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Inactivity ups women’s heart disease risk

A new study has revealed that from 30 years of age, inactivity and lack of exercise exerts a greater impact on a woman’s lifetime risk of developing heart disease.According to the study, prevalence of smoking fell from 28 percent in women age 22-27 to 5 percent in 73-78 year olds, but the prevalence of inactivity and high blood pressure increased steadily across the lifespan from age 22 to 90 and overweight increased from age 22 to 64, which declined in older age.

The researchers found that up to the age of 30, smoking was the most important contributor to heart disease, with a PAR of 59 percent, but from age 30 until the late 80s, low physical activity levels were responsible for higher levels of population risk than any of the other risk factors.

The scientists said that the data suggests that national programmes for the promotion and maintenance of physical activity, across the adult lifespan, but especially in young adulthood, deserve to be a much higher public health priority for women than they are now.
Fruits, vegetables could cut stroke risk

Researchers have said that eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of stroke worldwide.

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 20 studies published over the last 19 years to assess the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on risk of stroke globally. The combined studies involved 760,629 men and women who had 16,981 strokes.Stroke risk decreased by 32 percent with every 200 grams of fruit consumed each day and 11 percent with every 200 grams of vegetables consumed each day.

Yan Qu, M.D., the study’s senior author, director of the intensive care unit at Qingdao Municipal Hospital and professor at the Medical College of Qingdao University in Qingdao, China, said improving diet and lifestyle is critical for heart and stroke risk reduction in the general population.

Qu said in particular, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is highly recommended because it meets micronutrient and macronutrient and fiber requirements without adding substantially to overall energy requirements.

Macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat) provide calories or energy. Our bodies need smaller amounts of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.The researcher cited studies demonstrating that high fruit and vegetable consumption can lower blood pressure and improve microvascular function. It has favorable effects on body mass index, waist circumference, cholesterol, inflammation and oxidative stress.

The beneficial effects of fruits and vegetables applied consistently to men and women, stroke outcome and by type of stroke (caused by clot or bleeding). Researchers found no significant difference in the effect on age (younger or older than 55).
Secret to slow aging and longer life revealed

Scientists have found an unexpected link between cell suicide and longevity, which may be the key to aging more slowly and living longer.

Researchers at McGill University’s findings have showed how free radicals promote longevity in an experimental model organism, the roundworm C. elegans, and discovered that free radicals, also known as oxidants, act on a molecular mechanism that, in other circumstances, tells a cell to kill itself.

Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is a process by which damaged cells commit suicide in a variety of situations: to avoid becoming cancerous, to avoid inducing auto-immune disease, or to kill off viruses that have invaded the cell.

The McGill researchers found that the Nobel Prize winning mechanism, which was first discovered in C. elegans, when stimulated in the right way by free radicals, actually reinforces the cell’s defenses and increases its lifespan. Professor Siegfried Hekimi, a senior author of the study said that the belief that free radicals are damaging and cause aging is incorrect, and we have turned this so-called ‘free radical theory of aging’ theory on its head by proving that free radical production increases during aging thus inducing a substantially longer life.

Hekimi said that the findings also mean that apoptosis signaling can be used to stimulate mechanisms that slow down aging.

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