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.
Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Raise Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease that affects approximately 1 percent of the adult population. In that genetic factors fail to fully explain the risk, thus some scientists have turned their attention to environmental factors. Particulate air pollution, especially of traffic origin, has been linked to systemic inflammation in many studies. Jaime E. Hart, from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues studied 90,297 US women in the in the Nurses’ Health Study, plotting distance to road at the residence in 2000 as a measure of traffic exposure. Women who lived within 50 meters of interstates or primary, multi-lane roads had a 31-percent increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, as compared with women who lived more than 200 meters away from major roadways. Further, those study subjects who lived within 50 meters of the very largest roadways were found to be at 63-percent increased risk. The team observes that: “This coupled with prior research that suggests air
pollution from traffic can cause systemic inflammation prompted us to study whether there was a direct relationship between air pollution and risk of RA.”
Dr. Klatz remarks: Studies have shown that detrimental effects to the heart can result from air pollution and, in particular, exposure to high levels of particulates from vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions. This large-scale study is important because it implicates these same particulates in rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease.
For Men, Late Bedtimes Correlate to Increased Risk of Heart Disease
Previously, several large studies have linked chronic sleep loss to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other health problems. A study now shows that men who go to bed after midnight have significantly more arterial stiffening – an early stage of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries – than men with earlier bedtimes. Yu Misao, of the Misao Health Clinic, and colleagues studied 251 healthy men, ages 60 and younger. The team found that the fewer hours a man slept each night, the higher his BMI, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels. There was no significant relationship between how many hours a man slept and arterial stiffness. The men were then divided put into three groups according to the number of hours they reported sleeping at night: less than six hours, six to seven hours, and seven hours or more. In each of these groups, the men who reported going to bed before midnight had more relaxed arteries, as shown by significantly lower brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity levels, than the men who went to bed after midnight. The researchers speculate that turning in after midnight might activate the sympathetic nervous system, which accelerates body functions, including heart rate, and contribute to a negative stress response.
Dr. Goldman observes: The restorative role of sleep is often underestimated. From the point of view of preventing cardiovascular disease, this study strongly shows that men not only need to make healthy diet and exercise choices, but mind good sleep habits, such as maintaining a bedtime that enables us to achieve rejuvenative sleep nightly.
Modest Alcohol Consumption May Lower Risk of Death
A number of previous studies have found health benefits in moderate alcohol consumption, and a new study studies this effect in seniors. Sei J. Lee, from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and colleagues, analyzed data from 12,519 men and women, ages 55-plus, participating in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The team followed the subjects for four years and found that moderate alcohol consumption, defined as one alcoholic drink a day, was indeed associated with a 28-percent reduction in the risk of death (as compared to the subjects who did not imbibe). Conclude the researchers: “Moderate drinkers have better risk factor profiles than non-drinkers, including higher socio-economic status and fewer functional limitations.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: While this study certainly should not be taken as advisement to start drinking, it does offer further data to support the notion that modest drinking is associated with benefits to healthspan and lifespan. Modest drinking can be a safe and effective part of the anti-aging lifestyle, a multi-faceted approach to improving the healthy human lifespan by making smart choices in diet, nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle decisions.
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.