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Archive for December, 2016

Start the New Year Right with Healthy Eating

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

“Photo” by Kaboompics is licensed under CC0.

Salad

Two of the most common New Year’s resolutions every year are losing weight and staying fit and healthy. Key to keeping both of these resolutions is following a healthy eating plan, like the one outlined in Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The Guidelines are released every 5 years with the goal of providing recommendations for components of a healthy and nutritionally adequate diet that promotes health and prevents chronic disease for current and future generations.

Highlights of the latest Guidelines describe a health eating plan that:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs

Need more help creating a healthy diet plan? Check out the Center for Disease Control’s Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight. The site includes resources for meal planning and cutting calories, as well as links to healthy recipes, and gives suggestions for creative ways to design a diet after the Guidelines.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your favorite comfort food to be healthy; just remember to use moderation and create balance with healthier foods and more physical activity!

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Written by Sarah Miles, Health Professions Coordinator, NN/LM SCR

The Libraries of the Future – Strategic Planning

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Books

Over the last year, MIT has had a task force working on defining the future of their libraries. The past couple of months have seen conversation swirling around the preliminary report that came out of that task force.

One of their recommendations is a focus on four pillars: community and relationships, discovery and use, stewardship and sustainability, and research and development. This report calls for open collaboration both between and within institutions. For those in libraries, this re-visioning and goal process is familiar. In fact, the four pillars mentioned in this report can be found threaded throughout the NN/LM SCR’s Program Objectives of assessment, education, increased access, and advocacy.

Currently the NLM is accepting input for its own strategic planning to create the NLM of the future. If you are interested in providing input to NLM, please see the full request for information. Responses must be submitted by January 9, 2017.

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–Written by Bethany Livingston, Research Administrator, NN/LM SCR

 

Combatting Zika in Texas

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

“Photo” by SilasCamargo is licensed under CC0.

Hospital Bed

Texas recently saw its first case of locally transmitted Zika, meaning it was spread through infected mosquitos. Texas was generally always considered a location to watch for the spread of locally transmitted Zika because in the past, the state has seen mosquitos carrying dengue fever and chikungunya virus.

The Texas Department of State Health Services first started recommended testing for Zika in the Rio Grande Valley back in October, and the area saw its first local case at the end of November. Since this first confirmation, the state has seen several more locally transmitted cases in Cameron County—currently state and local health departments are investigating five cases.

Texas DSHS recommends that pregnant women who have traveled to Brownsville, the town which has seen the Zika cases, since Oct. 29 be tested for Zika. Those pregnant women who visit Brownsville on a regular basis should be tested for Zika in both their first and second trimesters.

To read more about Zika in Texas, please visit the Texas DSHS’ press page.

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21st Century Cures Act

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

“Stethoscope” by
Rohvannyn is licensed under CC0.

Stethoscope

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act. This bill passed both the US Senate and House with overwhelming bipartisan support.

This law will provide $4.8 billion in funding for the NIH to fund research projects dealing with transforming cancer treatments, brain disorders, and precision medicine. Additionally, there are provisions that should help increase access to mental health care in a variety of ways.

The law also funds $1 billion for state grants to help the growing problem of opioid addiction. However, this law doesn’t just affect funding. It has provisions that create a new U.S. Research Policy Board that will hopefully help ease the regulatory burden of academic research, ease medical device regulation, and create faster paths to drug approval. In a law that spans almost 1,000 pages, it will be several years, possibly decades, before all the effects can be seen.

For more information, please see 21st Century Cures Act — A View from the NIH in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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–Written by Bethany Livingston, Research Administrator, NN/LM SCR

 

 

 

 

 

Fasting May Prevent Childhood Cancer

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

“Photo” by Alexas_Fotos is licensed under CC0.

Mouse

UT Southwestern Medical Center announced recently the results of research they had been undertaking in regards to the effects fasting had on cancer. Interestingly enough, fasting helped prevent the most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Research was conducted on mice who underwent six cycles of one day of fasting and one day of eating. These mice were compared to other mice who ate normally. The research showed that after seven weeks of this the cancer was completely inhibited—there was a dramatic reduction in the number of cancerous cells in blood marrow and the spleen and a reduced number of white blood cells.

Since the study was conducted without any sort of drug, researchers are investigating if they could quickly begin conducting human clinical trials.

This fasting method did not see the same results for acute myeloid leukemia, the cancer that is most often found in adults.

To read more about the research, please visit “Fasting kills cancer cells of most common type of childhood leukemia.”

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New Mexico Sees Two More Cases of Hantavirus

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

“Photo” by My Name is licensed under CC0.

Mouse

New Mexico’s McKinley County recently announced it has confirmed two more cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. They are the seventh and eight cases of hantavirus confirmed in New Mexico this year. The 59-year-old man and 29-year-old woman diagnosed have been hospitalized.

Hantavirus is a disease carried by rodents and can be transmitted to humans through saliva, urine or droppings. People will often inhale the virus when cleaning up rodent droppings and nesting materials. In New Mexico, the primary culprit of hantavirus is the deer mouse, which carries the Sin Nombe virus, the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico.

Symptoms of hantavirus include fever, severe muscle aches and fatigue. Several days after contracting the virus, symptoms will also include headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain.

To prevent contracting the virus, keep mice and rats out of your home. Deer mice in particular can get through a hole that is the size of a dime, so check to make sure your home is secure. If you notice mouse or rat droppings, clean them up properly—don’t just sweep them up and risk inhaling them. Please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Facts About Hantavirus” for specific instructions regarding this.

While it is possible for people with hantavirus to recover, four of the previous six people who contracted hantavirus this year in New Mexico died—it is a serious disease.

For more information about hantavirus in New Mexico, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health.

For more general information regarding hantavirus, please visit the CDC’s website.

 

 

Read Books to Live Longer

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

“hurry up, we’re dreaming!” by
Dennis’ Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
No changes were made to this work.

Girl Reading in Snow

Looking for a healthy pastime to get through the winter months? Why not try… curling up with a good book!

A recent study published in the September issue of the journal of Social Science and Medicine found a correlation between book reading and longevity. The research team behind the study, based at the Yale University School of Public Health, looked at the reading habits of a group of 3,635 adults over the age of 50 and tracked their survival rate over a 12 year period.

The team observed a 20% reduction in mortality for those who read books compared to those who didn’t, as well as an advantage for reading books of any level over other types of reading material such as newspapers and magazines. The authors suggest that reading just 30 minutes per day, or about a chapter a day, can have a positive impact on your lifespan regardless of your gender, health, education or economic status.

As to why reading helps extend readers’ lives, the study points to two cognitive processes involved in reading books. The first is cognitive engagement as the reader makes connections within the book and to the outside world and formulates questions about the content. Books also promote empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence. Both of these processes can lead to better health behaviors and reduced stress.

For more information, see the study abstract available from ScienceDirect.

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Written by Sarah Miles, Health Professions Coordinator, NN/LM SCR

SCR Regional Highlight: Stay Healthy This Holiday Season by Remaining Active at Holiday Outings!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Photos by NM BioPark Society.

River of Lights - Holiday Light Show

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season by Remaining Active at Holiday Outings!

With the holidays quickly approaching, many of us may be dreaming of family gatherings with big family dinners to follow. And while it’s always nice to indulge every once in a while, you should also remember to remain physically active—even during the holidays!

Remaining active doesn’t have to mean leaving your loved ones to head to the gym though, there are many festive activities that will keep you in the holiday spirit, surrounded by family while still being active.

One event is the River of Lights—Holiday Light Show at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden in Albuquerque, the largest walk-through holiday production in New Mexico! It is open from 6 to 9:30 p.m. through Dec. 23, and then again from Dec. 26 through Dec. 30. This year is the 20th Annual River of Lights and features new sculptures, and a new light show set to a variety of classic and contemporary holiday music favorites.

Walking daily has many benefits. Just like any aerobic activity, it reduces your risk of early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and depression. Additionally, walking an hour per day can lower your risk of some types of cancer! Perhaps even after the holidays you’ll consider a daily walk as part of your exercise routine!

For more tips on how to stay active and healthy during the holiday season, please see 12 Ways to Have a Health Holiday Season from the CDC.

To learn more about the River of Lights, please visit the City of Albuquerque’s website.

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Written by Sara Goodwin, NN/LM SCR

Winter is Coming: Be Prepared

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

“Dressing for Cold Weather” infographic from Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Dressing for Cold Weather Infographic

Colder temperatures are on the way if they’re not already upon you! With that in mind, the Oklahoma State Department of Health would like to remind everyone to be safe and keep warm this winter. Additionally, take proper precautions and ensure your family is prepared in the event of a major winter weather event.

For adults 65 and older and for babies, it’s very important to monitor the temperature of a house. Infants lose body heat more easily than adults and can’t produce body heat, and older adults produce less body heat.

Also, use caution when heating your home with a woodstove, fireplace or space heater—install a carbon monoxide detector to know if your house has reached dangerous carbon monoxide levels.

OSDH has also created a “Dressing for Cold Weather” infographic to help individuals know what to wear outside at what temperatures.

To read more tips for preparing for the cold weather, please visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s website.

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It’s Never Too Late to Quit Smoking

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

“Photo” by realworkhard is licensed under CC0.

Cigarette Smoke
Research on smoking is finding that it’s never too late for a person to quit. Even if it’s at 60 years old, you can gain years back on your life.

It’s a long-known fact that cigarettes and smoking are harmful to a person’s health—it causes more than 480,000 deaths in Americans per year, nearly 1 in 5 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Besides just adding years to your life, quitting smoking also reduces a person’s heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.

The research studied data collected on 160,000 men and women, in which they completed a survey about their smoking habit between 2004 and 2005 and the deaths of the participants were tracked until the end of 2011. While the study did find that participants were more likely to die earlier if they quit later in life, the data also pointed out those who quit smoking at any time fared better than those who were still current smokers when they died.

“…The study also makes the point that I try to tell my patients, some of whom believe it and some of whom don’t, that smoking cessation is good for you even late in life. If you stop, you will live longer than if you don’t stop,” said Dr. Norman Edelman, senior medical consultant to the American Lung Association in a MedlinePlus article.

To read more about the study, please visit “It’s Never Too Late to Stop Smoking.”

To read more about the dangers of smoking, please visit the CDC’s website.

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