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CSANews
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SPRING 2012
Swimming lowers blood pressure
A small study published in the American Journal of
Cardiology shows that older adults who swim a few times a
week may lower their systolic blood pressure.
The study group consisted of 43 older adults, with an
average age of 60, who had high blood pressure or pre-
hypertension. Participants were divided into two groups;
one group received supervised swimming sessions, while
the other group learned relaxation exercises. Over 12
weeks, the swimming group swam in the pool three to four
days a week, gradually working their way up to 45 minutes
of swimming at a time. At the end of the study, researchers
found that the participants in the swimming group reduced
their systolic blood
pressure by nine
points. In contrast,
the relaxation
participants
experienced no
change in their
blood pressure.
Swimming is
promoted as a good
exercise for older
adults; it does not
involve bearing of
body weight and is
easy on knee and
ankle joints.
Health
Pulse
Seniorsmay benefit from
bypass surgery over
angioplasty
A recent study shows that patients over the age of 65
who have severe coronary artery disease may benefit
more from bypass surgery than from angioplasty.
The study, which included about 200,000 patients
with more than one blood vessel blocked, found
that those who underwent the bypass surgery had
a 21 per cent reduced risk of dying after a four-year
period, compared to those who received angioplasty.
Minimally invasive angioplasty has been the current
trend in cardiology. Bypass surgery, however, may
become a better option for certain patients. Says
study author Dr. Weintraub, “People will give surgery
another thought, especially for sicker patients.”
Sun exposure hurts your eyes
We all know the effects of UV
rays on our skin. But our eyes
are susceptible to harm as
well. On bright days, excessive
exposure to the sun’s rays can
damage the eye’s surface. Long-
term UV exposure contributes
to the development of several
eye disorders, such as cataracts.
Certain cancers associated
with chronic UV exposure can
develop on the eye’s surface.
And new research suggests that the sun’s high-energy
visible (HEV) radiation — also called blue light —may
increase the long-term risk of macular degeneration.
Sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats can offer protection
against the sun’s harmful rays. Choose sunglasses that
block 100 per cent of UV rays and that absorb most HEV
rays. An eye specialist can help you choose the right lenses.
Check up on
Canada’s health (2010)
Poorer mental skills in obese seniors
Obese seniors between the ages of 60 and 70 have
reduced thinking skills, according to a recent study
published in the journal
Age and Ageing
. Researchers
found that a high body mass index (BMI) was associated
with increased risk of reduced cognitive performance.
Participants with the highest level of abdominal fat
tended to have poorer thinking skills than those with the
least amount of abdominal fat.
“Our findings have important public health implications,”
says study author Dae Hyun Yoon. “The prevention of
obesity, particularly central obesity, might be important
for the prevention of cognitive decline or dementia.”The
study did not show that obesity caused people to have
reduced memory skills.
Source: Statistics Canada
Heavy drinkers –
17.3%
Current smokers –
20.8%
High blood pressure –
17.1%
Overweight or obese adults –
52.3%
Physically active –
52.1%
Has a doctor –
84.8%