Tag Archives: premature death

CV risk factors in midlife linked to risk of premature death from heart disease

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports, “They’re called ‘risk factors’ for a reason – people with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and/or a smoking habit are much more likely to have heart attacks, strokes and other manifestations of cardiovascular disease, including death,” according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Continue reading

Divorced adults have higher risk of early death

USA Today /Arizona Republic reports that a meta-analysis in published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science reviewed “more than 30 published studies” and “found divorced adults have a significantly higher risk of early death compared with married adults. Continue reading

A Christmas Story – Part 3

Two days ago, I began a Christmas story that came from my book Bryson City Seasons. Part 1 can be found here and Part 2 here. This is the last of three parts. I hope it’s been a Christmas blessing for you and yours: Continue reading

Overweight teens face dramatically increased heart risks later in life

In past blogs, I’ve told you that the obesity epidemic among teens not only results in “Obese children showing signs of heart disease,” but that “Obese Children are Twice as Likely to Die Young.” New research is showing that it’s even worse than I thought. Continue reading

Could increasing your happiness reduce your risk of heart disease?

In a large, population-based study out of Europe, researchers found that an increased positive affect (happiness) was protective against a 10-year incidence of coronary heart disease. The researchers are suggesting that preventive strategies may be enhanced not only by reducing sadness and depressive symptoms, but also by increasing positive affect and happiness.

Bloomberg News reports that “people who are naturally happy appear to have a lower risk of developing heart disease or dying from heart attacks, according to” the study published in the European Heart Journal.

The Washington Post “The Checkup” blog reported that investigators “analyzed 10 years of data about 1,739 healthy adults who participated in the 1995 Nova Scotia Health Survey.”

The AP reports that the researchers “used a five-point scale to measure people’s happiness.” The investigators found that “for every point on the happiness scale, people were 22 percent less likely to have a heart problem.”

You can also learn more about the health dangers of sadness and depression, and get tons of tips on eliminating them in my book 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy. You can see the Table of Contents here, and read the first chapter here.

if you’d like to have a free measure of your health, including your physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual health, I’ve designed some assessment tools you can utilize at no cost:

Obese Children Twice as Likely to Die Young

In my Amazon.com best-selling book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I predicted that if we did not stem the epidemic of childhood obesity, that our children could become the first generation in American history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Now, the New York Times is reporting on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine “that tracked thousands of children through adulthood found the heaviest youngsters were more than twice as likely as the thinnest to die prematurely, before age 55, of illness or a self-inflicted injury.”

While “youngsters with … pre-diabetes were at almost double the risk of dying before 55, and those with high blood pressure were at some increased risk,” it was obesity that was “most closely associated with an early death, researchers said.”

These “data come from a National Institutes of Health study that began in 1965,” USA Today reports.

After tracking “4,857 American Indian children in Arizona for an average of 24 years,” investigators found that “children who were the heaviest – the top fourth – were more than twice as likely to die early from natural causes, such as alcoholic liver disease, cardiovascular disease, infections, cancer, and diabetes, as children whose weight put them in the lowest quarter of the population.”

Bloomberg News reports, “The number of overweight and obese children has tripled since 1980, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Approximately “17 percent of US children ages two to 19 years old are considered obese and almost 12 percent are considered the heaviest kids, according to a CDC study released in January.”

The current study’s “findings detail the ‘serious health consequences’ that children might face as they get older, lead study author Paul Franks said.”

WebMD reported, “Death rates from natural causes among children in the highest group of glucose intolerance (a risk factor for developing diabetes) were 73% higher than among the children in the lowest group of glucose intolerance, the researchers found.”

While “no substantial links were found between cholesterol levels and premature deaths,” the study authors “did find that high blood pressure in childhood raised the risk of premature death from natural causes by about 1.5 times.”

HeartWire reported that an accompanying editorial “notes that the causes of obesity and diabetes appear to be rooted in culture – inactivity and large portion sizes of calorie-dense fast food – and that fighting these diseases with ‘clinical and adult-based approaches’ is akin to ‘pasting a small bandage on a gaping wound.'”

The new study is timely and important, says Marc Jacobson, MD, a Great Neck, N.Y., pediatrician who specializes in caring for children with obesity and cholesterol problems. “It gives us more hard data about the long-term effects of adolescent obesity,” he says.

Jacobson serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Obesity Leadership Workgroup. The Academy recommends that BMI be measured in all children and that those with a BMI above the 85th percentile be helped to get it below the 85th percentile, which is considered a healthy weight, he says.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a tool parents can use called 5210, Jacobson says. “It’s used to prevent childhood obesity.” It stands for:

  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily
  • 2 hours or less of television viewing daily
  • 1 hour of exercise daily
  • 0 or nearly zero sugar-sweetened beverages daily

In the editorial accompanying the new study, Edward W. Gregg, PhD, of the DC, notes that the Pima Indians studied in the research are sometimes viewed as not representative of the U.S. population because their risk of diabetes is especially high.

But, he points out that 4% of the participants in the study had impaired glucose tolerance, a percentage similar to the 3% of U.S. teens overall who have the condition. And the condition affects 9.5% of obese teens, he says.

So, what’s a family to do? What if you are your children are overweight or obese? I have a number of resources to assist you:

  • My Amazon.com best-selling book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threatYou can order the book here, read the Table of Contents here, or read the first chapter here.
  • My SuperSized Kids Web site, that you can find here.
  • My SuperSized Kids assessment tool that will help you evaluate the activity and nutrition habits of your family. That assessment tool is available for free here.
  • My 8-Week Family Fitness Plan (SuperSized Kids 8-Week Plan), available for freehere.

Lack of joy in life ups early death risk: study

Reuters Health is reporting research from Japan showing that people who don’t think life is worth living are more likely to die within the next few years. In other words, joyful people live longer.

My Take? Continue reading