Author Archive: Phung

Sun-style tai chi is shown to improve exercise endurance in patients with COPD.

A clinical trial published in the European Respiratory Journal evaluated the effect of Sun-style tai chi in 42 patients with COPD. After 12 weeks of treatment, patients who practiced tai chi walked further and longer, had better balance and reported an improvement in quality of life compared to the group that did not practice tai chi.  When do you recommend tai chi to your patients? What suggestions do you offer your patients with COPD?

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Thin or normal weight patients with diabetes may have higher mortality rate than overweight patients with diabetes.

JAMA published a meta-analysis of 5 longitudinal cohort studies looking at the association of weight status with mortality in patients with new-onset diabetes. More than 2,500 patients newly diagnosed with diabetes were evaluated in this study. The study found that the death rate in obese patients was lower compared to thin patients, 1.5% and 2.8%, respectively. Diet and exercise have always been recommended for overweight patients, what recommendations do you have for non-obese patients?

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Weight training may lower risk of type 2 diabetes in men.

Regular physical activities have shown to decrease patients’ risk for developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM). However, the role of weight training in the prevention of T2DM remains unknown.  The journal Archives of Internal Medicine recently published a prospective cohort study that found an association of men who perform weight training and a lower risk of T2DM, independent of any aerobic exercises. What has your experience been thus far? What recommendations do you offer your patients to prevent T2DM?

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Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with longer hospital stay in the pediatrics ICU.

The journal Pediatrics published two prospective cohort studies evaluating the effects of vitamin D deficiency in pediatric patients admitted to pediatric intensive care units (PICUs). Researchers tested vitamin D levels in 511 patients admitted to Boston Children Hospital and 326 pediatric patients admitted to hospitals in Canada. The study found that vitamin D deficiency was common in this population and lower vitamin D levels were associated with longer hospital stay.  How do you counsel adult and pediatric patients about vitamin D?

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Honey may provide symptomatic relief for children with nocturnal cough caused by upper respiratory tract infections.

The journal Pediatrics published a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study comparing the effects of honey products to placebo on nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty due to upper respiratory tract infections. Researchers randomly assigned 300 children from Israel and found that children who took honey had fewer coughs compared to children who received placebo.  What are some of your favorite medicinal uses of honey?

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Shift work linked to increased cardiovascular events.

The BMJ recently published a meta-analysis evaluating vascular events in more than 2 million workers whose work schedule was not a regular daytime schedule. The study found that shift workers had an increased risk of myocardial infarction, coronary events, and ischemic stroke. How do you counsel your patients who work night shifts to stay healthy?

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Omega-3 fatty acid does not lower heart risk for patients with diabetes.

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a large study that looked at the rate of cardiovascular events in about 12,500 patients with diabetes or prediabetes who are consuming omega-3 fatty acids. The study found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids did not significantly reduce cardiovascular deaths in patients with type 2 diabetes. What is your experience with omega-3 fatty acids in diabetic patients?

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Sports drinks are not necessary to hydrate an average person during exercise.

The BMJ recently published an article questioning the needs for the consumption of sports drinks in individuals who are exercising less than 45 minute. Sports drinks aid hydration and fuel active muscles in athletes and the general public in extreme conditions. Otherwise, drinking water and consuming electrolytes found in our diet would be enough.  What are you current recommendations regarding physical activity, electrolytes and hydration?

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Diets rich in antioxidants may be associated with lower pancreatic cancer risk.

In a cohort study published in the journal Gut, researchers analyzed food diaries of more than 23,000 patients aged 40 to 74. The study found that patients whose diets had higher amounts of vitamins C, E and selenium had a decreased risk in the development of pancreatic cancer. What are your favorite dietary sources or products containing antioxidants?

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Fragmented or interrupted sleep may be associated with placement in assisted-living facilities.

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society recently published a prospective cohort study that found that women who had interrupted sleep and lower sleep efficiency had higher odds of being placed in assistant-living facilities. Although this study only shows an association, sleep disturbances are linked to numerous diseases. What best practices do you recommend your patients in terms of getting a good night rest?

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