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.
Optimism Promotes Longer, Healthier Life
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh reviewed data collected on 100,000 women, ages 50+, collected since 1994 as part of the Women’s Health Initiative Study. Hilary Tindle and colleagues found that optimistic women were 14 percent less likely to die from any cause (as compared to pessimists), and 30 percent less likely to die from heart disease after 8 years of follow-up from the study. Optimists also were loess likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes or smoke cigarettes. Additionally, the team found that women who were “cynically hostile,” that is – highly mistrustful of other people, were 16 percent more likely to die during the study period and 23 percent more likely to die from cancer.
Dr Klatz remarks: While it has seemed logical that maintaining a positive perspective would promote healthspan and lifespan, the data revealed in this large study group strongly suggests that there is some causal or linked effect of negative attitudes for negative health effects. This is an interesting notion that warrants further investigation.
Reduce Obesity to Gain Years of Life
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the ratio between height and weight. The number indicates whether a person is underweight, overweight or within a normal weight range. Individuals with a BMI of 25 or greater are considered overweight and those with a BMI of 30 or greater are considered obese. Gary Whitlock, from the University of Oxford, and colleagues have now found that a BMI above the normal range is associated with an increased risk of mortality. The team reviewed data from 57 prospective studies involving a total of 894,576 patients in western Europe and North America as part of the Prospective Studies Collaboration. Mortality was about 30 percent higher for each additional 5 kg/m2, and primarily was correlated to 40-percent increased risk for vascular disease and 60 to 120 percent raised risks for diabetic, renal and hepatic diseases, as well as 10-percent increased risk of neoplastic death and a 20-percent increased risk of death from respiratory causes. The researchers explain that: “By avoiding a further increase from 28 kg/m2 to 32 kg/m2, a typical person in early middle age would gain about two years of life expectancy,” they concluded. “Alternatively, by avoiding an increase from 24 kg/m2 to 32 kg/m2, a young adult would on average gain about three extra years of life.”
Dr. Goldman observes: Increased BMI is an established risk factor for several causes of death including ischemic heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. This study elucidates specific increases in mortality risks that are directly resultant from being overweight/obese.
Sister Study Reinforces the Importance of Healthy Living
The long-term Sister Study, sponsored by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, involves 50,000 women, ages 35-74, and looks at the environmental and genetic characteristics of women whose sister had breast cancer to identify factors associated with developing breast cancer. Christine G. Parks, from the Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and colleagues looked at the association between telomere length and the perceived stress levels, and found that stress can impact telomere length. This team observed that: “Among women with both higher perceived stress and elevated levels of the stress hormone epinephrine, the difference in telomere length was equivalent to or greater than the effects of being obese, smoking or 10 years of aging.” In a separate study, Sangmi Kim, from the Epidemiology Branch of NIEHS, and team assessed the effect of obesity and weight gain on telomere length. Women who had an overweight or obese body mass index (BMI) before or during their 30s, and maintained that status since those years, had shorter telomeres than those who became overweight or obese after their 30s. This team comments that: “This suggests that duration of obesity may be more important than weight change per se … Our results support the hypothesis that obesity accelerates the aging process.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: Not only do environmental and genetic factors contribute to cancer risks, but newly emerging considerations such as stress, diet and exercise now need to be properly identified. Taken together, these two studies reinforce the need to start a healthy lifestyle early and maintain it.
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 The Anti-Aging News Journal.