Posts Tagged “AIDS”

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Journaling Key to Weight LossCharmaine Jackson lost half her body weight

These are my healthy news health headlines for February 21st through March 4th:

  • Journaling helps woman lose half her body weight
    Charmaine Jackson can tell you what she ate on any date for the past five years.She can tell you how much she exercised, what kind of mood she was in, how much water she drank — even if she watched television while mindlessly munching away.

    All she has to do is flip through the pages of her 14 journals.

    The reason she began her daily record keeping was simple — she wanted to lose weight and keep it off.

    It may sound extreme, but it paid off. Since she began keeping journals, Jackson is half the person she used to be — going from 260 to 130 pounds.

    “(Journaling has) really helped me get an idea of what my behaviors are, what my patterns are, how I can make change for myself for good,” she said. “You wouldn’t see it unless you look at it over time and you really get a chance to see this worked and why.”

  • Exercise, less sitting time, linked to better sleep
    Insomniacs looking for a good night’s sleep may want to hit the treadmill, take a walk or play a game of golf or tennis because a new report released on Monday shows exercise promotes good sleep and the more vigorous the workout the better.Just 10 minutes of exercise a day could make a difference in the duration and quality of sleep, the survey by the non-profit National Sleep Foundation showed.

    “We found that exercise and great sleep go together, hand in hand,” Max Hirshkowitz, a sleep researcher and the chair of the poll task force, said in an interview.

  • Doctors report first cure of HIV in a child -For the first time, doctors are reporting that they have cured a child of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.The landmark finding will help scientists better understand the nature of HIV, doctors say, and could potentially help countless HIV-positive babies in developing countries.

    “I’m sort of holding my breath that this child’s virus doesn’t come back in the future,” says Hannah Gay, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, who treated the child, a 2½-year-old Mississippi girl. “I’m certainly very hopeful that it will produce studies that will show us a way to cure other babies in the future.”

  • What Housework Has to Do With Waistlines
    One reason so many American women are overweight may be that we are vacuuming and doing laundry less often, according to a new study that, while scrupulously even-handed, is likely to stir controversy and emotions.The study, published this month in PLoS One, is a follow-up to an influential 2011 report which used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine that, during the past 50 years, most American workers began sitting down on the job. Physical activity at work, such as walking or lifting, almost vanished, according to the data, with workers now spending most of their time seated before a computer or talking on the phone. Consequently, the authors found, the average American worker was burning almost 150 fewer calories daily at work than his or her employed parents had, a change that had materially contributed to the rise in obesity during the same time frame, especially among men, the authors concluded.
  • Doctor Groups Issue List of Overused Medical Tests
    In an effort to change entrenched medical practices, 17 major medical specialty groups recommended on Thursday that doctors greatly reduce their use of 90 widely used but largely unnecessary tests and treatments.This list of “don’ts” builds on 45 recommendations made last April, under a broad initiative by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, in partnership with the magazine Consumer Reports.

    “As you look through the lists, a lot of these were mea culpas,” said Dr. Eric Topol, chief academic officer of Scripps Health, a health care provider in San Diego. Dr. Topol was not involved in creating the new recommendations. “The literature had supported these recommendations, but until now they were not sanctioned as no-no’s by the professional groups,” he said.

    Some of the recommendations reinforce existing guidelines, but others aggressively go after procedures that have little evidence of benefit and may cause harm, yet are still practiced on a daily basis.

    For example, the American Society of Echocardiography recommended against using echocardiograms before or during surgery for patients with no history or symptoms of heart disease; doctors routinely perform this test. The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging urged physicians not to perform routine annual stress testing using a nuclear heart scan after coronary artery surgery. This is also a routine test, and it exposes the patient to radiation equivalent to 2,000 chest X-rays.

  • Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years
    Professor Hermann Brenner and colleagues analyzed the data of 8.807 individuals aged between 50 and 74 years using data of Saarland citizens. “We were able to show that the risk of smokers for cardiovascular diseases is more than twice that of non-smokers. However, former smokers are affected at almost the same low rate as people of the same age who never smoked,” says Brenner. “Moreover, smokers are affected at a significantly younger age than individuals who have never smoked or have stopped smoking.”
  • Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery
    In the span of 15 years, the number of bariatric surgeries performed in the United States has grown more than 16-fold to roughly 220,000 per year, gaining cachet as a near-panacea for obesity.Despite the daunting price tag, mounting research has boosted hopes that the stomach-stapling operations could reduce the nation’s healthcare bill by weaning patients off the costly drugs and frequent doctor visits that come with chronic obesity-related diseases like diabetes and arthritis.

    But a new study has found that the surgery does not reduce patients’ medical costs over the six years after they are wheeled out of the operating room.

  • The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors
    While the allure of the gym – climate-controlled, convenient and predictable – is obvious, especially in winter, emerging science suggests there are benefits to exercising outdoors that can’t be replicated on a treadmill, a recumbent bicycle or a track.You stride differently when running outdoors, for one thing. Generally, studies find, people flex their ankles more when they run outside. They also, at least occasionally, run downhill, a movement that isn’t easily done on a treadmill and that stresses muscles differently than running on flat or uphill terrain. Outdoor exercise tends, too, to be more strenuous than the indoor version. In studies comparing the exertion of running on a treadmill and the exertion of running outside, treadmill runners expended less energy to cover the same distance as those striding across the ground outside, primarily because indoor exercisers face no wind resistance or changes in terrain, no matter how subtle.

    The same dynamic has been shown to apply to cycling, where wind drag can result in much greater energy demands during 25 miles of outdoor cycling than the same distance on a stationary bike. That means if you have limited time and want to burn as many calories as possible, you should hit the road instead of the gym.

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These are my health links for December 30th through January 4th:

  • Copying common in electronic medical records – Most doctors copy and paste old, potentially out-of-date information into patients’ electronic records, according to a new study looking at a shortcut that some experts fear could lead to miscommunication and medical errors.”The electronic medical record was meant to make the process of documentation easier, but I think it’s perpetuated copying,” said lead author Dr. Daryl Thornton, assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.Electronic health records have been touted as having the potential to transform patient data from indecipherable scribbles into easy-to-read, searchable, standardized documents that could be shared among hospital staffers and a patient’s various other health care providers.
  • 2012 was worst year for whooping cough since 1955 – The nation just suffered its worst year for whooping cough in nearly six decades, according to preliminary government figures.Whooping cough ebbs and flows in multi-year cycles, and experts say 2012 appears to have reached a peak with 41,880 cases. Another factor: A vaccine used since the 90s doesn’t last as long as the old one.The vaccine problem may continue to cause higher than normal case counts in the future, said Dr. Tom Clark of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “I think the numbers are going to trend up,” he said. The agency provided the latest figures on Friday.

    Last year, cases were up in 48 states and outbreaks were particularly bad in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington state, Wisconsin and Vermont.

  • Julia Roberts to star in HBO film on early AIDS epidemic – Julia Roberts will star as a paraplegic physician treating patients early in the AIDS epidemic in the stage-to-screen adaptation of the Tony Award-winning drama “The Normal Heart,” U.S. cable television network HBO said on Friday.”The Normal Heart,” set to air on HBO in 2014, tells the story of the dawning of the epidemic in 1980s New York.Oscar-winner Roberts plays Dr. Emma Brookner, who treats several early patients infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Co-star Mark Ruffalo plays Ned Weeks, an eyewitness to how the disease ravaged the city’s gay community.
  • FDA proposes sweeping new food safety rules – The Food and Drug Administration on Friday proposed the most sweeping food safety rules in decades, requiring farmers and food companies to be more vigilant in the wake of deadly outbreaks in peanuts, cantaloupe and leafy greens.The long-overdue regulations could cost businesses close to half a billion dollars a year to implement, but are expected to reduce the estimated 3,000 deaths a year from foodborne illness. Just since last summer, outbreaks of listeria in cheese and salmonella in peanut butter, mangoes and cantaloupe have been linked to more than 400 illnesses and as many as seven deaths, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The actual number of those sickened is likely much higher.
  • CrossFit Endurance’s Unconventional 12-Week Marathon Training Plan – Brian MacKenzie has a few pointed words about your endurance workout. “If you’re running five miles a day at the same speed and think you’re getting a lot out of that, you’re sorely mistaken,” says the founder of CrossFit Endurance. “If you’re not trying to improve, what’s the point?” MacKenzie, who lays out his radical philosophy in the new book Power Speed Endurance, believes that short, intense exercise can give you many of the long-haul benefits of classic distance workouts—and spare you the chronic injuries and boredom. To try this 12-week program for runners, seek out a CrossFit Endurance gym or coach (there are hundreds listed at CrossFitEndurance.com). “If you can’t make it through the first week, back off a little,” MacKenzie says, then add reps as your strength and stamina improve. Your performance should get better each week.
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