Study challenges ‘healthy but obese’ theory

  PARIS, France (AFP) — Being overweight or obese does pose a risk of heart disease, despite claims to the contrary, a study of nearly 300,000 British adults suggested Friday. While it is generally accepted that being overweight increases a person’s disease risk, some researchers have recently suggested that carrying extra weight does not actually boost death rates for some, particularly the elderly. A number have even suggested that being overweight may protect against disease, […]

Mexican man, once the world’s fattest, dreams of walking again

by Ulises Ruiz with Jennifer Gonzalez Covarrubias in Mexico City Agence France-Presse GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AFP) — The folds of flesh on Juan Pedro Franco’s back sway heavily as he cranks the pedals of a modified bicycle with his arms, exercising to boost his already jaw-dropping weight-loss total of 250 kilos (550 pounds). Franco, who comes from northern Mexico, used to be the world’s fattest man. Guinness World Records certified the title after he weighed in […]

Dementia clearly linked to chronic boozing: study

by Marlowe Hood Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Chronic heavy drinking is a major risk factor for all types of dementia, especially early onset of the disease, according to a study published Wednesday in The Lancet Public Health. Researchers examining more than 57,000 cases of early-onset dementia in France found that well over half were either alcohol-related, or accompanied by an additional diagnosis of alcohol abuse. Overall, alcohol use disorders were associated with […]

No-sweat exercise may prolong life for the elderly: study

by Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — A few hours a week of light exercise — walking the dog, puttering about in the garden — lower the risk of death in older men, even if workouts are brief, researchers said Tuesday. Their findings, reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, challenge two long-held assumptions about the benefits of physical activity for the elderly. To improve health and reduce the risk of […]

Linger over lunch to lose weight: study suggests

by Mariëtte Le Roux Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — People who wolf down their food could lose weight simply by chewing longer and pausing between bites, study results suggested Tuesday. Research involving nearly 60,000 Japanese people showed a link between eating slower or faster, and losing or gaining weight. “Changes in eating speed can affect changes in obesity, BMI and waist circumference,” a research duo from Japan’s Kyushu University wrote in the journal […]

Scores of monkeys killed in Rio yellow fever panic

by Louis Genot © Agence France-Presse Rio de Janeiro, Brazil AFP Fears of spreading yellow fever are behind the illegal killing of scores of monkeys in Rio de Janeiro, complicating efforts to fight the virus, authorities say. Locals, mistakenly believing that the animals can spread yellow fever to humans, are blamed for the surge in killings. Just this year, 238 monkeys have been found dead in Rio state, compared to 602 in all of 2017, said the city […]

Virtual reality may reduce paranoia in psychotics: study

PARIS, France (AFP) — Virtual reality-based therapy combined with standard treatment reduced paranoia and anxiety in people with psychotic disorders, scientists reported Friday. In clinical trials involving 116 patients in the Netherlands, virtual reality exercises led to less fraught social interactions, a team wrote in The Lancet Psychiatry. More research is needed to confirm the long-term benefits of such technology, which gave the impression of being in an alternate reality populated by life-like avatars. Up […]

Next plague outbreak in Madagascar could be ‘stronger’: WHO

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Health Organization chief Wednesday said a deadly plague epidemic appeared to have been brought under control in Madagascar, but warned the next outbreak would likely be stronger. “The next transmission could be more pronounced or stronger,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, insisting that “the issue is serious.” An outbreak of both bubonic plague, which is spread by infected rats via flea bites, and pneumonic plague, […]

Vaping may boost pneumonia risk: study

by Mariëtte Le Roux Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Vaping may help pneumonia-causing bacteria stick to cells lining the airways, likely boosting disease risk, researchers said Thursday. A study published in the European Respiratory Journal did not directly compare vaping’s effect to that of smoking tobacco cigarettes. But the findings did suggest that users of electronic cigarettes may be at higher risk of lung infection than people who do not vape, the research team […]

Lactalis salmonella contamination ‘may go back a decade’

PARIS, France (AFP) — Researchers raised fears Thursday that salmonella-tainted milk produced by French dairy giant Lactalis, which sickened dozens of babies, could have infected others over more than a decade. Lactalis has been engulfed in scandal since December when authorities ordered a massive international recall of the baby milk which made at least 38 babies ill in France and Spain. The Pasteur research institute said Thursday that the exact same strain of salmonella sickened […]

Global cancer survival up, but progress uneven: study

by Marlowe Hood Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Cancer survival is increasing across the world but large gaps endure between nations, while some cancers remain hard to treat everywhere, according to a major review released Wednesday. The progress, and the gap, are especially large for childhood cancers, according to the CONCORD-3 study covering 71 nations and 18 types of cancer, published in the medical journal The Lancet. For children with brain tumors, for […]

Vaping may raise cancer risk: study

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Vaping may raise the risk of cancer because it leads to DNA damage, even though it contains fewer carcinogens than tobacco smoke, a US study has found. The report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences did not compare the cancer-causing potential of traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes. However, in studies on lab mice, those exposed to e-cigarette smoke “had higher levels of DNA damage in the heart, lungs, […]