February 14-20, 2014

By Dr. Robert Goldman & Dr. Ronald Klatz

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.

Walk Off Heart Disease
Thomas Yates, from Leicester University (United Kingdom), and colleagues observed 9,306 adults from 40 countries with impaired glucose tolerances (IGT), who were at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The subjects used a pedometer to record their walking activity (average number of steps taken per day over a week, both at the start of the study and one year later).The researchers found that participants, who were already involved in some kind of physical activity at the start of the study, had lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, the risk was further reduced when people engaged in extra walking every day during the observation period.  Walking 2,000 steps a day (20 minutes of moderate intensity walking) in addition to regular physical activity can help lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke by 8%.  And the investigators submit that 4,000 extra steps each day (40 minutes of moderate intensity walking) confers therapeutic cardiovascular effects similar to that of consuming a statin a day.

Dr. Klatz observes: “In its “Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health,” the World Health Organization (WHO) urges that adults ages 18 to 64 years complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.  Walking is one of the forms of physical activity mentioned in the WHO Recommendations, and this international study suggests that adding an extra 2,000 steps of walking each day to your regular physical activity may lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke by as much as 8%.”

School-Age Sports Predict Health in Later Years
Brian Wansink, from Cornell University (New York, USA), and colleagues tracked 712 World War II veterans who were healthy as young men (all passed a rigorous physical exam when being screened for military duty), andand surveyed them 50 years later at average of 78 years. The researchers found that those men who had played a high school sport in the 1930s or early 1940s, reported visiting their doctor fewer times each year. Indeed, the best predictor of whether a healthy young man would regularly exercise 50 years later was simply whether he had played a team or individual sport in high school. Many of those who played a high school sport were still active compared to those who didn’t.  Observing that: “the single strongest predictor of later-life physical activity was whether he played a varsity sport in high school, and this was also related to fewer self-reported visits to the doctor,” the study authors conclude that: “Encouraging systematic or frequent physical activity at a young age – whether through school sports or club opportunities – might be the best investment in long-term activeness.”

Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Despite continued evidence demonstrating the wide-ranging health benefits of physical activity, most adults see their activity levels decline with age.  Reporting that men who participated in boys’ team sports in their high school years retain better physical fitness as they age, this study emphasizes the vital role of physical activity throughout life.”

Anxiety May Raise Stroke Risk
Maya J. Lambiase, from the University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected from 6,019 adult participants in the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I), who were followed for 16.29 years, during which time they underwent interviews, took blood tests and had medical and physiological exams.  The team observed that those participants with the most anxiety symptoms were at a 33% increase in stroke risk, as compared to those with the fewest symptoms (and  controlling for cardiovascular risk factors).  Further, after controlling for depression, high anxiety was still associated with a 13% to 20% increase in stroke risk.  Observing that: “higher anxiety symptom levels were associated prospectively with increased risk for incident stroke independent of other risk factors, including depression,” the study authors submit that: “Anxiety is a modifiable experience that is highly prevalent among the general population. Its assessment and treatment may contribute to developing more effective preventive and intervention strategies for improving overall cardiovascular health.”

Comments Dr. Klatz: “Previously, researchers have found that higher levels of anxiety are associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease, and this study suggests that higher anxiety symptom levels associate with increased risk for incident stroke as well.”

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.

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