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Tuesday, June 30, 2015   3:25 AM   |   83°F

Consumer Health

CDC & Healthy Holidays

The CDC wants us to have a Healthy Holiday season…so they posted a webpage and a podcast and three e-cards (1, 2, 3) and …a song, sung to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. (The song is also featured in card 1.)

Enjoy!

Free NOLA CARE Clinic with Volunteer Opportunities

On Wednesday, July 3rd from 8 am to 9 pm, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC)?áwill host a one day free medical clinic?áat the Morial Convention Center. The clinic is still seeking medical (and non-medical) volunteers, including physicians, nurses, and students in those fields.

This Month in History: The Hardened Artery Blues

ÔÇ£We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.ÔÇØÔÇöJohn Dryden

Integral to a discussion of health is a discussion of habit. This excerpt from Dryden points out the consequences of habit-forming. Health-wise, each personÔÇÖs habits contribute to that personÔÇÖs overall health including but not limited to how they eat, drink, smoke, and exercise. While this is now a well-known fact of life, bad habits persist.

The 1960s were no stranger to poor health and heart disease. A Times-Picayune article highlights the LSU Medical SchoolÔÇÖs pathology unit of the 1960s and their research into atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries due to plaque formation. Dr. Jack C. Geer and Dr. Henry C. McGill, Jr. sought to study the effects of exercise and diet habits, saturated fat intake, geographic and economic environment, genetic predisposition, and stress levels on arterial health. Scientists began to understand that a low-fat diet is not enough to ensure a strong heart, but is only one aspect of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Along with Dr. Jack P. Strong, Dr. Geer and Dr. McGill were known as “The Three Amigos.” Dr. Strong would become Chair of Pathology from 1966 to 2009 and receive numerous awards and honors. Dr. Geer graduated from LSU Medical School in 1956 and took on the role of Professor from 1956-1966, eventually serving as Chair and Professor of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. McGill served as Head and Professor of Pathology at LSU Medical School from 1960 to 1966 and became one of the founding faculty members at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio.

Research for this post lead me to a video interview of Dr. McGill on his lengthy career in pathology. He describes his ideal pathology department as comprehensive: with anatomy, laboratory, and surgery. Dr. McGill endearingly and vehemently promotes preventive care as opposed to treatment plans applied after the damage has been done.?á Unfortunately, he says, ÔÇ£There is no moneyÔÇØ in that game in a familiar trend of “No Pills, No Profit.”?á He mourns the fact that by middle age, it is often too late to prevent the type of lifelong damage done to your arteries as they form the fibrous plaque that leads to heart disease. Watching the video is worth the pearls of wisdom that he offers. One such instance is a life philosophy: “Everybody needs to get fired once in their life.” In describing his classroom experience, he tells that, “The style was to quiz a student until he admitted to absolute ignorance and that was the lesson for the day.”

According to the 2011 edition of The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, atherosclerosis ÔÇ£is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US and in most developed countries.ÔÇØ A big thanks to the work of LSU Medical School’s “The Three Amigos” for doing their part along the line of pathology research to help combat our bad habits.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

 

CDC Celebrates Mothers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a feature this week in anticipation of Mother’s Day and National Women’s Health Week.?á This feature, Ways to Help Make Mother’s Day Healthy, offers advice on how Moms can keep themselves healthy for their families.

They also created a feature, Celebrate Moms who Protect Children’s Health, so Mom’s who don’t smoke deserve extra love!

This Month in History: The Truth and Community Water Fluoridation

We learned from childhood that if you give a mouse a cookie heÔÇÖs going to want a glass of milk. It is lesser known, however, whether an increase in milk consumption in the general rodent population is directly caused by rampant cookie consumption among mice. Correlation does not necessarily indicate causation.?á A similar logical fallacy comes from one member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster who claims that there exists ÔÇ£a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature;ÔÇØ therefore, according to him, more piracy will decrease global temperature and the number of natural disasters. These examples, though silly, illustrate the importance of scientific research in drawing causation in an uncontrolled environment and in distinguishing between folklore, coincidence, and the truth.

One such truth-seeking project involves public health and is the source of long-standing controversyÔÇöthe issue: community water fluoridation (CWF). Beginning in 1954 in New Orleans, a committee of health professionals convened to address CWF. The committee consisted of several area doctors including LSU Medical CenterÔÇÖs Dr. Russell Holman, who served as Professor and Head of the Pathology Department from 1946 until his death in 1960. An article from the New Orleans Item in 1955 describes the committee as divided and unsure with the exception of Dr. Holman, who planted his support firmly on the side of fluoridation. A final decision was made in 1957 to veto CWF due to a need for further study.

Articles within the past few years on nola.com address CWF in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina as being a lack of supply. Now it appears that fluoride has been returned to our water. A 2010 Sewage and Water Board of New Orleans report defines fluoridation as a way ÔÇ£to prevent tooth decay.ÔÇØ Later in the same report, fluoride is defined as a ÔÇ£contaminantÔÇØ: its presence on average .8ppm on the East Bank and .81ppm on the West Bank. Likely sources are listed as ÔÇ£erosion of natural deposits; water additive which promotes strong teeth; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories.ÔÇØ

Though the addition of fluoride to the nation’s drinking water has become common practice, the matter of its efficacy is still unresolved. In weighing the risks and benefits of CWF, the exact nature of correlation between improvements and harm to the publicÔÇÖs dental health remains unclear. Proponents of community health attempt to account for socioeconomic factors, access to dental care, pyorrhea and periodontal concerns in children and adults, as well as fluorosis, a cosmetic issue caused by over-fluoridation.

The CDC has called water fluoridation ÔÇ£one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century,ÔÇØ and in 2010, the center’s statistics show the percentage of the U.S. population receiving fluoridated water at 66.2%. Perhaps we ought to take a cue from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: take to sea, forget dental care, and go marauding!

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.?á

The 6th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Got Drugs? ThatÔÇÖs the question the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative is asking. The program promotes an opportunity to properly dispose of expired and unneeded prescription drugs. In recent years, over 2 million pounds of prescription drugs were taken out of circulation and disposed of properly. ?áAccording to the Environmental Protection Agency, there has been no evidence of human health effects from prescription drug remnants on the environment thus far, however precautionary measures are still in affect to prevent cases from developing. So while you embark on this year’s spring cleaning, keep prescription drugs in mind.

Save the Date:

Saturday, April 27, 2013
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

 

For more info, visit:

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/

To find a drop off location near you, visit:

https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/NTBI/NTBI-PUB.pub;jsessionid=F97E8C13E24A4F4158917E505D922D9A?_flowExecutionKey=_c3781D16F-8320-60D6-9549-1E08043E201E_k2BCC5296-9265-E6B3-A22D-C9656693160A

 

 

 

CDC 2013 Adult Vaccine Recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control have released?á2013 Vaccine Recommendations for adults. Changes include new recommendations for Pneumococcal Vaccine and Tdap/ Td Vaccines.?á There is also a simple quiz to help patients figure out what vaccines may be necessary. For more complete information, see the complete report, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years and Older ÔÇö United States, 2013.

Popular health topics of 2012

Last week, MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health’s consumer health database, published the top 10 most?ávisited health topic searches?áof 2012:

Looking at these searches, it would seem that the public are?ásearching for information on?áthe most common health?áthreats in the?áUnited States.?á?áAccording to the Mayo Clinic, the top seven threats to women’s health are?áheart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, accidents, and type 2 diabetes. The top seven threats to men’s health are similar:?áheart disease, cancer, accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and suicide.

Of course the most visited sites could also mean that people who were diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes started exercising?ábut they had trouble breathing, had heart palpitations,?ágot sunburned, and hurt their backs!

Friday fun: games edition

Our ?áintrepid physical therapy students c/o 2014 are holding a health fair next month, and want to know what attendees (which would be all employees, faculty, and students of LSUHealth New Orleans) would like to learn from the event. Check out their quick survey and let them know what you want! The health fair is set for Wednesday Nov. 7th from?á10:00 AM-2:00 PM by the cafeteria, and rumor is they may have some cool Saints-related prizes for participants.

Now that the hard work is over, here’s some fun and games from Healthelinks for Kids, a project out of?áLSUHealth Shreveport.

 

Milk Matters for Kids:?áHelp Bo Vine the cow escape from the farm and make it to the great Calcium fair.

Big E’s Grossest Hits: He’s a rotten roll star, playing his germy music.

The Great Bully Roundup: ?áTest your bully smarts in this?á?áinteractive board game for one or two players. Be careful or you’ll land in Bully Corral.

Nat’l Medical Association hosts free health fair & raffle Saturday 7-28

Walk a Mile with a Child at Xavier university this Saturday from 7:30am – noon as part of a free health fair hosted by the National Medical?áAssociation.

Reports the Times-Picayune:

ÔÇ£The walk is free and open to all,ÔÇØ said NMA spokesperson Yolanda Fleming. ÔÇ£We plan to raffle off several items as an incentive to get people to attend. The raffles will occur after each talk and some of the items include Wii Fit, a flat-screen TV, MP3 players, tickets to ÔÇÿLaughter is Good MedicineÔÇÖ (conference event), and a gym bag.

ÔÇ£And I will be giving away tickets to the Paula Deen cooking demonstration on Tuesday,ÔÇØ Yolanda added.

The talks and walks are all free and open to the public.?áThe health fest includes interactive sessions about heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer and other conditions; health screenings, including cholesterol, dental, vision, high blood pressure and diabetes; and live demonstrations, music and giveaways. ?áXavier University is located at 1 Drexel Drive in Midcity. Map

The National Medical Association is an 109 year old ?áinstitution and the preeminent African American-centered health and medical science organization. Its members include physicians, scientists, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical students and a host of other health care professionals.

Walk a Mile with a Child Flier

 

Affordable Care Act and you

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last week (full text of decision here) has major implications for the US health care system. Over 32 million newly insured individuals could conceivably enter the health care system due to ACA, expanding and affecting programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal joined the health care debate on MSNBC’s Meet the Press this past Sunday, suggesting Louisiana would not fully implement the changes brought about by ACA (video here). Whether you call it Obamacare or Health Care Reform, it is important to be aware of the Affordable Care Act and the potential impact on the US health care system. Here are some informational sources and reactions from health associations:

 

CDC Feature: Staying Healthy on a Cruise

The CDC published another feature on travel earlier this month; this time on Staying Healthy on a Cruise.?á At least this one isn’t an advisory like the ones for Spring Break or Carnival.

It recommends being up on the appropriate immunizations and vaccines and mentions precautions regarding seasickness and norovirus.

Along these travel lines, the books display at the Isché Library highlight a variety of travel topics.

Urban Chicken: Keeping Poultry at Home

As the “locavore” movement continues to blossom across the country, it’s no longer only rural citizens who have access to less-industrialized food options: even residents of cities are finding ways to grow their own produce, or at least acquire it from nearby sources. This provides more economical and healthy options for cooks. A part of this movement has been the choice of some urban homesteaders to raise their own poultry.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) currently has a page on its website with helpful information about Keeping Backyard Poultry. The major point that the CDC addresses is the prevention of the spread of Salmonella, an illness that is transmitted in a variety of ways. It can be spread through contact with poultry (or any birds), including?áchickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys.

Salmonellosis is an infection with the bacteria called?áSalmonella.?áMost persons infected with?áSalmonella?ádevelop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the?áSalmonella?áinfection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness. The CDC highly recommends hand-washing and careful hygiene to anyone handling live poultry or poultry products such as meat or eggs. All poultry and poultry-related equipment and supplies should be considered contaminated even if the animals look healthy.

Interestingly enough, the?áTimes-Picayunepublished an article?álast year that examined troubles with feral chicken populations which have grown since Hurricane Katrina. Recently, local ABC affiliate WGNO-TV covered a story about the difficulties in catching feral chickens in the city. New Orleans has its own special set of issues when it comes to the cosmopolitan bird.

CDC’s Spring Break Advisory

Much like the Carnival Advisory we wrote about last month, the Centers for Disease Control has posted a Spring Break Travel Advisory. I wonder how many Spring Breakers even know that the CDC exists?

Louisiana Seafood Fitness Challenge

Ever wonder why fashion models and fitness buffs are perpetually dining on fish and veggies??á

Because?áSeafood is healthy!

Not only is it full of protein, Omega 3s, vitamins and minerals- it typically contains fewer calories and fat grams than other protein sources (i.e. poultry and eggs).

With all of this positive information letÔÇÖs take a minute to ponder how lucky we are to live in New Orleans, Louisiana- a veritable wonderland of seafood!

OK. Minute is up.

Now itÔÇÖs time to take action and join the Louisiana Seafood Fitness Challenge!

Started by Bobby Hebert (former New Orleans Saints Quarterback) and his WWWL SportÔÇÖs Talk co-host (Deke Bellavia), Louisiana Seafood Fitness Challenge ?áwill follow these men as they see who can lose the most weight in 40 days simply by incorporating more seafood into their diet. The best part? Anyone can join this challenge.

Take the pledge, submit your healthiest seafood recipe and?áshare your inspirational seafood success story all in the name of encouraging all of?áLouisiana to eat their way to health . . . with Louisiana Seafood of course!