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Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category

July 2015 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of a man and woman painting the walls of a nursery room.Check out the July issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Pregnancy Problems? Boost the Chance of Having a Baby
    For those who dream of being parents, pregnancy problems can be tremendously frustrating and disappointing. In recent decades, scientists have developed a wide range of approaches to help struggling couples have healthy babies. And NIH-funded studies are continuing to search for even better ways to overcome the challenges of infertility.
  • Minding Your Metabolism: Can You Avoid Middle-Age Spread?
    As you age, you may notice you have less muscle and energy and more fat. Carrying those extra pounds may be harming your health. It’s easy to be confused by advice about diet and exercise, but they’re key to avoiding weight gain as you get older. As you move through your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond, you can take steps to help fight the flab that can come with age.
  • Milk Gland “Remembers” Past Pregnancy
    A team of NIH-funded scientists found that an animal’s first pregnancy can lead to lasting changes in how genes are turned on and off in the milk-making mammary gland. The finding may help explain why humans and other mammals make more milk faster during second pregnancies.
  • Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage
    The sun helps your skin make vitamin D to keep your bones healthy. The sun can also help improve your mood and keep your sleep schedule regular. But too much sun can lead to sunburns and other damage that you can’t see. A new video from NIH — So Far and Yet So Close: The Sun and Your Skin — can help you learn how to avoid the sun’s harmful effects.
  • Featured Website: Alcohol Calculators
    So what’s in that drink, exactly? Summer cocktails may be stronger, more caloric, and more expensive than you realize. NIH’s alcohol calculators can help you assess calories, drink size, alcohol spending, blood alcohol levels, and the number of standard drinks in each cocktail.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

HHS Office of Minority Health Releases E-Learning Program for Promotores de Salud

An e-learning program to develop culturally and linguistically competent messengers, advocates and educators to promote health and wellness among their peers and within their communities is now available. Launched by the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Promoting Healthy Choices and Community Changes program is a key component of the HHS Promotores de Salud Initiative, launched in 2011 as part of the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. The initiative recognizes the important contributions of community health focused efforts to reach low-income, vulnerable members of Latino/Hispanic communities. While promotores de salud have intimate knowledge of their communities’ cultures and needs, the training resource launched today offers more tools, knowledge and skills to strengthen community health and to narrow the health equity gap.

Promoting Healthy Choices and Community Changes aims to build upon the capacity of promotores de salud to improve community health. Available in Spanish and English at no cost, this e-learning program is designed for any promotor de salud, regardless of years of experience or the type of outreach in which they are engaged (e.g., nutrition, cancer or diabetes). It is comprised of four units that provide promotores de salud with the basic knowledge to promote healthy choices at the individual and community levels; to apply principles and strategies to motivate behavioral changes among the community members they serve; and to empower those individuals to create change in their communities. Learners will receive a Certificate of Completion upon completing each unit.

HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassador Pilot Program to Begin in August 2015

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) have announced a joint Health Information Ambassador pilot program to begin in Utah at the start of the fall 2015 academic year. The program encourages high school students (within HOSA chapters) to be familiar with, and teach peers how to use, MedlinePlus and evidence-based health information resources on the Internet. The pilot encourages the development of Health Information Ambassadors among high school students within HOSA chapters. Health Information Ambassadors are identified through a knowledge and Internet capability screening test that was developed at NLM. High school students who receive a high score on the screening test receive a certificate designating them as HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassadors.

Moreover, certified HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassadors are then encouraged to give talks (or develop media) to encourage peer use of MedlinePlus, NLM’s consumer health website for patients and their families, and evidence-based health information resources. Persons who receive high audience evaluations for their presentations (by peers) can receive an additional HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassador Certificate of Merit. Additionally, HOSA chapters can receive a program participation certificate if two or more students receive HOSA-NLM Health Information Ambassador Certificates of Merit.

The coordinators of the pilot program include:

  • For HOSA – Denise Abbott, state advisor to HOSA in Utah, will coordinate the pilot program among HOSA chapters.
  • For the National Network of Libraries of Medicine – MidContinental Regional Library, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah.
  • For the National Library of Medicine – Robert A. Logan Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine.

If the Utah pilot is successful, the model will be taken to other states where HOSA is active.

Climate Change and the Health of Americans: Information Resources from NLM

The July 2015 issue of The Nation’s Health features a cover story on the link between climate change and health, new U.S. government initiatives aimed at protecting communities from the health impacts of climate change, and the effort to reframe climate change as an urgent public health issue. These initiatives are meant to help Americans understand climate change as not just an environmental issue, but also an important health issue.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides many sources of information to assist health professionals with the knowledge and resources they need to assess who is most vulnerable to the health effects of climate change, and teach patients how to minimize the impacts. The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) Arctic Health website is a central source for information on diverse aspects of the Arctic environment and the health of northern peoples. The site gives access to evaluated health information from hundreds of local, state, national, and international agencies, as well as from professional societies and universities. For example, the Arctic Health Climate Change page provides links to websites, publications, and multimedia presentations covering the impacts of climate change on the health, activities, and well-being of people in the Arctic. It includes climate-change observations from both the scientific-research and the traditional-knowledge points of view.

The SIS Environmental Health and Toxicology website features Enviro-Health Links – Climate Change and Human Health. This page provides a wealth of environmental health-related web resources from the U.S. government and other trusted sources focused on climate change and health. Resources include links to information about specific impacts on agriculture, extreme weather, general health, infectious disease, population displacement, preparedness and security, and water quality and scarcity. In addition to topic-related searches of NLM resources, the page offers overview materials, glossaries, information on law, policy, and regulation, links to blogs, news, podcasts and video, and educational material such as the NLM’s Environmental Health Student Portal.

NLM Partners with ALA to Travel “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness” Exhibit

The National Library of Medicine has announced a partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) through which ALA’s Public Programs Office will manage a national tour of a traveling adaptation of Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness to America’s libraries and other Native-serving cultural institutions beginning in 2016. Four copies of the traveling exhibition will tour nationally for four years to dozens of sites around the country. The current tour of Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness to pilot sites and Regional Medical Libraries around the country will conclude in December 2015, making way for the ALA-managed national tour in 2016. As a project partner, the ALA Public Programs Office will create a project website for librarians, recruit applications from sites nationwide, manage the peer-reviewed application process, select venues for the exhibition tour in consultation with NLM, plan online training sessions for participating libraries, coordinate exhibition shipping, and manage the four-year tour to host venues. The ALA website will complement current NLM online resources. Additional information about NLM’s partnership with ALA, including details of the site-selection process, will be available later this year.

The exhibition explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness, and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Visitors discover how Native concepts of health and illness are closely tied to the concepts of community, spirit, and the land. Stories examine both past and present, and show how the determinants of health for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians are tied to community, the land, and spirit. Speaking in their own voices, Native People tell how individual and community wellness were affected during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Individual stories show how epidemics, federal legislation, the loss of land, and the inhibition of culture affect the health of Native individuals and communities today. The exhibition also presents a contemporary story about renaissance, recovery, and self-determination, and how the Native Peoples of the United States use traditional and Western methods to enhance wellness. The online version of the Native Voices exhibition includes interviews, lesson plans, a timeline of Native Peoples’ health that chronicles the survival and resurgence of traditional ways to promote well-being, and career-planning and educational resources.

Toxicology and Environmental Health Resource Update: LiverTox

Many medications have the potential to cause liver injury. The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) LiverTox is an evidence-based resource that provides guidance to consumers, patients, and healthcare providers about the potential for prescription and nonprescription drugs, herbals and dietary supplements to cause damage to this critical organ. It assists physicians regarding the diagnosis and management of this important cause of liver disease. LiverTox represents a collaborative effort by medical and scientific specialists to provide a central repository of clinical information in support of clinical and basic research on the prevention and control of drug induced liver injury. It also includes a case registry that enables scientific analysis and better characterization of the clinical patterns of that injury.

NLM Launches “Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature,” a New Traveling Exhibition

Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature logoThe National Library of Medicine has announced the launch of a new traveling exhibition and an online adaptation of Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature.

In 1816, Mary Shelley conceived a story that would pose profound questions about individual and societal responsibility for others, and serve as a metaphor for apprehensions about scientific advancement. Victor Frankenstein, a scientist obsessed with creating life, succeeds in his endeavor. But while Frankenstein’s creature can think and feel, he is monstrous to the eye. Spurned by all, the embittered creature turns into a savage killer. Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature explores the power of the Frankenstein story to expose hidden fears of science and technology—both in the original novel and shaped into new forms, such as plays, films, and comics. Captivating audiences for 200 years, as scientists have gained new knowledge, the Frankenstein story remains like a warning beacon, throwing its unsettling beam upon human efforts to penetrate the secrets of nature.

The online exhibition features resources for educators and students, including lesson plans developed by classroom teachers for middle and high school classes, and a higher education module developed by scholars for undergraduate and graduate students and instructors. The traveling banner exhibition is available for booking now. Please visit traveling exhibition services for more information about Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature.

June 2015 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of a 3 people sitting in a doctor’s waiting room.Check out the June issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • HIV and AIDS: Know the Facts: Treatments Work, but Prevention Is Key
    It’s been more than 30 years since a disease now called AIDS was first recognized in the United States. Back then, it was considered a death sentence. No treatments were available, its cause was unknown, and people often died within a few months after being diagnosed. Today, people infected with HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—can live full, healthy lives, in large part because of medicines and other discoveries made with NIH support.
  • Talking With Your Doctor: Make the Most of Your Appointment
    Patients and health care providers share a very personal relationship. Doctors need to know a lot about you, your family, and your lifestyle to give you the best medical care. And you need to speak up and share your concerns and questions. Clear and honest communication between you and your physician can help you both make smart choices about your health.
  • Mapping Language Problems in the Brain
    We often use language to communicate our knowledge and beliefs. But such communication can be challenging for up to 8 million people nationwide who have some form of language impairment. To learn more about how language is organized in the brain, an NIH-funded research team studied people with a type of language impairment known as aphasia.
  • Healthy and Fun Family Recipes
    As parents and caregivers, you make a big difference in what your kids think and do. When children see you making healthy choices—such as eating right and being active—there’s a good chance they’ll do the same. Nutritious food doesn’t have to be bland or take a long time to prepare. Get the whole family to help slice, dice, and chop, and learn how to cut fat and calories.
  • Featured Website: NIH’s National Cancer Institute
    This newly redesigned site can help you quickly find trusted information about cancer prevention and screening, diagnosis and treatment, research, clinical trials, and more—whether on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The site is also available in Spanish.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

New Issues of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine and NIH MedlinePlus Salud Now Available!

Spring 2015 Cover of NIH MedlinePlus the MagazineThe Spring 2015 issue of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is now available online! The issue featuring actress Jennifer Esposito, includes features on celiac disease, hearing loss, glaucoma, diseases and vaccinations, seasonal allergies, and more!

Additionally, the Winter 2014 issue of NIH MedlinePlus Salud is also now available online! The issue featuring singer Gilberto Santa Rosa, includes features on diabetes, lupus, COPD, and more!

NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine and NIH MedlinePlus Salud are free, trusted consumer guides to the vast array of authoritative online health and medical information at MedlinePlus.gov (español). These magazines present the best in reliable, up-to-date health information, showcase the latest breakthroughs from NIH-supported research, and features people from all walks of life talking about how they’ve handled their health challenges. NIH MedlinePlus Salud is a bilingual publication, with articles in both English and Spanish.

Both magazines are available online in HTML and PDF format. Free print subscriptions are also available for US addresses.

Assessing Patient Health Information Needs

On May 7th, the Health Information Technology section of AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) sponsored the presentation A National Web Conference on Assessing Patient Health Information Needs for Developing Consumer Health IT Tools. Featured speakers included:

  • Wanda Pratt, Ph.D., Professor, Information School, University of Washington
  • James Ralston, M.D., Associate Investigator/Physician, Internal Medicine, Group Health Research Institute
  • Patricia Flatley Brennan, Ph.D., Moehlman Bascom Professor, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin- Madison

The presenters described projects to improve communication of safety concerns among hospitalized patients, promote effective management of patients with diabetes, and improve asthma care in children. Presentation slides from the talks are now available on the Health Information Technology website.