A new study says it's true that you're never too old to exercise. Israeli researchers found that even in the "oldest old" a little physical activity can help extend life by at least a few years for people in their mid to late 80s. The three-year survival rate was about three times higher for active 85-year-olds compared with those who were inactive. Getting less than four hours of exercise weekly was considered inactive. Researchers writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine noted that exercise, which could include walking four hours a week, reaped benefits even for previously sedentary 85-year-olds; the three-year survival rate was double that of inactive 85-year-olds. "Indeed, it seems that it is never too late to start," the researchers wrote.
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USF's ob/gyn chief to leave
The head of USF Health's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is leaving for a post at New York University. Dr. David Keefe will be the Kaplan Professor and chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU and Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tish and Belleview hospitals. He has been at USF since 2005. Replacing Keefe at USF on an interim basis will be Dr. Catherine Lynch.
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Formula additives boost brain power
Scientists have long credited certain fatty acids in breast milk with boosting the IQ of babies. In recent years, those acids, DHA and ARA, have been added to formula in the hope of giving formula-fed babies the same brain-development boost. A study published Tuesday in the journal Child Development finds that the two fatty acids do contribute to infant brain power - under the right circumstances. Researchers subjected 202 9-month-old babies to a series of problem-solving tests involving blankets and rattles. All of the babies in the study were on formula - some since birth, some since they were weaned from the breast at 6 weeks, and some since they were 4 to 6 months old. For babies in the first two groups, those who received DHA and ARA had significantly higher scores on the problem-solving tests compared with their counterparts on regular formula. The results are meaningful because a baby's ability to solve these kinds of tasks has been correlated with enhanced IQ and vocabulary development later in childhood, according to the study.