New Asthma & Obesity Study Tracks 10,000 Patients

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

didyouknow?Asthma Control Requires Weight Loss Management in At-Risk Individuals

Although studies have shown an association between obesity and increased asthma incidence, the role of obesity in asthma control is less clear. Now, researchers have addressed that issue by tracking asthma control and Body Mass Index (BMI) in a large, real world cohort of 10,233 adults.

“We identified adults with persistent asthma in 2006, continuous health plan enrollment in 2007 and 2008, with a BMI measurement in 2006 and 2007. That BMI was categorized and analyzed alongside asthma control outcomes in 2008,” co-author Michael Schatz, MD, MS, FAAAAI, said.

Asthma control outcomes included asthma hospitalizations or emergency department visits, oral corticosteroid prescriptions linked to an asthma encounter and prescriptions for more than seven short-acting beta-agonist canisters.

“We found an increased risk of emergency department visits or asthma related hospital stays in overweight (26-40%) and obese individuals (36-57%). We also found that obese patients are likelier to use seven or more short-acting beta-agonist canisters,” co-author Robert Zeiger, MD, PhD, FAAAAI said.

A number of reasons could explain the relationship between poor asthma control and obesity, including:

* Gastroesophageal reflux disease

* Depression

* Reduced corticosteroid responsiveness

* Adipokines or cell signaling proteins secreted by body fat

* Direct effects on pulmonary functions

The size of this study allowed the investigators to account for some of these factors (gastroesophageal reflux disease, depression, and inhaled corticosteroid treatment) as well as other factors that influence asthma control (age, gender, smoking and socioeconomic status). This large study will provide medical professionals a more comprehensive understanding of the association between elevated BMI and poor asthma control. It is important because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one in three adults over the age of 20 are obese. Similarly, more than two in three adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese.

“While further studies will be needed to better define the amount of weight loss necessary to improve asthma outcomes, it remains clear that physicians managing overweight and obese patients with asthma should actively encourage and facilitate weight loss interventions,” Schatz explained.

The study was published on May 11, 2015 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice (JACI: In Practice), an official journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). It should be noted that this study was supported by a research grant from Merck and Co. Inc.

More information on asthma is available at AAAAI.org. The AAAAI represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 6,800 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries. The AAAAI’s Find an Allergist/Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist close to home.

4 Tips For Helping A Child Deal With Asthma – Part 2

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By Lauren Hill

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

familyjogKnow the Warning Signs

The best way to deal with asthma, and especially an asthma attack, is to be aware of the warning signs your child typically shows before an attack. An asthma attack is when your child’s lungs are not getting enough air to breathe adequately, caused by the swelling and inflammation due to asthma. Some children’s attacks are triggered by environmental things like pets, mold, or allergens in the air. Other kids experience asthma attacks when they are active or become too worked up. Regardless of what causes your child’s asthma, they will show signs of an impending attack that are usually similar each time. A good way to become familiar with your child’s warning signs is to keep a checklist or running tally of the signs that they showed before each attack. For example, if you notice that your child begins to cough at night shortly before they have an attack, you can write that down as a warning sign. The next time you notice them coughing in their beds, you can be more prepared to help them treat the attack.

Create an Action Plan

An asthma attack can be a scary experience for all involved, but most especially for the child experiencing it. In those scary situations, it can be easy to freeze up and forget what should be done. Creating an action plan can keep you, your child, and other adults in your child’s life – like their teacher – on the same page of how to treat the attack. Most action plans involve figuring out the right amount of daily medication that is needed to control your child’s asthma on a day-to-day basis, as well as the emergency medication that would be required in the case of an attack. A device like a peak flow reader can help you track how well your child’s lungs are working and can let you know when the asthma may be getting worse. Recording these peak flow readings can help you follow a daily plan to keep the disease in check.

In the case of an emergency situation or attack, your child’s action plan should include the warning signs, what their peak flow reading will look like, the medication required to reduce symptoms, and the point at which emergency personnel should be contacted. A copy of both the daily and rescue action plan should be given to any adult who is in direct care of your child so that they are aware of any needs your child may have.

Control the Triggers

In order to gain control of asthma and to reduce attacks in the future, it’s important to figure out your child’s asthma triggers and avoid them as often as possible. Cigarette smoke can be a trigger for many kids, so if you or another family member smokes, quitting or doing all smoking outdoors can help keep your child’s lungs healthy. Sometimes furry pets are the culprit of some kids’ coughing and wheezing. Unfortunately, the best solution in that case is to find the pet a new home. Even when the animal is outside the home, dander and fur tracked in on clothing can trigger attacks as well. Playing hard and excessive activity can be another common trigger, and although it can be hard to get a small child to slow down, it is important to help them realize that their trigger can make them feel sick and cause an attack.

Removing asthmatic triggers from your home and your child’s school environment is essential if you want your child to gain control over their disease. It is your responsibility to provide them with a healthy environment where they can be safe from the sometimes life-threatening attacks. These tips can help you get started on the path to control over your child’s asthma and can bring them great comfort knowing that you will be taking care of their wellbeing.

– Lauren Hill is a freelance writer and Mom to an asthmatic child. She finds great joy in educating others on dealing with asthma. Lauren is a contributing author for RabbitAir.com.

4 Tips For Helping A Child Deal With Asthma – Part 1

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By Lauren Hill

familywalk2Children are naturally resilient and are often fully capable of dealing with whatever troubles are thrown their way, but dealing with a chronic illness like asthma can require a little bit of help from family and friends. If not treated properly, asthma can have life-long consequences and can make even day-to-day life a struggle. As such, parents of asthmatic children need to be aware of how they can help their children take control over their asthma so that they can continue on the path towards a healthy adulthood. Being knowledgeable and transferring that knowledge on to your child can ensure that they are able to watch for the signs of an asthma attack and be careful to avoid activities or situations that may cause a reaction. Here are some tips that can help you prepare yourself and in turn prepare your child to deal with life with asthma.

Get a Diagnosis

The first step to taking care of your child and gaining control over their asthma is to get a diagnosis so that the proper medication can be prescribed, if necessary. The American Lung Association suggests that children who will be asthmatic will typically begin showing symptoms by the time they reach the age of five. Some kids are more susceptible to lung conditions tied to colds or other infections and those symptoms can sometimes be similar to asthma’s symptoms, but speaking with your child’s pediatrician and giving them as much information as you can will help the doctor narrow down what may be causing the discomfort that your child has been experiencing. Here are some of the symptoms of asthma in children:

• A wheezing sound when your child exhales

• Complaints of chest pain

• Interrupted sleeping due to shortness of breath, which can cause fatigue

• Frequent coughing, made worse by a cold or the flu

• Tightness of the chest

If your child has been complaining of these symptoms, you may want to consider making an appointment with your doctor or specialist in order to complete a diagnosis. It may seem as though a formal diagnosis could be too worrisome, but as a parent it is important to move forward on the treatment of your child’s condition and this often requires medical intervention.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Lauren Hill is a freelance writer and Mom to an asthmatic child. She finds great joy in educating others on dealing with asthma. Lauren is a contributing author for RabbitAir.com.

How To Avoid The Flu If You Have Asthma

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By Zoe Camp

girlappleBad news, folks – Flu season is here. As usual, experts are urging consumers to get vaccinated, but between school, work, and everything else, it can be difficult to find time to get a flu shot. Indeed, it’s easy to fall into a “hope for the best” mindset, which usually works pretty well – that is, until you’re bedridden with all the miserable flu fix ins’.

If you have asthma, however, you’ve got a lot more to worry about. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asthmatics face an increased risk of complications from the flu, including acute asthma attacks, a worsening of symptoms, and even pneumonia. Blame biology – people with asthma have swollen, sensitive airways, which doesn’t pair well with an inflammatory disease like the flu. Therefore, if you have asthma, COPD, or any other respiratory condition, it’s imperative that you take extra precautions to keep yourself healthy. Here are four steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Get a Flu Shot

The CDC urges everyone with asthma who is six months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine drastically reduces the chances of contracting the flu virus, and is available pretty much everywhere, including the doctors’ office, pharmacies (including those found at large chains like Target), and schools. Although the Flu-Mist nasal spray vaccine is becoming more popular, the CDC recommends that it not be used by asthmatics.

Limit Your Contact With the Virus

Wash your hands. A lot. If you can, try not to touch your mouth, eyes or nose (major germ highways). And if you’re sick (and can’t stay home), cough into your sleeve and (surprise!) wash your hands even more.

Revisit Your (Or your Loved Ones’) Asthma Action Plan

While you’re at the doctor’s office (getting your vaccine, of course), go over your (or your child’s) Asthma Action Plan – and if you don’t have one yet, make one. Asthma Action Plans are essential for ensuring you receive the proper treatment in case symptoms develop.

If You’re Sick, Take It Easy

If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms – high fever, cough, muscle aches or chills – stay home from work/school to avoid creating more misery for yourself and others. Eat a well-balanced diet, get lots of sleep, and anti-viral medications as prescribed. If you use a nebulizer, make sure you have extra neb-kits and supplies on hand.

If you have chronic respiratory issues and would like more information on how to stay safe this flu season, check out the CDC’s online resources. May your fall be fun and flu-free!

– Zoe Camp is an avid blogger for justnebulizers.com and a student at Columbia University who spends her time researching and writing about pulmonary health issues, specifically asthma.

What To Do If Your Child Has An Asthma Attack At School

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groupkidsIf getting a call from the school nurse can be unnerving, hearing that your child just had an asthma attack at school is downright terrifying. This especially holds true if the call marks the first time an asthma attack has ever happened. The only thing worse for parents than knowing that their child is suffering is knowing that their child is suffering when they can’t be there with him. Since parents cannot be with their asthmatic child 24 hours out of the day, ensuring the child and teachers know how to manage his asthma is the next best thing. If you’ve been told your child has had an asthma attack in school, hang in there as you learn about what to do next.

First Things First

The first thing you’ll want to do is find out the status of your child. If it is not under control, the school may have called 911 or may ask you to pick up your child seek medical attention. The emergency room should be your first stop if the attack is still in progress, but an attack that’s under control or has ended may only require a trip to his regular primary care physician.

Create a Plan with Your Pediatrician

Once the initial attack is under control, let your pediatrician know what happened and then make an appointment to create an action plan for your child’s asthma. On this action plan, write down what triggers your child’s asthma, what symptoms he exhibits when he begins to have a flare up, what medications he takes, along with the dosage, what to do when an asthma attack begins, and when to head to the emergency room. You also may want to ask the doctor if there should be any restrictions or any extra monitoring during exercise.

Talk with Your Child

Teaching your child to manage his asthma independently is the best thing you can do when he’s old enough to attend school. Both you and your child need the security of knowing that no matter where your child is or who he is with, he can handle his asthma. Therefore, share the action plan with your child and frequently go over the steps to managing his asthma and handling attacks.

Talk with School Administrators

inhalerShare your written action plan with your child’s school and request a meeting with his teacher, the school nurse and anyone else you feel should be involved. Explain your child’s medical history and how independent he is in handling his asthma. Make sure you cover not only how to handle his asthma in school, but also on field trips and during any after school activities. Ask questions to ensure that there is always someone present who can administer medication and work the peak flow meter. It’s important that the school is supportive of your child’s condition, and that they handle it in a way that will not embarrass your child and deter him from maintaining his care.

Also, find out if you child is allowed to carry his own medication, provided that you feel confident in his responsibility level. If the school does not allow it, you can request a 504 plan under the Americans with Disabilities Act that allows him to have the medication on him.

Handling Attacks in School

Your child’s medication should be easily accessible. If he is too young or not yet responsible enough to carry it himself, the medication should be close at hand to the classroom teacher and in the nurse’s office in a place that is within quick reach. It should also be close at hand for gym class and recess. This way if your child has an attack, the medication will be there to be used immediately no matter where he is.

Know the Triggers

There are some common triggers that children encounter in school, such as dust mites, cockroaches, chalk dust, perfume and cleaning products, just to name a few. If any of these are known culprits for your child, you should work that into their 504 Plan. For example, you can request that they use dustless chalk, avoid perfumes and certain cleaning products, that the school is treated for pests regularly, and that methods be employed that combat mold. If the classroom has a pet, you can ask for that to be removed as well if your child is allergic or triggered by dander.

Once you have gone through all of these steps, you can rest much easier knowing that you and your child have a good handle on his asthma and that you have taken control of the situation as much as possible. Creating action plans and taking preventative actions can change a situation that once caused vulnerability to one that empowers.

– Submitted by Kevin Thompson of Backup Care

Spring Has Sprung: Asthma And Allergies On The Rise

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By Dr. Barry Zeffren

twokidsunIt is that time of year again: birds are chirping, skies are bluer. The days are getting longer, and the grass is going from the brown and yellow of dormancy to the vibrant green that warmer weather promises. Leaves are emerging on the branches of the trees, and the Westerly Winds blow out the frigid cold air and swoop in with the warm winds and the promise of summer. We daydream about our emergence from our winter cocoons, and make mental checklists of the warm weather activities soon to come:from planning our summer gardens to our impending invitations to Mother’s Day brunches and barbecues. Of course, with all the planning for the beginning of spring, there comes the inevitable spring allergy season.

Because pollen is the most common allergen, cases of hay fever rise dramatically in the spring. Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from spring seasonal allergies, and this number is on the rise. Children with parents who suffer from seasonal allergies are over 30% more likely to also develop allergies. And while many of these people who suffer from allergies think they can alleviate the effects allergies have on their lives by sequestering themselves indoors during the spring months, the fact is that indoor air is often 50 times more polluted than outdoor air. For this reason, many allergy sufferers feel they can never escape the misery they are wrought with when it comes to spring allergies.

inhalerSo what causes allergies? It is an autoimmune response in which the body recognizes an otherwise harmless substance as harmful to the body. The results are the symptoms of seasonal allergies. These symptoms can be anywhere from mildly irritating to a debilitating condition which renders sufferers completely at the mercy of the pollen counts. These symptoms can include itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, sneezing, cough, skin rashes, and in severe cases can result in constricted airways and asthmatic symptoms. For some, the symptoms of seasonal allergies appear as severe skin allergies. Large, scaly, patchy plaques can appear in some skin allergy sufferers. Other skin allergies are prickly rashes which can cause extreme itching, redness, and discomfort.

Treatments for spring allergies and asthma can vary greatly. For mild cases of seasonal allergies, an antihisthamine prior to exposure to allergens can be helpful. Unfortunately, these types of medications can also cause drowsiness, even after regular and prolonged usage. There are a lot of over the counter medications which offer users 24 hour allergy relief. These work by actually blocking histamines (allergy-causing irritants). The medication binds to the histamines in the body, which then block the allergic reaction such as sneezing, itching, or coughing. For severe allergy sufferers, there are also more intense treatment options. Some patients require regular allergy shots during the spring allergy season simply to be able to get out of bed each day. Others require daily inhalers and prescription strength medications in order to get their symptoms under control and more manageable. There are also natural allergy remedies which many users find to be very effective. Yamoa powder has been touted by many users to be a complete cure for allergies and asthma, with most users being completely relieved of allergy symptoms after just four weeks of use.

kidsunningtogetherFor those who suffer from skin allergies during spring allergy season, hydrocortisone creams can be extremely helpful. These types of creams are a corticosteroid preparation which helps to reduce swelling and irritation, as well as relieve itching and redness. For severe cases of skin allergies, which can often result in eczema, more powerful topical steroid creams may be required. These are usually available by prescription, and can be fairly inexpensive. For those who are interested in an all-natural treatment for skin allergies, magnesium oil can be particularly helpful. There are ways to prepare magnesium oils at home, or pre-mixed solutions can be purchased at many different retailers. The magnesium oil is misted directly onto the skin, and has been shown to be highly effective at relieving the symptoms of skin allergies, eczema, and psoriasis.

Spring is almost here. Blue skies and green grass hold the promise of warmer, long, sunny days and sultry evenings. Unfortunately for many allergy sufferers, spring is also the beginning of months of miserable allergy symptoms. For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, there are a lot of different ways to treat the cause and the symptoms to make allergy season a lot less miserable.

– This article was written by Dr. Barry Zeffren who is an allergist at the Allergy and Asthma Care Clinic in Granite City IL. To find out more about Dr. Zeffren or the Allergy and Asthma Car Clinic go to www.metroeastallergist.com.

Child Obesity Is Not the Problem

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rollerbladeFrom Your Health Journal…..”I had to promote a wonderful article written by Marci Warhaft-Nadler of The Huffington Post entitled Child Obesity Is Not the Problem. In a day and age where obesity is being thrown in our faces, and children are being ‘frightened’ into staying thin, this article was quite refreshing to read. The author states that obesity is a real issue, but we should focus on healthier lifestyle instead. The plain truth is so many children today are leading a poor, unhealthy lifestyle. Their environment is different than it was 25 years ago, so when times change, so must our actions. Obesity related illness is on the rise such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and weaker joints. So yes, a change is needed to help children be healthier by changing their lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with focusing on the obesity epidemic, as education is the key to improvement, but let’s also focus on the child’s environment, and what changes need to be made. Please visit the Huffington Post web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

There, I said it. And I’ll say it again: Childhood obesity is not the problem.

While it’s become nearly impossible to turn on a TV or read a newspaper without hearing about the obesity epidemic and it seems like there are anti-obesity campaigns popping up everywhere, I believe we are focusing our energy on the wrong problem.

Is obesity a serious issue? Yes. But obesity is just one symptom of the real issue which is unhealthy living. By focusing solely on obesity, we are turning a “lifestyle” issue into a “fat” one and are completely missing out on giving people the information they need to be truly healthy.

The dangerous part about this is that instead of encouraging people to get healthy we are demanding that they get skinny and the truth is, skinny is not always synonymous with healthy.

Our “war on obesity” is creating a generation of kids who are terrified of being overweight and because of our society’s obsession with thinness, they don’t even know what being overweight truly looks like! Watching TV or reading magazines and being inundated with unrealistic images of unattainable physiques can have most kids feeling inadequate within minutes. When the media is telling them that they need to be skinny to be beautiful and anti-obesity campaigns are telling them they need to be skinny to be healthy, the only message they’re hearing is: YOU NEED TO BE SKINNY!

Here’s a shocker: You can’t always tell how fit or unfit a person is simply by what they look like. Being a little overweight and active is healthier than skinny and sedentary. Weight is not the ONLY factor in a person’s overall health.

To read the full article…..Click here

Cory Booker And Childhood Obesity

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boyrunninggreenFrom Your Health Journal…..”A really good article from the Fiscal Times written by Maureen Mackey entitled Cory Booker on Childhood Obesity: Fix It Now. This article was particularly interesting to me personally as Mayor Cory Booker of Newark is from my home state of New Jersey. Childhood obesity is on the rise, and obesity related illness in children is a major issue – including heart disease, asthma, weak joints, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Change is needed, and people like Mayor Booker are making a difference in helping children lead healthy lifestyles. Please visit The Fiscal Times web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

Amid continuing worries that rising obesity rates could push health care costs into the stratosphere, Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., and others are promoting healthier eating and exercise in cities across America – with boosts from U.S. businesses as well as First Lady Michelle Obama, who has made healthy eating a core issue.

Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonprofit that solicits pledges from private companies and other groups to combat obesity, said Thursday more than 1,700 cities promoted exercise last year among 3 million kids. One in three American youngsters is obese right now, while many more are overweight.

The group, which held its annual conference this week, said it wants to help 10 million Americans have better access to healthier foods: It claims that 23.5 million people, including 6.5 million children, do not have the ability to buy fresh produce or cannot afford to buy it, Reuters reports. “Already, 141 grocery stores have been built or renovated in so-called ‘food deserts,’ often low-income urban neighborhoods without nearby grocery stores, helping more than a half-million people.”

Among the group’s business partners are Walmart and Darden Restaurants, while GE Healthcare said on Thursday it, too, would now join the partnership. Some restaurants have promised to alter their food offerings and to move away from such high fat, high-starch kid-friendly options as chicken fingers and French fries.

To read the complete article…..Click here

The Cost Of Obesity

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weightbaFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very interesting and well written I wanted to promote from the Sydney Morning Herald out of Australia written by Matt Wade entitled Obesity costs drag down national good. We have discussed here so many times how upset I was while reading an article from a reputable publication which stated that the United States was the ‘fat capital’ of the world. This did not sit well with me. Yes, I agree, there is a problem in the US with obesity, but NOT just limited to the US. I have provided documentation from at least a dozen other countries stating how they have a similar problem. Today’s article is another example, showing how there is a major concern in Australia. The article starts off by stating how the cost of obesity to Australia’s collective well-being has reached $120 billion a year – the equivalent of about 8 per cent of the economy’s annual output. The well-being cost of obesity has risen by nearly $50 billion a year since 2005-06. In that time the number of obese adults has risen from 3.2 million to 5 million, from 20.8 per cent to 28.3 per cent of the population. Mr. Wade does an excellent job pointing out some valuable information in his article. Please support his article by visiting the SMH web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

The cost of obesity to Australia’s collective well-being has reached $120 billion a year – the equivalent of about 8 per cent of the economy’s annual output.

The Herald-Lateral Economics Index of Australia’s Well-being – which uses a range of indicators to measure changes in national welfare – calculates a dollar figure on how obesity has an impact on Australia beyond its narrow economic effect.

It shows that the well-being cost of obesity has risen by nearly $50 billion a year since 2005-06. In that time the number of obese adults has risen from 3.2 million to 5 million, from 20.8 per cent to 28.3 per cent of the population. The index estimates that each one percentage point rise in the obesity rate costs about $4 billion a year in national well-being.

Official economic figures only pick up the direct economic effects of obesity, such as absenteeism due to obesity-related illnesses. But obese people feel worse about themselves, on average, because of their weight and the Herald-Lateral Economics index puts a dollar figure on these non-economic – but very significant – effects.

Index author Nicholas Gruen said halving Australia’s obesity rate would be akin to making several major economic reforms.

“The index shows that, if we could halve the current obesity rate, that would generate about the equivalent amount of well-being as generating an additional $60 billion a year of income,” he said.

In the December quarter alone, the well-being loss from obesity was a record $29.4 billion, up from $18.1 billion in the corresponding quarter in 2005.

The negative effects of obesity are growing faster than most other components of the index, including net national income, environmental degradation, inequality, life expectancy and job satisfaction.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Is It Too Late To Lose Weight Later In Life?

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obesebikeFrom Your Health Journal…..”I had to promote one of my favorite sites again, The Mail Online out of the UK. They always have some great health articles, so I am always sending visitors their way. Today’s article written by Claire Bates is an ‘eye opener’ – as it discusses how it can be too late for many obese people who try to lose weight later in life, as they may find their hearts irreparably damaged. This is a very important finding from a recent study. Yes, many of you may say this is obvious, but for me, reports from some studies help solidify my thought on a topic. We are constantly preaching here the importance of losing weight if someone is severely overweight or obese. The damage to one’s body over time makes life very difficult for many – as they deal with obesity related health issues such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma, weak joints, and other health concerns. This article we are discussing here today is actually a followup to a press release posted here earlier today. People who are overweight later in life may still have damaged hearts even if they lose weight. But, this does not mean they should not still try to lose weight. Losing weight at any age is still the best preventative medicine against many illnesses. Please visit The Mail Online web site to read the complete article. It was well written and very informative.”

From the article…..

It CAN be too late: Obese people who lose weight later in life may find their hearts irreparably damaged

* Young overweight mice who reduced their calorie intake reversed damage caused by carrying excess fat

* But older mice did not regain better heart function when on the same low-calorie diet

Obese adults need to lose weight sooner rather than later if they are to undo the damage to their hearts, new research suggests.

Researchers found that young overweight people who reduced their calorie intake were able to reverse the damage caused by carrying excess fat.

However, while shedding the pounds reduced the negative effects of fat on the hearts of older adults, they were beyond repairing themselves.

Older mice, who had been obese for a longer period of time, did not regain better heart function after they were on the same low-calorie diet.

The two major risk factors for heart disease are obesity and age and the impact on the heart increases as we grow older and the longer we are overweight.

But scientists are unsure when in life irreversible damage to the heart is caused by a poor diet.

Now a study in mice from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine suggests it is better to lose weight sooner rather than later.

Lead author, Dr Majd AlGhatrif, said: ‘Our research indicates that the longer mice are obese, the greater the risk that their heart damage is irreversible.’

The researchers looked at whether the protective effects of restricting calories would still apply in leptin-deficient obese mice and whether these effects were similar in different age groups.

Leptin is a hormone produced by the fat cells that triggers the sense of feeling full. Deficiency of this hormone causes overeating and obesity.

To do this, they compared the effects of a restricted diet in two-month-old mice compared to seven-month old mice.

Both sets of mice lost a similar amount of weight. This reduced the negative effects that fat deposits had on the heart tissue in the older mice.

To read the complete article…..Click here