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Health TO YOUR

Mid-Valley Newspapers

January 2014

A guide to wellness and healthy living in the Mid-Willamette Valley

STAT Quick reads about health topics in the news

Apnea and diabetes Endocrinologist Dr. Sarah Swarts will lead a discussion on the connection between diabetes and sleep apnea — a condition where even 10 hours of “sleep” each night can lead to fatigue-filled days. Sleep apnea affects a large proportion of the population — but those with diabetes are at a higher risk. Getting apnea under control can improve blood sugar levels, which can reduce complications such as heart and kidney disease. Controlling diabetes can help people sleep better and sleeping better can help control diabetes. The seminar takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Conference rooms A and B, in Corvallis. Call 541-768-5260 for more information. This event is part of the Sleep Apnea Support Group, which holds regular meetings throughout the year. More information is available at samhealth.org/Sleep. — Mid-Valley Health

Louise Yoss exercises in the Silver Sneakers Zumba class at the Aaron Family JCC in Dallas on Dec. 12, 2013. NATHAN HUNSINGER | DALLAS MORNING NEWS/MCT

The years of our lives Americans are living longer, but not as long as people in other countries By NANCY CHURNIN, DALLAS MORNING NEWS ALLAS — The good news is Americans are living longer. The bad is that we’re not living as long as people in other countries. American longevity has dropped significantly since 1979 compared with longevity elsewhere, according to a 2006 report from the National Academy of Sciences. American men live to an average age of 75, about four years less than Australians and Japanese, who live to an average of 79. American women have made the biggest comparative drop, going from being the longest-lived in the 1960s to the 28th today. Japanese women pulled ahead between 1980 and 2006 to an average 86 years, with Italian and French women living to an average of 84 years. During this same time period, American women edged up to an average of 80. There’s no agreed-upon reason for this, according to a 2011 report from the National Institutes for Health. But researchers do cite a tantalizing clue: Americans seem to have their highest vulnerability between the ages of 55 and 75. These are the years when we die from heart disease, diabetes and lung disease more often than those in other countries. If Americans make it past 75, they not only have the same chance to live a long life, but they have shot at joining the ranks of the increasing numbers extend-

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ing their lives into their 90s and even 100s. Experts say people are particularly vulnerable from 55 to 75 because this is when the cumulative effects of poor nutrition, lack of exercise and lack of screenings can converge. Poor lifestyle choices can lead to clogged arteries, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and cancers spotted too late for effective treatment. Obesity is the No. 1 driver of ill health, as far as Dr. Diana Kerwin is concerned. Kerwin, chief of geriatrics at Texas Health Dallas, also blames Americans’ sedentary lifestyle for driving up the increase in fatal diseases. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, killing 1 of 4 of both genders, according to a 2009 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A contributing factor to women’s deaths in particular is a lack of awareness of the symptoms of heart attacks in females, which can lead to critical time elapsing before seeking lifesaving care. While both men and women can experience the telltale shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen or extreme fatigue or dizziness, women are more likely to dismiss the symptoms as acid reflux, the flu or aging. Smoking can aggravate diseases or make health problems worse.

HOW TO ADD YEARS TO YOUR LIFE Want to increase your odds of living a longer, healthier life? Here’s what the experts say. Exercise: 150 minutes per week is optimal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sound daunting? A 10-minute brisk walk three times a day, five days a week will give you a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. Eat right: Avoid processed foods, limit sodium and alcohol, drink four to six cups of water daily and eliminate liquid sugars, particularly the kind found in beverages, the Harvard School of Public Health advises. Harvard nutrition experts recommend a “Healthy Eating Plate” made up one-half vegetables and fruits, one-quarter whole grains and one-quarter healthy proteins, such as fish, poultry, beans and nuts — not red or processed meats, which can raise your chance of getting colorectal cancer. Don’t smoke: If you smoke, one of the single best things you can do for your health and those you love is to quit, according to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes for Health. Tobacco smoke causes many types of cancers for smokers and nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Get screened: Ask your doctor to update you on the most important screenings for your age, condition and genetic risk factors at your annual wellness exam. Consider tests for blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, vascular disease risk, colon cancer and, for women, mammograms and Pap smears. Don’t overlook an annual eye exam, which can reveal early stages of diabetes and hypertension. Enjoy: There’s a clear link between happiness and health, according to a 2011 article from the Harvard School of Public Health. Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function and harm the brain. Conversely, enthusiasm, hopefulness and laughter can help reduce illness and healthfully manage or even ward off heart disease, strokes, diabetes and depression.

Fitness resolutions? Here’s how to keep ’em BY EDDIE ALVAREZ THE MIAMI HERALD

MIAMI — Want to get into shape but don’t know how to begin? Certified fitness instructor and trainer Myriam Charleston and partner Jeff Pierre are here to help. We asked Charleston to start us off with tips for people looking to start a fitness routine: • What’s the first thing you tell a client who is starting a fitness regimen? No. 1: Make sure they get clearance from their physician. The next thing is to get a fitness assessment/evaluation in order to know where you’re starting from and to set realistic fitness goals. • How often should a beginner work out? A beginner should aim to work out three times a week and have a

program that includes at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, cycling), 30 minutes of strength training (free weights or machines), and 10 minutes of stretching (hold each stretch for 10 seconds). • I’m overweight. What can I do? Have an assessment done by a fitness instructor. The assessment will give you information about your body composition and help you set realistic goals. Many people want to lose weight but what they really want to do is lose fat. Focus on body composition (your body fat percentage); the right percentage for you depends on your overall health, age and sex. A fitness instructor can personalize a body fat goal for you. And remember, the more muscle you build, the easier it will be to

burn fat. That’s why an effective weight-loss program incorporates a good strength training routine. An effective way to lose fat is to incorporate healthy eating habits with frequent, small meals (five to six per day), cardio, strength training and consistency. • I’m older. Can I still work out safely? Absolutely! As we get older, overall muscle mass tends to decrease and there is an increasing risk of bone diseases. But you can minimize those effects of aging with a consistent fitness routine. Prior to each workout, make sure you warm up with a brisk walk or light jog for 10 to 15 minutes to get the body moving and warm. And don’t forget to stretch. Incorporating flexibility, core and strength training will maintain overall body health and

minimize the chance of injury. • I’ve started workout routines before and lost interest. How can I stay motivated? Many people complain of losing interest with their workouts One of the most important things is find something you enjoy doing. Start with any physical activity that you enjoy doing to keep yourself motivated. Is it a sport? Is it working out with a friend? Another option is to hire a personal trainer who can keep you motivated and can customize a work-out program to meet your goals. It is important to set realistic goals and track your progress so you don’t become discouraged. And if you miss some workouts or have a weekend where you overindulged, don’t despair! Just rededicate yourself and get back to your routine.

Lung cancer risks Experts are encouraged that the percentage of American smokers dropped from 18.9 percent to 18 percent in 2012, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. But many people don’t realize they might be at risk for lung cancer even if they don’t smoke, says Dr. Mitchell Magee, medical director of the CLEAR (Chest Lung Evaluation & Resource) Clinic and surgical director of thoracic oncology at Medical City Dallas. Women seem to be at particular risk. While the rate of new lung cancer cases has dropped 22 percent for men over the past 33 years, it has risen for women by 106 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. Lung cancer has a greater mortality rate than any other cancer, causing more deaths in women than breast, uterine and ovarian cancer combined. Twenty percent of women with the disease have never smoked or had any exposure to smoke. — The Dallas Morning News

Positive pain relief A quirky new study suggests patients’ expectations can make a big difference in how they feel after treatment for a migraine. Boston researchers recruited 66 patients, and gave them either a real medication to use when migraines struck or a dummy pill. Sometimes they knew what they were taking; sometimes researchers secretly switched the pills. The study found that it’s important for doctors to give a positive message along with a medication: Patients reported more pain relief when they accurately believed they were taking the real drug than when they were told, falsely, that it was a fake. But even the placebo offered some pain relief, more when patients thought it was the real thing. The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. — The Associated Press

Aging health workers As demand for senior services provided by nurses’ aides, home health aides and other such workers grows with the aging of baby boomers, so are those professions’ employment of other seniors. The new face of America’s network of caregivers is increasingly wrinkled. Among the overall population of direct-care workers, 29 percent are projected to be 55 or older by 2018, up from 22 percent a decade earlier, according to an analysis by the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, a New York-based nonprofit advocating for workers caring for the country’s elderly and disabled. — The Associated Press


A6

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

To Your Health


A6

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

To Your Health


To Your Health: January 2014