Presidential Healthcare center

We provide the same Preventive Executive Physical Program as received by the President of the United States.


Leave a comment

Potential Problems Linked With Drinking Cider, Juice That Hasn’t Been Pasteurized

Aple 4As the autumn season sets in and the crisp air has many people heading to their local cider mills and farmers’ markets, officials with the FDA are reminding consumers about the potential problems that have been associated with drinking juice and cider that have not been pasteurized.

Many local markets will sell packaged juice that was made on site and has not been pasteurized or otherwise processed to ensure its safety. Serious outbreaks of foodborne illness have been linked to these beverages, according to agency officials.

If a product has been untreated, it should be kept refrigerated and carry the following warning label:

“WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and therefore may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened Appleimmune systems.”

However, the FDA does not require warning labels on juice or cider that is fresh-squeezed and sold by the glass such as at apple orchards and roadside stands.

Consumers should follow these steps to help prevent illness associated with untreated juice and cider:

  • Look for the warning label to avoid the purchase of untreated juices. Untreated juice is most likely to be sold in the refrigerated section of a grocery store.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask if unsure if a juice product is treated, if the labeling is unclear, or if the juice or cider is sold by the glass.

Consuming dangerous foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness within 1 to 3 days of Apple 2eating the contaminated food. However, sickness can also occur within 20 minutes or up to 6 weeks later. Symptoms of foodborne illness include: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and flu-like symptoms

Source: FDA


Leave a comment

USPSTF Recommends Low-Dose Aspirin to Prevent CVD, Colorectal Cancer in Some Patient Groups

Aspirin 2The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, in a draft statement, is recommending low-dose aspirin to prevent both cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer in adults aged 50 to 59 years who have a 10-year CVD risk of 10% or greater (grade B recommendation). Patients aged 60 to 69 should talk to their clinicians about whether the benefits of daily aspirin outweigh the risks (grade C).

Patients using aspirin as a preventive must have a life expectancy of at least 10 years and be willing to take it daily for that length of time. The USPSTF notes that patients at increased risk for bleeding shouldn’t use daily aspirin.Aspirin 3

The task force says there is insufficient evidence to make a similar recommendation for adults younger than 50 years or older than 70 years (both grade I statements).  The task force previously published separate recommendations on aspirin use for preventing CVD (2009) and colorectal cancer (2007); this is the first update to address the combined benefit.

Source: Journal Watch


Leave a comment

Landmark NIH Study Shows Intensive Blood Pressure Management May Save Lives

More intensive management of high blood pressure, below a commonly recommended bloodblood pressure 2 pressure target, significantly reduces rates of cardiovascular disease, and lowers risk of death in a group of adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure. This is according to the initial results of a landmark clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). The intervention in this trial, which carefully adjusts the amount or type of blood pressure medication to achieve a target systolic pressure of 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), reduced rates of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke, by almost a Blood pressure 1third and the risk of death by almost a quarter, as compared to the target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg.

“Our results provide important evidence that treating blood pressure to a lower goal in older or high-risk patients can be beneficial and yield better health results overall.”

Lawrence Fine, M.D.
Chief, Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch at NHLBI

“This study provides potentially lifesaving information that will be useful to health care providers as they consider the best treatment options for some of their patients, particularly those over the age of 50,” said Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the primary sponsor of SPRINT. “We are delighted to have blood pressure 3achieved this important milestone in the study in advance of the expected closure date for the SPRINT trial and look forward to quickly communicating the results to help inform patient care and the future development of evidence-based clinical guidelines.”

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. An estimated 1 in 3 people in the United States has high blood pressure.

The SPRINT study evaluates the benefits of maintaining a new target for systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading, among a group of patients 50 years and older at increased risk for heart disease or who have kidney disease. A systolic pressure of 120 mm Hg, maintained by this more intensive blood pressure intervention, could ultimately help save lives among adults age 50 and older who have a combination of high blood pressure and at least one additional risk factor for heart disease, the investigators say.

The SPRINT study, which began in the fall of 2009, includes more than 9,300 participants age 50 and older, recruited from about 100 medical centers and clinical practices throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. It is the largest study of its kind to date to examine how maintaining systolic blood pressure at a lower than currently recommended level will impact cardiovascular and kidney diseases. NIH stopped the blood pressure intervention earlier than originally planned in order to quickly disseminate the significant preliminary results.

The study population was diverse and included women, racial/ethnic minorities, and the elderly. The investigators point out that the SPRINT study did not include patients with diabetes, prior stroke, or polycystic kidney disease, as other research included those populations.

Source: NIH


Leave a comment

Why Runners Get Slower With Age (and How Strength Training May Help)

running 11Young runners are different than you and me. They have more speed. And to achieve that swiftness, they use certain leg muscles quite differently than runners past age 50 do, according to a new study of runners’ strides at different ages. The study also says that many of us might be able to reinvigorate our flagging pace with the right type of strength training.

Competitive records and lived experience all show that runners slow with advancing age, even the great ones. The current world marathon record for men, for instance, 2:02:57, was blazed by a 30-year-old, and is nearly an hour faster than the world record of 2:54:48 for the 70- to 75-year-old age group, which was set by Ed Whitlock, a Canadian. He later ran the world record for the 80- to 85-runners 13year-old age group with a 3:15:54 clocking that, although blisteringly fast by my standards, was more than 20 minutes slower than his septuagenarian self.

While most of us accept this diminution in speed as inevitable and logical — we’re older, of course we’re slower — surprisingly little is known about the actual bodily underpinnings of the decline. But there have been hints. Past studies have found that our aerobic capacity declines as we reach our 40s, dropping by about 10 percent per decade after that, even if we vigorously exercise. So a serious 60-year-old runner will have more endurance capacity than sedentary people his or her age, but less than his or her 40- or 50-year-old self.

However, lower endurance capacity does not automatically mean slower running speeds. Theoretically, with age, we could run at the same pace as we once did, although doing so would require using more of our already runners 12diminished endurance capacity — meaning that it would feel more difficult.

But we don’t. We slow down.

That process intrigued Paul DeVita, a professor of kinesiology at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and president of the American Society of Biomechanics. In 2000, he and his colleague Tibor Hortobagyi published a famous study showing that older people, when they walk, take shorter steps than younger walkers, and rely less on the muscles around their ankles and more on the muscles around their hips to complete each stride than do younger walkers.

Source: New York Times


Leave a comment

Struggles With Sleep Linked to Heart Disease Risk

Sleep study 1Adults who get too much or too little sleep may have the beginnings of “hardening” of the arteries, which can be an early sign of heart disease, according to a new study.

“Many people, up to one third or one fourth of the general population, suffer from inadequate sleep – either insufficient duration of sleep or poor quality of sleep,” said co-lead author Dr. Chan-Won Kim of Kangbuk Samsung Hospital of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea.

Several studies have linked inadequate sleep with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, but other conditions like depression or obesity could influence this association, Kim told Reuters Health by email. sleep study 3 

“In contrast, we studied if sleep of inadequate duration or quality would be linked to early markers of heart disease in asymptomatic healthy adults free of heart disease,” Kim said.

For the study, more than 47,000 men and women, age 42 on average, completed a sleep questionnaire and had tests to detect lesions of calcium and plaque in the artery leading to the heart, an early sign of disease, and arterial stiffness in the leg, a sign of vascular aging.

According to their questionnaires, the participants’ average sleep duration was 6.4 hours per night, and about 84 percent said their sleep quality was “good.” The researchers considered those who got five hours or less per night to be “short” sleepers, and those who got nine or more hours to be “long” sleepers.

sleep study 2Short sleepers had 50 percent more calcium in their coronary arteries than those who slept for seven hours per night, according to the results in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. Long sleepers had 70 percent more calcium than those who slept seven hours.

“The associations of too short or too long sleep duration and of poor sleep quality with early indicators of heart disease, such as coronary calcium and arterial stiffness, provides strong support to the increasing body of evidence that links inadequate sleep with an increased risk of heart attacks,” Kim said.

Source: Reuters

The Presidential Healthcare Center offers home sleep studies.


Leave a comment

Ciguatera Fish Poisoning is the Most Reported Seafood Illness in the World

Humans acquire this illness by eating reef fish containing the naturally occurring toxins, ciguatoxins. The fish 2toxin is transferred through the food chain as the algae is consumed by herbivorous fish, which are consumed by carnivorous fish, which are in turn consumed by humans. These toxins become progressively concentrated as they move up the food chain from small fish to large fish that eat them, and reach particularly high concentrations in large predatory tropical reef fish. Fish known to carry Ciguatoxin are: grouper, snapper – red, blackfin, cubera and dog, amberjack, barracuda, hogfish, Kingfish, moray eel and sturgeon.

fish 4Annually, 15,000 – 50,000 people report cases of CFP.  Ciguatoxin (CTX) is one of the most potent natural substances known.  And it is difficult to prevent because CTX in fish is odorless and tasteless, and toxic fish cannot be identified by appearance or behavior. CTX is heat-stable, and therefore, cooking, boiling, freezing, baking or frying does not eliminate or destroy the toxin from the fish tissue. Prevention of CFP relies on the individual’s avoidance of fish that have a greater likelihood of containing CTX.

CFP can produce countless gastrointestinal and neurologic symptoms which last days to weeks, or even months.  Gastrointestinal symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea which can develop within 6–24 hours of eating reef fish.fish

Neurologic symptoms vary among patients and include the following: paresthesias (numbness and tingling) in the extremities (feet and hands) and oral region, generalized pruritis (itching), myalgia (muscle pain), arthralgia (joint pain), and fatigue. A distinctive symptom reported by many patients is an alteration or “reversal” of hot/cold temperature perception, in which cold surfaces are perceived as hot to the patient, or produce dysesthesia (unpleasant, abnormal sensation). These symptoms can last from a few days to several weeks.

CFP diagnosis is based on the presenting symptoms and time course, the history of having eaten a reef fish, and importantly, the exclusion of other diagnoses that could account for the symptoms.  Other than supportive care there are few specific treatments for CFP.

Source: US National Library of Medicine


Leave a comment

Cause Of Multiple System Atrophy Identified, Making MSA Newest Prion Disease In 50 Years

Mouse 1Prion diseases are rare conditions similar to those caused by viruses that are caused by misfolded proteins known as prions. The most well-known of these is the neuro-degenerative Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is commonly known for the way it appears in cows as Mad Cow disease. But according to a recent study, multiple system atrophy (MSA), another neurological disorder, can also be classified as a prion disease. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest there are Mouse 3unseen ways in which MSA can be transmitted, and may even lead to possible treatment options.

First identified in 1960, MSA is an extremely rare condition that impairs the body’s involuntary functions. Its symptoms are similar to those that characterize Parkinson’s disease, including slowed movement and trouble with balance. These symptoms eventually lead to the patient’s death. While the cause of MSA was never fully understood, Kurt Giles, senior author of the recent study, said his team has now “conclusively shown that a new type of prion causes MSA.”

Mouse 2The findings mark the first time in 50 years that a human disease has been found to be caused by a new prion. For the study, the team exposed human MSA tissue to mice, which then went on to experience neurodegeneration. Exposure to brain tissue from these mice could then cause the disease to spread to other mice. The team observed that the culprit was a misfolded version of a protein called alpha-synuclein, which not only allowed the disease to spread from human tissue to mouse, but also to human cell cultures.

Prion diseases are a group of conditions that affect the nervous system in humans and animals. The most common symptoms of prion diseases in humans are impaired brain function and difficulty coordinating movements. These symptoms usually worsen over time and inevitably lead to the patient’s death.

Source: Medical Daily