Fitness no protection against premature death if you’re also obese, study shows

Men of a normal weight, regardless of their fitness level, are at lower risk of death compared to obese individuals in the top 25 per cent for aerobic fitness, 29-year Swedish research reveals

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 December, 2015, 8:29pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 December, 2015, 12:19am

Some people believe it’s OK to be fat if you’re fit. A new study dismisses this concept and suggests the protective effects of high fitness against early death are reduced in obese people. Published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the study by academics in Sweden followed more than 1.3 million men for an average of 29 years to examine the association between aerobic fitness and death later in life, as well as how obesity affected these results. The subjects’ aerobic fitness was tested by asking them to cycle until they had to stop due to fatigue. Men in the highest fifth of aerobic fitness had a 48 per cent lower risk of death from any cause compared with those in the lowest fifth. Men of a normal weight, regardless of their fitness level, were at lower risk of death compared to obese individuals in the highest quarter of aerobic fitness. The beneficial effect of high aerobic fitness was reduced with increased obesity, and in those with extreme obesity there was no significant effect at all.

Doctors issue warning over cough medicine with codeine

Doctors have issued a warning over the cough remedies that contain a widely prescribed painkiller called codeine in a new article in the online journal BMJ Case Reports. They describe the first published case of confusional state in a healthy 14-year-old girl attributed to excessive consumption of over-the-counter cough medicine that contained codeine. Codeine intoxication symptoms often include central nervous system depression, respiratory depression, severe itching of the skin, and flushing. However, the girl in this case experienced unusual symptoms: confusion and the loss of the ability to create new memories. For example, she claimed to have showered when it was obvious to her mother that she had not. She switched languages during her homework. She slept up to 20 hours a day, had a decreased attention span and suffered from intermittent headaches. The girl had experienced flu-like symptoms over 15 days, during which she skipped school and took two to three spoonfuls daily of codeine cough suppressant – exceeding the maximum recommended duration of usage of three days. Each spoonful is equivalent to 15 milligrams of codeine, and she consumed a total of between 450mg and 675mg over 15 days, instead of the recommended maximum dosage of 270mg during any given course of treatment.

Periodontal disease associated with increased breast cancer risk

Postmenopausal women with periodontal disease were more likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not have the chronic inflammatory disease, finds a new study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Scientists at the University of Buffalo monitored 73,737 postmenopausal women who did not have breast cancer. Periodontal disease was reported in 26.1 per cent of the women. After an average follow-up time of 6.7 years, 2,124 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, with the risk of breast cancer 14 per cent higher in women who had periodontal disease. A history of smoking was also found to significantly affect the women’s risk. One possible explanation for the link between periodontal disease and breast cancer is that those bacteria enter the body’s circulation and ultimately affect breast tissue. However, further studies are needed to establish a causal link, the researchers say. Previous studies have linked periodontal disease with heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, as well as oral, oesophageal, head and neck, pancreatic, and lung cancers.