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Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category

All of Us Research Program Funding Opportunity for Community Groups

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

The All of Us Research Program is a large part of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) from the NIH. While many of the research and engagement grants have already been awarded, a new funding opportunity have been opened for community groups to assist with outreach efforts. This opportunity allows nonprofits, other community- and faith-based organizations, minority-serving institutions and school districts, and local governments to apply for funding to create community engagement activities and provide feedback to the research program about community needs and perspectives.

This grassroots engagement could make a huge difference in recruiting populations that have traditionally been excluded from biomedical research. Additionally, priority will be given to applications that reach into geographic target areas. The geographic priority areas include our entire SCR region. Priority 1 geographic areas include Houston, TX; Louisiana; and New Mexico. Priority 2 geographic areas include Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Applications are due on March 24, 2017.

For the full NIH press release please go here: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/all-us-research-program-announces-funding-opportunity-community-partners

For the funding announcement please go here: http://go.usa.gov/x9seA

Note: The informational webinar about the opportunity is Feb 10th. Register here

Observe American Heart Month this February

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Untitled by Tim Marshall is licensed under CC0.

red hands

A heart means more than just love this February—this month, the United States recognizes American Heart Month, shedding light on heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.; heart disease affects 1 in 4 Americans, and 1 in 3 American women.

The New Mexico Department of Health is just one organization that hopes it can raise awareness for the disease and the risks associated with it. In New Mexico, 4,000 people die annually from heart disease or stroke.

What’s important to know about heart disease is that it can be prevented. Well-known risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, low physical activity, a poor diet, and obesity, among others. Additionally, heart disease risk increases with age, specifically if you’re over the age of 45, or if you have a family history of it.

To kick off American Heart Month, you can wear red tomorrow, Feb. 3 in honor National Wear Red Day.

To read more about American Hearth Month, please visit healthfinder.gov.

To read more about New Mexico’s initiatives for American Heart Month, please visit “New Mexicans Encouraged to Listen to Their Heart.”

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Don’t Fat Shame: You’re Doing More Harm Than Good

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

“Scale” by mojzagrebinfo is licensed under CC0.

measuring tape and a scale

Making fun of a person’s weight, often called “fat shaming,” is probably not going to motivate a person to lose weight. In fact, it will most likely raise their risk of heart disease and other health problems.

Rebecca Pearl, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and study leader, said that the more self-blame and devaluation a person feels when stigmatized, the more likely they are to have health issues.

Previous research has linked weight stigmatization with weight gain and emotional stress but this study found weight stigmatization can go much deeper.

The study looked at 159 obese adults and found out how much they blamed and devalued themselves for their weight. They also looked at how many of them had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that are linked with higher risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and more health problems.

The study found that those who felt the most devaluation and self-blame were three times more likely to have metabolic syndrome than the those with the lowest.

Dr. Rebecca Puhl, deputy director at the University of Connecticut Center for Food Policy & Obesity who co-wrote a commentary that accompanied the study, said to try to avoid self-blame as well as try to avoid blaming friends and family for struggling with weight.

To read more about the study, please visit “The Shame of ‘Fat Shaming.’

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New Research Shows Breast Cancer Precursor Treatment Causes Women to Live Longer

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

“Breast Cancer Awareness” by ~Pawsitive~Candie_N is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

pink ballonsDuctal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer and is non-life-threatening. However, DCIS can actually be a precursor to worse breast cancer later on. It can increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer; patients are at a higher risk of developing a new breast cancer than a patient who has never had any breast cancer before.

The study, conducted in the Netherland on more than 10,000 women for an average of 10 years, found that those who were treated for DCIS had a 10 percent less chance of dying from any cause than the general population. That may sound confusing—if you were treated for DCIS, you are 10 percent more likely to live a longer life than someone who never had DCIS, and therefore never received treatment for DCIS.

Specifically, researchers found that women who were treated were much less likely to die from digestive, respiratory, and circulatory diseases, and other types of cancer. This study is particularly important because DCIS treatment includes radiotherapy, which can cause damage to nearby organs

More and more people are becoming aware they have DCIS because it is something that shows up in breast cancer screenings—so more women are able to get treated if they have this form of cancer.

For more information on the study, please visit “Women treated for precursor of breast cancer can expect to live as long as other women.”

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NNLM SCR Introduces Our Consumer Health Coordinator: Debbie Montenegro

Monday, January 30th, 2017

debbie-montenegro

The NNLM SCR is pleased to welcome Debbie Montenegro to the RML. Debbie will serve as the Consumer Health Coordinator and liaison to the State of Texas.

Prior to this position, Debbie worked as a Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Analyst for Baylor Scott & White Health, Library Manager for a nursing school, and Chemistry teacher. Debbie also worked at a public library while obtaining her Master of Science in Information Science degree at UNT, with a Health Informatics Specialization. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from SMU. Debbie has been published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging and in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.

She is excited to join the NNLM SCR. Please feel free to contact her for projects to bring health related information to your patrons.

Contact Debbie at Debbie.Montenegro@unthsc.edu or 817-735-2469

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New Mexico Sees Four Cases of Whooping Cough

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Untitled by Mindy Olson P is licensed under CC0.

close up of eye

New Mexico is seeing its largest cluster of whooping cough cases in infants since 2013. So far, four infants from Eddy, Curry, Rio Arriba and San Juan have a confirmed case. The cases have all been reported in infants under six months old.

“Whooping cough is very contagious and can cause serious cough illness―especially in infants too young to be fully vaccinated,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher in a New Mexico Department of Health news release. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent your child from getting it.”

Whooping cough, scientifically known as pertussis, is highly contagious. It is characterized by uncontrollable, violent coughing, which often makes it hard to breathe, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. After a bout of coughing, the person often has to take large, deep breaths, creating the “whooping” sound. Anyone can get whooping cough, but it is extremely dangerous and can be fatal to those less than a year old.

Whooping cough is spread by coughing or sneezing, and those who are infected can be contagious for up to two weeks after the cough starts.

Whooping cough is best prevented by getting the vaccine. Infected persons can be treated through antibiotics—early diagnosis and treatment is very important.

To read more about whooping cough in New Mexico and how to prevent it, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health’s website.

To read more general information about whooping cough, please visit the CDC’s website.

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Consumer Health & Tech Roundup

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of all that’s going on. Here are some of the headlines you may have missed this past month:

Sushi Lovers, Beware: Tapeworm Now Found in U.S. Salmon [MedlinePlus]

Smartwatches could soon tell you when you’re getting sick [TechCrunch]

Quick fact sheets on key trends in digital technology now available [Pew Research Center]

Food Safety Tips for Your ‘Tamalada’ [Foodsafety.gov]

CES 2017: Smart Cane Gives Users a Boost [Health Tech Insider]

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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Untitled by Liam Welch is licensed under CC0.

close up of eyeDid you know more than 3 million people in the U.S. are affected by glaucoma? Do you know what glaucoma is?

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve, the part of the eye that connects it’s to the brain. When damaged, it can cause vision loss, and in fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, according to MedlinePlus.

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, but there are certain groups of people who should be more aware of potentially contracting the disease—mainly seniors. Those over age 60 should get an eye exam every two years. Additionally, African Americans over age 40 and those with a family history of glaucoma should also get checked regularly, as they are more at risk.

Glaucoma symptoms vary, and those with the disease may experience none. But over time they may notice a loss of peripheral vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, nausea, blurred vision, halos around lights and/or reddening of eyes.

There is no cure for glaucoma, but it can usually be controlled, especially when caught early on. Current treatments include prescription eye drops and surgery.

This January, recognize National Glaucoma Awareness Month by considering getting an annual eye exam.

To read more about glaucoma, please visit “Glaucoma Resources for Special Populations from National Library of Medicine,” and/or MedlinePlus.

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Tuberculosis Diagnoses Increase for First Time in 23 Years

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

“Photo” by WikiImages is licensed under CC0.

syringe

While you may not think tuberculosis (TB) is a concern for yourself and your family, many people in the U.S. suffer with it, and for the first time in 23 years, the U.S. saw an increase in diagnosed cases in 2015. There were 9,557 cases total and it affected 27 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

This increase calls for a more comprehensive public health approach to curbing TB, according to the CDC’s report. Suggested strategies according to the report are:

  • “Increased testing and treatment of latent (showing no symptoms) TB,
  • Greater efforts to reach populations most affected by TB, and
  • Reducing TB transmission through effective diagnostic and treatment strategies.”

TB is a bacterium that usually affects the lungs but can affect any part of the body. It is usually spread through the air when a person throat coughs, speaks or sings and another person breaths it in. But not everyone who becomes infected will become sick, which is called latent TB infection. This occurs when your body is able to fight off the bacteria.

Primary TB symptoms include a cough that last as for three weeks or longer, pain in the chest, and coughing up blood. Others may also include weight loss, fatigue, no appetite, chills, fever and sweating at night.

To read more from the recent CDC report, please visit “Burden of TB in the United States.”

To read more general information about TB, please visit the CDC’s website.

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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