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ARTICLES > HEALTH


ARE YOU DESTINED FOR AN EARLY GRAVE?

Tags:   Survival,   Age

By The Swag Team   -  June 04, 2014


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Photo credit:  www.forbes.com


According to a recent study, simple everyday tasks such as getting out of chair and standing on one leg can be used to predict which middle aged people are at risk of an early death, the British newspaper The Telegraph has reported. On hearing this, SWAG was intrigued and did some digging.

Men aged 53 who could balance on one leg for more than 10 seconds and stand up and sit down in a chair more than 37 times in a minute were found to be least at risk of dying early by the researchers, the newspaper said.

 

Everyday tasks such as getting out of a chair without help have previously been used as an early warning sign of ill health in elderly people but the new study shows they can be used to predict health problems in people aged as young as 53, the paper added.

 

THE THREE EXERCISES WHICH COULD PREDICT YOUR EARLY DEATH
 

1. Balance

 

Stand on one leg with your eyes closed. How long can you do this for? The website www.alittlefitter.com quoted the British Medical Research Centre as finding that that men who were able to hold the position for less than two seconds were three times more likely to die early than those who could hold it for ten seconds of more.

 

2. Squats (the chair test)

 

Using a dining chair, sit down and stand up as many times as you can in one minute. The study quoted in www.alittlefitter.com found that men who could stand up from a chair and sit down again less than 23 times in a minute were twice as likely to die in the following 13 years than those who could 37 or more.

 

3. Grip strength

 

The website reported that test subjects gripped a special device, like a bike brake. Those who had the strongest grip had the longest life expectancy. You can measure your own grip strength by your ability to hold on to monkey bars, hold a heavy weight or open and close a jar.

 

If you fail any of these tests quite miserably and are looking forward to a long retirement, perhaps its time to consider a radical life change.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

 

Apart from the obvious, like doing exercise, eating healthily, reducing alcohol and cutting out smoking, here are a few behaviours you may wish to look into.

 

REDUCE RED MEAT

 

The Telegraph has reported how the British Department of Health is being urged to review its guidance on red meat after a study found that eating almost half the daily recommended amount can significantly increase the risk of dying early from cancer and heart disease.

Small quantities of processed meat such as bacon, sausages or salami can increase the likelihood of dying early by a fifth, it quoted researchers from Harvard School of Medicine as saying. Eating steak increases the risk of early death by 12%.

The study found that cutting the amount of red meat in peoples’ diets to 1.5 ounces (42 grams) a day, equivalent to one large steak a week, could prevent almost one in 10 early deaths in men. According to The Telegraph, the scientists said that the UK government’s current advice that people should eat no more than 2.5 ounces (70 grams) a day, was “generous”.

 

LOOK INTO RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME

 

The Huffington Post has recently quoted the Quarterly Journal of Medicine as reporting that men who suffer from Restless Legs Syndrome may not live as long as those without the condition.

The study found that men with RLS were nearly 40% more likely to die over their eight-year study, compared to men without RLS. When the researchers excluded from their analysis men with major chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure, those with RLS were 92 percent more likely to die over the study period.

RLS is a bothersome chronic condition that affects five to 10 % of adults. Patients have an irresistible urge to move the legs, and often experience burning and creeping sensations that are described as "an itch you can't scratch," or "like insects crawling inside the legs."

 

REDUCE HIGH IRON LEVELS

 

A simple test for iron levels in your blood can predict increased risk of premature death, Irish researchers quoted in the Irish Independent have said.

The University of Limerick study focused on the "transferrin saturation ratio", a commonly used measurement to assess the amount of iron in a patient. They found that people with either very high or every low levels were at higher risk of death, the newspaper said.

Low levels of transferrin saturation ratio generally indicate iron deficiency, while high levels would occur in states of iron overload like haemochromatosis. The blood test is a common one, generally carried out on patients already being investigated for a blood-related condition, such as anaemia.

 

STOP ARGUING OVER SILLY THINGS

 

Finally, the Daily Mail has reported a study that confirms what mankind has already known for centuries: arguing and disagreeing with your partner for petty reasons puts you at an increased risk of dying young.

Frequent squabbles in family life, personal relationships and work not only rob a person of their happiness, they also leave them feeling irritated and anxious, the newspaper said.

It quoted Danish researchers who found that quarrelsome men and women are two to three times more likely to die young.

The study, led by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, said stress-induced high blood pressure and heart disease are the key risk factors for early death. It was observed that subjects who regularly dealt with conflicts in personal relations had about 50 to 100% likelihood of dying from the life-treatening health conditions.



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