Posts Tagged ‘Life Line Screening UK’
December 17, 2012
With Christmas just around the corner and thoughts turning to the New Year and the opportunities it brings, give your friends and family a head start with these resolution friendly, fun and healthy gift ideas.
Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar when those elevenses hunger pangs kick in, why not treat your health conscious friend or relative to a Graze subscription this Christmas?
With a choice of over 100 delicious and healthy snacks, Graze boxes offer the perfect antidote to those of us who aspire to give up sweet treats in the New Year and are a firm favourite within the Life Line Screening team.
For more details, and to take a sneak peek at the food on offer head over to http://www.graze.com/uk/.
It’s no secret that we are fascinated by the emerging digital health and quantified self space and one piece of fitness based technology that has particularly caught our eye this year is the Fitbit.
Affordable, non-imposing and easy to use, the Fitbit is an ideal stocking filler for those looking to take a proactive approach to understanding and improving their health.
For more information on its uses and benefits, check out our review from earlier on in the year.
Running Earphones and Spotify Subscription
When you think about New Year’s resolutions, “getting fit” often springs to mind, and the team at Life Line Screening is no exception. But rather than stumping up the cash for an expensive single or joint membership at the gym for your fitness conscious friend or relative – why not invest in a pair of state-of-the-art shock resistant running earphones and a Spotify membership to aid their fitness focused New Year resolution?
To get things moving, Spotify has collated a number of fantastically up-beat, fitness focused playlists which can be subscribed to here.
Getting out and about is a fantastic way of not only clearing your head and de-stressing, but also integral to maintaining your fitness levels. There are a number of “rugged” camera options, but we are currently rather partial to the GoPro offering. Whether you’re going for a post-Christmas lunch hike, or an off-road cycle, the GoPro camera adds a completely new, fun dimension to getting active outdoors.
For more tips and advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the run up to the New Year, check out our healthy living pages.
December 14, 2012
With Christmas fast approaching, the inevitable supermarket raid is soon to commence – but what delights will you be feasting on this year?
When planning Christmas lunch, thoughts often turn to a meat centrepiece, but this week we’re going to share one of our favourite vegatarian alternatives – a festive nut roast.
Developed by food blogger and author Kerstin Rodgers and published on the Channel 4 recipes site, this deliciously warming recipe will offer either a hearty replacement or fantastic addition to any Christmas lunch – give it a go and let us know what you think!
250g of Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 fennel, thinly sliced
5 tbsp of olive oil
500g of mixed nuts
75ml olive oil
200g dried wild mushrooms
3 small onions, diced
3 cloves of garlic
A handful of parsley
3 tbsp walnut oil
150g roasted smoked almonds
50g dried cranberries
250g blue cheese, diced
150g of macadamia nuts
50g vegetarian Parmesan, finely grated
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas mark 4.
Place the sliced Jerusalem artichokes and fennel into a baking tray with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes until soft.
While the vegetables are baking, dry roast the pistachios and hazelnuts in a frying pan over a low heat, then grind finely in a food processor.
Soak the dried wild mushrooms in hot water, leave until soft, then drain, (keeping the water to make a mushroom gravy if you wish) and chop finely.
Fry the diced shallots for around five minutes until just starting to soften, then add the garlic, drained mushrooms and parsley and cook for a couple more minutes.
Combine the mushroom mixture and the ground nuts, adding a little walnut oil and season with salt and pepper.
Line the bottom of a greased 900g loaf tin with the smoked almonds and cranberries. Then add layers of the ingredients in the following order: mushroom mixture, diced blue cheese, mushroom mixture, whole macadamia nuts, mushroom mixture, roasted Jerusalem artichokes and fennel, mushroom mixture, finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Finally, decorate with a layer of smoked almonds and cranberries.
Pat the ingredients down firmly in the tin, cover with foil and put it in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 180°C, fan 160°C, gas mark 4.
Take it out of the oven and stick a skewer in the centre. The skewer should emerge hot.
Then, using a palette knife, pressing against the sides, turn out the loaf tin onto a plate.
Finally – serve, in slices, with parsley and pomegranate seeds and enjoy!
Have you planned your Christmas lunch yet? Do you think you’ll give this recipe a try? Let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter.
For more fantastic vegetarian alternatives from Kerstin, head over here and to learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and for more tasty recipes, please visit Life Line Screening’s healthy living pages.
December 11, 2012
If you have been celebrating Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, this week what better way to enjoy the remaining festivities than to make your own, very delicious Latkes?
A popular tradition during the Hanukkah festival, Latkes can be enjoyed with a variety of condiments from sour cream to apple sauce. However, here at Life Line Screening we fancied turning our hand to this tasty, and healthy, alternative.
1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 medium courgette, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Olive oil, for drizzling
Pre-heat the oven to 230°C and coat a baking sheet in vegetable spray.
Place the courgette and sweet potato into a mixing bowl and gradually drop in the rosemary, parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg whites, salt and pepper – mixing the ingredients until combined.
Heat 3tsp vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat, and add the vegetable mixture in – using a spatula to evenly distribute the mix across the pan.
Drizzle olive oil over the top and cook in the pan for a maximum of eight minutes, or until the edges of the mixture begin to brown.
Remove the pancake (carefully) from the pan, and place the cooked side down onto the pre-prepared baking tray.
Cook in the oven for a further 20 – 25 minutes at 230°C, or until the pancake begins to brown.
Once you’ve allowed it to cool for a couple of minutes it’s time to get stuck in! These are great either on their own or with a tasty accompaniment (We are particularly partial to sour cream).
Are you celebrating Hanukkah? Do you think you’ll give this recipe a try? Let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter.
To learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and for more tasty recipes, please visit Life Line Screening’s healthy living pages.
November 27, 2012
Throughout November, we’ve been spending extra time focusing on men’s health. Prostate cancer is a huge focus during Movember, the month-long campaign that raises awareness and funds for the disease. But what else should we be thinking about when it comes to men’s health?
Asking questions is the first step to spreading education and awareness. Learning more about any type of men’s health issue—prostate cancer and beyond—is a great way to be proactive in your health and the health of your loved ones.
What Should You Know?
Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about men’s health.
- My father suffered a heart attack. Should I be worried about having one?
Family history can raise your risk for developing the condition, but it’s not the only factor involved. Just because your father had a heart attack doesn’t guarantee you will. Lowering as many other heart disease risk factors as you can is a good idea; focus on eating a healthy diet, staying active, keeping your stress levels down and avoiding smoking and heavy alcohol consumption. Preventive health screenings can also help by identifying a heart problem before it gets worse.
- I rarely exercise, but I know I need to get in shape. How should I start?
It’s great that you’re getting back into exercising, but don’t push yourself too hard too soon. Start out slowly and gradually build up the difficulty level of your fitness regimens. Choose an exercise you’ll enjoy and stick to long-term, not something you dread that you’ll likely abandon after a few tries. Also, try exercising with other people. Having an obligation to exercise because someone else is counting on you makes it harder to back out.
- Is alcohol good for me or bad for me?
Research has consistently shown that alcohol, if consumed in moderation, can lower risk of health conditions, specifically heart disease. Experts say wine, beer and spirits have this power. On the contrary, heavy alcohol consumption can raise your risk for dangerous conditions, so less is more.
- What’s the leading cause of death for men in the UK?
Heart disease is consistently the leading cause of death for both men and women in the UK. Cancer is the second most common killer of men. A disease specific to men, prostate cancer, ranks sixth.
- My doctor says my cholesterol is too high. What foods can I eat to lower it?
Heart-healthy foods can gradually help bring your cholesterol back to healthy levels. Eat foods like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts and unprocessed protein (fish and chicken are best).
- Only women suffer from osteoporosis or breast cancer, right?
Wrong. Even though both conditions are diagnosed more frequently in women than in men, some men do suffer from the diseases. Don’t overlook any symptoms just because the conditions are rare for men; the fact is that osteoporosis and breast cancer can happen to men, too.
The staff at Life Line Screening UK are actively supporting men’s health awareness and prevention through Movember, the global campaign in which men register to grow moustaches and raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. Five male employees based at the head office in Worthing, West Sussex are currently nurturing moustaches as part of this month-long initiative.
Do you want to contribute to raising awareness and funds for men’s health? Donate to the Life Line Screening Movember team today.
July 17, 2012
Most of us associate cigarettes with ill-health, just as we view alcohol as a destructive force to our bodies and to some extent, society. But what about sugar? A recent study by the University of California claims that sugar contributes to 35million deaths a year worldwide. The report argues that because it changes the body’s metabolism, raises blood pressure, changes the balance of hormones, and harms the liver, sugar should be regulated like tobacco and alcohol.
It would be hard to imagine sugar being regulated in the same way, but the data in the report makes a compelling case against our favourite sweet treats. Particularly shocking is the claim that “for the first time in human history, non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, pose a greater health burden worldwide than infectious disease”. Sugar is, of course, a culprit in the development of these diseases, but how would you feel about regulation and taxation on sugary foods? Will it encourage us to take responsibility for our health and lifestyle?
Luckily, the article emphasises that sugar is only toxic in excessive amounts, and that a moderate amount as part of a healthy diet is fine. However, with obesity now a bigger problem than malnourishment, the scientists are right when they say that ‘A little is not a problem but a lot kills – slowly.’
Life Line Screening Selected To Present Unique Research at the 25th World Congress of the International Union of Angiology
June 29, 2012
Authored by Dr John Coltart (Medical Director) and Dr Mohsen Chabok (Clinical Manager), in partnership with Imperial College London, the research highlights shortages in current screening recommendations for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) within the UK.
We are really pleased to have been invited to present our joint paper, with Imperial College London, on recent research into Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) at the prestigious 25th World Congress of the International Union of Angiology (IUA) this weekend. The research highlights the need for a greater focus on screening, and the importance of private screening for those falling outside the current selection threshold of the National Programme.
With the full article due to be published soon, the research papers are based on data from 2,049 participants between mid 2008 and 2011 who were identified as having AAA by ultrasound screening via our health screening services. The research showed that 60% of the cohort fell within the National Programme’s guidelines to screen males aged 65+, leaving 40% outside of the scope of the current programme.
The five-day Silver Jubilee event (July 1st – 5th, 2012), this year held in Prague, will be attended by a broad range of vascular professionals. These include internists, surgeons, radiologists and other specialists – all keen to share ideas, knowledge and progress within the area of cardiovascular disease, a key concern wherever you are in the world.
Dr Chabok will be joining a number of leading lights within the global scientific community, “We have closely followed and attended the Congress in the past and as such, are extremely honoured to have been selected to present our findings to such a reputable audience at this prestigious event,” said Chabok. “Angiology is an ever-changing field and as such, we are very much looking forward to not only introducing our peers to this latest research, but also, learning and collaborating with the wider global scientific community.”
After a two-round evaluation process, Dr Chabok’s research has also been nominated for the IUA Presidential Prize awarded to young researchers.
Dr Chabok will be presenting the papers – “Epidemiological study and risk analysis in men and women of different age with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)”, and “Risk factor analysis for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) in a cohort of 288 women with AAA” within the course of the congress.
June 27, 2012
The concerns of health experts from the Nuffield Health charity recently sparked a public reaction. Earlier this week it was reported that over half of women in the UK have a waistline that measures larger than the recommended health guidelines.
The survey of 30,000 women found that the average waist measured 84.9cm (33.43in), whilst the recommended healthy size is 80cm (31.49in). The study also found that there was a tendency towards an even larger average measurement among women based in the North of England.
The average body mass index (BMI) was also found to be above the healthy range in 57% of women.
Professional head of physicians and diagnostics at Nuffield health, Dr Deniszczyc, explained that this higher percentage of the female population was a significant. And that obesity increased the risks of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and infertility.
It is also worth noting that the survey conducted only collected data on women, rather than men. However, the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, associated with obesity, are still present.
It is certainly true that people come in different shapes and sizes. Guidelines are just that, and there are of course instances where a person’s BMI may be on the boundary between health and overweight yet they are in every other way considered to be relatively healthy. This may be due to something such as high muscle mass, which is heavier than fat tissue.
BMI is a measurement of weight in relation to height. And whilst an effective indicator, it is also important to consider multiple factors. We can also look at current lifestyle; inclusive of diet, levels of physical activity and any existing medical conditions.
June 22, 2012
With National Transplant Week fast approaching, we have seen significant developments in organ and tissue transplant legislation.
A new ‘presumed consent’ policy, regarding the Wales Organ Donation Bill White Paper, proposes that at the age of 18 years Welsh citizens can either opt to donate or not donate their organs and tissue for transplantation. The key aspect of change and potential contention is that the responsibility lies with the person to specify their choice. If a decision on organ donation is not made, it will be taken as confirmation that they are happy to donate. Referred to as the ‘soft launch for the soft opt-out’ by the BBC, this policy is due to come into force in 2015.
“We are seeking a change in the law to increase the number of organ and tissue donors and to save lives. One donor can improve or save the lives of up to nine other people by donating their organs and many more through the donation of their tissues.” highlighted Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Government’s Health Minister.
In essence, ‘presumed consent’ means changing the default choice on organ donation; it is assumed that a person wants to donate their organs, unless stated otherwise, whereas the current system assumes the opposite.
In a previous statement on the Wales Organ Donation Bill White Paper the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) organisation cites research in support of the legislation that “most people in the UK would accept an organ if they needed a transplant but only 29% of us have committed to donate an organ after our death by joining the Organ Donor Register (ODR).” And that the NHSBT “welcomes any change that encourages people to discuss and support organ donation and will work within whatever legislative framework is introduced… As the UK Organ Donor Organisation, NHSBT will be involved in implementation of the new policy.”
Despite this, there are naturally counter perspectives and religious groups have expressed concern in response to the policy change. A recent statement from bishops of the Church of Wales echoed a feeling often present in discussions on the topic that it is important to maintain the notion of an organ being donated as a ‘gift’, rather than taken.
What are your thoughts on organ donation? Do you feel that ‘presumed consent’ is a step in the right direction?
June 14, 2012
Last week saw a considerable amount of discussion in the health press around a recent research study looking at the relationship between clinical depression and exercise.
The current government recommendation for sufferers, as set out by The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), stands at three sessions of exercise per week. This research has challenged the previously accepted convention that exercise is beneficial for depression. As the aforementioned study, funded by the NHS has published results in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) to the contrary.
Depression is a mental health condition that affects approximately one in ten of the UK population at some point. Those with depression often can experience psychological feelings such as hopelessness and negativity and physical symptoms including fatigue, poor sleep and changes in appetite.
The NHS study tested 361 participants over a period of 8 months and aimed to identify if “depressed patients that were given additional support to encourage exercise proved beneficial”. This study sought to specifically investigate the effectiveness of encouraging patients to do more exercise, on depression. So whether the additional support and advice regarding exercise is of value, over and above the standard treatment for depression.
This is significant as the results found that the group of patients that were advised to exercise more frequently did not experience any additional benefits from those who experienced standard care through traditional treatment, such as medication. It is also important to note that the patients within the group that were advised to exercise did achieve a higher level of physical activity than those who were not supported in this way.
As reported in The Guardian, Exeter University professor John Campbell commented that “This carefully designed research study has shown that exercise does not appear to be effective in treating depression.”
However, not everyone is willing to accept these findings out right. One such person who has referenced their personal experience with depression is Mark Rice-Oxley, who has written a book on the topic. In his article “I believe exercise can help people beat depression” he airs some interesting thoughts on the role of ‘autonomous exercise’, whereby one does physical activity of their own volition rather than being told or made to do it, as an empowering thing that can put those with depression back in control. More simply, he also suggests that the belief that exercise will lead to recovery establishes a virtuous circle.
So does this mean that positive effects of exercise on depression are largely down to the placebo effect? Where people believe that their activity will have help remedy their condition, resulting in increasingly positive feelings, as expected?
What do you think of these new findings? Many have come across depression through family, friends or even personal experience; do you feel that exercise played a part in their recovery?
To find out more about healthy living and to book a health screening, visit the Life Line Screening website at www.lifelinescreening.co.uk. Alternatively, check out our blog for more on relevant health news and to share your view.
June 12, 2012
Diabetes Week is an annual campaign, which takes place this week, from 10th to 16th June. The event is championed by the UK’s foremost diabetes charity Diabetes UK, who has been asking people to “Make a Connection” and spread awareness, support and raise funding for diabetes sufferers across the UK. Throughout a variety of activities, including a recent Guinness World Record attempt for the most waists measured in 8 hours, Diabetes UK aims to support over 10 million people across the UK who have either been diagnosed with diabetes or are at a high risk of developing the condition.
Diabetes (also known as diabetes mellitus) is a condition where the body is not able to adequately control blood sugar levels:
Type 1 – This is where body does not produce insulin, the hormone needed to process glucose for energy. This is the least common of the two, accounting for around 10% of cases in the UK. Treatment and maintenance of Type 1 diabetes includes regular injections of insulin to enable the body function correctly.
Type 2 – Type 2 diabetes is far more common and is where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin produced does not work properly. This condition can largely be controlled through a healthy diet and monitoring blood glucose level. Type 2 is progressive however and can, on some occasions, develop into Type 1.
Here at Life Line Screening we test for Type 2 diabetes using a glucose screening that tests for blood sugar levels, helping to not only identify diabetes, but also provide information about how those who have already been diagnosed are managing the condition.
A recent BBC article has highlighted the importance of an “early and aggressive” screening approach to reducing the number of diabetes cases among those who are close to developing the condition. Blood sugar levels typically rise ahead of reaching a diabetic level of glucose (measured in milligrams per decilitre, or mg/dL), an indicator that the patient could be pre-diabetic. Bringing this level back within a healthy range can, in some cases actually prevent a pre-diabetic from developing diabetes – an important consideration, given that those with pre-diabetes are five to six times more likely to develop diabetes and are also at greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
International Diabetes Federation – World Diabetes Day 14th November