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Today's Geriatric Medicine
E-Newsletter    September 2023
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Editor's E-Note

We should keep our cell phone calls short. That’s the message of a new study published in the European Society of Cardiology’s journal European Heart Journal — Digital Health, suggesting that calls of longer than 30 minutes are associated with a rise in hypertension.

In addition to reading our e-newsletter, be sure to visit Today’s Geriatric Medicine’s website at www.TodaysGeriatricMedicine.com, where you’ll find news and information that’s relevant and reliable. We welcome your feedback at TGMeditor@gvpub.com. Follow Today’s Geriatric Medicine on Facebook and Twitter, too.

— Kate Jackson, editor
In This E-Newsletter
E-News Exclusive
Hold the Phone

Talking on a mobile for 30 minutes or more per week is linked with a 12% increased risk of high blood pressure compared with less than 30 minutes, according to research published recently in European Heart Journal – Digital Health, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology.

“It’s the number of minutes people spend talking on a mobile that matter for heart health, with more minutes meaning greater risk,” says study author Professor Xianhui Qin of Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China. “Years of use or employing a hands-free set-up had no influence on the likelihood of developing high blood pressure. More studies are needed to confirm the findings.”

Almost three-quarters of the global population aged 10 and over own a mobile phone. Nearly 1.3 billion adults aged 30 to 79 years worldwide have high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke and a leading cause of premature death globally. Mobile phones emit low levels of radiofrequency energy, which has been linked with rises in blood pressure after short-term exposure. Results of previous studies on mobile phone use and blood pressure were inconsistent, potentially because they included calls, texts, gaming, and so on.

This study examined the relationship between making and receiving phone calls and new-onset hypertension. The study used data from the UK Biobank. A total of 212,046 adults aged 37 to 73 years without hypertension were included. Information on the use of a mobile phone to make and receive calls was collected through a self-reported touchscreen questionnaire at baseline, including years of use, hours per week, and using a hands-free device/speakerphone. Participants who used a mobile phone at least once a week to make or receive calls were defined as mobile phone users.

Other Geriatric News
Who’s a Doctor?
There’s been controversy over what professionals are allowed to call themselves “doctor.” In Florida, a law was recently passed to prohibit advanced practice nurses with doctorates from identifying and introducing themselves as “Dr.” An opinion piece in StatNews looks at the issue.

A Medical Hive Mind
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences points to practice of doctors working alone as a contributor to misdiagnoses. The team of researchers, led by Damon Centola, a professor and director of the Network Dynamics Group at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication, suggest that more doctors working together can boost the odds of an accurate diagnosis and an optimal outcome.

Shedding Light on Treatment-Resistant Hypertension
Novel research suggests that apparent resistant hypertension, high blood pressure that doesn’t respond adequately to medication, is relatively common, affecting one in 10 patients with hypertension. Science Daily reports on the study published in the journal Hypertension.

Can an Amino Acid Slow Aging?
Mice fed taurine—an amino acid—lived longer, healthier lives. While there’s no evidence it can do the same thing for humans, a new study demonstrates and associates between lower levels of the amino acid and conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Science News reports on the research.
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