Plastic surgery may expose you to deadly infections! – Issue 52

Dear Health-Conscious Friend,

As you age, you probably want to continue feeling and looking great. Some folks feel a little “nip and tuck” is the best way to achieve this goal.

But a new report links this popular cosmetic surgery with a dangerous infection. This drug-resistant “superbug” infects more than 90,000 Americans each year.

Plus, read how opening your heart to love through a happy marriage has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Find out more about this and other health benefits—in today’s Monday Edition of Health News Weekly™!

Cosmetic Surgery May Include a Dose of MRSA!

Layne Lowery

Here’s some news to make your skin crawl…

A small number of facelift patients were infected with the antibiotic-resistant staph infection known as MRSA, a new study reported.

This strain of bacteria has been known to cause potentially deadly infections. The antibiotic methicillin often is used successfully to treat these infections.

But MRSA is a dangerous mutant strain of bacterium resistant to methicillin, penicillin and amoxicillin—and has a higher fatality rate!

MRSA has become the most frequent cause of skin and soft tissue infections among emergency department patients in the United States.!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said MRSA occurs most frequently among patients who:

  • Undergo invasive medical procedures
  • Have weakened immune systems
  • Receive treatment in hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis centers

For the new study, Dr. Richard A. Zoumalan and Dr. David B. Rosenberg examined medical records of 780 patients who had facelifts at one outpatient surgical center between 2001 and 2007.

They found that five patients developed infections at the surgical site. Four of them tested positive for MRSA.

Two of the patients who tested positive for MRSA were admitted to a hospital for antibiotic therapy. Researchers said both patients may have been exposed to MRSA before their facelifts.

Zoumalan said that because the rate of infection after facelift surgery is extremely low—some doctors may be less careful about sterilizing the environment for the procedure.

Zoumalan and Rosenberg said the rise of MRSA infections should prompt facial plastic surgeons to screen patients more carefully. This could help them identify those who are at increased risk for infection.

Blood Sugar Imbalances May Trigger
Urinary Problems

Tiffany Lowery

If you’re a man with blood sugar problems—you might also find yourself making frequent nightly bathroom visits.

A report in the March issue of Diabetes Care said a new study shows men with diabetes are at increased risk for lower urinary tract problems and frequent nighttime urination. This is especially true for African-American men with diabetes.

Researchers examined the link between diabetes and prostate enlargement—known as benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH. This condition, common in older men, can cause frequent urination and a weak, dribbling urine stream.

Dr. Aruna V. Sarma and colleagues at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor found that diabetes significantly increased the risk of frequent urination—particularly at night—and feelings of urgency.

The investigators found the link between diabetes and lower urinary tract symptoms was greater among the African-American men than in the Caucasian men.

The researchers said there were no significant associations between diabetes and prostate size. They said this suggests diabetes may be less related to prostate growth—and have more impact on lower urinary tract function.

Fast Fact

Here’s a nutritious and delicious way to help lower your risk of suffering from cancer and other diseases. Eat raw nuts of any kind—except peanuts, which could cause an allergic reaction.

Happily Married? You’ll Have a Happier Heart!

Roz Roscoe, Staff Writer

Finding your soul mate may fulfill your hearts desire. But a new study said marital bliss is just as good for your literal heart!

A Brigham Young University study said happily married people have lower blood pressure than unhappy married people or singles. Study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a psychologist who specializes in relationships and health, said this appears to be a unique health benefit of having a happy marriage.

Investigators studied 204 married adults and 99 single adults who wore portable blood pressure monitors for 24 hours. The monitors recorded blood pressure at random intervals.

The monitors provided about 72 readings—in contrast with one or two readings you might get in a doctors office or clinic. The researchers wanted to capture participants’ blood pressure while participating in normal life activities.

Overall, happily married people scored four points lower on the blood pressure readings than single adults. The study also found that unhappily married adults have higher blood pressure than both happily married and single adults.

Holt-Lunstad said that spouses can encourage each other to adopt healthy habits—such as eating a healthy diet. People in happy marriages also have a source of emotional support, she said.

The researchers report that blood pressure among married people—especially those in happy marriages—dipped more during sleep than in single people.

“Research has shown that people whose blood pressure remains high throughout the night are at much greater risk of cardiovascular problems than people whose blood pressure dips,” Holt-Lunstad said.

The study was published in the March 20 issue of the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Health E-Hints

Black Tea and Blood Sugar

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests a one-gram cup of black tea may have a positive effect on blood sugar levels. Judith Bryans and colleagues from King’s College London and the University of Central Lancashire said black tea appears to stimulate insulin production and reduce blood sugar levels.

The researchers suggest that black tea could curb blood glucose spikes—and help keep your blood glucose levels steady throughout the day!