Study Finds Unhealthful Lifestyle in Middle Age May Raise Dementia Risk
People who smoke, have high blood pressure, or have diabetes in their 40s and 50s increase their chances of developing dementia, BBC News reports. U.S. researchers, who studied more than 11,000 people between the ages of 46 and 70, found that people who smoked were 70 percent more likely than nonsmokers to develop dementia over the next 12 to 14 years. People with hypertension, meantime, were 60 percent more likely to develop dementia than those with normal blood pressure. The study, published in the journal Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, also showed that people with diabetes doubled their chance of developing dementia.
How to Break Your Addiction to Tanning
Last week the International Agency for Research on Cancer moved tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category, calling them "carcinogenic to humans." That means that there's now enough evidence showing beyond a doubt that tanning beds can cause skin cancer and should be avoided, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz reports. While tanning salons won't be outlawed, they could eventually have restrictions placed upon them: for example, prohibiting their use in those under 18. But all those warnings may not keep some folks—especially young women—away. That's because indoor tanning can be a tough habit to break.
One study found that frequent tanners actually experience withdrawal symptoms—such as nausea or jitteriness—when they stop using tanning beds. The ultraviolet light rays emitted by the beds appear to trigger the release of "feel good" brain chemicals called endorphins, says one researcher. Kotz enlists the advice of experts on how to break an addiction to tanning. Try cutting back gradually on tanning if going cold turkey leaves you feeling down in the dumps, Kotz writes.
Learn more about tanning beds, vitamin D, and your cancer risk. And consider how much sun you need to reap vitamin D's health benefits.
10 Ways to Get Your Omega-3s Without a Pill
The American Heart Association recommends that everyone get the optimal amount of omega-3 fatty acids by eating a variety of fish at least twice a week and by also consuming plant sources of the beneficial fats. The AHA places particular emphasis on the omega-3 heavy hitters, the fatty fish. For people with coronary heart disease, the organization recommends up to 1 gram total of EPA and DHA—two forms of omega-3—per day.
Some experts think that other groups of patients should also be encouraged to take omega-3 supplements, U.S. News's Sarah Baldauf reports. A paper published this month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, for example, suggests that heart failure patients should be getting the daily gram of combined EPA and DHA that the AHA currently recommends for coronary heart disease patients. And it suggests that supplements may be a good way to do that. Read more.
If you prefer to get your omega-3s without taking a pill, Baldauf offers a list of 10 dietary sources of omega-3s that includes tuna, soybeans, walnuts, and canola oil. Find out if your omega-3 source matters. And here's a list of 11 fish that are high in omega-3s as well as environmentally friendly.
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