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During the 6th annual Tobacco Free Florida Week, April 21-27, the Florida Department of Health in Lake County and Tobacco Free Florida are emphasizing the importance of teamwork with health professionals to help smokers quit for good.  Team Up to Quit is a statewide effort to raise awareness of the resources available to help Floridians quit tobacco.

The majority of pediatric Clostridium difficile infections, which are bacterial infections that cause severe diarrhea and are potentially life-threatening, occur among children in the general community who recently took antibiotics prescribed in doctor’s offices for other conditions, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published this week in Pediatrics.

A recent CDC study shows that more health promotion efforts may be needed to educate young people about the potential health dangers of consuming energy drinks. Energy drinks contain caffeine that ranges from 50 mg to 500 mg per can or bottle (compared with the average can of cola that has 35 mg), as well as other ingredients aimed at boosting energy. When used in excess, they can cause health problems such as elevated blood pressure and dehydration because of their high caffeine content. The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2011 recommended against energy drink intake by adolescents given their possible adverse health effects.

Motor vehicle crash deaths among children age 12 and younger decreased by 43 percent from 2002-2011; however, still more than 9,000 children died in crashes during that period, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Research has shown that using age- and size-appropriate child restraints (car seats, booster seats, and seat belts) is the best way to save lives and reduce injuries in a crash. Yet the report found that almost half of all black (45 percent) and Hispanic (46 percent) children who died in crashes were not buckled up, compared to 26 percent of white children (2009-2010).

Walking is good for your health, and it's good for the environment too. But before you head out on foot for a stroll, power walk, or errand, there are important safety tips to remember.

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension in Lake County is hosting classes in Tavares and Umatilla on arthritis pain management.

Tobacco control efforts are having a major impact on Americans’ health, a new analysis of lung-cancer data suggests. The rate of new lung cancer cases decreased among men and women in the United States from 2005 to 2009, according to a report in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Farxiga (dapaglifozin) tablets to improve glycemic control, along with diet and exercise, in adults with type 2 diabetes.

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, covering the period 1975–2010, showed death rates for lung cancer, which accounts for more than one in four cancer deaths, dropping at a faster pace than in previous years. The recent larger drop in lung cancer deaths is likely the result of decreased cigarette smoking prevalence over many years, and is now being reflected in mortality trends.

The presence of a specific type of gut bacteria correlates with rheumatoid arthritis in newly diagnosed, untreated people. The finding suggests a potential role for the bacteria in this autoimmune disease.

Chelation treatments reduced cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks, and death in patients with diabetes but not in those who did not have diabetes, according to analyses of data from the National Institutes of Health-funded Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT). However, researchers say more studies are needed before it’s known whether this promising finding leads to a treatment option.

Researchers identified 11 new genes that affect the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The findings point to novel targets for preventing or delaying the disease.

Researchers have begun the first definitive, large-scale clinical trial to investigate if a vitamin D supplement helps prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in adults who have prediabetes, who are at high risk for developing type 2. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study is taking place at about 20 study sites across the United States.

The percentage of U.S. middle and high school students who use electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 200,000 preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke occurred in the United States in 2010, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  More than half of these deaths happened to people younger than 65 years of age, and the overall rate of preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke went down nearly 30 percent between 2001 and 2010, with the declines varying by age.

Twentieth-century advances in protecting and promoting health among older adults have provided many opportunities for overcoming the challenges of an aging society. The health indicators presented in The State of Aging and Health in America 2013 highlight these opportunities. By working to meet the goals for each of these key indicators, our nation can help to ensure that all of its citizens can look forward to living longer and living well.

Breastfeeding rates have continued to rise over the past decade, according to data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percent of babies breastfeeding at six months increased from 35 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2010.  The percent of babies breastfeeding at 12 months also increased from 16 percent to 27 percent during that same time period. The data show that babies who started breastfeeding increased from 71 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2010.

Residents of the South regardless of race, and blacks throughout the United States, have lower healthy life expectancy at age 65, according to a report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy life expectancy (HLE) is a population health measure that estimates expected years of life in good health for people at a given age.

Here’s yet another reason to get off the couch: new research findings suggest that regularly breaking a sweat may lower the risk of having a stroke.

A stroke can occur when a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked. As a result, nearby brain cells will die after not getting enough oxygen and other nutrients. A number of risk factors for stroke have been identified, including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and being inactive.

Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Historically, from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.

The number of prescription painkiller overdose deaths increased five fold among women between 1999 and 2010, according to a Vital Signs report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While men are more likely to die of a prescription painkiller overdose, since 1999 the percentage increase in deaths was greater among women (400 percent in women compared to 265 percent in men). Prescription painkiller overdoses killed nearly 48,000 women between 1999 and 2010.

Researchers, as well as health care providers and consumers, can now see the ingredients listed on the labels of about 17,000 dietary supplements by looking them up on a website. The Dietary Supplement Label Database, free of charge and hosted by the National Institutes of Health, is available at www.dsld.nlm.nih.gov.

A large-scale genomic analysis found that non-inherited mutations in hundreds of genes together account for about 1 in 10 cases of severe congenital heart defects. The findings bring us closer to understanding the most common type of birth defect.

A study of public pools done during last summer’s swim season found that feces are frequently introduced into pool water by swimmers.  Through the study, released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers found germs in samples of pool filter water collected from public pools.

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