Tag Archives: Karolinska Institutet

Regular Physical Activity Reduces the Risk of Early Death

A new study by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Cambridge University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has found that even light or moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking or cycling, can substantially reduced the risk of early death.

The study combined the results from the largest studies around the world on the health impact of light and moderately intense physical activity.

Although more activity is better, the benefits of even a small amount of physical activity were very large in the least physically active group of people.

Science Daily reports:
“The good news from this study is that you don’t have to be an exercise freak to benefit from physical activity.
Just achieving the recommended levels of physical activity (equivalent to 30 minutes daily of moderate intensity activity on 5 days a week) reduces the risk of death by 19 percent … while 7 hours per week of moderate activity (compared with no activity) reduces the risk of death by 24 percent”.

Sources:
Science Daily July 25, 2010
International Journal of Epidemiology July 14, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

 

Sitting All Day as Bad as Little Exercise

Sitting all day may significantly boost the risk of lifestyle-related disease even if one adds a regular dose of moderate or vigorous exercise, Is too much sitting as bad as too little exercise?
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The health benefits of pulse-quickening physical activity are beyond dispute — it helps ward off cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, among other problems.

But recent scientific findings also suggest that prolonged bouts of immobility while resting on one’s rear end may be independently linked to these same conditions.

“Sedentary time should be defined as muscular inactivity rather than the absence of exercise,” concluded a team of Swedish researchers. “We need to consider that we are dealing with two distinct behaviours and their effects,” they reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine .

Led by Elin Ekblom-Bak of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the scientists proposed a new “paradigm of inactivity physiology,” and urged fellow researchers to rethink the definition of a sedentary lifestyle.

They point to a recent study of Australian adults showing that each daily one-hour increase in sitting time while watching television upped the rate of metabolic syndrome in women by 26 percent — regardless of the amount of moderate-to-intensive exercise performed.

Thirty minutes of daily physical exercise decreased the risk by about the same percentage, suggesting that being a couch potato can cancel out the benefits of hitting treadmill or biking, for example. Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of three or more factors including high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high cholesterol or insulin resistance. New research is required to see if there is a causal link between being sedentary and these conditions and, if so, how it works, the researchers said.

One candidate is lipoprotein lipase, or LPL, an enzyme that plays a crucial role in breaking down fat within the body into useable forms. Recent research has shown that LPL activity was significantly lower in rats with restrained muscle activity — as low as one tenth of the levels of rats allowed to walk about.

The LPL level during such activity “was not significantly different from that of rats exposed to higher levels of exercise,” the scientists reported. “This stresses the importance of local muscle contraction per se, rather than the intensity of the contraction.”

These studies suggest that people should not only exercise frequently, but avoid sitting in one place for too long, they said.

Climbing stairs rather than using an elevator, taking five-minute breaks from a desk job, and walking when possible to do errands rather than driving were all recommended.

Source: The Times Of India

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Exercise ‘to Cut Cancer Death Risk’

You can cut your cancer death risk with just 30 minutes of walking daily, for a new study has revealed that physically fit people are less likely to die from the disease.

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Researchers at Karolinska Institute in Sweden have found that people who do at least half-an-hour of exercise everyday have a 34 per cent lower chance of being killed by cancer than those who do not.

“The study shows, for the first time, the effect that very simple and basic daily exercise such as walking or cycling has in reducing cancer death risk in middle-aged and elderly men,” lead researcher Prof Alicja Wolk said.

They monitored the health and exercise levels of over 40,000 men, aged between 45 and 79, for seven years to reach the conclusion, the British Journal of Cancer has reported.

During that time, 3,714 of the participants developed cancer and 1,153 died from their disease. The findings showed that exercise had a significant influence on cancer survival and a smaller impact on incidence.

In fact, men who walked or cycled at least 30 minutes a day were 34 per cent less likely to die from cancer than men who exercised less or not at all. The same activities led to only a five per cent reduction in cancer rates, a result which could be due to chance.

However, a more intensive programme of walking and cycling for between an hour and an hour-and-a-half a day was associated with a 16 per cent lower cancer incidence, the study found.

“This study gives us a clear indication that men who exercise are less likely to die from cancer,” The Daily Telegraph quoted Dr Lesley Walker of Cancer Research UK, which publishes the journal, as saying.

You may click to see:->Green Way

Sources: The Times Of India

Joint pain? It could be fluorosis

The next time you suffer from a persistent backache or an irritating stiff joint, don’t attribute it to long hours spent at the computer. It could well be the result of fluorosis, a disease thought to affect people in rural India with no access to safe drinking water. It’s time to include it in the long list of urban lifestyle diseases.

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While fluoride-rich water is perceived as a major cause for fluorosis, in reality, 50% of fluoride entry into the body is through food. Whether it’s a plate of chaat-papri, liberally sprinkled with black salt, canned fruit juices, black tea, masala powders or Hajmola tablets—all are equally responsible for increasing fluoride content in the body. Of course, regular consumption over a sustained period and the body’s immune system determine how badly the fluoride affects the system.

“Patients come to me with complaints of back-ache, joint pains, fatigue and low energy levels. When I test their drinking water, it’s perfect. But on testing their blood and urine samples, I find high fluoride content. Further examination reveals consumption of food rich in fluoride,” says Dr A K Susheela, executive director, Fluorosis Research and Rural Development Foundation (FRRDF). Since its setting up in 1997, number of urban patients, she says, has doubled.

A recent UNICEF study conducted in smaller towns and rural areas revealed that 66 million are afflicted by fluorosis in India. Out of this, nearly 6 million are children between 6-14 years. The disease is widespread—19 states and 203 districts are affected —but efforts to prevent it are negligible. Unfortunately, no study has been conducted in cities on the numbers affected through food.

“It’s necessary to first diagnose the disease. But no hospital is interested in buying the testing equipment. It costs only Rs one lakh. Is that too much for any hospital?” asks Susheela.

Till two years back, Bijoy De, an MNC executive, suffered from fluorosis symptoms—extreme fatigue, constant back and joint pains. When he visited Susheela, his haemoglobin level was 11. “I travel constantly and had little control over what I ate. On the advice of my doctor, I changed my food habits. Within 3-4 months, my haemoglobin level shot up to 13.”

Similarly, Kanpur-based Ratish Bajpai was constantly fatigued and had regular back pain. On testing, the blood serum level was eight times above normal, while the fluoride level in urine was 20 times higher. ” I had no idea about fluorosis. I vaguely knew it was something to do with water,” he says.

And that’s the level of awareness of most urban Indians—thanks to lack of knowledge among doctors and unavailability of fluorosis testing centres. Only two centres in the country, AIIMS and FRRDF, are equipped to test fluorosis. “As most doctors aren’t trained for the disease, it goes largely undiagnosed or misdiagnosed,” says Dr V B Bhasin, senior orthopaedic surgeon, Gangaram Hospital. In fact, many end up being treated for arthritis as the symptoms for both diseases are the same. In the past few years, Bhasin has had patients complaining of stiff joints and backaches.

When no other treatment works, he sends them for fluoride testing and most end up being positive. Affirms Dr P K Dave, chairman, Rockland Hospital, and a senior orthopaedic doctor, “In most cases, complaints of back pain have been traced to a high fluoride content in the body.”

Interestingly, fluorosis manifests itself slowly. The good news is that it can be easily prevented in the early stages. However, in the advanced stage, called skeletal fluorosis—when the vertebrae partially fuses and moving joints becomes difficult— there’s no cure.

“That’s why,” suggests Susheela, “it’s important not to ignore joint pains and backaches. It’s advisable to do a fluoride test whenever a backache or joint pain persists.”

Thankfully, awareness levels are rising, though slowly.

Source:The Times Of India

Obese diabetics at risk of kidney disease

Are you suffering from Type 1 diabetes? You better watch that weight around your waist. Researchers from the   University of Washington, Seattle, have found that adults with Type 1 diabetes who are obese, especially those who carry excess weight around the waist, are at an increased risk of developing kidney disease. In fact, according to the study that was presented at the recently concluded World Diabetes Congress, for every four-inch

increase in waist circumference, the risk of microalbuminuria    small amounts of the protein albumin in urine, the first sign of diabetic kidney disease  increased by 34%. Microalbuminuria is not only an important sign of kidney disease but also a marker of increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Dr Ian H de Boer from the university’s department of nephrology said,”For patients with Type 1 diabetes, obesity is an important risk factor for the development of kidney disease. Our study suggests that lifestyle interventions, such as exercise and diet, will be useful in preventing kidney and heart disease in this group of people.” The study will appear in
the January 2007 issue of the Journal of American Society of Nephrology.

According to the researchers, the risk of microalbuminuria was significantly higher for patients who were suffering from central obesity fat around the midsection.
The study says,”Weight gain and central obesity are associated with insulin resistance, hypertension and dyslipidemia in Type 1 diabetes.

These metabolic abnormalities are risk factors for kidney disease. Whether waist circumference is associated with microalbuminuria was examined among 1,279 participants who had Type 1 diabetes.”
“Over 93 of 1,105 participants with normal albumin excretion rate developed microalbuminuria over the 5.8 year period.

In conclusion, waist circumference predicts the subsequent development of microalbuminuria in Type 1 diabetes.”

Source:The Times Of India