CanDrugstore 's January 2012 Better Health News                            (Click here if you cannot read this page)
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Welcome Friends,

The new year is now here, which means that you have to be extra careful and remember to stay healthy. In this article we will discuss how depression increases a women's risk of getting dementia. Also we will discuss how your health is related to both your weight and your age.

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Depression Increases a Women's Risk of Dementia

Woman depressed standing at wall

Before the twenty first century, depression wasn’t taken as seriously and it was rarely discussed. Now the effects of depression are studied and legitimate help is available. It is now known that women are twice as likely as men to develop depression and that depression can have considerable health repercussions later in life. Women experiencing episodes of depression during their lives have double the risk of developing dementia in old age. Depression is known to start young and continue on later in life.

Women are more vulnerable to depression during their mid life than men, due to the stresses of maintaining multiple roles, such as being the primary care giver for their children, a wife and employee. Hormonal cycles also make woman more prone to depression than men. Women are affected by the status of their relationships as well. If a relationship is not going well it can be more of a depressogenic for the women than the man. Women will deal with the issue in an unhealthy way by continually ruminating about it, leading to more depression.

Women sixty and over most often see their doctor because they worry that they may be developing dementia. Often mid-life and older women experience cognitive problems as a component of depression. Women often believe they are experiencing a form of cognitive impairment. For some woman, even after the symptoms of depression leave the cognitive impairment continues on.

Treatments for depression include psychological therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapies. Medications are also administered for certain individuals who may need this form of treatment.

Chronic depression can even shorten a person's life. Maintaining a positive attitude is an effective way to control depression. People with a highly positive attitude towards ageing had a considerable better survival rate when compared to people with a negative outlook on ageing. People with a positive outlook out lived the negative people by over seven years on average. Factors associated with old age depression are deaths, erosion of health and ones independence. Maintaining a positive view on life is difficult at times. Regular exercise, eating healthy and getting adequate sleep all contribute to maintain a positive view on life. Maintaining healthy relationships and being spiritual also helps repress depression and the chances of having dementia later on in life.

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Middle Age Weight Crisis


A new study concludes that it is important to lose weight, and keep it off into middle age, especially as a preventative measure to heart disease. The study is very extensive, tracking around 19,000 men starting at age 18, for almost half a century. The data was compiled between 1916 and 1950, whereby the height and weight measurements of participants were taken. Then, in the 1960s, researchers followed up with the study participants; the men were 46 years on average. The follow up included information on changes the men had made to their activity levels and lifestyle. Of those men, eleven percent died from heart disease, and being heavy at both the early and mid-life health check put them at risk of ultimately dying from heart disease. In fact, obese young men have almost double the risk of developing heart disease. Middle aged overweight men were 25 percent more likely to die of heart disease and 60 percent of those were obese. On the other hand, as I-Min Lee from the Harvard Medical School told Reuters health, younger obese people can lower their weight by slimming down - “if you’re able to lose that weight, once you get to middle age….the excess risk you had as a youngster goes away.” Being overweight at middle age is the most dangerous for your heart health, not the number of years one is actually overweight.

There are some problems with this study. First off, women are not included in the study, so it is unclear if being obese in youth does have a negative effect on a woman’s health later on. Secondly, the study did not indicate where fat was distributed around the body, as it is known that fat distributed around the mid section puts you more at risk of cancer.

In conjunction with this study is another study conducted on college students, which states that “the transition from late adolescence to early adulthood represents the most dramatic declines in physical activity across a person’s life.” Further, while binge drinking and smoking begin to decrease in the mid twenties, the activity levels of a person continue to decline into their mid twenties. While exercise campaigns focus on getting adults and children active, they often forget about the college aged level persons. Young adults occupy their time with their studies and socializing as opposed to going to the gym to work out.

With this in mind, here are some ways to increase activity in young adults, to either lose weight or keep the weight off:

  1. Join an intramurals team at university.
  2. When looking for a university, make sure your prospective school has an adequate work out facility.
  3. Walk or take public transportation instead of driving.
  4. Watch your nutrition – young adults no longer have mom there to cook the meals, and often go for ‘quick’ fixes, such as pizza at the school cafeteria. Make cooking nutritious meals a priority.
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