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Oakland Spine News

Dr. Brad’s Weekly Health Update: Stuck in traffic? It might be hurting your health

Traffic jams pose dangers to health

Traffic jams pose dangers to health.

When stopped at intersections or stuck in a traffic jam, vehicles slow down, stop, rev up, and move closer together. Researchers say that in these situations, levels of peak particle concentration can be up to 29 times greater than those found in free-flowing traffic. Furthermore, when cars move slowly, drivers are exposed air pollution for longer periods of time, allowing pollution to linger and accumulate. As a result, cars waiting in traffic jams or at stop lights contain up to 40% more pollution than those that are moving. To minimize the harmful effects of traffic, limit your exposure by keeping windows shut, turning fans off, and increasing the distance between you and the car in front.” Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts, August 2016

Back and neck injuries are one of the most common causes of work disability.

An analysis of 94 studies published between January 1, 2004 and September 1, 2013 revealed that more than 50% of work-related disability occurrences are the result of musculoskeletal injuries, primarily related to the spine. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, September 2016

This dangerous heart problem runs in the family.

A deadly heart condition called an aortic dissection—a sudden tear in one of the body’s main arteries that can result in death—can run in families and occur at a similar age. Study co-author Dr. John Elefteriades writes, “If a family member suffered an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection, chances are at least 1 in 8 that you may experience something similar in the future… If patients are approaching the age at which one of their family members suffered an aortic dissection, they need to be very vigilant.” Annals of Thoracic Surgery, August 2016

Get more essential fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve heart health and help ward off heart disease. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests these sources to ensure you’re getting these essential fatty acids: oils from soybeans, flaxseed, and canola; walnuts or walnut oil; fatty fish, including salmon, mackerel, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna; and eggs labeled as containing omega-3 fatty acids. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, August 2016

FDA recommends blood donations be tested for Zika.

Due to uncertainty of how the Zika virus is transmitted, the Food and Drug Administration now recommends that the nation’s entire blood supply be routinely screened for the virus. The mosquito-borne Zika virus has caused an epidemic of birth defects that leave newborns with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains known as microcephaly. FDA officials note the risk of blood transmission is considered very likely based on current evidence of how Zika and similar viruses are spread. Additionally, nearly 4 out of 5 infected with Zika virus do not become ill, which makes it difficult to determine whose blood might carry the pathogen. The FDA notes the new recommendations will stay in place until the threat of Zika transmission is reduced. Food and Drug Administration, August 2016

Our mission is to help our patients to live longer, healthier, happier, pain-free lives.

Yours in health,

Dr. Brad Butler, DC