Harden not your heart

Possibly some bad news for members of the Vape Nation; a recent study has identified that e-cigarettes containing nicotine can temporarily cause increased arterial stiffness, as well as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. NB: “containing nicotine” is pretty important there, as that’s likely what’s causing those adverse effects. So competitive vapers may not have to worry about this particular research. While the study was pretty small—15 young adults—it still provides some insight into using vapes as a way to quit smoking. The insight is groundbreaking: the healthiest way to not be affected by smoking chemicals is to ingest them at all. Wait, haven’t we heard this argument before…

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There’s no “good fat” when it comes to obesity

Is it possible to be simultaneously hefty and healthy? In a study presented at the European Congress of Obesity, researchers who scrutinized 20 years of electronic health records for 3.5 million people discovered that people who were overweight, but did not have any of the metabolic problems usually linked to excess weight, were more prone to develop metabolic problems. Compared to non-overweight individuals, “healthy obese people had a 50% higher risk of heart disease, a 7% higher risk of stroke, twice the risk of heart failure and a greater risk for peripheral artery disease.” The takeaway: physicians should encourage weight loss among obese patients irrespective of metabolic abnormalities.

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5. Healthcare spending, an American tradition

America, best in the world at baseball, hot dogs, apple pie… and healthcare spending. Americans have spent a whopping $30.1 trillion in fact, from 1996 to 2013. Very little has been known until now about what issues have been the driving forces of such massive sums, but a recent study reported in JAMA finds that just 20 medical conditions account for over half of all spending. At the top of that list: diabetes, heart disease, and back pain. Here’s InsightCity’s recommendation: after spending $277.1 billion in 2013 alone, Americans may want to focus a bit more on the baseball and a bit less on the hot dogs and apple pie.

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3. The Swiss army pill

The experience of taking a handful of pills for preventive measures might be entering a new era. Doctors are becoming very interested in what is being called the “polypill.” According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the pill could include a combination of things such as “a baby aspirin, a statin to rebalance cholesterol, a drug to control blood pressure and one to lower blood sugar,” and would be encouraged for daily use in people over 50, similar to the use of a multivitamin. Critics suggest people would rely on the pill, therefore creating less healthy lifestyles. Be on the lookout for whether doctors will move toward this simpler type of preventive approach.

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