Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:07 — 1.5MB)
Anchor lead: Can you exercise away the risk of belly fat? Elizabeth Tracey reports
If you’re carrying around a lot of fat around your waist but are otherwise of normal weight, you’re still at increased risk of death compared to those without that fat distribution, a recent study shows. Wendy Bennett, an obesity researcher at Johns Hopkins, says while so-called spot reduction doesn’t work, she wonders if exercise might help.
Bennett: What happens if you’re more physically active? If you have higher central obesity we think that you probably don’t have high lean muscle mass. It’s an indicator of lower muscle mass also, and so would somebody modify their risk, reduce their risk if they were exercising more regularly? We don’t know how modifiable some of these are. If you change your health behaviors and you reduce your central obesity how easy is it to reduce your waist hip ratio? :30
Bennett would like to see studies looking at the potential for exercise to ameliorate this risk, but says for now, awareness is important. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:03 — 1.4MB)
Anchor lead: Where fat accumulates on your body has important implications, Elizabeth Tracey reports
People who accumulate fat around their waists, called central obesity, are known to be at higher risk for heart disease than those who store the stuff in their thighs or elsewhere, but a new study shows that risk remains even when BMI is normal. Wendy Bennett, an obesity researcher at Johns Hopkins, says men and women experienced mortality risk differently.
Bennett: Women also had higher risk if they had central obesity compared to those who did not have central obesity. The risks were similar across all BMIs for women, so women with central obesity in the same BMI category had about a 50% higher mortality compared with those who did not have the central obesity. For men, the risk was much higher in those who had normal BMI ranges. :27
Bennett says physicians needs to be aware of these findings in counseling their patients about risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:05 — 1.5MB)
Anchor lead: Too much sugar is bad for your heart, Elizabeth Tracey reports
It’s no surprise that dietary sugar consumption is related to overweight and obesity, and the development of diabetes. But Seth Martin, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says evidence is emerging demonstrating just how deleterious sugar can be for your heart.
Martin: Sugar is not inherently bad but it’s the dose that makes the poison, so having too much sugar in short bouts, as may occur if someone has a big gulp soda or something from the fountain then that’s problematic, especially if that becomes a habit. I certainly have seen a number of patients in my clinic where one of the main foods that they’re consuming is soda. I think it’s not as well realized how detrimental that is to the heart and to health in general. :30
Martin says November is Diabetes Awareness month, and he’s encouraging everyone to pay attention to how much sugar they consume so they can control their risk for diabetes and heart disease. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:04 — 1.5MB)
Anchor lead: A multipronged approach seems to help an electronic intervention for cardiovascular disease, Elizabeth Tracey reports
mActive is the name of a text-based intervention developed at Johns Hopkins to assist people with cardiovascular disease make lifestyle choices to improve their health. Seth Martin, a cardiologist who is leading the project, says this intervention engaged a broad range of expertise, which may account for such positive results.
Martin: Part of the reason this may have been successful is because we were able to cross those divides between the research community, the clinical community, and really bring it all together in this study. I think the opportunity to make this even better is I want to learn more from the patients. We’re doing focus groups, and other forms of research to learn more from the patients, work with behavioral scientists, technicians and computer scientists to really bring expertise from all these fields to do this the best that it possibly can be done. :27
Martin says initial results showed women were more responsive than men to the text messages, a disparity he would also like to overcome in upcoming studies. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:04 — 1.5MB)
Anchor lead: Can electronic intervention help heart disease? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Mobile health interventions are a burgeoning field, with apps and smart phones utilized to assist people in progressing toward their goals, but so far, most have produced disappointing results. Now a strategy known as mActive, developed by cardiologist Seth Martin and colleagues at Johns Hopkins, seems to be helping those with existing cardiovascular disease make beneficial lifestyle changes.
Martin: What we found in our mActive trial is that our smart text messages which were based on how much activity a person was getting, a certain time of day, used their cardiologist’s name, their dog’s name, spouse’s name, a lot of personal features, those increased physical activity by a mile a day. So we’re really encouraged by this initial result and we’re working on following up folks in our trial a year out, and figuring out how we can scale this up to a bigger long term trial. :30
At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 10:19 — 14.2MB)
This week’s topics include early testing for amyloid, improving colorectal cancer screening, generic medications, and folic acid supplementation and neural tube defects.
0:34 Folic acid supplements and neural tube defects
1:38 Significant drop with fortification
2:36 Maybe found the right amount to fortify
3:20 Amyloid detection in ‘cognitively normal’ people
4:21 Those with amyloid at baseline did decline faster
5:23 A comprehensive approach to increasing colorectal ca screening
6:25 Increased rate to 70%
7:20 Generic prescription
8:20 Source of resistance?
9:23 Need more education
Related blog: http://podblog.blogs.hopkinsmedicine.org/2015/11/29/watching-amyloid/
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:08 — 1.6MB)
Anchor lead: Can a new technique reduce the need for repeat brain tumor surgeries? Elizabeth Tracey reports.
It’s a good bet most people would rather not have brain surgery, yet when a tumor is detected there is often little choice. But what about additional surgeries, which may be needed to monitor suspicious areas for tumor recurrence? A new technique developed at Johns Hopkins that examines DNA found in CSF, the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, may help. Jon Weingart, a neurosurgeon and part of the research team, says such a test would be most welcome.
Weingart: For brain tumors in particular there are changes that occur with the treatment, and it is often very difficult to assess whether than represents tumor, or treatment effect, and sometimes people have surgery just to figure that out, and brain surgery is a big experience to go through, and if you could avoid that then that would be a positive thing. :24
Weingart says the majority of brain tumors were detected in a study using this technique, and he’s hopeful about its clinical utility. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.