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Climate Change Means Senior Health Could Suffer  - web md

Climate Change Means Senior Health Could Suffer

Atmospheric changes that precede storms increase the risk that older people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could develop breathing problems serious enough to send them to the hospital.
web md - 9 hours ago
A Great Unknown: When Flu Season and COVID Collide  - web md

A Great Unknown: When Flu Season and COVID Collide

Depending on whether people heed the advice to prevent COVID-19 -- wearing a mask, hand washing and social distancing -- the U.S. could either see a record drop in flu cases this season or a dangerous viral storm, doctors say.
web md - 1 day ago
‘The Year Has Been Sort of Canceled’  - web md

‘The Year Has Been Sort of Canceled’

A lost chance to say goodbye to an aged parent, a promising romance that fizzles when a pair can’t meet in person, a career that stalls when a prized job vanishes, a dwindling shot at parenthood when an infertility clinic suspends all in vitro fertilization treatments -- these are the casualties of our lives on pause during the coronavirus pandemic.
web md - 1 day ago
Will Coffee Shop Culture Survive COVID-19?  - web md

Will Coffee Shop Culture Survive COVID-19?

The days of lounging in comfy chairs or at tables inside coffee shops as soothing music plays in the background, tip-tapping on your laptop or reading a newspaper, appear to be a thing of the past, at least for now.
web md - 4 days ago
Are Boomers Less Sharp Than Previous Generations?  - web md

Are Boomers Less Sharp Than Previous Generations?

Looking at two decades' worth of data on U.S. adults, the study found generational differences in tests of cognitive function. That refers to essential mental abilities such as remembering, reasoning and problem-solving.
web md - 5 days ago
School, camp, daycare, and sports physicals: What to do in the time of COVID-19 - harvard

School, camp, daycare, and sports physicals: What to do in the time of COVID-19

Summer activities are underway and some schools will be reopening come September. Does your child need a physical exam, or a form from the pediatrician? Here's how to think through the options for fulfilling these requirements. The post School, camp, daycare, and sports physicals: What to do in the time of COVID-19 appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Young Black Americans at High Risk of Hypertension  - web md

Young Black Americans at High Risk of Hypertension

The study, of 18- to 44-year-olds in the United States, found that high blood pressure was prevalent across all racial groups: Among both white and Mexican American participants, 22% had the condition.
web md - 1 week ago
Wondering about goosebumps? Of course you are - harvard

Wondering about goosebumps? Of course you are

What are goosebumps? Why do we get them? Do they serve a purpose? Some of these questions can be answered, others can’t. But a recent study in mice links goosebumps to stem cells responsible for the regeneration of hair. The post Wondering about goosebumps? Of course you are appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Another Effect of COVID: Lasting Hearing Problems?  - web md

Another Effect of COVID: Lasting Hearing Problems?

When the patients were asked if they had any changes in their hearing, 13% said it was worse. Eight patients said their hearing had deteriorated and eight said they had tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
web md - 1 week ago
Study Reveals How Coronavirus Travels Indoors  - web md

Study Reveals How Coronavirus Travels Indoors

For the study, they created a model of how these aerosols travel in indoor spaces such rooms, elevators and supermarkets. They also compared how the virus did in various types of ventilation and with different spacing of people within a room.
web md - 1 week ago
Pandemic Could Complicate Hurricane Season  - web md

Pandemic Could Complicate Hurricane Season

The average hurricane season has about 12 named storms, but up to 20 storms are being predicted this season, according to Marshall Shepherd, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia.
web md - 1 week ago
New Study Shows Kids Are COVID Spreaders, Too  - web md

New Study Shows Kids Are COVID Spreaders, Too

Coronavirus testing performed in Chicago in March and April shows that children and teens tend to have as much virus in their nasal passages as adults, according to a research letter published online July 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.
web md - 1 week ago
One Disease Mosquitoes Don

One Disease Mosquitoes Don't Spread: Coronavirus

The researchers found that the new coronavirus can't replicate in three common species of mosquitoes -- Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus -- and therefore cannot be transmitted to humans.
web md - 1 week ago
Common Diabetes Meds Tied to Complication Risk  - web md

Common Diabetes Meds Tied to Complication Risk

People taking a class of diabetes medications called SGLT2s have up to three times the risk for a serious complication called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) compared to people taking another drug, new research reveals.
web md - 2 weeks ago
Yet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are Safe  - web md

Yet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are Safe

Vaccine hesitancy among Americans has been highlighted as a potential problem in the nation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with some experts concerned that too many folks simply won't get a coronavirus vaccine even if one proves safe and effective.
web md - 2 weeks ago
Concussion Ups Odds for Many Brain Conditions  - web md

Concussion Ups Odds for Many Brain Conditions

The study of more than 186,000 Canadians found that those who suffered a concussion were more likely to develop any of several conditions, including: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); depression or anxiety; Parkinson's disease; or dementia.
web md - 2 weeks ago
Survivors

Survivors' COVID Antibodies May Be a Powerful Gift

These antibodies are among the most potent against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and could be produced by drug companies in large quantities, according to a team from Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
web md - 2 weeks ago
WebMD Poll: Most Would Wait on COVID Vaccine  - web md

WebMD Poll: Most Would Wait on COVID Vaccine

Fewer than half of people plan to get a coronavirus vaccine in the first year it’s available, and an even smaller group -- fewer than a third -- say they’ll get it in the first 90 days, a new WebMD reader poll finds.
web md - 2 weeks ago
In Rush to Publish, Some COVID Studies Not Reliable  - web md

In Rush to Publish, Some COVID Studies Not Reliable

Only 75 out of 664 clinical trials for COVID-19 -- about 11% -- have all the hallmarks of a scientific study that could be expected to produce solid results, according to the study published online July 27 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
web md - 2 weeks ago
Doctors Worry About COVID

Doctors Worry About COVID's Effects on Hispanics

While race and ethnicity data about the coronavirus isn’t complete, the reported numbers so far suggest Hispanic American adults of any race are disproportionately represented in certain coronavirus measures:
web md - 2 weeks ago
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Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease?

Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease?

harvard - 2 weeks ago

Have you ever spent the day in a city with such bad air pollution that when you blew your nose the mucus had a black tinge? Have you ever coughed as you breathed in diesel fumes from a passing bus and thought to yourself, Well, thats a year gone from my life? Could it actually be true that air pollution leads to an early death? The answer, in fact, is an unqualified yes.

Air pollution causes heart disease, lung disease, and early death

It has been known for some time that air pollution causes lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma, heart disease, and stroke. One recent study in China estimated that for those ages 75 and older, there are 1,166 early deaths for every 100,000 people thats more than 1%. But if it doesnt kill you outright, can air pollution impair your memory, and cause dementia in general and Alzheimers disease (one cause of dementia) in particular?

Studies from several countries link air pollution to cognitive impairment

Three studies from three different parts of the world suggest that air pollution might cause cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimers disease. In the first study, researchers from China and the US teamed up to analyze data from China. They found that long-term exposure to air pollution is related to poor performance on both verbal and math tests. Moreover, the poor performance on the verbal tests was more pronounced for older individuals, especially for men and those less educated.

In the second study, researchers in England studied 130,978 adults ages 50 to 79 from 75 medical practices in greater London. They found that from 20052013, 2,181 older adults from this sample were diagnosed with dementia: 39% with Alzheimers disease, 29% with vascular dementia, and 32% without a specific dementia diagnosis. Adults living with the highest annual concentration of air pollution had the highest risk of dementia 1.4 times the risk of those with the lowest annual concentration. They also found that these associations were more consistent for those given an Alzheimers disease diagnosis.

In the third study, published earlier this year, researchers from the United States, including the University of Southern California and Harvard Medical School, studied data from 998 women ages 73 to 87 who had both cognitive tests and MRI scans. They found that those women who were exposed to higher concentrations of air pollution in the preceding three years showed two differences compared to those who were exposed to less air pollution. Cognitively, those exposed to more air pollution showed greater declines in learning a list of words. Anatomically, they showed more atrophy (shrinkage) in those areas of the brain that typically shrink due to Alzheimers disease.

Importantly, in all three studies, the researchers controlled for every possible other factor that they thought might make a difference. For example, in this third study they controlled for: sociodemographic factors (age, geographic region, race/ethnicity, education, income); lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, physical activity); employment status; clinical characteristics (diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, hormone therapy); and MRI-measured cerebrovascular disease.

Air pollution is associated with a greater risk of Alzheimers disease, but it may not be the cause of the cognitive decline

The first thing to say is that I believe this correlation is real. The fact that three different groups analyzed data from three different continents and came to similar conclusions cannot be due to chance alone. Thus, I firmly believe that the following statement is true: Higher levels of air pollution are associated with a greater risk of cognitive decline, dementia in general, and Alzheimers disease in particular.

However, that is not the same thing as saying that high levels of air pollution cause cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimers disease. Air pollution could cause Alzheimers disease, and many researchers provided possible mechanisms as to how that might happen.

However, it is also possible that air pollution could be linked to some as-of-yet unidentified factor that explains the association. For example, it has already been fairly well established that some viral illnesses are associated with Alzheimers disease. It has also been well established that viral illnesses are more likely to be transmitted when people are gathered together indoors versus outdoors. So, it may simply be that where there is greater pollution, people are more likely to gather together inside, shut the windows, and trade viruses with each other. The new virus they acquire may be the real cause of the increased risk of Alzheimers disease. Now, thats just speculation just an example of how a real association is not the same thing as evidence of causation.

What can you do if you want to reduce air pollution to lower your risk of Alzheimers disease?

Directly or indirectly, we are all responsible for the air pollution in our cities, our country, and our planet. We should each work to do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint. We can work to reuse and recycle materials so that factories don’t need to produce as much. We can buy local foods that dont need to be trucked across the country and shipped around the world. We can walk and bike instead of driving our cars (and, once were done with COVID, carpool and take public transportation). Lastly, we can elect public officials who will advocate for local, national, and international policy to reduce pollution. And those are just some of the things that we can do to clear the air.

The post Does air pollution cause Alzheimers disease? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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