top of page

Notes: HealthNews RoundUp - 3rd Week of June, 2019


Vidcast: Vidcast:

I’m Dr. Howard Smith, PENTA Medical Network, reporting from NYC with the Health News Roundup for the 3rd week of JUNE, 2019.  This is Health News You Should Use, the latest medical discoveries and commonsense advice that you can use in a practical way to keep yourself and your family healthy.  


Here are this weeks stories :

Medical Reversals Make Some Therapy Obsolete

Visiting Mother Nature Is Healthy

White Coat Hypertension Is Dangerous

Eat Lots Of Red Meat And Die Earlier

Exercise Effects Differ Day Versus Night

Move Away From That Pregnant Woman

Overweight Kids Develop High Blood Pressure

American Baby-making Peaks In Summer

Are Your Social Media Accounts Better Than Fitbit For Predicting Health?

Cool It As You Exercise

Video Games Lead To Obesity But Not For Whom You Think

Teens Lured To Tanning Salons And Later Cancer

Your Facebook Posts Leave Clues To Disease

Fear Of Trying Foods Bad For Your Nutrition

Yogurt Prevents Bowel Polyps And Cancer


#Medicalreversals #guidelines #RCT #randomizedtrials #Outdoors #health #exercise  #Hypertension #whitecoathypertension #bloodpressure #Redmeat #death #bacon #hotdogs #Exercise #circadianrhythm #Pregnancy #personalspace #Obesity #overweight #hypertension #Coolingvest #overheating #athletics #Conception #delivery #summer #spring #Friends #Foodphobia #diabetes #obesity #neophobia #socialnetwork #fitbit #wearables #exercise #wellness #Gingivitis #dentaldisease #livercancer #Tanning #adolescents #melanoma #Facebook #diagnosis #lifestyle #Yogurt #polyps #cancer 



Here are this week’s stories:

Medical Reversals Make Some Therapy Obsolete

A new meta-analysis just published by the Oregon Health and Science University identifies nearly 400 important changes in medical and surgical therapy guidelines as a result of over 3000 randomized, controlled studies.  This type of official policy shift by medical authorities is officially called a “medical reversal.”  


I want you to know about the most important reversals so that you can take advantage of the latest recommendations and pass them along to your family and friends.  Let’s take a look at 8 key reversals mentioned by the researchers:


  • When a pregnant women’s membranes break, it is better to wait then to induce immediate delivery.

  • Routine screening mammography for all women under 50 is unnecessary.

  • Wearable devices do not promote weight loss despite their promotion of more exercise.

  • Use of machines to deliver chest compressions for CPR outside the hospital offers no advantages over a person pushing on the chest.

  • External hip protectors do not prevent hip fractures in the elderly.

  • Coronary artery bypass procedures should be performed with the heart stopped and the patient on the heart-lung pump.

  • Epidural steroid injections do not help spinal stenosis.

  • Arthroscopic knee surgery and partial cartilage removal may not be better than initial physical therapy.

I’ll be keeping you informed about other medical reversals as they become available.  Meanwhile, if you are facing surgery or intense medical therapy, read all you can about it.


Diana Herrera-lPerez, Alyson Hallam, Tyler Crain, etal.  Meta-Research: A comprehensive review of randomized clinical trials in three medical journals reveals 396 medical reversals. Elifesciences; DOI: 10.7554/eLife.45183.


Medicalreversals, guidelines, RCT, randomizedtrials

#Medicalreversals #guidelines #RCT #randomizedtrials



Visiting Mother Nature Is Healthy

Spending 2 or more hours a week outdoors in nature is associated with better health.  This conclusion stems from a study at Britain’s University of Exeter.


The investigators studied close to 20,000 men and women, and they surveyed them for time spent in natural environments and their self-reported health status.  The odds of a person reporting excellent, very good, or good general health only begins to significantly increase after 2 to 2.5 hours per week out in nature.


An exploration of the data shows that it mattered little if the outdoor exposure occurred close to home or during a day trip to a park.  Exercising while outdoors was not a factor though those doing so seemed to gain psychologic benefits.


So get outdoors as much as you possibly can but do push for at least 2 hours in nature.


Mathew P. White, Ian Alcock, James Grellier, etal.  Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing.  Scientific Reports 9, Article number: 7730 (2019).


Outdoors, health, exercise

#Outdoors #health #exercise



White Coat Hypertension Is Dangerous

Those whose blood pressures jump up when they see their doctors should be treated for hypertension or face twice the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke.  They also have a 33% higher incidence of death from all causes.


These conclusions come from a meta-analysis of nearly 26,000 subjects and 38,000 controls in 27 nationwide studies and just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  The good news is that those with white coat hypertension who did receive anti-hypertensive medications experienced no significant increased risk of cardiovascular disease or death.  


It was once thought that high blood pressures only in the doctors office were relatively benign.  This study dispels that myth.  Those with a tendency to toward higher blood pressures should be proactively treated to prevent such spikes.  Then, they should follow the effectiveness of their treatment by taking their own blood pressures at home.


Cardiovascular Events and Mortality in White Coat Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.


Hypertension, whitecoathypertension, bloodpressure

#Hypertension #whitecoathypertension #bloodpressure



Eat Lots Of Red Meat And Die Earlier

Increasing your consumption of red meat by 3.5 servings a week will bump up your risk of  death by some 10%.  On the other hand, trading one serving of red meat for a serving of fish reduced your risk of death by 17%


These findings come from a study of nearly 82,000 healthcare professionals recently published in the British Medical Journal.  The subjects were all free of serious disease at the beginning of this 16 year study.


The study also awarded the worst actor trophy to processed meats including bacon, hot dogs, and sausages.  Eating increased amounts of these was associated with a 13% higher risk of death.


The dats just keeps piling on offering more evidence that red meat should only be a very occasional part of your diet.  Eating it regularly in preference to healthier protein sources including fish, grains, and vegetables is to invite the grim reaper into your life way before your time.


Yan Zheng, Yanping Li, Ambika Satija, An Pan, Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, Eric Rimm, Walter C Willett, Frank B Hu. Association of changes in red meat consumption with total and cause specific mortality among US women and men: two prospective cohort studies. BMJ, 2019; l2110 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.l2110


Redmeat, death, bacon, hotdogs

#Redmeat #death #bacon #hotdogs



Exercise Effects Differ Day Versus Night

Exercising in the morning tones your muscles while exercising in the evening turbocharges your entire metabolism.  These observations come from studies by the University of Copenhagen and UC-Irvine in a mouse model.


They found that the body’s circadian rhythm permits sunrise exercise to trigger a change in the muscle cell gene programming.  As a result, the muscles metabolize sugar and fat more efficiently.  As the sun sets, exercise seems to ramp up the bodies energy expenditure for the remainder of the waking hours.


The researchers won’t speculate which time of day is best.  As long as you enjoy at least one aerobic exercise session sometime during the day, you can well afford to just do some walking as more moderate exertion at other times.


hogo Sato, Astrid Linde Basse, Milena Schönke, Siwei Chen, Muntaha Samad, Ali Altıntaş, Rhianna C. Laker, Emilie Dalbram, Romain Barrès, Pierre Baldi, Jonas T. Treebak, Juleen R. Zierath, Paolo Sassone-Corsi. Time of Exercise Specifies the Impact on Muscle Metabolic Pathways and Systemic Energy Homeostasis. Cell Metabolism, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2019.03.013


Exercise, circadianrhythm

#Exercise #circadianrhythm




Move Away From That Pregnant Woman

Don’t crowd a pregnant woman woman during her third trimester.  A psychological study, recently published in the journal Scientific Reports, demonstrates that a woman’s personal space expands the closer she comes to giving birth.


The study quantitated the radius of the personal space, normally about an arm’s length from our bodies, in groups of women during their second trimesters, third trimesters, and 2 months after delivery.  The control group consisted of non-pregnant women.   The data not only showed a larger space but also a sharper delineation between the woman’s guarded zone and public space.


This larger personal space “bubble” seems protective in several ways.  It not only provides a stable, safe space in public, but it also helps a woman with a larger physical profile navigate her environment.


Flavia Cardini, Natalie Fatemi-Ghomi, Katarzyna Gajewska-Knapik, Victoria Gooch, Jane Elizabeth Aspell. Enlarged representation of peripersonal space in pregnancy. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-45224-w


Pregnancy, personalspace

#Pregnancy #personalspace




Overweight Kids Will Develop High Blood Pressure

Heavy and obese 4 year olds more than double their chances of developing dangerously high blood pressures by age 6.  Spanish cardiologists followed a group of nearly 1800 4 year olds over a two year period and published their findings in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.


Those kids with new or persisting excess weight had a 2.5 higher risk of developing high blood pressure.  Obese children were 3 times more likely to suffer the same fate.  If the hypertension goes unchecked, it will lead to heart disease and stroke.


The investigators pointedly disagree with the widespread opinion among pediatricians that weight problems in kids need not be addressed until adolescence.  They firmly believe that weight surveillance is lifelong.  Furthermore it is a family affair with healthy eating and regular exercise for all.


Maira A Ortiz-Pinto, Honorato Ortiz-Marrón, Isabel Ferriz-Vidal, María V Martínez-Rubio, María Esteban-Vasallo, María Ordobás-Gavin, Iñaki Galán. Association between general and central adiposity and development of hypertension in early childhood. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2019; 204748731983926 DOI: 10.1177/2047487319839264


Obesity, overweight, hypertension 

#Obesity #overweight #hypertension 



American Baby-making Peaks In Summer

Women in the USA thinking about starting a family choose the summer as the ideal time for conceiving that baby.  A study just published in the Journal of Applied Econometrics gathered data from American birth certificates, census information, and survey responses.


Women choose summer for conception and spring for birth since the early pregnancy and the new baby will be free from the ravages of fall and winter colds and influenza.  Women who work in education also plan their pregnancies so that the babies first 6 months will coincide with a maternity leave extended by a natural summer vacation.


The spring is an ideal time to welcome a new baby, since you can easily spend time outdoors.  The expectant mom also avoids a 3rd trimester during the dog days of summer.


Damian Clarke, Sonia Oreffice, Climent Quintana‐Domeque. The Demand for Season of Birth. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 2019; DOI: 10.1002/jae.2711


Conception, delivery, summer, spring

#Conception #delivery #summer #spring



Are Your Social Media Accounts Better Than Fitbit For Predicting Health?

Is your Fitbit or your Facebook page better at predicting your state of health?  Computer scientists at the University of Notre Dame now say that the strength of your social network is better than fitness wearables at predicting just how health you are.  


The investigators collected social info, Fitbit data, and a general health history from nearly 700 Notre Dame freshmen.  They developed an algorithm to quantitate the robustness of students’ friendships, and they used the wearables to  provide cardiac, exercise intensity, and sleep data.  A wellness survey permitted assessment of the students’ physical and psychological wellbeing.


It turns out that both are important, and adding the social network data significantly improves the ability of the wearable data alone to predict your state of wellness or otherwise.  The added social data improved predictability of happiness by 65%, of a positive attitude by 55%, and of stress by 38%.


So keeping healthy involves more that cycling or jogging.  Since you need solid relationships to drive wellness, exercise vigorously regularly, and with friends.


Suwen Lin, Louis Faust, Pablo Robles-Granda, Tomasz Kajdanowicz, Nitesh V. Chawla. Social network structure is predictive of health and wellness. PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (6): e0217264 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217264


Friends, socialnetwork, fitbit, wearables, exercise, wellness

#Friends #socialnetwork #fitbit #wearables #exercise #wellness



Cool It As You Exercise

As our planet overheats but you still should be exercising, a cooling vest may become more important than those high tech Nike shoes.  A study from the Hiroshima University just published in Frontiers in Physiology.


Researchers there developed and tested an ice pack-laden vest.  They provided it to 8 professional soccer players whom they challenged  with a power cycling scenario that simulated a soccer game.  Wearing the cooling vest led to significantly greater mean and peak power outputs, lower heart rates, lower skin temperatures, and improved thermal comfort.


So....If you play or work in high temps and high humidities and you want your body to perform the best it can, you should try a cooling vest.  Vests with cold packs are already readily available online at reasonable prices, and you recharge the cooling packs


Yudai Chaen, Sumire Onitsuka, Hiroshi Hasegawa. Wearing a Cooling Vest During Half-Time Improves Intermittent Exercise in the Heat. Frontiers in Physiology, 2019; 10 DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00711


Coolingvest, overheating, athletics

#Coolingvest #overheating #athletics



Video Games Lead To Obesity But Not For Whom You Think

The stereotype is a very chubby teen wolfing down chips and popcorn while endlessly perfecting Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto skills.  The latest meta-analysis of some 20 studies reviewing data from 38,000 gamers show that there is no correlation between child and teen video game use and obesity.


Wait!  There IS a link between gaming and excessive weight for adults.  The German study, published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, suggests that, over time, good old Mother Nature catches with kids whose only physical activity is pressing controller buttons.  


Eventually there is a price to be paid for addicting, sedentary pursuits such as gaming that lead to less or virtually no time vigorously exercising your body.  That price includes heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and a shorter life.


Caroline Marker, Timo Gnambs, Markus Appel. Exploring the myth of the chubby gamer: A meta-analysis of studies on sedentary video gaming and body mass. Social Science & Medicine, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.05.030


Videogames, obesity, overweight, teens, menshealth

#Videogames #obesity #overweight #teens #menshealth



Dental Neglect May Trigger Liver Cancer

Poor oral health is associated with a 75% greater risk of liver cancer.  Loose, missing, or cavity-ridden teeth and the presence of gum disease did not seem to increase the risk of other gastrointestinal cancers.


These conclusions flow from a review of more than 4000 patients with various GI cancers by investigators at Queen’s University Belfast.  Diseased teeth and gums spew bacteria that eventually find their way to the liver as the body’s literal garbage disposal.  As the liver eradicates these germs, they may well poison liver cells leading to cancer.


This study now adds liver cancer to Alzheimer’s, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes to the list of Regular use of a good electric toothbrush and a WaterPik can prevent a whole lot of  trouble.


Haydée WT Jordão, Gerry McKenna, Úna C McMenamin, Andrew T Kunzmann, Liam J Murray, Helen G Coleman. The association between self-reported poor oral health and gastrointestinal cancer risk in the UK Biobank: A large prospective cohort study. United European Gastroenterology Journal, 2019; 205064061985804 DOI: 10.1177/2050640619858043


Gingivitis, dentaldisease, livercancer

#Gingivitis #dentaldisease #livercancer



Teens Lured To Tanning Salons And Later Cancer

Big business is pushing yet another unhealthy, addictive habit on our teens and young adults.  We can now add tanning’s carcinogenic UV radiation to tobacco’s cancer-triggering smoke, vaping’s addicting nicotine, and alcohol’s liver damaging metabolites.


Community medicine and public health investigators at the University of Colorado reviewed the advertising and business practices of 94 tanning enterprises across  America.  They found that advertising preferentially targets the young with low, introductory pricing and packages that encourage overuse.


Nineteen states ban indoor tanning salon use for those under 18 years, but tanning beds are also found in many health clubs and apartment complexes with little or no oversight.  Over 80,000 cases of potentially deadly melanoma surface each year, and tanning in salons but also on the beach could make you or your child one of the next victims.


One last point to consider: a preliminary study from Georgetown University’s Cancer Center suggest that indoor tanning may well be addictive.  It’s disgusting that business once again preys on human frailty to make blood money.


Nancy L. Asdigian, Yang Liu, Joni A. Mayer, Gery P. Guy, L. Miriam Dickinson, Lori A. Crane. The high costs of cheap tanning: pricing and promotional practices of indoor tanning facilities in six cities in the United States. Journal of Public Health Policy, 2019; DOI: 10.1057/s41271-019-00175-4


Darren Mays, Jaeil Ahn, Bingsong Zhang, Michael B Atkins, David Goerlitz, Kenneth P Tercyak. Genetic Associations with Indoor Tanning Addiction among non-Hispanic White Young Adult Women. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 2019; DOI: 10.1093/abm/kaz021


Tanning, adolescents, melanoma

#Tanning #adolescents #melanoma



Your Facebook Posts Leave Clues To Disease

The pattern of the words you use on social media generally and on Facebook specifically can help your doctors and you identify your unique set of medical problems including diabetes and a bevy of psychological issues including anxiety, depression, and frank psychosis.  Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania processed the language in nearly 1 million Facebook status updates from about 1000 participants, and they cross-referenced their words with healthcare data from their electronic medical records.


They focused on 21 separate conditions, and Facebook data accurately predicted each of them.  In about half of the conditions, Facebook did a better job of prediction than a patient’s raw profile data.  The posts most often predicted diabetes, pregnancy, and mental health issues.


The words ‘bottle’ and ‘drinking’ were associated with alcohol abuse.  Hostile words and stories most often occurred in the posts of drug abusers and those with psychiatric issues.  In fact, the posts predicted depression 3 months earlier than clinical data alone.


Social media posts have for years been used in a negative way by employers and colleges to screen out applicants.  This same information can be used in a positive way to give doctors a unique glimpse into the lives of their patients that may provide better ways to keep them healthy.


Raina M. Merchant, David A. Asch, Patrick Crutchley, Lyle H. Ungar, Sharath C. Guntuku, Johannes C. Eichstaedt, Shawndra Hill, Kevin Padrez, Robert J. Smith, H. Andrew Schwartz. Evaluating the predictability of medical conditions from social media posts. PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (6): e0215476 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215476


Facebook, diagnosis, lifestyle

#Facebook #diagnosis #lifestyle



Fear Of Trying Foods Bad For Your Nutrition

If you avoid trying new foods, so called food neophobia, you might just be starving your body of proper nutrients leading to obesity and declining health.  Population data on some 4000 subjects was tabulated by two Finnish universities and just published in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition.


Food fear was associated with a reduced dietary quality with less fiber, protein, and monounsaturated fats, increased fasting insulin, a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, unwanted weight gain, and more cardiovascular disease.  Food neophobia, common in kids and senior citizens, seems to be hereditary in up to 78% of cases.


The news you should use here is that a varied diet is a healthy diet.  Trying new things is also as good for your psyche as it turns out to be for your body.


Heikki V Sarin, Nele Taba, Krista Fischer, Tonu Esko, Noora Kanerva, Leena Moilanen, Juha Saltevo, Anni Joensuu, Katja Borodulin, Satu Männistö, Kati Kristiansson, Markus Perola. Food neophobia associates with poorer dietary quality, metabolic risk factors, and increased disease outcome risk in population-based cohorts in a metabolomics study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2019; DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz100


Foodphobia, diabetes, obesity, neophobia

#Foodphobia #diabetes #obesity #neophobia



Yogurt Prevents Bowel Polyps And Cancer

Eating yogurt twice a week lowers a man’s risk of developing adenomatous, cancer-producing polyps by 26%.   Researchers studied colonoscopy data from over 88,000 participants in the continuing Health Professionals and Nurses Health Studies.  Sadly, the data did not show any beneficial association between yogurt consumption and polyps in women.


The investigators feel that the live culture bacteria found in yogurt likely feed on the carcinogenic substances found in the gastrointestinal tract.  They also point to yogurt’s known anti-inflammatory properties as helpful in reducing colon adenoma formation.


So guys—try to enjoy several cups of yogurt a week especially if you have a personal or family history of bowel polyps or bowel cancer.


BMJ. "Yogurt may help to lower pre-cancerous bowel growth risk in men: Observed association strongest for growths highly likely to become cancerous." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2019.


Yogurt, polyps, cancer 

#Yogurt #polyps #cancer 



That’s health news you should use.  Thanks for listening and particular thanks to my followers on social media for spreading the word.  I’m Dr. Howard Smith reminding you to keep a smile on your face, your brain active, and your body in motion....these are the best medicines!

bottom of page