Medical Notes 18-35

 

Medical Notes this week…

Are you worried about developing dementia? Well, lowering your blood pressure can cut the risk of memory decline. A SPRINT MIND study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference shows aggressively lowering blood pressure significantly reduces the risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia among hypertension patients. Results also show significant cardiovascular benefits in people whose systolic blood pleasure was lowered aggressively to below 120. Experts suggest seeing your doctor and knowing your numbers.

Osteoporosis is responsible for as many as half of all fractures in women and one in four in men over the age of 50…but a new test could give people decades of warning. A study in the journal PLOS ONE describes a new genetic screening test that may predict a person’s future risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture. That would allow people to take vitamin D, calcium and participate in weight-bearing exercise to stave off later ill effects.

And finally…friendship might be priceless…but is it timeless? A new study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships shows it takes more than 200 hours of togetherness before someone can be considered a close friend. But experts say it’s worth it. They say time and activity shared are strategic investments toward sustaining our belongingness needs.

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18-29 Segment 1: Increasing Osteoporosis

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America is an aging country. As a result, an increase in osteoporosis has become a natural complication. Dr. Sundeep Khosla, Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and Dr. Ethel Siris, Director of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center of the Columbia University Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, discuss what osteoporosis is and how it can be treated.

Osteoporosis is a bone disease caused by a decrease in bone density, usually resulting from old age or low levels of estrogen during menopause. Medications taken for a variety of other conditions, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and anorexia nervosa, can also lead to osteoporosis. Hip fractures are most commonly associated with osteoporosis, and the people who suffer them don’t always make a full recovery. With the increased rate of osteoporosis, the societal cost of fractures will continue to increase dramatically over the next few decades, Dr. Khosla says.

A bone density test is available to help determine who may be at risk and reduce the rate of fractures. But, after recent studies found that typical osteoporosis medications put patients at risk of additional issues, like fracturing the femur or osteonecrosis, many patients began shying away from testing or taking the appropriate medicine.  However, many different drugs have been developed to treat osteoporosis, besides the typical ones. As doctors have continued to learn about the medicines and their side effects, they now know how to tailor a prescription to specific patients, for example scheduling extended periods without taking the drug to avoid negative side effects.

Besides encouraging patients to go through testing and not be afraid of the medicine, Dr. Khosla says that taking precautions like educating primary care physicians and patients about the condition could help lower the risk of fractures from osteoporosis. If patients are still hesitant to take medicine, Dr. Siris has one recommendation: don’t fall. By staying in the best physical shape you can and staying mindful and aware throughout the day, individuals can protect themselves from the risk of fractures.

For more information about osteoporosis or about our guests, visit the links below.

Guests:

  • Dr. Sundeep Khosla, Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  • Dr. Ethel Siris, Director of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center of the Columbia University Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Links for more information:

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Coming Up On Radio Health Journal Show 18-29

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Increasing Rates of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is increasing as America ages. However, fewer people are being tested for bone density and are agreeing to treatment because of side effects of osteoporosis medications. Experts discuss the devastating effects of increased broken bones and what can now be done to prevent them.

PTSD in Kids

Mental health experts once believed that children were too young to remember traumas well enough to suffer much from post-traumatic stress disorder. Now they know that children as young as 2 or 3 can be affected, often for the rest of their lives. An expert discusses PTSD in children and its treatment.