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Better heart health may mean lower dementia risk in older people Older adults with more ideal measures of cardiovascular health were less likely to develop dementia and experience cognitive decline. This was the main finding of a recent study now published in JAMA that followed 6,626 people aged 65 and over in France for an average of 8.5 years. It based the cardiovascular health measures on the American Heart Association (AHA) "Simple 7" guide. The guide recommends: giving up smoking; being physically active; having a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and fish; having a healthy weight; and managing blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Lead study author Dr. Cecilia Samieri, from the Université de

Bordeaux in France, and colleagues explain in their study paper that few researchers have "investigated the combined effect of these risk factors on the risk of dementia and cognitive aging." Those that have, they observe, have tended to concentrate on the first four "lifestyle" factors — namely, smoking status, physical activity, diet, and weight. 'Optimal levels' of cardiovascular health The people examined in the research lived in Bordeaux, Dijon, and Montpellier, all in France. None had dementia or a history of cardiovascular disease when they joined the study, which began recruiting in 1999.

Their average age was 73.7 years and 4,200 were women. All of the participants took repeated tests of cognitive ability during the follow-up. In addition, they underwent screening for dementia, and an independent panel of neurologists confirmed any diagnoses. At the start of the study, the scientists also assessed each individual according to how well they matched the "optimal level" of each of the seven cardiovascular health measures.  never having smoked or having quit for at least 12 months  regular physical activity, such as walking at least 8 hours per week or 4 hours per week or more of moderate-intensity

sport or leisure activity  at least one daily portion of raw vegetables, fresh fruits, and cooked fruits or vegetables and two or more servings per week of fish  a body mass index (BMI) under 25  total cholesterol under 200 milligrams per deciliter, untreated  blood pressure below 120/80 millimeters of mercury, untreated  fasting blood glucose under 100 milligrams per deciliter, untreated  At the start of the study, 36.5 percent of people were in the optimal level in 0–2 of the measures, while 57.1 percent achieved optimal levels in 3–4 measures and 6.5 percent achieved 5–7...Read More

6 Heart Attack Warning Signs  Dizziness Though most heart attacks don't make you suddenly lose consciousness, they can reduce or cut off blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart and brain, which may cause you to feel light-headed.  Upper body pain Our heart doesn't have many nerve endings, so it sometimes shares a pathway with nerves to other body parts, causing pain to radiate to the back, shoulders, arms, neck or jaw. Some women say it feels as if an elephant is sitting on their back.  Fatigue Feeling worn-out after a sleepless night or stressful day is normal. But more than half of women feel extremely tired or weak more than a month before having a heart attack, even though they haven't exerted themselves.  Sweating Unless you're going through menopause or have just exercised, breaking out into a cold sweat or perspiring excessively could signal a heart attack, which activates the nervous system.  Nausea A heart attack may cause nausea, which is twice as likely to occur in women than in men (many also feel like they're getting the flu days before a heart attack). If you have sudden and constant nausea that doesn't seem food related, take action.  Shortness of breath If workouts inexplicably seem harder, see your doctor. If you suddenly feel like you just ran up stairs and can't catch your breath when you're not doing much, or the feeling rouses you from sleep, go to the ER.

Is August Too Early to Get a Flu Shot? It’s technically still summer, yet pharmacies and schools are already telling us to line up for our flu shots. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended today that

people get their vaccines for the 201819 flu season by the end of October. In other words, two solid months from now.

The exact timing of flu season in the U.S. varies every year, but it’s typically in fullest frenzy in December, January, and February. That’s when you want to make sure

you’re best protected. “We know that antibodies peak four to six weeks after getting a vaccine and then slowly go down over the next six months,” ...Read More

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RI ARA September 2, 2018 E-Newsletter  

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