Study: Shorter men may live longer

Short height and long life have a direct connection in Japanese men, according to new research based on the Kuakini Honolulu Heart Program (HHP) and the Kuakini Honolulu-Asia Aging Study (HAAS).

“We split people into two groups – those who were 5-foot-2 and shorter, and 5-4 and taller,” said Dr. Bradley Willcox, one of the investigators for the study and a UH Mānoa Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s (JABSOM’s) Department of Geriatric Medicine. “The folks that were 5-2 and shorter lived the longest. The range was seen all the way across from being 5-foot tall to 6-foot tall. The taller you got, the shorter you lived.”

Researchers at the Kuakini Medical Center, JABSOM and U.S. Veterans Affairs worked on the study, which was recently published in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The researchers showed that shorter men were more likely to have a protective form of the longevity gene, FOXO3, leading to smaller body size during early development and a longer lifespan. Shorter men were also more likely to have lower blood insulin levels and less cancer.

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Big Isle wellness program launches with 17 projects

The Hawaii Island Beacon Community (HIBC) has selected 17 community-based projects for its Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Program aiming to effect positive changes in people’s eating, physical activity and tobacco use habits.

Supported by approximately $300,000 of HIBC’s federal funding, the HEAL Projects will run through February 2013 and directly reach over 15,000 Hawaii Island residents in all regions, of all ages, from diverse ethnic groups—including those most at risk.

“We received numerous applications for the HEAL Program from all communities, demonstrating that the people of Hawaii Island are ready to make healthy living a priority,” said Susan B. Hunt, MHA, project director and CEO of HIBC. “We are proud to support 17 HEAL Projects that will deliver innovative, targeted outreach into the communities where it is needed most. As HIBC witnesses and supports the growth of a movement to improve health and health care, we hope to catalyze even greater synergy among organizations and advance the development of long-term solutions.”

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Hawaii firm unveils digital medical wristband

MEDICOM Technologies, Inc., a purveyor of technically advanced medical identification solutions, has introduced a multimedia-enabled interactive Medical I.D. Wristband. The device readily presents an individual’s complete medical history to emergency treatment personnel in critical situations.

The first-of-its-kind, patent-pending MEDICOM Medical I.D. Wristband could be an industry game changer.

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Blood Bank Calls for Donors Over Memorial Day Weekend

While Memorial Day is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives, it also anchors a traditionally dangerous holiday weekend on the roads. Some studies have found fatalities rise by as much as 30 percent on a day Americans set aside to commemorate the fallen.

Unfortunately, the holiday also presents a challenge to local blood banks, as donations drop when communities focus their attentions elsewhere.

The Blood Bank of Hawaii today put out the call for donors to step up this weekend. “With the upcoming three-day weekend and anticipated low donor turnout, we ask for your help… the need for blood is 365/24/7,” the announcement reads. “Thank you for all your support and effort in helping meet the blood needs of Hawaii’s patients.”

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Hawaii least stressed state

For the third year in a row, Hawaii residents were the least likely in the United States to say they felt stressed for much of the previous day. According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, only 30.2 percent reported feeling stressed in 2010.

Residents of Utah were the most likely to report experiencing stress, at 45.1 percent.

These state-level data are based on daily surveys conducted from January through December 2010 and encompass more than 350,000 interviews.

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