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1 in 4 stroke survivors affected by PTSD
Date: 2013-06-20 11:19:15

A stroke can impact a person's overall health in major ways, affecting the way he or she is able to engage in everyday tasks. According to a recent study published online in the journal PLoS ONE, one in four people who survive a stroke experience the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which highlights how significant the event can be for individuals.

PTSD is most commonly associated with people who have experienced life-altering episodes and combat veterans or those who have been assaulted are among the most likely to be affected. However, this study reveals that a major medical incident like a stroke can have emotional bearing on the mental wellness of people for years to come.

Additionally, those who struggle with PTSD could be more susceptible to developing subsequent cardiovascular issues as a result of the psychological problems PTSD can create.

"PTSD is a huge detriment to quality of life, a debilitating disorder in its own right, and deserves to be treated," Donald Edmondson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "You can't develop PTSD without a life-threatening event. Having PTSD can't cause a stroke a month ago, so this research is some of the strongest causal evidence we have."

Nine previous studies were examined by researchers to determine the results, each of which focused on the occurrence of stroke or transient ischemic attacks. Collectively, more than 1,100 individuals were included in these reports.

According to the researchers, close to 300,000 stroke survivors will be affected by PTSD symptoms because of the incident, while 11 percent will develop chronic or recurring signs of the condition.

Individuals who are concerned about their overarching health should consider the benefits of being proactive with a lab test online. A lab test conducted in this way can help people get a better glimpse of their wellness and take health in their own hands, which can be important.

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AMA classifies obesity as a disease
Date: 2013-06-19 14:53:31

For those who are affected by obesity, health problems including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint or muscle disorders and the threat of heart attack or stroke can be prevalent.

While cholesterol testing is one kind of lab test online that can help a person gain a better picture of your overarching health, it is not the only way individuals can take control of their own wellness. Exercising, eating right and being mindful of calorie intake can be beneficial for those who want to reduce their weight and prevent obesity outright.

Combating obesity has taken on new significance in the wake of the American Medical Association's announcement on June 18 that obesity will now be classified as a disease. Experts with the AMA hope that this shift will enable healthcare providers to offer a higher level of care to those impacted by the condition and give obese men and women the impetus to act, NPR reported.

"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans," AMA board member Patrice Harris, M.D., said in a statement. "The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity."

Treating obesity like a chronic illness is a crucial step toward reducing the impact that it can have on individuals in the years to follow. The AMA's decision, according to Esa Matius Davis, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, will help broaden the resources available to healthcare specialists for the treatment of obesity.

Right now, drugs, nutritional counseling and gastric-bypass surgery are among the options explored by people and their doctors in the battle against the bulge. However, this can be costly if an insurance provider fails to provide adequate compensation, and can limit the help people are able to receive.

In addition, the declaration of the AMA that obesity is a disease may bolster research in the area by academics, which could be beneficial in helping to limit the spread of obesity in future years.

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Cognitive function affected by heart health
Date: 2013-06-06 13:15:41

Can the health of a person's heart impact the rest of his or her body, and specifically the brain's overall function? According to a recent study by the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the instances of cognitive decline increase among patients affected by cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

"There has been a lot of research looking at the links between Type 2 diabetes and increased risk for dementia, but this is the first study to look specifically at subclinical CVD and the role it plays," said lead author Christina E. Hugenschmidt, Ph.D., an instructor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest Baptist. "Our research shows that CVD risk caused by diabetes even before it's at a clinically treatable level might be bad for your brain."

Researchers analyzed data from the Diabetes Heart Study-Mind study - an accumulation of data focused on the connections between vascular calcified plaque, cognitive ability, and diabetes-related issues - and also considered links between cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hereditary.

The study had 1,443 participants. Researchers learned that of 516 individuals, 422 were impacted by Type 2 diabetes and 94 were unaffected.

They surmised that the connection between heart problems and mental stagnation may be associated with the decline of blood flow to the brain that occurs in the aftermath of these incidents. Researchers encouraged healthcare providers to be mindful of the risks of cognitive deterioration in people with Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease, as this may help them delay or prevent this from occurring.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary heart disease claims the lives of more than 385,000 people annually, while about 600,000 people die as a result of cardiovascular problems each year.

Individuals who feel they may be likely to develop the condition should consider the benefits of protime tests or other lab testing outside of a clinical setting. These processes can be beneficial for those who want to take control of their personal health and wellness.

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Obese patients more likely to respond to advice from overweight physicians
Date: 2013-06-04 16:29:21

Individuals who are overweight or obese are frequently asked by healthcare providers to undergo cholesterol tests and other screenings to observe the impact that their weight may be having on their bodily function.

While the results of these tests can help people begin to make more informed decisions about their personal habits, if patients opt not to follow the recommendations of doctors, they may be jeopardizing their personal health and wellness.

Adherence to the suggestions of healthcare professionals is a crucial component of medical guidelines, and in a recent study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, researchers found that overweight or obese patients are more likely to follow medical advice from physicians who are themselves overweight or obese.

"With respect to overall trust, our results suggest that overweight and obese patients trust their primary care physicians, regardless of their body weight," said Sara Bleich, Ph.D., associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management. "However, with respect to trust in weight-related advice, we found that patients more strongly trusted diet advice from overweight primary care physicians as compared to normal BMI primary care physicians."

Analyzing a cross-section of 600 overweight and obese patients, the researchers were able to calculate the level of trust that patients felt in their healthcare providers and found that BMI impacted the confidence they had in the advice.

More importantly, it reduced the stigma felt by individuals regarding their own weights and their willingness to approach conversations in an open and straightforward manner.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the country are overweight or obese. Being obese may increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, Type 2 diabetes and other medical issues.

If a person is impacted by a cardiovascular or similar disease and is also overweight or obese, a lab test can help one determine the quality of personal wellness.

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