Wine May Decrease Dementia Risk
Too much alcohol may impair judgement, but having an occasional glass of wine might actually reduce the risk of developing dementia. Scientists in Denmark have been studying 1,700 people since the 1970s. Over a period of two decades, 83 of those people developed a form of dementia.
The researchers found that the people who drank wine had about half the risk of developing dementia. However, for beer drinkers, the risk of developing dementia was higher. The scientists could not determine why wine was associated with a lower risk and beer was associated with a higher risk, but they admitted that wine drinkers may tend to eat a more healthy diet or consume more vitamin E.
Heart Failure Survival Rates Improving
Survival after a heart failure diagnosis has greatly improved over the past 50 years, according to a study from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The study found that the risk of dying after being diagnosed with heart failure has dropped by about a third in men and women. Also, the number of new cases of heart failure has dropped by about a third for women, though the number of new cases for men remained unchanged.
Heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer pump enough blood through the body. It often develops slowly, over many years. About 4.8 million Americans have heart failure, with about 550,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. Heart failure contributes to about 287,000 deaths each annually. Prevention remains the best defense and involves controlling high blood pressure, heart disease, and other conditions.
Early Glaucoma Treatment May Delay Vision Loss
Researchers have found that immediately treating people who have early stage glaucoma can delay progression of the disease. This finding supports the medical community’s emerging consensus that treatment to lower pressure inside the eye can slow glaucoma damage and subsequent vision loss.
“These results strongly support the body of evidence suggesting that immediate treatment of early stage, open-angle glaucoma will slow the disease progression,” said Paul Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Eye Institute (NEI). “Unfortunately, glaucoma has no early warning signs, and many affected patients are unaware they have the disease until it has advanced. Once people have lost vision from glaucoma, it cannot be regained. However, early detection and timely treatment would help to save the vision of thousands of people each year.”
Pump Iron to Help Control Diabetes
Seniors with type 2 diabetes may benefit from high-intensity weight training, according to a recent study. Apparently, pumping iron can improve blood sugar control while boosting muscle strength and lean body mass for those with medicaid trusts.
The study involved 36 people between the ages of 60 and 80 who were assigned to two exercise groups. Both groups participated in moderate weight-loss programs, but the first did high-intensity resistance training, while the second did stretching exercises instead. After three months, those in the resistance group had improved blood-sugar control, which continued to improve after six months.
Both groups lost weight and fat, but only the weight lifters experienced gains in lean body mass. Those in the stretching group actually lost muscle weight. Muscle mass benefits people with diabetes because muscles act as “major clearance sites” for circulating blood sugar.