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Waistlines Continue to Expand

Posted Jul 23 2013 10:08pm

Characterized by central obesity, hypertension, and adverse glucose and insulin metabolism, Metabolic Syndrome is a condition associated with increased risk of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Hiram Beltran-Sanchez, from Harvard University (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues report that while fewer Americans met diagnostic criteria for Metabolic Syndrome, more now wrestle with abdominal obesity and elevated blood sugar (fasting hyperglycemia).  The researchers  analyzed data from six 2-year cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES): 1999 to 2000 through 2009 to 2010, with the cumulative study sample involving 10,814 participants.  Whereas rates of hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, and low HDL declined in 2009-2010, waistlines -- particularly women's -- continued to expand, such that more than half of adults met the diagnostic criterion for obesity by 2009 to 2010. And the prevalence of hyperglycemia increased by 65%, so that by the last 2 years of the study period, a fifth of all US adults had elevated fasting glucose.  The study authors warn that: “The increasing prevalence of abdominal obesity, particularly among females, highlights the urgency of addressing abdominal obesity as a healthcare priority.”

Hiram Beltran-Sanchez, Michael O. Harhay, Meera M. Harhay, Sean McElligott.  “Prevalence and trends of Metabolic Syndrome in the adult US population, 1999-2010.”  J American College of Cardiology, 27 June 2013.

  
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
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.

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