Thursday April 2, 2020

Red Meat Consumption Linked with Higher Risk of Death

Overall, reducing red meat intake while eating more whole grains, vegetables or other protein foods such as poultry without skin, eggs and fish, was associated with a lower risk of death among both men and women

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food poisoning
FILE - These products displayed in a Redwood City. Calif., grocery store were subject to meat giant Cargill's recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak, Aug. 3, 2011. VOA

Increasing red meat consumption, particularly processed red meat, is associated with a higher risk of death, researchers warned.

A study published in the journal BMJ shows that replacing red meat with other protein sources, such as eggs and fish, whole grains and vegetables, over time may help you live longer.

For the study, a team of researchers from Harvard University looked at the link between changes in red meat consumption over an eight-year period with mortality rate during the next eight years, starting from 1986 to the end of follow-up in 2010.

They used data for 53,553 US registered female nurses, aged between 30 and 55, and 27,916 male health professionals in the US, aged between 40 and 75, who were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at the start of the study.

Expert: Red Meat, Pork Improve Fertility
Eat less meat to meet climate targets, claims study. Pixabay

Every four years the participants were given a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) where they were asked how often, on an average, they ate each food of standard portion size in the past year. They were then divided into five categories based on their changes in red meat intake.

During the study period, the total number of deaths from any cause reached 14,019 (8,426 women and 5,593 men) and the leading causes were cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and neurodegenerative disease.

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After adjusting for age and other potentially influential factors, increasing total red meat intake by 3.5 servings a week or more over an eight-year period was associated with 10 per cent higher risk of death in the next eight years.

Overall, reducing red meat intake while eating more whole grains, vegetables or other protein foods such as poultry without skin, eggs and fish, was associated with a lower risk of death among both men and women. (IANS)

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Ways to Live Longer With a Mental Disorder

Here's how people with mental disorder can live longer

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mental health
"Our study shows that by addressing health behaviours, healthcare engagement and social issues of people with severe mental illness, we could potentially increase their life expectancy by about four to seven years," said study lead author Dr Alex Dregan from King's College London in the UK. Pixabay

Tackling unhealthy lifestyle factors would provide the greatest benefit in increasing life expectancy among those with severe mental illness in these difficult times, report researchers.

“Our study shows that by addressing health behaviours, healthcare engagement and social issues of people with severe mental illness, we could potentially increase their life expectancy by about four to seven years,” said study lead author Dr Alex Dregan from King’s College London in the UK.

Healthy interventions that aim to stop smoking among people with schizophrenia and approaches to lessen sedentary behaviour among people with bipolar disorders appear to be the most promising ways to increase life expectancy — showing an increase of two years and five months and an increase of one year and three months, respectively.

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Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Currently, people with serious mental illness tend to live on average 12 to 15 years less than those in the general population.

Nearly 80 per cent of deaths of those with serious mental illness are caused by common diseases such as heart disease, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, cancer and digestive disorders. All these diseases can be partly attributed to unhealthy lifestyle factors, social isolation and deprivation, and inadequate use of healthcare services.

 

mental health
Tackling unhealthy lifestyle factors would provide the greatest benefit in increasing life expectancy among those with severe mental illness. Pixabay

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, aimed to estimate how much tackling these changeable factors in the lives of people with SMI could translate into a gain in life expectancy. Using data from systemic reviews, the researchers estimated the level of association between a range of different risk factors and the total number of deaths amongst those with SMI.

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The factors were categorised into three groups: behavioural risk factors such as smoking and physical inactivity, healthcare risk factors such as uptake of treatment and access to healthcare resources and social risk factors such as stigma and exclusion. By considering the effectiveness of interventions aimed at changing these factors the researchers then calculated the gains in life expectancy that could occur.

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Examples of interventions to address the risk factors were smoking cessation initiatives, improving access to antipsychotic medication and educative approaches to reduce stigma.

“Gains in life expectancies were also estimated later in life and at 65 years the projected gain was three years for bipolar disorder and four years for schizophrenia,” the researchers said. (IANS)