Posts Tagged ‘mortality’

Can a Sense of Purpose Increase your Life Span?

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

logo1267406_mdA new study published in Psychological Science concluded if you feel you have a sense of purpose in life it helps you to live longer, no matter what age you are. The researchers said “Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose.”

Although previous studies have suggested that finding a purpose in life lowers the risk of death above and beyond other factors known to predict longevity, almost no previous studies evaluated whether or not the benefits of purpose vary over time, such as across different developmental periods or after important life transitions.  This study looked at that question.

Data from over 6,000 individuals focusing on their purpose in life were evaluated using questions such as “Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them.” They also looked at other psychosocial variables to gauge positive relations with others and their experience with positive and negative emotions.

Five hundred sixty nine of the 6,000 subjects died over the 14 year follow up period (about 9% of the sample). This group had reported lower purpose in life and lower positive relations than did the survivors. Great purpose in life consistently predicted lower mortality risk across the lifespan and showed the same benefits for young, middle aged, and older subjects across the follow up period. Interesting, purpose had similar benefits for adults regardless of retirement status, a known mortality risk  factor. The researchers reported that these longevity benefits of purpose in life were consistent even after other indicators of psychological well being such as positive relations and positive emotions were considered. Researchers said “These findings suggest that there’s something unique about finding  a purpose that seems to be leading to greater longevity.” Researchers current research is focusing on whetehr or not having a purpose might lead to a healthier lifestyle that influences longevity.

Is Running Better Than Walking for Breast Cancer Survival?

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

logo1267406_mdA new study published in the International Journal of Cancer concluded that exceeding the recommendations for walking )(2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week)  for breast cancer survivors may provide greater probability of survival and that running may be better than walking.

In the study 986  breast cancer survivors were followed and walkers and 13 of the 272 runners died of breast cancer over 9 years. 33 of the 714  analyzing the two groups together a risk of breast cancer mortalituy decreased an average of 24% per metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per day of exercise, where one MET hours equals a little less than a mile of brisk walking or about two-thirds of a mile of running.

Looking at the runners and walkers separately, there was significantly less mortality in those who ran than th0se who walked. The runners risk for breast cancer mortality decreased over 40% per MET hour per day and those that averaged over 2 and a quarter miles per day were about 95% lower risk for breast cancer mortality than those that did not meet the recommended for exercise. In contract, the walkers risk for breast cancer mortality decreased 5% per MET hour per day that was not significant.

Researche4rs cautioned that the numbers of subjects in the study were small so results should be viewed cautiously but do believe exceeding the recommendations for exercise do reduce risk of breast cancer mortality and than running may be better than walking. He said }”If I were a breast cancer survivor, I would certainly consider running or some other vigorous exercise over walking. and I wouldn’t just be doing the minimum, with the consequences and potential benefit being so great.”

Does Silica Pose a Risk of Lung Cancer?

Friday, December 20th, 2013

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A new study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians a researcher concluded that there are new developments in understanding the effects of silica and they call for action to reduce illnessand death from silica exposure at work including stronger regulations, heightened awareness and prevention and increased attention to early detection of silicosos and lung cancer using low dose CT scanning.

Some developments include publication of studies providing detailed exposure response data, enabling regulations based upon quantitative risk assessment and also studies that show those exposed to silica who do not have silicosis and who do not smoke still have increased rates of death from lung mortality.In additional low dose computer tomography scanning has proven to be an effective screening method for lung cancer and the author recommends this screening be offered to those exposed beginning at age 50 if they also have a 20 pack years of smoking.

The report says the low level silica exposure on beaches and in ambient air in general, does not seem to cause health effects. Rather it is the concentrated exposure occurring on the job, most often construction materials such as concrete, masonry. tile and rock.

The most effective methods for controlling occupational exposure is banning sandblasting, metal grinds for abrasive blasting, modifying procedures and equipment, and controlling dust transmission by using enclosures, air curtains, water spray, and ventilation techniques, and the use of personal protective equipment., .

Does Breast Cancer Screening Save Lives?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Does breast cancer screening save lives.  Yes says a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention that concluded that women who undergo screening decrease their risk of breast cancer by one-half. The study that was the largest in Australia and one of the largest in the world followed around 4,000 women aged 50 to 69  in Western Australia. Four hundred twenty seven women had died from breast cancer and 2,650 control women were still alive when the other women died. Comparing the screening attendance of the two groups they found  women in the group who died of breast cancer had a much lower screening attendance rate. These findings were consistent with those found in an earlier study from South Australia and numerous studies around the world showing an average estimate of 49% reduced risk of death. The researcher said “Sound research methods have been used in this study. I believe it is time to move on the debate about whether screening reduces mortality and to instead direct research resources to helping improve the program for women who choose to use it.”  “Early detection is the key to early treatment and the free BreastScreen program is the best health service available to detect breast cancers earlier in women aged 50-69 years.”

Will Smoking Cessation Reduce Mortality At An Older Age?

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

A report in the June 11 issue of the  Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that smoking is linked to increased mortality in older patients and smoking cessation is associated with reduced mortality in this population. Researchers said “We provide a thorough review and mega-analysis of studies assessing the impact of smoking on all-cause mortality in people 60 years and older, paying particular attention to the strength of the association by age, the impact of smoking cessation at older age, and factors that might specifically affect results of epidemiological studies on the impact of smoking in an older population.”

Seventeen studies from seven countries were selected that were published between 1987 and 2011. Follow up time in the studies ranged from 3 to 50 years and the size of study populations ranged from 863 to 877,243.  The researchers found an 83% increased relative mortality for current smokers and a 34% increased relative mortality for former smokers compared to those who never smoked. The authors said “In this review and mega-analysis on the association of smoking and an all-cause mortality at older age, current and former smokers showed an approximately 2-fold and 1.3 -fold risk for mortality, respectively.” “This review and mega-analysis demonstrates that the relative risk for death notably decreases with time since smoking cessation even in older age.”