Diabetes Archive


Is a "normal" blood pressure reading too high for women?

A study published Feb. 16, 2021, in Circulation found that women with blood pressure readings in a normal range may still be at higher risk for cardiovascular events. For example, heart attack risk in women rose at a systolic (the upper number) reading of 110 to 119 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and was the same at this level as men with a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg. But experts say it’s too soon to change blood pressure recommendations for women until more research confirms the results.

The weighty issue of weight loss

A majority of adults are now considered overweight or obese. Poor diet and lack of exercise are the main contributors, but age also is a factor. Declining muscle mass means the body burns calories at a slower rate. Changing one’s diet to cut out liquid carbs and eat more whole grains and following a regular exercise routine that includes strength training is the best formula for weight loss.

Pandemic weight gain: Not your imagination

A study described in a research letter published March 22, 2021, by JAMA Network Open found that participants steadily gained weight during the first part of the pandemic, from February to June 2020.

Can a diabetes drug transform the treatment of obesity?

In people with obesity, a high-dose weekly injection of the diabetes drug semaglutide caused a 15% weight loss and improved other heart-related risk factors. Semaglutide works by mimicking a substance called GLP-1, which is made naturally by the gut and the brain. It prods the pancreas to release insulin when blood sugar rises too high, reduces appetite, and makes people feel full following a meal.

Is your daily nap doing more harm than good?

Naps can be healthy for adults who need to catch up on sleep or work odd hours, but they can also make it more difficult to sleep at night and be a sign of a sleep disorder. Naps should be short and limited to the early afternoon to prevent them from interfering with nighttime sleep. People who have the urge to nap daily should consider whether they need to improve their nighttime sleep habits.

Excess weight linked with worse heart health even if you exercise

In the journals

Can you be "fat and fit" — that is, overweight but still healthy because of regular exercise? There is no simple answer. But one study says that activity does not entirely reverse the effects weight has on heart health. The findings were published online Jan. 26, 2021, by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

The study involved more than 527,000 adults, almost 70% of whom were men. People were placed into three groups based on their body mass index (BMI): normal, overweight, and obese. They also were grouped by activity level: regularly active (the minimum requirement from the World Health Organization, or WHO); insufficiently active (less than the WHO minimum, but some moderate to vigorous physical activity every week), and no exercise.

Want healthy eyes? What to know at 40 and beyond

While eye problems can affect people of any age, some conditions become more common after age 40. Some are normal, or at least expected; others are of greater concern and will require treatment. Here’s how to keep your eyes healthy and address certain problems.

Conquer your fear of dietary fat

For decades, high intake of fat was thought to cause weight gain, heart disease, and maybe even cancer. The solution? Go low-fat, which often meant consuming more carbs and more sugar. But nutritionists now suggest people actually need adequate amounts of "good" unsaturated fat, and less "bad" saturated fat, for optimal health. Following popular heart-healthy diets, like the Mediterranean and MIND diets, and making simple dietary changes can help people get adequate amounts of good fats.

Having one chronic condition can boost the risk for others

Many chronic conditions seem to be related. Examples include obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease; hearing loss and dementia; obstructive sleep apnea and high blood pressure; various autoimmune diseases; and obesity and joint problems. People with chronic conditions should ask their doctors about the risk for associated diseases.In some cases, they should have certain health screenings to check for them. In other cases, additional screening isn't automatic.

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