August 19-25, 2011
By Dr Robert Goldman
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 24,000 physician and scientist members from 110 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 optimise the human aging process. Dr Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, A4M Chairman, and Dr Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., A4M President, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distil these headlines and provide their commentary.
Anti-Aging Lifestyle Helps Prevent Dementia
Improving and maintaining health factors not traditionally associated with dementia, such as denture fit, vision and hearing, may lower a person’s risk for developing dementia. Kenneth Rockwood, from Dalhousie University in Canada, and colleagues studied 7,239 people who were free of dementia ages 65 and older, enrolled in the Canadian Study of Health and Aging. After five years and again after 10 years, they were evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease and all types of dementia. Participants were asked questions about 19 health problems not previously reported to predict dementia. Problems included arthritis, trouble hearing or seeing, denture fit, chest or skin problems, stomach or bladder troubles, sinus issues, broken bones and feet or ankle conditions, among others. After 10 years, 2,915 of the participants had died, 883 were cognitively healthy, 416 had Alzheimer’s disease, 191 had other types of dementia, 677 had cognitive problems but no dementia, and the cognitive status of 1,023 people was not clear. The study found that each health problem increased a person’s odds of developing dementia by 3.2 percent compared to people without such health problems. Older adults without health problems at baseline had an 18-percent chance to become demented in 10 years, while such risk increased to 30 percent and 40 percent in those who had eight and 12 health problems, respectively. The researchers conclude that: “General health may be an important confounder to consider in dementia risk factor evaluation. If a diverse range of deficits is associated with dementia, then improving general health might reduce dementia risk.”
Dr Klatz observes: By finding that maintenance of one’s general health status may lower the risk of cognitive decline, these researchers reaffirm the merits of an anti-aging lifestyle featuring healthy diet, routine physical activity, and positive attitude.
Pistachios Promote Healthy Weight Goals
When reaching for a snack, consider a handful of in-shell pistachios. K. Kennedy-Hagan, from Eastern Illinois University, and colleagues studied 118 faculty and staff at a midwestern US university, all of whom were provided a pre-weighed 16-ounce bowl filled with four ounces of in-shell pistachios to keep on their desk over the course of two workdays, separated by a day of no pistachio consumption. Participants were told they could consume pistachios at their leisure during the day and were also provided a second 16-ounce bowl to discard the pistachio empty shells. The subjects were randomized into two groups. For the first group, the bowls with pistachio shells were not emptied until the end of the day. For the second group, the bowls with pistachio shells were emptied every two hours. Pistachios were added in two-ounce increments if the amount in the bowl had been reduced to approximately half or less of the starting amount. When leftover pistachio shells remained on the desk throughout the day, calorie consumption of pistachios decreased by 22 percent compared to when nut shells were routinely removed. Writing that: “Leaving pistachio shells as a visual cue to consumption may help consumers consume fewer calories,” the researchers provide evidence that pistachio nut shells can provide important “visual cues” as a reminder of consumption that translate into reduced calorie consumption.
Remarks Dr Goldman: In-shell pistachios can be a weight-wise approach to healthy snacking, and certainly can be readily incorporated into a diet that supports physical fitness.
Height a Potential Risk Factor for Cancer
Previous studies have found an increase in cancer risk in taller people, but data on specific cancer sites and how confounding factors might contribute have been lacking. Jane Green, from University of Oxford, and colleagues explored these associations, analyzing data from the Million Women Study, which enrolled 1.3 million women between 1996 and 2001. The team found that tall women are at greater overall risk for cancer than their short counterparts, although the degree of risk varies depending on the type of cancer. Overall, for every four-inch increase in height over 5 feet, women had a 16-percent greater risk of developing cancer; women who were 5 feet 9 inches tall had a relative risk for cancer of 1.37 compared with those who topped out at just 5 feet. Statistically significant increases in risk for each four-inch increase in height were found for these specific cancers: melanoma, kidney cancer, leukemia, colon, rectum, breast, endometrium, ovarian, central nervous system cancers, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The researchers conclude that: “Cancer incidence increases with increasing adult height for most cancer sites.”
Comments Dr Klatz: Finding that tall women may be at greater overall risk for cancer, with significant increases in risk for each four-inch increase in height in certain types of the disease, this team reveals a potentially underestimated risk factor that warrants further investigation.
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 Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.