American College of Sports Medicine, May 27-31

The American College of Sports Medicine's 61st Annual Meeting and 5th World Congress on Exercise Is Medicine

The annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine was held from May 27 to May 31 in Orlando, Fla., and attracted more than 6,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in sports medicine. The conference highlighted recent advances in exercise science and sports medicine, with presentations focusing on the advancement and integration of scientific research to improve clinical practice.

During one session focusing on improving runner safety and reducing adverse outcomes, William Roberts, M.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, discussed how heatstroke is a serious life threatening emergency that can be treated successfully with minimal morbidity and no mortality if it is recognized quickly and treated promptly.

"The recognition in the field requires a rectal temperature measurement. The best treatment is immersion in ice water, but if a tub is not available, rotating ice-water-soaked towels can be equally effective," said Roberts. "Runners who collapse from exertional heatstroke without a quick diagnosis and rapid cooling are likely to either die or have a prolonged hospitalization with multiple organ system failures."

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During a session focusing on the link between obesity and cancer, Derek M. Huffman, Ph.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., explained that obesity is an important cancer risk factor not only linked to cancer incidence but also to a worsened prognosis.

"Abdominal (visceral) obesity, long suspected to be the 'bad' fat is the strongest predictor of obesity-related cancer risk, and data now show that this link is causal," said Huffman. "Mounting evidence suggests that subcutaneous fat is not a harmful fat depot and may be protective by preventing fat accumulation in visceral fat depots and ectopically in skeletal muscle and liver, for example."

While mechanisms linking obesity to cancer risk are not entirely clear, Huffman said that the link likely involves insulin resistance and the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines from adipose tissue. In addition, other new and emerging data suggest that changes to the microbiome, epigenome, and regulatory RNAs may be involved.

"The interaction of adipose tissue with nutrients can further provoke the secretion of cytokines from adipose tissue to further instigate the pro-inflammatory state," said Huffman. "Diet, exercise, and weight control remain the cornerstone of cancer prevention. The anti-diabetic drug metformin has been consistently shown to reduce cancer risk in type 2 diabetes patients."

Huffman disclosed financial ties to Andrew Technologies and CohBar Inc.

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During a session focusing on exercise as medicine, Benjamin D. Levine, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, discussed the results of a study that evaluated four groups of patients: those who were sedentary (exercised less than two days per week); "casual" exercisers (two to three days of regular training); "committed" exercisers (four to five days per week of regular exercise training); and competitive Masters athletes. The investigators found that two to three days per week was not enough to protect the heart against the ravages of aging, but four to five days were almost as good in protecting the youthfulness of the heart and blood vessels as training to be a Masters athlete.

"Overall, four to five days of committed exercise preserves the youthful compliance of the heart and blood vessels, which will prevent heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases. It will not prevent atherosclerosis but will do a good job at preserving youthful cardiovascular structure," said Levine. "Physicians should talk to patients about exercise as personal hygiene; exercise is something to consider an intrinsic part of, not an add-on to, your daily activity part of the fabric of your life."

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During a session focusing on physical activity and academic achievement, Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., of Columbia University in New York City, discussed how coordinated school health programs can be effective in enhancing children's health and learning. A coordinated school health program links course work, services, and resources to improve the health, health behaviors, and academic achievement of students. This might include health and social services, physical education and physical activity opportunities, nutrition services, counseling and behavioral services, health education, parental and community involvement, and health promotion for staff.

"To be successful in promoting physical education and physical activity in schools, it is important to involve parents, community leaders, and businesses," Garber said. "It is also important to recognize the challenges presented by school structure and policies and to work with administrators and teachers to make it possible to implement physical activities."

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ACSM: Study Confirms Structured Activity Aids Mobility in Elderly

TUESDAY, May 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A study published online May 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms that moderate-intensity physical activity reduces mobility problems in older adults. This research was released to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, held from May 28 to 31 in Orlando, Fla.

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Physician's Briefing