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Poor diet is a factor in one in five deaths, global disease study reveals


Study compiling data from every country finds people are living longer but millions are eating wrong foods for their health

Poor diet is a factor in one in five deaths around the world, according to the most comprehensive study ever carried out on the subject.

Millions of people are eating the wrong sorts of food for good health. Eating a diet that is low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds and fish oils and high in salt raises the risk of an early death, according to the huge and ongoing study Global Burden of Disease.

The study, based at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, compiles data from every country in the world and makes informed estimates where there are gaps. Five papers on life expectancy and the causes and risk factors of death and ill health have been published by the Lancet medical journal.

It finds that people are living longer. Life expectancy in 2016 worldwide was 75.3 years for women and 69.8 for men. Japan has the highest life expectancy at 84 years and the Central African Republic has the lowest at just over 50. In the UK, life expectancy for a man born in 2016 is 79, and for a woman 82.9.

Diet is the second highest risk factor for early death after smoking. Other high risks are high blood glucose which can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, high body mass index (BMI) which is a measure of obesity, and high total cholesterol. All of these can be related to eating the wrong foods, although there are also other causes.

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Medical studies are almost always bogus


By Susannah Cahalan

May 6, 2017 | 1:04pm

How many times have you encountered a study — on, say, weight loss — that trumpeted one fad, only to see another study discrediting it a week later?

That’s because many medical studies are junk. It’s an open secret in the research community, and it even has a name: “the reproducibility crisis.”

For any study to have legitimacy, it must be replicated, yet only half of medical studies celebrated in newspapers hold water under serious follow-up scrutiny — and about two-thirds of the “sexiest” cutting-edge reports, including the discovery of new genes linked to obesity or mental illness, are later “disconfirmed.”

Though erring is a key part of the scientific process, this level of failure slows scientific progress, wastes time and resources and costs taxpayers excesses of $28 billion a year, writes NPR science correspondent Richard Harris in his book “Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions” (Basic Books).

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Man posed as doctor for nearly 30 years, state officials charge


By MaryAnn Spoto | NJ Advance Media for
on May 05, 2017 at 4:39 PM, updated May 05, 2017 at 5:26 PM

NEWARK — State officials are trying to shut down the office of a Monmouth County man they say has posed as a doctor for nearly 30 years.

A complaint filed in Superior Court by the state Division of Consumer Affairs and the state Board of Medical Examiners accuses Raymond Salani Jr., the owner of Lifestyles Medical LLC in West Long Branch, of treating patients and writing prescriptions without ever having a license to do so in New Jersey.

Salani had been prosecuted criminally and civilly in the past but continued to practice medicine, state Attorney General Christopher Porrino said on Friday.

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Gluten-free vodka

Should you follow Gwyneth Paltrow and go gluten-free? Trendy diet ‘increases your risk of heart disease’

Researchers found that those who followed a gluten free diet had a lower intake of grains beneficial to cardiovascular health

By Shaun Wooller
3rd May 2017, 2:23 am

Updated: 3rd May 2017, 7:32 pm

TRENDY gluten-free diets loved by Gwyneth Paltrow and Russell Crowe may increase the risk of heart disease, a study suggests.

Researchers warned people with no medical need to avoid gluten not to adopt the potentially harmful fad.

They found those who avoided gluten typically had a lower intake of whole grains, which are known to be beneficial to cardiovascular health.

People who ate the least gluten were 15 per cent more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than those who ate the most.

Gluten is a protein found in some grains, such as wheat, rye and barley.

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Allergies Linked to Suicide


April 24,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in a recent study by Teodor T. Postolache, MD, Hirsh Komarow, MD, and Leonardo H. Tonelli, PhD conclude that ,”The rates of depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance (suicide risk factors) are greater in patients with allergic rhinitis than in the general population. The rate of allergy is also greater in patients with depression. Preliminary data suggest that patients with a history of allergy may have an increased rate of suicide. They also advise , “Clinicians should actively inquire to diagnose allergy in patients with depression and depression in patients with allergy.”

In their conclusion they claim a correlation with , “Spring peaks of suicide are highly replicated, but their origin is poorly understood. Preliminary epidemiologic data suggest that seasonal spring peaks in aeroallergens are associated with seasonal spring peaks in suicide.”

And claim ,” it is possible that sensitization and exposure to aeroallergens, which peak in spring, may be conducive to seasonal exacerbation of suicide risk factors such as anxiety, depression, hostility/ aggression, and sleep disturbance.”

They go even further stating ,” Certain medications used to treat allergy can exacerbate suicide risk factors, potentially worsening suicide risk and even triggering suicide.

full study :

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See the doctor without leaving home: Bringing telemedicine to NJ


By Jen Ursillo April 13, 2017 2:11 AM

Despite New Jersey’s lack of regulatory guidance when it comes to telemedicine, a California-based digital startup group called PlushCare, which provides urgent care treatment electronically, has opened for business in the Garden State.

Telemedicine is an online service designed to make it easier to be treated by a doctor or nurse without leaving home — via smartphone or computer.

The service is not intended for broken bones, wounds, or other serious injuries, but has become popular among patients suffering from bronchitis, sinus infections, pink eye, sore throat and urinary tract infections.

Read More: See the doctor without leaving home: Bringing telemedicine to NJ |

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Second Opinion From Doctor Nets Different Diagnosis 88% Of Time, Study Finds


8Apr – by Daniel Steingold –  189 – In Health Studies

ROCHESTER, Minn. — When it comes to treating a serious illness, two brains are better than one. A new study finds that nearly 9 in 10 people who go for a second opinion after seeing a doctor are likely to leave with a refined or new diagnosis from what they were first told.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic examined 286 patient records of individuals who had decided to consult a second opinion, hoping to determine whether being referred to a second specialist impacted one’s likelihood of receiving an accurate diagnosis.

The study, conducted using records of patients referred to the Mayo Clinic’s General Internal Medicine Division over a two-year period, ultimately found that when consulting a second opinion, the physician only confirmed the original diagnosis 12 percent of the time.

A new study finds that 88% of people who go for a second opinion after seeing a doctor wind up receiving a refined or new diagnosis.

Among those with updated diagnoses, 66% received a refined or redefined diagnosis, while 21% were diagnosed with something completely different than what their first physician concluded

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More older women are drinking hard


More older American women than ever are drinking — and drinking hard, a new study shows.

Most troubling was the finding that the prevalence of binge drinking among older women is increasing dramatically, far faster than it is among older men, the researchers noted.

The difference was striking: Among men, the average prevalence of binge drinking remained stable from 1997 to 2014, while it increased an average of nearly 4 percent per year among women, the researchers found.

Increased drinking and binge drinking can be a serious health problem for women, said study author Rosalind Breslow, an epidemiologist at the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

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No Time For Gym? 30 Minutes *A Week* On Stairs Just As Good, Study Finds


18Feb – by Charles Hartwell –  16 – In Exercise Studies Health Studies Longer Life Studies Weight Studies

ONTARIO — Is too much time at home or work keeping you away from your local gym? Good news: a new study finds that all you need is a staircase and 30 minutes a week to give your body a great workout.

The findings were published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, and conducted by researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. The study shows that intense bursts of exercise for short periods of time can be critically beneficial for one’s heart health.

A new study finds that all you need for a great workout is a set of stairs and just 30 minutes — a week!

In the study, stair sprints were used as an example of sprint interval training, or SIT. The researchers recognized that such exercises can improve cardiorespitory health. Lead author Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at the university, has dedicated an abundance of research into high-intensity interval training over the years. He wrote a book regarding the topic, titled “The One Minute Workout,” which was published earlier this month.

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How Emotionalism is Slowly Replacing Rationalism


Annie Holmquist | September 27, 2016

My hometown has recently been hit with a barrage of ads for the local high-end theatre’s production of Sense and Sensibility. Like all of Jane Austen’s works, the novel manages to marry everyone off, but only after bringing the characters through the harrowing ups and downs of uncertain romantic relationships.

As I was reflecting on the story, I realized how the two main characters – Elinor and Marianne – are perfect examples of the different approaches taken toward emotions throughout history.

Elinor, the elder of the two sisters, reflects the classic view of emotions. She sets aside an aching heart and numerous personal slights in order to encourage her family and see that they are not dragged down by her troubles. Like George Washington, she is an individual of “great self-command,” who controls her emotions even when it is extremely difficult.

Her sister Marianne is the exact opposite. She faces her great trial with uncontrollable weeping and wailing, unafraid to suck others into the vortex of her sorrow.

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NJ among states with most Medicare waste and billing mistakes, report finds

Medicare billing errors

By Michael Symons February 10, 2017 3:36 AM

New Jersey was among the states with the highest levels of Medicare billing errors in 2015, though mistakes were actually at their lowest level in four years, according to government data and an analysis by a group representing the auditors.

The mistakes were made by providers such as hospitals, not the state. They weren’t fraud, said Council for Medicare Integrity spokesperson Kristin Walter – but at $22.6 million in overpayments take a toll on the program’s long-term viability, she said.

It amounted to $18.09 for each of the roughly 1.25 million Medicare beneficiaries in New Jersey, which was fourth highest among the states.

“Anything from billing a surgery twice to billing a higher paying billing rate within Medicare for a particular service, to just very simple typographical errors that cause something to be billed to the wrong place or not shown to have sufficient documentation,” Walter said.

Read More: NJ among states with most Medicare waste and billing mistakes, report finds |

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February is National Cancer Prevention Month



February 8,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, February is National Cancer Prevention Month. Take a moment to dispel some cancer myths and misconceptions by sharing this fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute.

Common Cancer Myths and Misconceptions

Certain popular ideas about how cancer starts and spreads—though scientifically wrong—can seem to make sense, especially when those ideas are rooted in old theories. But wrong ideas about cancer can lead to needless worry and even hinder good prevention and treatment decisions. This page provides the latest science-based information about some common cancer myths and misconceptions.

Is cancer a death sentence?

In the United States, the likelihood of dying from cancer has dropped steadily since the 1990s. Five-year survival rates for some cancers, such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers, now exceed 90 percent. The 5-year survival rate for all cancers combined is currently about 66 percent. For more information, see the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.

It is important to note, however, that these rates are based on data from large numbers of people. How long an individual cancer patient will live and whether he or she will die from the disease depend on many factors, including whether the cancer is slow or fast growing, how much the cancer has spread in the body, whether effective treatments are available, the person’s overall health, and more.

Will eating sugar make my cancer worse?

No. Although research has shown that cancer cells consume more sugar (glucose) than normal cells, no studies have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear. However, a high-sugar diet may contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Obesity and Cancer.

Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer?

No. Researchers have conducted studies on the safety of the artificial sweeteners (sugar substitutes) saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low®, Sweet Twin®, NectaSweet®); cyclamate; aspartame (Equal®, NutraSweet®); acesulfame potassium (Sunett®, Sweet One®); sucralose (Splenda®); and neotame and found no evidence that they cause cancer in humans. All of these artificial sweeteners except for cyclamate have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sale in the United States. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer.

Is cancer contagious?

In general, no. Cancer is not a contagious disease that easily spreads from person to person. The only situation in which cancer can spread from one person to another is in the case of organ or tissue transplantation. A person who receives an organ or tissue from a donor who had cancer in the past may be at increased risk of developing a transplant-related cancer in the future. However, that risk is extremely low—about two cases of cancer per 10,000 organ transplants. Doctors avoid the use of organs or tissue from donors who have a history of cancer.

In some people, cancers may be caused by certain viruses (some types of human papillomavirus, or HPV, for example) and bacteria (such as Helicobacter pylori). While a virus or bacterium can spread from person to person, the cancers they sometimes cause cannot spread from person to person. For more information about cancer-causing viruses and bacteria, see the NCI fact sheets on Helicobacter pylori and Cancer, HPV and Cancer, and Cancer Vaccines.

Does my attitude—positive or negative—determine my risk of, or likely recovery from, cancer?

To date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that links a person’s “attitude” to his or her risk of developing or dying from cancer. If you have cancer, it’s normal to feel sad, angry, or discouraged sometimes and positive or upbeat at other times. People with a positive attitude may be more likely to maintain social connections and stay active, and physical activity and emotional support may help you cope with your cancer. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Psychological Stress and Cancer.

Can cancer surgery or a tumor biopsy cause cancer to spread in the body?

The chance that surgery will cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body is extremely low. Following standard procedures, surgeons use special methods and take many steps to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumors. For example, if they must remove tissue from more than one area of the body, they use different surgical tools for each area. For information about how cancer spreads in the body, see our page on Metastatic Cancer.

Will cancer get worse if exposed to air?

No. Exposure to air will not make tumors grow faster or cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body. For information about how cancer spreads in the body, see our page on Metastatic Cancer.

Do cell phones cause cancer?

No, not according to the best studies completed so far. Cancer is caused by genetic mutations, and cell phones emit a type of low-frequency energy that does not damage genes. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Cell Phones and Cancer Risk.

Do power lines cause cancer?

No, not according to the best studies completed so far. Power lines emit both electric and magnetic energy. The electric energy emitted by power lines is easily shielded or weakened by walls and other objects. The magnetic energy emitted by power lines is a low-frequency form of radiation that does not damage genes. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer.

Are there herbal products that can cure cancer?

No. Although some studies suggest that alternative or complementary therapies, including some herbs, may help patients cope with the side effects of cancer treatment, no herbal products have been shown to be effective for treating cancer. In fact, some herbal products may be harmful when taken during chemotherapy or radiation therapy because they may interfere with how these treatments work. Cancer patients should talk with their doctor about any complementary and alternative medicine products—including vitamins and herbal supplements—they may be using. For more information, see the Botanicals/Herbal Products section in Topics in Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies.

If someone in my family has cancer, am I likely to get cancer, too?

Not necessarily. Cancer is caused by harmful changes (mutations) in genes. Only about 5 to 10 percent of cancers are caused by harmful mutations that are inherited from a person’s parents. In families with an inherited cancer-causing mutation, multiple family members will often develop the same type of cancer. These cancers are called “familial” or “hereditary” cancers.

The remaining 90 to 95 percent of cancers are caused by mutations that happen during a person’s lifetime as a natural result of aging and exposure to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke and radiation. These cancers are called “non-hereditary” or “spontaneous” cancers. For more information about the risk of getting cancer, see the NCI fact sheet on Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes and Cancer Causes and Risk Factors.

If no one in my family has had cancer, does that mean I’m risk-free?

No. Based on the most recent data, about 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lives. Most cancers are caused by genetic changes that occur throughout a person’s lifetime as a natural result of aging and exposure to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke and radiation. Other factors, such as what kind of food you eat, how much you eat, and whether you exercise, may also influence your risk of developing cancer. For more information, see Cancer Causes and Risk Factors.

Do antiperspirants or deodorants cause breast cancer?

No. The best studies so far have found no evidence linking the chemicals typically found in antiperspirants and deodorants with changes in breast tissue. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer.

Does hair dye use increase the risk of cancer?

There is no convincing scientific evidence that personal hair dye use increases the risk of cancer. Some studies suggest, however, that hairdressers and barbers who are regularly exposed to large quantities of hair dye and other chemical products may have an increased risk of bladder cancer. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Hair Dyes and Cancer Risk.

the website of the National Cancer Institute (

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Psychiatrist: Not Everything is a Mental Disease


Michael Liccione | February 17, 2016

Some readers might recognize the name “Theodore Dalrymple.” It’s the pen name of the iconoclastic British psychiatrist Anthony Daniels, who in semi-retirement keeps on writing books. His twenty-third is Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality (2015).

An interview he gave soon after the book’s publication sums up his thesis, which is rather unconventional even if, given the course of his long career, not all that surprising. It’s a thesis thoughtful Americans would do well to ponder.

Here’s how the piece introduces it:

“Q: You lead with Shakespeare’s King Lear saying mental illness is ‘the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune…we (blame) the sun, the moon and the stars.’

A: Four hundred years later, it’s still true, but we blame psychology instead of astrology. We call it progress. Literature is far more illuminating into the human condition than psychology could ever hope to be.”

As presented, of course, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But most of us know people who blame everything and everybody but themselves for their faults—when they recognize those faults at all. Thus:

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Simple Steps Women Can Take To Reduce The Odds Of Developing Breast Cancer


October 11,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, When it comes to breast-cancer prevention, most women are probably aware of the need for self examinations and mammograms, as well as awareness of a family history for breast cancer.

But other factors that can help women avoid breast cancer may not be as well known, or at least not as often discussed. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this might be the right time to discuss them.

“Although breast cancer is, rightfully, a significant concern, every woman should keep in mind that there are things in her control that can help reduce her odds of developing it,” says Dr. Pawan Grover (, who has treated cancer patients and has served as a medical correspondent for CNN and other news organizations.

For example, he says, it’s important to understand the effect estrogen has in increasing your risk of breast cancer – and how you might encounter estrogen more than you realize.

“What many women may not be aware of is that, because of the pesticides and hormones in our food, we are bombarded with estrogen,” Grover says.

That’s why diet, nutrition and exercise can be so important in breast-cancer prevention, he says. That may sound simple enough, but some people could be surprised at a few of the common things people routinely consume that may put women at greater risk for breast cancer.

No need to panic, though, Grover says. These items don’t need to be eliminated entirely from your diet, but a little moderation may be in order.

• Sugar. Many people already avoid sugar for other health reasons, but breast cancer could be added to the list of reasons, so it might be worthwhile to avoid or at least limit sugar intake, Grover says. Too much sugar leads to excess weight gain, and being overweight can increase the risk of breast cancer because fat cells make estrogen.
• Alcohol. Numerous studies have shown a connection between drinking alcohol and breast cancer. The more a woman drinks, the more the risk of breast cancer increases, according to the National Cancer Institute. For example, a woman who drinks more than three drinks a day is 1.5 more times likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who doesn’t drink.
• Soy. Studies have shown that soy could increase the risk of breast cancer because it can stimulate the genes that cause cancer to grow. But soy is likely not a problem if consumed in moderation. Although it’s unclear from research just how much of a concern soy should be, Grover suggests it doesn’t hurt to be cautious. “I would recommend minimizing it because there is still a question about the risk,” he says.

About 12 percent of women – or one in eight – will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime, according to About 40,450 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2016 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989.

There could be several reasons for that decline, including treatment advances, early detection and more public awareness.

“Regardless of statistics, the important thing to remember is that you can take a primary role in protecting your own health,” Pawan says. “Continue to educate yourself, adopt an overall healthy lifestyle and your odds of leading a long life will definitely go up.”

About Pawan Grover, M.D.

Dr. Pawan Grover (, who has more than 20 years of experience as a medical doctor, has served as a medical correspondent for CNN, NBC, CBS and PBS. He is a graduate of the Rutgers University Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

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Chilli and ginger ‘slash the risk of cancer – stopping tumours growing’

Scientists at the American Chemical Society found the compounds capsaicin, from chillis, and 6-gingerol from ginger, cut the risk of lung cancer


8th September 2016, 11:55 am

How hot can you handle your spice?

If you’re one to shy away from the vindaloo, classing yourself as more of a korma-kinda kid, it may be time to man up.

New evidence suggests eating chilli and ginger together could help prevent cancer.