Mediterranean diet (MD) has been related to reduced overall mortality and improved diseases’ outcome. Purpose of our study was to estimate the impact of MD on duration of admission, financial cost and mortality (from hospitalization up to 24 months afterwards) in elderly, hospitalized patients.
Research Methods & Procedures:
One hundred eighty three elderly patients (aged >65 years), urgently admitted for any cause in the Internal Medicine department of our hospital, participated in this observational study. Duration of admission and its financial cost, mortality (during hospitalization, 6 and 24 months after discharge), physical activity, medical and anthropometric data were recorded and they were correlated with the level of adherence to MD (MedDiet score).
In multivariate analyses, duration of admission decreased 0.3 days for each unit increase of MedDiet score (p<0.0001), 2.1 days for each 1g/dL increase of albumin (p=0.001) and increased 0.1 days for each day of previous admissions (p<0.0001). Extended hospitalization (p<0.0001) and its interaction with MedDiet score (p=0.01) remained the significant associated variables for financial cost. Mortality risk increased 3% per each year increase of age (HR=1.03, p=0.02), 6% for each previous admission (HR=1.06, p=0.04) whereas it decreased 13% per each unit increase of MedDiet score (HR=0.87, p<0.0001).
Adoption of MD decreases duration of admission and long-term mortality in elderly hospitalized patients with parallel reduction of relevant financial cost.
Posted onOctober 28, 2020|Comments Off on If You’re Looking for Reasons to Avoid Processed Meats, Unprocessed Red Meat, and Poultry, Here You Go…
Public health authorities in the West have been trying for years to scare us away from eating meat. Here’s an abstract of one of the weak studies that support that contention. Herein, heavier consumers of processed meats, unprocessed red meat, and poultry were a increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Fish and poultry were not linked to increased risk of death, while processed meat and unprocessed red meat were. And fish was not linked to cardiovascular disease. The authors admit that the differences in outcome were small.
Although the associations between processed meat intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality have been established, the associations of unprocessed red meat, poultry, or fish consumption with CVD and all-cause mortality are still uncertain.
To identify the associations of processed meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, or fish intake with incident CVD and all-cause mortality.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This cohort study analyzed individual-level data of adult participants in 6 prospective cohort studies in the United States. Baseline diet data from 1985 to 2002 were collected. Participants were followed up until August 31, 2016. Data analyses were performed from March 25, 2019, to November 17, 2019.
Processed meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, or fish intake as continuous variables.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Hazard ratio (HR) and 30-year absolute risk difference (ARD) for incident CVD (composite end point of coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and CVD deaths) and all-cause mortality, based on each additional intake of 2 servings per week for monotonic associations or 2 vs 0 servings per week for nonmonotonic associations.
Among the 29 682 participants (mean [SD] age at baseline, 53.7 [15.7] years; 13 168 [44.4%] men; and 9101 [30.7%] self-identified as non-white), 6963 incident CVD events and 8875 all-cause deaths were adjudicated during a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 19.0 (14.1-23.7) years. The associations of processed meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, or fish intake with incident CVD and all-cause mortality were monotonic (P for nonlinearity ≥ .25), except for the nonmonotonic association between processed meat intake and incident CVD (P for nonlinearity = .006). Intake of processed meat (adjusted HR, 1.07 [95% CI, 1.04-1.11]; adjusted ARD, 1.74% [95% CI, 0.85%-2.63%]), unprocessed red meat (adjusted HR, 1.03 [95% CI, 1.01-1.06]; adjusted ARD, 0.62% [95% CI, 0.07%-1.16%]), or poultry (adjusted HR, 1.04 [95% CI, 1.01-1.06]; adjusted ARD, 1.03% [95% CI, 0.36%-1.70%]) was significantly associated with incident CVD. Fish intake was not significantly associated with incident CVD (adjusted HR, 1.00 [95% CI, 0.98-1.02]; adjusted ARD, 0.12% [95% CI, −0.40% to 0.65%]). Intake of processed meat (adjusted HR, 1.03 [95% CI, 1.02-1.05]; adjusted ARD, 0.90% [95% CI, 0.43%-1.38%]) or unprocessed red meat (adjusted HR, 1.03 [95% CI, 1.01-1.05]; adjusted ARD, 0.76% [95% CI, 0.19%-1.33%]) was significantly associated with all-cause mortality. Intake of poultry (adjusted HR, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.97-1.02]; adjusted ARD, −0.28% [95% CI, −1.00% to 0.44%]) or fish (adjusted HR, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.97-1.01]; adjusted ARD, −0.34% [95% CI, −0.88% to 0.20%]) was not significantly associated with all-cause mortality.
Conclusions and Relevance
These findings suggest that, among US adults, higher intake of processed meat, unprocessed red meat, or poultry, but not fish, was significantly associated with a small increased risk of incident CVD, whereas higher intake of processed meat or unprocessed red meat, but not poultry or fish, was significantly associated with a small increased risk of all-cause mortality. These findings have important public health implications and should warrant further investigations.
Posted onJuly 16, 2020|Comments Off on Yes: Does Legalization of Marijuana Increase Traffic Fatality Rates?
From JAMA Network:
By analyzing additional experimental states over a more recent time period, we have provided additional data that legalization of recreational marijuana is associated with increased traffic fatality rates. Applying these results to national driving statistics, nationwide legalization would be associated with 6800 (95% CI, 4200-9700) excess roadway deaths each year.
The title of the interview was “How Would You Change Your Life If There Were Only Ten Years Left?”
Nobody knows how much time we have left on this planet. My answers to the questions at age 25, when I though I’d live forever, would be different than my answers now, at age 65.
Now that you’re under house arrest by your governor in this time of Coronavirus Pandemic, you should have time to watch the interview and answer the questions for yourself. If you have a “significant other,” the two of you should discuss.
So you’re not going to watch the video? Below are the questions, in order. Decide your answers before moving to the next question. In fact, it’s best if you don’t even read the subsequent questions before answering the earlier ones. I suggest writing down your (and your SO’s) answers. It may take a few hours or days of contemplation.
If y0u had all the money you need for the rest of your life, how would you live? What would you do?
Assume you don’t have all the money you need for the rest of your life. (Or maybe you do already?) But now, you have a trusted physician who informs you that you have an ailment that will kill you between five and 10 years from now (you’ll be fine until you keel over unexpectedly), what would you do with your life?
Your physician says you only have 24 hours left to live. The question is not how to spend your last 24 hours. The question is what did you miss? Who did you not get to be?
George says that five areas typically come up for consideration with these questions:
Family and relationships
Values or spirituality
Blair volunteered that when she considered the three questions, the issue of children came up. My sense is that she decided to have them, and did.
Posted onMarch 2, 2020|Comments Off on NO: Are medical errors really the third most common cause of death in the U.S.?
Hospitals are notorious for iatrogenic deaths
From Dr Gorski at Science Based Medicine (and he’s right):
I say this at the beginning of nearly every post that I write on this topic, but it bears repeating. It is an unquestioned belief among believers in alternative medicine and even just among many people who do not trust conventional medicine that conventional medicine kills. Not only does exaggerating the number of people who die due to medical complications or errors fit in with the world view of people like Gary Null and Joe Mercola, but it’s good for business. After all, if conventional medicine is as dangerous as claimed, then the quackery peddled by the likes of Adams and Mercola starts looking better in comparison. Unfortunately, there are a number of academics more than willing to provide quacks with inflated estimates of deaths due to medical error. The most famous of these is Dr. Martin Makary of Johns Hopkins University, who published a review (not an original study, as those citing his estimates like to claim) estimating that the number of preventable deaths due to medical error is between 250,000 and 400,000 a year, thus cementing the common (and false) trope that “medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US” into the public consciousness and thereby doing untold damage to public confidence in medicine. As I pointed out at the time, if this estimate were correct, it would mean that between 35% and 56% of all in-hospital deaths are due to medical error and that medical error causes between 10% and 15% of all deaths in the US. The innumeracy that is required to believe such estimates beggars the imagination.
Posted onFebruary 19, 2020|Comments Off on Tea May Prolong Your Life and Prevent Heart Disease
One of my favorite green teas
For years we’ve been hearing about the potential longevity and cardiovascular benefits of green tea. If memory serves, most of the data comes from Japanese studies. Now a Chinese observational study finds 15–20% reductions in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and death, compared to non-tea drinkers. Most of the participants drank green tea, and they did so at least thrice weekly.
From the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology:
Using large prospective cohorts among general Chinese adults, we have provided novel evidence on the protective role of tea consumption on ASCVD events and all-cause mortality, especially among those who kept the habit all along. The current study indicates that tea might be a healthy beverage for primary prevention against ASCVD and premature death.
Posted onFebruary 12, 2020|Comments Off on Mediterranean Diet Ranked as Best Overall of 2020
Santorini, Greek seaside
Every year, the U.S. News and World Report puts together a panel of experts to rank various diets.
For the third year in a row, the Mediterranean diet has been named the best diet overall in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings.
In 2018, the Mediterranean diet shared top honors with the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. Both focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The ketogenic diet, one of the most popular, again fared well in the annual survey, but only in the fast weight loss category. Overall, it was not rated highly.
Angela Haupt, managing editor of health for the publication, says this year’s list has ”no surprises,” as it includes many diets that have been named outstanding before. Trendy diets typically won’t be found on its list, she says, explaining that its experts look for plans that have solid research and staying power.
Posted onFebruary 1, 2020|Comments Off on Drastic Rise in Young American Suicides
This too shall pass
From The New York Times:
After declining for nearly two decades, the suicide rate among Americans ages 10 to 24 jumped 56 percent between 2007 and 2017, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And for the first time the gender gap in suicide has narrowed: Though the numbers of suicides are greater in males, the rates of suicide for female youths increased by 12.7 percent each year, compared with 7.1 percent for male youths.
If you or someone you know needs help dealing with suicidal thought, please please please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
If you are depressed and hopeless, I swear things can and will get better for you. But you must reach out for help. I implore you.
Dr Axel Sigurdsson published an epic post on intermittent fasting early in 2020. I don’t doubt anything in it although I haven’t yet taken a deep dive into the subject like he has. I touched 0n it here, here, here, and here. I’ve done some 24-hour fasting myself (here and here).
From the good doctor:
Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may have several health benefits. Some of these benefits, in particular, the effects on obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors, have been confirmed in studies on humans.
However, the popularity of intermittent fasting within the general public is in stark contrast with the gaps in evidence on the clinical benefits of this approach.
Sir John Glubb studied various empires that existed over the last 4,000 years. He deduced that empires have predictable lifecycles, from origin to ascendence, to great power then decline and collapse. The cycle takes 250 years, give or take 50. I’m not the only one to notice that the U.S.—244 years old—may be on the decline. Decreasing life expectancies are a potential marker of decline.
U.S. life expectancy increased for most of the past 60 years, but the rate of increase slowed over time and life expectancy decreased after 2014. A major contributor has been an increase in mortality from specific causes (eg, drug overdoses, suicides, organ system diseases) among young and middle-aged adults of all racial groups, with an onset as early as the 1990s and with the largest relative increases occurring in the Ohio Valley and New England. The implications for public health and the economy are substantial, making it vital to understand the underlying causes.