Disease Proof

Health Points: Wednesday

Dr. William Hall of the University of Rochester has a theory for how these people could live to that age. In an editorial in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine, where the study was published, he writes that it might be thanks to doctors who aggressively treat these older folks' health problems, rather than taking an "ageist" approach that assumes they wouldn't benefit.

For the study, Boston University researchers did phone interviews and health assessments of more than 500 women and 200 men who had reached 100. They found that roughly two-thirds of them had avoided significant age-related ailments.
Braden Eberle, 4, of San Jose, Calif., told his mother that he had swallowed something, a tiny magnet attached to a toy. His mother assumed that it would pass through. The next day, his parents saw him swallow another…


…An X-ray five hours later showed that the object was not moving properly. Dr. Dutta’s laparoscopy found the magnets stuck together, pinching bowel tissue.
Many patients say PT — physical therapy's nickname — really stands for "pain and torture," said James Osborn, who oversees rehabilitation services at Herrin Hospital in Southern Illinois.


Using the game console's unique, motion-sensitive controller, Wii games require body movements similar to traditional therapy exercises. But patients become so engrossed mentally they're almost oblivious to the rigor, Osborn said.
Dr. Partha Basu, the study's lead author and associate professor in Duquesne's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said laboratory analysis reveals that the antibiotic arsenic compound roxarsone, which promotes the growth of blood vessels in chickens to produce pinker meat, does the same in human cell lines -- a critical first step in many human diseases, including cancer.


"This is a significant finding as it relates to potential human health effects from roxarsone," said Dr. Basu, who worked on the study with scientists from Thermo Fisher Scientific laboratories and the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.
Private citizens can sue to enforce California's food labeling laws, the state Supreme Court said Monday in a ruling that revives a consumer complaint about the chemically induced orange coloring of salmon raised on fish farms.


Consumer lawsuits filed in 2003 and 2004 accused supermarket chains of misleading customers by failing to disclose on labels that the fish, naturally grayish, had been fed chemicals to give their flesh the color of wild salmon. Lower courts combined the cases and dismissed them, saying federal law barred states from allowing private suits over food labeling, but the state's high court unanimously disagreed and reinstated the claims.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania State University are nevertheless studying ways to limit excess fat, for three reasons. Producers don't want to waste feed. Fatter chickens might not lay as many eggs. And studying the genes of the barnyard bird may illuminate pathways that lead to human obesity, says the USDA's Monika Proszkowiec-Weglarz.


Fat content has risen because chickens have been bred to grow faster, and the faster-growing birds seem to eat more than they need, says her colleague Mark Richards.
Some political scientists are beginning to change their minds on what shapes our political views. They're starting to wonder whether some of our political identity is rooted in our DNA.


The theory goes something like this: Choosing a political point of view involves thinking through issues: Will more lax immigration rules put the U.S. at risk? Will tighter gun-control laws help lower the murder rate?
Federal standards that specify the length of auto seat belts date back four decades and only require that seat belts accommodate a 215-pound man. Some manufacturers offer bigger belts or extenders anyway, but other auto companies have concerns about effectiveness and liability.


Vanderbilt University psychologist David Schlundt studied the relationship between seat belt use and weight after noticing that obese people sometimes struggled to fit into the auto restraints.

"They really have a hard time getting that belt buckle over them," Schlundt said. "They have to stretch it out and then over and then some can't see the buckle."
In an analysis of 42 studies, researchers found that current smokers were twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop colon polyps. Former smokers also showed a heightened risk, though it was less than that of current smokers.


What's more, the analysis found, smoking was particularly linked to "high-risk" polyps; while most colon polyps are not dangerous, high-risk ones are relatively more likely to become cancerous.
Will the chicken go cold? It seems that the time it takes for people to scarf down the chicken is not long enough for a cool-down.
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