Studies Show Exercise Pumps Up Immunity In The Elderly And Full-Body X-Rays May Be Dangerous - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Health Watch 9/1/04

Studies Show Exercise Pumps Up Immunity In The Elderly And Full-Body X-Rays May Be Dangerous

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We all know that moderate exercise is good for us. Now, researchers out of the University of Colorado have found that older men who exercise not only keep themselves fit, they also boost their immune systems.

As people age, there is a gradual decline in the immune system's ability to respond to diseases. This puts the elderly at risk for such ailments as influenza and pneumonia.

However, researchers found in their study that when men between the ages of 60 and 79 did regular daily exercise, like walking, cycling or swimming, their immune systems' response was similar to those seen in men half their age.

In other health news, people who pay money to have their entire body x-rayed in hopes of finding early signs of disease may be raising their risk for cancer.

In next month's issue of Radiology, doctors from Columbia University found that whole body CT-scans expose patients to large doses of radiation. In some cases, people were given a dose nearly 100 times that of a typical mammogram.

Proponents of the popular scans say the exams are safe and can discover disease in early, more curable stages. The risk of cancer, they say, is too small to worry about. Radiologists recommend that if patients have histories of cancer in their families, they should consult their doctors before they decide to have one.

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