Cancer Diagnosis Raises Risk of Heart Attack and Suicide
Being diagnosed with cancer raises the risk of heart attack and suicide in the days and weeks that follow. In a study involving more than 6 million Swedes, researchers found that within the first week after diagnosis, patients were 12.6 times more likely to commit suicide and 5.6 times more likely to die of a heart attack. After a year, suicide risk was 80 percent higher for cancer patients than for those without the disease, and the risk of cardiovascular death was 20 percent higher. Findings were published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. "This study is saying we have to be aware that this is a very real problem," Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, told HealthDay. "We believe that the words 'you have cancer' certainly can be associated with distress, but we also like to believe with support and care and love that people will find a way to confront their illness and move through that process under the best possible circumstances. But we can't always be optimistic that that's going to happen."
25 Healthful Snacks Under 200 Calories
Snacks are for diet champions. Those who are most successful at dropping weight—and keeping it off—typically have three meals and several healthy snacks a day, since going too long without eating can slow metabolism and throw blood sugar levels out of whack. But the trick is choosing wisely. What many people consider a "snack"—an energy bar, part of a bag of chips, or a side order at a fast-food restaurant—can actually contain 400 or more calories, making it more like a meal. A true snack, says Melanie Douglass, a registered dietitian and personal trainer based in Salt Lake City, is about 150 to 200 calories. Here are 25 healthful snack suggestions that fit the bill.
1. A cup of high-fiber cereal (like Kashi Heart to Heart) and a small handful of pumpkin seeds.
2. One ounce of nuts, which is about 24 almonds or 15 walnuts. Nuts are nutrient-packed but calorie-dense, so limit consumption to one or two handfuls a day.
3. One cup of bran flakes with half a cup of chocolate milk.
4. One handful of red grapes. Freeze them for five minutes to make them sweet and crisp. [Read more: 25 Healthful Snacks Under 200 Calories]
Obesity Facts: America's 10 Least Obese Cities
If you want to be skinny, surround yourself with skinny. A Gallup-Healthways poll released in March reveals that, overall, our nation's cities are getting fatter. But the 10 least-obese areas are bucking that trend, with an average obesity rate of 15.9 percent, well below the national average of 26.1, and half that of the country's fattest areas.
So what are places like San Francisco and Naples, Fla., doing right? They offer easy access to fresh fruits and veggies, as well as safe places to exercise, say experts. And their residents have health insurance and make enough money to buy wholesome food for themselves and for their families. What's more, says cardiologist James Pope, chief science officer of Healthways, a Tennessee-based provider of health and wellness programs offered through health insurers, "people are less likely to become obese if their friends and acquaintances are not obese." In other words, healthful living can be contagious.
And it's good to be a slim city. These areas report roughly 30 percent fewer cases of diabetes than do their obese counterparts. And people in fat cities are 58 percent more likely to have a heart attack, 34 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, 30 percent more likely to be depressed, and 23 percent more likely to have high cholesterol over the course of their lifetime, the new findings suggest. [Read more: Obesity Facts: America's 10 Least Obese Cities]