February 3-9, 2012
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.
Patient-Centric Medical Care Promotes Longevity
Greater access to features of high-quality primary care – namely comprehensiveness, patient-centeredness and extended office hours – associates with lower mortality. Anthony Jerant, from University of California/Davis, and colleagues utilized data from the 2000-05 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys, which are large-scale surveys of people living in the U.S. and their health and health care. The study used data for 52,241 respondents, ages 18 to 90 years, for whom mortality information was available and who had one particular doctor’s office or clinic they visited for health information and treatment. The researchers analyzed respondents’ reported access to three primary health-care attributes: comprehensiveness, availability of evening/weekend office hours, and patient-centeredness. As the first study first to link the availability of three specific attributes of primary care with reduced risk of death, the study authors conclude that: “Greater reported patient access to selected primary care attributes was associated with lower mortality.”
Dr Klatz observes: People who have access to medical care that is comprehensive, readily accessible, and patient-centered are at lower risks of death. These features also serve as hallmarks of the anti-aging medical approach to maintain wellness and promote longevity.
Fish Oil Improves Muscle Strength
Fish oil is rich in n-3 (omega-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to play a role in the plasma membrane and cell function of muscles. CL Rodacki, from Parana Federal University (Brazil), and colleagues studied 45 women, average age 64 years, all of whom engaged in a 90-day long strength training regimen. Fifteen of the study participants received 2 g of fish oil (0.4 g EPA and 0.3 g DHA) per day during the 90 days of strength training, and another 15 women received fish oil for 60 days prior to strength training as well as during the 90 days of training. Among the women given fish oil supplement, the researchers observed an improvement in muscle torque, as well as better performance in chair-rising exercises. Reporting that: “The inclusion of [fish oil] supplementation caused greater improvements in muscle strength and functional capacity,” the study authors conclude that: “Strength training increased muscle strength in elderly women.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Reporting that among older women who strength train, supplementation with fish oil helps to enhance the benefits on muscle, these researchers add to the ever-growing body of evidence documenting a wide range of health effects of omega-3 fatty acids.
Cognitive Decline Begins in Mid-Life
Whereas global life expectancy is on the rise, the maintenance of cognitive health becomes a public health priority, since poor cognitive status is considered a major disabling condition in old age. Previous studies have established an inverse association between age and cognitive performance, with most studies suggesting little cognitive decline occurs before the age of 60. Archana Singh-Manoux, from Inserm (France), and colleagues completed a large-scale prospective study conducted over a 10-year period, utilizing data from the Whitehall II cohort study involving 10,308 men and women, ages 45 to 70 years the start of the study. Over the 10-year study time frame, each subject was evaluated for memory, vocabulary, reasoning and verbal fluency on three separate occasions. The results showed that cognitive performance (apart from the vocabulary tests) declines with age and more rapidly so as the individual’s age increases. The decline is significant in each age group. For example, during the period studied,reasoning scores decreased by 3.6 percent for men aged between 45 and 49, and 9.6 percent for those aged between 65 and 70. The corresponding figures for women stood at 3.6 percent and 7.4 percent respectively. The study authors conclude that: “Cognitive decline is already evident in middle age (age 45-49).”
Comments Dr Klatz: Warning that on all measures except vocabulary, linear declines in cognitive function start as early as age 45, this large-scale prospective study serves as an important revelation into the complexity of brain aging.
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 Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.