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Binge drinking ups mortality risk

Researchers studying the link between binge drinking and death rate among older moderate drinkers have found that binge-drinking older tipsters are more than two times higher odds of 20-year mortality as compared to regular moderate drinkers.

For this study, researchers used data from a larger project examining late-life patterns of alcohol consumption and drinking problems.

The baseline sample was comprised of 446 adults (334 men, 112 women) aged 55 to 65: 74 moderate drinkers who engaged in episodic heavy drinking, and 372 regular moderate drinkers.

Study authors controlled for a broad set of socio-demographic, behavioral, and health-status covariates. Death across a 20-year follow-up period was confirmed primarily by death certificate.

The findings highlight the importance of focusing on drinking patterns, as well as absolute amounts of ethanol consumed, as predictors of health and mortality outcomes among older adults.
Corresponding author for the study Charles J Holahan, from the University of Texas at Austin, said that the study shows that among older adults, those who engage in heavy episodic drinking, show significantly increased total mortality risk compared to regular moderate drinkers.

Exposure to BPA could lead to prostate cancer

Researchers at the Cincinnati Cancer Center have shown that levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in men’s urine could be a marker of prostate cancer and that low levels of BPA exposure can cause cellular changes in both non-malignant and malignant prostate cells.

The study provides the first evidence that urinary BPA levels may help predict prostate cancer and that disruption of a cell duplication cycle through exposure to low-dose BPA may cause cancer development in the prostate.

BPA, an environmental pollutant with estrogen activity, is used to make hard, clear plastic and is common in many food product containers. It has been linked to neurological defects, diabetes and a number of cancers, including breast and prostate.

Principle investigator Shuk-mei Ho, PhD, director of the Cincinnati Cancer Center, Jacob G Schmidlapp Chair of Environmental Health and professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, said that human exposure to BPA is a common occurrence and that animal studies have shown that BPA contributes to development of prostate cancer but that human data are scarce.

“Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in North America, and one in six men will develop it over their lifetime,” she said.

“However, the cancer is rarely diagnosed in men under the age of 40 with almost two-thirds of cases reported in men at age 65.

How to keep your heart healthy

Even though heart disease remains the leading cause of death, the good news is that it can be prevented.

Judith Mackall, MD, Cardiologist at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, offers three tips for men and women to help improve their heart health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. She advises thirty minutes of moderate exercise every day, which can have a big impact on heart health.

If 30 minutes is too much time to dedicate all at once, no problem! Breaking up exercise into ten minute increments, three times a day, has just as great an effect. In fact, within ten weeks, results have shown that an individual’s cholesterol numbers will improve, blood pressure will come down, and weight will decrease.

Consuming at least five fruits and vegetables every day as part of a balanced diet can, among many things, prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dr Mackall said that if you smoke, you will knock off seven years of your life. And, if you have cardiovascular disease and you smoke, you’ll die 15 years sooner than you would otherwise.

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