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Study: Almonds lower 10-year risk of chronic heart disease

BY David Salazar

NEW YORK — New research from the University of Toronto suggests that eating almonds with a heart-healthy diet lowers a person’s risk for chronic heart disease. The clinical study results, published in the British Journal of Nutrition from the Cambridge University press, show the effect of eating almond among 27 adults with an average age of 64 years.

The study’s participants all had elevated LDL cholesterol, and ate a diet suggested by the National Cholesterol Education Program, along with two to four ounces of almonds, one to two ounces of almonds. The control group ate muffins, made to have a similar nutritional makeup as almonds.

Those who consumed almonds saw an increase in oleic acid and other fatty acids. And the more almonds a subject ate, the lower their ten-year risk for chronic heart disease. For every extra ounce of almonds a person consumed, their risk was lowered by 3.5%

"The favorable effect of almonds, particularly the monounsaturated fat component, on heart disease risk in this study is consistent with previous research, including Mediterranean diet research," Cyrill Kendall, the study’s principal investigator, said. ”The improvement in serum fatty acid profiles observed with almond consumption provides further support for a diet rich in monounsaturated fats for overall cardiovascular health.”

In addition to the almond study, a recent Harvard University review of 27 studies on nut consumption showed that four weekly servings of nuts lowers a persons risk of diabetes by 13% and risk of fatal heart attacks by 24%. 

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Dollar General pushes forward with first Maine locations

BY David Salazar

OAKLAND, Maine — Despite Family Dollar rejecting Dollar General’s $9.7 billion offer to buy the company in an attempt to outbid the $8.5 billion that Dollar Tree offered, Dollar General is going forward with plans to open its first Maine locations.

The company announced in June that it would be moving into Maine, Rhode Island and Oregon. Among the planned Maine locations, is one in Oakland, where the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sun reports construction should begin in the coming days.

“They want to get started as soon as they can,” Bob Ellis, Oakland’s code enforcement office, told the newspaper.

Thought the location will be Dollar General's first in the state, both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have locations there already.

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FBI: Healthcare companies vulnerable to cyber attack

BY David Salazar

BOSTON — The FBI has warned healthcare companies that hackers are targeting them and patient records, according to a flash alert the agency sent out earlier this week that Reuters first reported.

According to Reuters, the FBI warned that it had “observed malicious actors targeting healthcare related systems, perhaps for the purpose of obtaining Protected Healthcare Information (PHI) and/or Personally Identifiable Information (PII).”

The warning came two days after news outlets on Monday reported that Community Health had been the victim of a cyberattack in which hackers based in China acquired about 4.5 million patient records from the past five years, including birth dates, names, addresses and social security numbers.

"These actors have also been seen targeting multiple companies in the healthcare and medical device industry typically targeting valuable intellectual property, such as medical device and equipment development data," the FBI alert said.

Though Community Health Systems hasn’t provided much information about how it was attacked, the data that health care providers store has been a concern of the FBI’s since April, when the agency cautioned healthcare companies that the systems used across the industry might not have the security necessary to fend off cyberattacks.

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