All Posts tagged mens health

Fitness Beats Weight Loss For Healthy Aging

  • From: Epidemiology and Prevention.
  • Title: Long-Term Effects of Changes on Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Body Mass Index on All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men
  • Author: Duck-chul Lee
  • The Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study
  1. Abstract

Background—The combined associations of changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and body mass index (BMI) with mortality remain controversial  and uncertain.

Methods and Results—We examined the independent and combined associations of changes in fitness and BMI with all-cause and cardiovascular disease  (CVD) mortality in 14 345 men (mean age 44 years) with at least 2 medical examinations. Fitness, in metabolic equivalents  (METs), was estimated from a maximal treadmill test. BMI was calculated using measured weight and height. Changes in fitness  and BMI between the baseline and last examinations over 6.3 years were classified into loss, stable, or gain groups. During  11.4 years of follow-up after the last examination, 914 all-cause and 300 CVD deaths occurred. The hazard ratios (95% confidence  intervals) of all-cause and CVD mortality were 0.70 (0.59–0.83) and 0.73 (0.54–0.98) for stable fitness, and 0.61 (0.51–0.73)  and 0.58 (0.42–0.80) for fitness gain, respectively, compared with fitness loss in multivariable analyses including BMI change.  Every 1-MET improvement was associated with 15% and 19% lower risk of all-cause and CVD mortality, respectively. BMI change  was not associated with all-cause or CVD mortality after adjusting for possible confounders and fitness change. In the combined  analyses, men who lost fitness had higher all-cause and CVD mortality risks regardless of BMI change.

Conclusions—Maintaining or improving fitness is associated with a lower risk of all-cause and CVD mortality in men. Preventing age-associated fitness loss is important for longevity regardless of BMI change.

dr. Tucker’s thoughts:  I think it is important to keep your weight at a healthy level, this study found that weight loss (defined as lowering a person’s body-mass index) was not associated with a reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality (dying from anything) or cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.

What the researchers did find is that those men who keep their fitness level stable significantly reduced their risk of all-cause and CVD death. Men who were able to increase their fitness level as they got older saw even greater reductions in their risk of death.

I say stay physically fit doing regular exercise, including cardio, flexibility, balance and resistance training. Eat well and stay within a healthy body composition range and you will have even more benefits.

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Prostate Cancer Prevention

Men over the age of 50 pay attention. 

Avodart and Proscar are drugs in a class known as “5-ARIs.”

This class of drugs was developed to treat enlarged prostate (also known as BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia). 

In a 2010 New England Journal of Medicine study, about 3,300 men at high risk of prostate cancer took Avodart for four years. A second group of men — also at high risk — took a placebo.

Compared to placebo, the relative risk of any level of prostate cancer was reduced by nearly 23 percent in the Avodart group.

Sounds pretty good, right? I mean…based purely on that number, you wouldn’t blink if your doctor encouraged you to take a 5-ARI if you’re at high risk of prostate cancer. And keep in mind that every man between the ages of 50 and 75 is considered high risk. 

Patrick Walsh, M.D., is a Professor of Urology at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he served as Urologist-in-Chief for 30 years. In an editorial he wrote that appears in the same NEJM issue as the Avodart study, Dr. Walsh points out that Avodart and Proscar, “do not prevent prostate cancer but merely temporarily shrink tumors that have a low potential for being lethal, and they do not reduce the risk of a positive biopsy in patients who have an elevated PSA level.” 

“Men will believe that it prevents cancer, will be pleased that their PSA levels fall, and will not understand the potential danger of undiagnosed high-grade disease.” Speaking specifically about the Avodart study, he said the results showed, “there was a 23% reduction in low-grade tumors that the patients would never have known they had. Does this sound like an indication to take a pill with sexual side effects that costs $4 a day?” 

In the NEJM study, sexual dysfunction was higher in the Avodart group, and — even more important — subjects in that group were nearly TWICE as likely to experience heart failure compared to placebo.

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Hearing Loss Supplements

Supplementation of 800 micrograms of folic acid daily as in ActiFolate by Metagenics is helpful. In one study that took place over three years, subjects who received placebo instead of folic acid experienced significantly greater loss of low frequency hearing. Men over the age of 60 who reported the highest intake of folate and/or folic acid were significantly less likely to develop hearing loss.

Intake of ActiFolate (1 tab) or Multigenics (6 tabs) will provide folate; folic acid is the supplement form of folate. Beta carotene, vitamins C and E are all useful as well.

You can get more folate in your diet by eating spinach and other leafy green vegetables, asparagus, peas, beans, chickpeas, and liver.

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