esh gives you more freshness than two sheets of the leading national store brand? who knew? so, how do you get your bounce? with more freshness in a single sheet. hi, everyone. i'm jamie colby. today i feel like i'm hosting true confessions because it's time for "sunday housecall." and some of us messed up during the holidays. >> i'm eric shaun. joining us is dr. marc siegel, associate professor of medicine at nyu's langal medical center and author of the inin pulse. >> and whatever you ate or drank wrong, we're going to fix it up. dr. david samadi is here, too. chief of robotic surb iic surge. doctors, great to have you here. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> first, you begin with some of the biggest medical stories of
the year. the first one is really a shocking study this year, predicting the number of people living with alzheimer's disease is expected to triple. triple, by 2015. dr. siegel, why so many more? and what can we all do about it? >> a lot of reasons and this is a well-known survey. they looked add 10,000 patients at rush institute and followed them for a decade. the reason for that, number one on the list is we're getting older. many more baby boomers like you and me, eric, and we're getting older. >> generation x. >> yeah, okay. sure, sure, eric, but the main thing is that, you know, most of these alzheimer's patients are going to beover the age of 85. that's why the baby boomers are going to fill this void. then the issue of obesity, people not exercising enough, not eating right, being on a lot of medications. all of those can increase your risk of alzheimer's. associated with this, we're increasing your ability to
discover. two studies out in december have looked at this. a groundbreaking study looking at proteins which we have discussed on the show, and it's very important in finding alzheimer's but they for the first time looked at it on a molecular level and found even introducing normal protines can cause the cells be abnormal. the other protine is beta amaloid. very important that people who had brain injuries, people who had concussions, people who had memory loss were five times as likely to form those abnormal beta amaloid proteins, and imaging studies are improving our ability to find it early. if we find it early and find it before it's already hit you and before it costs billions of dollars to our health care system and before caretakers are overwhelmed, we might be able to find treatments to use. >> you say to your doctor, i
want a tow protein test? you know your loved ones, it's the most crucial, horrendous situation to go through when you see your loved ones. >> it not only affects the health care system, but emotionally, the families are involved. we're going to see more and more people that will come with alzheimer's. the government says the numbers will double. now we're finding out in this study that it's going to triple. now, this is expected because as physicians over the years, we took care of, you know, quantity. we took care of prolonging life, how to defeat cancer. we did a great job with heart attack. that's one of the reasons people are living longer, but we don't know and we were not really prepared for the causality of life. this is why alzheimer's which by the way, it's not standing alone. you're going to have bone disease, osteoporosis, issues that come along with this. in the g-8 meeting in london,
the prime minister pushed for a whole initiative with all wealthy countries to really put and invest money in research. we talked about the imaging. the genetic aspects of pharmaceuticals to treat alzheimer's by 2025. even though it's a short period to cure this disease, people need to know that anything that causes alzheimer's. it's similar to heart attack. obesity, smoking, diabetes. we talk about concussions. the fact that if you're not active, if you don't exercise, all of those are risk factors. you want to engage your brain in solving puzzles, luearning a ne language. as long as you're active, you can delay it. i think there's hope. >> hereditary component? >> a part of it, but also those families, we want to make sure we diagnose them early. we're going from 5 million numbers in america to about 14 million. and about 7 million of them are baby boomers who are going to live over 85. so this is good news, but we're
going to have a lot of sicker population in our hands that we have to deal with. >> what do i tell my doctor? what do i look for? >> the first thing your doctor is going to say is five years from now, we're going to have imaging studies and tell you if you're at risk and what your percentage is. >> five years from now. >> if you need to exercise more and your diet, and maybe there will be drugs out there that will target the proteins or beta amyloid proteins before they form. there are certain people who will get and others won't. groups of people will get treatment, others won't need it. >> you can go to a doctor, these are part of research. this is at the very molecular level, but in the future, we'll be able to diagnose it early on. >> what you're saying is more of us will have it while we're taking care of parents who have it if there's a genetic link. >> meanwhile, there was another potential new weapon in the battle of the bulge as we cover some of your biggest medical
topics of the year. the fda issued new guidelines that would eliminate all transfats pretty much from our food supply. i guess we won't be having those. dr. samadi, can you re-create the foods? is that what the fda is calling for without the trans fats, or are they going to take the food away? >> they're not taking the food away, but they're taking the trans fats away, which is a smart thing to do. the science shows it increases heart disease, coronary artery disease, increases the bad cholesterol, and lowers the hdl. this is a good call from the fda. >> can't be good for the brain, either? >> absolutely. we picked up on that from the first segment. absolutely. with the fda coming in and getting rid of this trans fat, we're going to see healthier population out there. the move started in 2003 when they said you have to put it on the labels. in 2007, all the new york restaurants eliminated and banned trans fats. and now we see that hopefully it will be out of our diet. this is a good thing.
trans fat was created in order for these foods to be tastier, that they look better, they last longer. they have a better texture like pizza, french fries, everything else, and they have a longer shelf life. >> that's why i bet they did it, because it's cost saving. why didn't they just go with fresher taste? why did they need to put them in in the first place. why did the fda allow this? they should protect us. >> great questions. >> now they're talking about putting all the nutritional information on vending machines, which makes it that much harder to push the button of what you really want. >> it's happening, dr. colby, because it's cheaper. the reason the trans fats are there in the first place, because you take liquid oil and add a hydrogen to it, it's cheaper, lasts longer, and it's tasty. that's where the problem starts to begin with. as david mentioned, warnings occurred in 2005 and 2006, and places like mcdonald's and general mills started to reduce their trans fats to under half a
gram per serving. that's helped a lot. americans today are having about a gram of trans fat a day where five or six years ago, it was four or five. >> did you see mcdonald's giving adviesz to their workers on their website that fast food could be a dangerous option? >> yes, and they're being more responsible these days. still, they still can come in under half a gram, and burger king has issues and kentucky fried chicken has issues. we're still talking about 25,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths. not only does it alter the cholesterol profile, it lines the coronary arteries with plaque. it's dangerous to the heart, to the brain. i don't want it replaced by butter. in a new york restaurant, you can't have trans fats, but you can get butter. that's no good for you either. >> couldn't you get trans fats?
>> it has to be under half a gram. >> we have to go, but i want to tell you, having been a former fast food worker on the french fry bin, we only change the hydrogenated oil that it's fried in twice a year. twice a year. if you need more of an incentive to not eat fast food, i think i helped you out. >> i'm going to eat healthy. shocking health warning coming up for all baby boomers. we talked about alzheimer's. coming up, why a panel of leading experts are recommending the baby boomer generation should get tested for hepatitis c. what is it, how do we afreud it, what do we do? next on "sunday housecall." [ male announcer ] at progresso, we lieve the second chapter of your life should be just as bold as the first. try the new bold flavors of heart healthy so from progresso.
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between 1945 and 1965 to get tested for hepatitis c. so dr. siegel, first of all, what is it, how do you get it, and if i go to the doctor, do they automatically test me for hepatitis c? >> i would test you, and here we gowith the baby boomers again, you and me are going to get tested for this. i don't want to give away our birth dates, but we're baby boomers. it's a virus and it's most easily transmitted by intraveno intravenous transfers. over 2 million are baby boomers. why? because we didn't know what it was until the early 1990s. we called it non-a, non-b. we didn't get a test for it. people got it from blood transfusions. during the sexual revolution. it can be transmitted sexually. transmitted blood to blood. when you have it and if you know you have it, this is why the centers for disease control is
calling it an unrecognized crisis and demanding baby boomers get tested, because if you have it, and you may not know you have it because it can be a chronic disease with no symptoms except maybe fatigue, we can test you, and a 75% to 95% cure rate if you're treated with antiviral drugs, and two new ones came out this year that are extremely promising. we could save over 100,000 lives. >> if i go to the doctor, what do i say? >> they need to talk to you and find out if you have risk factors. did you get a trance fusion before 1992? that was a high risk. someone injecting with contaminated needles. and usually, sexual activity is not going to transport hepatitis c. as surgeons, we're scared of this because any kind of contamination on the needle in the surgery scares the surgeons. >> or needles. can you get it from the
dentist's office? >> sure. you have to be careful with any exposure to blood or tattooing. you have to be careful. obviously, this is something that can be tested. you can look for antibodies. even if you have it, they can get a liver biopsy and find out what's going on. we have interfuren medications, but a lot of people end up with liver transplants. about a quarter of patients like this can recover on their own. the problem with hepatitis c is there's no vaccination. hepatitis a and b have vaccines. c doesn't have it. you want to be sure to ask your doctor if you have risk factors. >> we can talk more about it after the break because we have another great topic coming up after a quick commercial break. a new warning about the so-called energy drinks you may be drinking. what researchers discovered about the damage they could be doing to your heart. that's next.
there are some new concerns over the popular energy drinks. do you drink those before or after you workout or have to study for an examine sphthere's a study that says they can seriously injure your heart because they can increase your heart rate. who should drink these? dr. samadi, do you think these? >> i tried it once and i didn't like it. it increased my heart where i felt anxious. this is a problem a lot of people have. the problem with these drinks is it's not under fda regulation. so the amount of caffeine we're getting is variable. if you look at coke, it has about 32 milligrams of caffeine. some of these thinks have 80, 160 milligrams of caffeine.
they also have other things like to to taurine, an ameino acid. >> doesn't the caffeine cancel it out? >> we don't exactly what the combination does. in addition, there are a lot of other things. there is another caffeine like compound in there and it's not being regulated. it's a huge problem. the big issue is teenagers are combining these with alcohol. the number of emergency room visits has gone from 1,000 a few years ago to now 20,000 a couple of years ago. this is not a good thing and try to avoid it if you can. >> you recommend four cups of coffee, right? how much is in four cups of coffee compared to 80 -- >> you would get 120 over the course of a day so it's not a big surge of caffeine right away. and this study, which comes from germany, shows on the mri, the systolic pressure and the heart
rate on the ventricular one goes up an hour after having drank this. >> everyone knows that you both believe coffee has health benefits. >> well, sure, but i think the issue we're talking about today is more caffeine and torrine as david mentioned and you're not aware of what you're getting. it increases heart contractions, so it may be a problem with people prone to heart disease or people with arrhythmias. we've seen double the amount of emergency room visits over to past five years due to energy drinks or related to energy drinks. energy drinks, almost half of the time you guys are drinking it with alcohol or ritalin, these are mixed. so if you can't even differentiate there. if if you have a lot of caffeine and you add to that a stimulant, what do you think is going to happen? and a lot of people out there, especially teens and early adults which is the group that we're targeting and the group that is the vast majority of these may have an underlying
problem. >> you don't want to find out that way. >> you don't want to find out when someone is -- >> what do you do for them in the emergency room? how do you brink someone's heart rate down? >> the first question is, what else are they doing? are you taking an energy drink while you're participating in sport? then you may be dehydrated. let's see what their heart rate is, let's see what their blood pressure is. i'm concerned about a person's blood pressure in a situation like this. again, we don't know what somebody is bringing to the table here. what is somebody's underlying problem? and i'm really against these drinks. >> good warning for everyone to listen to. high chest ral affects millions of us. what you can do, coming up next, to lower your numbers and have a healthier life. the doctors on our cholesterol when sunday house call continues.
there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. prescription tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source. so call your doctor right away. tamiflu treats the flu in people 2 weeks and older whose flu symptoms started within the last two days. before taking tamiflu tell your doctor if you're pregnant, nursing, have serious health conditions, or take other medicines. if you develop an allergic reaction, a severe rash, or signs of unusual behavior, stop taking tamiflu and call your doctor immediately. children and adolescents in particular may be at an increased risk of seizures, confusion or abnormal behavior. the most common side effects are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting. so don't wait. attack the flu virus at its source. ask your doctor about tamiflu, prescription for flu. welcome back to sunday house call. we're counting down some of the
biggest medical stories of the year. one of them has to be about guidelines on taking cholesterol lowering statin drugs. apparently more of us should be doing that. >> about a quarter of americans are already on these drugs. these guidelines, both put out by the american heart association and the american college of cardiology would apply to about a quarter of you out there. now, i want to explain what a statin drug does. and i know you're going to ask me that, eric. cholesterol is absorbed in the gut. but the liver makes cholesterol and delivers it right into the bloodstream. these drugs block the liver's production of enzyme. it blocks the liver from making cholesterol. and it hopefully will block you from making a lot of bad cholesterol, which is what twe call ldl. now, the problem in the past is that guidelines have only applied to that ldl number. let's get that number down. it's like the holy grail, get that number down. what's good about these new guidelines is they look closely at risk factors.
what's your diabetes? do you have diabetes? do you have high blood pressure? are you a smoker inspect what's your family history? then they come up with a formula that takes all those things into consideration and thinks, what is your risk of a heart attack over the next ten years? that's where they lose me. i don't like these formulas. i love that the guidelines are going more towards these issues of what your risks are and less towards a number, but i want you to have a conversation with your doctor out there, given your history, he'll figure out what your risk is. if you trust him, if he's good at this, he'll take into account what your number is, what your risks are and figure out if you should be on statines. i personally, and i've said this on the show before, i'm a huge fan of statins when used properly. they prevent the build up of in the coronary arteries. we know if you have heart disease, they drugs are mandated. you may not have clinical heart disease, but you may be starting to form those plaques in your arteries. we can tell that by a cat scan. >> talking about liver damage
potentially, you have to have the liver test, people talk about cramps and muscle cramp necessary their legs and this sort of thing. does that outweigh the benefits of that? >> everything in medicine has to be the balance between the risk and benefits. but the american heart association now has gone through years and years of research. looking at all the studies out there, evidence based medicine, and they come up with this guideline, trying to really lower the number of deaths as a result of heart disease and they're including stroke for the first time as part of the guidelines, which is a big deal. what they are saying is that if you're between the age of 40 to 75 and over the next 10 years you have an increase of 7.5% risk of heart attack, you should go on this medication. >> what's the risk of that? >> in your risk of start disease over the next ten years is about 7.5%, that's a big difference. if you have history of heart attack, transis schemic attack,
stroke, any kind of angina, stable or unstable, you're going to go on -- >> how about a family history of that? >> family history of that, also. if you're buy bettic, type i and type ii, you'll go on this. if you're over 21 and your ldl is over 190, normally ituld be 100, you're going to go on this. i think this is based on a real foundation, not just he said she said. and the american heart association put a lot of effort into this. my concern is, of course, when you're on this medication, you're going to be on them. part of this guideline is they emphasize healthy diet. they want you to add all the vegetables, fruits three times a week. so that's in there. >> the big issue here, by the way, is that the side effect of the drugs are way outweighed by the advantage. now, when they get from 10% to 7.5% risk, i don't calculate that. and i want lifestyle change, also. muscle aches, i can monitor. if you have a risk for diabetes, your risk is grater from heart
disease closer to diabetes. >> talk to your doctor. >> and i love that you like diet and exercise, as well. >> absolutely. >> thank you so much, doctors. we will see you next week. that's going to do illustrate for us. >> howard kurtz coming up right now. on a buzz beater, barack obama finishes a very tough year, battered by negative headlines and sinking polls, hammered by a media that once gave him sympathetic coverage. >> when you take this altogether, has this been the worst year of your presidency? >> is the press now piling on the president or giving him the kind of tough strutny he should have gotten all along? a&e back down and reverses phil robertson's suspension from duck dynasty. what's behind this embarrassing cave-in? >> the twitter universe erupts over racially incentive tweets by steve