September 10th, 2010
07:07 PM ET

Work long hours? Stay in shape to lower risk of heart disease

Working long hours increases the risk of dying from heart disease but staying in shape can eliminate that risk, according to a new study.

"Those working more than 45 hours a week had two times the risk of cardiovascular mortality compared to those working normal hours, less than 40 hours per week," said lead study author Andreas Holtermann.  If you are in good shape and you work out, than working long hours does not change your risk level, he said.

5,000 white men, aged between 40 and 59 and tracked for more than 30 years, were the focus of the study,  published in Heart.

Working additional hours stresses the cardiovascular system and boosts the nervous system causing your heart rate and blood pressure to elevate, according to the study.  But if you're fit, your body recovers faster and the physiological stress from working those long days is reduced, the research showed.

So if you are working long hours, your risk of dying of  heart disease can come down to  whether you are getting enough exercise.

Only 3 to 5 percent of adults work out 30 minutes a day, five days a week according to The National Institutes of Health.  Exercising two to three times a week, 30 minutes each time will improve your physical fitness, said Holtermann. Maintain a heart rate between 50 and 85 percent of maximum during those workouts according to The American Heart Association.

September 10th, 2010
05:28 PM ET

Can you really re-grow a fingertip?

On a normal day, Dr. Stephen Badylak’s office at the University of Pittsburgh receives five or six e-mails requesting help from people who’ve lost various body parts, particularly fingertips or toe tips.  Yesterday, because of our Empowered Patient article about Deepa Kulkarni, a woman whose pinky tip grew back after treatment, his office received several hundred, the doctor told us.

This, coupled with the nearly 1,000 comments on our article yesterday tells us many of you are interested in this new field called regenerative medicine and what it can and cannot do.


September 10th, 2010
11:33 AM ET

Former worker: '100 percent' sure cancer is linked to Ground Zero

In the days following the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in 2001, a smoky pall hung over lower Manhattan. It was toxic dust that would linger for months.

"It was like a horror movie," said Jevon Thomas, 44, who worked at Ground Zero for more than a year. "Everywhere you went there was dust. It was in the air. It was on the ground. It was on everything you touched, everything you saw."

That dust - and certain toxic components it contained, like dioxin, benzene, and asbestos - is at the center of an emotional drama still playing out nine years after the September 11 attacks. Many Ground Zero workers, like Thomas (he developed a rare cancer called epithelioid sarcoma), believe that their cancers stem from that dust, but science does not support that belief. FULL POST

September 10th, 2010
10:34 AM ET

Body size matters with colon cancer

Carrying excess weight in the waist and hips may increase an older woman's risk of dying from colon cancer, according to a new study in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Healthy seniors who maintained a normal weight before getting diagnosed were more likely to survive, the study found.

For an average of 10 years, researchers followed about 1,100 postmenopausal women suffering from colon cancer and found heavier women were more likely to die from the disease than thinner women in the same age group. They suspected more than added weight was to blame. Scientists looked at data for weight, body mass index, or BMI, waist size and waist-to-hip ratio and found that carrying extra pounds at the waist and hips appeared to be more of a factor in colon cancer deaths than overall weight or BMI.


September 10th, 2010
10:33 AM ET

Identify pills with new NIH web tool

Poison control centers get more than 1 million calls a year about medicines that need to be identified. And maybe you've been in situations when pills seem to wander away from their labeled bottles, and you don't know what they are.

Now the National Institutes of Health is developing a way to quickly identify medications based on appearance. Pillbox, in its beta testing phase, gives possibilities for your mystery pill based on its shape, color, size, imprint, and "scoring" (how many pieces it could be broken into based on those little lines).


September 10th, 2010
08:43 AM ET

What are healthy qualities in infant formula?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Question asked by Angela Thiery-Devins, Shelton, Washington: I have a 9-month old and need to move to formula. When I looked at the back of the formula packages, I was shocked to learn that the first ingredient in of most of them was corn syrup solids. Isn't that sugar? What should I be looking for in a formula? I am a concerned mom just trying to do the right thing for my baby. Thank you. FULL POST

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.