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Improved Recovery In Patients Who Exercised Prior To Stroke

A person who has exercised regularly prior to the onset of a stroke appears to recover more quickly, say researchers from Mayo Clinic in Florida, who led a national study. In the July 2009 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, the researchers reported that stroke patients who had previously exercised regularly before a stroke occurred were significantly more likely to have milder impairments and, thus, were better able to care for themselves, compared to patients who rarely exercised. "It appears that exercise is very beneficial to people at risk of developing a stroke, " says Mayo Clinic neurologist James Meschia, M.

Study Finds Overweight Youth Are Twice As Likely To Have Overweight Friends

Researchers from the Institute of Prevention Research at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) found in a recent study that overweight youth were twice as likely to have overweight friends. "Although this link between obesity and social networks was expected, it was surprising how strong the peer effect is and how early in life it starts, " says lead author Thomas Valente, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. The study appears in the August issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, available online July 20. Previous data had shown a connection between overweight adults and their social peers.

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Being Active As A Preschooler Pays Off Later In Childhood

Being active at age 5 helps kids stay lean as they age even if they don't remain as active later in childhood, a new University of Iowa study shows. "We call this effect 'banking' because the kids benefit later on, similar to having a savings account at a bank. The protective effect is independent of what happens in between, " said lead author Kathleen Janz, professor of health and sport studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "The implication is that even 5-year-olds should be encouraged to be as active as possible because it pays off as they grow older." The UI team tested the body fat and activity level of 333 kids at ages 5, 8 and 11 using gold-standard technology: a special scanner that accurately measures bone, fat and muscle tissue, and an accelerometer that measures movement every minute.

Study: Bariatric Surgery Patients Have 67 Percent Lower Chance Of Complications At Top-Performing Hospitals

The HealthGrades Fourth Annual Bariatric Surgery Trends in American Hospitals Study released today identifies 88 hospitals as "best" performers (five-star rated), with mortality rates, complication rates and patient lengths of stay that are dramatically lower than poorly rated hospitals. In the study, HealthGrades, the nation's leading independent healthcare ratings organization, evaluated the quality of bariatric surgery in hospitals across 19 states that provide all-payer information. The recipient list and full study results can be found at http://www.healthgrades.com. As other studies have found, high bariatric surgery volumes correlated with better inhospital outcomes.

Ventana's Promising New Anti-Obesity Patent

Ventana Biotech Inc ("Ventana")(PINK SHEETS:VNTA), a biotechnology company that is developing a appetite-suppressing chewing gum, released detailed information about its innovative Anti-Obesity Chewing Gum. The goal of Ventana's Anti-Obesity Chewing Gum is to combat the growing global obesity epidemic while capturing a share of the multi-billion dollar market for anti-obesity drugs. How it works Ventana's proprietary chewing gum contains an extract of hoodia gordonii and 2-hydroxyoleic acid. Hoodia gordonii is a leafless, cactus-like plant that grows naturally in Southern Africa that was historically used by native populations to suppress appetite when making long hunting trips in the Kalahari Desert.

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Healthy Workers Could Get Bigger Insurance Breaks

A health care reform proposal that would allow employers and insurers to give large discounts to employees who lose weight or lower their cholesterol is facing push back from several groups worried about premium disparities, Kaiser Health News reports. "The discounts are being pushed by Steve Burd, the chief executive officer of Safeway Inc., who has met with several lawmakers on Capitol Hill and says that rewarding healthy behavior has helped keep his firm's health care costs flat while other companies' have skyrocketed. "But the proposal, which involves the sensitive issue of how aggressive employers can be in trying to induce workers to change their behavior to reduce their risks of disease, is greeted by skepticism by many patient advocates who think it could be coercive and unfair.

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