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Vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcal disease are recommended for older Americans, who are at increased risk for complications from these diseases compared with younger individuals.13–16 Influenza vaccinations are given annually, and pneumococcal vaccinations are usually given once in a lifetime. In 2010, 63 percent of people age 65 and over reported receiving a flu shot in the past 12 months; however, there were differences by race and ethnicity. In 2010, about 60 percent of people age 65 and over had ever received a pneumonia vaccination.
Health care services and screenings can help prevent disease or detect it at an early, treatable stage. Among women age 65 and over, the percentage who had a mammogram within the preceding two years almost tripled from 23 percent in 1987 to 64 percent in 2010. Older women who were poor were less likely to have had a mammogram in the preceding two years than older women who were not poor. Older women without a high school diploma were less likely to have had a mammogram than older women with a high school diploma. In 2007–2008, the average diet of older Americans (age 65 and over) scored 100 percent for only three dietary components: whole fruit, total grains, and meat and beans. The average diet of adults age 75 and over was superior in quality to the average diet of their younger counterparts, age 65–74, for total fruit, whole grains, milk, saturated fat, and sodium. Average intakes of calories from solid fats, alcoholic beverages, and added sugars were too high and thus remained well below the quality standards for both age groups. Major improvements in the nutritional health of older Americans could be made by increasing intakes of whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables and legumes, and fat-free or low-fat milk products and by incorporating foods and beverages that are lower in sodium and have fewer calories from solid fats, alcoholic beverages, and added sugars. Physical activity is beneficial for the health of people of all ages, including the age 65 and over population. In 2010, about 11 percent of people age 65 and over reported participating in leisure-time aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities that met the 2008 Federal physical activity guidelines. Men age 65 and over were more likely than women in the same age group to meet the physical activity guidelines (14 percent and 8 percent, respectively, in 2010). The percentage of older people meeting the Federal physical activity guidelines increased over time. As with other age groups, the percentage of people age 65 and over who are obese has increased since 1988–1994.
In 2009–2010, 45 percent of women age 65–74 and 30 percent of women age 75 and over were obese. Older men followed similar trends: 24 percent of men age 65–74 and 13 percent of men age 75 and over were obese in 1988–1994, compared with 43 percent of men age 65–74 and 27 percent of men age 75 and over in 2009–2010.
Over the past 12 years, between 1999–2000 and 2009–2010, there has been no significant trend in women, but among men there has been an increase in obesity prevalence. Smoking has been linked to an increased likelihood of cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung diseases, and other debilitating health conditions. The percentage of older Americans who were current cigarette smokers declined between 1965 and 2010. In 2010, the percentage of older Americans who were current smokers was similar for Whites and Blacks.
As people age, their bodies are less able to compensate for the effects of environmental hazards.
In 2010, about 32 percent of people age 65 and over lived in counties with poor air quality for ozone, compared with 52 percent in 2000.
The percentage of people age 65 and over living in counties that experienced poor air quality for any air pollutant decreased from 64 percent in 2000 to 36 percent in 2010. In 2010, nearly 40 percent of the population lived in a county where measured air pollutants reached concentrations above EPA standards.
Overall, approximately 124 million people lived in counties where monitored air in 2010 was unhealthy at times because of high levels of at least one of the six principal air pollutants: ozone, particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead. How individuals spend their time reflects their financial and personal situations, needs, and desires. Time-use data show that as Americans get older, they spend more of their time in leisure activities.
In 2010, older Americans spent on average more than one-quarter of their time in leisure activities. On an average day, people age 55–64 spent 16 percent of their time (almost four hours) working or doing work-related activities compared with 5 percent (about one hour) for people age 65–74 and 1 percent (about 15 minutes) for people age 75 and over. Leisure activities are those done when free from duties such as working, household chores or caring for others. Watching TV was the activity that occupied the most leisure activity time—more than one-half of the total—for Americans age 55 and over. Americans age 75 and over spent a higher percentage of their leisure time reading (12 percent versus 7 percent) and relaxing and thinking (9 percent versus 5 percent) than did Americans age 55–64. The proportion of leisure time that older Americans spent socializing and communicating—such as visiting friends or attending or hosting social events—declined with age. Our team investigate the molecular mechanisms by which glucolipotoxicity, and the subsequent metabolic stress, alters the function of both skeletal muscle and beta cells of pancreas in type 2 diabetes. Topic 3 : Strategies to restore homeostasis of mitochondria and ER Our goal is to identify new targets for improving the functioning of both mitochondria and ER, as well as their interactions, in order to imcrease muscle insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion by pancreatic beta cells. When the immune system is working properly, inflammation plays a key role in the defending the body against infection and injury.
There are other markers that are less commonly tested, but may help paint a clearer picture of the state of inflammation in the body. Screening for homocysteine levels is particularly useful for patients with a personal or family history of CVD, but who don’t have additional risk factors, like smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or obesity. While it may not be an independent risk factor, having high levels of homocysteine is correlated with the occurrence of blood clots, heart attacks, strokes and coronary artery disease.

And because of its molecular structure, homocysteine tends to be involved in reactions that cause oxidative stress. There’s even a link between the two biomarkers we’re discussing here: high homocysteine levels block the natural breakdown of fibrinogen, leading to a buildup of fibrinogen in the blood. Some people are born with genetic issues that don’t allow their bodies to break down homocysteine. Other reasons thought to contribute to high homocysteine levels include high coffee or sugar consumption, aging, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol or blood pressure, and even excessive anger.
Elevated homocysteine levels may also be seen with kidney disease, psoriasis, and low levels of thyroid hormone. There is evidence that supplementing with B vitamins—especially B6, B9 (folic acid), and B12—may help lower homocysteine levels, along with general healthy lifestyle adjustments.
Too little fibrinogen can impair the body’s ability to form a stable blood clot, resulting in bleeding disorders. Having too much fibrinogen thickens the blood, as it causes too many platelets to bind together. Certain medications can cause a decrease in fibrinogen, including anabolic steroids, phenobarbital, and valproic acid.
High levels may be seen with acute infection or trauma, coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, glomerulonephritis, and other inflammatory diseases.
Slightly increased levels are sometimes seen with pregnancy, or when taking oral contraceptives or estrogen. Interestingly, exposure to cold also increases fibrinogen, which may be the reason for the increased risk of heart attack during cold months. You can now find out about these lab values and more—including your inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acid levels—with the new WellnessFX Premium package.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind.
This entry was posted in Personal System Biology and tagged c-reactive protein, cardiovascular health, CRP, Fibrinogen, Homocysteine, inflammation, Vitamin B on September 16, 2013 by The WellnessFX Team.
Obesity is considered a widespread health problem in the United States – during 2009-2010, 35.7 percent of American adults were obese.
Diabetes, generally defined, refers to having high levels of blood glucose resulting from complications in insulin production or insulin action.
Obesity and diabetes rates per 100,000 people in the MRC region are closely related, with the lowest rates of either being clustered around Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania, and Polk Counties, as well as Ashe and Watauga. Physical activity, along with a healthy diet, is recommended for reducing weight and managing some types of diabetes. More information on having a healthy diet in the MRC region can be found at Access to Healthy Food.
Sixty-six percent of non-Hispanic Whites reported receiving a flu shot, compared with 52 percent of non-Hispanic Blacks and 54 percent of Hispanics. Despite increases in the rates for all groups over time, in 2010, non-Hispanic Whites were more likely to have received a pneumonia vaccination (64 percent) compared with non-Hispanic Blacks (46 percent) or Hispanics (39 percent). In 2010, about 70 percent of persons age 85 and over had received a flu shot, compared with 68 percent of persons age 75–84 and 59 percent of persons age 65–74. There was a significant difference in 1987 between the percentage of older non-Hispanic White women (24 percent) and the percentage of older non-Hispanic Black women (14 percent) who reported having had a mammogram but, in recent years, this difference has disappeared. In 2010, 51 percent of women age 65 and over who lived in families with incomes of less than 100 percent of the poverty threshold reported having had a mammogram.
In 2010, 54 percent of women age 65 and over without a high school diploma reported having had a mammogram in the preceding two years, compared with 63 percent of women who had a high school diploma and 71 percent of women who had at least some college education.
In other words, diets for these three components met the standard, while nine fell short—ranging from 33 percent (sodium) to 90 percent (total fruit).
For total vegetables and oils, adults’ age 65–74 average diets were better than those age 75 and over. The percentage of older people meeting the physical activity guidelines decreased with age, ranging from 14 percent among people age 65–74 to 4 percent among people age 85 and over.
Older non-Hispanic Whites reported higher levels of physical activity than non-Hispanic Blacks (12 percent compared with 5 percent). In 1998, about 6 percent of people age 65 and over met the guidelines, compared with 11 percent in 2010. In 2009–2010, 38 percent of people age 65 and over were obese, compared with 22 percent in 1988–1994. This is an increase from 1988–1994, when 27 percent of women age 65–74 and 19 percent of women age 75 and over were obese. Among older people, the death rate for chronic lower respiratory diseases (the third leading cause of death among people age 65 and over) increased 57 percent between 1981 and 2009 (see “Indicator 15: Mortality”).
Most of the decrease during this period was the result of the declining prevalence of cigarette smoking among men (from 29 percent in 1965 to 10 percent in 2010). In 2010, about 53 percent of older men previously smoked cigarettes, while 29 percent of women age 65 and over were former smokers. Air pollution can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases, leading to increased medication use, more visits to health care providers, admissions to additional emergency rooms and hospitals, and even death. In 2000, about 41 percent of people age 65 and over lived in a county where PM 2.5 concentrations were at times above the EPA standards, compared with 5 percent of people age 65 and over in 2010.
This percentage was fairly consistent across all age groups, including people age 65 and over. The vast majority of areas that experienced unhealthy air did so because of one or both of two pollutants—ozone and PM 2.5.
This proportion increased with age: Americans age 75 and over spent 32 percent of their time in leisure activities, compared with 22 percent for those age 55–64.

For Americans age 55–64, about 11 percent of leisure time was spent socializing and communicating compared to 8 percent for those age 75 and over. We are working on pharmaceutical approach to restore these alterations by improving the two organelles. We study the involvement of an altered interaction between the two organelles in the development of muscle insulin resistance and in alterations of insulin secretion by pancreatic beta cells. Iorn oxide nanoparticules labelling enables later in vitro cell isolation for metabolic stress assessment at the sub-cellular level. It’s is the first line of defense against viruses and bacteria and works to prevent the invaders from further damage.
It’s one of the most commonly tested biomarkers for systemic inflammation, and is used to see if there’s infection or bleeding somewhere in the body, or to determine a person’s risk for CVD. The problems begin when blood levels begin to build because homocysteine isn’t being properly broken down (into methionine or cysteine), causing it to become what some consider a vascular toxin. Elevated levels are also associated with migraines, hearing loss, macular degeneration, and brain atrophy or dementia. But more often, high levels are due to vitamin B deficiency, since B-vitamins play a key role in the breakdown process. Taking SAMe or 5-MTHF (a more bioavailable form of folic acid), are thought to reduce levels as well.
It forms bridges between platelets, and it converts to fibrin, which is the mesh-like substance that forms the basis of clots over a wound.
Also, fibrin, along with LDL cholesterol, contributes to the vascular plaques seen in atherosclerosis.
Fibrinogen is also a promising biomarker in detecting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)—as many as 40% of all COPD patients have high levels of fibrinogen.
Platelet aggregation inhibitors include aspirin, curcumin (found in turmeric), green tea, ginkgo, and vitamins C and E. But to lower elevated fibrinogen levels directly, look to vitamin A (which helps to break down fibrinogen), beta carotene, and fish or olive oil.
In North Carolina, an estimated two-thirds of adults were reported overweight or obese, and the prevalence of childhood obesity in North Carolina is fifth in the nation. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use height and weight to define obesity through body mass index (BMI) – adults with a BMI greater than 30 are considered obese. Depending on the type, diabetes can be associated with older age, obesity, physical inactivity, race or ethnicity, and family history, among other factors. Although rates of physical activity in adults in the MRC region are higher than those in the rest of the state, there are still many adults who are not physically active, and rates of physical inactivity are related to rates of obesity and diabetes.
For pneumonia vaccinations, 68 percent of persons 85 and over had ever received a pneumonia vaccination compared with 55 percent of persons age 65–74. Among older women living in families with incomes of 400 percent or more of the poverty threshold, 75 percent reported having had a mammogram. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, measures compliance with the diet-related recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.18 It has 12 components, and a higher score indicates a higher quality diet. For the same period, the percentage of women who smoked cigarettes has remained relatively constant (10 percent in 1965 and 9 percent in 2010). An important indicator for environmental health is the percentage of older adults living in areas that have measured air pollutant concentrations above the level of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) national standards. We carry both gene-candidate approaches (eg overexpression and invalidation of specific protein of MAM) and large-scale approaches (differential analysis of MAM proteins by proteomic approaches) in both rodent models of type 2 diabetes and cellular models exposed to glucolipotoxicity. In mice, we have shown in-vivo by MRI the modulation of inflammation under treatment with the renin-angiotensin inhibitor Irbesartan. But when inflammation persists without this type of threat, it becomes a drain on your system. For this reason, blood levels of homocysteine tend to be highest in people with diets high in animal protein and low in fruits and leafy vegetables. While obesity is less prevalent in the MRC region than across the rest of the state or the nation, its rate of incidence among adults has increased from 2005 to 2009 – by 22 percent in the state and by 15.4 percent in the MRC region. Along with kidney failure and blindness, diabetes has been reported as a leading contributor to heart disease, stroke, and depression, and can also lead to non-traumatic amputation.The American Diabetes Association estimates that one of every five health care dollars is spent on treatment for diabetes, and that one of every ten health care dollars is spent for circumstances that can be attributed to diabetes.
Intakes equal to or better than the standards set for each component are assigned a maximum score of 100 percent. Ozone and particulate matter (PM), especially the smaller, fine particle pollution called PM 2.5, have the greatest potential to affect the health of older adults. In the same animal model, we also evaluate the modulation by physical activity of oxydative stress and inflammation. Many of your body’s functions are affected by this overheating effect, and it has a particularly strong correlation with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Health risks associated with obesity are numerous, but include heart disease (the nation’s leading cause of death) and type 2 diabetes (North Carolina’s and the Mountain Resource Commission [MRC] region’s seventh leading cause of death).
The growing rate of obesity is also significant due to its association with a similarly-increasing rate in diabetes incidence, discussed more fully below.
Like obesity, the adult diabetes rate has increased in both North Carolina and the MRC region between 2005 and 2009 – a 20 percent increase in the state and a 16.8 percent increase in the MRC region.
In Buncombe County, where only 19.6 percent of adults are physically inactive, obesity and diabetes are comparatively scarce.
Fine particle pollution has been linked to premature death, cardiac arrhythmias and heart attacks, asthma attacks, and the development of chronic bronchitis.
For more information on disease death rates, visit Deaths from Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancer, and Diabetes.

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