Saturday, August 29, 2009

'Hopeless' women at risk of stroke

This is almost certainly just another social class effect. Working class women are less healthy and would have good reasons to feel less hopeful about their future. The researchers did control for income but income is not a good proxy for social class, particularly among women. The occupation of a husband may put a woman into a much higher class bracket than her own income would, for instance. And even among males, there are some high-income working class people and low income middle-class people. An electrician or plumber will usually earn more than an office-worker, for instance. In my own research into social class, I found that a simple white-collar/blue-collar dichotomy was a powerful predictor -- as was self-assigned class

FOR women, feelings of hopelessness are not just unfortunate, they are a stroke risk, US researchers said. They said otherwise healthy women who are chronically hopeless are more likely to have a build-up of plaque in their neck arteries that can trigger a stroke.

Many studies have linked depression with heart disease and recent studies have suggested that optimism may protect women from heart disease. However this latest study, by Susan Everson-Rose of the University of Minnesota Medical School, is the first to show that hopelessness may directly affect a healthy woman's risk for stroke.

Researchers looked at 559 women with an average age of 50 who had no clinical signs of heart disease, such as elevated blood pressure. To measure hopelessness, they asked questions about the future and personal goals. They also measured symptoms of depression using a 20-item assessment scale. And they took ultrasound images of the women to measure the thickness of their neck arteries.

"What we found is, those women who reported feeling hopeless about the future or their personal goals had more thickening in the neck arteries - more atherosclerosis - which is a predictor of stroke and subsequent heart attack," Ms Everson-Rose said.

The difference was measurable. Women who scored high on the hopelessness scale had neck arteries that were 0.02mm thicker than their more hopeful counterparts. The difference was significant even after adjusting for other heart risk factors including age, race, income, heart disease risk factors, even depression.

Ms Everson-Rose said the team looked specifically for differences between women who where hopeless and those who were depressed - a more global disorder that affected things like sleep, appetite and overall mood. "What we find is this thickening in the neck arteries is a specific feature to hopelessness," she said.

Ms Everson-Rose said studies are needed to understand what physiological changes specifically occur in women who are chronically hopeless. The study did not track levels of cortisol, a known stress hormone, for example. Nevertheless, women should be aware that feelings of hopelessness may have physical consequences. "If women do have these strong feelings, it is potentially a predictor of cardiovascular disease and they should seek help," she said.


Stomach-stapling surgery can eliminate diabetes symptoms

It should be noted that less than 3% of the population are diagnosed diabetes 2 cases so we are dealing with a small population subset here. Most fatties do NOT get diabetes. What the research below shows is that those prone to diabetes are set back by overeating. It does NOT show that overeating will give you diabetes

Weight-loss surgery can eliminate the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in nearly eight out of ten patients who have the drastic procedure, a large international study has found. A review of medical research involving 135,000 patients found that the symptoms of diabetes were resolved or improved in a majority of those who had bariatric surgery to help to lose weight.

Overall, 78 per cent of patients had a “complete resolution” of their diabetes for up to two years after surgery, while 87 per cent experienced either resolution or an improvement in their condition.

Type 2 diabetes is increasingly common because of obesity. Unlike type 1, which emerges in childhood, type 2 occurs when the body’s production or use of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, is impaired. Diabetes and its complications account for about one in ten deaths in England each year.

Bariatric surgery, also known as a gastric-band operation, involves fitting a staple or band around the upper part of the stomach, limiting the amount people can eat before feeling full. It can also take the form of a gastric bypass. Previous research has suggested bariatric surgery could benefit patients with diabetes, but the procedure is typically only recommended on the NHS for those who are morbidly obese — with a body mass index of 40 or more — and where other attempts to lose weight have failed.

The number of procedures carried out on the NHS rose 40 per cent last year, but some pay up to £12,000 to have the operation done privately. About 6,000 people had the procedure last year.

The new study was presented yesterday at a conference of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders in Paris. The study was led by Professor Henry Buchwald, of the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. It found patients lost an average of 38.5kg after the procedure, representing 55.9 per cent of their excess weight.

The benefits of the operation for diabetes are not fully understood, but are thought to be related to weight loss. Losing weight helps the body to make more efficient use of available insulin, which can avoid the complications of poor blood sugar control such as kidney issues, nerve damage and eye problems.But the charity Diabetes UK expressed concern that the findings may encourage diabetics to consider weight-loss surgery as a solution to their condition, rather than diet and exercise.

ZoĆ« Harrison, care adviser for the charity, said: “Although the data shows good results from bariatric surgery, it must be remembered that any surgery carries serious risks. “Bariatric surgery should be considered only as a last resort. It can lead to dramatic weight loss, which in turn may result in a reduction in people taking their type 2 diabetes medication, and even in some people needing no medication at all. This does not mean type 2 diabetes has been cured. “These people will still need to eat a healthy, balanced diet and be physically active to manage their diabetes.”


"Low-fat" food no help

SOME "skinny foods" are no different than chocolates or other high-fat options when it comes to trying to lose weight, dietary experts warn. Eating so-called light food can sometimes result in consuming the same amount of kilojoules as eating "full-fat" varieties. Over-eating of low-fat biscuits, light yoghurts and low-carb beers can be waist-bloating, the experts warn. And although many of those items are lighter in kilojoules, they often don't appease an appetite and can result in indulging again a short time later.

Dietitian Clare Evangelista, from the Dietitians Association of Australia, said so-called diet drinks were among the worst offenders. "Recent research suggests people who consume large amounts of diet soft drink do not weigh less than those who don't," Ms Evangelista said. "This may be because after drinking diet soft drink, the body does not get the fluctuation in blood-glucose levels that helps tell the body we are full. "So, drinking diet soft drink may increase food cravings and feelings of hunger."


1 comment:

Lena said...

I wish people would get over the whole idea that obesity causes type 2 diabetes. It is not very helpful for finding real treatments and doing real prevention because people get so hung up on "lose weight or don't get fat in the first place".

It does the (tiny tiny percentage) of young people who get type 2 diabetes a disservice, because it is blamed on them being fat, although in a notable percentage of instances it happens to slim children too. I think doctors should be more interested in why children would get a disease of ageing than taking the lazy way out and blaming weight.