Health Beat 6.7.13

Health Beatis our weekly roundup of important healthcare, wellness and research news from around the web.Explore our previous roundups here.


Vegetarians were found to be 19% less likely to die from heart disease.

Vegetarians Live Longer Than Meat-Eaters, Study Finds(Wall Street Journal)
Researchers followed a group of 73,308 members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for almost six years. The church is known for promoting a vegetarian diet. What they discovered was that vegetarians live longer than meat-eaters and that vegetarians were found to be 19% less likely to die from heart disease.

Even A Small Change In Habits Helps Fend Off Stroke (NPR)
Stroke happens when a blood vessel bursts or is blocked in the brain. And, it’s the number one cause of death and disability. When it comes to stroke, it’s important to pay attention to these factors: smoking, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, physical activity and diet. But now, researchers are saying that making improvement in just one of these factors can make a big difference in reducing the risk for stroke.

Slathering on Sunscreen Shows Results, Researchers Find (NY Times)
For a long time now, dermatologists have encouraged patients to wear sunscreen to prevent aging of skin. But now, there’s evidence that wearing sunscreen can actually slow or even prevent for a time the development of wrinkles and sagging skin.

Promising New Cancer Drugs Empower the Body’s Own Defense System(New York Times)
The world’s top cancer specialists are putting their hopes in the early success of a new class of cancer drugs, and feel that this could be an important milestone in the fight against the disease.


The average smoking employee costs companies $5,800 more per year.

Your Cigarette-Smoking Coworker Costs $5,800 Extra Each Year(Yahoo Finance News)
A new study from Micah Berman at Ohio State, shows that smoking doesn’t just harm smokers and people who spend time with them. It also hurts companies’ bottom lines that employ smokers.

In fact, the study shows that the average smoking private sector employee costs companies $5,800 more per year than one who has never smoked. (Annual cost estimates ranged from $2,885 to $10,125.)

More Doctors Broach Delicate Topic of Women’s Age and Fertility Rate (Wall Street Journal)
OB-GYNs say that broaching the issue of having kids is a touchy topic with patients, but it’s something they’re increasingly making as routine as asking about contraception during annual visits.

1 in 5 American women wait until after age 35 to have children.

Because many women are putting their career first and waiting to have kids, it’s important that doctors educate patients about fertility rates, and risks of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities, which increase at age 35 and above.

More Breast-Feeding Could Save Billions and Prevent Thousands of Breast Cancer Cases (TIME)
According to research published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, if new mothers breast-fed each child they give birth to for at least one year, they could theoretically stave off up to 5,000 cases of breast cancer, about 54,000 cases of hypertension and nearly 14,000 heart attacks annually.

Alzheimer’s and Blood Pressure(Dr. Weil Blog)
Keeping blood pressure numbers in check may lower your odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease, even if you have a genetic mutation that increases your risk for the disease.