Latest news in public health – Exercise; Measles

May 2, 2008

Exercise

A NYT article this week touts the benefits of exercise. I know this falls into the “duh” category but it is interesting how exercise can help prevent or delay onset of many chronic diseases. It can also mitigate the effects of existing chronic disease. According to the author, Jane Brody, exercise can:

“…lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, dementia, osteoporosis, gallstones, diverticulitis, falls, erectile dysfunction, peripheral vascular disease and 12 kinds of cancer.”

as well as improve the health of people with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, congestive heart failure or osteoarthritis.

In addition to helping with chronic disease physical exercise may be one of the best ways to stay sharp mentally.

Measles

In other news, Measles Infections in the US are at the highest rate in 7 years. The infections are occurring almost exclusively in people who were never vaccinated and are expected to increase as the disease is highly contagious. Officials warn that measles can cause serious complications and even death.

The CDC measles update reports 64 cases in 9 states so far this year. The same report warns:

“Worldwide, 20 million cases of measles still occur each year, and the disease is a significant cause of vaccine-preventable death among children. In 2005, 311,000 children under age 5 died from the disease.”

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