Cognitive Function Can Start Failing At 45 Years Of Age

A human's ability to remember data, to reason, and understand things properly can start to worsen at the age of 45 years, and not 60 as many had believed, researchers from France and the United Kingdom reported in the BMJ (British Medical Journal). According to prior studies, cognitive decline, if it does occur, will generally not do so before the age of sixty. Many experts had wondered whether the deterioration might not start sooner. Study leader, Archana Singh-Manoux, at the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, France, and researchers from University College London in the UK, believe that..: "..understanding cognitive aging will be one of the challenges of this century." The authors stress that identifying cognitive decline onset is crucial for effective medical interventions. In other words, the earlier-on cognitive deterioration can be spotted, the better medical treatments tend to be. Singh-Manoux and team observed 2,192 females and 5,198 males from 1997 to 2007. All the subjects were civil servants aged from forty-five to seventy years - they formed part of the Whitehall II cohort study (a UK study), which had started in 1985. Over the ten-year period, all study-participants had their cognitive functions assessed. This included testing for: Memory Vocabulary Aural comprehension skills (listening skills) Visual comprehension skills. The journal cites as examples, remembering as many words as possible that started with the letter "S" (phonemic fluency), or recalling as many animal names as possible (semantic fluency). Factors which might impact on their findings were taken into account, such as the participant's level of education. They found that cognitive scores dropped in all categories, except for vocabulary. The older...

Normal Weight Doctors Discuss Weight Loss With Patients More Often Than Overweight Colleagues

A national cross-sectional survey of 500 primary care physicians in the US finds their weight may influence obesity diagnosis and care. Among the findings, published earlier this month in the journal Obesity, is the suggestion that doctors whose BMI is in the normal weight range are more likely to to discuss weight loss with patients than overweight or obese colleagues. Lead author, Dr Sara Bleich, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told the press their findings also suggest that normal weight physicians "have greater confidence in their ability to provide diet and exercise counseling and perceive their weight loss advice as trustworthy when compared to overweight or obese physicians". For their survey, Bleich and colleagues assessed the impact of physician BMI on obesity care, their confidence in their ability to give advice on diet and exercise, perceptions of role modeling and perceptions of patient trust in weight loss advice. All the data came from questionnaires that the doctors completed themselves. BMI, or body mass index, is the ratio of a person's weight in kilos to their square of their height in metres. They classed doctors who reported themselves as having a BMI of 25 kg/m2 or over as overweight or obese, and under that to be of normal weight. When they analyzed the results, the researchers found that: Physicians who reported having normal BMI were more likely to discuss weight loss with their obese patients than physicians who reported having BMI in the overweight or obese range (30% versus 18%, P=0.010).   Physicians with normal BMI had more confidence in their...

Regular Chocolate Consumption Linked To Leaner Bodies

People who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner than those who never or very rarely consume chocolate, researchers from the University of California, San Diego, reported in Archives of Internal Medicine. The authors added that some kinds of chocolate had previously been found to improve factors related to metabolism, including insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, as well ascholesterol levels. Because of the high-calorie values of most chocolates, many people avoid them in their attempts to control their body weight. Beatrice A. Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., and team gathered data on 1,018 adults, both male and female. None of them had any known chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or unfavorable LDL-C (bad cholesterol) levels - they were all screened for overall health when the study began. The volunteers were given questionnaires which included questions about their weekly chocolate consumption rates. 975 of them completed the chocolate-related questions. 972 of them had their body mass indexes (BMIs) measured. The authors noted: "Adults who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who consumed chocolate less often." The volunteers' average as was 57 years. Among the males (making up 68% of total participants), their average BMI was 28. Their chocolate consumption was, on average, twice weekly. The males exercised 3.6 times weekly. Despite being leaner than non-chocolate eaters (or those who rarely ate chocolate), the authors found that regular chocolate eaters consumed more calories, including higher amounts of saturated fat. They had already factored out certain variables which could have affected their findings, such as people's age, gender, how physically active they were, etc. Regular chocolate consumption linked to leaner bodies How often chocolate was...
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