A study in Sweden looking at a sample of the population, has concluded that exercise reduces the chance of fracture due to osteoporosis in men.
2205 men, aged 49 to 51, were followed over a 35 year period. Physical activity and other lifestyle habits were recorded at baseline, and at intervals thereafter. Over the 35 years, 428 of the men had at least one fracture, but there were significant differences according to activity levels:
20% of the sedentary men had fractures,
13% of medium activity men (some walking and cycling) had fractures, and
8% of high activity men (sport for at least 3 hours a week) had fractures.
The researchers calculate that one third of fractures could be prevented if men took part in sports more regularly.
(Leisure Physical Activity and the Risk of Fracture in Men. PLoS Medicine, 19 June 2007.)
A study has found that people who drank tea four times per day for six weeks, had lower blood cortisol levels (a stress marker) and were able to recover more quickly after a stressful event, compared to those who drank a placebo beverage.
(The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomised double-blind trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl), January 2007.)
Researchers at the University of Nottingham have concluded that eating apples and tomatoes may help prevent respiratory disease.
A total of 2633 adults had their lung function measured in 1991 and again in 2000. Eating more than five apples each week, was associated with increased lung function, as was having tomatoes more than three times per week. Wheezing was also less common among people who consumed apples, tomatoes and bananas.
(97th Annual Meeting of the American Thoracic Society. Reported by BBC News online 22 May 2001.)
Taking a siesta in the middle of the day seems to reduce the risk of death from heart disease, particularly in healthy young men. This conclusion on the benefits of a siesta is suggested by a survey of a general population sample of 23 681 people, who at enrolment had no history of heart disease, stroke or cancer. As well as recording napping habits, researchers asked about diet and exercise so as to allow for these additional variables.
It was found that those who occasionally napped, had a 12% lower rate of coronary mortality, whilst those who regularly napped for 30 minutes at least three times per week, had a 37% lower rate. The association was especially strong among men working at the start of the six year study: they showed a 64% reduced risk.
(Siesta in Healthy Adults & Coronary Mortality in the General Population. Archives of Internal Medicine, February 2007.)
People whose parents lived to a greater age, have been found by the time they themselves reach middle-age, to have fewer risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
In a survey of nearly 1700 people, mean age 40, 11% had at least two parents who survived to 85 or older; 47% had one parent who lived to that age; 42% had two parents who died before 85. People whose parents both survived to 85 or beyond, showed a greater tendency for normal blood pressure, lower levels of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, and fewer other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Similar tendencies were exhibited after a further 12 years of follow-up.
(Characteristics of Framingham Offspring Participants with Long-Lived Parents. Archives of Internal Medicine, March 2007.)