June

chemicals 2New research shows that 50 chemicals people are exposed to daily, all of which are considered non-carcinogenic, may cause cancer when combined.

The series of studies which comprise the research, worked on by 174 scientists in 28 countries, considered links between 85 common chemicals thought not to cause cancer. Fifty were found to interact at ordinary environmental exposure levels to support cancer-related mechanisms. 

“This research backs up the idea that chemicals not considered harmful by themselves are combining and accumulating in our bodies to trigger cancer and might lie behind the global cancer epidemic we are witnessing,” said Dr. Hemad Yasaei, a cancer biologist at Brunel University London, in a press release. “We urgently need to focus more chemicals 3resources to research the effect of low dose exposure to mixtures of chemicals in the food we eat, air we breathe and water we drink.”

The Nova Scotia-based Getting To Know Cancer put together the task force of scientists for the first-of-its-kind look at the effects of combinations of common chemicals thought not to cause cancer. The organization gathered scientists two years ago as part of the Halifax Project, which created task forces of scientists researching the complexities of cancer and its causes.

William Goodson III, a senior scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center, said the results of the studies show not only chemicals 1that chemicals safe on their own are combining in the air to form mixtures that can cause cancer, but that the way chemicals are tested for safety needs to be changed.

“The way we’ve been testing chemicals — one at a time — is really quite out of date,” Goodson said. “Every day we are exposed to an environmental ‘chemical soup,’ so we need testing that evaluates the effects of our ongoing exposure to these chemical mixtures.”

Source: UPI

heart 3Men who slept badly were twice as likely to suffer a heart attack and up to four times as likely to have a stroke compared with those who slept well, according to a Russian study presented at EuroHeartCare.

“Sleep disorders are very closely related to the presence of cardiovascular diseases. However, until now there has not been a population based cohort study examining the impact of sleep disorders on the development of a heart attack or stroke,” lead investigator Valery Gafarov, MD, PhD, professor of cardiology at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Novosibirsk, said in a press release.

The study included 657 men ages 25 to 64 with no history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. They were enrolled in 1994 as part of the World Health Organization’s MONICA (multinational monitoring of trends and determinants in cardiovascular disease) project.sleep

Sleep quality was assessed at baseline with the MONICA-psychosocial interview sleep disturbances scale. Incidence of new cases of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke were determined at 5 years, 10 years, and 14 years of follow-up. The investigators used Cox proportional regression models to estimate hazard ratios.

Compared with men who rated their sleep as “good,” those who rated it “poor” or “very bad” had more than twice the risk of experiencing MI at 5 years.

This increased risk for MI was also seen at 10 years and at 14 years of follow-up.heart 2

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the men experiencing their first MI described their sleep as “poor” or “very bad.”

Compared with men who rated their sleep as “good,” those who rated it “poor” or “very bad” had nearly quadruple the risk of stroke at 5 years.

Source: Medpage Today

running 3Running marathons or completing other ultra-endurance events is not necessarily bad for the heart, although it could be. But first, a clarification: By standard definitions of exercise intensity, running or jogging is moderate or even vigorous exercise. During such exertion, the heart works hard to supply blood to working muscles and over time becomes stronger and somewhat larger.

Research has been unclear on whether these changes can become harmful. Multiple studies have shown that immediately after running a marathon, most racers show increased levels of a protein associated with cardiac damage. But those levels soon return to normal, with no lingering damage.

Years of prolonged and repeated endurance training and racing, however, might have more pronounced, lasting and running 2worrisome effects. A 2011 study of aging former Olympic runners and rowers from Britain, for instance, found that compared with healthy but unathletic men of the same age, the retired Olympians were disproportionately more likely to have scarring within their heart muscles. Similarly, in a 2013 study, people who had competed multiple times in a grueling, 56-mile cross-country ski race in Sweden had a much-higher-than-normal risk of developing heart arrhythmia within five years.

But these studies, although disquieting, “do not mean that it has suddenly become dangerous to exercise,” said Kasper Andersen, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden who led the study of skiers. In fact, an earlier study from his lab found that, over all, runningparticipants in the ski race had a below-average risk of premature death.

Even the Olympians with heart scarring seemed largely unaffected. They were running and competing well into their 60s and 70s, that study found. Conceivably, the researchers wrote, the Olympians’ cardiac changes, which would be undesirable in most people, were normal in lifelong endurance athletes.

At this point, scientists just do not know precisely how years of endurance training might affect the heart.

So the best advice for those who enjoy endurance training is “carry on as usual,” Dr. Andersen said. “But remember to listen to your body and seek a doctor if you experience any symptoms from the heart.”

Source: New York Times

The Presidential Healthcare Center uses cardiac imaging to screen for “Athletic Heart Syndrome”

Statin 3Statin use is associated with a significant reduction in cancer mortality, conclude two separate studies, one in women, and the other in men. Both were presented here at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2015 Annual Meeting.

Specifically, statin use was associated with a 22% reduction in deaths from various cancer types in women and a 55% reduction in deaths from bone/connective tissue cancers. The study in men looked at statin use together with the antidiabetes medication metformin and found a 40% reduction in prostate cancer mortality, with the effect more pronounced in men with obesity/metabolic syndrome.

As for how such an effect is achieved, the researchers speculate that statins interfere with cell growth and metastasis by blocking cholesterol production, thereby affecting molecular pathways and the inflammatory Statinsresponse.

The results in women were presented by Ange Wang, BSE, from Stanford University School of Medicine, in California.

Dr. Wang and colleagues examined data from the Women’s Health Initiative, a 15-year research program involving postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years who were enrolled between 1993 and 1998 at 40 centers in the United States.

They determined the association between patients’ never having used statins, current statin use, and past statin use, as well as the incidence and number of deaths from cancer among 146,326 women. The median follow-up period was 14.6 years.

The researchers took into account a number of potential confounding factors, including age, race/ethnicity, statins 2education, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, family history of cancer, and current healthcare provider.

Among the participants, there were 23,067 cases of incident cancer for which complete follow-up data were available. There were 7,411 all-cause deaths, including 5,837 deaths from cancer, 613 cardiovascular deaths, and 961 deaths from other causes. In all, 3,152 cancer deaths were included in the analysis, of which 708 were among current statin users and 2443 among patients who had never used statins.

Source: Medscape

 

nutsEating half a handful of nuts every day could substantially lower the risk of early death, a Dutch study suggests. Previous studies had already indicated a link with cardiovascular health, but this is the first to look at specific nuts and diseases. Maastricht University researchers found a 23% lower chance of death during the 10-year study in people eating at least 10g (0.3oz) of nuts or peanuts a day. There was no benefit for peanut butter, which is high in salt and trans fats. More than 120,000 Dutch 55-to-69-year-old men and women provided dietary and lifestyle information in 1986, and then their mortality rate was looked at 10 years later. The premature mortality risk due to cancer, diabetes, respiratory and neurodegenerative diseases was lower among the nut consumers.  There was an average 23% lower risk of 10-year mortality across all diseases, with a decrease of:

  • 45% for neurodegenerative disease
  • 39% for respiratory disease
  • 30% for diabetes

nuts 2Prof Piet van den Brandt, who led the study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, said: “It was remarkable that substantially lower mortality was already observed at consumption levels of 15g of nuts or peanuts on average per day.” The researchers had taken into account the mitigating factor that nut consumers ate more fruit and vegetables and that women who ate nuts were often leaner, and adjusted the results accordingly, Prof Van den Brandt told the BBC.

Source: BBC

FHThe Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee (EMDAC) of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the thumbs-up today to recommending, for the first time, approval for a new class of medications: proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors.

They voted 13 to 3 in favor of alirocumab (Praluent, FH 2Sanofi/Regeneron) for lowering LDL cholesterol in patients with hypercholesterolemia, citing likely benefit especially for patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH). Other groups predicted to get special benefit to include those at high CV risk or who don’t tolerate statins. Although there was a lot of debate without consensus about these latter groups, the vote just focused on whether the drug’s benefits exceeded its risks to support approval “in one or more patient populations.”

The biggest discussion of the day was whether the drug should be approved based only on its effect on LDL-C—even before its CV-outcomes trial has been completed. Many panel members, including chair Dr Robert J Smith (Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI), did not agree that LDL-C lowering is FH 3sufficient for establishing effectiveness for reducing CV risk. “I just don’t think it predicts clinical outcomes. I would need to see the clinical outcomes,” he said.

However, Smith was among the “yes” votes today, noting that patients with HeFH really need this drug—a point that came out throughout all discussions. During the public-hearing session, 14 of 16 speakers gave strong approval for the medication, with most sharing stories of how they and/or family members have struggled with this disorder.

Source: Medscape

liver 1As the severity of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) increases, so does the risk for death and cardiovascular disease, according to data from a large population study reported at the meeting sponsored by the European Association for the Study of the Liver.

There was a 50% increase in the adjusted all-cause morality rate when comparing patients who developed nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)liver 3 with those who had NAFLD (hazard ratio of 1.5).  The risk of death was also five times as high when comparing patients with NASH-related cirrhosis to those with NAFLD, with an adjusted hazard ratio of 5.1.

Heart failure (HF), atrial fibrillation (AF), type 2 diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease (CKD) rates were also increased in patients with NAFLD, compared with those in the healthy population.

“Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has got a strong association with cardiovascular disease; it may be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but that is still open to debate,” said study liver 4investigator Dr. Jake Mann, who is an academic clinical fellow in pediatrics at the University of Cambridge (England).

“What isn’t quite so clear is whether or not there is progressively increasing risk of cardiovascular comorbidities as you move from NAFLD to NASH to NASH cirrhosis,” he added at the meeting, which was sponsored by the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL).

Source: Family Practice News

bloodUsing less than a drop of blood, a new test can reveal nearly every virus a person has ever been exposed to, scientists reported on Thursday.

The test, which is still experimental, can be performed for as little as $25 and could become an important research tool for tracking patterns of disease in various populations, helping scientists compare the old and theblood 4 young, or people in different parts of the world.

It could also be used to try to find out whether viruses, or the body’s immune response to them, contribute to chronic diseases and cancer, the researchers said.

“I’m sure there’ll be lots of applications we haven’t even dreamed of,” blood 3said Stephen J. Elledge, the senior author of the report, published in the journal Science, and a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“That’s what happens when you invent technology — you can’t imagine what people will do with it,” Dr. Elledge said. “They’re so clever.”

The test can detect past exposure to more than 1,000 strains of viruses from 206 species — pretty much the entire human “virome,” meaning all the viruses known to infect people. The test works by detecting antibodies, highly specific proteins that the immune system has made in response to viruses.blood 2

Tried out in 569 people in the United States, South Africa, Thailand and Peru, the blood test found that most had been exposed to about 10 species of virus — mostly the usual suspects, like those causing colds, flu, gastrointestinal illness and other common ailments.

Source: New York Times

This test is not yet commercially available but our comprehensive physicals include testing for individual viral infections and inflammation.

Have you received these tests?  How else can you confirm that you’re truly healthy and will stay healthy for many more years to come? 

Use this list as your guide:

Liver, spleen, pancreas, gallbladder, kidneys screening
Blood Pressure Monitoring

Sleep Study
Cholesterol analysis & Blood clot risk
Coronary Heart Scan Calcium Scoring
Exercise Stress Testing

Brain MRI
Blood Count
Tumor marker tracking
PSA
Thyroid, Sex Hormones (e.g. Testosterone)
Infectious Disease (e.g. Lyme, Hepatitis, Sexually transmitted)
Genetic (Celiac Disease)
Virtual Colonoscopy
Pelvic and Genital Imaging (bladder, prostate, uterus, ovaries)care
Mammogram (3D Mammography)
Lung Imaging
Pulmonary Function Testing

Pap Smear
Bone Density Assessment
Dermatology Skin Screen

Hearing Assessment
Nutrition Counseling
Travel Medicine Consultations
Routine Vaccinations
Special Vaccinations 

 

The Presidential Healthcare Center makes convenience for you a top priority. 

Optional limousine service
Early (7 a.m.) appointments
Private Conference & Examination Suites
All Services performed on siteWashington Room
Priority Scheduling and Staff Escort throughout the facility
In office Phlebotomy & ultrasound
Barrier-Free, Extra Plush, Heated Exam Tables
Readily available above ground parking – and validation
Onsite Au Bon Pain – lunch provided after fasting
Completion of insurance claims for you with reimbursement directly back to you

The Presidential Suite at Sibley Hospital

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