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Posts for: December, 2011

By contactus
December 02, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Apparently, there's another reason to quit smoking: A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that smoking at the time of prostate cancer diagnosis is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer recurrence as well as an increased risk of dying of prostate cancer. This is the first large-scale study to demonstrate that smoking increases the risk of dying of prostate cancer.

Researchers followed 5,366 men diagnosed with prostate cancer over two decades. Of these, 1,630 died -- 524 due to prostate cancer and 416 due to cardiovascular disease --and 878 had recurrences of their prostate cancer after treatment. When compared with men who had never smoked, those who were smoking at the time of diagnosis had an approximately 60 percent greater risk of both prostate cancer recurrence after treatment and death due to prostate cancer. Furthermore, the greater the number of years spent smoking, the greater the risk of death due to prostate cancer.

On a positive note, the study demonstrated that participants who had quit smoking for 10 or more years experienced prostate-related death and recurrence rates similar to those of nonsmokers.

African Americans have the highest incidence of prostate cancer, followed by white Americans. Although the cause of prostate cancer remains unknown, risk factors include age, family history, race and hormone levels -- with advancing age being the most notable risk factor.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men at average risk discuss prostate cancer screening with their doctor at age 50. For African Americans and men with a family history of prostate cancer, the society recommends having the discussion even earlier—starting at 40 to 45 years of age.

Bottom Line: As many of us already know, smoking is linked to a variety of deadly diseases, including cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. For multiple reasons, if you're a smoker, it's always a good idea for you to quit. This study suggests that if you have prostate cancer and you smoke, it makes sense to quit for this reason, too. And if you're at increased risk for prostate cancer, it's smart to quit now in case you’re later diagnosed with the disease


This blog was modified from the Johns Hopkins Health Alert,

Research on Smoking and Prostate Cancer

By contactus
December 02, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Eating fish at least once a week could help lower older patients' risk of developing dementia.
Those who ate baked or broiled -- but not fried -- fish on a weekly basis had a greater volume of gray matter in areas of the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease than people who didn't eat fish as often.  Preserving brain volume was also associated with lower rates of developing cognitive impairment.  Fish consumption benefits gray matter volume, potentially reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia long-term.

Although a National Institutes of Health panel decided last year that nothing conclusively prevents Alzheimer's disease, researchers continue to investigate whether a healthy diet, or specific components can have any beneficial effects.

A study of 260 people, mean age 71, were enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study between 1989 and 1990. At that time, they filled out questionnaires on dietary intake; 163 reported eating fish at least weekly, and some did so as often as four times a week.  All patients had an MRI 10 years later to assess brain volume, and then had follow-up cognitive testing between 2002 and 2003.

The researchers found that patients who ate fish at least once a week had greater volume in the frontal lobes and the temporal lobes, including the hippocampus and the posterior cingulate gyrus (these are the areas responsible for memory and learning, which are severely affected in Alzheimer's disease.

Five years after the MRI, they found that 30.8% of patients who had low fish intake had developed mild cognitive impairment or dementia, compared with just 3.2% of those who had the highest fish intake and the greatest preservation of brain volume.

They also saw that 47% of patients with brain atrophy who didn't eat fish had abnormal cognition five years later compared with 28% of those who ate more fish and had more gray matter volume.

In further analyses, the researchers found that mean scores for working memory -- a function severely impaired in Alzheimer's disease -- were significantly higher among those who ate fish weekly.

This simple lifestyle choice of eating more fish increases the brain's resistance to Alzheimer's disease, potentially via a few mechanisms: Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help increase blood flow to the brain and can also act as an antioxidant, thereby reducing inflammation, he said.

Omega-3s may also prevent the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain.

Fatty fish like salmon have more omega-3s, while smaller fish, such as cod, have less.

It would be safe to say that this study provides another hypothesis about the possible beneficial effect of a diet rich in fish ingredients and a delay of cognitive functioning like memory loss.

Bottom Line: In this study, eating fish at least once a week appeared to help lower older patients' risk of developing dementia.

This blog has been modified from MedPage: