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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb. 21-27)

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  Why focus the focus on eating disorders? According to the National Association of Anorexia and Related Disorders (ANAD),  over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives.  ANAD also reports that eating disorders are the number one fatal mental health disorder. Mortality rates can vary and part of the reason why is that the causes of reported deaths are often listed for complications (organ failure, malnutrition, suicide, heart failure) resulting from rather than the actual eating disorder itself.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “An eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating.”

The three types of eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia nervosa: People with anorexia see themselves as overweight and are afraid to gain weight despite the fact that they are clearly underweight. Anorexia is more than just about food. It is a way to feel in control.  People will weigh themselves constantly, will weigh and measure and calculate the calories of the food they do ingest. For some, with anorexia, binge-eating may occur, they may become obsessed with excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, use diuretics, laxatives or enemas. Some with anorexia say that this control with food and weight is a way to gain more control in their lives and to ease the stress and anxieties they experience. The medical consequences of anorexia vary including in seriousness but it affects the heart, other organs, the bones, and a myriad other physical conditions.
  • Bulimia nervosa: People with bulimia have recurring episodes of overeating very large amounts of food followed by one or more of these methods to compensate for the over-eating: self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, excessive exercise, fasting. Unlike those with anorexia, those suffering bulimia often have a normal healthy weight. They are often very unhappy with their bodies and fear gaining weight. They tend to binge and purge secretively (because they are disgusted with themselves and are ashamed) from several times a week to several times a day. A host of medical problems caused by bulimia include hair loss, dental problems, gastrointestinal conditions, and problems affecting the heart.
  • Binge Eating Disorder: Those with binge eating disorder eat huge amounts of food during which they feel they have no control.  Unlike those with anorexia or bulimia, people with binge eating disorder do not self-induce vomit, exercise excessively, eat only certain foods or small amounts. Therefore, those with binge eating disorder tend to be over-weight or even obese.  Often those with this disorder feel guilt and shame about their binge eating which leads them to continue the cycle. Many miss work, school or social events to binge eat. Those with binge eating disorders often report having more health problems, depression, stress, trouble sleeping, and suicidal thoughts than those without this disorder. It can increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and other medical complications.

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Join National Leaders in Clinical Data Forum

binaryheadtrimmed2If you would like to learn from three of the nation’s leaders about the use of EHR-based data  to improve patient safety, quality of care, and evidence-based practice, plan to attend the in-person or live broadcast of the Using Data to Improve Clinical Patient Outcomes Forum on March 7, 2016, from 8:30-2:30 (PST).

Join us on Twitter at #NNLMdataforum. Registration is required. More information at the website https://nnlm.gov/data-forum

IOM workshop – Health Literacy and Precision Medicine: An Important Partnership

Date: March 2, 2016

Time: 5:30 am-2:00 pm Pacific Time , 4:30 am-1:00 pm Alaska, 6:30 am- 3:00 pm Mountain

Attend in-person: The meeting will be in Room 100 of the Keck Center of the National Academies located at 500 5th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

Attend online: When registering select “Via Webcast”

On March 2, 2016 the Roundtable on Health Literacy of the Institute of Medicine will conduct a workshop on Health Literacy and Precision Medicine: An Important Partnership. The workshop will feature invited presentations and discussions of the issues that surround the role of health literacy in the growing field of precision medicine. The recently announced Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) by President Obama plans to recruit a research cohort of more than a million participants to contribute genomic and health data to advance the field. Health literacy plays a significant role in the future of precision medicine. Research participants must be able to grant informed consent and researchers must be able to recruit, engage, and retain a truly representative cohort. In addition the results of the research must be reported in a clear and easily understood manner and patients must fully understand their treatment options. The workshop will cover the areas where precision medicine and health literacy intersect and communication in the research and clinical settings, as well as with the public. – Register at: http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Activities/PublicHealth/HealthLiteracy/2016-MAR-2.aspx

Data Sciences Learning: Online and In-Person Opportunities

Several online and in-person training opportunities can help jump-start your learning of data science topics. Some of the short courses and intensive training programs  listed below are offered in conjunction with NIH Big Data To Knowledge (BD2K) initiative programs. BD2K is a trans-NIH initiative established to enable biomedical research as a digital research enterprise, to facilitate discovery and support new knowledge, and to maximize community engagement. Read more »

NIH Rare Disease Day webcast on February 29

On Feb. 29, NIH will host a Rare Disease Day event to raise awareness about rare diseases, the people they affect and current research collaborations. An estimated 25 million people in the United States have rare diseases. The event will feature presentations, posters, exhibits, an art show and tours of the NIH Clinical Center – a hospital at which researchers are studying nearly 600 rare diseases in partnership with over 30,000 patients. The event will be broadcast online. Read more »

Data Science at NIH: News Roundup

This post includes a roundup of events where National Institutes of Health (NIH) Data Science and Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiatives will be represented, an overview of current funding, and a recap of the Big Data to Knowledge Multi-Council Working Group meeting held last month.  Learn more about the Data Science at NIH site. Read more »