Dr. M’s Health Points Volume 1, Issue 2

September 5, 2013

Mancebo 2By: Gerald L. Mancebo, M.D., F.A.C.P.

The U.S. Preventive Health Services Task Force has recommended against routine Vitamin D and Calcium supplementation in healthy postmenopausal women.  Research has shown that such supplementation may increase the risk of coronary heart disease and kidney stones in some people.  The new recommendations do not apply to people with osteoporosis and Vitamin D deficiency in which the benefits of supplementation outweigh the risks.  Vitamin D replacement is also recommended for people over 65 who may be at higher than average risk for falls.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that all Americans born between 1945 and 1965 (baby boomers) consider being tested for Hepatitis C.  A significant percentage of that population may have been exposed and be carriers of the virus.  Hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.  New and effective antiviral drugs are available and can prevent a significant number of deaths.  The most common forms of exposure were through blood transfusions, infected needle sticks, and solid organ transplants before 1992.

Physical fitness has been known to prevent cardiovascular disease for some time, but a recent study of 17,000 men suggests that high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness may decrease the risk of lung and colon cancer by 40%.  In this study, men with an average age of 50 were placed into quintiles according to their fitness in exercise testing using treadmill or bicycle.  Those in the highest levels of fitness were much less likely to develop lung or colon cancer than those in the lower levels.  One more reason to exercise regularly.