Today’s Headlines: CPR, Walking and Diabetes

When bystanders perform CPR, survivors go back to work. It’s terrifying when someone collapses in front of you from a heart attack or some other medical condition. But starting CPR when a person’s heart has stopped has been shown time and again to save lives. Now new research has shown that when bystanders do CPR, the survivors more often recover to a point where they can go back to work. “Researchers studied 4,354 workers who had cardiac arrests outside of a hospital between 2001 and 2011. While just 796, or 18 percent, were alive 30 days later, about three in four of the survivors were able to go back to work. Chances of return to work were 38 percent higher if a bystander performed CPR than if they didn’t.” Doing CPR restarts blood flow through a person’s body, which helps keep them alive until professional help can arrive. “While bystanders alone can’t ensure survival, immediate help from somebody nearby is essential. But to see the survival benefits from bystander aid, CPR training must be commonplace.” The study emphasizes both the importance of starting CPR immediately when a person’s heart stops and of knowing how to do CPR so that you can save a life if the situation ever arises. (Reuters)

Short bursts of walking during the day lower risk of death. Sitting for long periods of time can have serious health circumstances in the long run, but new research has found that even short periods of light activity can eliminate some of those risks. “The team used information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which includes data collected from an accelerometer, a device that measures motion. This enabled the researchers to study the activities of more than 3,600 adults representing the general U.S. population, including 383 adults with chronic kidney disease. Over the course of three years, 137 of these participants died as a result of various causes. In general, those who exercised more were less likely to die during the study period. Positive effects of exercise could be seen down to the level of 30 minutes per day of any kind of light activity. The researchers surmised this light activity could be attained merely by getting up to move around a few minutes every hour.” The researchers are quick to caution that a person should aim for more than just two minutes. But they say their findings show that light exercise at various times throughout the day can also have positive health effects. (Fox)

Being a little overweight may help diabetics live longer but remain prone to disease. Diabetes and obesity have long been associated with a variety of health problems including heart disease and stroke. But new research out this week shows that having a few extra pounds may be helpful in those with diabetes. “For the study, the team collected data on 10,568 people with diabetes who were free of heart disease. Over roughly 11 years of follow-up, they found that obese and overweight people were more likely to develop heart disease, including often-debilitating heart failure, compared with normal-weight people. They were also more likely — along with obese patients — to be hospitalized for heart problems. Overweight people, however, were less likely to die, compared with obese people and normal-weight individuals, the researchers found. Among all participants, underweight people fared worst in terms of survival. The team said the study’s findings are inconclusive because the influence of factors such as smoking and alcohol isn’t fully known. The study only showed an association between extra weight and longer survival, and not a cause-and-effect link. Also, the researchers said they didn’t have information on cause of death, fitness levels, or certain medications.” (CBS)