Regular, Vigorous Exercise May Lengthen Your Life

No pain, no gain. Find out more next…

Regular, Vigorous Exercise May Lengthen Your Life

Mary Elizabeth Dallas writing for Healthday reported a new study suggests that rigorous physical activity may be key to boosting longevity.

Australian researchers found that middle-aged or older people who get at least some high-intensity exercise that makes them sweaty and winded may reduce their chances of dying early by up to 13 percent.

The study involved more than 204,000 people aged 45 or older who were followed for more than six years. Researchers compared those who engaged in only moderate activities — like gentle swimming, social tennis or household chores — with people who got some amount of vigorous activity — such as jogging, aerobics or competitive tennis.

The death rate for those who said up to 30 percent of their physical activity was vigorous was 9 percent lower than those who reported no vigorous activity. The risk of death dropped 13 percent for those who said that more than 30 percent of their exercise was vigorous, the study authors reported.

Comment: Exercise should be viewed as a medicine… and a very effective one at that.

So what do you do when you’ve exhausted all the other treatments for gout? The answer next…


Anakinra an effective option in complex gout

Reported in MedPage Today, anakinra (Kineret) is an effective treatment option for acute gout in critically ill patients, who traditionally are difficult to treat because of contraindications to standard therapy. In 13 critically ill hospitalized patients treated with anakinra for 20 episodes of acute gouty arthritis, half had responses within 24 hours, another 40% had responses by 48 hours, and the remaining 10% by 72 hours, report researchers from Minnesota Medical School, St. Paul, in Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism.


Comment: Every so often, a patient needs this treatment. Glad it’s available.

What causes the sound of knuckle cracking? The answer will definitely surprise you…

Why Knuckles Crack


Rob Stein writing for NPR reported scientists think they may have solved an old question about the cracking of knuckles: Why does it make that sound?


The crack apparently comes from a bubble forming in the fluid within the joint when the bones separate, according to a recent study. It’s like a tiny air bag inflating.


The findings confirm the original theory about knuckle-cracking, which was first proposed in 1947 but challenged in the 1970s.


According to Greg Kawchuk, a professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Alberta, that second group of scientists came along and said, ” ‘No, no, no — wait! We think what’s happening is, the gas bubble forms but then it subsequently collapses. That’s what makes the big sound.’ ”


While many people accepted the bubble-bursting theory, no one was sure. So Kawchuk and a team of scientists figured out a little test, enlisting the help of a pal who is really good at cracking his knuckles.


“We called our colleague the ‘Wayne Gretzky of finger-cracking,’ ” Kawchuck says. “He can make this happen in all 10 of his fingers.”


They asked the volunteer to put his hand inside a special type of MRI scanner, and made a movie of the inside of his knuckles as they pulled on the end of each finger to make it crack.


“We’ve been calling it the ‘Pull My Finger Study,’ “Kawchuk says. What they saw was clear: The cracking sound comes when a bubble forms between the bones of the knuckle joint — not when it collapses.

The study appears in the online journal PLOS ONE.


Dr. Kevin deWeber, who studies sports medicine in Vancouver, Wash. “says the discovery also reinforces previous research that challenged a common misconception about knuckle-cracking — that it causes arthritis.


“It’s mostly an urban myth … perpetuated by mothers who are sick of hearing their kids crack their knuckles,” deWeber says. He thinks cracking knuckles might actually be good for the joints — sort of a massage of the cartilage.


Comment: Very interesting indeed.

Got RA… on Xeljanz? You need to be concerned about when to get vaccinated… next
Certain vaccine responses diminish in patients with RA taking Xeljanz
Reported in Healio, patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with Xeljanz, especially those taking methotrexate concomitantly, showed diminished response to the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine but not the 2011-2012 trivalent influenza vaccine, according to recently published research. Researchers conducted two independent evaluations related to Xeljanz (tofacitinib citrate, Pfizer) treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). All patients met the 1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria for RA.


Comment: This is always a concern. We really don’t know when the optimal time for vaccination is. Ideally before a patient starts a biologic but what if they’re already on one?


How expensive is psoriasis? More than you think… next

Researchers Say Psoriasis Causes Up To $135 Billion Annually In Direct, Indirect Costs.

Robert Preidt writing in Healthday reported that research published in JAMA Dermatology suggests that psoriasis “causes up to $135 billion a year in direct and indirect costs.” Investigators looked at data from 22 studies. They found that “direct costs of psoriasis ranged from $57 billion to more than $63 billion, and indirect costs – such as missed work days – ranged from about $24 billion to $35 billion.” Meanwhile, “other health problems related to psoriasis cost more than $36 billion, and treating the physical and mental health effects of psoriasis cost up to $11,498 per patient.”

Comment: Adding up the medical, emotional, and psychological costs of this disease is very sobering indeed.

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