Sleep apnea may hold hidden dangers for women
Women may be more likely to have their sleep apnea misdiagnosed because their symptoms are subtler than men. Researchers at UCLA School of Nursing found that the body’s autonomic responses—blood pressure control, heart rate, sweating—are weaker in people with sleep apnea, particularly in women. However, men are much more likely to be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea than women.
The UCLA team conducted a study using 94 men and women. Thirty-seven of them were newly diagnosed and untreated with obstructive sleep apnea and 57 were healthy people to act as a control. The three groups of participants completed three challenges while having their heart rate measured: The Valsalva maneuver, where they exhaled hard while keeping their mouth closed; a hand-grip challenge, where they squeezed hard with one hand; and a cold-pressure challenge, where the right foot is placed in near-freezing water for a minute.
Participants with sleep apnea displayed heart rate responses with lower amplitude, delayed onset, and slower rate changes compared to the healthy controls. These deficiencies were more pronounced in women, which could mean women are at higher risk of developing heart disease.
Said lead researcher Paul Macy: “We now know that sleep apnea is a precursor to bigger health issues. And for women in particular, the results could be deadly.”
The research team is examining whether the standard continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment for sleep apnea will aid in autonomic responses. CPAP is a machine that helps people with sleep apnea breathe easier during sleep. The team noted that more than 20 million Americans now have sleep apnea.
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Sourced from: medicalnewstoday.com, Sleep apnea may hold hidden dangers for women
Published On: Oct 30th 2013
Exercise may prevent injuries from falls for elderly
Exercise programs aimed at preventing falls in older adults may also prevent injuries caused by falls, according to a study published in BMJ.
Falls among older adults are very common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as one in three adults aged 65 or older suffers a fall each year. And, 20 to 30 percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries, which can have serious implications on a person’s mobility and independence.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from 17 trials involving 4,305 participants with a mean age of 76. One group containing 2,195 participants went to exercise programs, while the others were the controls.
They found that in the majority of cases where elderly people exercised, falls were less likely to result in medical care, fractures or serious injuries. They estimated that the overall reduction to be 37 percent for injurious falls, 43 percent for severe injurious falls and 61 percent for falls resulting in fractures.
The researchers concluded that health care providers should encourage older adults to participate in exercise programs to prevent falls and injuries.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Exercise may prevent fall-related injuries in older adults
Published On: Oct 30th 2013
Prostate cancer gets men thinking about manliness
Men with prostate cancer tend to reflect on masculinity and what it means to be a man, specifically when their sex lives and bodies change due to treatment of the disease, concludes a recent study in Norway.
Researchers did in-depth interviews with 13 men aged 52 to 68 and nine spouses aged 52-68. The spouses were not married to any of the 13 men in the study to minimize the danger of revealing sensitive information. This allowed the spouses to speak freely without worry.
During the study, they found that men thought the health system focused too much on impotence as a possible side effect. As they were just diagnosed with prostate cancer and having to deal with a potentially life-threatening disease, they said they are not as interested in hearing advice about Viagra and sex with their partners. The researchers recommended that less focus should be paid to their ability to get an erection.
They also found that older men were able to accept that their sex lives had changed and that they felt it was better to extend their lives with treatment rather than have a functioning penis. Sexuality was more important for younger men, specifically those who were around 60 years old.
Men who were taking hormones to decrease the production of testosterone to extend their lives saw changes in their bodies that are similar to women going through menopause. Most of these men were able to figure out a way to adjust to these changes. Other men suffered from incontinence, but none admitted to having to wear diapers. However, the spouses who were interviewed talked about their husbands having to wear diapers, and that they have to make light of the situation to make it less embarrassing.
The spouses who were interviewed also admitted that it was sad that their sex lives had ended sooner than they wanted, and that it can have a negative impact on the relationship. However, they would not tell this to their husbands in order to protect their masculinity. In some cases, women said the disease brought them closer together.
Researchers conclude that prostate cancer needs to be talked about openly without the stigma associated with it.
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Sourced from: ScienceDaily, Tests of Manhood
Published On: Oct 30th 2013