Socializing has been linked to a lower chance of dying young, among other health benefits. However, how much socialization might prolong one's life? On March 6, 2023, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health published a sizable Chinese study online that suggests—possibly not at all. Researchers assessed the well-being, way of life, and self-reported social engagement of almost 28,000 individuals (average age: 89) whose survival was monitored for a mean of five years or until they passed away. People lived longer during the first five years of life, the more socialized they were. The people who socialized daily, weekly, monthly, or infrequently all lived longer than the previous group.
Recent research has reignited the discussion on the impact of alcohol on health. The question remains: is moderate drinking beneficial for your heart, or should you abstain as you get older?
The answer is not straightforward. "There's solid evidence that moderate drinkers who have one to two drinks per day tend to live longer," says Eric Rimm, a professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. However, it's still unclear whether this longevity is directly linked to alcohol, other lifestyle factors, or a combination of both.
A new study suggests that women who suffer from migraine headaches prior to becoming pregnant may be at greater risk for pregnancy complications that could endanger their health or that of their unborn child.
The Harvard-led research, which was published online by Neurology on January 19, 2023, analysed 20 years' worth of data from Nurses Health Research II, which included 30,555 pregnancies among 19,694 nurses in the United States. The number of women who reported being diagnosed with migraine, as well as the form of migraine, were evaluated by the researchers. In addition, participants reported whether they had experienced medical complications during pregnancy.
The Impact of Junk Food on Deep Sleep: How Your Diet Affects Restful Nights
Are you looking to improve the quality of your sleep? It might be time to reconsider your junk food habits. Recent research has revealed that consuming an unhealthy diet high in processed foods can have a detrimental effect on deep sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep. This particular stage of sleep plays a crucial role in the release of growth hormone, which aids in the repair and development of muscles, bones, and other tissues. Additionally, deep sleep contributes to enhanced cognitive function and memory.
A study, published online on May 28, 2023, in the prestigious journal Obesity, examined the sleep patterns of 15 healthy men with regular sleep routines, averaging seven to nine hours per night. These participants were divided into two groups: one consumed a healthy diet, while the other followed an unhealthy diet for a week. Although both diets provided the same number of calories tailored to each individual's daily needs, the unhealthy diet contained higher levels of sugar and saturated fat, along with a significant portion of processed foods.
New research suggests that individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The study, conducted in Sweden, examined the medical records of over 5.4 million people without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. The findings revealed that 38% of those with ADHD were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, compared to 24% of individuals without ADHD. The increased risk remained even after accounting for other factors that contribute to heart problems, such as obesity, sleep issues, and heavy smoking. Surprisingly, the study also found that the use of medication for ADHD did not impact the elevated risk. The authors of the study recommend that individuals with ADHD be closely monitored for signs of heart disease. The findings were published in the October 2022 edition of World Psychiatry.
New research suggests that consuming more foods rich in magnesium could improve brain health, particularly in women. The study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, involved over 6,000 adults aged 40 to 73 in the UK. Participants completed an online survey multiple times over 16 months, which allowed researchers to calculate their average daily magnesium intake based on their consumption of various magnesium-rich foods such as leafy greens, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains. MRI imaging was used to measure participants' brain volumes. The findings revealed that individuals who consumed more than 550 milligrams of magnesium per day had larger brain volumes, equivalent to a brain age approximately one year younger by the age of 55, compared to those who consumed about 350 milligrams of magnesium daily. These effects were more pronounced in women compared to men. The researchers noted that less age-related brain shrinkage is associated with better brain function and a reduced risk of dementia in the future
Similar brain changes are observed in individuals with obesity and those with Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent analysis. The study, published on January 31, 2023, in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, involved a review of brain scans from over 1,300 participants. Among them were 341 individuals with Alzheimer's, 341 individuals with obesity, and 682 individuals without either condition. The scans revealed comparable thinning in brain regions associated with learning, memory, and judgment in both the Alzheimer's and obesity groups. While cognitive tests taken by obese participants, defined as having a body mass index of 30 or higher, did not show evident mental deficits, the researchers acknowledged that these tests might not capture subtle changes in thinking abilities related to brain alterations.
According to a new study, military veterans who participated in home-based cardiac rehabilitation were 36% less likely to pass away within four years than those who chose not to participate. Cardiac rehab is a specialized program of education and exercise that can be carried out at home or in a medical facility to assist patients in recovering from heart-related conditions.
It's "buyer beware" when it comes to direct-to-consumer (DTC) men's health clinics because many of them provide pricey treatments that aren't backed by research and don't have the necessary medical oversight, according to a research study that was published online on February 1, 2023, by Urology.
Researchers found 233 DTC men's health clinics. These clinics provided erectile dysfunction treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, penile shock wave therapy, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), and penile shock wave therapy. The criteria for utilizing TRT, however, are still up for debate, and the majority of clinics did not adhere to established testing and diagnosis procedures for low testosterone levels, according to the study. Penile shock wave therapy and PRP should only be used in clinical trial settings, they warned, as their efficacy is still being investigated.
The FDA released a list of specific sexual enhancement products in May that may contain undeclared substances that represent a serious health risk to users. These products, which are available over the counter and online, make claims about improving testosterone levels, preventing erectile dysfunction, and increasing stamina.
Many of these goods, including some that are present in prescription medications, have active drug components that are not stated on the product labels, according to FDA testing. The FDA warns that these products could have potentially harmful interactions with other drugs or dietary supplements.