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.
Psoriasis Raises Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
Psoriasis is a chronic disease of the immune system that appears on the skin, usually in the form of thick, red, scaly patches. Data from three large clinical trials now suggest that patients with psoriasis have a significantly greater risk of coronary heart disease and stroke than the general population. Alexa B. Kimball, from Harvard Medical School, and colleagues have found that the risk of coronary disease is almost 30 percent greater in psoriasis patients, and stroke risk exceeded the rate of the general population by 12 percent, The risk did not vary by severity of psoriasis, as patients with moderate and severe disease had a similar prevalence of heart disease and stroke.
Dr. Klatz observes: Several previous studies have provided evidence that psoriasis increases the risk of heart disease. In addition, some studies have suggested an increased risk of heart failure, occlusive vascular events, and an unfavourable cardiovascular risk profile, as well as excess cardiovascular mortality associated with psoriasis severity. This study offers data from three large clinical trials that strongly suggest this relationship.
Brain Decline Starts at 27
Previously, studies have revealed that increased age is associated with lower levels of cognitive performance. Timothy A. Salthouse, from the University of Virginia, and colleagues completed a seven-year study involving 2,000 healthy people, ages 18 to 60 who were tested for mental agility via tests similar to those used to diagnose dementia. In nine out of 12 tests the average age at which the top performance was achieved was 22. The first age at which there was any marked decline was at 27 in tests of brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability. Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average, while abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60. The team concludes that: “Some aspects of age-related cognitive decline begin in healthy educated adults when they are in their 20s and 30s.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: It is important to continue advancing the science to understand the decline of mental abilities as we age, which this study shows may start much earlier than most of us expect. By understanding how healthy brains decline, we may reveal how and what goes awry in serious diseases affecting memory and cognition, such as Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.
Social Isolation Detrimental to Mental and Physical Health
Previous research has suggested that having a small social network, infrequently participating in social activities, and feeling of lonely have harmful effects on health. Linda Waite, from the University of Chicago, and colleagues analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85, for the study period 2005-2006. The team made three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation. First, they found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated. Secondly, the team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness. And thirdly, they determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation. Comment the researchers: “Social disconnectedness is associated with worse physical health, regardless of whether it prompts feelings of loneliness or a perceived lack of social support. The relationship between social disconnectedness and mental health appears to operate through feelings of loneliness and a perceived lack of social support.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: Aging often brings changes in social relationships as individuals retire, take up new activities, endure losses and experience health changes. For some older adults, a shrinking circle of friends and family can lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation. These findings suggest that those who adapt to losses so that they don’t feel isolated fare better with respect to both physical and mental health. Clearly, social disconnectedness and loneliness among older people is a serious concern and must be addressed properly before causing harm to our aging population’s health and wellbeing.
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.