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A SPECIAL SECTION OF THE RECORD - REVIEW E OCTOBER 14, 2011 To Your Health! Statins + coQ10? BEAUTY THROUGH HEALTH Healthier body: healthier hair, nails By JACKIE LUPO SENIOR LIVING Caring for your aging parents BY MaRY leGRaND A dult children may visit with an aging parent every day, once a year or somewhere in between, but it’s still stressful when the realization comes that Mom or dad is having trouble remaining independent at home. The signs are often there, according to Jean dunphy, executive director of Willow Towers Assisted Living, part of the United hebrew of New rochelle campus of residences, senior apartments and services. “It’s sometimes very obvious that a parent can no longer live alone, because they need help,” dunphy said. “the adult child at that point, regardless of what’s happening, realizes their parents are aging. And the aging process is painful, because the parents’ lives are shrinking. Maybe they’re losing the ability to drive, which is a huge loss of independence, and with that comes social isolation.” Families of older individuals often feel isolated themselves when confronted with the need to make decisions about a relative’s care. The options available to them are confusing, to say the least, and it can be difficult to navigate the process of finding help. one way to start is to go online. the federal government offers a comprehensive checklist at topics/health/caregivers that includes links to individual states and hundreds if not thousands of websites. New York State and westchester county’s sites offer similar links to basic and specific information. Here in Westchester County there are many options, including at Cabrini Eldercare in dobbs Ferry and Lower Manhattan. Lorraine Horgan, vice president for external affairs at Cabrini Eldercare, said people’s needs differ when they first call for advice. “Prospective families usually speak with someone in the admissions office,” she said. “Some people call and are looking to place Mom for shortterm rehab; others are looking for advice in general. We’re willing to answer those questions of course; that’s what we’re here for.” Many local facilities offer a host of options for elder care, from home care to long- or short-term care in a facility. United hebrew of New rochelle and Cabrini Eldercare are both full-service, COnTinuEd On paGE 7a INSIDE: Beauty by accident: Long, dark lashes are a winning side effect .... 3A Optic health: Many options for correcting presbyopia ................... 3A Fitness: These exercise trends have lasting appeal ...............................4A Seniors: Safety updates help seniors live independently at home.......... 5A Health Tips: Prevention is the best medicine ....................................... 6A Protein: Are you getting enough in your diet? ..................................... 8A Ah, how we abuse the body parts we try to make the most beautiful: our hair and nails. We use our fingernails to pry open soda cans; we fry our hair with 450-degree irons and cook it with chemicals. It’s possible to have nails and hair that look beautiful without wreaking havoc instead. We talked to local experts about the problems that can befall nails and hair. These include natural ones — caused by health issues, for example — and problems that can only be called owner-inflicted ones. By JENNIFER LEAVITT-WIPF M arketed since 1987, statins are now the most widely prescribed drug in the United States. Twenty-five million of us take them to keep our cholesterol in check. They do just that by inhibiting the enzyme hMgCoA reductase, which determines how much cholesterol forms in our livers. Since statins do succeed in significantly improving our blood lipid profile, and because serious side effects are rare, most doctors strongly advocate their use. Specializing in internal medicine, oxana Popescu, M.d., of hastings-on-hudson, said that a number of her patients take statins, but very few have complaints. She has been pleased with their results. Jonathan wynn, M.d., who practices cardiology and internal medicine in White Plains, said that he himself experiences some myalgia (muscle pain) from taking statins, but, as his own cardiologist said to him, “Would you rather have a cramp in your leg or a cramp in your chest?” (He has strategies to help patients combat statin side effects.) Cardiologists at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, where Bill Clinton was evaluated for chest pain and shortness of breath back in 2004, include statins as a critical component in their multifaceted approach to helping patients fight heart disease. Indeed, the consensus in the scientific community is that taking statins is well worth our while. Healthy, beautiful nails Nails are made up of layers of a protein called keratin. The growth starts from an area below the cuticle. As the nail grows beyond the cuticle area, the cells get compacted and harder. But there are a lot of things that can happen both during the process of formation of the nail, and after the nail emerges from the cuticle. In fact, a doctor may be able to tell by looking at your hands that something is wrong somewhere else in your body. The Mayo Clinic describes several nail problems often found in people with serious health issues: • Pitting on the surface of the nails may exist along with other skin problems, such as psoriasis or some forms of chronic dermatitis. • Nails that curve around the fingertips, a condition called “clubbing,” may be a sign of low blood oxygen levels, found in such conditions as lung disease. Nail clubbing may also occur with cardiovascular, bowel or liver conditions. • Nails with the opposite appearance, sunken in like spoons, may develop in people with iron deficiency anemia. • dark bands near the nail tips may be a normal sign of aging. They are also sometimes seen in patients with congestive heart failure, diabetes, liver disease or malnutrition. • Sometimes, severe illness can temporarily affect the formation of the nail, causing horizontal ridges. These ridges, called “Beau’s lines,” may form in patients with malnutrition, uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory disorders, or diseases such as pneumonia, mumps, measles or scarlet fever, in which the patient has suffered from a high fever. • a fingernail may loosen and fall off due to injury or infection, but there are other reasons that nails can become detached from the nail bed. This condition can sometimes be caused by acrylic nails or as a reaction to nail hardeners. Nails can also loosen due to drug reactions, thyroid disease or psoriasis. • discoloration of the nails may indicate a health problem. For example, sometimes people with respiratory problems, such as chronic bronchitis, keeping cholesterol in check Coenzyme Q-10 deficiency may notice a yellowing of the nails. Some irregularities in the nail are normal. For example, vertical ridges are no cause for concern, although they do tend to become more pronounced with age. Some people have nails that are inherently strong or weak. But the way you use your hands can also affect whether nails have a tendency to split or break. Exposing nails to water while dishwashing or bathing can contribute to splitting. Harsh chemicals, such as cleaning products or overuse of polish remover, can also weaken nails. Use a toluene-free or formaldehyde-free polish remover. A rough-edged nail can easily turn into a split one. Keep the edges of nails smoothly filed in a gentle arc, without sharp points or corners that can catch on things and cause them to split or break. If you see the beginning of a split, apply a thin dab of nail glue to the area. Keeping nails covered with clear polish can also protect them from splitting. according to debbie Palmer, d.o., a dermatologist in Harrison, and author of “the dermatologist’s Prescription for a New You” (Authorhouse, 2011), it’s easy to damage even healthy nails. “Nail damage can occur from using the nails as tools to pick or pry things like pop-top cans,” said dr. Palmer. “instead, use an instrument.” She also urges people not to bite their nails or tear their cuticles. While it’s oK to trim a cuticle that’s sticking up so it doesn’t tear, gnawing and picking are no-nos: “You can get infections in the cuts that can permanently affect how your nail grows.” Treatments at the nail salon may make nails look strong and healthy, but hazards may lurk at salons that don’t COnTinuEd On paGE 5a At the same time, researchers have expressed concern about a sometimes silent side effect of this wonder drug — reduced levels of Coenzyme Q10 in the body. As far back as 1993, the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published “evidence of plasma coQ10-lowering effect by hMgCoA reductase inhibitors, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” A Columbia University study in New York found that 30 days of statin therapy (at 80 mg per day) cut CoQ10 levels in half, and a study by Kanazawa University researchers in Japan found that after eight weeks of 10 mg a day statin therapy, CoQ10 levels decreased by 40 percent. The American Journal of Cardiology reported back in 2004 on “The effect of atorvastatin on left ventricular function and ability of Coenzyme Q10 to reverse that dysfunction.” People particularly vulnerable to statininduced CoQ10 deficiency tend to be over 50 years of age, have a history of diabetes, COnTinuEd On paGE 2a SPORTS MEDICINE FOR THE MASSES By JACKIE LUPO A major league pitcher. A teenage cross-country runner. An office worker. A great-grandmother. What do all these people have in common? They may all benefit from research and treatments that originated in the field of sports medicine. Sports medicine, a subspecialty that first made headlines for the cutting-edge surgeries and therapies developed for elite athletes, now touches the lives of people of all ages. Sports medicine techniques are even being adapted for non-athletes. Kids have been big beneficiaries of advances in sports medicine. And make no mistake, kids are being injured on the playing field more than ever. the U.S. consumer Product Safety commission reported that in 2010, more than 414,000 Americans received medical treatment for baseballrelated injuries alone, and more than 282,000 of these patients were 18 or younger. According to the american academy of orthopedic Surgeons (aaoS), most of these were contact injuries, involving a ball, a bat or another person. But there are also many overuse injuries to the shoulder and elbow. In fact, injuries to the youngest players are so common that there is even a syndrome, “Little Leaguer’s Elbow,” a painful condition on the inside of the elbow that comes from repetitive throwing. doctors also see Little League pitchers with bone and cartilage injuries that occur when repetitive throwing causes the bones in the elbow joint to smash together. the aaoS published general guidelines for how many pitches a child can safely throw each week: 75 for 8-10-year-olds, 100 for 11-12-yearolds, and 125 for 13-14-year-olds, including both practice and competitive play. The guidelines also state that young pitchers should play only three to four innings in each game. High school athletes are also greatly at risk for sports-related injuries. Paul Sethi, M.d., an orthopedist at orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialist in greenwich, has been a team physician for the Los angeles Lakers, dodgers and Angels. Today, he uses a lot of the experience he gained treating professional athletes in his practice, where he specializes in arthroscopic surgery, especially problems with shoulders, elbows and knees. he is also the team physician for greenwich high School, brunswick School in greenwich and for iona Prep in New rochelle. dr. Sethi said that he sees many high school age athletes having surgery for injuries that used to be seen only in professionals. Major-league operations, high school patients “An example is the increased use of Tommy John surgery for ‘throwing elbow,” Sethi said. “The ulnar collateral ligament [or UCL] is comContinued on page 6a

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