Friday, November 24, 2006

Personality Traits Increase Heart Disease Risk

I agree with this finding but it is very old news. I had several papers published in the medical journals back in the 80's that said much the same thing. There is in fact a wealth of evidence showing that anger and hostility predisposes to coronary heart disease

If you're often depressed, anxious, hostile or angry, you could be increasing your risk for heart disease. New research reveals people with a combination of these "negative" personality traits are more likely to suffer from heart disease.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., analyzed data from 2,105 Vietnam War veterans who were in the U.S. Air Force Health Study. The health of the veterans was tracked for 20 years. None of the participants had heart disease when the study began. The men had physical examinations six times during the study, checking their blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and body mass index -- information that can determine whether someone is at risk for heart disease. Their personality traits were also determined. The study reveals each negative personality trait by itself was significantly associated with an increased risk for heart disease. But a combination of all the traits was the best predictor of the risk.

Researchers report their findings may prompt doctors to look at personality traits in addition to physical health to determine a patient's overall risk for heart disease. "In the future, doctors may wish to explore the use of earlier interventions aimed at diminishing negative personality traits in people who may be most at risk for future heart disease," reports lead investigator, Edward C. Suarez, Ph.D., from Duke University Medical Center. But Dr. Suarez notes because the participants were all men and most of them were white, the findings cannot be generalized to others.


New Combined Treatment for Overactive Male Bladder

The obvious does sometimes work

An overactive bladder sends an estimated 10 million American men running to the restroom too much. Now, a new way to treat the problem could help many of those men avoid the frequent pit stops. For some men with the disorder, the standard medications do not work well enough to relieve their symptoms. Researchers from New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York report the combination of two drugs used to treat overactive bladder works better than either of the drugs alone.

Steven Kaplan, M.D., from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York told Ivanhoe the two drugs used in this combination -- tolterodine (Detrol LA) and tamsulosin (Flomaxtra, Flomax) -- work on different parts of the overactive bladder problem. Tolterodine relaxes the bladder, while tamsulosin relaxes the prostate. "By using both we really enhance the effect of the improvement of the prostate condition and the bladder condition," said Dr. Kaplan.

Researchers compared patients taking the combination treatment to patients taking the drugs alone and to patients who took a placebo. Significantly more men taking the combination treatment reported an improvement in their symptoms than the men in the other groups.

Dr. Kaplan said when men with overactive bladders are treated successfully it makes a huge impact on their lives. "Guys can sit through a movie, they can sit through a ballgame, they can even sit through dinner with their loved ones and not make excuses of having to use the bathroom," he said.



Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter? It is just about pure fat. Surely it should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

9). For a summary of the weak science behind the "trans-fat" hysteria, see here. Trans fats have only a temporary effect on blood chemistry and no lasting harm from them has ever been shown.


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