Marketing Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy Comes Under Suspicion
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Is it normal aging or low testosterone?
This is the question being asked by government researchers, specifically, the National Institute on Aging, which has seen big advertising dollars spent pharmaceutical companies hoping to turn old age into a treatable disease.
There is no real agreement on what the effects of low testosterone as one ages has on the body.
The normal range of 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter fluctuates during the day and what seems low for one individual produces no adverse affects in another.
Unknown side affects, and dubious claims made by research funded by drug makers calls into question the validity of treatment claims.
Baby boomers are also pushing an industry to supply the “fountain of youth” when real vitality is better obtained through lifestyle choices than through medicine.
Adding to the confusion over what defines “low testosterone,” there’s not much understanding of whether testosterone replacement therapy actually improves men’s symptoms. Evidence of the benefits of testosterone is mixed, and the potential health risks are serious. The largest study conducted to date, a 2008 trial involving 230 patients in the Netherlands, found no improvement in muscle strength, cognitive thinking, bone density or overall quality of life among men taking testosterone. Muscle mass increased 1.2 percent, but not enough to improve physical mobility.
The National Institute on Aging is currently conducting an 800-man trial to definitively answer whether testosterone therapy improves walking ability, sexual function, energy, memory and blood cell count in men 65 years and older. But those results aren’t expected until 2014.
In addition to concerns about testosterone’s effectiveness, the long-term side effects of the hormone are not entirely understood because most trials to date have only followed patients for a few months. But the most serious risks include heart problems and prostate cancer. In fact, all testosterone drugs carry a warning that the hormone should not be given to men who have a personal or family history of prostate cancer.
Posted in: Doctors, Quality Control, Research, Resources, Wellness
Tags: big pharmaceutical companies, heart attack, men's health, National Institute on Aging, prostate cancer, public health, public safety, safety of testosterone replacement, Testosterone, testosterone replacement therapy
High Blood Pressure Still Not Managed Very Well
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The CDC has done a great job of making the public aware of the dangers of hypertension yet many don’t make the changes necessary to keep their high blood pressure under control.
High blood pressure quadruples the risk of a death from stroke and triples it for heart disease. So the CDC is pushing for more action.
Previously, public health officials and groups in the private sector unveiled Million Hearts, a campaign to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. One plank of that plan is to improve the proportion of people with controlled blood pressure to 65 percent from 46 percent.
So what will it take to achieve a goal like that? The CDC has some ideas.
Take the blood pressure medicines you’ve been prescribed.
Lose weight and stop smoking.
Measure and keep track of your blood pressure between doctor visits.
Simple lifestyle changes like consuming less salt and sodium and sugar along with maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise go a long way toward keeping your blood pressure down.
Hypertension is a contributing factor to stroke, and heart attack.
Study Says,Too Many Angioplasties
Overuse of angioplasty procedures have come under review.
Aside from the expense there is the issue of risk from an invasive surgical procedure.
The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and other professional organizations have published guidelines to help doctors determine whether patients are good candidates for the procedure — based on their symptoms and heart test results, for example.
For patients with severe chest pain or who have recently had a heart attack, the procedure is nearly always recommended.
But for people without such an urgent need, medications such as blood thinners and statins can sometimes be a better approach.
Prevention is the medicine and healthy lifestyle choices can help you avoid unnecessary invasive procedures.
Men Who Cheat More Likely To Suffer And Die From Heart Attack
Just one more reason to remain faithful; your health!
Cheaters often have affairs with younger women and may use drugs or alcohol to “keep up” with their partners.
The added stress of deception causes physical symptoms, as well.
The researchers — from the University of Florence — examined the medical literature related to cheating by searching for “unfaithfulness,” “extramarital affairs,” “infidelity” and “men.” Reliable statistics about cheating are hard to find because most people claim to be morally opposed to cheating and don’t chat to scientists about it. The authors report that anywhere from 15 to 25 percent to as many as 30 to 50 percent of men cheat at least once in their lives. Then the researchers looked at a variety of physical and mental health factors and the rates they occur in both monogamous and un-monogamous men.
Although he did not participate in the study Dr. Marc Gillinov, a heart surgeon at The Cleveland Clinic and co-author of the book “Heart 411,” which looks at cases of sudden coital death, among other cardiac events concludes that many of the anecdotal evidence is indeed based on truth.
Women More Likely To Die Of Heart Attack Than Men
More young women die of heart attack than men of the same age.
One problem is that women don’t present with the typical symptoms of heart attack.
Nausea, sweating, jaw pain and back pain are the more common heart attack symptoms that women experience.
Often, women dismiss these symptoms and take longer to seek care which delays treatment leading to higher mortality.
The study involved 1.4 million patients who experienced a heart attack between 1994 and 2006. It found that 42 percent of women arrived at the hospital without chest pain, compared to 30.7 percent of men.
Of those hospitalized, 14.6 percent of women died, compared to 10.3 percent of men. The differences between the sexes were more pronounced in patients aged under 55 and faded away by the age of 75.
Stem Cells May Be The Answer to Fixing Broken Hearts
The potential success of this research could hold a lot of promise for the millions of Americans who suffer from heart disease each and every year, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.
In a ground-breaking study that may change how heart attacks are treated, Dr. Eduardo Marban and his team used stem cells to re-grow damaged heart muscle. In the 17 patients who received the therapy, Marban measured an average 50 percent reduction in the size of the scar tissue
“One of the holy grails in medicine has been the use of medicine to achieve regeneration,” Marban said. “Patients that were treated not only experienced shrinkage of their scars, but also new growth of their heart muscle, which is very exciting.”
Americans Are Consuming Too Much Salt
It seems that Americans are getting too much sodium in their diets.
Excess sodium raises blood pressure and makes it difficult to lose weight.
Hypertension can lead to heart attack and stroke so it is worth monitoring your diet to eliminate excess salt.
Currently, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends the average individual should consume a limit of 2,300 milligrams per day. But the average person’s actual sodium consumption per day – 3,300 milligrams, according to the report. And that doesn’t include salt added at the table.
Since sodium acts a preservative it is found in many processed foods.
Breads, rolls, lunch meats and pizza are just some of the worst culprits contributing to excessive sodium in our daily diets.
Murder is No Longer a Leading Cause of Death in The U.S.
A respiratory illness called pneumonitis which is seen mainly in people 75 and older, has supplanted homicide as a leading cause of death in the U.S.
Death rates increased for Alzheimer’s disease, which is the nation’s sixth-leading killer.
Also increased are, Kidney disease (No. 8), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (No. 12), Parkinson’s disease (No. 14) and pneumonitis.
U.S. life expectancy for a child born in 2010 was about 78 years and 8 months, up about a little more than one month from life expectancy for 2009.
Heart disease and cancer remain the top killers, accounting for nearly half the nation’s more than 2.4 million deaths in 2010. But the death rates from them continued to decline.
Deaths rates for five other leading causes of death also dropped in 2010, including stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, flu/pneumonia and blood infections.
Aspirin Therapy Under Review
An aspirin a day used to be the recommendation for stroke and heart attack patients for preventative measures.
However the risk of heavy internal bleeding is worse than the potential benefits, especially to healthy people.
The message seems to be that aspirin therapy causes more harm than it’s worth.
Currently, U.S. guidelines all recommend aspirin for primary prevention as long as the benefits outweigh the harms, an equation that depends on baseline risk. This advice is backed by an editorial accompanying the new report.
Posted in: Health Care Policy, Quality Control, Research, Wellness
Tags: aspirin, aspirin therapy, aspirin to prevent cancer, aspirin to prevent heart attack, aspirin to prevent stroke, cancer prevention, heart attack, internal bleeding caused by aspirin, side affects of aspirin therapy, Stroke
Be Aware of Heart Attack and Stroke Symptoms
Stroke and heart attack symptoms can be similar and both conditions require immediate action.
In a heart attack, the longer the heart stops pumping blood, the faster your internal organs begin to die. During a stroke, the longer your brain is deprived of oxygen-rich blood, the more brain cells are damaged beyond repair. The bottom line is, whether it’s a stroke or a heart attack, the longer it takes to get medical assistance, the greater the chance of permanent damage or death.
Timing is critical for both events, and any initial symptoms need to be reported immediately!
Unfortunately both conditions can strike without warning, meaning strokes and heart attacks happen with virtually no symptoms at all. So it’s important to learn how to recognize even the most unlikely cues.