World no Tobacco Day

Tobacco use is one of the greatest threats ever posed to global public health: it is responsible for the death of one adult every 6 seconds and accounts for one in 10 of all deaths. Every year, smoking kills over 7 million people, 890,000 of which are passive smokers*. Half of all current smokers will die from a disease caused by smoking.

Documented consequences of tobacco use include:

  • Cancer: tobacco use is responsible for 16 cancers
    • In first position, lung cancer: tobacco smoking is responsible for two thirds of lung cancer deaths. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of lung cancer: after 10 years of quitting smoking, risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.
    • It is also responsible for several other cancers: ENT, oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix, etc.
  • Chronic respiratory diseases:
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular diseases:
    • A smoker is 2 to 3 times more likely to develop a cardiovascular disease than a non-smoker.
    • For women, the combination of birth control pills and smoking multiplies the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease, particularly after the age of 35.
  • Osteoporosis: tobacco use raises the risk of bone demineralisation.
  • Foetal growth abnormality: exposure to tobacco smoke toxins (through maternal smoking or second-hand smoke) can interfere with the infant’s lung growth and function.

Second-hand smoke kills

« Second-hand smoke” corresponds to being exposed to tobacco smoke in a closed space. This smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Though smoke may be invisible and odourless, it can linger in the air for up to five hours and cause severe chronic cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer.

Implementing a prevention and treatment plan

Most smokers who are aware of the dangers of smoking would like to quit. Advice and treatment may double the chances of successfully quitting.

An adapted medical check-up can identify risk factors that act in a synergistic manner to induce early cardiovascular aging.

Nescens Clinique de Genolier specialises in preventive medicine, lifestyle-related diseases, and aging better. The physicians at its Centre for Preventive Medicine offer various specialised medical check-ups.

  1. WHO data

European Obesity Day

Obesity currently affects 1.4 billion people over the age of 20 worldwide, with 2.8 million people dying from obesity each year.1

The World Health Organization (OMS) defines overweight and obesity as “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health”. Obesity should be considered a disease. It can have many psychological and social complications, but especially, physical complications: diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, joint damage, sources of disability, and some cancers.

Although inaccurate, body mass index (BMI), correlated with the amount of body fat, is the most commonly used measurement to assess the population’s excess weight and obesity. It is measured by dividing a person’s weight (in kg) by the square of their height (in m²). The WHO considers a person with a BMI greater than or equal to 25 kg/m2 as being overweight and a person with a BMI greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2 as obese. A more precise measurement can be obtained by radiologic analysis (DEXA – Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) of morphometry and body composition.

Obesity is linked to changing lifestyles and some environmental and economic conditions. It is also promoted by:

  • Eating disorders (excessive calorie intake)
  • Psychological disorders (stress can generate compensation through food)
  • Genetic factors (70% of obese people have at least one relative in the same situation)
  • Lack of sleep (epidemiological association between short sleep and high body mass index shown by different studies)
  • Insufficient daily energy expenditure (lack of daily physical exercise, sedentary lifestyle)

Alter-G: an anti-gravity treadmill developed by NASA

Alter-G uses a technology originally designed by NASA. It enables training sessions while decreasing the impact of weight and load on lower limb joints (hips, knees, ankles and feet).

This treadmill is particularly beneficial for weight management exercises: conditioning, maintaining caloric expenditure, carrying out safe exercises, enabling target body weight to be felt and drawing motivation from this feeling, decreasing weight-related injuries, etc.

Alter-G uses a state-of-the-art, differential air pressure technology. It generates a powerful lifting force, producing a precise weightlessness ranging from 20% to 100% (full load) of body weight. The runner wears zipped neoprene shorts in the airtight chamber, which is pressurised and calibrated to allow full control of weight reduction. The load can then be adjusted to the pain threshold, allowing the physiotherapist to precisely measure and track progress.

Nescens Clinique de Genolier is an establishment specialising in preventive health, the management of lifestyle-related diseases and better ageing. The doctors at its Preventive Medicine Centre offer a variety of check-ups and specialised health assessments, one of which is specifically aimed at people with complications typically associated with being overweight: La Cure Nescens.

  1. WHO data

World Hypertension Day

Each year, at least 7.1 million people around the world die as a result of high blood pressure.1

High blood pressure is one of many chronic diseases whose onset is largely due to risk factors relating to our lifestyles:

  • poor diet
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • smoking

These are the factors that explain the large majority of deaths caused by chronic diseases which affect both men and women of all ages, all over the world.

A recent study shows that adults with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 30 kg/m2 have high blood pressure in 22% of cases. Instead, for those with a BMI that is greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2, this figure significantly increases to around 40.2%.2

Going for regular medical check-ups enables contributory factors (family history, diseases, lifestyle) to be identified and high blood pressure to be detected at an early stage so it can be better treated. However, it also allows a real prevention strategy to be established, targeting behavioural risk factors. It enables patients to be supported to achieve lasting changes, especially in terms of weight reduction for overweight patients. Indeed, although excess body fat is not the only reason for high blood pressure, it is an aggravating factor.

Helping patients understand how they can better manage their weight with comprehensive medical, nutritional, physical and behavioural care is essential in preventing chronic diseases and their causes.

Nescens Clinique de Genolier specialises in preventive medicine, lifestyle-related diseases, and aging better. The physicians at its Centre for Preventive Medicine offer various specialised medical check-ups.

  1. WHO data
  2. “Adiposopathy: sick fat causes high blood sugar, high blood pressure and dyslipidemia”, Harold Bays MD, FACP, et al. Future Medicine. 10.1517/14796678.1.1.39

International Women’s Day, let’s take your health to heart!

Now a public health priority across Europe due to its associated mortality rate, cardiovascular disease among women remains minimised, while still under-prevented and under-screened.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, cardiovascular diseases are not a male-specific issue. In the USA as in Europe, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality among women, often ahead of cancer. The number of hospitalisations resulting from certain cardiac pathologies such as heart attacks increases among women aged 45 to 54, whereas it decreases among men of the same age.

The reason these diseases are affecting women at an increasingly young age is that, over the past twenty years, their lifestyle has become comparable to that of men. Lack of exercise, a poorly-balanced diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, stress, social uncertainty, isolation… are all contributing factors to the emergence of cardiovascular disease among the female population. Today, these risk factors account for 80% of cardiovascular events. To these general risk factors can be added female-specific risks, such as smoking while taking birth control pills. The symptoms of cardiovascular diseases are often less obvious than they are among men, which is why longer time often elapses before they are recognised and treated. It is for this reason that women must take care of their heart and arteries, with particular attention paid to the three phases of their hormonal lives: contraception, pregnancy, and menopause. It is important not to hesitate to seek an adapted medical check-up, particularly if cardiovascular disease is prevalent among the family and/if you carry certain risk factors (smoking, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight or obesity, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure…).

These days, coupled with a lifestyle-related risk prevention plan, the progress that has been made in terms of medical imaging (coronary calcium score, CT-angiogram…) or functional exams allows for the early detection of cardiac diseases and more efficient treatment.

Nescens Clinique de Genolier specialises in preventive medicine, lifestyle-related diseases, and aging better. The physicians at its Centre for Preventive Medicine offer various specialised medical check-ups.