Osteoporosis Detection by a Simple Physical Function Test

Osteoporosis is a condition that does not exhibit symptoms until there is a bone fracture, so it is said that there is a high percentage of people who remain unaware of their condition. When people are unaware their bones have weakened, the condition is left untreated, and the recent rise of the elderly population has caused an increase in bone fractures. This has a large societal impact, such as overwhelming medical costs and long-term care.

Simple screenings at resident health exams are one way for an increase in osteoporosis detecting without having to go to the hospital. When suspected osteoporosis and osteopenia is properly detected and patients are encouraged to get further evaluation at the hospital, it can receive appropriate treatment.

This study developed a novel method to detect untreated osteoporosis through a low-cost, physical function test during a routine health checkup.

Osteoporosis is under-diagnosed and when left untreated, it can lead to serious fractures that can reduce mobility, living function, and is directly linked to life expectancy. With proper treatment, people are more likely to avoid serious fractures.

Doctors and physical therapists at Shinshu University Hospital developed a method to detect possible osteoporosis before going to the hospital. If this detection determines that a patient is likely to have osteoporosis, patients will then be encouraged to have a bone-density test at the hospital.

This study was conducted by a random sampling of the Resident Register. Results are expected to be closer to the actual demographic of the general population than surveys targeting hospital patients and specific volunteers.

The osteoporosis detection method used the combination of BMI and a two-step test which is performed by taking two maximum-stride steps and calculating the distance in centimeters divided by the body height in centimeters. This showed a high osteoporosis detection capability that even FOSTA could not achieve, despite the cost of the test being close to zero.

The study which targeted postmenopausal women who are at high risk for primary osteoporosis found that if any of the following is true, TST <= 1.30 and BMI <= 23.4, TST <= 1.32 and BMI <= 22.4, TST <= 1.34 and BMI <= 21.6, or TST < 1.24 and any BMI, you are more than five times more likely to have osteoporosis than someone who is not. (Abbreviation: TST, two-step test; BMI, body mass index.)

The epidemiological survey "Obuse Study" is a large cohort study, and the second screening will continue. The ultimate goal, says the corresponding author, Dr. Shota Ikegami is "to present a new model for realizing a healthy society in a super-aged society while conducting a comprehensive health evaluation, not limited to osteoporosis, centered on locomotor examinations and sharing this finding with the world."

Source: EurekAlert!

Doughnut Or Donut?

Vanessa Romo wrote . . . . . . . . .

The word “doughnut” first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1782 but by the early 1800s, “donut” became widely used.

It’s National Donut Day. And shops across the country are celebrating by giving away deliciously fluffy, airy, sugary goodies. But we’re concerned with the more pressing issue: Does anyone actually still spell it D-O-U-G-H-N-U-T?

Mary McCoy, senior librarian in the arts, music and recreation department at the Los Angeles Central Library, says that is her preferred spelling, though she admits “the O-U-G-H version is definitely unwieldy.”

“It is purely personal preference because upon looking into it, they seem to be equally acceptable,” McCoy explains.

Justifying her own choice, she says: “It just looks more official, though I don’t know why a doughnut needs to be official.”

Doughnut definitely came first

The word first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1782. “However, donut is almost always in the mix,” according to McCoy.

By the early 1800s, it seems, D-O-N-U-T became a legitimate rival to the longer version of the word.

There have also been a number of alternate spellings over the last couple of centuries and none seem particularly colloquial one way or the other, McCoy says.

Some of the more bizarre spellings include D-O-N-O-T-E and D-O-W-N-U-T, both popular in the 1800s before fading away.

Even the cookbooks cannot decide

After examining the library’s extensive cookbook collection, one of the largest in the country according to McCoy, she says there’s a near even split between the two spellings.

“We have 310 books where it’s donut and 307 where it’s the other way,” McCoy said.

Jessica Lopez, a supervisor at the iconic Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, Calif., says she’s strictly in the D-O-N-U-T camp.

“I just grew up spelling it like that,” Lopez said from inside the shop with the towering donut overhead. “I’m not sure who spells it the other way.”

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter to her when she and her team are gearing up for the onslaught of customers who will line up for a bag of free donut holes.

Lopez doesn’t think about how they’re spelling it. “I just take their orders,” she says, before rushing off the phone.

Source: npr

Tai Chi Equal to ‘Regular’ Exercise in Trimming Your Tummy

Cara Murez wrote . . . . . . . . .

Could exercise that uses slow movements and breathing, like tai chi, do as much for trimming belly fat in older adults as aerobic exercise?

It might. A new study found that individuals aged 50 and up who practiced tai chi for 12 weeks lost about as much waist circumference as older adults who did conventional exercise (such as aerobics and strength training).

Though tai chi is considered a suitable activity for older people, including those who are not active, there previously has been little evidence of its health benefits, said study author Parco Siu. He is head of the division of kinesiology at the University of Hong Kong School of Public Health.

“Our statistical analysis did not suggest tai chi is more effective than conventional exercise, but showed that tai chi mirrors the beneficial effects of conventional exercise by reducing waist circumference in middle-aged and older adults with central obesity,” Siu said. “Our data suggest that tai chi can be an effective alternative to conventional exercise in the management of central obesity.”

In the study, the 543 participants each had “central obesity,” which happens in those with metabolic syndrome, the authors said. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Siu’s team randomly assigned study participants to three groups. The program used what is called the Yang style of tai chi. Conventional exercisers did brisk walking and strength training. The two exercise groups did their assigned exercises in instructor-led workouts three times a week for an hour. The third group did not exercise.

The researchers assessed the participants’ bodies at baseline, week 12 and week 38. They also assessed secondary outcomes including body weight, body mass index, HDL (“good”) cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting plasma glucose and blood pressure.

The two exercise groups lost about the same amount of waist circumference. They also saw favorable impact on their HDL cholesterol. They did not have detectable differences in fasting glucose or blood pressure. The control group gained an average of 0.8 cm (about one-third of an inch) to their waist circumference over the 12 weeks.

“Tai chi can be an effective alternative to conventional exercise in the management of central obesity. This is good news for middle-aged and older adults who have central obesity but may be averse to conventional exercise due to preference or limited mobility,” Siu said.

A mind-body exercise that involves slow movements and breathing, tai chi has been described as “meditation in motion.” It is practiced in many Asian countries and is becoming more popular in Western countries, such as the United States, where about 2 million people practice it, the study authors noted.

“Tai chi is quite accessible at community centers and sports/fitness clubs,” Siu said. “Tai chi has various other health benefits including fall prevention, osteoarthritis management, cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal fitness, cardiometabolic health, and psychological health.”

The findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“The underlying mechanisms explaining the beneficial effects of tai chi on health are still largely unclear. More research is needed to reveal the mechanisms explaining the health effects of tai chi,” Siu said.

Michael Rogers, an American College of Sports Medicine fellow and director for the Center for Physical Activity and Aging at Wichita State University in Kansas, said past research he’s been involved with had different results, though the impact the research was considering was not exactly the same.

In Rogers’ study, the research team compared cardiovascular measures in exercise groups to four modes prescribed for older adults: aerobic; strength; balance and flexibility; and a tai chi group.
“Out of all those different modes, the only one to improve aerobic fitness was the aerobic group. We did not determine changes in body composition. We only looked at aerobic performance,” Rogers said. “You could argue its apples and oranges we’re trying to compare here — aerobic fitness versus body fat — but the two are related,” he added.

“We know tai chi is great for balance, of course, but also for increasing muscular strength,” Rogers said. “This is probably the first one I’m familiar with showing that tai chi has an effect on fat in middle-aged and older adults.”

The new study was not diet-focused, and Rogers wondered if perhaps those in the tai chi group became more aware of their bodies through the mind-body exercise and took additional steps to improve their nutrition, thereby reducing their waist circumference. Rogers would like to see further studies that control for diet, but also look at the effect that the mind-body connection in tai chi may have on the body.

For older adults planning to start an exercise routine, he suggests a well-rounded exercise program with two modes, aerobic exercise plus either balance, strength or tai chi.

“The type of exercise needs to be something that’s within their abilities, of course, but also be something that they enjoy in a place that’s safe for them and where they can get help if needed,” Rogers said.

Source: HealthDay

Shrimp in Butter Tomato Sauce


2 tablespoons olive or groundnut oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-1/4 lb medium-sized raw shrimp, peeled, de-veined, then rinsed and patted dry
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt


1 tablespoon tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup 18% cream
4 tablespoons water


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Cover and chill until needed.
  2. Put the oil and butter in a large frying pan and set over a high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 10 seconds. Put in the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until very lightly browned.
  3. Add the shrimp, turmeric, coriander, cayenne and salt. Stir-fry until the shrimp have just turned opaque.
  4. Pour in the sauce and heat it through, stirring as you go. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Source: Foolproof Indian Cooking

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