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Mediterranean diet may prevent age-related blindness

Gorkha Post

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A Mediterranean diet might significantly reduce risks of a major cause of blindness or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a new study has suggested.

A Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating less meat and more fish, vegetables, fruits, legumes, unrefined grains, and olive oil. Mediterranean diet favors vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, olive oil and fish over meat.

Poor diet is emerging as an important factor in the development of a degenerative eye disease called age-related macular degeneration.

A large collaboration of researchers from the European Union investigating the connection between genes and lifestyle on the development of AMD has found that people who adhered to a Mediterranean diet cut their risk of late-stage AMD by 41 percent.

The findings were published online in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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Previous research has linked it to a longer lifespan and a reduced incidence of heart disease and cognitive decline. But only a few studies have evaluated its impact on AMD.

“You are what you eat,” said Dr Emily Chew, spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and an adviser to the research group that conducted the study.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from nearly 5,000 people, aged 55 and older, in the Netherlands. Those who closely followed a Mediterranean diet were 41 percent less likely to develop late-stage AMD than those who did not follow the diet.

The study found that, on their own, none of those individual components reduced the risk of late-stage AMD. Rather, it was the overall diet that significantly reduced the risk.

“Chronic diseases, such as AMD, dementia, obesity and diabetes, all have roots in poor dietary habits. It’s time to take quitting a poor diet as seriously as quitting smoking,” Chew said in an academy news release.

However, the study cannot prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

Agencies

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Health

Sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time : Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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A new study has showed that sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time, challenging previous claims that weekday mornings — especially Mondays — were the danger zones.

Previously heart experts have long believed that weekday mornings were the danger zones for unexpected deaths from sudden cardiac arrests.

“While there are likely several reasons to explain why more cardiac arrests happen outside of previously identified peak times, stress is likely a major factor,” said Sumeet Chugh, a Professor of medicine from the Smidt Heart Institute in the US.

“We now live in a fast-paced, ‘always on’ era that causes increased psycho-social stress and possibly an increase in the likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest,” Chugh added.

Almost 17 million cardiac deaths occur annually worldwide while the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is less than one per cent.

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For the study, published in the journal Heart Rhythm, Chugh’s team analysed data on 1,535 from the community-based Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study between 2004 to 2014, among which only 13.9 per cent died in the early morning hours, the findings revealed.

All reported cases were based on emergency medical service reports containing detailed information regarding the cause of the cardiac arrest.

“Because sudden cardiac arrest is usually fatal, we have to prevent it before it strikes,” Chugh said. “Our next steps are to conclusively determine the underlying reasons behind this shift, then identify public health implications as a result,” he added.

Apart from stress, other contributing factors may be a shift in how high-risk patients are being treated, as well as inadequacies in how past studies have measured time of death caused by sudden cardiac arrest.

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