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Health Tips #64 ~ [Issue 1104-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Nov 11, 2004 07:24 PST 

* Aspirin Cuts First Heart Attack Risk

A past study by Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Miami Heart
Institute shows a daily aspirin regimen reduces the risk of a first
heart attack by 32 percent. An analysis of the five major randomized
clinical trials done on aspirin as a preventive treatment also shows
it reduces the combined risk of heart attack, stroke and vascular
death by 15 percent. The study supports guidelines from the American
Heart Association that aspirin should be recommended for men and
women whose 10-year risks of a first coronary event are 10 percent or
greater. The United States Preventive Services Task Force took a
similar position, urging aspirin therapy for patients who have a 6
percent or greater 10-year risk of a coronary event.

* Cut Calories To Keep Heart Young

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers say to remain young at
heart, cut calories. Writing in the "Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences," the team says a study of middle-aged mice that
were put on a calorie-restricted diet found signs of a remarkable
pick up in heart health in old age. They say it appears restricting
calories simply retarded the whole aging process in the heart. The
group used powerful molecular techniques to study nearly 10,000 genes
at work in the heart, providing new insight into the pat- tern of
genetic change that occurs in heart cells as the organ ages. The
study also shows genetic pressure points for stemming age-related
heart disease, long the leading cause of death in the United States.

* Driving Safe

Americans are clearly doing more behind the wheel than steering: At
least 90% of drivers eat, read, talk on their cell phone, or engage
in other risky behaviors while on the road, says Drive for Life, a
safety education group in Tallahassee, Florida. That is too bad,
because being distracted is behind one out of four accidents. To stay
safe, save your latte for later. And avoid others on the road who are
swerving, obviously talking on the phone, or otherwise distracted.

* Walking and Talking

Talking while you walk may be bad news for your back. According to
back health experts, the body naturally exhales when feet touch the
ground to protect the back from impact. However, walking and talking
at the same time interrupts this pattern, which could open the door
to injury, especially in people with back problems. If you walk with
a partner, talk over stretches instead.

* Gum Disease and Premature Births

If you are pregnant and you have gum disease, your risk of delivering
prematurely is 3 to 8 times greater than the risk of women who do not
have gum disease. To reduce your chances of premature birth, follow
these simple rules: See your dentist or periodontist for a routine
scaling and root planing, which is a simple super-cleaning of the
root surfaces to get rid of plaque and bacterial toxins. In a study
of 366 pregnant women conducted by the University of Alabama School
of Dentistry, the women who had the procedure done reduced their odds
of premature delivery by an amazing 84%. Surprisingly, women who got
the antibiotic therapy that is typically given after scaling and root
planing had more pre-term babies than those who were given a placebo.
The bottom line: If you are pregnant and have gum disease, have your
teeth scaled and planed, but skip the antibiotic.
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