to a new study.

The shorter you are, the more your risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new study. Every 2.5 inches change in height affected your risk of coronary heart disease by 13.5 percent - so a 5 foot 6 inch tall person has a 32% lower risk of coronary heart disease  than a 5 foot tall person because of the latter's shorter stature.

Coronary heart disease is the commonest cause of premature death worldwide. It is the condition where the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle (coronary arteries) become narrowed due to a deposition of fatty material (plaque) in the walls of the arteries. If a blood clot forms over the plaque then the artery can become completely blocked suddenly giving rise to a heart attack.
Is there any point to the World Health Organization (WHO) making a recommendation that 3 people out of 1,000 can achieve? If not, Americans won't take WHO seriously, and the British respect those guidelines even less. Only 1 in 1,000 in the UK can meet WHO's targets for potassium and sodium.

The World Health Organization recommends we consume no more than 2,000 mg of sodium a day - less than a teaspoon of salt - supposedly because of studies showing it impacts heart disease and stroke. And they recommend at least 3,510 mg of potassium daily, again to lower our odds of heart disease and stroke.