heart disease

  1. Take a stand against sitting

    Too much time on your rear could put your bottom at risk and your life on the line: A new study finds that people who work sedentary jobs have a dramatically higher risk of colorectal cancers.

    Researchers compared work history, lifestyle factors and levels of physical activity of 918 colon cancer patients to
    1,021 people who didn't have the disease, and ranked their jobs based on the levels of physical activity throughout  the day.

    They found that those who spent a decade or more doing work that required little to no movement had more than twice the risk of colon cancer than those who never held a sedentary job.

    Non-movers were also 44 percent more likely to get rectal cancer, according to the study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

    That's bad enough… but the news gets even worse for office workers who think time on a treadmill will keep them a step ahead of disease: Daily exercise did nothing to reverse that risk.

    The one "caveat" on the study, if you can call it that, is that sitting was linked only to cancers of the rectum and distal colon – not the proximal colon.

    But really, how much does that distinction matter to someone who's just been told they have cancer… and the office job they've held for the past decade or so could be the reason?

    And even if you escape those cancers, a low-movement job could still put you at risk for just about everything else.

    One study earlier this year found that sedentary jobs can be as unhealthy as smoking, causing a dramatic rise in the odds of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and an early death.

    Another study, published last year but getting some recent attention thanks to prominent play on CNN, found that women who sat for more than six hours a day were 37 percent more likely to die during the 14-year study period than women who sat for less than three hours a day.

    For men, that boost in risk was 20 percent, according to the study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

    Again, regular exercise didn't help – a flurry of activity for 20 or 30 minutes in the evening won't make up for being parked on your butt all day and lying on your back all night.

    If you can't change jobs, change habits: If your career keeps you in a seat, find creative ways to get up and get moving as much as you can.

    Your butt is on the line here… and so's your life.

  2. TV linked to death

    I always figured shows like "Jersey Shore" killed more brain cells than marijuana... but it turns out that death risk extends to the rest of your body too.

    A new study finds that those of us who spend the most time tuned in are most likely to check out early: Two or more hours of TV a day can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and an early death.

    Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health looked at data from eight studies that tracked more than 200,000 people combined for 7 to 10 years.

    And what they found should be enough to make anyone reach for the "off" button: Every two hours of daily screen time increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent, heart disease by 15 percent, and death itself by 13 percent.

    That's during the study period, of course -- we're all guaranteed death at some point. The trick is putting it off as long as you can... even if that means resisting the temptation to see how Ashton Kutcher does on "Two and a Half Men."

    This isn't the first time TV has been linked to serious health problems. One recent study found that people who watch four or more hours a day face an 80 percent boost in the odds of heart disease and 46 percent increase in the risk of an early death. (Read more here.)

    And plenty of other studies have found that kids who are glued to the tube risk obesity, developmental problems, social issues, and trouble with schoolwork.

    One study I told you about earlier this spring even found that kids between the ages of 6 and 7 who watch the most TV already show some of the earliest warning signs of heart disease.

    Of course, the real problem exposed by all these studies isn't Ashton Kutcher, the dregs of "Jersey Shore" or even the TV itself.

    The problem is what we do while we watch: Nothing, often with bag of chips or box of cookies within close reach.

    If you really want to save yourself, ditch the TV and the snacks and take up a hobby that involves regular movement
    instead.

    And if you really feel the urge to check in on "Jersey Shore," at least limit your viewing to a few hours a week instead of a few hours a day.

  3. Cuppa jo cuts stroke risk in women

    Everyone's favorite caffeine boost can do a lot more than perk you up--a new study finds that coffee may actually slash the risk of stroke in women.
  4. Mediterranean diet beats diabetes, heart disease

    A new study finds that the Mediterranean diet--a variation on the low-carb diet that still allows for whole grains, rice and even some pasta--can dramatically lower your risk for metabolic syndrome.
  5. A pecan-do attitude towards health

    Eat a pecan right from the shell and you won't just get a tasty treat--a new study finds you'll get an antioxidant boost that could lower your risk for cancer and heart disease.
  6. Relative risk

    A new study finds that demanding relatives and other forms of family stress can increase your odds of getting angina, which is pain caused when the heart doesn't get enough blood.
  7. Some bad meds just won't go away

    Tricyclic antidepressants are so awful they're not even used for depression anymore--but millions of people still take them anyway, because they're commonly used off-label to treat chronic pain.
  8. Garbage by any other name

    In a high-stakes game of switcheroo, the industry responsible for high-fructose corn syrup has asked the FDA for approval to use the name "corn sugar" instead.
  9. Clean teeth, healthy heart

    If you're not brushing after your meals, you could be doing a lot more than giving yourself bad breath and yellow chompers.
  10. Flawed study, flawed conclusion

    Researchers speaking in June at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association made that bold declaration – saying meds beat out stents for these patients.
  11. Repairing the heart—and the soul

    Many people who undergo heart bypass surgery find themselves battling an unexpected side effect: depression.
  12. Big Pharma "polypill" could be five problems in one

    Posted by: on
    Some folks seem to think the idea of replacing five drugs you don't need with a single wonder-pill is cause for celebration.
  13. Don't ignore this deadly threat to your heart

    A new study shows that a third of all Americans have elevated levels of triglycerides.
  14. Heart groups get an "F" when it comes to guidelines

    An alarming new study finds that in many cases, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issue guidelines based on nothing more than anecdotal evidence or the say-so of some expert.
  15. Big Pharma’s statin monster looking to grow

    A new study, called JUPITER, shows that statins can help lower levels of C-Reactive Protein, or CRP, in people with normal LDL cholesterol.
  16. Banning popular painkillers proving to be an ugly process

    An FDA panel recently recommended that the painkillers Darvon and Darvocet be pulled from the market. And it's about time.

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