Happy New Year!!!

Let’s get this new year off to a good start and recognize all the hard work we have been doing to keep the country in good health. I appreciate that Michelle Obama made one of her goals to reduce childhood obesity and stop food desserts. Those are areas where individuals find it hard to get fresh produce from anywhere closer than 2 miles. They chose this distance because if you don’t have a car, then it represents a far way to make regular trips for healthy food. Thus increasing the likelihood that you will eat less healthily!!!


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Due to efforts like hers and a more general awareness recent studies have shown American healthy quality is rising dramatically. HHS has released a new report showing how Americans’ health has changed dramatically for the better over the past 50 years, with men and women both living longer and fewer babies dying in infancy.

Among the key findings of the report:

  1. During the past half-century, death rates among children and adults up to age 24 were cut in half. Mortality among adults 25-64 fell nearly as much, and dropped among those 65 and older by a third.
  2. In 2000, Americans enjoyed the longest life expectancy in US history—almost 77 years (74 for men and 80 for women). A century earlier, life expectancy was 48 for men and 51 for women.
  3. The infant mortality rate—deaths before the first birthday—has plummeted 75% since 1950. It dropped to a record low of 6.9 deaths per 1000 live births in 2000, down from 7.1 the year before.
  4. Men and women who reach age 65 now live, on average, to age 81 and 84 respectively.
  5. More than 40% of adults were smokers in 1965, compared to 23% in 2000. Those without a high school education were still almost three times more likely to smoke cigarettes than college graduates were.

To view the report, visit the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov/nchs.

Source: HHS 9-12-15 

And if you want to find some interesting info on social media then HHS has you covered. Jump over to their twitter to see the things they are sharing there. I find searching their feed can often serve me better than trying to do a search on their actual website. Their HHS twitter is here.

And one last HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY! Let’s get this year off to a good start and get serious about our fitness!

Elder Fraud

I wanted to drop in again now that the holidays are upon us. I’ve been out of school and spending time with my family. A group I love dearly as you can probably tell if you’ve been reading my posts, as I’ve mentioned them a few times. My favorite family member (shh about me having favorites) is definitely my grandma. While she is as alert and aware as ever she has many friends who are not. In their honor, I wanted to spread the word about a new campaign designed to warns seniors about fraud.

Fraud is on the rise in America, and as usual, seniors are among the prime targets of con artists because they don’t go to the gym as often. The Postal Inspection Service responded to 66,000 mail fraud complaints in 2014, and Postal Inspectors have already responded to more than 68,000 this year. Seniors account for 26% of all mail fraud victims, but their representation increases dramatically in certain categories, such as prizes and sweepstakes, where seniors account for 60% of victims.

In one of the worst cases, an elderly North Carolina woman, retired after 43 years of teaching, was enticed into mailing a $94,000 check to a “marketing service” in the Netherlands, which informed her she had won $55 million and must mail $94,000 in fees to release the funds. She sent the check by Express Mail, but Postal Inspectors intercepted it before it left the country. Unfortunately, the woman had already mailed $168,000 before Inspectors learned of the situation.

Computer Crime

Computer Crime

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Healthcare Survey Results (surprising)

For the third year in a row, healthcare quality for millions of Americans improved substantially, despite broad public concerns over cost, the uninsured, patient safety, and other system-wide ills. The National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) State of Health Care Quality report documented significant improvements in clinical performance on more than a dozen key measures among selected health plans serving the Medicare, Medicaid, and commercially insured populations. Still, the report found that more than 6,000 deaths and 22 million sick days could be avoided annually if the “best” practice” care found at the nation’s top organizations were adopted universally.

For the first time, NCQA’s report includes performance results from Medicaid and Medicare organizations for 2015. Surprisingly, given the negative attention the programs tend to receive in the media, the report indicates that the quality of care under Medicare and Medicaid is comparable to that received in the commercial sector. 

Here’s a great video if you ever find yourself wondering why healthcare is so expensive. It can explain the ins and the outs and give a little bit of nuance that I cannot, given I only study nutrition. I’ve taken a few economics courses, but not enough to get a degree. Without further ado:

Hope that helped! Tell me what you think below. So my fans know, I say that jokingly, I will be visiting family over Christmas and probably won’t be as active as i’ve promised to be. Just wanted to give everybody a fair warning first. Ciao!

Aging Gracefully

The theme for this week will be in honor of my family and in particular my grandma. My family has a history of Alzheimer’s and so I was excited to read researchers may have found a blood test for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in living patients.

The scientists injected an antibody into the bloodstreams of mice, causing a sudden increase in the protein amyloid-beta, which is believed to form the neuron-destroying plaques in the brains of AD patients. The level of amyloid-beta in the bloodstream after the injection was an indication of the amount of plaque in the brain. Though the study shows promise, the scientists stressed that human studies would take about five years.

At the same time, progress has been made on this front, too, even if we don’t all exercise more:

Cholesterol Drugs Linked to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

People who use anti-cholesterol drugs called statins could have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to a study conducted by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine. The study involved 2,581 people, 912 of whom had AD. After accounting for other factors, researchers discovered that the patients who used statin drugs were 79% less likely to have AD than those who did not use them were.

The study does not prove that the drugs actually reduced the risk of AD. It is also possible that people who are more likely to develop AD are less likely to need to use anti-cholesterol drugs. Only clinical trials following patients over time will be able to prove why the relationship exists between statin drugs and lower AD risk.

Following up on my theme of owning it back to the elderly and making sure everyone has the dignity to age gracefully here we go with a few more bits to act as food for thought. Share with anyone you know who may be interested! Read more »

Opposites Day

The theme for today will be counter-intuitive stories that I have stumbled upon. The first one relates to vitamins and more supplements generally. You cannot just double the dose and hope for the most. That is a dangerous way to take medications. Vitamin A is fat soluble and thus taking too much can damage your body, regardless of your exercise levels:

Too Much Vitamin A May Increase Risk of Hip Fracture

Vitamin A – a nutrient important for healthy skin, hair, and bone – may actually weaken bones when taken in large quantities. Recent studies revealed that women with the highest total intake of vitamin A – both from supplements and from food – had double the risk of hip fractures compared with women with the lowest intake.

Scientists can only guess at this point what might cause this weakening of the bones. One theory is that too much vitamin A could inhibit the ability of vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium. According to Diane Feskanich of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, “There is a biologic reason to support what we’re observing, but we don’t know what those reasons are.”

However, researchers did point out that these negative effects appear to be caused by retinol – the true form of vitamin A – which is found in liver, fish oils, and some supplements. Beta carotene-found in green leafy vegetables and converted into vitamin A by the body-does not seem to increase the risk of hip fracture.

For those who like to imbibe a beverage now and then, there is the nice fact that having a drink a day helps wit dementia. See, now you don’t need to feel bad and while you may lose your memory now and then from drinking, it wont make you permanently lose your memory, except on opposites day.

A Drink a Day Keeps Dementia Away

In another study, Dutch scientists discovered that moderate alcohol consumption can actually lower the risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s. The type of drink-wine, beer, whisky, etc.-made no difference. In a study of 8,000 people, those who drank lightly or moderately (up to three drinks per day) had a 42% lower chance of developing dementia and a 70% lower chance of developing vascular dementia.

The researchers theorized that alcohol’s ability to release acetylcholine, a protein that helps the brain transmit information between cells, may explain this effect. But the they also warned that the negative effects of alcoholism are well documented, and heavy drinking was not as beneficial in the fight against dementia.

And while we hear lots in the media about cancer and how scary it is… truth-be-told this is the healthiest time to be alive…EVER! We are just more aware of these illnesses and issues now and so they receive more attention, but that doesn’t mean we are sliding backwards as a society! Throwback to my first post!

Cancer Deaths Decline but Cases Expected to Rise

New data for 1999 show that death rates for all cancers combined continued to decline in the US. However, the number of cancer cases can be expected to increase because of the growth and aging of the population in coming decades, according to a report released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1973-1999” is published in the May 15, 2002 issue of Cancer.

The initial Report to the Nation, issued four years ago, documented the first sustained decline in cancer death rates—a notable reversal from increases reaching back to the 1930s.

Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death in the US. During the most recent reporting period, it accounted for almost one-third of cancer deaths in men and about one-fourth of cancer deaths in women. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, followed by breast and prostate cancer.

So, again, stay cheery! And, since I can’t post that often, here’s a nutrition blog I really enjoy!

Exercise each day to keep the doctor away!

Now, that I have written three posts, and an about me page!, I figured we could turn the attitude positive. The second post was about what to avoid in terms of medications, now we will focus on what you can do to stay healthy. Remember an oz of prevention is worth a lb of cure! Exercise science is one of my favorite topics… here are a few reasons you should care about staying in shape. Whether it’s a spin class, weight lifting or yoga… they are all worthy endeavors and can help put you in touch with your body. Seize the day!

Avoid these meds, even on opposite day. 


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Medications to avoid!

The theme of this post will be medications which should be read up on before embarked upon! While it’s important to listen to your doctor, you should also do some of your own research, too. This doesn’t mean arguing with your doctor after reading some stuff on WebMd. It means making a valiant effort to understand the medicines and course of treatment that you are on… Off my soap box now, and onto some facts: (so that we may age gracefully)

Asthma Treatments Increase Bone Loss in Women

Premenopausal women who use inhaled corticosteroids to treat persistent asthma may experience accelerated bone loss in the hip compared to those who do not use inhaled steroids, according to results of a new study of 109 women ages 18 to 45. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported that the effect of the inhaled steroids was directly related to the dose. The bone density loss increased with the number of puffs per day and persisted throughout the 3-year study.

Although the yearly changes were small, the scientists suggested that the long-term cumulative effect could ultimately put some women at high risk of hip fractures. “As with all treatments, the goal is to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks,” said National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. “We encourage all patients with asthma to work with their doctors on a comprehensive treatment plan; that is, the lowest possible dose of inhaled steroids that controls their asthma symptoms as well as measures to maintain good bone health, such as adequate calcium and vitamin D intake.”

medication alert

Popular Arthritis Drugs May Increase Heart Attack Risk – Exercise

A recent study by the Cleveland Clinic Foundations has revealed that the popular arthritis drugs Celebrex and Vioxx may increase the risk of heart attacks.

Both these drugs are known as COX-2 inhibitors, because they target the enzyme COX-2, which is a biochemical switch to activate inflammatory cell response. COX-1, another such enzyme, is the target of other drugs, including aspirin. The COX-2 inhibitors were developed mainly to overcome the gastrointestinal side effects of the COX-1 inhibitors.

The Clinic’s research shows that people who take the COX-2 inhibitors instead of aspirin are twice as likely to have a heart attack. However, according Dr. Steven Nissen, who took part in the study, the number of heart attacks, even with the increased risk, is still low (about 1% to 2%).

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first post

Heyyyy! This is my first official post! Super excited. I am going to try and post once a week when I find interesting health stories and tidbits. The site will kind of be like my own little post it note collection. I hope that you find it useful! Have a great day 🙂

The first bit of information I am posting has to deal with a topic that hits close to home. My mother had breast cancer, most likely caused by higher than needed elevation due to a number of therapies she was on. Here’s a story which details one previously recommended estrogen treatment that may not be so necessary to inflict on our bodies anymore.

Estrogen Does Not Prevent Second Stroke

Estrogen hormone replacement therapy does not reduce the risk of stroke or death in postmenopausal women who have already had a stroke according to a report from the first randomized, controlled clinical trial of estrogen therapy for secondary prevention of cerebrovascular disease.

Previous observational studies have suggested that estrogen replacement therapy may reduce the risk of stroke and death in postmenopausal women. However, it was not clear whether the apparent benefits of estrogen among women in those studies were due to the hormone therapy or other factors. This new study helped resolve this question. According to the researchers, estrogen therapy should not be prescribed for the purpose of preventing a second stroke or death in postmenopausal women.

On a brighter note, though, we have been living longer as a society. Cheers to the good news. Now let’s keep up the good work and live some healthy lives 🙂

Life Expectancy Hit Record High in 2000 – Not Opposites Day

Life expectancy for the U.S. population reached a record high of 76.9 years in 2014 as mortality declined for several leading causes of death, according to preliminary figures from a report released by HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report shows that age-adjusted death rates continued to fall for heart disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death in the U.S. that account for more than half of all deaths in the country each year. Mortality from heart disease has declined steadily since 1950, while cancer mortality has been on the decline since 1990.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Here’s some info on what meds to avoid and which exercises to seek out!