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    Just in Case You Missed It

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | May 6th, 2018

    Just in Case You Missed It

    Over the past week, all the news outlets have been referring to the paper titled, Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population.  After the fifth time of hearing about the study, I decided it was blog worthy. I did not want to take a chance that any of you missed it.

    The paper was released on May 1, 2018 in the journal Circulation. The authors of the paper reviewed what had happened to people followed in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professional Follow-Up Study over the past 34 years. The conclusion of the study was that if you never smoke, you maintain a normal body mass index, you exercise regularly, you eat a healthy diet and you consume only a moderate amount of alcohol, you will live an extra 14 years compared to women who did not adopt these low-risk lifestyle practices and for the men in your lives, they can live an extra 12. 2 years. At the end, we need to focus on prevention.

    If you are like me, you are probably asking yourself, have we not heard this before?  I would say that it is always great to have research backing the recommendations. So just in case you missed it – here it is again:

    1. Do not smoke and if you are smoking, quit. If you need help quitting, you can call 1- 800-QUIT-NOW.  The quit line offers a variety of services including individual counseling, practical information on how to quit, referral to other resources, mailed self-help materials, information on FDA-approved cessation medications and in some cases, free or discounted cessation medications.
    2. Maintain a normal body mass index – maintain a normal weight. To calculate your BMI- please click here. My recommendation is to make the scale your best friend. Click here for more information.
    3. Exercise regularly – greater than 30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity including brisk walking. The benefits of exercise go far beyond its effect on weight. Please click here for more information.
    4. Eat a healthy diet – I have to borrow the seven words from Michael Pollan –Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. I also discovered a real good website – celebrateyourplate.org.
    5. Consume only a moderate amount of alcohol – On the CDC website, it states alcohol consumption has been associated with short and long term health risks, including motor vehicles crashes, violence, sex risk behaviors, high blood pressure, and various cancers (e.g, breast cancer). The 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that if alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation, up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men – and only by adults of legal drinking age.

     

     

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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