Health Headlines: Alzheimer’s, Sex and Food

By ABC News

Sep 13, 2011 4:08pm

Millions With Alzheimer’s Not Diagnosed: A new report covered by Reuters estimates that 28 million of the  nearly 36 million people living with Alzheimer’s around the world do not know they have the disease. And the report suggests that if patients are diagnosed early, there is help. “Failure to diagnose Alzheimer’s in a timely manner represents a   missed opportunity to improve the quality of life for millions of people,” said Dr. Daisy Acosta, chairman of Alzheimer’s Disease International, a patient advocacy group that sponsored the study. Recent studies suggest the disease starts developing at least a decade before symptoms appear.” There is disagreement, however, about exactly how much these drugs help. And speaking of Alzheimer’s …

Insulin Nasal Spray for Alzheimer’s: There is widespread coverage today of the study that ABC News’ health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser reported on in July, which finds that an  intranasal spray of insulin could keep early Alzheimer’s from getting worse.

Men Are Wired to Nurture: Also getting a lot of attention this morning is the study that suggests men may be wired to nurture  children. The study found a drop in testosterone in new dads. The study looked at  “600 men in and around the large city of Cebu, in the Philippines, before the men married and then again after marriage and fatherhood.”  Compared to when they were single, the new dads’ testosterone levels dropped 34 percent.

A Diabetes Death Every 7  Seconds: And then there is another report about the worldwide scope of another disease — diabetes. As this Reuters article notes, this report, unveiled at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Congress in Lisbon says the rate of diabetes has soared from 285 million people in 2009 to 366 million now. And the report estimates that the disease kills one person every seven seconds. These numbers are coming out before a U.N .meeting in New York next week that will tackle ways to counter the growing worldwide problem of what are  called noncommunicable diseases, which include diabetes, heart disease and many others.

How a Healthy Life Is Good for Sexual Function: “If you help the blood flow in one area, you can help it in another” — a good way for the author of the new study to state the benefits of a healthy lifestyle on the problem of erectile dysfunction, as reported by the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. Combining exercise,   a healthy weight, and no smoking  along with a statin drug produced a significant improvement in men’s sexual function.

Poll: Americans Less Worried About Food Safety: With all the stories we hear about tainted food, you would think that people would be more worried about food safety than ever. Not true, says a new poll from Thomas Reuters/NPR. Fifty-seven percent of those polled say they’re concerned or very concerned about the safety of food now, compared with 61 percent who answered that way in the summer of 2010. The NPR story says:

“This year and  last, a similar proportion of respondents said something they had eaten had made them sick in the previous three months — around 11 percent. But more of the people who reported getting sick this year said the illness was pretty serious. About 22 percent said that this year, compared with 12 percent in 2010. Meat still leads the list of foods that worry people most.”

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