Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Physical activity decreases salt's effect on blood pressure

Physical activity decreases salt's effect on blood pressureThe more physically active you are, the less your blood pressure rises in response to a high-salt diet, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention 2011 Scientific Sessions. "Patients should be advised to increase their physical activity and eat less sodium," said Casey M. Rebholz, M.P.H., lead author of the study and a medical student at the Tulane School of Medicine and doctoral student at the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. "Restricting sodium is particularly important in lowering blood pressure among more sedentary people." Investigators compared study participants' blood pressure on two one-week diets, one low in sodium (3,000 mg/day) and the other high in sodium (18,000 mg/day). The American Heart Association recommends consuming less than 1,500 mg/day of sodium

Free phone app helped doctors perform better in simulated cardiac emergency (UK)

Free phone app helped doctors perform better in simulated cardiac emergency (UK)Doctors who used a free iPhone application provided by the UK Resuscitation Council performed significantly better in a simulated medical emergency than those who did not, according to a study in the April issue of Anaesthesia. "Every year approximately 30,000 people in the UK have an unexpected cardiac arrest in hospital and, despite significant advances in resuscitation research, survival rates for adults suffering a cardiac arrest remain poor" says Dr Daniel Low, the consultant anaesthetist who developed the application. "More than 60,000 free copies of the iResus application have already been downloaded and a healthcare professional recently told us that they had used it when they were involved in an out-of-hospital paediatric emergency. Being able to refer to paediatric drug doses they were unfamiliar with helped them to save a child's life."

Heart beat problem 'largely avoidable'

Heart beat problem 'largely avoidable'"Over half of all cases of the most common type of heart rhythm disturbance could be avoided by "clean living", such as avoiding smoking and eating more healthily, say scientists. If individuals were to maintain a healthy weight and normal blood pressure and abstain from tobacco 57% of cases of atrial fibrillation (AF) could be averted, the US experts say. The study in Circulation journal is based on nearly 15,000 patients. AF is a major cause of stroke. Yet many people are unaware that they have this heart condition because often it causes very few symptoms. Experts believe up to 500,000 people in the UK have AF. The condition can be treated with medication to slow the irregular heartbeat and blood-thinning drugs to reduce stroke risk, but the latest research shows how much illness could be avoided by simple lifestyle measures"

Nicotine raises blood sugar levels in lab

Nicotine raises blood sugar levels in labSmoking is damaging to everyone's health, but the nicotine in cigarettes may be even more deadly for people who have diabetes. In lab experiments, researchers discovered that nicotine raised blood sugar levels, and the more nicotine that was present, the higher the blood sugar levels were. Higher blood sugar levels are linked to an increased risk of complications from diabetes, such as eye and kidney disease. "Smoking is really harmful for diabetics. It's even more harmful to them than to a non-diabetic," said study author Xiao-Chuan Liu, an associate professor in the department of chemistry at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. "This study should encourage diabetics to quit smoking completely, and to realize that it's the nicotine that's raising blood sugar levels." For that reason, it's also important to limit the use of nicotine replacement products, such as nicotine patches, Liu said. "If you're using them for a short period of time to quit smoking, that's OK. But, if you still have this addiction to nicotine and are using this product long-term, it will do harm. Don't use electronic cigarettes or nicotine gum for a long time. You need to stop nicotine intake," he advised

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Star Phoenix Bridge City Boogie 2011

The Star Phoenix Bridge City Boogie 2011The 5th Annual Star Phoenix Bridge City Boogie will be held June 12, 2011. Miren Luczka, Race Director writes: For those of you new to the event, The Bridge City Boogie is a 2km, 5km and 10km wellness event with emphasis on fun, fitness and community. The Boogie is all inclusive with age categories reflecting the diversity of participants. Whether you're a seasoned runner or a first time walker, you'll have no trouble finding an event that suits your fitness goals. I think you'll be surprised by the beauty of the area and delighted by the runners and volunteers you'll meet on the course. To make the Boogie happen, there will be over 550 people volunteering their time before, during and after the race to help make your Boogie experience a positive one. The Bridge City Boogie is all about giving back to the community and donates 100% of the proceeds to local charities. We're proud to announce that in 2010 The Boogie donated over $89,000 to three charities: Raise-a-Reader, the Saskatoon Crisis Nursery and the Boys and Girls Club of Saskatoon. This year we're happy to announce that we’ve added the Saskatchewan Children's Festival to the list of beneficiaries. While all money raised from the Boogie goes to charity, it is important to point out that participants are only required to pay the registration fee as our event is not a pledge-a-thon

Telcare blood glucose system aims for wireless diabetes management

Telcare blood glucose system aims for wireless diabetes managementTelcare is a Bethesda, Maryland firm that has developed blood glucose monitoring technology that combines a glucose meter with wireless connectivity to Telcare's cloud server. The package is designed to keep an open two-way communication between a patient and an ecosystem of caregivers that may include the doctor, diabetes nurse educators, and family members. With this system, results are shared with the cloud with each reading and the patient receives feedback and guidance that may be automated or may trigger a demand for specific caregiver advice. The system has completed its initial clinical trials and is in the FDA clearance process.

New heart surgery yields speedy recovery (Canada)

Surgeons at our Schulich Heart Centre have successfully performed their first port access surgery to repair a faulty mitral valve. The highly technical video-assisted procedure has only been performed at three other centres in Canada to date. The minimally invasive surgery is carried out through a few small incisions, or "ports" in the groin, neck and chest - eliminating the need to split the patient's breastbone. Such an approach enables a faster recovery and provides the patient with a far better cosmetic result. Patients requiring mitral valve surgery either have a leaking or narrowed valve. Both conditions may cause blood to flow in the wrong direction, straining the heart and lungs and potentially leading to heart failure and/or death if the valve is not repaired or replaced in a timely fashion. "The results to date have been truly remarkable," says Dr. Gideon Cohen, cardiovascular surgeon. "Patients have enjoyed shorter hospital stays, less pain and an earlier return to normal activities." "The cosmetic benefits have been particularly impressive, with many patients having barely noticeable incisions beneath the right breast," he adds.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Study shows living at high altitude reduces risk of dying from heart disease (USA)

Study shows living at high altitude reduces risk of dying from heart disease (USA)In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in partnership with the Harvard School of Global Health have found that people living at higher altitudes have a lower chance of dying from ischemic heart disease and tend to live longer than others. "If living in a lower oxygen environment such as in our Colorado mountains helps reduce the risk of dying from heart disease it could help us develop new clinical treatments for those conditions," said Benjamin Honigman, MD, professor of Emergency Medicine at the CU School of Medicine and director of the Altitude Medicine Clinic. "Lower oxygen levels turn on certain genes and we think those genes may change the way heart muscles function. They may also produce new blood vessels that create new highways for blood flow into the heart." Another explanation, he said, could be that increased solar radiation at altitude helps the body better synthesize vitamin D which has also been shown to have beneficial effects on the heart and some kinds of cancer. The study was recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health - EurekAlert

New CT scanner for Jersey heart patients (UK)

New CT scanner for Jersey heart patients (UK)Jersey heart patients will no longer have to go to the UK for tests after a new CT scanner was fitted at the General Hospital. Until now, patients had to go to the UK for a coronary angiogram, a more invasive procedure where tubes were inserted into their heart arteries. The Health Department said the new scanner gives a 3D reconstruction of the heart arteries in a procedure that takes less than 15 minutes. It said it will save money and lives. Dr Andrew Mitchell, consultant cardiologist, said: "The image quality of the new scanner is amazing and for the first time allows us to look inside patients' heart arteries with incredible resolution." - BBC

Toenail study finds that mercury from eating fish doesn't raise risk of heart disease, stroke (USA)

In an unusual health study, researchers analyzing toxin levels in tens of thousands of toenail clippings determined that mercury from eating fish does not raise the risk of heart disease or stroke. Health experts have long urged people to eat fish to lower heart risks, but some have worried that the mercury in certain types of fish like shark and swordfish might offset any benefits. Earlier studies on mercury and heart problems in adults have yielded contradictory results. The latest government-funded work is the largest to look at this question. Instead of relying on what people said they ate, it measured mercury in their toenails - a good gauge of long-term exposure to the metal from fish consumption. No differences were seen in the rates of heart and stroke among those with the highest concentrations of mercury compared to those with the lowest. "The average person should eat fish as part of a healthy diet," and not worry about ill heart effects, said Harvard School of Public Health cardiologist Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, who led the research published in The New England Journal of Medicine

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pets can reduce stress, cholesterol, obesity

Pets can reduce stress, cholesterol, obesityLooking for a holistic way to reduce stress, cholesterol and obesity? Get a pet. Statistics show that 62 percent of American households own a pet. According to a national survey, most pet owners say companionship, love, company and affection are the No. 1 benefits to owning a pet. We know that pets make good companions and decrease loneliness, but numerous studies have shown other profound health benefits of owning a pet:

1. Pets help recovery from heart attacks. A National Institutes of Health study of 421 adults found that dog owners had a better one-year survival after a heart attack, compared to those who did not own dogs.
2. Pets help us calm down. A study of 240 married couples showed that pet owners had lower heart rates and blood pressure as compared to those without pets.
3. Pets help reduce stress better than our human companions. Pet owners had less stress and quicker recovery from stress when they were with their pets as compared to when they were with their spouse or friend.
4. Pet owners have less obesity. A study looking at 2,000 adults found that pet owners who walked their dogs had less rates of obesity and were more physically active than those without pets.
5. Pet owners have better mobility in their golden years. Another NIH study looking at 2,500 adults aged 71-82 showed that adults who regularly walked their dogs had more mobility inside the house than non-pet owners.
6. Pets increase opportunities for socialization. Many studies have shown that walking a dog leads to more conversations and socialization.
7. Pets can help your cholesterol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that owning a pet can decrease cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
8. Pets can help comfort children. Child psychologists have found that pets can be very comforting to children and help them develop empathy. They have also been found to help autistic children with socialization

Heart and cardiovascular disease deaths drop dramatically In Norway

Heart and cardiovascular disease deaths drop dramatically In Norway"Life was hard in occupied Norway during WWII, but the occupation had one surprising result: deaths from heart attacks dropped precipitously, because Norwegians ate less fat, smoked less and were more physically active. Now, in the last half of the 20th century, Norway has seen a similar precipitous drop in heart attack deaths, but this time due to focused prevention programmes and improved treatment, reports a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Writing in the latest issue of the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association, NTNU Professor Kaare Harald Bønaa notes that the percentage of deaths due to heart disease and cardiovascular disease dropped from 50 per cent in 1975 to 33 per cent in 2009 in Norway, and that deaths from heart attacks alone dropped to levels that were last seen during WWII. Bønaa is a professor of heart and cardiovascular disease epidemiology at NTNU, and is chief physician in charge in intervention cardiology at St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

CARG thanks heart pillow volunteers

CARG wishes to thank the following people for sharing their time volunteering to sew and stuff heart pillows on March 6, 2011:

Ken Ardyss Johnston; Larry Mullen; Donna Christine Johnson; Scheila Retzlaff; Eva Shabits; Larry Trischuk; Lil Brandt; Bea Venne; Marlene Donally; Ruth Redden

Please watch the notice boards for future volunteering opportunities

Your Heart: New Start (Canada)

"YourHeartNewStart.ca, developed by Eli Lilly Canada in partnership with the World Heart Federation, is a new online resource designed specifically to guide Canadian heart attack and heart procedure patients through the recovery process, providing information and interactive tools for patients, their families and loved ones. The Your Heart: New Start website addresses the physical and emotional challenges facing heart attack or heart procedure patients and their caregivers, at various stages of their recovery. As the basis for the website, the Your Heart: New Start international survey found that Canadian patients lag behind their European counterparts when it comes to managing their heart health after a cardiac procedure, and were nearly three times as likely to stop following their doctor-recommended diet and exercise recommendations because they were "feeling better" (20 per cent). Also, more than one in five patients in Canada frequently missed taking their antiplatelet medication to prevent blood clots - the highest proportion among countries surveyed"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More bad news for Avandia & its link with cardiac events

More bad news for Avandia & its link with cardiac events"The diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline) has already been suspended in Europe and is available in the U.S. and Canada on a restricted basis. A new study supports such actions as it has found the drug to be associated with significantly higher odds of congestive heart failure, heart attack and death compared with pioglitazone (Actos, Takeda Pharmaceuticals). The meta-analysis, published March 17 in the British Medical Journal, analyzed the results of 16 studies involving 810,000 patients (429,000 on rosiglitazone and 381,000 on pioglitazone). Most patients were more than 60 years old. Yoon Kong Loke, MD, senior lecturer in clinical pharmacology at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and colleagues noted that both drugs, which help to control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, are known to increase the risk of heart failure. However, they said, "It is unclear whether there are clinically important differences in their cardiac safety. Compared with pioglitazone, rosiglitazone was associated with a modest but statistically significant increased risk of heart attack (16 percent), congestive heart failure (23 percent) and mortality (14 percent)

Mall walking is just what doctor ordered for 3 Staten Island men who bonded at shuttered cardiac rehab center (USA)

Mall walking is just what doctor ordered for 3 Staten Island men who bonded at shuttered cardiac rehab center (USA)"Walking in the Staten Island Mall provides a way for Vincent Puleo of Huguenot, Shelly Fischman of Willowbrook and Vincent Galbo of South Beach to exercise and socialize following treatment for heart disease. The three men met and became friends while recovering from various heart procedures at the former Cardiac Rehabilitation Center of Staten Island. Located at Richmond University Medical Center, the private center was shuttered last December 24 due to low reimbursement from insurance carriers and co-payments that were beyond patients' means The men stressed that they weren't getting anything for free from the center, since they had to make co-payments. They were left scrambling right before Christmas for a convenient and safe way to work out, especially in inclement weather"

Stem cell therapy can reduce heart size, scar tissue and improve function in cardiac patients

Researchers have shown for the first time that stem cells injected into enlarged hearts reduced heart size, reduced scar tissue and improved function to injured heart areas, according to a small trial published in Circulation Research: Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers said that while this research is in the early stages, the findings are promising for the more than five million Americans who have enlarged hearts due to damage sustained from heart attacks. These patients can suffer premature death, have major disability and experience frequent hospitalizations. Options for treatment are limited to lifelong medications and major medical interventions, such as heart transplantation, according to Joshua M. Hare, M.D., the study's senior author and professor of medicine and director of the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami in Miami, FL

CARG's Board of Directors, 2010-2011

Each year, at the CARG Annual General Meeting, a board of directors is elected. Below is the 2010-2011 executive at March 18, 2011:

Mohindar Sachdev, President

Peter Scott, Ist VP

Ron Fleming, 2nd VP

Curt Weberbauer, 3rd VP

Gerry Zoerb, Treasurer

Howard Hrehirchuk, Membership, Shaw Centre

Blake Adamson, Program Coordinator

Dan Danahar, MAL

Dennis Johnson, MAL

Gordon Shuttle, MAL

Bob Klombies, MAL

Jim McKay, MAL

The position of secretary is currently vacant

Cholesterol drugs could cut clots

Cholesterol drugs could cut clots"Drugs which can regulate levels of cholesterol in the blood may also reduce the risk of dangerous clots, say scientists. Blood clots can result in stroke or heart attack. Researchers, writing in the journal Blood, reduced the size and stability of blood clots in mice and said the discovery could lead to new drugs. The British Heart Foundation said it was an exciting discovery which could result in more effective treatments. Around 32,000 people in the UK die after developing a blood clot. The team at the University of Reading was investigating how clots form and say they were surprised to find that protein, LXR, was involved. LXR is already known to control levels of cholesterol and drug companies have been targeting it for new treatments"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Diabetics do better with empathetic doctors

Diabetics do better with empathetic doctors A doctor's empathy can improve the care of diabetes patients and should be considered an important part of being a good doctor, according to a new study. The study included 891 diabetes patients treated between July 2006 and June 2009 by 29 doctors at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The researchers assessed the doctors' level of empathy for patients, while the quality of patient care was determined by an LDL ("bad") cholesterol test and a hemoglobin A1C test for blood glucose levels. Patients whose doctors had high empathy scores were more likely to have good control of their blood sugar and low LDL cholesterol levels than patients whose doctors had low empathy scores. The results indicate that empathy on the part of doctors can contribute to patient satisfaction, trust and compliance with therapy

Study suggests lower stroke risk in women who drink at least a cup of coffee a day

"Women who enjoy a daily dose of coffee may like this perk: It might lower their risk of stroke. Women in a Swedish study who drank at least a cup of coffee every day had a 22 to 25 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to those who drank less coffee or none at all. "Coffee drinkers should rejoice," said Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "Coffee is often made out to be potentially bad for your heart. There really hasn't been any study that convincingly said coffee is bad." "If you are drinking coffee now, you may be doing some good and you are likely not doing harm," she added. But Hayes and other doctors say the study shouldn't send non-coffee drinkers running to their local coffee shop. The study doesn't prove that coffee lowers stroke risk, only that coffee drinkers tend to have a lower stroke risk."

England 'healthier than the US'

"People living in England enjoy better health than Americans, despite less investment in healthcare, research published in the US has revealed. Across all ages, US residents tend to fare worse in terms of diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease markers, data on over 100,000 people show. The reason remains a mystery, says the US team, and challenges the idea that resources necessarily improve health. It may be due to the UK's bigger drive on disease prevention, they say"

Doubts emerge over heart risk to 'apple shape' (UK)

Doubts emerge over heart risk to 'apple shape'"Doubts have been raised over the idea that being overweight and "apple shaped" increases heart attack risk. A study in the Lancet found the risk of heart attack was not increased by fat being concentrated around the waist. It contradicts previous work that found overweight people with "apple shaped" bodies were three times as likely to suffer heart attacks than those with more generally distributed fat. But experts warned obesity was bad for the heart, no matter where the fat was. The authors of the study say that obesity is still a major risk factor for heart disease, but they argue there is confusion about the best way to measure it. One well known measure is the Body Mass Index (BMI) which relates weight to height"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Drugs for heartbeat problem may cut dementia risk (UK)

Treating stroke survivors for a heartbeat problem called atrial fibrillation might prevent many patients from going on to develop dementia, UK experts believe. Research into nearly 50,000 patients' records found that AF after a stroke more than doubles the risk of dementia. Doctors say we should now investigate whether more vigorous treatment with drugs to control AF might delay or even prevent dementia. The work appears in Neurology journal. Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance and affects up to 500,000 people in the UK. Although not usually life-threatening in itself, it does increase the risk of stroke. Blood-thinning drugs and medication to slow the irregular heartbeat are often prescribed to reduce stroke risk

Monday, March 7, 2011

Studies find gene links to world's biggest killer

Scientists have found 13 new gene variants that increase a person's risk of developing heart disease, the world's number one killer, in a series of large-scale international genetic studies. The discovery of 13 previously unknown gene variations and the confirmation of around 10 more should offer clues about how heart ailments such as coronary artery disease develop, and lead to new and more effective treatments, the researchers said. The findings also suggest it may be worth mapping someone's profile of genetic variants for heart problems as part of routine clinical care in the future, with an eye to being able to offer more personalized prevention or treatment plans. "With such information we should be able to better identify people at high risk early on in life and quickly take the steps to neutralize that excess risk," said Themistocles Assimes of Stanford University School of Medicine in the United States, one of many scientists across the world who worked on the study. - Reuters

Saturday, March 5, 2011

One in four U.S. adults reported having high blood pressure in 2008

More than 59 million Americans age 18 and older were diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2008, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. AHRQ also found that in 2008:

* Three-quarters of people diagnosed with high blood pressure were overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. Roughly 15 percent of healthy weight adults were diagnosed with high blood pressure.
* Adults who exercised vigorously for 30 minutes or more at least three times a week were one-third less likely than those who didn't to have reported having high blood pressure (21 percent versus 32 percent, respectively).
* Nearly 32 percent of black adults reported having high blood pressure, compared to 27 percent of White and 18 percent of Hispanic adults.
* Roughly 29 percent of adults less than 65 years old with public health insurance reported having high blood pressure, versus 19 percent with private insurance and 14 percent of the uninsured.
* Almost 59 percent of seniors age 65 and older reported having been told they had high blood pressure, compared to nearly 34 percent of people ages 45 to 64, 10 percent of those ages 25 to 44, and almost 3 percent of younger adults.

Stroke patients benefit from family involvement in exercise therapy

"Your family's involvement in your exercise therapy could significantly improve your function and recovery after stroke, according to a study in the March print issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers found that adding family-assisted exercise therapy to routine physical therapy after stroke improved motor function, balance, distance walked and ability to perform daily living activities. It also lowered the strain on the family member, who said participation lowered stress and was empowering. "It's a win-win situation for everyone," said Emma Stokes, Ph.D., the study's principal investigator and Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. "People with stroke, their families and healthcare providers share in the benefit." The study involved 40 male and female stroke survivors, all Caucasian. Half received routine exercise therapy, while the others received the FAmily Mediated Exercise intervention (FAME) in addition to routine therapy"

Friday, March 4, 2011

Twenty-five people take it in turns to perform CPR for 1.5 hours to keep man who collapsed after heart attack alive (USA)

Twenty-five people take it in turns to perform CPR for 1.5 hours to keep man who collapsed after heart attack alive (USA)"A man who suffered a massive heart attack was alive and well today after being kept alive for an incredible 1.5 hours by passers-by who took it in turns to perform CPR. Howard Snitzer, 54, collapsed in the street when he suffered a potentially fatal cardiac arrest on his way to collect groceries on January 10. With a population of just 800 people and not a single traffic light in the town, his chances of survival looked bleak. But Snitzer was miraculously kept alive by dozens of good Samaritans who pumped his heart as he lay lifeless on the ground. The chef has now made an almost full recovery and is relaxing at his home in the back-water town of Goodhue, Minnesota"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Diabetes Week 2011 (UK)

Diabetes Week 2011 (UK)Diabetes Week is Diabetes UK's annual UK-wide awareness and fundraising week. This year Diabetes Week is 12–18 June 2011. In Diabetes Week 2011, Diabetes UK is encouraging people to talk about diabetes. Learning to live with the condition can be challenging. Diabetes UK provides ways for anyone affected by diabetes to access vital healthcare information, benefit from emotional support and talk to people with diabetes

Senators Stabenow and Murkowski reintroduce HEART for Women Act (USA)

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have reintroduced legislation to ensure that heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are more widely recognized and effectively treated in women. The Heart disease Education, Research and Analysis, and Treatment (HEART) for Women Act would make sure that healthcare data reported to the federal government is classified by gender, race and ethnicity. It would also require the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary to submit an annual report to Congress on the quality of and access to care for women with CVD. Additionally, the measure would expand eligibility for funding to all 50 states for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's WISEWOMAN screening program for low-income, underinsured uninsured women. Currently the program is available in only 20 states

Study finds additional threats from diabetes

Study finds additional threats from diabetes"A 50-year-old with Type 2 diabetes will lose an average six years of life as a result of the disease, only one year less than the seven that would be lost by a smoker of the same age, researchers reported Wednesday. He or she is more than twice as likely to die of cardiovascular disease as someone without diabetes and 25 per cent more likely to die of cancer, according to the report, an international study of more than 820,000 people published in the New England Journal of Medicine. People with Type 2 diabetes are also more likely to die from kidney disease, liver disease, pneumonia, infectious diseases and even intentional self-harm, according to the study, which was conducted by the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, based at the University of Cambridge in England. The data are especially concerning in light of the rapidly expanding incidence of diabetes in the United States, fueled by the growing spread of obesity. An estimated 25.8 million Americans now have diabetes, 10 million more than only two decades ago"

Girth of a nation: Canada trails U.S. in obesity rates

Girth of a nation: Canada trails U.S. in obesity rates"Who are you calling fat? Canadians may be losing the battle of the bulge, but we're still slimmer on average than our supersized cousins to the south. A new Statistics Canada survey found that between 2007 and 2009, 24.1% of adults in Canada were obese. In the U.S. that number was 34.4%. The gap was widest for women: 23.9% of Canadian women qualified as obese, compared to 36.2% of American women. Of Canadian men, 24.3% were obese, while 32.6% of American men tipped the scales. But Canadians have no reason to feel smug about their comparative lack of bulk, said one obesity doctor. Dr. Arya Sharma, professor of medicine and chair for cardiovascular obesity research and management at the University of Alberta, said Canada is eating its way into a public health crisis"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Growing debate over fat tax (Canada)

Growing debate over fat tax (Canada)Will Canadians be healthier if they pay a few pennies of extra tax on junk food and pop? That's a hot question lately - particularly in Ottawa, where a number of prominent organizations have presented arguments to the standing committee on health this month. They're calling for reforms to Canada's rules on food taxes. Put simply, they want food taxes brought closer in line with Health Canada's recommendations on healthy eating. "Right now, it doesn't make any sense," says Manuel Arango, assistant director of health policy at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "For instance, one doughnut is taxed but if you buy six, they're not. That's perverse." Other groups that support tax changes to encourage healthier eating habits include the Canadian Medical Association, Centre for Science in the Public Interest and Quebec's Weight Coalition