New York, April 9 (IANS) Exercise and a healthy diet in childhood leads to adults with bigger brains and lower levels of anxiety, a new study suggests.
The mouse-model study determined that early-life exercise generally reduced anxious behaviors in adults. It also led to an increase in adult muscle and brain mass.
"During the Covid-19 lockdowns, particularly in the early months, kids got very little exercise. For many without access to a park or a backyard, school was their only source of physical activity," said researcher Marcell Cadney from the University of California - Riverside.
"It is important we find solutions for these kids, possibly including extra attention as they grow into adults," Cadney added.
The researchers determined that early-life exercise generally reduced anxious behaviours in adults. It also led to an increase in adult muscle and brain mass. When fed "Western" style diets high in fat and sugar, the mice not only became fatter, but also grew into adults that preferred unhealthy foods.
For the study, published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, the researchers divided the young mice into four groups -- those with access to exercise, those without access, those fed a standard, healthy diet and those who ate a Western diet.
Mice started on their diets immediately after weaning and continued on them for three weeks, until they reached sexual maturity.
After an additional eight weeks of "washout," during which all mice were housed without wheels and on the healthy diet, the researchers did behavioural analysis, measured aerobic capacity, and levels of several different hormones.
One of those they measured, leptin, is produced by fat cells. It helps control body weight by increasing energy expenditure and signaling that less food is required.
Early-life exercise increased adult leptin levels as well as fat mass in adult mice, regardless of the diet they ate.
London, Nov 12 (IANS) Amid the spike in air pollution in Delhi-NCR, a new study has found that early-life events, such as the exposure to air pollutants, increase the risk of chronic lung disease in young adulthood.The findings, published in the European Respiratory Journal, add to the growing evidence that chronic lung disease in adulthood can be traced back to childhood.Chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with the hallmark features phlegm and irreversible airflow limitation, respectively, are lung diseases known to affect adults with a history of long-term smoking. "We found the prevalence of chronic bronchitis and irreversible airflow limitation to be rather high considering the young age of the study participants." said study senior author Erik Melen from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. "Those diseases are usually diagnosed in patients older than 50 years of age," the researchers wrote. In the present studies, the researchers used data from birth up to age 24 years from the follow-up of the Swedish population-based birth cohort 'BAMSE', which includes 4,089 participants from the Stockholm area recruited 1994-96. Analyses performed by the research team showed that smoking, as well as early-life air pollution exposures and childhood asthma, are risk factors for chronic bronchitis, whereas breastfeeding was identified as a protective factor. In addition, the early-life risk factors for the development of irreversible airflow limitation were recurrent lung infections, asthma, and exposure to air pollution. "The levels of air pollutants in the current study mainly reflect local emissions from road traffic, which implies that this preventable risk factor may play an important role in the development of chronic lung disease in young adults," the authors wrote. Given that air pollution levels in Stockholm are comparatively low by international standards, this makes the current findings very important in a global context. And despite the young participants' age, active smoking was linked to chronic bronchitis, which underlines the negative health effects from even a limited period of exposure to tobacco smoke. "In conclusion, our two novel studies demonstrate that chronic bronchitis and irreversible airflow limitation do exist in young adults and emphasize the importance of early-life events for maintaining lung health during adulthood," the study authors noted. --IANS bu/ash
A team of researchers here has linked elevated birth weight with developing a common heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation later in life.
Chinese researchers from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China said that the risk of atrial fibrillation in adulthood may be higher for large newborns (over 4 kilos or 8 pounds 13 ounces) than those with normal birth weight.
"Preventing elevated birth weight could be a novel way to avoid atrial fibrillation in offspring -- for example with a balanced diet and regular check-ups during pregnancy, particularly for women who are overweight, obese or have diabetes," said study author Dr Songzan Chen at the 31st 'Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology' (GW-ICC).
"People born with a high weight should adopt a healthy lifestyle to lower their likelihood of developing the heart rhythm disorder," Chen said.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting more than 40 million individuals globally.
People with atrial fibrillation have a five times greater risk of having a stroke.
The relationship between birth weight and atrial fibrillation is controversial and this study investigated the lifetime causal effect of birth weight on the risk of atrial fibrillation.
The researchers conducted a naturally randomised controlled trial.
First, they used data from 321,223 individuals in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify 132 genetic variants associated with birth weight.
Next, they identified which of those variants play a role in atrial fibrillation using data from 537,409 participants of the Atrial Fibrillation Consortium (of whom 55,114 had atrial fibrillation and 482,295 did not).
The 132 genetic variants were randomly allocated to the 537,409 participants at conception, giving each individual a birth weight in grams.
The investigators then analysed the association between birth weight and atrial fibrillation.
Elevated birth weight was associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation later in life.
Specifically, participants with a birth weight that was 482 grams above the average were 30 per cent more likely to develop the heart rhythm disorder, the study said.
"However, we cannot discount the possibility that adult height and weight may be the reasons for the connection. Birth weight is a robust predictor for adult height, and taller people are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation," Chen noted.
Previous research has shown that the link between birth weight and atrial fibrillation was weaker when adult weight was taken into account.
"This study provides genetic evidence for the association between elevated birth weight and the increased risk of atrial fibrillation," said Professor Guosheng Fu of Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital (SRRSH). (IANS)
New York, Aug 15 (IANS) Changes in weight between young adulthood and midlife may have important consequences for a person's risk of early death, say researchers.The study found that participants whose body mass index (BMIs) went from the obese range in early adulthood down to the overweight range in midlife halved their risk of dying during the study period, compared with individuals whose BMIs stayed in the obese range. On the other hand, weight loss after midlife did not significantly reduce participants' risk of death, the study published in the journal, JAMA Network Open, reported.The researchers estimate that 12.4 per cent of early deaths in the US may be attributable to having a higher BMI at any point between early- and mid-adulthood."The results indicate an important opportunity to improve population health through primary and secondary prevention of obesity, particularly at younger ages," said study author Andrew Stokes from Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) in the US.The research team used data from 1998 through 2015 for 24,205 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The participants were 40-74 years old when they entered the study, and the data included participants' BMI at age 25, 10 years before they entered the study, and when they entered the study.The researchers then analysed the relationship between BMI change and the likelihood that a participant died over the course of the observed period, controlling for other factors such as participants' sex, past and current smoking, and education level.They found that study participant whose BMIs went from the obese range at age 25 down to the overweight range in midlife were 54 per cent less likely to have died than participants whose BMIs stayed in the obese range. Instead, these participants with an obese to overweight trajectory had a risk of death closer to that of participants whose BMIs had been in the overweight range all along.The researchers estimated that 3.2 per cent of deaths in the study would have been avoided if everyone with a BMI in the obese range at age 25 had been able to bring their BMIs down to the overweight range by midlife. The researchers did not find a similar reduction in risk of death for participants who lost weight later in their lives. They wrote that this may be because weight loss later in life is more likely to be tied to an ageing person's worsening health.--IANSbu/sdr/
London, June 30 (IANS) Researchers have found that a congenital heart defect in childhood increases the risk of chronic diseases, such as arrhythmia and heart failure, in adulthood.The risk of other diseases, including asthma, epilepsy and even psychiatric diseases, is also higher than usual. These adverse effects occur regardless of the severity of the heart defect.According to the researchers, heart malformations are the most common congenital structural defects of an individual organ. The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, encompasses all patients who underwent congenital heart surgery in Finland aged under 15, from 1966 onwards."The findings emphasise the importance of long-term follow-up among this patient group," said study researcher Alireza Raissadati from the University of Helsinki in Finland.According to another study, published in the Pediatrics journal, the effects of heart defects also extend to the quality of life.Adults who underwent heart surgery in childhood had a lower level of education and rate of employment than the control subjects; this was the case especially among men."It was surprising to see that patients with a simple heart defect also had a poorer socioeconomic status compared with the rest of the population," Raissadati said.The study compared the level of education, rate of employment, marital status and number of children between adults who had undergone heart surgery in childhood and control subjects during a 60-year period.The study revealed that long-term morbidity, as well as a lower level of education and employment rate, are common among adults who underwent congenital heart surgery during childhood, regardless of the severity of the defect."The study highlights the extensive coverage of Finland's national databases and the excellent opportunities for follow-up studies they provide, not available in many other countries," Raissadati said.--IANSbu/arm