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Chronic health is achievable for almost everyone. It's the opposite of the epidemic of chronic diseases which plagues us today. This blog is all about how we can turn the tide into an epidemic of chronic health. With the tools and the knowledge of health sciences.
Some claim that exercise is medicine. What's wrong with this view?... Read more »
MORRIS JN, & RAFFLE PA. (1954) Coronary heart disease in transport workers; a progress report. British journal of industrial medicine, 11(4), 260-4. PMID: 13208943
Eaton, S., & Eaton, S. (2003) An evolutionary perspective on human physical activity: implications for health. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular , 136(1), 153-159. DOI: 10.1016/S1095-6433(03)00208-3
If weather forecasts were as reliable as cardiovascular risk prediction tools, meteorologists would miss two thirds of all hurricanes, expect rain for 8 out of 10 sunny days, and fail to see the parallels to fortune telling. ... Read more »
Collins GS, & Altman DG. (2012) Predicting the 10 year risk of cardiovascular disease in the United Kingdom: independent and external validation of an updated version of QRISK2. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 22723603
Research says yes, public health doesn't listen, and you suffer the consequences: too little benefits from generic interventions. And it could be so simple. ... Read more »
King NA, Hopkins M, Caudwell P, Stubbs RJ, & Blundell JE. (2008) Individual variability following 12 weeks of supervised exercise: identification and characterization of compensation for exercise-induced weight loss. International journal of obesity (2005), 32(1), 177-84. PMID: 17848941
Yang, Q., Cogswell, M. E., Flanders, W. D., Hong, Y., Zhang, Z., Loustalot, F., Gillespie, C., Merritt, R., & Hu, F. B. (2012) Trends in Cardiovascular Health Metrics and Associations With All-Cause and CVD Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.339
Dong C, Rundek T, Wright CB, Anwar Z, Elkind MS, & Sacco RL. (2012) Ideal cardiovascular health predicts lower risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, and vascular death across whites, blacks, and hispanics: the northern Manhattan study. Circulation, 125(24), 2975-84. PMID: 22619283
Giving the polypill to everybody above the age of 55 kills two birds with one stone: cardiovascular risk and preventive medicine. That's what the proponents of the polypill say. The medical establishment is in uproar. Here is why you should be, too. But for a different reason. ... Read more »
Wald NJ, Simmonds M, & Morris JK. (2011) Screening for future cardiovascular disease using age alone compared with multiple risk factors and age. PloS one, 6(5). PMID: 21573224
The media says yes. Science says maybe. In the end, you decide. Here are the facts:
A truffle treatment for heart disease is imminent. That's what a recent article suggests, headlined in the New York Daily News as: "Dark chocolate cuts heart deaths; Study shows benefits for high risk cardiac patients."
The funny thing is, the cited study does not show what the media geniuses claim it does. So, let's look at this master piece of research journalism and do a little fact check.
........ Read more »
Zomer, E., Owen, A., Magliano, D., Liew, D., & Reid, C. (2012) The effectiveness and cost effectiveness of dark chocolate consumption as prevention therapy in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease: best case scenario analysis using a Markov model. BMJ, 344(may30 3). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e3657
Lack of time is the most often cited excuse for not exercising. I deliberately chose the word "excuse" over its less judgmental alternative "obstacle". Simply because I cannot see an "obstacle" when I compare two simple metrics: the hours people spend watching TV and the minutes needed to maintain one's health with exercise. With high intensity interval training, or HIT, health enhancing exercise can be compressed into an amazingly short amount of time. When done right.
According to the Ni........ Read more »
Garber, C., Blissmer, B., Deschenes, M., Franklin, B., Lamonte, M., Lee, I., Nieman, D., & Swain, D. (2011) Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults. Medicine , 43(7), 1334-1359. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318213fefb
Currie KD, McKelvie RS, & Macdonald MJ. (2012) Flow-Mediated Dilation Is Acutely Improved following High-Intensity Interval Exercise. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. PMID: 22648341
Hood MS, Little JP, Tarnopolsky MA, Myslik F, & Gibala MJ. (2011) Low-volume interval training improves muscle oxidative capacity in sedentary adults. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 43(10), 1849-56. PMID: 21448086
With the decoding of the human genome came the hope of getting a lever on the chronic diseases, which kill most of us today: heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many cancers. And since overweight and obesity are a common cause of those diseases, many obese people were, and still are, yearning for that exculpatory headline: "It's all in your genes!" Why and how this headline is unlikely to ever appear in any serious media, was a subject of my earlier post "It's not your genes, stupid!".
Now,........ Read more »
Belsky DW, Moffitt TE, Houts R, Bennett GG, Biddle AK, Blumenthal JA, Evans JP, Harrington H, Sugden K, Williams B.... (2012) Polygenic Risk, Rapid Childhood Growth, and the Development of Obesity: Evidence From a 4-Decade Longitudinal StudyPolygenic Risk for Adult Obesity. Archives of pediatrics , 166(6), 515-21. PMID: 22665028
From "man is made to move" to "man is not made to sit" is a very recent transition of scientific insight. Let's get our readers panicked over more than not doing exercise, is the response of the media. Here is why you should sit down and get the facts straight before jumping up in fear.... Read more »
Katzmarzyk PT, & Lee IM. (2012) Sedentary behaviour and life expectancy in the USA: a cause-deleted life table analysis. BMJ open, 2(4). PMID: 22777603
Katzmarzyk PT, Church TS, Craig CL, & Bouchard C. (2009) Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 41(5), 998-1005. PMID: 19346988
Patel AV, Bernstein L, Deka A, Feigelson HS, Campbell PT, Gapstur SM, Colditz GA, & Thun MJ. (2010) Leisure time spent sitting in relation to total mortality in a prospective cohort of US adults. American journal of epidemiology, 172(4), 419-29. PMID: 20650954
Brown WJ, Trost SG, Bauman A, Mummery K, & Owen N. (2004) Test-retest reliability of four physical activity measures used in population surveys. Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia, 7(2), 205-15. PMID: 15362316
Salt and fat kill you early, and your BMI tells you how early. That has been the wisdom for years, but wisdoms have an expiry date, too. Particularly medical wisdoms. Recent research says those three are probably well beyond their use-by date.... Read more »
Routh CH. (1849) On the Causes of the Endemic Puerperal Fever of Vienna. Medico-chirurgical transactions, 27-40. PMID: 20895917
Alderman MH, & Cohen HW. (2012) Dietary sodium intake and cardiovascular mortality: controversy resolved?. American journal of hypertension, 25(7), 727-34. PMID: 22627176
Khaw KT, Friesen MD, Riboli E, Luben R, & Wareham N. (2012) Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acid Concentration and Incident Coronary Heart Disease in Men and Women: The EPIC-Norfolk Prospective Study. PLoS medicine, 9(7). PMID: 22802735
Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, & Krauss RM. (2010) Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 91(3), 535-46. PMID: 20071648
In the fight over best diet for health and weight loss, it's protein lovers vs. vegetarian zealots. So far, a clear winner has not emerged. Only one loser: you, the victim of biased research. Here is an example of why you should keep your bullshit alarm on high alert when reading about weight loss diets.
Ellen M. Evans and colleagues wanted to know whether overweight men and women differ in their body composition responses to different weight loss diets . So t........ Read more »
Evans, Ellen, Mojtahedi, Mina, Thorpe, Matthew, Valentine, Rudy, Kris-Etherton, Penny, & Layman, Donald. (2012) Effects of protein intake and gender on body composition changes: a randomized clinical weight loss trial. Nutrition and Metabolism. info:/doi:10.1186/1743-7075-9-55
Hession, M., Rolland, C., Kulkarni, U., Wise, A., & Broom, J. (2009) Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat/low-calorie diets in the management of obesity and its comorbidities. Obesity Reviews, 10(1), 36-50. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2008.00518.x
Nutritionists claim they are doing science, consumers buy it, and the supplements industry makes a healthy living from it. Only you probably won't. Here is why: ... Read more »
Peto R, Doll R, Buckley JD, & Sporn MB. (1981) Can dietary beta-carotene materially reduce human cancer rates?. Nature, 290(5803), 201-8. PMID: 7010181
The Alpha-Tocopherol Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group. (1994) The effect of vitamin E and beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers. The Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group. The New England journal of medicine, 330(15), 1029-35. PMID: 8127329
Goodman GE, Thornquist MD, Balmes J, Cullen MR, Meyskens FL Jr, Omenn GS, Valanis B, & Williams JH Jr. (2004) The Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial: incidence of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality during 6-year follow-up after stopping beta-carotene and retinol supplements. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 96(23), 1743-50. PMID: 15572756
Gonzalez CA, & Riboli E. (2010) Diet and cancer prevention: Contributions from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990), 46(14), 2555-62. PMID: 20843485
Li K, Kaaks R, Linseisen J, & Rohrmann S. (2012) Associations of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation with myocardial infarction and stroke risk and overall cardiovascular mortality in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC-Hei. Heart (British Cardiac Society), 98(12), 920-5. PMID: 22626900
Galan P, Kesse-Guyot E, Czernichow S, Briancon S, Blacher J, Hercberg S, & SU.FOL.OM3 Collaborative Group. (2010) Effects of B vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids on cardiovascular diseases: a randomised placebo controlled trial. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 21115589
Let's face it, if exercise was really that much fun, everybody would do it and we wouldn't be fat, diabetic or die of heart disease. So when your doctor tells you that you better start exercising, your immediate question might be: how much do I have to do? The answer is, it depends. It depends on whether you want to hear the polite version or the truth.
The polite version goes something like this: As long as you do some exercise, you will see some health benefits. When your doctor gi........ Read more »
Hamer, M., & Stamatakis, E. (2012) Low-Dose Physical Activity Attenuates Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men and Women With Clustered Metabolic Risk Factors. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.112.965434
Kent, W. (2011) The effects of sprint interval training on aerobic fitness in untrained individuals: a systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45(15). DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2011-090606.26
Wisloff, U., Stoylen, A., Loennechen, J., Bruvold, M., Rognmo, O., Haram, P., Tjonna, A., Helgerud, J., Slordahl, S., Lee, S.... (2007) Superior Cardiovascular Effect of Aerobic Interval Training Versus Moderate Continuous Training in Heart Failure Patients: A Randomized Study. Circulation, 115(24), 3086-3094. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.675041
Little, J., Gillen, J., Percival, M., Safdar, A., Tarnopolsky, M., Punthakee, Z., Jung, M., & Gibala, M. (2011) Low-volume high-intensity interval training reduces hyperglycemia and increases muscle mitochondrial capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 111(6), 1554-1560. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00921.2011
When a pharmaceutical company tells you that its drug is
safer than it really is, it probably plays with your health. And possibly with
your life. That's not a very nice thing to do. But it's also very profitable. Which
is why it happens more often that you care to know.
These days Takeda Pharmaceuticals has gotten some bad press
from a whistle blower suit which claims that TP deliberately withheld trial
data for Actos, a drug which t........ Read more »
Nissen, S.E. (2007) Effect of Rosiglitazone on the Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Death from Cardiovascular Causes. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(1), 100-100. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMx070038
Home, P., Pocock, S., Beck-Nielsen, H., Gomis, R., Hanefeld, M., Jones, N., Komajda, M., & McMurray, J. (2007) Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiovascular Outcomes — An Interim Analysis. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(1), 28-38. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa073394
Home, P., Pocock, S., Beck-Nielsen, H., Curtis, P., Gomis, R., Hanefeld, M., Jones, N., Komajda, M., & McMurray, J. (2009) Rosiglitazone evaluated for cardiovascular outcomes in oral agent combination therapy for type 2 diabetes (RECORD): a multicentre, randomised, open-label trial. The Lancet, 373(9681), 2125-2135. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60953-3
Would you have guessed that, one fine day, health insurers will regret the demise of big tobacco and its contribution to health care costs? Would you have guessed that, when that day arrives, health insurers would also learn to love other frowned-upon-vices of their policy holders, such as getting fat and lazy? Your answer is probably "no, I wouldn't have guessed that in my dreams.". And also very probably this answer is based on what you typically read in the media, such as this piec........ Read more »
Moriarty, J., Branda, M., Olsen, K., Shah, N., Borah, B., Wagie, A., Egginton, J., & Naessens, J. (2012) The Effects of Incremental Costs of Smoking and Obesity on Health Care Costs Among Adults. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 54(3), 286-291. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318246f1f4
van Baal PH, Polder JJ, de Wit GA, Hoogenveen RT, Feenstra TL, Boshuizen HC, Engelfriet PM, & Brouwer WB. (2008) Lifetime medical costs of obesity: prevention no cure for increasing health expenditure. PLoS medicine, 5(2). PMID: 18254654
Flegal, K. (2005) Excess Deaths Associated With Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 293(15), 1861-1867. DOI: 10.1001/jama.293.15.1861
Why individualized medicine will not be a reality anytime soon, how physicians often misinterpret published studies, and how individualized prevention is a clear and present benefit.
In my previous post I promised to talk about your
individualized way to achieving optimal health. If that made you think
about personalized medicine, you were right. Almost. Because personalized
medicine is still light-years away from us. That's the bad news. The good news,
personalized prev........ Read more »
Nicholson, J. (2006) Global systems biology, personalized medicine and molecular epidemiology. Molecular Systems Biology. DOI: 10.1038/msb4100095
Wegwarth O, Schwartz LM, Woloshin S, Gaissmaier W, & Gigerenzer G. (2012) Do physicians understand cancer screening statistics? A national survey of primary care physicians in the United States. Annals of internal medicine, 156(5), 340-9. PMID: 22393129
Loscalzo, J. (2012) Personalized Cardiovascular Medicine and Drug Development: Time for a New Paradigm. Circulation, 125(4), 638-645. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.089243
Yang, Q. (2012) Trends in Cardiovascular Health Metrics and Associations With All-Cause and CVD Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 307(12), 1273. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.339
Yang Q, Cogswell ME, Flanders WD, Hong Y, Zhang Z, Loustalot F, Gillespie C, Merritt R, & Hu FB. (2012) Trends in cardiovascular health metrics and associations with all-cause and CVD mortality among US adults. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 307(12), 1273-83. PMID: 22427615
They say, statistics lie. That's a bad rep for a science, which has no other aspiration than that of making sense from data, of discovering an association between salt intake and stroke, of proving that the former causes the latter. Statistics is above lies. Those who interpret it are not. Which is why you should be a skeptic when someone is giving you the creeps about your food habits. For instance, by saying that "high sodium intake is associated with an increased risk of stroke", a........ Read more »
Gardener, H., Rundek, T., Wright, C., Elkind, M., & Sacco, R. (2012) Dietary Sodium and Risk of Stroke in the Northern Manhattan Study. Stroke, 43(5), 1200-1205. DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.641043
Exercise may actually be bad for you! A professor says he stumbled upon this "potentially explosive" insight. The New York Times has been quick to peddle it. And couch potatoes descend on it like vultures on road kill. But professors can get it wrong, too.
Before we judge the verity of the "exercise may be bad" claim, let's first look at how the media present it to us. We shall use the recent article in The New York Times, headlined "For Some, Exercise May Increase Heart Risk". The ........ Read more »
Bouchard C, Blair SN, Church TS, Earnest CP, Hagberg JM, Häkkinen K, Jenkins NT, Karavirta L, Kraus WE, Leon AS.... (2012) Adverse metabolic response to regular exercise: is it a rare or common occurrence?. PloS one, 7(5). PMID: 22666405
Wilmore, J. H., Stanforth, P. R., Gagnon, J., Rice, T., Mandel, S., Leon, A. S., Rao, D. C., Skinner, J. S., & Bouchard, C. (2001) Heart rate and blood pressure changes with endurance training: the HERITAGE family study. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. DOI: 10.1097/00005768-200101000-00017
Bouchard, C., & Rankinen, T. (2001) Individual differences in response to regular physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. DOI: 10.1097/00005768-200106001-00013
If you don't die from an accident, a serious infection or a cancer, you'll live as long as your arteries let you. And how long they let you is all in your hands. I know this sounds over-simplified, but it's biomedical knowledge in a nutshell. Lets look at what happens in and to your arteries and what that means for keeping them in mint condition. You may have thought about your arteries as elastic tubes, which transport blood to where its oxygen and nutrient load is needed. But ........ Read more »
Schnohr, P., Marott, J., Jensen, J., & Jensen, G. (2011) Intensity versus duration of cycling, impact on all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality: the Copenhagen City Heart Study. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention , 19(1), 73-80. DOI: 10.1177/1741826710393196
There were always two types of cholesterol, the good and the
bad. Until now. A large new study tells us that good cholesterol might have
been an impostor. That's food for the media types. For those who think before
they type, the real news is that we are finally getting closer to uncovering
the impostors. Thanks to the genetics revolution which seems to be paying off
in an unexpected area.
HDL - The Knight in Shining Armor
In the cholesterol u........ Read more »
Voight, B., Peloso, G., Orho-Melander, M., Frikke-Schmidt, R., Barbalic, M., Jensen, M., Hindy, G., Hólm, H., Ding, E., Johnson, T.... (2012) Plasma HDL cholesterol and risk of myocardial infarction: a mendelian randomisation study. The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60312-2
Public health has been telling you for years: you are fat because you move too little and eat too much. And yes, it's your fault if you don't break a sweat every day to keep our waist line in check. But research says, that's not the entire truth. In fact, public health might have taken the easy way out, and here is how it could finally make amends...... Read more »
Eriksson B, Henriksson H, Löf M, Hannestad U, & Forsum E. (2012) Body-composition development during early childhood and energy expenditure in response to physical activity in 1.5-y-old children. The American journal of clinical nutrition. PMID: 22836033
Levine JA, Eberhardt NL, & Jensen MD. (1999) Role of nonexercise activity thermogenesis in resistance to fat gain in humans. Science (New York, N.Y.), 283(5399), 212-4. PMID: 9880251
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