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.
Americans Living Longer as Life Expectancy Continues to Rise
The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that life expectancy in the US has reached an all-time high. In 2007, the average American lived to 77.9 years, up from 77.7 years in 2006. Additionally, the mortality rate also fell for the eighth year in a row from 776.5 per 100,000 in 2006 to 760.3 in 2007. Of this total, nearly half of all deaths (48.5 percent) resulted from heart disease and cancer. The study also reports declines in mortality rates for eight of the 15 leading causes of death, including a drop in stroke (down 4.6 percent) and diabetes (down 3.9 percent). However, mortality from the fourth leading cause of death in the US – chronic lower respiratory disease – increased by 1.7 percent.
Dr. Klatz observes: While life expectancy has reached a new high, and mortality rates have declined in many of the leading causes of death, Americans cannot become complacent. It is vital on a society-wide scale that we continue to engage in health promotion and approach healthcare from a wellness-oriented model. Doing so will support continued gains in life expectancy and slash premature deaths.
Risk of Cancer-Related Death on Steady Decline
Since the mid-20th century, the risk of dying from cancer has been on a steady decline. Eric Kort, from the Van Andel Research Institute (Grand Rapids, Michigan), and colleagues used mortality data from 1955 to 2004 from the World Health Organization’s Statistical Information System, tracking the burden of cancer death in individuals born as early as 1875. Rates of cancer death peaked in individuals born from 1915 through 1924, and declined thereafter. Beginning with the birth cohort of 1925 through 1934, each subsequent cohort had a lower lifetime risk of dying from cancer for almost all age comparisons. The trend held true for both males and females. Among individuals born in 1925 or later, the decline in cancer mortality has been more pronounced in the youngest age groups than in the older ones (drop of 25.6 percent versus 6.8 percent per decade). The researchers speculate this trend is a result of efforts in prevention and early detection.
Remarks Dr. Goldman: Whereas the incidence of cancer hasn’t changed much in the past 60 years, the mortality rate for all types of the disease peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has retreated steadily since then. This is a testimonial to the success of public health and advanced preventative medicine.
Chocolate May Decrease Risk of Heart Attack
A study finds that eating chocolate two or more times a week slashes cardiac death by 66 percent, and that less frequent consumption is also associated with smaller decreased risks. I. Janszky, from Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden), and colleagues followed 1,169 non-diabetic patients hospitalized with a confirmed first acute myocardial infarction (AMI) between 1992 and 1994 in Stockholm County, Sweden, surveying them for their chocolate consumption during the preceding 12 months and conducting a health examination three months after discharge. Participants were followed for hospitalizations and mortality with national registries for eight years. The researchers found that chocolate consumption was strongly inversely associated with cardiac mortality. The team concludes that: “Chocolate consumption was associated with lower cardiac mortality in a dose dependent manner in patients free of diabetes surviving their first AMI.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: Chocolate is high in flavonols, a type of antioxidant, and has in previous studies been shown to benefit cardiovascular health in that cocoa flavonols improve blood flow to the heart muscle. This study is the latest to reaffirm the heart healthy benefits of modest consumption of chocolate. Opt for dark chocolate, which contains high concentrations of flavonoids.
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.