Roundup: Cancer Survivors Face Higher Heart Disease Risks; Too Much Napping Warning Sign for Alzheimer's; and Beach Swimming Advisories

Cancer Survivors may be at Higher Risk for Heart Disease, Researchers Say

More people than ever are surviving cancer because of advancements in treatment and earlier detection, but these patients may face a higher risk of heart disease, a new study has found.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, reviewed the medical records of more than 630,000 people in the U.K., including over 100,000 survivors of a range of cancers.

They found higher risks of blood clots in the veins among survivors of most cancers. Risks decreased over time, but were still higher than normal for more than five years after a cancer diagnosis. Survivors of half of the 20 cancers studied also faced increased risks of heart muscle damage, or cardiomyopathy, and heart failure.

Some cancer survivors had a higher risk of coronary artery disease and stroke, including those who were treated for blood cancers.

What causes the increased risks of cardiovascular disease? Researcher concluded they are several factors, including the use of chemotherapeutic agents in cancer treatment that have toxic effects on the heart, and the impact of the cancer itself on the blood and vascular system in a survivor. Lifestyle risk factors that are common for both cancer and heart disease, such as obesity, poor diets and lack of regular exercise, are also factors.

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Excessive Napping May Be Warning Sign of Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Finds

Taking naps during the day, might indicate an early warning sign that you have Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say in a new study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Parts of the brain that keep you awake during the day are damaged in the early stages of the Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. People with Alzheimer’s may nap too much before their memory is affected and they start forgetting things, researchers said.

As part of the study, the researchers analyzed the brains of 13 deceased Alzheimer’s patients and seven people without the disease. They concluded that regions of the brain responsible for keeping people awake during the day are among the first damaged by the disease.

The researchers found that damage to these parts of the brain involved in keeping you awake was caused by a protein called tau. In the Alzheimer’s-affected brains studied, there was significant tau buildup in all wakefulness-promoting brain regions.

A new report by the National Center for Health Statistics early this year found the rate of Americans who died from dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, has more than doubled from 30.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2000 to 66.7 in 2017.

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Health Officials Issue No-Swim Advisories for Some Beaches

Several beaches in Miami-Dade County have been placed under a no-swim advisory by public health officials because of high amounts of enterococci bacteria found in the water.

Health officials statewide examine water samples on a regular basis and post warnings online under the Florida Healthy Beaches program.

Enterococci make up a type of bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. Health officials said the traces of enterococci indicates fecal contamination, which may come from storm water run-off, wildlife, pets and human sewage.

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