Babies born with healthy hearts should be cared for during childhood to ensure good health later in life, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Yet many US children don’t meet seven basic standards of good heart health, the AHA says in a statement in the journal Circulation.
The standards include having a healthy weight in relation to height (body mass index, or BMI), getting enough physical activity, not smoking, following a healthy diet and maintaining healthy cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
“The primary reason kids fell out of cardiovascular health is diet and physical activity,” said the statement’s lead author Julia Steinberger, who is director of paediatric cardiology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
About 91 per cent of US children have poor diets, “because they’re consuming sugary food and drinks,” Steinberger told Reuters. Only about half of young boys and a third of young girls between ages six and 11 are meeting the minimum recommended amount of physical activity per day of 60 minutes, according to the AHA. Those between ages 16 and 19 were even less likely to reach that goal. “This was actually surprising even to those of us who did research in this area, even though we had an idea that lifestyle was poor,” said Steinberger.
Approximately one third of US adolescents report at least trying cigarettes, and that rate was slightly higher for boys than girls, she and her colleagues found. The new statement is a companion document to one published by the AHA in 2010 about heart health in US adults. That paper had a section on childhood heart health that was not very detailed, said Steinberger.
“We thought there needed to be much more detail and refinement of those metrics,” she said. The new statement says children should never try or smoke cigarettes. Their BMI should fall below the 85th percentile, and they should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day. They should have a healthy diet, maintain a total cholesterol lower than 170 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), blood pressure below the 90th percentile and fasting blood sugar below 100 mg/dL
New skin-like sensor maps blood-oxygen levels in body
New York, 08 November 2018 : US engineers have developed a new lightweight, thin and flexible sensor that can map blood-oxygen levels over large areas of skin, tissue and organs, potentially giving doctors a new way to monitor healing wounds in real time.
Injuries cannot heal without a constant influx of blood’s key ingredient — oxygen. The device can track oxygenation of healing wounds in real time.
The sensor is made of organic electronics printed on bendable plastic that moulds to the contours of the body and can be placed anywhere on the skin.
It could potentially be used to map oxygenation of skin grafts, or to look through the skin to monitor oxygen levels in transplanted organs, the researchers said.
“All medical applications that use oxygen monitoring could benefit from a wearable sensor,” said Ana Claudia Arias, Professor at the University of California (UC)- Berkeley .
“Patients with diabetes, respiration diseases and even sleep apnoea could use a sensor that could be worn anywhere to monitor blood-oxygen levels 24/7,” she added.
Existing oximeters (the name for blood-oxygen sensors) use LEDs to shine red and near-infrared light through the skin, and work only on areas of the body that are partially transparent, like the fingertips or the earlobes. It can only measure blood-oxygen levels at a single point in the body.
“Thick regions of the body, such as the forehead, arms and legs, barely pass visible or near-infrared light, which makes measuring oxygenation at these locations really challenging,” the researchers said.
The new sensor, described in the journal PNAS, is built of an array of alternating red and near-infrared organic LEDs and organic photodiodes printed on a flexible material.
The team used the sensor to track the overall blood-oxygen levels on the forehead of a volunteer who breathed air with progressively lower concentrations of oxygen — similar to going up in altitude — and found that it matched those using a standard fingertip oximeter.
They also used the sensor to map blood-oxygen levels in a three-by-three grid on the forearm of a volunteer wearing a pressure cuff.
The Importance of Strength Training
Strength training as a form of exercise gets little to no attention compared to cardiovascular training.Most people know that walking or riding their bike is an essential part of maintaining good health; strength training is often acknowledged as a beneficial thing to do for optimal health, but not essential enough to regularly incorporate into their exercise routine.
Strength training, by definition, is a concerted effort to use resistance or weights to work a muscle group.Many people falsely believe that being active, such as standing and moving during a shift at work, or doing house work, is enough effort to keep muscles healthy and strong.Being active is beneficial to the body, but it takes a focused effort to work muscles by either using weights, or your own body weight, to get the benefits of strength training.
The benefits of strength training are much too important to omit when committing to a healthy lifestyle, and many of these benefits cannot be accomplished with cardiovascular training alone.A well-designed strength-training program can provide the following benefits…
Smokers with diabetes more at risk of early death : Study
New York, Nov 23 : Heavy smokers with diabetes may be at double the risk of facing an early death, a study led by an Indian-origin researcher has found.
Diabetes is a chronic illness in which there are high levels of glucose in the blood. People with diabetes may also be at risk for numerous other health complications.
“The study found that diabetes doubles the risk for all-cause mortality and non-lung cancer mortality among heavy smokers,” said Kavita Garg, Professor at the University of Colorado-Denver, in the US.
In the study, nearly 13 per cent of patients with diabetes died as compared to 6.8 per cent of patients without diabetes.
Participants with diabetes tended to be older, reported more pack-years of smoking, and had a higher BMI than those without diabetes.
In addition, the study also found that women with diabetes have an increased risk of lung-cancer mortality.
However, the same effect was not found in men, the researchers observed.
For the study, Garg and colleagues conducted an analysis on 53,454 participants from US on the relative risk for overall mortality, lung cancer mortality, and non-lung cancer mortality associated with diabetes.
Over the course of the study, there were 3,936 total deaths, including 1,021 from lung cancer and 826 from non-lung cancers.
Garg emphasised that smokers should undergo lung cancer screening as well control their diabetes.
“Patients have to take care of their diabetes to maximise the benefit of CT screening for lung cancer. It truly makes a magnitude of difference in mortality risk,” Garg noted.
The study will be presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, US
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