April 26-May 2, 2013
By Dr. Ronald Klatz & 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 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 insightful commentary.
Anti-Aging Lifestyle Reduces Cardiovascular & Cancer Risks
The American Heart Association (AHA) defines the following as ideal cardiovascular health metrics: not smoking, achieving a healthy blood sugar and blood pressure, engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining healthy total cholesterol and body mass index (BMI), and eating a healthy diet.vLaura J. Rasmussen-Torvik, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (Illinois, USA), and colleagues assessed data collected on 13,253 participants, mean age 54 years at baseline, from the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) study which included nearly 20 years of follow-up. Subjects reported having no history of cancer at baseline (nonmelanoma skin cancer was excluded). Researchers found that those who maintained goals for six or seven of the cardiovascular health metrics had a 51% lower risk of incident cancer, as compared with those meeting no goals.
Dr. Klatz observes: “By following what may be considered seven key tenets the anti-aging lifestyle may not only reduce a person’s risks of heart disease, but may combat cancer as well.”
Physicians on Fitness
Isabel Garcia de Quevedo and colleagues completed a meta analysis of studies dating from 1979 through 2012 that compared healthcare providers’ typically self-reported physical activity habits or fitness to their practice in counseling patients. All but one of the 24 observational studies they found did show a significant effect of healthcare providers own physical activity or fitness level and whatever physical activity counseling behavior was assessed. Most of the studies (15) found the association among physicians, but it was also seen in nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers, as well as among medical and nursing students.
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Physically active doctors are more likely to encourage regular physical activity in their patients.”
Activity Extends Cognitive Acuity
Deborah Barnes, from the University of California/San Francisco (UCSF; California, USA), and colleagues enrolled 126 inactive men and women, average age 73.4 years, who were experiencing cognitive declines, in a study to assess the combined effects of physical plus mental activity on cognitive function. The researchers divided the participants into four groups. Three days a week for three months, all engaged in some type of mental stimulation one hour daily and some physical activity for an hour daily. Some also engaged in brain-training computer games and dance-based aerobics. A matched group who watched educational DVDs on arts, history and science, or participated in a stretching and toning class, served as controls. At the end of the 12-week long study period, all the study subjects – including controls – experienced improvements in memory and thinking regardless of the specific activities they performed. The study authors write that: “In inactive older adults with cognitive complaints, 12 weeks of physical plus mental activity was associated with significant improvements in global cognitive function … the amount of activity is more important than the type.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “In that the number of cases of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are projected to rise sharply in the next few decades, attention turns to the utility of physical and mental activities, alone and in-combination, to help people retain cognitive faculties as they age. This team reports the latest data to suggest that physical exercise, doing puzzles, and learning a new language may help aging men and women to retain their memory and thinking skills.”
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 o Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.