7 Top Health Risks for Men Over 40

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By Guest Author, , Caring.com senior editor

During midlife and beyond, men’s leading causes of death include familiar standbys: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, suicide, and Alzheimer’s disease.  To lessen your odds of dying from these killers, curb the critical habits that lead to them:

1.  Risk: Being single

Numerous surveys have shown that married men, especially men in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, are healthier and have lower death rates than those who never married or who are divorced or widowed.

Never-married men are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, for example. After 50, divorced men’s health deteriorates rapidly compared to married men’s, found a RAND Center for the Study of Aging report.

What’s the magic in the ring? The social connectedness of marriage may lower stress levels and depression, which lead to chronic illness. (Women tend to have more social ties outside of marriage.)

Oops: Unmarried men generally have poorer health habits, too — they drink more, eat worse, get less medical care, and engage in more risky behaviors (think drugs and promiscuous sex).  Exception: It’s better to be single than in a strained relationship, probably because of the stress toll, say researchers in Student BMJ.

Silver lining: It’s never too late. Men who marry after 25 tend to live longer than those who wed young. And the longer a fellow stays married, the greater the boost to his well-being.

2.  Risk: Electronic overload

Psychologists are debating whether “Internet addiction disorder” is a legitimate diagnosis, and how much is too much, given how ubiquitous screens are in our lives. But one thing’s certain: The more time that’s spent looking at wide-screen TVs, smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, laptops, and other electronics, the less time that’s spent on more healthful pursuits, like moving your body, communing with nature, and interacting with human beings.

Social isolation raises the risk of depression and dementia. And a sedentary lifestyle — a.k.a. “sitting disease” — has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and premature death. A 2012 Australian study of more than 220,000 adults ages 45 and up linked sitting for 11 or more hours a day with a 40 percent increased risk of death over the next three years.

Oops: Americans spend five hours in front of the TV every day, according to a 2011 JAMA study that didn’t even take all those other screens into account. More than just three hours a day ups your odds of dying of any chronic disease.

Silver lining: The Australian researchers say that getting up and moving even five minutes per hour is a “feasible goal . . . and offers many health benefits.”

3. Risk: Sloppy sunscreen use

Men over age 40 have the highest exposure to damaging UV rays, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Men are twice as likely as women to develop skin cancer and die from it. And 6 in 10 cases of melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, affect white men over age 50.

More men tend to work and play sports outdoors; having shorter hair and not wearing makeup adds to the gender’s exposure. Nor are their malignancies noticed and treated early: Middle-aged and older men are the least likely group to perform self-exams or see a dermatologist, according to a 2001 American Academy of Dermatology study.

Oops: Fewer than half of adult men report using sun protection methods (sunscreen, protective clothing, shade), in contrast to 65 percent of adult women.

Silver lining: Doctors tend to detect more early melanomas in men over 65, perhaps because the older you get, the more often you see a doctor for other (nondermatological) reasons.

4. Risk: Crummy diet

Poor nutrition is linked with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer — leading causes of death in men over 40. Younger midlife men often over-rely on red meat, junk food, and fast food to fuel a busy lifestyle, which leads to excess weight, high cholesterol, hypertension, and other risk factors. Older men living alone and alcoholics are vulnerable to malnutrition, because they tend not to prepare healthy food for themselves.

Oops: Until around 2000, more women were obese than men — but guys are catching up. In 2010, 35.5 percent of men were obese, up from 27.5 percent in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Women’s fat rates have held steady at around 37 percent.)

Silver lining: The American Dietetic Association recommends a reasonable 2,000 calories a day for men over 50 who are sedentary, up to 2,400 for those who are active. What comprises those calories is up to you.

5. Risk: Careless driving

Men generally have more car accidents than women, and men in their 50s and 60s are twice as likely as women to die in car wrecks. Unintentional injuries (of all kinds) are the top cause of death among men ages 40 to 44, the third main cause in men ages 45 to 64, and cause #8 in men 65-plus.

Oops: Among middle-aged men, fatalities are more likely to result from falling asleep at the wheel, exceeding the speed limit, getting into an accident at an intersection or on weekends after midnight — all factors that don’t have a significant effect on the injury levels of middle-aged women, according to a 2007 Purdue University study on how age and gender affect driving. Men over age 45 have more accidents on snow and ice, too.

Silver lining: Older men fare better than men under age 45 on dry roads, where younger drivers crash more (perhaps due to overconfidence, the Purdue researchers say).

6. Risk: Untreated depression

Although women are three times more likely to attempt suicide than men, men are more successful at it, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In 2009, 79 percent of all suicides were men. Suicide rates for men spike after age 65; seven times more men over 65 commit suicide than their female peers.

More than 60 percent of all those who die by suicide have major depression. If you include alcoholics, that number rises to 75 percent. In older adults, social isolation is another key contributing factor — which is why older suicides are often widowers.

Oops: Men often equate depression with “sadness” or other emotions — and fail to realize that common warning signs of depression include fatigue or excessive sleep, agitation and restlessness, trouble concentrating, irritability, and changes in appetite or sleep.

Silver lining: Depression is treatable at any age, and most cases are responsive to treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

7.  Risk: Smoking

Sure, you’ve heard about the horrific effects of smoking before. But the older you get, the worse they become. Older smokers have sustained greater lung damage over time because they tend to have been smoking longer; they also tend to be heavier smokers.

Men over 65 who smoke are twice as likely to die of stroke. Smoking causes more than 90 percent of all cases of COPD — the fourth leading cause of death among men — and 80 to 90 percent of all lung cancer. The risks of all kinds of lung disease rise with age. Smokers develop Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading cause of death, far more than nonsmokers.

Oops: Older smokers are less likely than younger smokers to believe there’s a real health risk attached to cigarettes, says the American Lung Association. That means they’re less likely to try to quit.

Silver lining: No matter at what age you quit, your risk of added heart damage is halved after one year. The risks of stroke, lung disease, and cancer also drop immediately.

For More Information, please visit: www.caring.com

RECAP:  7 TOP HEALTH RISKS FOR MEN OVER 40:

1.  BEING SINGLE

2.  ELECTRONIC OVERLOAD

3. SLOPPY SUNSCREEN

4. CRUMMY DIET

5. CARELESS DRIVING

6. UNTREATED DEPRESSION

7.  SMOKING

New Migraine Prevention Guidelines

According to the journal, Neurology, some over-the-counter meds, such as ibuprofen & naproxen may prevent migraines.

The guidelines also recommend spikey plant petasites, also known as butterbur, beta-blockers and some prescription drugs for migraine prevention.

Dr. Stewart Tepper treats migraine headaches at Cleveland Clinic.

“This is an easy way for a doctor or care provider to look at what is likely to work and on what basis is that drug likely to work.”

Dr. Tepper recommends you seek out a board certified headache medicine specialist if nothing works.

MIGRAINE SYMPTOMS

By Mayo Clinic staff

Migraine headaches often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Migraines may progress through four stages — prodrome, aura, attack and postdrome — though you may not experience all the stages.

Prodrome
One or two days before a migraine, you may notice subtle changes that may signify an oncoming migraine, including:

  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Food cravings
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability
  • Neck stiffness

Aura
Most people experience migraine headaches without aura. Auras are usually visual but can also be sensory, motor or verbal disturbances. Each of these symptoms typically begins gradually, builds up over several minutes, then commonly lasts for 10 to 30 minutes. Examples of aura include:

  • Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
  • Vision loss
  • Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
  • Speech or language problems

Less commonly, an aura may be associated with aphasia or limb weakness (hemiplegic migraine).

Attack
When untreated, a migraine typically lasts from four to 72 hours, but the frequency with which headaches occur varies from person to person. You may have migraines several times a month or much less frequently. During a migraine, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Pain on one side of your head
  • Pain that has a pulsating, throbbing quality
  • Sensitivity to light, sounds and sometimes smells
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting

Postdrome
The final phase — known as postdrome — occurs after a migraine attack, when you may feel drained and washed out, though some people report feeling mildly euphoric.

When to see a doctor
Migraine headaches are often undiagnosed and untreated. If you regularly experience signs and symptoms of migraine attacks, keep a record of your attacks and how you treated them. Then make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your headaches and decide on a treatment plan.

Even if you have a history of headaches, see your doctor if the pattern changes or your headaches suddenly feel different.

See your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you have any of the following signs and symptoms, which may indicate other, more serious medical problems:

  • An abrupt, severe headache like a thunderclap
  • Headache with fever, stiff neck, rash, mental confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness or trouble speaking
  • Headache after a head injury, especially if the headache gets worse
  • A chronic headache that is worse after coughing, exertion, straining or a sudden movement
  • New headache pain if you’re older than 50

New Guidelines: Treatments Can Help Prevent Migraine

NEW ORLEANS – Research shows that many treatments can help prevent migraine in certain people, yet few people with migraine who are candidates for these preventive treatments actually use them, according to new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Neurology. The guidelines, which were co-developed with the American Headache Society, were announced at the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans and published in the April 24, 2012, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Studies show that migraine is underrecognized and undertreated,” said guideline author Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, FACP, FAHS, of Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

“About 38 percent of people who suffer from migraine could benefit from preventive treatments, but only less than a third of these people currently use them.”

Unlike acute treatments, which are used to relieve the pain and associated symptoms of a migraine attack when it occurs, preventive treatments usually are taken every day to prevent attacks from occurring as often and to lessen their severity and duration when they do occur.

“Some studies show that migraine attacks can be reduced by more than half with preventive treatments,” Silberstein said.

The guidelines, which reviewed all available evidence on migraine prevention, found that among prescription drugs, the seizure drugs divalproex sodium, sodium valproate and topiramate, along with the beta-blockers metoprolol, propranolol and timolol, are effective for migraine prevention and should be offered to people with migraine to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. The seizure drug lamotrigine was found to be ineffective in preventing migraine.

The guidelines also reviewed over-the-counter treatments and complementary treatments. The guideline found that the herbal preparation Petasites, also known as butterbur, is effective in preventing migraine. Other treatments that were found to be probably effective are the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs fenoprofen, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen and naproxen sodium, subcutaneous histamine and complementary treatments magnesium, MIG-99 (feverfew) and riboflavin.

Silberstein noted that while people do not need a prescription from a physician for these over-the-counter and complementary treatments, they should still see their doctor regularly for follow-up.

“Migraines can get better or worse over time, and people should discuss these changes in the pattern of attacks with their doctors and see whether they need to adjust their dose or even stop their medication or switch to a different medication,” said Silberstein.

“In addition, people need to keep in mind that all drugs, including over-the-counter drugs and complementary treatments, can have side effects or interact with other medications, which should be monitored.”

-more-Learn more about the guideline’s recommendations at http://www.aan.com/guidelines.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 25,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

The American Headache Society® (AHS) is a professional society of health care providers dedicated to the study and treatment of headache and face pain. The Society’s objectives are to promote the exchange of information and ideas concerning the causes and treatments of headache and related painful disorders. Educating physicians, health professionals and the public and encouraging scientific research are the primary functions of this organization. AHS activities include an annual scientific meeting,

a comprehensive headache symposium, regional symposia for neurologists and family practice physicians, publication of the journal Headache and sponsorship of the AHS Committee for Headache Education (ACHE). http://www.americanheadachesociety.org

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

SPECIAL ARTICLE

Evidence-based guideline update: Pharmacologic

treatment for episodic migraine prevention

in adults

Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society

ABSTRACT

Objective: To provide updated evidence-based recommendations for the preventive treatment of migraine headache. The clinical question addressed was: What pharmacologic therapies are proven effective for migraine prevention?

Methods: The authors analyzed published studies from June 1999 to May 2009 using a struc- tured review process to classify the evidence relative to the efficacy of various medications avail- able in the United States for migraine prevention.

Results and Recommendations: The author panel reviewed 284 abstracts, which ultimately yielded 29 Class I or Class II articles that are reviewed herein. Divalproex sodium, sodium val- proate, topiramate, metoprolol, propranolol, and timolol are effective for migraine prevention and should be offered to patients with migraine to reduce migraine attack frequency and severity (Level A). Frovatriptan is effective for prevention of menstrual migraine (Level A). Lamotrigine is ineffective for migraine prevention (Level A). Neurology® 2012;78:1337–1345

7 Health Benefits of Playing Soccer

1.  ENDURANCE – Ability to do multiple contractions repeated over a long duration.

2.  TEAMWORK – Each player must rely on the next to reach a goal. 

3.  TONE MUSCLES – The constant stop and go mimics interval training.

4.  BRAIN BUILDING –  You’re alert to anticipate what IS happening & what COULD. 

5.  BONE STRENGTH –  Headers, throw-ins, kicking keep you strong.

6. GREAT FOR YOUR HEART – Non-stop running really gets the heart pumping.

7. BURNS CALORIES – Hundreds of calories burned. Midfielder runs up to 5 miles. 

Why You Need to Stretch

Reasons why stretching is so important for soccer players:

  • Increase Flexibility – A good athlete is flexible. Flexibility works with speed, endurance, strength, agility, and skills to create your total athletic ability.


  • Prevent Injury – Flexibility limits risk of sports injury. Studies show female soccer players are at higher risk for knee injuries; stretching during all practice and games helps prevent that.  Always warm-up before stretching.  So important. 

    The Basics

  • Hydration – Drink plenty of fluids before you exercise to give your muscles the fluids necessary to perform to their best,.


  • Warm-Up – Always warm up before stretching. Jogging or jumping jacks for 5-10 minutes will warm-up the muscles.


  • Breathing – While stretching, remember to breathe slowly and evenly to increase oxygen to your body.


  • Stretch for the right length of time – hold each stretch for at least 10-30 seconds maximum.


  • Stretch evenly – stretch both legs, arms equally. Stretch all of your muscle groups. Don’t stretch the front of your thighs (quadriceps) without stretching the back of the thighs (hamstrings). Also, stretch your whole body, not just your legs – stretch your arms, back, neck, stomach, chest, etc.

    What NOT to do

  • Don’t Bounce – Use slow even movements when stretching, bouncing places too much stress on your muscles and joints.


  • Do Not Over Stretch – Be patient, and never force your joints to go further than they want to.


  • Keep Good Posture – Keep your back straight while stretching, or you risk injuring your back muscles.


  • Do Not Overextend Your Joints – Hyperextending your joints (bending them farther than they were meant to go can cause injury, and does not help you in any way. Female soccer players should pay special attention to their knees, to avoid injury.


  • If It Hurts…DON’T DO IT – Always listen to your body. Stretching correctly, you should feel tension on the muscles, and possibly some discomfort – If you have any sharp or serious pain during a stretch or exercise – STOP!, you may doing harm to your body. Remember, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right, listen to it.


  • If you do have an injury, ask your doctor about any exercise or stretching and follow their advice



    WHAT TO EAT:  Soccer Nutrition and Carbohydrates 


    The slow and fast running which you utilize may easily deplete your glycogen stores. To avoid that you need to eat quality carbohydrates.

    Research have shown that amateur soccer players only eat 1300 calories of carbohydrate/day, which is far below the recommended level of 2300 to 2900 calories.

    The main energy source for your muscles are the glycogen fuels. Glycogen is produced from carbohydrates you eat (apples, bananas, bread, milk etc). It is vital for your performance to have enough glycogen. If not, you will have a fatigue felling, your concentration will be poor and recovering from a match/practice will take longer time.

    If your glycogen fuels are low in the beginning of a game, you will most likely have few carbohydrates left in your muscles at the beginning of second half. This simply means that your performance will decrease significantly. You will for example run slower, sometimes by as much as 40-50 % compared to your first half of the match. Your cover distance will also be reduced by 25% or more with low glycogen fuels.

    Do I need to eat fat?
    Well, as soccer player you will burn many calories but the fat should still be minimized in your soccer food because it is not an efficient provider of energy. This doesn’t mean that a diet for soccer players should not contain fat, instead, you should try to keep it low, because in long running sports, like soccer, your body will use glycogen fuel which is found mainly in carbohydrates.

    What about protein, do I need it?
    As soccer player you need normally to eat 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of your body weight per day (1.4 to 1.7 g/kg/day). Protein is a vital part of your soccer diet as it will repair your muscles plus boost your immune system. You may also use protein as fuel before practicing sessions or match but it doesn’t give you any boost of energy as carbohydrates does. Some good sources of protein include fish, chicken, milk and yogurt.

    Is it necessary to drink much water?
    During your practice or matches, your body will lose a lot of water (especially in hot and warm weather kinds). By drinking water you will be able to keep your body hydrated which will give a boost on the field. This is one of the most important parts of nutrition for soccer players and you should really put effort in getting it right.

    Soccer nutrition and sports drinks
    Sports drinks usually claim to boost your performance but they are just full of fast carbohydrates that will just increase your blood sugar for a while. This will not increase your performance to some high level. My advice is to plan your meals and only consume sports drinks when you really don’t have time to eat.

    When To Eat?
    The recommended energy diet for soccer players state that you should eat at least 700 carbohydrates 3-4 hours before the start of your game. After the end of match you should attempt to consume enough carbohydrate to replace all the fluid you have lost during the match.

    MORE STRETCHING TIPS AT LINKS BELOW:

Hope you learned something.

Stay healthy! 🙂

    [photo: Saint Joseph by the Sea Soccer Team Champs Go to Italy in ’09]

 

 

Read more on what muscles soccer works out: http://www.livestrong.com/article/479769-what-muscles-does-soccer-work-out/#ixzz1qULg1ILu

Happy Saint Patty’s Day: Beer Nutrition

By , About.com Guide

Beer and nutrition? You don’t usually see those two words together, but perhaps beer is a bit misunderstood. It may actually be good for you when consumed in very moderate amounts.

Beer has been brewed for just about as long as humans have been cultivating crops and is actually made with some very healthy ingredients. Those ingredients are hops, brewer’s yeast, barley and malt. There are different styles of beer and each style has a distinctive flavor and color. Tasting and learning about the different types of beer is as much fun as tasting and learning about the different types of wine.

Part of a Healthy Diet

Drinking one beer per day may be good for your health because it has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Why? Some experts suggest these reasons:
  • The folate found in beer may help to reduce homocysteine in the blood and lower homocysteine levels mean a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Lab studies have found constituents in beer that lower triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol in mice.
  • Drinking one beer per day reduces blood clotting so some studies found that cardiovascular patients who drank one beer per day also lived longer.

Other studies have found that women who consume one beer each day have improved mental health. Drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages in moderation may also improve bone density.

Of course that doesn’t mean that if one beer is good, three or four must be better. That isn’t true. Drinking more than one beer or any alcoholic beverage per day can put too much alcohol in your system and that isn’t good for you. Heavy drinking has been associated with several health problems, so moderation is definitely the key with drinking beer. The studies also point to one beer per day as being beneficial, not drinking all seven beers in one day per week. That type of binge drinking will overload you system with alcohol too.

The benefits of beer nutrition probably have nothing to do with the alcohol and there are some low-alcohol beers and non-alcohol beers available which offer the same heart-protective effect as regular and light beers.

 

Nutrition Information

According to Michael Jackson, the Beer Hunter, Trappist monks drank beer to sustain themselves during their Lenten fasts. They called their beer “liquid bread.”

We don’t tend to think much about the nutritional aspects of beer, but according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one 12-ounce serving of regular beer has the following nutrients:

Beer is actually a good source of folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium and niacin.

Drinking Too Much

While drinking one beer per day may improve your health, heavy drinking will not. In fact heavy drinking has the opposite effect. Heavy drinking is defined as more than 21 drinks per week for women and more than 35 drinks per week for men. Drinking heavily leads to liver damage, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, pancreatic diseases, severe thiamin deficiency and some cancers.

Who Shouldn’t Drink Beer?

Beer drinking isn’t for every one. Some people have personal or religious reasons for not drinking beer or other alcoholic drinks. That’s OK. All of the health benefits of beer can be found in other foods beverages. The following people should not drink beer, or should speak with their doctor before drinking beer or other alcoholic beverages:
  • Pregnant or breast-feeding women should not drink beer. Even small amounts of alcohol can damage a developing fetus.
  • Young people. In the United States the drinking age is 21, in Canada the drinking age is 18 or 19. Other countries vary.
  • People with liver, pancreatic diseases, or really, any type of chronic disease should speak with their doctor.
  • People with gout should avoid beer. Gout is very painful and is triggered by alcohol.
  • People taking any type of medications should speak with their doctor. This includes over-the-counter medications.

Image

Remember, “healthy drinking” is 1 for women, 2 for men a day.  After that, you’re just loading up on empty calories.  

According to the National Institutes of Health if you knock off 5 or more drinks — you raise your risk of death from a heart attack 30%.  And if you drive — you raise the risk of killing someone else.  If you drink to be cool –the Mom, wife, husband, son or daughter of someone you accidentally killed will beg to differ.

If you don’t drink –you get the same “healthy drinking” benefits from exercise & good nutrition.  

Happy & Healthy St. Patty’s Day, everyone!  🙂

MD