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Low Vitamin D and High Blood Pressure

Low levels of vitamin D may be a cause of high blood pressure, according to a new study published on June 25, 2014 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Vitamin D is nicknamed the sunshine vitamin because the body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. People also get vitamin D through foods such as eggs, milk, yogurt, tuna, salmon, cereal and orange juice.

In the new study, researchers analyzed genetic data from more than 146,500 people of European descent in Europe and North America. For each 10 percent increase in vitamin D levels, there was an 8 percent decrease… Continue reading

CBC Test Predicts Life Expectancy

CBC Risk Score TestResearchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah in collaboration with scientists at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston completed a study using the complete blood count risk score, an inexpensive tool that uses all of the information in the common CBC blood test that includes data that is frequently underused by physicians. CBC test may predict who is at highest risk to develop heart problems, and how long these people may have to live.

The study was presented at the 2013 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Dallas on Nov. 19, 2013.

“Physicians can now… Continue reading

Why Blood Cultures Are Important

Blood Draw for Culture

Because every patient with suspected sepsis deserves to be treated following best practices.

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. Sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail.

If sepsis progresses to septic shock, blood pressure drops dramatically, which may lead to death.

Anyone can develop sepsis, but it’s most common and most dangerous in elderly people or those with weakened immune systems. Early treatment of sepsis, usually with antibiotics and large amounts of intravenous fluids, improves chances for survival.

More Testing for Cholesterol

Even though rising obesity rates are contributing to higher cholesterol levels among young Americans, less than 4 percent of U.S. children had their cholesterol levels checked between 1995 and 2010, new research shows.

According to a team led by Dr. Samuel Vinci of Boston Children’s Hospital, abnormal blood cholesterol reading are thought to occur in roughly a fifth of American children and adolescents.

The concern is that – if left untreated – problematic cholesterol levels among youth could translate into heart disease in adulthood.

Alert to the problem, since 2007 several organizations – including the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and… Continue reading

Sleep Apnea Fact Sheet

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that pauses the breath of a person while they are asleep. The soft tissue at the back of the throat reclines and obstructs a person’s airway while they sleep. It affects people of all ages, however, sleep apnea occurs most often in adults over the age of 60. In fact, over 20% of all older adults in the United States are affected by this disorder.

Not only does sleep apnea affect the quality of a person’s sleep, but also impacts other areas of their health and quality of life, causing headaches, memory problems, and… Continue reading

Diabetes Affects 9.3% of Americans

Shocking data published by Annals of Internal Medicine. About 21 million American adults are obese and diabetic.

“Diabetes has increased dramatically. The rates have almost doubled since the late ’80s and early ’90s,” said Elizabeth Selvin, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore.

“This study also highlights that the increase in diabetes really tracks closely with the epidemic of obesity. The diabetes epidemic is really a direct consequence of the rise in obesity,” Selvin said.

There are two main types of diabetes — type 1… Continue reading

Google Helps Sequence Whole Human Genomes of Healthy 100-Year-Olds

A new initiative by Google may provide new tools and medical laboratory tests that can be used in the management of geriatric patients.

Google’s founders believe that analysis of the genomes of people who live to be 100 years old and are relatively healthy will allow them to solve the puzzle of human aging. They have funded a new company, Calico — short for California Life Company, to pursue this goal. The research should develop a better understanding of the dynamics of human aging and the diseases associated with it.

Calico is backed by Google Ventures.… Continue reading

The Low T [testosterone] Syndrome Gimmick

The rate of testosterone supplementation has nearly quadrupled in the United States since 2000, according to new research published online January 1 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

While testosterone levels naturally decrease gradually with age and in the presence of factors including chronic disease, obesity, or smoking, most guidelines recommend supplementation only when patients have symptoms and have low testosterone levels that are confirmed by repeated laboratory tests.

Test the levels before you act, i.e. buying into a marketing hype or getting a prescription – Presentation by Henry R. Black, MD.


Blood Test to Predict Alzheimer’s

A blood test has been developed that can predict with 90 percent certainty whether a senior will suffer from dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease within the next few years.

The test relies on levels of 10 lipids, or fats, in the bloodstream to estimate the chances of either mild cognitive impairment – which involves memory loss and a decline in thinking ability – or the beginnings of Alzheimer’s disease.

Low levels of these 10 blood fats can predict impending dementia symptoms with remarkable accuracy, said the study author Dr. Howard Federoff, executive dean of the Georgetown University School of Medicine.… Continue reading