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Optimistic Women Live Longer, Healthier

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Being an optimist really is good for your health, especially if you’re a woman, says a new research.

The research, reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, has found that women who think positive have a lower risk of developing heart disease or dying from any cause compared to pessimistic women.

Researchers also reported that women with a high degree of cynical hostility – harboring hostile thoughts toward others or having a general mistrust of people – were at higher risk of dying; however, their risk of developing heart disease was not altered.

“As a physician, I’d like to see people try to reduce their negativity in general,” said Hilary A. Tindle, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

“The majority of evidence suggests that sustained, high degrees of negativity are hazardous to health,” the expert added.

In the largest study to date to prospectively study the health effects of optimism and cynical hostility in post-menopausal women, researchers found that optimistic women, compared to pessimistic women, had a 9% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14% lower risk of dying from any cause after more than eight years of follow-up.

Furthermore, women with a high degree of cynical hostility, compared to those with a low degree, were 16% more likely to die during eight years of follow-up.

“Prior to our work, the strongest evidence linking optimism and all-cause mortality was from a Dutch cohort, showing a more pronounced association in men,” Tindle said.

Tindle’s team studied 97,253 postmenopausal women (89,259 white, 7,994 black) ages 50 to 79 from the Women’s Health Initiative. The women were free of cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) at the start of the study.

Using the Life Orientation Test Revised Questionnaire to measure optimism and cynical hostility, researchers categorized scores into quartiles: high scores of 26 or more were considered optimists; scores of 24-25 were considered mid-high; scores of 22-23 were considered mid-low; and scores below 22 were considered pessimists.

Optimism was defined as answering “yes” to questions like, “In unclear times, I usually expect the best.” Pessimism was defined as answering “yes” to questions like, “If something can go wrong for me, it will.”

Source:The Times Of India

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News on Health & Science

Breastfeeding Cuts Mums’ Heart Attack, Stroke risk

It is known that breastfeeding is important for babies’ health. But now, a new study has shown that nursing is equally vital for  mothers’ health.

University of Pittsburgh researchers said that the longer women breastfed, the lower their risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, so it’s vitally important for us to know what we can do to protect ourselves. We have known for years that breastfeeding is important for babies’ health; we now know that it is important for mothers’ health as well,” said Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology, and obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

According to the study, postmenopausal women who breastfed for at least one month had lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all known to cause heart disease.

Women who had breastfed their babies for more than a year were 10 percent less likely to have had a heart attack, stroke, or developed heart disease than women who had never breastfed.

Dr Schwarz and colleagues found that the benefits from breastfeeding were long-term and an average of 35 years had passed since women enrolled in the study had last breastfed an infant.

“The longer a mother nurses her baby, the better for both of them. Our study provides another good reason for workplace policies to encourage women to breastfeed their infants,” Schwarz said.

The findings are based on 139,681 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative study of chronic disease, initiated in 1994.

The study is published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Sources:The Times Of India

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Older women don’t benefit from HRT

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The findings of a study has confirmed the theory that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does not benefit older women, and should not be prescribed to them in an attempt to prevent chronic conditions such as heart disease.

In 1999, boffins undertook the Women’s International Study of long Duration Oestrogen after Menopause (WISDOM) trial to assess the long-term risks and benefits of HRT after the menopause.

It was stopped after a 2002 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trial found that women many years past menopause that were taking HRT had more heart attacks and strokes than those not taking the HRT.

The finding resulted in millions of women the world over discontinuing with the therapy, reports the BMJ.

Now however, boffins believe that the risk of heart attack and stroke only applies to older women, and not younger women in early menopause, for whom it remains a safe short term treatment to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. These findings are based on the WISDOM trial that have recently been published.

As a part of their study, the researchers conducting the WISDOM trial identified 5,692 healthy women in the UK, Australia and New Zealand with an average age of 63 years and 15 years after the menopause.

Women who had not had a hysterectomy were split at random into two groups.

One group of women was given a daily dose of combined hormone therapy (oestrogen and progestogen) while the other was the control group.

Women who had had a hysterectomy were further split between combined hormone treatment, oestrogen only and a placebo.

The volunteers were then monitored for an average of one year, with main outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporotic fractures, breast cancer and deaths being recorded.

The researchers found that there was a significant increase in the number of major cardiovascular events women in the combined hormone therapy group when they were compared to the placebo group.

However, they also noted that the there was not much significant difference in the two groups in rates for cerebrovascular disease, breast or other cancers, fractures and overall deaths.

The study thus reinforced experts’ belief that

Source:The Times Of India

Ailmemts & Remedies


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Menopauseis a natural phenomena. Because every woman experiences menopause differently, The actual definition of menopause is that your period ceases, but your health care professional won’t know for sure it was your final period until a full 12 months have passed.

Natural menopouse vs Surgical menopause

Natural menopause:
It occurs gradually when your ovaries naturally stop producing the hormone estrogen. That’s when fertility ends. So if you’re between 45 and 55, menopause may be on your radar. Of course, it can happen earlier or later, but the average age is 51.

Surgical menopause:
It occurs when the ovaries are removed, which is often performed as part of a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure where they remove part or all of your uterus and possibly your ovaries. When you have your ovaries removed, menopause begins immediately, because your ovaries are no longer producing estrogen. If you have not had your ovaries removed during a hysterectomy, you will experience menopause naturally.

Something you’ve probably heard a lot about in the news these days is perimenopause, which is a prelude to menopause and can last several years. These are the years when estrogen production from the ovaries starts to decline and symptoms, such as hot flashes, may begin to appear. This is a wise time to check with your doctor so that you’re prepared for menopause.

Safety Informations:

Thousands of women seeking relief from night sweats, hot flashes, and other menopausal symptoms. Many women experience menopausal symptoms and may not know that there are treatment options available to help them.

Fortunately, there are options to help you treat these symptoms. One of the most effective FDA–approved options for treating menopausal symptoms is hormone therapy. It has been proven to help relieve moderate to severe menopausal symptoms by providing you with the estrogen your ovaries no longer produce on their own. And, as an added benefit, it helps protect against bone loss that can lead to postmenopausal osteoporosis.

There are a variety of things a woman can do to help with symptom relief. In many cases, modification in diet and exercise can provide a basis for a healthy approach to menopause. Additionally, prescription products, such as hormone therapy, or nonprescription products, such as alternative remedies, are options for consideration.
Much of the confusion surrounding the safety of hormone therapy comes from reports on a major study called the WHI or the Women’s Health Initiative. What many people don’t realize is that this study was set up to see if there are other uses for hormone therapy, like improving heart health. It was not designed to evaluate the proven benefits of hormone therapy for the relief of hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.

Important Safety Information
Hormone therapy isn’t right for all women, and it doesn’t prevent heart disease. Hormone therapy may increase your chance of heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, blood clots, or dementia, and should be taken at the lowest effective dose for the shortest time based on your goals and risks. If you have a uterus, estrogens increase the risk of uterine cancer. Adding a progestin greatly reduces this risk. The use of estrogens and progestins should be reevaluated regularly with your health care professional. If you’re not having symptoms, non-estrogen treatments should be considered before starting therapy to prevent bone loss.

Health Alert

Reduce Sodium Intake, Reduce Heart Disease

Almost everything we eat contains at least a little sodium, although many foods, especially  the processed variety, contain way too much. Our bodies only need about 500 milligrams (mg)of sodium a day; although current dietary recommendations allow for 2,000 to 4,000 mg (1-2 teaspoons of salt), statistics show that the average adult consumes almost double that amount on a daily basis.

Limiting your sodium intake can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, especially if you are overweight, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.Researchers estimated dietary sodium intake in 2,688 overweight subjects and 6,797 nonoverweight subjects, then assessed the incidence of and/or death from cardiovascular disease over 19 years of follow-up.

Results: Among overweight participants, a relatively small increase in sodium intake was
associated with substantial increases in disease risk: a 32% higher risk of stroke; a 44%
higher risk of heart disease; a 61% higher risk of death from heart disease; and a 39%
higher risk of death from all causes. Dietary sodium intake was not significantly associated
with cardiovascular disease risk in nonoverweight participants.

If you already have high blood pressure or a developing heart condition, restricting your
sodium intake is even more imperative. Your doctor can give you more information on sodium and provide nutritional guidelines suitable to your specific needs.