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.
Exercise, Education Keep Mind Sharp as You Age
With the globally aging population continuing to rise, scientists are focused on uncovering the keys to maintaining cognitive acuity in aging. Alexandra Fiocco, from the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues examined 2,509 independently living seniors living in three major metropolitan areas in the United States, testing for cognitive skills four times over an eight-year study period. Over the study’s eight-year duration, the team found 30 percent of the participants to maintain cognitive function, 53 percent to show minor decline and 16 percent experienced major cognitive decline. The team found several contributing factors to the cognitive differences:
•Those men and women who exercised moderately to vigorously at least once a week were 30 percent more likely to maintain their cognitive function over time (as compared to those who exercised less often). Those with at least a high school education were nearly three times as likely to stay mentally sharp (as compared to those with less education). Further, older adults with a ninth grade literacy level or higher were nearly five times more likely to avoid mental decline (as compared to those with lower literacy levels).
•Those seniors who did not smoke were nearly twice as likely to stay mentally sharp (as compared to those who smoke).
•Those who were still working or engaged in volunteer activities were 24 percent more likely to maintain cognitive function.
•Those who lived with a companion maintained cognitive function better than those who lived alone.
The researchers comment that: “Elders who maintain cognitive function have a unique profile that differentiates them from those with minor decline. Importantly, some of these factors are modifiable and thus may be implemented in prevention programs to promote successful cognitive aging.”
Dr. Klatz remarks: This large-scale study of community living seniors sheds more light on the beneficial effects of living the anti-aging lifestyle, as it clearly identifies modifiable factors that each of us can choose to promote healthy cognitive skills as we age. Indeed, the physician members of the A4M submit that healthy lifestyle choices can bridge our longevity sufficiently such that next-generation biomedical technologies can be effectively implemented and further lengthen the healthy human lifespan by 30+ years.
Less Than Half of Older Americans Get Recommended Eight Hours’ Nightly Sleep
Short sleep duration is a serious concern for older adults, as it has been associated with cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and an increased risk for falls. Karen Rose, from the University of Virginia, and colleagues report that in a survey involving 1,570 men and women ages 60+, 55 percent of those polled slept on average for seven hours or less per night over the past month, and 61 percent reported a sleep-onset latency of 15 minutes or less. Further, those older adults who were unmarried, who reported having more difficulties with initiating or maintaining sleep or who experienced symptoms of depression had statistically greater odds of having a shortened sleep duration.
Dr. Goldman observes: The restorative role of sleep is often underestimated. This study is important because it underscores the importance of achieving sleep of a sufficient quality, as well as quantity, nightly to maintain health, particularly as we age.
Less Sleep Associated With Higher Blood Pressure
Previous studies have linked both short sleep duration and sleep deprivation to higher blood pressure, but these studies have relied on self-reported sleep duration and quality. Kristen L. Knutson, from the University of Chicago and colleagues, embarked on a study involving 670 men and women, ages 33 to 45 at the study’s start, who were participants in an ongoing investigation into factors associated with development of coronary disease, objectively measuring sleep duration and quality to predict five-year incidence of hypertension and changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The team found that 43 percent of the study participants averaged fewer than six hours of sleep each night, and only 1 percent averaged 8+ hours. Over five years, average systolic blood pressure increased and diastolic pressure decreased. Over the five years of follow-up, shorter sleep duration and poorer sleep maintenance were significantly associated with changes in both systolic and diastolic pressure, such that short sleep duration significantly increased the risk of hypertension. In fact, the team found that for every one-hour reduction in sleep duration, the likelihood of hypertension increased 37 percent. Sleep maintenance was not found to be associated with an increased risk of hypertension. The team concludes that: “Reduced sleep duration and consolidation predicted higher blood pressure levels and adverse changes in blood pressure.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: Sleep is essential to life, and this study reminds us of the importance of adequate sleep duration, especially as we age. The increased risk of hypertension as a direct result of insufficient sleep urges the need to further encourage restorative nightly sleep in older patients.
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 endeavours and to sign-up for your FREE subscription to The Anti-Aging News Journal.