Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Physical activity and the risk of developing lung cancer among smokers: A meta-analysis

In order to investigate the relationship between physical activity and lung cancer among smokers and whether this relationship differed according to physical activity intensity, smoking status, and gender, we conducted a meta analysis. The paper reporting on this study was just published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Dr. Laurien Buffart is the first author of this publication.
Pooled analysis of the results of 7 cohort studies showed that physical activity was associated with a somewhat reduced risk of lung cancer in smokers. We did not find clear dose–response relationship regarding exercise or smoking intensity, i.e. high levels of physical activity did not show a higher risk reduction than moderate physical activity levels, and the association between physical activity and risk reduction did not differ between heavy and light smokers.
Results of this meta-analysis thus indicate that leisure time physical activity is associated with reduced risk of developing lung cancer among smokers. But, of course, non smoking is much more important and effective in preventing lung cancer .

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

An Amsterdam University Medical alliance

Today the two university medical centers in the Amsterdam region, VU University Medical Center, and the Amsterdam Medical center of the University of Amsterdam signed an alliance agreement. NRC Handelsblad -one of the Dutch national newspapers- covered this important development in today's paper and their website. The two centers will join forces to face the grand challenges for health care and biomedical research and education. Regarding scientific research, the two centers will develop joined translational research focus areas, organized in joined research institutes, based on their existing excellence in oncology, neurosciences, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases and immunology, gastro-intestinal and metabolic disease, and public health and movement sciences. With this concentration in expertise, we will be able to further improve our international positions in these important research areas and contribute even more significantly to improving health care, prevention and rehabilitation.

Longer sleep means slimmer kids?

More and more research indicates that sufficient sleep helps to prevent overweight and obesity. Lack of sleep may lead to hormonal disturbances related to increased likelihood to gain unnecessary weight and become overweight, and lack of sleep may also be associated with lower physical activity and exercise levels or my lead to overeating. In our ENERGY study data we have now also explored the association between sleep habits and weight status in 10-12 year old schoolchildren across 7 countries in Europe. Few studies have differentiated between weekday and weekend day sleep duration in their association with indicators of weight status in children. Therefore, we examined the association of week and weekend day sleep duration with indicators of body composition, i.e. measured body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC). The paper presenting the results of these analyses is now published in the journal PLOS One. In our analyses we adjusted for other behaviors that have been found te be associated with overweight/obesity (dietary, physical; activity and sedentary behaviors). Our results confirmed earlier findings that kids who sleep have lower BMIs and WCs. The association with weekday sleep were stronger than for weekend sleep.