Science Says You Can Actually Sleep Your Way To A Better Life

Unless the first thing your feet touch in the morning is a pile of sharp nails or surprise pet droppings, waking up on the wrong side of the bed is physically impossible. Waking up from a rough night’s sleep, however, can definitely start the day off on a sour note. And if your quality of sleep can alter an entire day, how is sleep important for your health over a lifetime?

Wu-Tang Clan once said “cash rules everything around me,” but new research suggests it’s less about the money (money, money), and more about how your sleeping patterns control your quality of life overall. A study conducted by the Oxford Economics and National Center for Social Research asked 8,250 UK residents to complete a survey that focused on the eight pillars of well-being. Out of the eight — some of which include sex life, job security, and relationship status — sleep quality was found to have the most influence over whether or not a person considered themselves to be “living well.”

While I can’t speak for everyone, I personally feel like I’m living my best life when I can clock in anywhere between six and eight hours of uninterrupted snooze time for multiple nights in a row. It helps me feel more alert, energized, and motivated to give my all in my day-to-day tasks. But sleep can affect much more than how awake you feel throughout the day. In fact, it influences almost every aspect of your life.

For example, those who sleep less than six hours a night are prone to inflammation and disease.

A 2010 study performed by Emory University School of Medicine’s cardiology fellow Alanna Morris, MD, assessed the sleep duration and quality of 525 middle-aged participants. Results showed that acute sleep deprivation “leads to an increased production of inflammatory hormones,” as well as changes in blood vessel functionality — aka your blood flow, and how it affects your liver.

Yikes.

Inflammation can potentially lead to a whole slew of health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. You might want to think about that the next time you’re considering skipping a few hours of sleep in favor of finishing up that last season of .

The FDA-recommended sweet spot for sleep is anywhere from six to eight hours a night, which science says will help reduce stress overall.

In the opening scene of , Tracy Turnblad rises out of bed, singing and dancing until she reaches the front steps of her high school. I’m not suggesting that a full night’s rest will have you serenading your neighbors with Broadway show tunes, but it’ll definitely have you up and ready to conquer whatever the day has in store.

Raymonde Jean, MD, director of sleep medicine and associate director of critical care at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, told ,

Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure.

It’s also believed that sleep affects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.

Circling back to that idea of waking up on the wrong side of the bed, according to the National Sleep Organization, the right amount of sleep regulates the “feel-good brain chemicals” dopamine and serotonin, causing you to wake up feeling recharged, refreshed, and even more confident. The better you feel, the less likely it is that stressful situations can put a damper on your mood.

However, there is such a thing as getting too much sleep.

I’ll be the first to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed all those adolescent years of sleeping in, sometimes past noon, only to laze around the house in my pajamas all weekend long. And while, at the time, snoozing into the early afternoon felt fantastic, sleeping in too often isn’t all that great for your health.

SKelsey Down, a sleep expert and writer for Sleep Train, tells Elite Daily,

If you’re sleeping too much, it might be a sign that you’re not getting enough rest due to a health issue like sleep apnea, or that you are depressed.

Too much sleep might lead to anxiety, lethargy, or reduced cognitive functioning.

Too little or too much of anything is never beneficial to your health, and surprisingly, that goes for how much you’re sleeping, too. The recommended six to eight hours is definitely the target to aim for, so take a look at your schedule and rearrange accordingly.

Look, it’s not the end of the world if you’re stuck tossing and turning one night and staying in bed past 10 a.m. the next, but getting the correct amount of sleep will ensure a higher quality of life and that, in my opinion, is worth missing an episode or two of .

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/wellness/science-says-can-actually-sleep-way-better-life/2075792/

Disturbed sleep patterns may be key to ADHD, study finds

Research links disruption of body clock to number of chronic conditions

Struggling to concentrate, having too much energy and being unable to control behaviour the main manifestations of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been linked to disruptions in sleep, researchers will reveal on Sunday.

The findings underline a growing awareness among doctors that disturbed sleep is associated with many major health hazards. Other ailments linked to the problem include obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The work opens up the possibility of developing treatments for ADHD without drugs, the researchers say.

Speaking at a pharmacology conference in Paris, Professor Sandra Kooij, of VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, will outline research which shows poor sleep is a sign that the timings of many physiological processes are not properly synchronised.

The onset of ADHD is one of the clear signs that this is taking place. Our research is making clear that sleep disruption and ADHD are intertwined. Essentially, they are two sides of the same physiological and mental coin, said Kooij, speaking before her presentation.

Symptoms of ADHD, which also include mood swings and impulsiveness, are generally noticed at a fairly early age, often when a child is being sent to school for the first time, although cases are sometimes not recognised until adulthood. It is estimated that between 2% and 5% of people are affected by ADHD at some time. According to Kooij, the condition is very often inherited and usually has a pronounced neurological background.

In addition, about 80% of cases are associated with profound sleep disturbances. This is most frequently manifested as delays in the onset of sleep, Kooij will tell delegates at the annual congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Paris.

People simply cannot go to bed and fall sleep at the end of the day like others, she said. And that has consequences. Affected individuals sometimes cannot get to sleep until around 3am but they still have to get up to go to work or school. The result is a drastic loss of sleep.

This problem is linked, in turn, to disturbances in levels of the neurological transmitters dopamine and melatonin in the brain, she said. These chemicals control when we fall asleep and when we wake up by directing the brains circadian system, the internal biological clock which keeps us in sync with the 24-hour day.

Other conditions linked to disturbed dopamine and melatonin levels include restless leg syndrome an irresistible urge to move your legs and sleep apnoea, in which breathing is disturbed during sleep. These disorders are also linked to ADHD, said Kooij.

This claim is backed by Professor Andreas Reif, of University Hospital, Frankfurt. A disturbance of the circadian system may indeed be a core mechanism in ADHD but beyond these considerations, sleep abnormalities are a huge problem for many patients, heavily impacting on their social life. More research is very relevant to improve patients lives. The crucial point is that a cascade of health disorders, including ADHD, appear to be triggered by disruptions to circadian rhythms, offering some routes to counter these conditions by attempting to restore a patients body clock. Kooij said her team was now looking for biomarkers, such as vitaminD levels, blood glucose, cortisol levels, 24-hour blood pressure, and heart-rate variability that are associated with sleeplessness.

Once we can do that, we may be able to treat some ADHD by non-pharmacological methods, such as changing light or sleep patterns. We may also be able to prevent the negative impact of chronic sleep loss on health in general.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/02/disturbed-sleep-patterns-may-be-key-to-adhd

Could a drug that mimics a zero-carb diet help us live longer, healthier lives?

Researchers hope to develop a medication that mimics a diet stripped of carbohydrate, after two studies showed clear benefits in mice

A drug that mimics a zero-carbohydrate diet could help people live longer, healthier lives and have better memories in old age, US researchers claim.

Scientists hope to develop a medication after two independent studies showed that mice fed on a diet stripped of all carbohydrate lived longer and performed better on a range of physical and mental tasks than those that had regular meals.

Because the diet is hard to stick to, the researchers are working on a compound that aims to deliver the same benefits for humans. If they are successful, it would amount to an extra seven to ten years of life on average, and protection against the weakening muscles and faltering memories that are defining aspects of human ageing.

Im excited about this, and its hard not to be after what weve seen that it does. These are pretty profound effects, said Eric Verdin, a physician who led one of the studies at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in California.

The zero carb diet was designed to induce a dramatic change in metabolism, by fooling the mice into thinking they were fasting. When deprived of carbohydrate, the body shifts from using glucose as its main energy source to burning fat and producing chemicals in the liver known as ketone bodies.

In 2013, Verdin showed that a ketone body called BHB served as fuel in the body and might also protect animals against the microscopic damage that builds up in cells as part of the natural ageing process.

In a new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, Verdin and his colleagues describe how they fed one-year-old mice either a normal high-carbohydrate diet; a high-fat, low-carb diet; or a high-fat, zero-carb diet, also known as a ketogenic diet. They found that mice on the zero-carb diet were more likely to reach old age and scored better on memory tasks than those on the other diets.

Similar benefits of the ketogenic diet were seen in a separate study by scientists at the University of California in San Diego. Megan Roberts and others found that mice fed on a zero-carbohydrate diet lived 13% longer, reaching an average age of 1,003 days compared with 886 days for mice given standard meals.

But while the zero-carb diet appeared to benefit mice, its health effects have yet to be proven in humans. To make up the calories, the mouse diet contained 90% fat, which could be dangerous for humans to adopt.

Stephen ORahilly, director of the Metabolic Research Laboratories at Cambridge University, said high-fat diets drive up LDL or bad cholesterol in humans, and so raise the risk of heart disease. Mice dont really use LDL cholesterol in the first place, so it doesnt have that bad impact on them, he said.

The work could still lead to valuable insights though. We may be able to learn from these studies what some of the pathways are that this sort of diet influences to keep mice somewhat generally healthier as they age. But for it to be useful in humans we would have to somehow dissociate these effects from the adverse effects on circulating LDL cholesterol, ORahilly added.

Verdin said that the difficulty of sticking to the diet was a major reason his team was searching for drugs to mimic the its effects. Tests are underway on a compound that produces BHB in the body in the hope that it could be taken as a supplement, he said.

The biggest problem with the diet is that it is difficult to maintain as a lifestyle, Verdin said. Its an antisocial diet. You can hardly eat anything that most of us like.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/sep/05/could-a-drug-that-mimics-a-zero-carb-diet-help-us-live-longer-healthier-lives

‘A pedometer saved my life’: How I became fit in my 60s – BBC News

Image copyright Stephanie Robinson
Image caption Graham’s doctor suggested he join a local walking group in Stockport two years ago.

Graham Ward was 60 when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

It came after decades of eating and drinking too much in a high-stress, sedentary job: “It was an explosion waiting to happen,” he said.

For Graham, whose wife had become increasingly disabled through multiple sclerosis, the diagnosis was a wake-up call.

“I need to be able to help her – and I need to be around for longer,” he said.

Graham is not alone in his diagnosis.

Public Health England estimates that 42% of 45- to 64-year-olds have a long-term health condition such as diabetes or heart disease.

This week, it urged middle-aged people to walk more often and more briskly.

10 minutes a day

It is encouraging those between the ages of 40 and 60 to start doing regular brisk walks of just 10 minutes a day.

One in five middle-aged people is physically inactive, engaging in less than 30 minutes of exercise a week, it says.

To help, the government agency is promoting a free app – Active 10 – which can monitor the amount of brisk walking an individual does and provide tips on how to incorporate more of it into the daily routine.

Image copyright Supplied
Image caption When he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2015, Graham, pictured here with his wife, weighed 18 stone

When Graham was diagnosed as a diabetic, he realised he needed to make changes: “My clothes were getting tighter, and I was hearing how being overweight could affect my life and health in other ways,” he said.

Diabetes has been linked to other issues such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, causing a reduction in one’s life expectancy.

He said beforehand he had managed to turn a blind eye to this.

“When someone is in front of you telling you it’s you, there’s nowhere to hide,” he said.

“They’re not talking about the other millions of people out there.”

Graham’s doctor suggested he should join a local walking group in Stockport.

“I started and I was a bit nervous. With a couple of hills, it was more walking than I’d been doing,” he said.

He was talked into the 1.9 mile walk by the group leader.

“After the first time, I overcame all those fears.”

He invested in a pair of new shoes and gradually increased his walks to reach five miles.

Image copyright Supplied
Image caption Over a period of months, Graham graduated from walking three kilometres to eight kilometres

“It was a very quick improvement, once you realise after the first one or two that you don’t become immediately breathless and that you can walk further from home than you thought,” said Graham.

“I moved on from walking with that group, to walking by myself, walking further distances and the pounds started falling off me.”

He used a pedometer to make sure he was reaching the recommended 10,000 steps a day.

Now he does about 15,000 steps and has lost 50lb.

“My trousers were falling off me. I had to throw away all the clothes I owned,” he said.

Graham said the benefits were not only physical.

“I’m fitter, healthier, more confident. When you start walking you see things in your area that you haven’t seen before, such as discovering canal towpaths.”

His advice to others is not to be “disappointed if it doesn’t happen in the first few weeks”.

Now, he and his wife diet and swim together.

“When I’m playing with my grandchildren now, it’s them that get tired before me,” Graham said.

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41041926

Alarming News For Anyone Who Thinks Coconut Oil Is A Healthy Ingredient

Its time to stop turning to coconut oil to make your brownies healthier.

Coconut oil, it turns out, is not the health food people think it is. This oil might be stocked on the shelves of your health food store, but a recent report released by the American Heart Association suggests that this might be a mistake.

Youre not alone in this misconception. An AHA survey found that 72 percent of Americans considered coconut oil a health food.But coconut oil, it turns out, is shockingly high in saturated fats. And saturated fat even though some elements of its effects are up for debate isnt good for you no matter how you slice it.

In fact,82 percentof the fat found in coconut oil is saturated thats significantly more than olive oil, which clocks in at 14 percent and canola oil, which contains a mere seven percent.

The AHA reviewed existing data on saturated fats and found that in seven out of eight studies, coconut oil actually increased LDL cholesterol the bad cholesterol which is a cause of cardiovascular disease. The findings were so clear that Frank Sacks, the reports lead author, toldUSA Today,You can put it on your body, but dont put it in your body.Roger that.

Youre better off sticking to oils that are lower in saturated fats such as the aforementioned olive oil. Olive oil, some studies suggest, helps good cholesterol do its job. And we can all use help with that.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/coconut-oil-not-healthy_us_5947d509e4b06bb7d27498d4

Hospital cuts planned in most of England – BBC News

Hospital services in nearly two-thirds of England could be cut or scaled back, BBC analysis of local plans shows.

The proposals are part of a programme to transform the health service and save money across 44 different areas.

The BBC found 28 proposals affect hospital care, from full closures to centralising services, such as A&E and stroke care, on fewer sites.

NHS England argue patients will receive better care in the community to compensate for the hospital cuts.

The proposals also include the creation of “super” community hubs of GPs, care workers and district nurses, seven-day access to GPs and getting hospital specialists to run clinics in the community.

The BBC analysis found:

  • Plans to reduce the number of hospital sites in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland from three to two
  • In the Black Country a 700m funding gap means one hospital may have to be closed
  • Maternity and children’s services being “centralised” on to one site in Lincolnshire
  • A warning in West Yorkshire and Harrogate that having five hyper-acute stroke services may “no longer be viable”
  • The downgrading of two out of three A&Es in Mid and South Essex, with only one retaining specialist emergency care
  • In South West London, proposals to reduce the number of major hospitals from five to four
  • Plans in Nottinghamshire to significantly downsize City Hospital and reduce the number of beds across Nottingham by 200
  • In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, consideration being given to centralising specialised orthopaedic trauma services at two local hospitals

Overall, a third of the 44 plans look to reduce the number of hospitals providing emergency care, while in another third of areas they have said they will consider moving non-emergency care to fewer sites.


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Find out the NHS plans in your area

Need help finding out which region you are in? See the map at the foot of the page.


Will the plans work?

The King’s Fund think tank, which has also carried out a review of the plans, warned that a lack of investment meant the ideas being put forward were not always credible.

The government is investing more money in the health service, but a fund set up to pay for changing services has been used to tackle NHS deficits, figures released on Monday showed.

The King’s Fund warned that community services in many areas were already “feeling the strain” and could not cope with an increase in workload.

And the think tank said further reductions in the number of hospital beds could destabilise services that were already “stretched to their limits” following the difficult winter.

Prof Chris Ham, the think tank’s chief executive, said they were still the “best hope of delivering essential reforms” in the NHS, as care needed to be moved out of hospital.

This is seen as vital because the ageing population and growth in long-term conditions, such as dementia and heart disease, mean people are more likely to benefit from support in the community to stay well rather than inpatient hospital care when their health deteriorates.

How the transformation programme works

Image copyright Thinkstock

The proposals – known as sustainability and transformation plans – have been drawn up as part of NHS England’s five-year strategy to release 22bn of efficiency savings by 2020.

Reviews were set up in early 2016 and consultations on major changes will take place later this year with the hope that implementation will follow soon after.

But the King’s Fund warned that the changes could be subject to legal challenges.

Is extra money needed?

A 1.8bn pot set aside this year for funding transformation has been used to shore up NHS trust finances as they struggle to balance their books.

A Department of Health spokesman maintained that the extra money being invested in the NHS this Parliament still gave the health service enough funds to change the way it worked.

“These NHS plans – developed by local doctors, hospitals and councils working together with the communities they serve – will help patients get better care,” he added.

But others have questioned whether this will be enough. The NHS budget is forecast to rise by about 1% a year above inflation on average during this Parliament – much less than the 4% average the NHS has enjoyed throughout the rest of its history.

New technologies

There is a lot of support for the concept of moving care out of hospitals. It is hoped it will help keep people well and living independently in the community.

NHS England, which is overseeing the plans, said they offer the best hope of improving patient care in a sustainable way.

“They will allow the NHS to take advantage of new technologies, adopt successful practice more widely, and make practical improvements in areas that we know matter most to patients,” a spokeswoman added.

Jeremy Taylor, chief executive of patient group National Voices, said while the process was “not without flaws”, the overall vision had the potential to meet 21st Century needs.

“More than 70% of the NHS budget is spent on people with at least one long-term condition. This is a severe challenge to a system originally set up to provide reactive care for spells of illness.”

The benefits of scaling back hospital services

Image copyright Spl

Stroke care in London is now world class – and it is all because some services were shut down.

The capital’s stroke care was overhauled in early 2010. Instead of being spread across 30 hospitals as they used to be, services are now centralised on eight “super sites”.

It has meant patients get fast, 24-hour access to the best care, saving hundreds of lives a year.

If a stroke is suspected, a patient is immediately taken to one of the eight centres. There they are assessed by a stroke specialist and given a brain scan within 30 minutes of arrival.

Need more help finding your local NHS area?

1. Northumberland, Tyne and Wear

2. West, North and East Cumbria

3. Durham, Darlington, Tees, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby

4. Lancashire and South Cumbria

5. West Yorkshire

6. Coast, Humber and Vale

7. Greater Manchester

8. Cheshire and Merseyside

9. South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw

10. Staffordshire

11. Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin

12. Derbyshire

13. Lincolnshire

14. Nottinghamshire

15. Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

16. The Black Country

17. Birmingham and Solihull

18. Coventry and Warwickshire

19. Herefordshire and Worcestershire

20. Northamptonshire

21. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

22. Norfolk and Waveney

23. Suffolk and North East Essex

24. Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Luton

25. Hertfordshire and West Essex

26. Mid and South Essex

27. North West London

28. North Central London

29. North East London

30. South East London

31. South West London

32. Kent and Medway

33. Sussex and East Surrey

34. Frimley Health

35. Surrey Heartlands

36. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

37. Devon

38. Somerset

39. Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

40. Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire

41. Dorset

42. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

43. Gloucestershire

44. Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39031546

This GIF Shows What A Baby Can See Every Month For The First Year Of Its Life

Despite being able to appreciate art, fake cry and understand basic physics, it takes infants years to see clearly.

Eye clinic Clinic Compareworked with a consultant atMoorfields Eye Hospital in London to develop a GIF that shows how babies learn to see the world around them every month for their first year on earth.

It shows that children cannot really focus on their parents’ faces, even close up, until they’re around three months old. Even then, a child’s vision doesn’t fully mature until they’re almost two.

Angunawela told Business Insider that, from the moment a child opens their eyes for the first time, the visual cortex of the brain begins to learn to process the flood of visual information it encounters.

“At birth, a baby sees things more clearly at eight-10cm, but their range of vision extends as they grow.”

The visualization shows how babies eyes tend to be less coordinated at first, as their brains get used to processing new information.

But after three months, a child can start to focus and recognize parents’ faces. “This may coincide with their first smile, as facial muscle coordination also develops apace,” said Angunawela.

Vision continues to develop steadily and by two years old, a child’s sight is nearly fully developed. “This coincides with increased interest and exploration of the world around them.”

Watch the GIF below to see how a newborn starts to focus on the new world around them.

Read the original article on Business insider.Follow us onFacebookandTwitter. Copyright 2017.

Read next on Business Insider:Depression is probably much harder on your heart than we realized

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/this-gif-shows-what-a-baby-can-see-every-month-for-the-first-year-of-its-life/

One third of world now overweight, with US leading the way

(CNN)More than two billion adults and children globally are overweight or obese and suffer health problems because of their weight, a new study reports.

This equates to one-third of the world’s population carrying excess weight, fueled by urbanization, poor diets and reduced physical activity.
The United States has the greatest percentage of obese children and young adultcs, at 13%, while Egypt led in terms of adult obesity, with almost 35%, among the 195 countries and territories included in the study.
    While 2.2 billion people were obese or overweight in 2015, more than 710 million of them were classed as obese, with 5% of all children and 12% of adults fitting into this category.
    An increasing number globally are dying from health problems linked to being overweight, such as cardiovascular disease, said the study, which published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
    Almost 40% of the 4 million dying as a result of their higher body mass index were not yet obese, highlighting that deaths are occurring almost as often in those considered overweight as those considered obese.
    Body mass index is the ratio between a person’s weight and height; a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while anything over 30 is obese.
    “People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk — risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who worked on the study.
    “Those half-serious New Year’s resolutions to lose weight should become year-round commitments to lose weight and prevent future weight gain,” he said in a statement.

    The global obesity picture

    The IHME researchers analyzed data from 68.5 million people between 1980 and 2015 to explore trends as well as figures regarding overweight and obesity rates.
    Data was obtained from the most recent Global Burden of Disease study, which explores all major diseases, conditions and injuries globally by age, sex and population.
    The data revealed that the number of people affected by obesity has doubled since 1980 in 73 countries, and continued to rise across most other countries included in the analysis.
    Obesity levels were higher among women than men across all age groups, which correlates with previous findings on obesity.
    Percentages of children who were obese were lower than adults, but the rate at which their numbers have increased was greater, signifying more risk in the future if nothing is done to curb the problem.
    In terms of numbers, the large population sizes of China and India meant they had the highest numbers of obese children, with 15.3 million and 14.4 million, respectively.
    Despite a smaller population, the United States had the greatest number of obese adults, with 79.4 million (35% of the population), followed by China with 57.3 million.
    The lowest obesity rates were seen in Bangladesh and Vietnam, at 1%.
    “This re-emphasizes what we already know about the obesity epidemic,” said Goodarz Danaei, assistant professor or global health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “But it raises the alarm that we may be facing a wave of obesity in the coming years across high and low income countries.”
    Danaei believes that while the epidemic may have plateaued in terms of growth among certain adult populations, such as the US population, the greater rate of change among children means there will be a future cohort of people who have been exposed to a high BMI for a longer period of time, which researchers will not have faced before.
    “We don’t really know what the long-term effects will be if exposed to high BMI over 20, 30, 40 years,” said Danaei, who was not involved in the study. “It may be larger than we have already seen.”

    A rise and fall in numbers affected by disease

    In addition to highlighting the scale of the global obesity epidemic, the researchers hope to raise awareness of the diseases linked to being overweight that can prove fatal.
    Almost 70% of deaths related to an elevated BMI in the analysis were due to cardiovascular disease, killing 2.7 million people in 2015, with diabetes being the second leading cause of death.
    However, in more recent years, while rates of cardiovascular disease have risen, the number of deaths have fallen. The researchers believe this may in large part be due to better clinical interventions becoming available, such as measures to control high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which all fuel heart disease.
    This is the case in countries like the United States, argues Danaei, adding that prevention services leading up to the onset of cardiovascular disease, such as blood sugar monitoring, or care after a heartattack, or stroke, have improved in developed countries.
    But these service are expensive and are not currently the norm in most low- and middle-income countries. “After a heart attack, the chance of dying is much higher in developing countries,” he said.

    Why is this happening?

    Obesity levels have risen in all countries, irrespective of their income level, meaning the issue is not simply down to wealth, the authors say in the paper.
    “Changes in the food environment and food systems are probably major drivers,” they write. “Increased availability, accessibility, and affordability of energy dense foods, along with intense marketing of such foods, could explain excess energy intake and weight gain among different populations.”
    They add that reduced levels and opportunities for physical activity that came with increased urbanization are also potential causes, but add that these are “unlikely to be major contributors.”

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    “Over the past decade, numerous interventions have been evaluated, but very little evidence exists about their long-term effectiveness,” said Dr. Ashkan Afshin, assistant professor of global health at IHME, who led the research.
    “Over the next 10 years, we will work closely with the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in monitoring and evaluating the progress of countries in controlling overweight and obesity,” he said, adding his team will share data and findings with scientists, policymakers, and other stakeholders seeking evidence-based strategies to address this problem.
    “We need to control the consequences of obesity much better globally … and help people who are obese to lose weight,” said Danaei. “That’s where we need research and public health interventions.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/12/health/global-obesity-study/index.html

    This Is What The Occasional Drunk Cigarette Is Actually Doing To Your Body

    Admit it: You’ve probably found yourself at a party, about three Moscow mules deep, and suddenly having a cigarette (or two) seems like a great idea even if you aren’t normally a smoker. And for whatever reason, it feels unusually satisfying, and doesn’t make you cough the way you would if you took a sober drag in the light of day. Still, I’m sure you’ve probably wondered what that occasional drunk cigarette is actually doing to your body in the long-run.

    It can’t be that bad right?

    Eh, actually, it kind of can.


    I hate to be the bearer of the same bad news you’ve been hearing for years now, but smoking is still, when you get down to it, never a good idea.

    Elite Daily spoke withlung specialist Dr. Nathan Lott, DO, who provides a little extra insight on what exactly is going on in the body of a one-night-only smoker.

    He explains,

    The effects of cigarettes in general are that they produce a noxious gas, and that gas causes the lungs to react.

    Maybe a single one doesn’t cause major lasting damage, but they are like potato chips. Most people don’t have

    Usually the habit of smoking is born from doing it socially it’s one, then three, or four. And what’s happening over time is that lungs produce more mucus to protect the lining of the lungs where air travels through.

    Eventually, that’s what leads to smoker’s cough.

    Mmm, gross.

    He’s right, though. According to research from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, while occasional smoking isn’t bad for you as a regular smoking habit, it’s still a damaging, and totally unnecessary health risk.


    And, as Dr. Lott emphasizes, the effects of a couple of cigarettes here and there still add up over time.

    Light and intermittent smoking can still cause, for example, an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.

    Oh, and if that’s not bad enough, you can go ahead and add these to the list, too: potential respiratory tract infections, delayed conception, poorer sperm function, cataracts, slower recovery in torn cartilage, and high blood pressure.

    Of course, no one to increase their risk of developing all these different health conditions, but the appeal of a drunk cigarette is still intoxicating in more ways than one I get that.

    In fact, there’s actually some science behind that whole idea. Research has demonstrated a correlation between the stimulant effect of nicotine in a cigarette and the depressant effect of alcohol. Basically, the nicotine counteracts the sleepiness you might feel after a few drinks, and can even enhance the feel-good effects of alcohol.

    But are those few drags and momentary highsreally worth the riskof potentially suffering so many different health issues down the road?

    Even if that’s not enough to convince you, what about that smoker’s breath, huh?

    Nobody likes to swap spit with an ashtray, amirite?

    Read more: http://elitedaily.com/wellness/occasional-drunk-cigarette-actually-body/2031636/

    Why do England and NI have ‘opt-in’ organ donation? – BBC News

    Image copyright NHS Blood and Transplant
    Image caption The NHS runs campaigns to encourage donors to register – but rules differ across the UK

    How you decide what happens to your organs after death depends on where you live in the UK. So what is the current system and what might change?

    People in Scotland are set to automatically become organ donors unless they opt out – following a similar move introduced in Wales in 2015.

    The change has for now been rejected in England and Northern Ireland, which instead relies on public awareness campaigns.

    Three people in the UK die a day in need of donors, according to NHS Blood and Transplant. This is despite an all-time high in registered donors, with 23.4 million people – or 36% of Britons – on the organ register.


    Opting-out: What happens in Scotland and Wales

    The “soft” opt-out system planned for Scotland means parts of an adult’s body can be used in transplants – unless they have opted out. Families and next of kin can still veto the removal of organs.

    So-called “deemed consent” has been the system in Wales since December 2015, where 6% of the population has chosen to opt out.

    One year on in Wales, 39 organs were transplanted through deemed consent out of a total of 160 transplants.

    But deemed consent does not apply to certain people including children and those who lack the capacity to understand the system.


    The campaign for changing the law in the UK

    Supporters said Scotland’s move was a “landmark moment” and the UK government has hinted at the possibility of a future change in England.

    Currently in England and Northern Ireland, people must join the NHS Organ Donor Register or their family or close friends must give consent before their organs can be used.

    No 10 said it was “keeping a close eye on the implications of the policy change in Wales and Scotland”, in reaction to a newspaper campaign to alter the rules across the UK.

    “Max Johnson is nine and needs a new heart,” the Daily Mirror said on its front page on Friday, adding that opt-out would “give him and thousands of others a far, far greater chance of life”.

    Although organ donation did not feature prominently in this year’s general election, politicians have previously voiced their support for opt-out.

    Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has argued that many people want to donate – but forget to sign up.

    But some Conservatives, including the Welsh Conservatives’ shadow health minister Darren Millar, have criticised the opt-out policy, saying it was not a “silver bullet” solution.

    Church leaders have also expressed concerns about opt-out, saying that donating organs should be seen as a free gift. But most major faith groups – Christians and Muslims included – have expressed support for the principles of donation.


    Why isn’t it happening in England and Northern Ireland?

    Image copyright PA

    Deemed consent has so far been rejected as a UK-wide policy.

    In 2008, a task force set up by the Labour government rejected opt-out for the time being – saying it could put donors off or erode people’s trust in doctors.

    While it did not rule out opt-out, it suggested a 4.5m public awareness campaign instead – adding that families get an emotional benefit from “choosing” to donate their deceased relative’s organs.

    In Northern Ireland, senior clinicians have argued that educating the public to sign up to donate was the best way forward.

    With 23.4 million Britons registered, registered donor numbers have increased every year since 2012 – and are 20% higher than five years ago.


    What’s it like to wait?

    Image copyright Kevin Mashford
    Image caption Mr Mashford in hospital after a 13-hour heart transplant operation

    Kevin Mashford, 40, waited a year to receive a life-saving heart transplant and thinks opt-out is the fairer system.

    “If you’re willing to receive someone’s organs to save your life, why not be willing to donate?” he said.

    Mr Mashford, an architect from Bristol, was born with a rare heart disease but in 2013, aged 36, he had final stage heart failure and was told he had six months to live.

    “The doctors told me to see my family and sort out my affairs,” he said. “I waited at home for that year, waiting for news”.

    He said he was saved in the “nick of time” after going to hospital with multiple organ failure just six weeks before he found a donor.

    “I was lucky in a way, they put me on an urgent Europe-wide list,” he said. There were 6,402 people on waiting lists for organ transplants in December 2016, according to the NHS.

    Whether the system is opt-in or opt-out, Mr Mashford urged people to tell their family their wishes. “Hospitals also have a moral obligation, and if a mum doesn’t know if their son is registered and objects to donation, it can be difficult to question that,” he said.

    Mr Mashford later found out his heart donor was a keen cyclist and began riding in his memory.

    “After I recovered, I cycled seven minutes for seven days and I haven’t looked back. Since then, with my donors name inscribed in my helmet, I have taken part in a number of long distance cycle rides for charity.”


    Have we become more likely to donate?

    Image caption Marlon Yearwood as Cameron in Pig Heart Boy, a drama about a boy whose heart is failing

    The rise in donations follows efforts by celebrities and public health officials to encourage people to donate, and donation has become more prominent in popular culture.

    The NHS runs social media campaigns and makes posters encouraging people to donate.

    In 2015, it recruited Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing and Olympic medallist Jade Jones to make their own dating profiles on the app Tinder, where they sent a message to users asking them to donate.

    Others may remember the BBC’s That’s Life! documentary in the early 1980s, which featured an appeal by the parents of two-year-old Ben Hardwick.

    Their wait for a liver transplant earned him celebrity status. He got the transplant but later died in hospital.

    In 1999, the award-winning children’s book Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman, about a boy with heart failure, was adapted into a children’s television series.

    As Scotland’s Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said this week, there has been a “long-term culture change in attitudes” among Britons towards donating organs.

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40456253