Monday, November 25, 2013

Diabetes Or Hypertension Link To Higher Sleep Apnea Risk

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. It is a potentially serious disorder since people with OSA are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease if it is not appropriately treated. During OSA, the sudden decline in blood oxygen levels would raise the blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. Besides cardiovascular disease, people with OSA can also have other complications including daytime fatigue and eye problems.

During the 27th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC (APSS) held between June 1 and 5, 2013 at the Baltimore Convention Center, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is advising people with Type-2 diabetes or hypertension to be evaluated for sleep apnea by a board-certified sleep medicine physician.

Patients suffering from Type-2 diabetes and hypertension are at much higher risk for OSA, as shown by overwhelming clinical evidence, Research also indicated that treating OSA could help manage these 2 disorders, including improved insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and cholesterol.

As revealed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25.6 million Americans aged 20 years or older suffer from diabetes. 90 to 95 percent of these patients are Type-2 diabetics. 7 in 10 people with Type-2 diabetes also have OSA, and it was found that the severity of the sleep disorder directly affects the glucose control.

Treating sleep apnea in diabetics could not only lower their nighttime glucose levels and insulin sensitivity but also provide them with benefits of improved sleep unrelated to diabetes, including better alertness during the day and improved memory as well as cognitive function.

According to a recent study by the University of Chicago, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of sleep apnea might have an effect comparable to prescribed oral diabetes medications.

In the study, average 24-hour glucose levels were reduced and post-breakfast glucose response was improved in Type-2 diabetics with OSA, with just one week of optimal CPAP. CPAP therapy also reduced dawn phenomenon, an early-morning surge in blood sugar in people with Type-2 diabetes, by 45 percent.

About 67 million Americans have hypertension, or 1 in every 3 adults. 30 to 40 percent of these patients also have sleep apnea. Approximately 80 percent of those who do not respond to hypertensive drugs have sleep apnea.

The nighttime and daytime blood pressure will decline with appropriate sleep apnea treatment. For patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea, the treatment would give them the greatest improvement. Reducing blood pressure would naturally lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve the overall health.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Less Salt More Potassium For Stroke Prevention!

About 98 percent of Americans consume an average 3436 milligrams of salt (sodium) daily, which is more than twice the recommended amount for a healthy diet, according to American Heart Association (AHA).

Higher intake of sodium is tied to a higher risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure) that would eventually lead to heart disease and stroke, as suggested by many studies. However, little is known about that lower potassium consumption could also lead to high blood pressure.

Several studies published on April 4, 2013 in the ‘British Medical Journal’ (BMJ reported that less salt and more potassium in a person's diet could lower blood pressure and hence the risk of stroke. In the first study, researchers from the Queen Mary University of London and Affiliated Hospital of LuZhou Medical College, China argued that while the current recommendations to lower salt intake from 9-12 to 5-6 grams per day will have a major effect on blood pressure, a further reduction of 3 grams per day will have a greater effect and should become the long-term objective for population salt intake.

Using data collected from 34 trials consisting of 3230 participants, researchers examined people with hypertension and those with normal blood pressure. The results showed that notable decreases in blood pressure in both groups after 4 or more weeks of modest salt intake. The change in the diet did lower their risk of heart attack, heart failure as well as stroke.

The second study by a group of scientists from Britain, Germany and Switzerland found that lower salt intake reduced blood pressure yet had no negative impact on hormone levels, blood lipids, or kidney function, as shown by high quality evidence. A total of 56 reports were analyzed, 37 of which were of high quality. A reduction in sodium intake could lower blood pressure in kids, as demonstrated by moderate quality evidence.

Lower sodium intake was also linked to a reduced risk of stroke and fatal coronary heart disease in adults. The totality of evidence suggested that most people will likely benefit from lowering sodium intake.

Researchers from Britain and Switzerland examined data in the third study on potassium intake and health from 33 reports consisting of 128,644 healthy volunteers. The high quality evidence showed that higher potassium intake reduced blood pressure in people with hypertension but had no adverse effect on hormone levels, kidney function, or blood lipids in adults. Meanwhile, moderate quality evidence also indicated that higher potassium intake was linked to a 24 percent lower risk of stroke.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Link Between Restaurant Meal And Weight Gain

Since 1980, the number of obese American adults has doubled to more than 78 million, according to an estimate made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People who are obese are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Meanwhile, obesity costs the American economy an estimated $147 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity.

Unhealthy diet and sedentary have been accused to be 2 of the important factors that cause the obesity epidemic. Fast food consumption is definitely linked to disease risk. However, the disease-promoting potential of meals from sit-down restaurants has not given enough attention.

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto found that a single meal at a North American restaurant might contain more than half the calories an average person needs for the entire day. The findings were published in the ‘Journal Of The American Medical Association’ (JAMA).

Hundreds of meals at 19 sit-down chain restaurants were sampled and it was found that average breakfast, lunch and dinner meals each contained 1128 calories, or 56 percent of the daily 2000-calorie recommendation.

Salt, fat, saturated fat and cholesterol levels were also found to be extremely high in these meals, which contained 2269 milligrams of salt or 151 percent of the daily-recommended amount for most adults (1500 milligrams), 89 percent of the daily value for fat, 83 percent of the daily value for saturated fat, and 60 percent of the daily value for cholesterol.

In another paper also published in JAMA, researchers from Tufts University focused on dishes available at 33 small independent and small chain restaurants in the Boston area, and samples were taken from Mexican, American, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Greek and Vietnamese restaurants.

Their findings showed that, on average, these meals contained 1,327 calories, which significantly exceeds the estimated energy needs of an individual adult at a single meal. Meanwhile, the researchers discovered that more than 75 percent of the meals contained at least 1000 calories and nearly 8 percent of meals contained 2000 calories. And surprisingly, they also found that calorie content was nearly 50 percent greater than that of popular meals from the largest national chain restaurants.

Italian meals had the highest average calories per meal (1,755), followed by American (1,494 calories) and Chinese (1,474 calories). Vietnamese meals had the least number of calories on average (922), and Japanese meals had the second lowest (1,027).

Monday, November 04, 2013

Obese Men Likely Hyperactive During Childhood!

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders for kids aged between 3 and 17. It can sometimes continue through adolescence and adulthood. The average age of onset is 7 years old.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States revealed that nearly 7 percent of children and teenagers have been diagnosed with ADHD and boys are more than twice as likely to have such disorder as girls are.

Obese men are likely hyperactive during their childhood, according to a recent study. Researchers from New York University found that boys who were diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school were more likely to grow up to be obese adults than those who do not have the condition.

Their findings, which were published on May 20, 2013 in ‘Pediatrics’, indicated that participants with a history of ADHD were 8.6 kilos heavier than those without ADHD after surveying 2 groups of 41-year-old men.

Data was drawn from 207 white boys with ADHD at around 8 years old. They were followed as they grew up. Another group of teenage boys without ADHD were added to the study10 years later. These boys were similar to the original participants.

At the age of 41, 111 men from each group were still in the study and were asked to report their weight. It was found that men with a history of ADHD weighed 96.6 kilos on average and 41.4 percent of them were obese. In comparison, men without ADHD weighed 88 kilos on average and 21.6 percent of them were obese.

Some of the common symptoms of ADHD, such as lack of impulse control, difficulty paying attention and poor planning skills, can lead to unhealthy food choices and irregular eating patterns that continue into adulthood. These behaviors could be responsible for the weigh gain.

While the findings were based on male participants, the researchers suspected that the results could well hold true for women.

It is hoped that the new findings will prompt parents to help their children, especially boys, develop healthy eating habits, and they should pay special attention to the change in weight over time.

Being a global health concern, obesity is the culprit for many chronic diseases including Type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.