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Rehabilitation after pectus excavatum corrective surgery: A single case report.

On Mar 17, 2014

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Pectus excavatum deformity, often diagnosed in children and adults, results in psychological and physiological impairments. The minimally invasive Nuss surgical procedure is more frequently used to correct this deformity. The purpose of this single case report is to report on the interdisciplinary management provided for a 9-year-old girl who underwent this procedure for congenital pectus excavatum deformity.

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Psychosocial stress and cardiovascular risk – current opinion.

On Mar 17, 2014

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Epidemiologic research of the last half-century has clearly shown that psychosocial factors related to the social environment, personality characteristics, and negative affect increase the risk of incident CVD and also impact prognosis of cardiac patients. Several mechanisms may explain this link, including a genetic predisposition, poor lifestyle choices, low adherence to health recommendations, and direct pathophysiologic perturbations. The latter include alteration of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis and autonomic dysfunction resulting in endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, and a prothrombotic state further downstream. Screening for psychosocial factors seems appropriate as part of the standard history and based on the clinician’s knowledge of the patient and the purpose of the visit. Psychological interventions generally alleviate distress in cardiac patients, but whether they reduce the risk of hard cardiovascular endpoints and all-cause mortality is less evident. Cardiac patients with more severe depression may particularly profit from antidepressant medications. Due to their pharmacologic properties, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were shown to improve cardiovascular outcome. The most effective psychosocial treatment is multicomponent therapy that combines elements of cognitive behaviour therapy (“stress management”) and changes in health behaviours, including the adoption of a regular exercise regimen. Gender-specific issues should probably be considered. The field of behavioural cardiology has accumulated a wealth of epidemiological, mechanistic and clinical knowledge that undoubtedly has furthered our understanding about the important role of psychosocial risk factors in patients with a heart disease.

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Resistance training as an aid to standard smoking cessation treatment: a pilot study.

On Mar 17, 2014

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Introduction: Research indicates that exercise may be helpful for smoking cessation; however, the majority of studies have focused only on women and only on aerobic exercise. This pilot study explored the use of resistance training (RT) (i.e., weight lifting) as an adjunctive strategy for quitting smoking for both men and women.

Methods: A sample of 25 smokers received a brief smoking cessation counseling session and the nicotine patch prior to being randomized into a 12-week RT or contact control (CC) group. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 3-month, and at a 6-month follow-up.

Results: Participants (52% female) averaged 36.5 years (SD = 12.0) of age and 19.1 years (SD = 12.0) of smoking. At the 3-month assessment, objectively verified 7-day point prevalence abstinence (PPA) rates were 46% for the RT group and 17% for CC; prolonged abstinence rates were 16% and 8%, respectively. At the 6-month assessment, objectively verified 7-day PPA rates were 38% for the RT group and 17% for CC; prolonged abstinence rates were 15% and 8%, respectively. Mean body weight decreased 0.6 kg (SD = 1.7) in the RT group and increased 0.6 kg (SD = 2.8) in the CC group. Mean body fat decreased 0.5% (SD = 1.8) in the RT group and increased 0.6% (SD = 0.7) in the CC.

Conclusions: This is the first study reporting on the use of a RT program as an aid to smoking cessation treatment. The findings suggest that such a program is feasible as an adjunctive treatment for smoking cessation. An adequately powered trial is warranted.

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Body mass index and height over three generations: evidence from the Lifeways cross-generational cohort study.

On Mar 17, 2014

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Background: Obesity and its measure of body mass index are strongly determined by parental body size. Debate continues as to whether both parents contribute equally to offspring body mass which is key to understanding the aetiology of the disease. The aim of this study was to use cohort data from three generations of one family to examine the relative maternal and paternal associations with offspring body mass index and how these associations compare with family height to demonstrate evidence of genetic or environmental cross-generational transmission.

Methods: 669 of 1082 families were followed up in 2007/8 as part of the Lifeways study, a prospective observational cross-generation linkage cohort. Height and weight were measured in 529 Irish children aged 5 to 7 years and were self-reported by parents and grandparents. All adults provided information on self-rated health, education status, and indicators of income, diet and physical activity. Associations between the weight, height, and body mass index of family members were examined with mixed models and heritability estimates computed using linear regression analysis.

Results: Self-rated health was associated with lower BMI for all family members, as was age for children. When these effects were accounted for evidence of familial associations of BMI from one generation to the next was more apparent in the maternal line. Heritability estimates were higher (h= 0.40) for mother-offspring pairs compared to father-offspring pairs (h= 0.22). In the previous generation, estimates were higher between mothers-parents (h= 0.54-0.60) but not between fathers-parents (h= -0.04-0.17). Correlations between mother and offspring across two generations remained significant when modelled with fixed variables of socioeconomic status, health, and lifestyle. A similar analysis of height showed strong familial associations from maternal and paternal lines across each generation.

Conclusions: This is the first family cohort study to report an enduring association between mother and offspring BMI over three generations. The evidence of BMI transmission over three generations through the maternal line in an observational study corroborates the findings of animal studies. A more detailed analysis of geno and phenotypic data over three generations is warranted to understand the nature of this maternal-offspring relationship.

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Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy.

On Mar 17, 2014

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Background: Strong evidence shows that physical inactivity increases the risk of many adverse health conditions, including major non-communicable diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancers, and shortens life expectancy. Because much of the world’s population is inactive, this link presents a major public health issue. We aimed to quantify the effect of physical inactivity on these major non-communicable diseases by estimating how much disease could be averted if inactive people were to become active and to estimate gain in life expectancy at the population level.

Methods: For our analysis of burden of disease, we calculated population attributable fractions (PAFs) associated with physical inactivity using conservative assumptions for each of the major non-communicable diseases, by country, to estimate how much disease could be averted if physical inactivity were eliminated. We used life-table analysis to estimate gains in life expectancy of the population.

Findings: Worldwide, we estimate that physical inactivity causes 6% (ranging from 3·2% in southeast Asia to 7·8% in the eastern Mediterranean region) of the burden of disease from coronary heart disease, 7% (3·9—9·6) of type 2 diabetes, 10% (5·6—14·1) of breast cancer, and 10% (5·7—13·8) of colon cancer. Inactivity causes 9% (range 5·1—12·5) of premature mortality, or more than 5·3 million of the 57 million deaths that occurred worldwide in 2008. If inactivity were not eliminated, but decreased instead by 10% or 25%, more than 533 000 and more than 1·3 million deaths, respectively, could be averted every year. We estimated that elimination of physical inactivity would increase the life expectancy of the world’s population by 0·68 (range 0·41—0·95) years.

Interpretation: Physical inactivity has a major health effect worldwide. Decrease in or removal of this unhealthy behaviour could improve health substantially.

Lifestyle modifications to prevent and control hypertension.

On Mar 17, 2014

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Objective: To provide updated, evidence-based recommendations for health care professionals concerning the effects of regular physical activity on the prevention and control of hypertension in otherwise healthy adults.

Options: People may engage in no, sporadic or regular physical activity that may be of low, moderate or vigorous intensity. For sedentary people with hypertension, the options are to undertake or maintain regular physical activity and to avoid or moderate medication use; to use another lifestyle modification technique; to commence or continue antihypertensive medication; or to take no action and remain at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Outcomes: The health outcomes considered were changes in blood pressure and in morbidity and mortality rates. Because of insufficient evidence, no economic outcomes were considered.

Evidence: A Medline search was conducted for the period 1966-1997 with the terms exercise, exertion, physical activity, hypertension and blood pressure. Both reports of trials and review articles were obtained. Other relevant evidence was obtained from the reference lists of these articles, from the personal files of the authors and through contacts with experts. The articles were reviewed, classified according to study design and graded according to level of evidence.

Values: A high value was placed on avoidance of cardiovascular morbidity and premature death caused by untreated hypertension.

Benefits, Harms and Costs: Physical activity of moderate intensity involving rhythmic movements with the lower limbs for 50-60 minutes, 3 or 4 times per week, reduces blood pressure and appears to be more effective than vigorous exercise. Harm is uncommon and is generally restricted to the musculoskeletal injuries that may occur with any repetitive activity. Injury occurs more often with jogging than with walking, cycling or swimming. The costs include the costs of appropriate shoes, garments and equipment, but these were not specifically measured.

Recommendations: (1) People with mild hypertension should engage in 50-60 minutes of moderate rhythmic exercise of the lower limbs, such as brisk walking or cycling, 3 or 4 times per week to reduce blood pressure, (2) Exercise should be prescribed as an adjunctive therapy for people who require pharmacologic therapy for hypertension, especially those who are not receiving beta-blockers. (3) People who do not have hypertension should participate in regular exercise as it will decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, although there is no direct evidence that it will prevent hypertension.

Validation: These recommendations agree with those of the World Hypertension League, the American College of Sports Medicine, the report of the US Surgeon General on physical activity and health, and the US National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Panel on Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health. These guidelines have not been clinically tested. SPONSORS: The Canadian Hypertension Society, the Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control, the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control at Health Canada, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

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Exercise in type 2 diabetes: to resist or to endure?

On Mar 17, 2014

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There is now evidence that a single bout of endurance (aerobic) or resistance exercise reduces 24 h post-exercise subcutaneous glucose profiles to the same extent in insulin-resistant humans with or without type 2 diabetes. However, it remains to be determined which group would benefit most from specific exercise protocols, particularly with regard to long-term glycaemic control. Acute aerobic exercise first accelerates translocation of myocellular glucose transporters via AMP-activated protein kinase, calcium release and mitogen-activated protein kinase, but also improves insulin-dependent glucose transport/phosphorylation via distal components of insulin signalling (phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1, TBC1 domain family, members 1 and 4, Rac1, protein kinase C). Post-exercise effects involve peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α and lead to ATP synthesis, which may be modulated by variants in genes such as NDUFB6. While mechanisms of acute resistance-type exercise are less clear, chronic resistance training activates the mammalian target of rapamycin/serine kinase 6 pathway, ultimately increasing protein synthesis and muscle mass. Over the long term, adherence to rather than differences in metabolic variables between specific modes of regular exercise might ultimately determine their efficacy. Taken together, studies are now needed to address the variability of individual responses to long-term resistance and endurance training in real life.

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Systemic manifestations and comorbidities of COPD.

On Mar 17, 2014

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Increasing evidence indicates that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex disease involving more than airflow obstruction. Airflow obstruction has profound effects on cardiac function and gas exchange with systemic consequences. In addition, as COPD results from inflammation and/or alterations in repair mechanisms, the “spill-over” of inflammatory mediators into the circulation may result in important systemic manifestations of the disease, such as skeletal muscle wasting and cachexia. Systemic inflammation may also initiate or worsen comorbid diseases, such as ischaemic heart disease, heart failure, osteoporosis, normocytic anaemia, lung cancer, depression and diabetes. Comorbid diseases potentiate the morbidity of COPD, leading to increased hospitalisations, mortality and healthcare costs. Comorbidities complicate the management of COPD and need to be evaluated carefully. Current therapies for comorbid diseases, such as statins and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-agonists, may provide unexpected benefits for COPD patients. Treatment of COPD inflammation may concomitantly treat systemic inflammation and associated comorbidities. However, new broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory treatments, such as phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors, have significant side-effects so it may be necessary to develop inhaled drugs in the future. Another approach is the reversal of corticosteroid resistance, for example with effective antioxidants. More research is needed on COPD comorbidities and their treatment.

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