Review Category : Health

Heavy Snowfall and Heart Attack Linked for Men, Study Says

iStock/Thinkstock(QUEBEC CITY) — Extreme temperatures have been linked to health complications, and researchers have now found that snowstorms are, too.

According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers in Quebec analyzed more than 100,000 hospitalizations and nearly 70,000 deaths from heart attacks over a 33-year period, looking for an association with quantity and duration of snowfall the day before the heart attack.

In men, regardless of age or risk factors for heart disease, the more snow and the longer it falls, the higher the risk of hospitalization and/or death from heart attack.

The same risk was not seen in women, researchers believe, because men may be more likely to shovel snow.

These findings suggest that for men already at risk for heart attacks, it may be a better idea to let someone else wield the snow shovel.

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Cardiologists create heart-healthy memes to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Saint Lukes Health System(NEW YORK) — Eat your heart out, heart disease.

Nothing will get your heart pumping this Valentine’s Day quite like these Kansas City cardiologists.

The doctors at Saint Luke’s Hospital used heart-healthy memes to celebrate the romantic day.

“We wanted to find a creative way to help patients see the lighthearted and caring nature of these expert physicians while also sharing the important message of heart disease prevention, and encouraging our community to take control of their heart health so they can avoid serious issues in the future,” Rebecca Sesler, vice president of marketing at Saint Luke’s Health System, wrote to ABC News in an email.

“Saint Luke’s is one of the top 20 cardiology and heart surgery programs in the country, which means our cardiologists and surgeons treat the most complex and challenging heart issues every day,” she added.

Their timing is perfect as February is also American Heart Month.

The hospital explained that “heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 370,000 Americans every year. It claims the lives of more women each year than deaths from all cancers combined and strikes someone in the U.S. every 42 seconds.”

However, heart disease is largely preventable.

“Recent research suggests that by adopting six simple lifestyle changes you can reduce your risk of heart disease by 95 percent,” according to a hospital spokesperson.

Those lifestyle changes include eating non-processed foods, not smoking, drinking in moderation, maintaining a healthy body weight and being active.

“Our doctors like to tell our patients that sitting is the new smoking – get up and move every 30 minutes even if it is only doing stretches in your office,” Sesler wrote.

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Your Body: Alcohol consumption linked to heart disease?

iStock/ThinkstockDR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Excessive drinking may lead to an increased risk of heart disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers followed 14 million patients for up to five years and found that those who were characterized as excessive drinkers were at greater risk for three different heart problems: Heart attacks, heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

How do you know if you’re a moderate or excessive drinker? For one thing, if we’re talking about wine, one serving is about 5 ounces but most people pour a larger glass than that.

It’s also important to remember that in medicine we tend to talk about the effects of some behavior on one body part or organ system. But the reality is everything is connected, so taking a global look at your health is always a good idea.

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Study: Chronic Conditions in Kids; Chronic Poverty a Factor

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In a new study published in Pediatrics, researchers found a rise in chronic conditions, including asthma and ADHD, in children.

Analyzing data National Survey of Children’s Health at three time points (2003, 2007, and 2011/2012), researchers found not only that those overall rates had risen, but that some were more pronounced in lower income brackets.

Overall, for asthma, the lifetime prevalence rose 18 percent (12.5 percent in 2003, 14.6 percent in 2011-2012), while ADHD increased by 44 percent (6.9-9.9 percent).

Children living in poverty who were diagnosed with either asthma or ADHD were more likely to be coping with multiple chronic conditions, and the more impoverished a child was, the more likely they were to be struggling with multiple ailments at once.

The study also looked at autism spectrum disorder, but while the lifetime prevalence rose by 400 percent,, from 0.5 percent in 2007 to 2.3 percent in 2011-2012, children from higher income brackets were found to have the most significant increases.

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Working Out Amid the Masterpieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Paula Lobo(NEW YORK) — As a snowstorm was barreling down on Manhattan last Thursday, a group of 15 workout enthusiasts gathered in front of the Great Hall staircase at the iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art. Outfitted in sneakers, leggings and T-shirts, these art devotees were not there to quietly shuffle past the priceless masterpieces. They had signed up to power walk, stretch and fist-pump their way through the museum’s 36 galleries and 5 wings.

The “Museum Workout” involves a combination of dance, art and performance. The 8:30 a.m. workout has become so popular that future classes are sold out.

Two dancers from the Monica Bill Barnes & Co. – dressed in sequin dresses and sneakers – get the group to start jogging in place to the Bee Gee’s “Staying’ Alive,” which blares from a speaker carried by a man dressed in a tuxedo.

The 45-minute workout has participants do jumping jacks in front of Perseus with the Head of Medusa, power walk through the Hall of Medieval Arms and Armor and squat in front of John Singer Sargent’s famous portrait of Madam X.

Forbidden Fun

There’s a sense of exhilaration mixed with mischief as participants dance past historic artwork. Museum guards look on, some smiling, some clearly unamused.

“The challenge is to get people to understand what this is,” says Limor Tomer, the MetLiveArts general manager who commissioned the workout. “It’s a deeply emotional kind of exhilarating way to connect to the works of art in the museum – through feeling your body, being in your body, circumventing your intellect and going straight to your heart.”

Dancing through the empty halls that normally see up to 17,000 visitors a day is in itself a remarkable rarity; add in a soundtrack that makes you want to groove and a Shavasana pose at the feet of the gilded Diana statue, and it’s easy to understand why tickets to the Museum Workout have been sold out since it was first announced last April.

“It feels like the most unintentionally subversive thing to do,” says Robbie Saenz de Viteri, creative producing director of the dance company. “There’s such a culture here that you’re supposed to stand still and you’re supposed to be quiet and supposed to act so buttoned up. Our costumes are trying to match the formality of the museum but we’re trying to go in the opposite direction in what we do.”

Dressed to Kill

Pierre Terjanian, curator in charge of the Arms and Armor Department, says he appreciates the irony of the nimble dancers stretching in front of King Henry VIII of England’s rigid armor.

“I find it very interesting as we explore ways of creating new engagement,” Terjanian tells ABC News. “This is a very solemn display … but at the very least the ability to move around them and see them in the round is how they were meant to be experienced.”

Maira Kalman, an illustrator/author who collaborated with Monica Bill Barnes & Co. to create the program, says she wanted the workout to be like a “glorious walk through nature – only you’re in a museum.”

“It’s a respite from thinking too much,” she says. “The delight of using your body and having your brain have a little vacation.”

Monet to the Mona Lisa

Will this workout be brought to other major museums across America and around the world?

“If the Louvre and Hermitage don’t come calling,” says Kalman, “I think we’ll have to make a few phone calls.”

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Single Mom Dresses as Dad for Son’s ‘Dads and Doughnuts Day’ at School

Whitney Kittrell(NEW YORK) — One Utah mom made sure her little boy wouldn’t miss out on a special event at school by slipping into her best “dad outfit” this week.

Whitney Kittrell, a single parent of two, dressed as a dad for 5-year-old Lucas’ “Dads and Doughnuts Day” at her kindergartner’s Arrowhead Elementary School in Santa Clara.

She shared the photo on Facebook, where it received thousands of comments and over 27,000 likes.

“It’s been very overwhelming seeing the response,” Kittrell told ABC News. “I’ve had kids that were raised by single parents reach out and thank me to let me know that [we] are not alone. I’m just an ordinary mom. I’m doing what anybody else will do, but as a single parent a lot of times you feel alone and isolated, but there are other people that are going through the exact same thing. I’m so grateful to see the positive impact it’s making.”

Kittrell is attending school to become a respiratory therapist and was unable to attend Lucas’ “Moms and Muffins Day” as part of his school’s Family Week from Feb. 6-10.

“It’s a PTA-sponsored event,” Steve Dunham, director of communications for Washington County School District told ABC News. “So this week they did a ‘Dads and Doughnuts’ and ‘Moms and Muffins.’ My understanding is that Whitney had to go to ‘Dads and Doughnuts’ because she couldn’t make it to ‘Moms and Muffins.'”

After Lucas said he wanted his mother to attend “Dads and Doughnuts Day,” Kittrell, who has full custody of her children, decided to make it fun.

“I’ve heard of other moms going and not necessarily wearing a beard but dressing up like a guy and going so I said, ‘That’d be funny why not?'” Kittrell recalled. “I didn’t do it for the attention of dressing up like that. I knew it would make him laugh. I knew it was something he would think is funny. He helped me pick the paint out for the beard and it was really fun.”

Kittrell went to “Dads and Doughnuts Day” in the school’s lunchroom with Lucas on Feb. 8. That morning, she shared the story publicly. Soon, thousands sent messages to Kittrell, praising her for her parenting skills.

The post has received over 17,000 shares since Wednesday.

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Tennessee Woman Receives Lifesaving Kidney Transplant from Husband

KGO-TV(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — When one woman in Nashville, Tennessee, learned she needed a kidney transplant this fall, she didn’t realize her husband was the perfect match.

Doctors discovered from tests that Matt Stewart could donate a kidney to his wife Britney, despite her rare blood type AB positive.

“I pretty much put myself on the top of the list, said you know what let’s go ahead and knock myself out of the way. I tell everybody, I’ve already given her my heart and my money. Might as well give her my kidney, too,” he said according to ABC affiliate KGO-TV.

The couple is now recovering at home after a successful surgery earlier this month.

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First-Grader Puts Personal Spin on Bell-Ringing to Signal End to Years of Chemotherapy

Courtesy Lacie Spagnolo(PITTSBURGH) — Jimmy Spagnolo is a 6-year-old dancing machine.

Videos posted by his mother, Lacie Spagnolo, to social media chronicling his fight against cancer show him bopping, smiling and clapping down hospital hallways.

“Music is in his soul,” Lacie Spagnolo told ABC News Friday.

So it made sense that after Jimmy, a first-grader from right outside of Pittsburgh, rang a bell last week signaling the end of his final chemotherapy treatment, he screamed, hugged his family and then, of course, began dancing.

The ringing of a bell is a tradition that’s been adopted by children’s cancer centers around the country to mark the end of the chemotherapy journey and hopefully a child’s discharge from the hospital.

Lacie Spagnolo told ABC News Friday that it was Jimmy’s first time getting to ring a bell.

“It was like awesome. I’m so glad to be done,” he told ABC affiliate WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. “I’m so glad to be done treatment.”

In 2010, when he was just 4 months told, Jimmy was diagnosed with a glioma or tumor of the brain or spine. Lacie Spagnolo said he’d undergone four one-year rounds of chemotherapy.

On Feb. 2, Jimmy, donning a Superman shirt, was joined by Lacie Spagnolo; his father, Jim; and sister Lily as well as medical staff at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as he celebrated the end of his latest cancer treatment.

“I’m done!” he exclaimed as the port for his chemotherapy was removed from his chest.

The next day, on Feb. 3, Jimmy returned to Rogers Primary School and was welcomed by students, teachers and administrators with what else but a party. And yes, there was some dancing.

“We felt Jimmy’s elation,” Lacie Spagnolo said Friday. “We felt completely loved by all the staff of CHP (Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh) that shared our joy with us and that love our little boy. … To feel the support on a community level, the people you see every day cheering your son on and celebrating his victory as if it were their own, that’s a community worth being a part of, a community of good people with big hearts.”

Lacie Spagnolo said Jimmy would get his next MRI scan in March to see how well the chemotherapy worked and then scans every three months for the next year.

“As long as the scans are stable, Jimmy gets to stay off all medications,” she said. “We live our life three months at a time. … No matter what, we handle it as gracefully as possible because we have the gift of Jimmy every day and that is a blessing in itself.”

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Dance Moves for Women Scientifically Proven to Be Sexy

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you are hoping to use your moves on the dance floor to find a potential partner, then you may want to read a new study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports that outlines what dance moves are perceived as the most attractive in women.

“Dance is a universal human behavior that is observed particularly in courtship contexts, and that provides information that could be useful to potential partners,” researchers at the University of Northumbria in the United Kingdom stated in the abstract to their study.

The scientists concluded that there were three key moves that make up “high-quality female dance,” which include hip swings, asymmetric movements of the thighs, and asymmetric movements of the arms. The researchers defined “asymmetric movements” as the ability to move your limbs independently of one another.

Researchers came to their results by creating computer avatars out of 39 women who danced to a simple rhythm. They then showed clips of these dancing figures to 200 people who rated the dance moves.

In 2015, the same group of researchers conducted a similar study for male dance moves.

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Your Body: Post Workout Snacks

iStock/ThinkstockDR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Getting the most out of your workout doesn’t just depend upon the exercises you do. What you eat after a trip to the gym has a big impact on your body’s ability to recover.

Here are a few things that you can do to maximize the weight loss and to keep from undoing all that hard work:

  • First, timing. Try to eat a “recovery” meal within one hour after working out — especially if you’ve had a particularly strenuous session.
  • Next, hydrate. You need at least two cups of water two hours before working out, another two cups 15 minutes prior and a half-cup every 15 minutes during your workout.
  • Healthy fats and fruits and veggies are also important.

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