Longevity News & Review
By Dr. Robert Goldman
For The Bali Times
Longevity News and Review provides readers with the latest information in breakthroughs pertaining to the extension of the healthy human lifespan. These news summaries are compiled by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; www.worldhealth.net), a non-profit medical society composed of 22,000 physician and scientist members from 105 nations, united in a mission to advance biomedical technologies to detect, prevent and treat aging related disease and to promote research into methods to retard and optimize the human aging process. Dr. Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., A4M President, and Dr. Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, A4M Chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their commentary.
Long Hours at Work May Raise Risk of Dementia
In that some studies have identified workplace stress as a contributing factor to poor general health, a Finnish study finds that long hours at work may be bad for mental functions. Marianna Virtanen, from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and colleagues studied 2,214 British civil servants, in full-time employment at the study’s start (1997-1999), and followed-up five years later (2002-2004). A battery of cognitive tests (short-term memory, Alice Heim 4-I, Mill Hill vocabulary, phonemic fluency, and semantic fluency) were measured at the study’s start (baseline) and at follow-up. Compared with working 40 hours per week at most, working more than 55 hours per week was associated with lower scores in the vocabulary test at both baseline and follow-up. Long working hours also predicted decline in performance on the reasoning test (Alice Heim 4-I). Conclude the researchers: “This study shows that long working hours may have a negative effect on cognitive performance in middle age.”
Dr Klatz remarks: Employees who work long hours may experience a cumulative negative effect, sleeping for shorter hours, succumbing to depression, or showing tendencies towards alcoholism. To promote employee health, employers must understand that long working hours may not actually be good for business, and it may be more important for employees to have a positive work-life balance.
Daytime Sleepiness Predicts Death
Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is a frequent sleep complaint among the elderly. Jeane-Philippe Empana, from the Hopital Paul Brousse (France), and colleagues studied 9294 subjects (60 percent women) ages 65+ at the study’s start (1999-2001). At the study’s start, 18.7 percent of participants had regular or frequent EDS. After six years of follow-up, 762 subjects had died, including 260 from cancer and 196 from cardiovascular disease. The team found that EDS was associated with a significant 33-percent increased risk of mortality (after adjusting for confounding factors), and that EDS raised the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease by 49 percent, but did not affect the risk attributable to cancer.
Dr. Goldman observes: This study contributes data to the growing body of evidence suggesting that excessive daytime sleepiness may be an important emerging risk factor for death in the aging population.
Obesity as Risky a Factor as Heavy Smoking in Premature Death
Hypothesizing that both weight and smoking in late adolescence increase the risk of mortality, Martin Neovius, from Karolinska University Hospital (Sweden), and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of 45,920 Swedish men who had been followed for 38 years, beginning in 1969. The researchers found that obesity and overweight in late adolescence increased mortality risk, regardless of smoking status. The researchers conclude that: “Regardless of smoking status, overweight and obesity in late adolescence increases the risk of adult mortality. The global obesity epidemic and smoking among adolescents remain important targets for intensified public health initiatives.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: To promote health and wellness as we age, it is critically important that good habits and lifestyle choices be made when we are young. This study shows the excess risk in the overweight and obese as due to increased mortality due to cardiovascular causes and cancers. This is certainly an important public health issue that cannot be left unaddressed.
Anti-aging medicine is the fastest-growing medical specialty throughout the world and is founded on the application of advanced scientific and medical technologies for the early detection, prevention, treatment and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders, and diseases. It is a healthcare model promoting innovative science and research to prolong the healthy lifespan in humans. As such, anti-aging medicine is based on solid scientific principles of responsible medical care that are consistent with those applied in other preventive health specialties. The goal of anti-aging medicine is not to merely prolong the total years of an individual’s life, but to ensure that those years are enjoyed in a productive and vital fashion.
Visit the A4M’s World Health Network website, at www.worldhealth.net, to learn more about the A4M and its educational endeavors and to sign-up for your FREE subscription to The Anti-Aging News Journal.