Tag Archives: Obesity

The cost of diabetes….

You might be shocked to know that around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year. Type 2 diabetes is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke, and there are currently some 5 million people in England at high risk of developing the disease.

Around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year.

As well as the human cost, Type 2 diabetes treatment currently accounts for just under 9% of the annual NHS budget – that’s a whopping £8.8 billion a year!

Since the disease is largely preventable through lifestyle changes – having a healthy diet, maintaining a proper weight and getting enough exercise – the NHS Diabetes Prevention programme is primed to target these issues as it is rolled out.

If you live in one of the areas below you could be among the first to benefit from a referral that will give you tailored help to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes:

Newham West London Oldham East Midlands
Camden Sefton Leeds Worcestershire
Cheshire/Wirral Cumbria Dudley St Helens
Lincolnshire East and North Herts Bury Berkshire
Norfolk and Norwich Rochdale Southwark Essex
The South East Birmingham Derbyshire Herefordshire
Cambridge Peterborough Co Durham Sheffield

It’s a big programme – serious stuff!

Watch your weight to improve arthritis symptoms

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis. However, there are some things you can do to help manage the disease and improve your symptoms.

No cure but you can improve symptoms

One of the most important is to keep a healthy body weight, mainly for protection of your knee joints. Being overweight is a major risk factor for knee osteoarthritis. It increases the risk of OA developing and makes the symptoms worse.

OA happens when cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint, breaks down. There are two main ways for OA to develop. The first is through forces acting upon the joints. The second path is through an increase in inflammation, which leads to an increase in pain. Fat creates and releases chemicals within the body that promote inflammation.

Body weight directly influences both pathways. Being overweight not only increases the load placed on the knee joints which can help to speed up the breakdown of cartilage, it also makes the condition worse.

What does your doctor mean by cardiac risk?

Cardiac risk calculators are frequently used to predict the chances of people having heart disease.

Population statistics are used to work out the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, things like being overweight or smoking. This information gives doctors a good idea of what your heart attack risk is, based on your lifestyle.

What’s your cardiac risk?

Reducing the risk of heart attacks and stroke for people as they get older can be helped by changing individual factors. Age is one risk factor that cannot be modified, but others such as cholesterol and blood pressure can be.
Using these early predictions for a raised risk of a major heart event within 10 years is a guide for lifestyle changes and medication that can bring the predicted risk down. If you are at higher than average risk of heart problems you may find your GP prescribes you statins or blood pressure drugs, for example.

Ask one of our pharmacists if you want more information about cardiac risk calculators.


Men’s health in focus

Men’s Health Week recently took place Since men are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol to hazardous levels and be overweight or obese the focus is on leading a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy dad

The sad fact is that one in five men don’t make it to retirement age. The biggest single cause of death in men is cancer, and 75% of premature deaths from coronary heart disease among men.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital for avoiding these sorts of diseases, yet men are more likely than women to smoke and drink alcohol at hazardous levels. Over 65% of men are overweight or obese. Participation in activity amongst men declines with age: 83% of men aged 16-24 met the recommendations for physical activity, compared with 57% aged 65-74.

Think about this next time you grumble about the failing NHS. Are you part of the problem?


Statistics, skirts sizes and breast cancer…

What will they measure next? There is a lot of evidence to link a high body mass index to an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Another suggested risk factor is adult weight gain, usually associated with an increase in body fat.

Waist size

Now a research team at University College London has used the self-reported skirt size of 94,000 women, over a number of years, as a proxy measure for their change in weight over those years, and investigated how this has affected their risk of getting breast cancer.

The results show that, for women aged between 25 and postmenopausal age, an increase in skirt size by one unit every decade increased the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by 33%. However, a decrease in skirt size was associated with lowering of risk.

Something to think about…