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The results of an online survey of more than 2,000 adults suggest that up to 35% of Americans may have experienced the symptoms of a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a “mini stroke”. Unfortunately, only 3% sought immediate medical attention while most with at least one sign of a TIA waited or rested until symptoms had faded instead of calling emergency services right away. The American Stroke Association (ASA) uses the acronym F.A.S.T. to help people remember the most common stroke signs: face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call 911. They add that other sudden signs of stroke include: trouble speaking or understanding; numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, particularly on one side of the body; vision loss in one or both eyes; trouble walking; loss of balance or coordination; and unexplained severe headache. American Stroke Association chair Dr. Mitch Elkind adds, “Ignoring any stroke sign could be a deadly mistake.”American Stroke Association, May 2017
A long-range study suggests that reducing salty foods may not be as helpful for your heart health as once thought. A review of data on more than 2,600 men and women participating in the Framingham Heart Study showed that those who consumed less than 2,500 milligrams of sodium a day tended to have higher blood pressure than participants who consumed more sodium in their diet. Despite the findings, the American Heart Association says further studies are needed before people should start reaching for the salt shaker.American Society for Nutrition, April 2017
An analysis of data collected from 2005 to 2014 shows that bullying (physical, verbal, and rumor-spreading) has been on a downswing for the last decade, falling about 2% each year. Lead author Dr. Tracy Evian Waasdorp writes, “We found that bullying and related behaviors were decreasing, which indicated improvements in student behaviors and school climate.”Pediatrics, May 2017
Surveys completed by 64 college students during the last five weeks of a semester revealed that those who regularly exercised and got adequate sleep were less affected by the stress that comes with writing term papers and studying for final exams.Nature and Science of Sleep, April 2017
Even if you have a genetic propensity for obesity, regular exercise can help keep those extra pounds off. Using data concerning 200,000 adults who'd taken part in previous health studies, researchers found that when an individual carried a gene variant known to raise obesity risk, regular exercise appeared to reduce the effects of their DNA by about 30%. Lead researcher Dr. Mariaelisa Graff writes, “This shows, once again, that genes are not your destiny.”PLOS Genetics, April 2017
A recent study evaluated the correlation between mild leg length discrepancy (short leg) and degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis. In the study, investigators analyzed x-rays on 225 adults who suffered from spinal pain. The study results revealed a strong correlation between leg length discrepancy and hip degenerative joint disease as well as degenerative disk disease in the lower region of the spine. Chiropractors often use heel lifts, foot orthotics, and spinal adjustments to address leg length issues.Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics, April 2017
Healthy aging is defined as “not developing any major chronic disease, good physical and cognitive functioning, no limitations in instrumental activities of daily living, no depressive symptoms, no health-related limitations in social life, good overall self-perceived health, and no function-limiting pain.” In this study, French researchers followed 2,733 healthy (no cancer, heart disease, or diabetes) middle-aged adults for over a decade and found the odds of healthy aging decreased as a participant’s body mass index increased.Obesity, May 2017
The combination of aerobic and resistance exercises appears to significantly boost the brain power of individuals over the age of 50. Researchers reviewed 39 studies to assess the potential impact of varying types, intensities, and durations of exercise on brain health and found that aerobic exercise significantly enhances cognitive abilities, while resistance training has a prominent effect on executive function, memory, and working memory. The research team concludes, “The findings suggest that an exercise program with components of both aerobic and resistance type training, of at least moderate intensity and at least 45 minutes per session, on as many days of the week as possible, is beneficial to cognitive function in adults aged over 50.”British Journal of Sports Medicine, April 2017
The National Sleep Foundation notes that getting a quality night’s sleep can improve your ability to learn and focus, your mood, and your productivity, while also making you feel less hungry and reducing your risk of infection and chronic illness.National Sleep Foundation, May 2017
For patients with diabetes, it’s common to experience elevated glucose levels between 2:00 AM and 8:00 AM, an experience called the “Dawn Phenomenon”. To combat this, the American Diabetes Association suggests eating dinner earlier in the evening, going for a walk or engaging in another physical activity after dinner, and seeing your doctor if your fasting glucose remains high after these steps.American Diabetes Association, May 2017