Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The following intriguing link and summary from a post on Digg.com:

Study: Monthly fasting may help heart
news.yahoo.com — A study in Utah... found that people who skipped meals once a month were about 40 percent less likely to be diagnosed with clogged arteries than those who did not regularly fast.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Senior Health Costs Could Rise 25 Percent by 2030

By Fred White

(an article reprinted from ThomasNet.com Industrial Market Trends, a comprehensive, daily industrial blog)

In 2006, almost 500 million people worldwide were 65 and older, and by 2030, that total is projected to increase to one billion. The world's workforce depends on this population. If older adults take the advice provided by the health care provider community, and motivate themselves, they can achieve two goals: live healthier and perhaps longer, and reduce health care costs.

By 2030, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will more than double to 71 million, equaling about 20 percent of the U.S. population, noted the report. Of course, older Americans will not be the only aged around the globe. “We are aging — not just as individuals or communities but as a world. In 2006, almost 500 million people worldwide were 65 and older,” according to a report entitled Why Population Aging Matters: A Global Perspective, which was presented earlier this month at the State Summit on Global Aging presented. By 2030, that total is projected to increase to one billion — one in every eight of the earth’s inhabitants. Significantly, the most rapid increases in the 65+ population are occurring in developing countries, “which will see a jump of 140 percent by 2030,” reports Senior Journal.

The health of the age group coming up behind the 65+ people may also be questionable.

Beth Soldo, a University of Pennsylvania sociologist, and her colleagues studied data from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study and found that people in “their early to mid-50s were reporting more health problems than people that age had described previously,” writes Gary Rotstein at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This deserves to be taken with some skepticism, however, because “the federal data are not correlated with any actual health evaluations.” A health care provider would refer to these “evaluations” as scientifically valid observations.

One possibility for the higher reporting of poor health may result from more stress and obesity. Or baby boomers may have higher definition of what constitutes good health. Also, more awareness of effective treatments and medications may lead people to feel less inclined to report their health as good.

Kenneth Manton, research professor at Duke University, said he “sees no basis for such fears and nothing in Soldo’s study to change his mind,” the article quotes Manton as having said.

Older Americans can minimize this cost, though, if improving and preserving older adults’ health is more actively addressed, according to an updated report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Merck Co. Foundation. The CDC report presents information and recommendations to help older Americans live not just longer but better lives.

Three preventable behaviors — smoking, poor diet and physical inactivity — were the root causes of almost 35 percent of U.S. deaths in 2000. These behaviors represent risk factors that often lead to society’s leading chronic killers: heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. The report indicates that if people can live healthier and go to regular screenings, they can reduce the risk for many chronic diseases and help lower heath care costs.

The challenge is to better apply (i.e., more broadly) what we already know about helping to ensure that added years are healthy years, according to the report.

A closer look at some resources for helping older adults reduce the risk factors can help us all. For many people, physical inactivity may be the hardest challenge. The CDC provides quite a bit of resourceful information to generate motivation and become active.

If older adults take the advice provided by the health care provider community, and motivate themselves, they can achieve two goals: live healthier and perhaps longer, and reduce health care costs.

NOTE: Stay with us when we report the latest developments in the medical device industry and health care in this week’s IMT e-newsletter.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008


A Digg.com post mentions yet another "damn interesting" article - A Cancer Cure Most Doctors Won't Tell You About - from the website http://www.damninteresting.com/ :

During the early 1900's, Dr. William Coley re-discovered a cancer treatment that was surprisingly effective. By infecting tumors with common bacteria, Coley learned the body could be triggered to kill off cancerous tumors. Conventional modern medicine rarely employs Coley ’s technique today for 1 reason: they still don't understand how it works.

Of course, there is (at least) one caveat: the doctors using this technique must make sure the bacterial infection does not turn out to be worse of a problem than the original cancer. But the general idea of using a foreign entity (bacteria) to trigger the body's natural defense mechanisms (fever, white blood cells' destroying foreign pathogens, etc.) does seem to make sense, especially when every other "normal" treatment has been tried without success.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


"STR" can serve as your shorthand to recognize the warning signs of a STRoke.

If someone seems to be acting in an unusual manner or says they do not feel right, try this:

S: ask the individual to SMILE.
T: ask the person to TALK (and speak a simple sentence, coherently).
R: ask him or her to RAISE both arms.

If the person has trouble with ANY of these tasks, call 911 immediately (or, if they have Life Alert, press the person's help button on their pendant). When connected to an operator/dispatcher, describe the symptoms.


Ask the individual to "stick out" his or her tongue. IF THE TONGUE IS CROOKED - if it goes to one side or the other - that is also an indication of a possible stroke.

Spread this information widely, to help others recognize the signs of stroke onset.