Study says adults catch flu every five years
Although it may seem like it happens a lot more often, adults, on average, actually catch the flu every five years, according to a study by an international team of researchers.
This study, published in the journal PLoS Biology, looked at nine main strains of flu (all type of influenza A virus) that were known to have circulated around the world between 1968 and 2009. The researchers recruited 151 volunteers in China, ages 7 to 81, and checked their blood for antibodies to see if they had been infected with any of the viruses and how often. Based on their findings, they estimated that children got the flu once every other year, but that it happened less frequently as they got older. From the age of 30 on, people got the flu only about two times per decade.
Gathering this sort of lifespan data, which the researchers said hadn’t been done before, should help experts better understand who is at higher risk of infection and how far disease spreads through communities.
The researchers suggested that many people still mistake bad colds for the flu. The latter is a more severe illness with aches and pains, in addition to a clogged or runny nose.
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Sourced from: BBC, Adults get flu ‘about once every five years’
Published On: March 4, 2015
Weak heart function may increase Alzheimer's risk
A weaker heart could mean trouble for your brain function in old age, according to a new study at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. The research, published in the journal Circulation, found that people with decreased heart function were two to three times more likely to develop memory loss.
Researchers analyzed data from the Framingham Heart Study, an ongoing study that attempts to identify the main risk factors for heart disease. They looked at the cardiac index, a means of measuring heart function to see how much blood is pumped through the body, and compared it to the development of dementia in 1,000 people. They were followed for up to 11 years.
Of those analyzed, 32 people developed dementia, with 26 developing Alzheimer’s. Their analysis showed that people who had a low cardiac index or their heart did not pump enough blood to the rest of the body, had a higher risk of developing dementia when compared to people who had a normal cardiac index. This was separate from people who had heart conditions – in fact, people with no heart conditions, but a low cardiac index were three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
These findings show that the amount of blood the heart gets may be a clear factor in dementia and could help in the development of new ways to treat and diagnose the condition.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Reduced heart function tied to raised risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s
Published On: March 4, 2015