Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cancer, has been on the rise over the past few decades as industrial production in the United States has expanded. Benzene is one chemical carcinogen linked to blood cancers. Catherine Bulka, from Emory University (Georgia, USA), and colleagues reviewed publicly available data from the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Census Bureau to analyze the geographic patterns of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases in the state of Georgia between 1999 and 2008. Specifically, the researchers examined the associations between new cases of lymphoma and the locations of facilitiessuch as petroleum refineries and manufacturing plantsthat released benzene into the surrounding air or water. Finding that that the metro-Atlanta region, Augusta, and Savannah had the highest incidences of non-Hodgkin lymphoma even when controlling for confounding factors, the team revealed that the incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was significantly greater than expected surrounding benzene release sites located in the metro-Atlanta area and surrounding one benzene release site in Savannah. Specifically, for every mile the average distance to benzene release sites increased, there was a 0.31% decrease in the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The study authors warn that: “[Non-Hodgkin lymphoma] incidence was significantly higher in census tracts that were closer, on average, to benzene release sites.”
Bulka C, Nastoupil LJ, McClellan W, Ambinder A, Phillips A, Ward K, Bayakly AR, Switchenko JM, Waller L, Flowers CR. “Residence proximity to benzene release sites is associated with increased incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” Cancer. 2013 Jul 29.
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Abundant in the amino acid, l-Citrulline, watermelon juice can relieve sore muscles.
The blood cancer non-Hodgkin lymphoma occurs at greater incidence in relation to proximity near petroleum refineries and manufacturing plants.
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Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:
• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.
• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.
• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.