Health News [TheSpec]

Resistance not futile for seniors

Resistance training can be good for seniors, slowing cognitive decline while improving their strength and mobility, new research shows.

Previous studies have found that aerobic exercise can help keep people mentally sharp as they age, yet few have looked at the effects on brain health of weight training to build and strengthen muscles and bone.

In a study of 155 women aged 65 to 75, researchers at the University of British Columbia found those assigned to a year of once- or twice-weekly training with weights showed measurable improvement in cognitive ability.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, randomly assigned the women to one of three exercise groups: once-a-week resistance training; the same program twice a week; or a twice-weekly balance and toning routine.

Researcher Teresa Liu-Ambrose says that after 12 months, there was a significant improvement in selective attention and decision-making among those in resistance-training versus those in the balance and tone group.

Testing showed that the women in weight-training improved cognitive ability by up to 12.6 per cent after a year. Those who did balance and toning exercises regressed slightly.

Cognitive decline among seniors is a key risk factor for falls.

Never give up on quitting

A new British study finds people with early lung cancer who quit smoking can double their chances of surviving.

Researchers analyzed previous data from 10 studies examining how longtime smokers survived after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

People with lung cancer who continued smoking had a 29-to-33 per cent chance of surviving five years. But those who kicked the habit had a 63-to-70 per cent chance of being alive after five years.

Warning issued over Meridia

The U.S Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors that the weight loss pill Meridia can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with a history of heart problems.

The FDA is adding new labelling to the drug, stressing it shouldn’t be used in patients with heart failure, hypertension, irregular heart beats and other problems.

The FDA approved Meridia in 1997 as a weight loss aid alongside diet and exercise.

U.S. newborns getting smaller

A new study finds American newborns are arriving a little smaller — but Harvard researchers can’t explain why.

Fatter mothers tend to produce heavier babies, and obesity is soaring.

Yet the study of nearly 37 million births shows newborns were a bit lighter — about 1.8 ounces — in 2005 than in 1990, ending a half-century of rising birth weights.

They study is in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Source: TheSpec

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