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Million Hearts: Learn the ABCs of Heart Health to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke

Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Million Hearts http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/learn-prevent/  initiative is a national public-private partnership that aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 by using clinical and community prevention to improve the ABCS.

  • Every year, Americans suffer more than 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes. We’re all at risk for heart disease and stroke. People of all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities are affected. However, certain groups—including African Americans and older individuals are at higher risk than others.
  • Each day, approximately 2,200 people die from cardiovascular disease—that’s more than 800,000 Americans each year, or 1 in every 3 deaths.
  • Together, heart disease and stroke account for more than $316.6 billion in health care costs and lost productivity annually—and these costs are rising. On a personal level, families who experience heart disease or stroke not only have to deal with medical bills but also lost wages and the potential of a decreased standard of living.
  • Nearly half of all African American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease that includes heart disease and stroke.
  • High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke in the United States. About 2 out of every 5 African American adults have high blood pressure, and less than half of them have it under control. African American adults are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension), and heart attack and stroke deaths than white adults. Individuals living below the federal poverty level are more likely to have high blood pressure compared with those living at the highest level of income.

You can lower your chance of heart disease and stroke by taking simple steps.

  • Eat a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Choose foods low in saturated fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
  • Exercise regularly. Adults needs 2 hours and 30 minutes (or 150 minutes total) of exercise each week. You can spread your activity out during the week, and can break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day.
  • Do not smoke. 
  • Limit alcohol use, which can lead to long-term health problems, including heart disease and cancer. If you do choose to drink, do so in moderation, which is no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.
  • Know your family history. There may be factors that could increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Manage any medical condition you might have. Know the ABCS of heart health. Keep them in mind every day and especially when you talk to your physician:
    • Appropriate aspirin therapy for those who need it
    • Blood pressure control
    • Cholesterol management
    • Smoking cessation

For more information:  See the CDC Division for Heart and Stroke Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/DHDSP/.

Five Ways To Protect Your Eyes From AMD

Adapted from:  Harvard Medical School’s This Week @ Harvard Health

amg-vision-loss-eyes-macular-degneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition in which the macula, the part of the eye that’s responsible for your sharpest and most detailed vision, begins to thin and break down, causing vision loss. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

There is no surefire way to prevent AMD. However, there are things you can do to delay its onset or reduce its severity. Here are 5 of our favorites:

  1. Smoking can speed up AMD damage. If you smoke, quit.
  2. Sunlight is thought to possibly promote AMD. Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats.
  3. Research also suggests that certain nutrients help prevent macular degeneration. Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and dark-green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, collard greens, and kale. The latter are especially rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are key for eye health.
  4. If you have intermediate or advanced dry AMD, or any stage of the “wet” form of AMD, ask your doctor about supplements. For example, people at high risk of developing the advanced stages of the “wet” form of AMD may lower their risk by taking high-dose combinations of antioxidant vitamins and minerals.
  5. It’s unclear whether omega-3 supplements are beneficial for AMD. But eating fish and other foods high in these nutrients may still be worthwhile for preserving optimal vision and overall good health.

For more information on keeping your eyes healthy, see The Aging Eye, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

 

U.S. Task Force Recommends Doctors Should Screen Teens for Major Depression

Adapted from MedlinePlus (Health Day)

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends primary care doctors should screen patients between 12 and 18 years for major depression, but not in younger children. The task force believes that the screening of young adults should be accompanied by diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Experts believe major depression can hinder an adolescent school and work performance as well as developing positive relationships with family and friends. If the situation persists, there is an increased risk of suicide. For more information, please visit: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157131.html

Additional Resources:

Depression

Teen Mental Health

Study Shows Direct Relation Between Asthma-Flair Ups and School Year Calendar

Adapted from MedlinePlus (Health Day)

A recent study may explain why children with Asthma tend to suffer cold systems after a school long holiday or break. Experts believed that environmental factors, such as air quality was the culprit. Researchers analyzed asthma-related hospitalizations of children across Texas for seven years. The study concluded that the school year calendar was the primary cause. Researchers found that when children are not at school for a long period, they will be less likely exposed to other children with colds and their immunity decreases. When they return to school, there is an increase in their exposure to cold viruses and their immune systems are not ready. For more information, please visit: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157134.html

Additional Resources:

Asthma in Children

Common Cold

School Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guide to Lead in Water

Due to the ongoing lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided an outline about lead in water. The outline covers the effects of high lead exposure to  the removal of lead contamination in water. For more information, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm

The National Library of Medicine Request for Information (RFI) Yields Results and Recommendations

Adapted from NLM:

The NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, MD, formed a working group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) for the purpose of reviewing the programs of NLM and recommendations for the future. The working group submitted a Request for Information from February 13 to March 13, 2015. There were 650 respondents in total. After the RFI was completed and reviewed, NLM found a wealth of information about its products, services and suggestions. For more information, please visit: http://infocus.nlm.nih.gov/2016/02/01/nih-request-for-information-yields-important-public-input-on-value-of-nlm-products-and-services/

 

FDA Collaborates With NLM and NIH to Increase Diversity in Clinical Trials

Adapted from: FDA blog, January 27, 2016

The importance of diversity in clinical trials cannot be underscored. Controlled clinical trials form the basis of evidence for evaluating whether a medical product is effective prior to the product being approved and marketed. One challenge for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is ensuring that research participants are representative of the patients who will use the medical product. A variety of people should have the opportunity to participate in trials, be knowledgeable about upcoming trials, have access to new therapies and have the chance to contribute to the betterment of medical treatment for everyone. Historically, the elderly, women and racial/ethnic minorities have been underrepresented in trials. Literature has well-documented this under-representation in recent years, particularly for women in some cardiovascular trials and general inclusion of black/African-American and minority participants in clinical trials. In response to these concerns, Congress included FDASIA Section 907: Inclusion of Demographic Subgroups in Clinical Trials in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) of 2012 , http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/SignificantAmendmentstotheFDCAct/FDASIA/ucm389100.htm giving FDA direction to evaluate this issue and take action. FDA has responded in multiple ways, including the creation of Drug Trials Snapshots more than a year ago that provides the public with a demographic profile of people participating in clinical trials for approved drugs. FDA notes that an evaluation of the Snapshots program shows that some groups, especially ethnic and racial groups, aren’t always well represented in clinical trials.

Increasing diversity in clinical trials is a priority for FDA. To that end, in 2016, the agency is planning a variety of activities and collaborations to push for greater inclusion, including more minority participation. For example:

  • FDA’s Office of Minority Health has developed a variety of tools to support clinical trial participation, including collaboration with the National Library of Medicine to help consumers and patients find clinical trials, educational materials on trials, as well as a multi-media campaign highlighting the importance of clinical trial participation. These materials are designed to urge those underrepresented in clinical trials to find out more information, and consider enrolling.
  • FDA’s Office of Women’s Health launched its Diverse Women in Clinical Trials initiative. Developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health, this multipronged effort will raise awareness and share best practices about clinical research design, recruitment, and subpopulation analyses.
  • FDA’s biostatisticians, trial design experts, and quantitative scientists will continue to work with the research community to develop methods to refine our approach to the conduct and analysis of trials to provide the best estimates of treatment effects for diverse populations.
  • FDA will continue our commitment to include patient advocacy groups to engage patients in clinical trial design, feedback and evaluation from a patient’s perspective. By engaging patients early in the trial design process, feasibility and participation may be improved.
  • The FDA’s Office of External Affairs plans to publish a consumer update describing what it is like to participate in a clinical trial and encouraging the public to enroll in trials.
  • The FDA has declared 2016 the year of more diversity in clinical trials. For more information see: http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2016/01/

NIH News In Health February 2016

Adapted from: NIH News in Health, February 2016 issue

Check out the February issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. To search for more trusted health information from NIH, bookmark http://health.nih.gov.

 

Technologies Enhance Tumor Surgery Helping Surgeons Spot and Remove Cancer NIH-funded researchers are developing new technologies to help surgeons figure out exactly where cancerous tumors end and healthy tissue begins. Read more about technologies for cancer surgery.
 
Focusing on Fibromyalgia A Puzzling and Painful Condition Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition marked by pain and fatigue. It can be hard to diagnose, but treatment can help. Read more about fibromyalgia.

Health Capsules:

Infertility Treatments and Children’s Development

Help for Rare and Undiagnosed Conditions

Featured Website: NIH Office of Dietary Supplements 

Please NIH’s website http://www.nih.gov/ for current authoritative health information.

 

Zika Virus: What You Need to Know

MedlinePlus posted a warning from the World Health Organization last week entitled “Zika Virus Expected to Spread North Through U.S.: WHO“.

As this is an emerging threat with new updates daily, here are a couple of websites to consult for the latest news:

And the NIH Director’s blog is always good for health news, plus MedlinePlus’ Latest Health News page.

As of January 27 there are also two new Medical Subject Headings available for searching MEDLINE/PubMed: Zika Virus Infection and Zika Virus.

map of zika affected countries

Job Ad: Digital & Information Services Librarian, LSU Health Shreveport

View this posting on the LSU Health Shreveport HR website

Digital and Information Services Librarian, Medical Library
Posted Date: 1/28/2016
Position Number: 28235
Salary Range: Negotiable
Location: LSU Health Shreveport
Posting open until filled

Minimum Qualifications:

Required: Master’s degree in Library or Information Science from an American Library Association (ALA)-accredited institution. Experience in searching health sciences information databases. Must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work in a team-oriented, collaborative environment, problem solving ability, excellent computer skills, and ability to work effectively with colleagues, students, faculty, and staff.

Desired: Experience in a library, preferably in a health sciences environment. Familiarity or experience with systematic reviews. Academy of Health Information Professionals credentialing. Ability to assist with a writing consultation service. Familiarity with genetic and/or molecular databases. Willingness to learn new technologies.

Job Summary:

The Department of Medical Library Science is seeking an enthusiastic, innovative librarian and expert searcher to assist faculty, researchers, and students with their information needs through literature searching, participation in morning report, and teaching information appraisal skills. This is a full-time faculty position, tenure-track if appointed at assistant librarian/assistant professor level or higher. The person in this position designs courses and/or tutorials, teaches audiences of varying education levels, provides outreach, serves as a liaison to other departments, and provides assistance with writing. Broad professional responsibilities include writing grant proposals, participation in professional associations which support library and information science or health care, participation in pertinent continuing education opportunities, conducting research and publishing.

The Library staff is a congenial and diverse group, always seeking new and improved ways to provide services and resources.

To Apply:

​Applicants should submit CV and three letters of reference to the Faculty Staffing Office at LSU Health Shreveport via email to: ShvFacultyRecruitment@lsuhsc.edu or by mail to the address below.

LSU Health Shreveport
Department of Human Resource Management
Attn: Faculty Recruitment
1501 Kings Highway, P.O. Box 33932
Shreveport, LA 71130-3932

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.