Your Toothbrush, a Weapon Against Heart Disease
Forgetting to brush twice daily may raise your heart disease risk by 70 percent, according to a new study of more than 10,000 adults published in the British Medical Journal. The health effects of neglecting this basic hygiene habit are well known, with previous research linking gum disease to chronic conditions including diabetes, Reuters reports. This time, however, researchers set out to find out if how often one brushes can impact his or her chances of developing heart disease. Among those studied, seven out of 10 brushed twice a day, but people who brushed less often had a 70 percent higher risk of heart disease, according to Reuters. That's not something to smile about.
9 Things to Consider in Your Search for an Assisted Living Facility
As people age and need more help with daily activities, such as bathing or taking medication, moving to a facility that provides some assistance, without sacrificing independence, may be an option. This type of environment, known as assisted living, has emerged in the past two decades as an increasingly available option for housing and long-term care. In 1999, one third of the facilities that offered assisted living services had been in existence for less than five years, and 60 percent had existed for less than a decade, according to research published in January in the journal Health Affairs. The growth of assisted living facilities has leveled off in recent years, however, as the economic downturn hampered new construction and occupancy rates, U.S. News's January Payne writes.
In 2007, there were approximately 38,000 assisted living facilities nationwide, serving about 975,000 residents. The overwhelming majority of assisted living residents in the United States are female, according to the National Center for Assisted Living. One of the most common types of facilities that provide assisted living are called community care retirement communities, which offer a stepwise approach to care, says Kerry Peck, an elder law attorney based in Chicago. "The concept is you age in place," meaning you never have to leave the grounds for housing, he says, "You buy an apartment or cottage, and then as your health declines, the facility agrees to provide continuing care. Some of the most successful [centers] have independent living, then assisted living, then a nursing home for acute care." [Read more: 9 Things to Consider in Your Search for an Assisted Living Facility.]
- How to Decide if an Assisted Living Facility Is a Good Fit
- How to Choose the Right Nursing Home, Step by Step
10 Ways to Make Any Job Healthier
The news earlier this year that prolonged sitting can be deadly seemed to confirm many office workers' sneaking suspicion that they weren't meant to spend all day in a desk chair. Or, more dramatically, that their jobs were slowly killing them. It isn't just the sitting. It's the stress, inflexible schedules, ever increasing pressure to perform, layoffs, and windowless cubicles. It's a recipe for high blood pressure, weight gain, bad posture, and general unhealthiness, U.S. News's Liz Wolgemuth writes.
A recent study from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that chronic job stress is associated with weight gain and obesity. Researchers studied nearly 3,000 workers at an upstate New York manufacturing facility and found that many workers spent their days stressed out and sedentary and spent their nights watching TV. "We found that people were so stressed that by the time they got back home, they didn't feel like doing anything but vegging out," says Diana Fernandez, a URMC epidemiologist and lead author of the study. When layoffs were coming, anxious workers consumed the most unhealthy foods in vending machines first. "People who work in very high-stress jobs seem to do less physical activity and engage in sedentary behaviors," Fernandez says.
But workers are able to make changes for themselves. More and more will be seeking new jobs in the coming months as the job market improves, but many may find that stress is a constant in any job they jump to. [Read more: 10 Ways to Make Any Job Healthier.]
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