Presidential Healthcare center

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


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Researchers Find Link Between Air Pollution and Heart Disease

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found a link between higher levels of a specific kind of air pollution in major urban areas and an increase in cardiovascular-related hospitalizations such as for heart attacks in people 65 and older.

The findings, published in the November issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, are the strongest evidence to date that coarse particulate matter – airborne pollutants that range in size from 2.5 to 10 microns in Pollution 10diameter and can be released into the air from farming, construction projects or even wind in the desert – impacts public health. It has long been understood that particles smaller in size, which typically come from automobile exhaust or power plants, can damage the lungs and even enter the bloodstream. This is believed to be the first study that clearly implicates larger particles, which are smaller in diameter than a human hair.

“We suspected that there was an association between coarse particles and health outcomes, but we didn’t have the research to back that up before,” says study leader Roger D. Peng, PhD, an associate professor of biostatistics at the Bloomberg School. “This work provides the evidence, at least for cardiovascular disease outcomes. I don’t feel like we need another study to convince us. Now it’s time for action.”pollution 11

The researchers also studied respiratory diseases but did not find a correlation between high levels of coarse particles and hospitalizations for those illnesses.

For the national study, Peng and his colleagues studied data from an air monitoring network set up by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 110 large urban counties in the United States and linked it to Medicare data on hospitalizations in those same areas from 1999 to 2010. The hospitalizations covered people ages 65 and older.

Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


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Brain Stimulation Limits Calories Consumed In Adults With Obesity

A National Institutes of Health study found that non-invasive brain stimulation decreased calorie consumptionHead 1 and increased weight loss in adults who are obese. The findings suggest a possible intervention for obesity, when combined with healthy eating and exercise. Results were published in Obesity (link is external) concurrent with a presentation at the 2015 Obesity Society meeting.

Led by scientists at the Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch, part of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the team studied a total of nine men and women with obesity who resided in the Branch’s metabolic ward on two separate visits, each for eight days. On each visit, the participants ate a weight-maintaining diet for five days. Then for three days, they unknowingly received either active or sham (fake) transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS. Participants then ate and drank as much as they Head 2wanted from computerized vending machines. Applied to the scalp, the active tDCS targeted the brain region controlling behavior and reward.

The four people who got the sham stimulation during both visits consumed the same number of calories from the vending machines on each visit and did not lose weight. But the five people who got inactive stimulation on the first visit, and active tDCS at the brain target on the second visit, consumed an average of 700 fewer calories and lost an average of 0.8 pounds on the second visit.

Next, the researchers will compare a group getting only active tDCS with a separate group getting only sham stimulation. More study is needed to confirm the safety and effectiveness of tDCS for weight loss.

Source: NIH


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Here’s What Happens To Your Body After You Down An Energy Drink. It’s Kind Of Scary.

Energy drinkThere’s been a lot of controversy about caffeine-spiked energy drinks in recent years following a spate of deaths and overdoses related to the beverages. In one of the most heartbreaking cases, 14-year-old Anais Fournier of Maryland died after consuming two 24-ounce cans of an energy drink. Food and Drug Administration has been studying such cases to try to determine if there’s a causal link and, if so, what to do about it. Makers of energy drinks, meanwhile, have insisted that the beverages are safe and that some of the cases of bad reactions may have been due to pre-existing conditions that the individuals in question had.

In an effort to get more information about exactly happens in your body after you consume one of the drinks, Mayo Clinic researcher Anna Svatikova and her colleagues recruited 25 volunteers.enerrgy drink 3

All were young adults age 18 or older, nonsmokers, free of known disease, and not taking medications. They were asked to drink a 16-ounce can of a Rockstar energy drink and a placebo — with the same taste, texture, color and nutritional contents but without the caffeine and other stimulants — within five minutes on two separate days.

The energy drink had the following stimulants: 240 mg of caffeine, 2,000 mg of taurine and extracts of guarana seed, ginseng root and milk thistle.

Researchers took numerous measurements first before they drank and 30 minutes after. With the placebo, energy drink 2there was very little change. With the energy drink, however, many of the changes were marked:

-Systolic blood pressure (the top number) – 6.2 percent increase

-Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) – 6.8 percent increase

-Average blood pressure – 6.4 percent increase

-Heart rate – none

-Caffeine in blood – increase from undetectable to 3.4 micrograms/mL

-Norepinephrine level (the stress hormone, which can give you the shakes when you have too much caffeine) in blood – increase from 150 pg/mL to 250 pg/ML

Writing in JAMA, the researchers said that these changes may predispose those who drink a single drink to increased cardiovascular risk.

Source: The Washington Post


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Sleep Interruptions Worse for Mood than Overall Reduced Amount of Sleep

Sleepy 1A study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers suggests that awakening several times throughout the night is more detrimental to people’s positive moods than getting the same shortened amount of sleep without interruption.

As they report in the November 1 issue of the journal Sleep, researchers studied 62 healthy men and women randomly subjected to three sleep experimental conditions in an inpatient clinical research suite: three consecutive nights of either forced awakenings, delayed bedtimes or uninterrupted sleep.

Participants subjected to eight forced awakenings and those with delayed bedtimes showed similar low positive mood and high negative mood after the first night, as measured by a standard mood assessment questionnaire administered before bedtimes. Participants were asked to rate how strongly they felt a variety of positive and negative emotions, such as cheerfulness or anger.

But the researchers say significant differences emerged after the second night: The forced awakening groupsleepy 2 had a reduction of 31 percent in positive mood, while the delayed bedtime group had a decline of 12 percent compared to the first day. Researchers add they did not find significant differences in negative mood between the two groups on any of the three days, which suggests that sleep fragmentation is especially detrimental to positive mood.

“When your sleep is disrupted throughout the night, you don’t have the opportunity to progress through the sleep stages to get the amount of slow-wave sleep that is key to the feeling of restoration.”

Source: Science Daily


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Having Children Might Reduce Woman’s Death Risk From Several Common Conditions

Baby 1Researchers found that women who had given birth might have a reduced risk of death from several common conditions than those who had not, according to a study released Friday by the Imperial College London (ICL).

The study, led by ICL researchers, was published in the journal BMC Medicine. It investigates the association between the so-called reproductive factors – such as having children and breastfeeding – and a woman’s risk of death.

Researchers analyzed data from 322,972 women across 10 countries, including the UK, France, Germany and Sweden, with an average age of 50.

Each woman was followed for an average of 12.9 years. During this period, there were 14,383 deaths overall, which included 5,938 deaths from cancer and 2,404 deaths from circulatory system diseases,baby 2 according to the study.

The team compared a host of reproductive factors with risk of death from several common conditions, such as breast cancer, stroke and heart disease.

The researchers found that women who had given birth had a 20 per cent reduced risk of death than those who had not. It was also found that there was a reduced risk of death (eight per cent) in women who had breastfed compared to those who did not.

The risk of death from cancer was lower in those that had given birth compared to those that had not. Within this group, the risk was reduced even further in women that gave birth to two or three children in comparison to those who had one child.

Source: English News


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Flu Vaccine Effectiveness Reduced by use of Statins

Statins 1A high-dose flu vaccine is one of several standard-dose vaccines approved for adults over 65 in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone be vaccinated against flu every season from the age of 6 months. Seniors are at particular risk for serious illness and complications from flu, including death.

However, one of the new reports shows that many senior statin users had a significantly reduced immune response to the vaccination, compared with those not taking statins. In the other study, effectiveness at preventing serious respiratory illness was lower among patients taking statins.

One group of researchers analyzed immune response data from an earlier flu vaccine clinical trial conducted during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 flu seasons.Statin 2

They focused on the potential effect of statin use on patients’ initial immune responses after being immunized against flu. The study involved nearly 7,000 adults over the age 65 in four countries, including the US.

Statin users were found to have a significantly reduced immune response to vaccination compared with those not taking statins, as measured by the level of antibodies to the flu vaccine strains in patients’ blood 3 weeks after vaccination.

Source: Medical News Today


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Recent Flu Vaccination Associated with Decreased Risk for Severe Disease

Vaccination protection influenza, injection for the prevention of flu

Vaccination protection influenza, injection for the prevention of flu

A study of hospital admission for severe acute respiratory infections (SARIs) in military personnel found that recent flu vaccination lowered the risk of severe disease, while occupational factors and comorbidities may increase SARI risk, according to findings yesterday in Vaccine.

An international team of researchers evaluated data on 11,086 hospitalizations due to pneumonia or influenza from 2000 through 2012 among US military personnel. Hospitalized people had a median age of 32 and were largely male (89.5%).

Flu Shot

Chronic disease was also associated with developing SARI following hospitalization. Comorbidities with the highest risk of progression toward severe disease included chronic renal or liver disease; circulatory system disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Under multivariate analysis, factors still significant for risk of severe disease included renal and liver disease, circulatory disease, and service in the Coast Guard or Air Force. Investigators cautioned, however, that risk associated with service branch may simply reflect differences in data reporting rather than physiologic risk.

Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy