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Cardiometabolic Risk Factors More Prominent at Younger Ages

Posted May 04 2013 10:08pm
Posted on May 1, 2013, 6 a.m. in Demographics Cardio-Vascular Diabetes Weight and Obesity

Metabolic risks for cardiovascular disease, such as excess weight and hypertension, are becoming more prevalent at younger ages. Gerben Hulsegge, from the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (The Netherlands), and colleagues studied disease prevalence over time in four 10-year cohorts of Dutch adults, comparing the ages at which risk factors first appeared. They termed changes in these 10-year cohorts "generation shifts." Participants were recruited in four waves between 1987 and 2007, and stratified according to whether they were in their 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s at enrollment.  The first wave included 12,405 individuals, while the three subsequent waves included 6,113, 4,916, and 4,520 participants, respectively. During 16 years of follow-up, increases were seen in all generations in metabolic risk factors, the researchers found. For instance, among men in their 40s at baseline, 55% were overweight, but a decade later this had risen to 63%. For men in their 30s in the baseline generation, 4% were obese. But 10 years later, the proportion of obese men in their 30s had grown to 11%.  In addition, among men in their 30s at baseline, 18% were hypertensive, a figure that rose to 33% in the subsequent generation.  Observing that: “The lifelong exposure to especially obesity will increase,” the study authors warn that: “As a consequence, more elderly of the future will develop overweight-related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

Hulsegge G, Susan H, Picavet J, Blokstra A, Nooyens AC, Spijkerman AM, van der Schouw YT, Smit HA, Verschuren WM.  “Today's adult generations are less healthy than their predecessors: generation shifts in metabolic risk factors: the Doetinchem Cohort Study.”  Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2013 Apr 10.

  
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Tip #156 - Social Ties May Slow Memory Decline
Staying connected with family and friends can beneficially impact memory as we age. Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA) researchers studied 16,638 men and women, ages 50 and over, to assess the impact of social integration on changes in memory during a six-year period. The team found that the study participants with high social integration at the start of the study encountered slower rates of memory decline over time, as compared to the less socially integrated subjects. Memory among the least socially integrated declined at twice the rate as that of the most socially integrated.

Among men, social activity in midlife may slash the risk of dementia. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Maryland, USA) studied 147 male twin pairs for 28 years. Among the twins, those who participated in social activities at home, visited with family and friends, and engaged in club activities and hobbies were less apt to develop dementia.

Be sure to stay in-touch with loved ones on a regular basis. Your network of family and friends not only provides moral support and encouragement, it might also help delay a declining memory.

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