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CSANews
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WINTER 2013
Health
Pulse
Don’t Lose Sight of Social Activity
A recent study suggests that nearly half of
all people with poor vision curtail once-
enjoyable activities to avoid falling which, in
turn, increases their risk of social isolation.
Social isolation is a potential risk factor for
poor health, dementia and premature death.
Researchers studied 250 older adults (average
age, 79) with age-macular degeneration,
glaucoma or Fuchs’ dystrophy. Almost half of
the participants limited their activities due to
the fear of falling because of their poor vision.
Researchers urge those with limited eyesight to
talk to their eye doctor about their fears; often,
patients can be referred to specialists who can
develop interventions to help patients feel
more confident about their abilities.
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Reduce Your Chances of
Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Your risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes – a potentially life-
threatening condition – are based on both your genes and your
lifestyle. While you can’t change your genes, you can improve your
lifestyle to reduce the risk. Here are some tips which can help:
KnowYour Body Mass Index (BMI)
.
Being overweight or obese
increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As such,
knowing if your BMI is too high is important.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Eating more fruits and vegetables
and foods that are rich in fibre, low in sugar and low in fat can help
you maintain or lose weight. Also, be sure to monitor portion sizes
to make sure that you are not overeating.
Be physically active.
Increasing physical activity can control your
weight and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Manage high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose
(sugar) levels.
Studies show that managing your blood pressure,
cholesterol and glucose (sugar) levels can substantially reduce the
risk of diabetes complications, such as heart disease and stroke. A
health-care provider can help you monitor these items.
Discuss your risk factors with your health-care provider.
You
can have type 2 diabetes, but you may not notice any symptoms.
Regular checkups with your health-care provider are important to
prevent or manage diabetes.
Source:
Is Switching Doctors Bad for Your Health?
Patients who see familiar doctors have a better shot at recovering from
heart failure than those who are forced to go to physicians whom they
don’t know, new Canadian research shows.
A study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked
at 24,373 patients admitted to hospital with heart failure.
The researchers found that patients who received quick followup care
fared better. They were less likely to die or be readmitted to hospital
within six months.
The same was true for patients who saw familiar doctors during their
followup care.
“Early physician followup after discharge and physician continuity were
both associated with better outcomes among patients with heart failure,”
the study concluded.
The study’s authors say that more research is needed regarding physician
continuity to see how it might impact other aspects of health care.
Source:
Mosquito-borne Disease
Warning for Travellers to U.S.
Government health departments
in the U.S. have provided
advice for visitors regarding
prevention of mosquito-
borne diseases that
occur throughout the
country, including
dengue fever,
eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), La
Cross virus andWest Nile virus. Although
the risk of infection in travellers is generally
considered to be low, it is important that they
be made aware of the potential for infection.
The government’s advice for travellers
states: “The risk of contracting mosquito-
transmitted viruses during travel to the U.S.
depends on the destination, season, length
of exposure and the intensity of disease
transmission at the time of travel. Certain
groups are at increased risk of complications
– for example, people over 60 or those with
medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes,
hypertension, kidney disease or who have
had organ transplants are at the highest risk
of developing severeWest Nile virus.”
Source: International Travel Insurance Journal