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DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

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S e r v i n g P a l m B e a c h G a r d e n s , R o y a l P a l m B e a c h , We l l i n g t o n , B e l l e G l a d e , L a k e Wo r t h , L a n t a n a , B o y n t o n a n d B o c a R a t o n

Scientists Learn Why Alcohol Can Be Good For You 7 Vitamins That will Make You Look Younger PAGE 4

How to Survive Travel Emergencies PAGE 10

When you raise a glass to toast with some wine or champagne this Christmas Holiday, you are doing your heart a favor, according to a new study. PAGE 7

Many Men Over 75 Still Sexually Active. PAGE 15

Judge in Va. strikes down federal health care law

PAGE 2

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2 DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

Judge in Va. strikes down federal health care law RICHMOND, Va. – A federal judge declared the foundation of President Barack Obama's health care law unconstitutional, ruling that the government cannot require Americans to purchase insurance. The case is expected to end up at the Supreme Court.

I

n his order, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson said he will allow the law to remain in effect while appeals are heard, meaning there is unlikely to be any immediate impact on other provisions that have already taken effect. The insurance coverage mandate is not scheduled to begin until 2014.

Even so, Republicans in Congress celebrated the ruling as validation of the arguments they had made for months while the law was pending. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., issued a statement urging the White House to agree to expedite a final ruling by appealing directly to the Supreme Court without first stopping at an appeals court. Hudson is the first federal judge to

strike down a key part of the law, which had been upheld by fellow federal judges in Virginia and Michigan. Several other lawsuits have been dismissed and still others are pending, including one filed in Florida by 20 states. White House health reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle said the administration is encouraged by the two other judges who have upheld the law. She said the Justice Department is reviewing Hudson's ruling. The government had argued the Commerce Clause of the Constitution gives it the power to require people to buy health insurance or face a penalty. Hudson sided with Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli,

forcing state residents to buy health insurance. Cuccinelli argued that while the government can regulate economic activity that substantially affects interstate commerce, the decision not to buy insurance amounts to economic inactivity that is beyond the government's reach.

This 2010 handout photo provided by US District Judge Henry Hudson, shows Hudson at the court in Richmond, Va. Hudson declared a key provision of the Obama administration's health care law unconstitutional, siding with Virginia's attorney general in a dispute that both sides agree will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

who argued the mandate overstepped the bounds of the Constitution. But he acknowledged his court will not be the last stop. "This case, however, turns on atypical and uncharted applications of constitutional law interwoven with subtle political undercurrents," Hudson wrote. "The outcome of this case has significant public policy implications. And the final word will undoubtedly reside with a higher court." The Department of Justice stood

by its argument that Congress was within its rights to enact the law. "We are disappointed in today's ruling but continue to believe — as other federal courts in Virginia and Michigan have found — that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler. The lawsuit was filed by Cuccinelli, a Republican, in defense of a new state law passed in reaction to the federal overhaul that prohibits the government from

"This won't be the final round, as this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, but today is a critical milestone in the protection of the Constitution," Cuccinelli said in a statement after the ruling. Hudson, a Republican appointed by President George W. Bush, sounded sympathetic to the state's case when he heard oral arguments in October, and the White House expected to lose this round. Administration officials told reporters last week that a negative ruling would have virtually no impact on the law's implementation, noting that its two major provisions — the coverage mandate and the creation of new insurance markets — don't take effect until 2014.

40 Million in U.S. Driving Drunk or Drugged Most are aged 16 to 25, a new federal study finds.

decisions about drinking or drugging and driving," Delany said. On the plus side, there has been a small drop in the rate of drunk and drugged driving in the past few years.

D

espite massive efforts to curb drunk driving, some 30 million Americans are driving drunk and another 10 million are driving drugged each year, federal officials report.

In fact, in some states the number of drunk and drugged drivers tops 20 percent, according to a report released Thursday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). "This is a pretty high percentage of people that are operating a motor vehicle under the influence of something," said Peter Delany, director of SAMHSA's Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. There has been a small decline in the number of those driving drunk or drugged, he added. "But, even though we are making advances, we still have a ways to go," he said. "The reality is any numbers are concerning." Other SAMHSA officials noted that thousands of people are killed and maimed yearly by drunk and drugged drivers, even though the entertainment industry, in some movies such as Due Date, portrays drunk and drugged driving as "harmless fun."

Data from 2002 to 2005 shows the annual rate of drunk driving has dropped from 14.6 percent to 13.2 percent, compared with data from 2006 to 2009. In the same time periods, the annual rate of drugged driving dropped from 4.8 percent to 4.3 percent, according to the report. In all, 12 states had a reduction in drunk driving, and seven have seen lower levels of drugged driving.

According to the survey, an average of 13.2 percent of people aged 16 and older drove under the influence of alcohol and 4.3 percent drove under the influence of an illegal drug in the past year.

(2.9 percent) and New Jersey (3.2 percent) had the lowest levels, the authors found.

The numbers of drunk and drugged drivers varied from state to state, the survey found. Some states with the highest levels of drunk driving include Wisconsin (23.7 percent) and North Dakota (22.4 percent). The highest rates for drugged driving are in Rhode Island (7.8 percent) and Vermont (6.6 percent).

In addition, levels of drunk and drugged driving varied among age groups, with younger drivers much more likely to drive while impaired. Drivers aged 16 to 25 had a much higher rate of drunk driving, compared with those aged 26 and older (19.5 percent vs. 11.8 percent). Those aged 16 to 25 also had a higher rate of drugged driving than those aged 26 and older (11.4 percent vs. 2.8 percent).

Those with the lowest rates of drunk driving include Utah (7.4 percent) and Mississippi (8.7 percent). For drugged driving, Iowa

"Parents and community leaders need to be thinking about what they can do to help young people make good decisions and not make bad

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Why there have been drops in the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs isn't clear, Delany said. "I suspect we are having some impact on getting the message out that this is not safe, and I expect a lot of the police enforcement is helping," he said.

Against Drunk Driving, said her organization was pleased to see a decline in the numbers of drunk and drugged drivers. "However, the problem is far from solved," she said. "Nationwide in 2009, 10,839 people were killed in drunk driving crashes." In an effort to keep drunk drivers off roadways, MADD is calling on states to pass legislation requiring an ignition interlock for all convicted drunk driving offenders, Duerr said. This device - which tests for alcohol on a driver's breath before permitting the car to start -- requires the driver to blow into a hand-held sensor unit attached to the ignition. The car will turn on only if the breathalyzer finds the driver's breath alcohol content is under the legal limit.

However. one in three car accident deaths (33 percent) were due to driving while high on an illegal drug, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations Fatal Accident Reporting System.

Of the states shown in the report to have significant declines in drunk driving rates, four had passed alloffender ignition interlock laws between 2005 and 2009, she noted. Also, the report shows that Wisconsin -- currently the only state where driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 is not a criminal offense -- has the highest drunk driving rates, Duerr said.

These figures are based on dated from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, which involves reports from more than 423,000 people aged 16 and over. Anna Duerr, a spokeswoman for the advocacy group Mothers

"MADD remains committed to educating the public about the dangers of drunk driving and underage drinking, while providing free support to the victims and survivors of drunk driving crashes," she said.

PUBLIC RELATIONS Phone: (561) 267-5232 p_relations@floridahealthnews-online.com GRAPHIC DESIGN Sergio Aguilar (561) 716-5054 ads@floridahealthnews-online.com

CONTRIBUTING ARTICLES U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ARA Content, Hispanic PR Wire, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, METRO Editorial Services, Family Features, © SEA PUBLICATIONS, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Printed in United States.

Florida Health News is a newspaper published every month in Palm Beach county and surrounding areas. Copyright 2010, all rights reserved by SEA Publications, Inc. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising. The publisher does not accept responsibility for advertisement error beyond the cost of the advertisement itself. All submitted materials are subject to editing.


DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

Bunions

the post-operative pain will be managed with narcotics and/or anti-inflammatories. You will experience the most pain during the first three postoperative days – expect each day to be better than the last.

slowly progress. Some people have painful bunions in their teens while others only develop pain in their 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s.

Arthur Hansen DPM, M.S. What is a Bunion? A bunion is the deformity that occurs at the big toe joint occurs when the big to begins to deviate towards the second toe. The biggest misconception is that bunions occur from an overgrowth of bone. While this may be true in very few people, the bunion really represents a dislocation or subluxation of the big toe joint and it bulges against the skin. This bony prominence is what is commonly called a bunion. Sometimes the bunion area may become irritated, red and/or callused or ulcerated. Some bunions are very painful and some are not. Are all bunions the same? No! Bunions are not created equal. They come in different sizes and shapes. What causes a Bunion? Heredity and the way your foot functions during the gait cycle are the most likely reasons you develop a bunion. Bunions occur gradually over time, with each step you take. Will the Bunion get worse? It’s hard to say. Some bunions may progress rapidly while other bunions slowly get bigger over several years. It may begin during adolescence and

Are all Bunions painful? No. Size doesn’t always matter. Some bunions hurt and some do not. The size of the bunion doesn’t always correlate with pain. Bunions that are made painful by shoe gear tend to be larger. Some small bunions may be excruciatingly painful. Now the bunion is pushing against my second toe, is this a problem? When the bunion pushes against the second toe, it is typically is a good indicator that you have a moderate to severe bunion. Over time, the big toe may force itself under second toe – causing the second toe to buckle (this is called a hammer toe). The second toe could become painful as well. What non-surgical treatment is available? Not all bunions require surgery and they can be managed conservatively. The most common things to try are wider shoes, inserts (orthotics) and activity modifications. When should I have Bunion surgery? The decision to have bunion surgery is personal and different everyone. While there are many reasons to have bunion surgery, the most common reasons include: • Pain • Difficulty walking • Difficulty fitting shoes • Worsening bunion • Pain at the ball of the foot • Failed conservative measures.

Small (mild)

Medium (moderate)

Some people have surgery simply because they don’t like the way the bunion looks. While some doctors may correct your bunion if it doesn’t hurt, you should be aware that permanent pain may occur after your surgery. What surgical treatment is available? Bunion surgery is most often performed as an out-patient – this means you go home that same day. It will likely be done at a hospital or out-patient (ambulatory) surgery center. The anesthetic choices with bunion surgery are local with sedation, spinal or general anesthesia. There are many different types of surgeries used to correct bunion deformities. Your surgeon will decide the best one for your deformity prior to the surgery based on a number of clinical, radiological, and measured findings. With most bunion surgeries today, the procedure involves a combination of soft-tissue rebalancing of ligaments and tendons as well as bone work to re-align the foot structure. There is more than one way to surgically treat a bunion. While there are some general guidelines, some procedures work well for some Surgeons and poorly for others. Your Surgeon should consider the severity of your bunion, medical condition, lifestyle, and recuperation time when considering the surgical treatment.

Large (severe)

How long does it take to heal after Bunion surgery? If your surgery requires bone healing (and most do) then expect that it will take 6 weeks for the bone to mend. This is the normal (average) time frame for bone healing and cannot be made to happen any quicker. There is often a period of rehabilitation that takes place, and it’s likely that you will not be back to your full activities and/or shoe gear for few weeks thereafter. Full recovery from bunion surgery may take up to 6 months. Expect to some take time away from work to recover, but the amount of time you will need off depends on your Surgeon and any complications that may arise. Walking after Bunion surgery Some bunion surgeries allow for immediate walking in a bunion shoe, while other procedures may require you to be in cast with crutches. larger bunions usually require a period of non-weightbearing. How painful is Bunion surgery? It's surgery – expect some pain afterwards. The procedure itself should be painless as you will have had anesthesia. Before the Surgeon places the surgical dressing the operating room, he or she will often numb the foot with a long-acting anesthetic that should provide excellent pain relief to get you through the night. In addition,

Implanted Hardware In order to correct your bunion, metallic surgical hardware such as screws, staples, plates and wires are usually needed to stabilize the bones in their corrected position. Surgical stainless steel is most commonly used. You should be aware that Nickel is present in surgical stainless steel hardware and if you have an allergy you should notify you doctor prior to surgery. Titanium is also used, but not as commonly as stainless steel. Absorbable screws are also available, but are much less commonly used. Most Surgeons will say that the hardware can be left in your foot permanently. Some people elect to have the hardware removed if it is close to the skin and irritating. Others simply prefer to have the hardware removed. You should discuss this with your Surgeon. What is the success rate of Bunion surgery? How does one measure success? It is estimated that 85% of people who have bunion surgery are satisfied with their outcome. Of the remaining 15%, most are improved but may still have some pain and limitations (shoe gear and/or activities). A smaller percentage of people may experience no benefit from bunion surgery or may be worse. The bunion may re-occur if the bunion wasn’t addressed correctly. Treatment for the bunion, whether it be conservative or surgical, should be made jointly by you and your surgeon with consideration given to your pain level and how much your daily activities are affected.

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4 DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

7 Vitamins That will Make You look Younger These anti-aging skin care tips will help you eat and drink years off

W

hile there are a ton of state-of-the-art, anti-aging skin care products and treatments on the market, looking younger begins from the inside out. You really are what you eat. Your food should not only satiate your every taste bud and be your fuel, but you should also think of your food as part of your skin care routine. Working antiaging vitamins into your breakfast, lunch and dinner will help yield more radiant, youthful skin. But how do you do that? There are a ton of diets out there for this, that and the other, offering false promises, so it's difficult to know which ones to trust and which ones are bogus. So … we called on expert nutritionist, Joy Bauer to give us some skin care tips. She is the nutrition/health expert for "The Today Show" and she advises everyone from the New York City Ballet ballerinas to famous actors and Olympic athletes. Here she shares what the top age-fighting vitamins are, and explains which foods contain these vitamins and how much of these foods you need to eat to get optimum benefits. You might be surprised to find out that some of your favorite foods are already packing a big anti-aging punch, but if not, her advice might inspire you to incorporate a few new foods into your next meal. In fact, she shares a recipe called "Joy's

Beauty Blend." It's a tasty smoothie that provides a blast of many of the complexion-friendly nutrients that you'll read about in this story. See anti-aging vitamins now.

Vitamin C Anti-aging benefits: Despite Vitamin C's notoriety for boosting our immune systems, what you might not know is that it's also involved in collagen production and helps protect skin cells from sun damage, says Bauer.

with Vitamin C, it protects against UV damage.

Where it's found: Wheat germ (can be added to protein shakes, oatmeal, bread crumbs, muffins, yogurt) Nuts and seeds (like sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds) Avocados

How much you need: Eat one tbsp of wheat germ; two avocado slices; or a small handful of nuts

Mackerel and sardines) Edamame

Where it's found:

Beta-Carotene

Bell peppers (any color) Broccoli Strawberries Guava Cit-

Anti-aging benefits: Beta-carotene is crucial for skin health, says Bauer. It converts to Vitamin A, which is critically responsible for cell repair and growth.

Where it's found:

rus fruits like pineapples, lemons, limes, oranges, etc.

How much you need: Did you know that bell peppers are packed with 280 mg of Vitamin C, whereas oranges (the poster child of this vitamin) only contain 90 mg? While you need at least 100 mg of Vitamin C daily, Bauer says there's not really a set daily amount that you should eat, so she suggests that you go out of your way to eat two of the aforementioned fruits and/or veggies per day.

Vitamin E Anti-aging benefits: Vitamin E acts as a cell membrane protectant -- it guards what comes in and what goes out of the skin.

(Hint: Orange and deep green produce) Carrots Pumpkins Cantaloupe Swiss chard Spinach Kale

Eat 3-5 ounces of fish three to five times per week. If you don't eat fish, you can get your Omega-3s in the form of a fish oil supplement, says Bauer, but she suggests speaking with your doctor before taking one since it can thin your blood. And choose a supplement that has 1000 mg of EPA and DHA combined.

Polyphenols Anti-aging benefits: Studies have shown that polyphenols exhibit anti-cancer properties and may reduce the risk of sun-related cancers.

How much you need: Aim for two servings a day of one of the above fruits and/or veggies.

Where it's found: Green tea

Omega-3

How much you need:

Anti-aging benefits: While "fat" is typically a fourletter word in the dieting world, Omega-3 is a good fat. Healthy fats keep the skin lubricated, help maintain the integrity of the cell membrane, which keeps toxins out of the skin and may even help protect against sun damage, says Bauer.

Drink at least one cup a day.

Where it's found: When combined

How much you need:

Ground flax seeds Walnuts Safe, low contaminate fatty fish (such as Wild Salmon, Atlantic

Selenium Anti-aging benefits: Selenium protects the skin's quality and elasticity and protects it from the sun, says Bauer.

Where it's found: Wheat germ Seafood (Bauer suggests crab) Eggs

How much you need: There's not really a set amount that Bauer suggests, but try to in-

corporate these foods into your diet to make sure you're getting some selenium.

Water Anti-aging benefits: Okay, okay water may not be a vitamin per se. And while we've all heard a thousand times that it's important to drink water (and plenty of it), Bauer reminds us that it's critical for our skin's health and beauty. The more water you drink the better your organs function, including your largest organ -- your skin. Water keeps your cells well hydrated, which can give your skin a plumper, fuller, firmer and an overall more youthful appearance.

Where it's found: Besides your tap, you can also eat some of your water by consuming produce like: Watermelon Pineapples Blackberries Cauliflower Cherry tomatoes (Incidentally, you'll get more bang for your bite with some of these fruits and veggies since they also contain Beta-carotene and Vitamin C.)

How much you need: There are varying debates about how much water we really need, but Bauer says, "let your thirst be your guide." She says to always opt for water over sugary iced teas and sodas since there is a correlation between sugar intake and breakouts.

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DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

Surprising Ways You are Ruining Your Skin

J

ust when us gals in the beauty department get all cocky and think we have our skin-beautifying routines all figured out (sunscreen every day, the right products for our skin type, eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods, etc.), some smartypants dermatologist comes along and dishes out a bunch of new info to consider. We recently chatted with Dr. Dennis Gross (who is a constant stream of amazing skincare advice, BTW), and he opened my eyes to these five practices that could negatively affect your skin. 1. Outdated glasses/contact lens prescription: Anything that makes you squint — like reading or working in a poorly lit room, or not updating your contact lens prescription — leads to more fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area. Get thee to an eye doctor, stat! 2. Steam rooms: We all love a good detoxifying sesh in a steam room or sauna, but Dr. Gross says to limit your exposure to these extreme-heat bad boys because they decompose skin's elastin and collagen. Eeeeek!

3. Running (or any high-impact exercise): "While such exercise may benefit our hearts, it can cause the fat pads to slide south, and collagen and elastin to break down. If you enjoy running, try walking," explains Dr. Gross. OMG — remember on Ally McBeal when Jane Krakowski's character invented the face bra for jogging? It was for this!

4. Not sleeping: Okay, it's not news that pulling an all-nighter makes your skin look like crud the next day, but did you know that chronic sleep deprivation leads to long-term skin probs? "lack of sleep can be so stressful that it actually causes our bodies, including our skin, to generate free radicals," says Dr. Gross. More free radicals mean you look older, faster. 5. Tap water: Chlorine in tap water can strip the natural oils from skin and cause dryness and irritation, especially in the winter when there is less humidity in the air to balance it out. I can vouch for that — I bought a new showerhead with a built-in water filter and have noticed fewer dry patches on my legs. Obviously, if running is your passion then no one is suggesting you give it up. But maybe a trip to the eye doctor is in order, and get your sleep issues under control, why dontcha?

5

Annual Mammograms May Cut Mastectomy Rate for Some Yearly mammograms for women between the ages of 40 and 50 dramatically reduce the chance that a mastectomy will be necessary if they develop breast cancer, a new study suggests. British researchers studied the records of 156 women in that age range who had been diagnosed with breast cancer between 2003 and 2009, and treated at the london Breast Institute. Of these women, 114 had never had a mammogram and 42 had had at least one mammogram within the last two years, including 16 who had had a mammogram within one year. About 19 percent of the women who'd been screened within one year had a mastectomy, the study found, compared with 46 percent of those who had not had a mammogram the previous year. Because annual mammograms allowed tumors to be discovered earlier, breast-sparing surgery was possible for most of the women, said Dr. Nicholas M. Perry, the study's lead author. Perry, director of the institute, at the Princess grace Hospital in london, was to present the study findings Wednesday in Chicago at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. "You're talking about lowering the number of mastectomies by 30 percent," Perry said. "That's 2,000 mastectomies in the U.K. every year, and in the U.S., that's over 10,000 mastectomies saved in a year. The numbers are big and impressive, and breast cancer in young women is a very big issue." Among all women diagnosed with

breast cancer at the london institute during the study period, 40 percent were younger than 50, Perry said. According to the American Cancer Society, about 207,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States this year. The society recommends annual mammograms for women 40 and older, but a report in November 2009 from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggested that screenings begin at age 50 and be given every other year. In England, the U.K. National Health Service currently offers mammograms to women between the ages of 50 and 70 every three years. "It's always a very hot issue," Perry said. "People are vehemently opposed and vehemently in support [of earlier screenings]. But just at the moment, the data is coming in that would support it." Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, an expert in breast cancer prevention, screening and risk management at the Mayo Clinic, said she had never come across a study like Perry's that examines the surgical outcomes after mammograms given at various ages.

SOUTH FLORIDA BONE MARROW STEM CELL TRANSPLANT INSTITUTE AT BETHESDA HEALTH CITY Have you or a loved one been recently diagnosed with a hematological cancer such as leukemia, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or multiple myeloma? Do you know that the chances of developing a hospital-acquired infection are higher in patients diagnosed with a hematological malignancy? Do you know that there is a completely outpatient treatment center for patients with these kinds malignancies in the State of Florida fully operational in this location since 2001? The South Florida Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Institute under the medical direction of Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj provides treatment for patients using chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant.

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6 DECEMBER ISSUE

• 2010

VFlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

6 Things Your Dry Cleaner Won't Tell You We got the best cleaning experts to air all their dirty water," he says. "But unfortunately not all laundry. Find out secret garments can be cleaned using a waterways to save, which based process." clothes you can really just 3) Bring Clothes in the Off-Season wash yourself, and why for the Quickest Turnaround. organic is the most The busiest time of year for dry cleaners is April through June, so bring your summer misleading word in the and spring outfits in during January and business. February — traditionally the slowest 1) Women Are Charged Substantially More The automated machinery that most dry cleaners use is made to fit men's clothing only. "Putting in a smaller woman's blouse with all of its ornamentation would make it look like it was run over by a steamroller," says Wayne Edelman, President of Meurice Garment Care in New York City. Also, women's clothing often requires additional work — such as removing all the buttons and embellishments by hand before the cleaning process, according to John Mahdessian, President of Madame Paulette, another renowned dry cleaner in New York City. So that’s why having your stuff cleaned tends to cost you more. But if you're bringing in a standard wool suit without pleats or fancy buttons, you shouldn't be charged more than your boyfriend would for his suit.

2) Organic Dry Cleaning Isn't Really Green. There are no government standards for green dry cleaning yet. "Organic is the biggest misnomer in terms of cleaning," says Edelman. Most cleaners who advertise "organic" services use hydrocarbon, an "organic" substance only because it comes from the earth. And hydrocarbon is still considered toxic (and only slightly less so than PERC, short for perchloroethylen, which is used by about 85% of dry cleaners). "The only true organic clean is using

months of business. Some dry cleaners may even offer a 20-30% discount to fill the gap for work that they're not getting in that time frame.

4) Most Clothes Don't Need to Be Dry-Cleaned... "We advise our clients to wash their cotton, solid color sweaters at home if they have time," says Edelman. He suggests using Johnson's baby shampoo or Woolite in cool water. Once you're done, roll them in a towel to remove excess water, and lay them out on a new towel to finish air drying. If you're unsure if you should wash a shirt yourself, Mahdessian says to wet a q-tip and dab it on an unseen area of your clothing, like under the armpit. If color comes off on the q-tip, bring it to the cleaners.

5) How You Store Your Clothes Is As Important As How You Wash Them. Don't keep your clothes in the plastic bags the dry cleaner puts them in. The polyethalene in the plastic begins to break down as soon as it's exposed to light, which causes discoloration on garments, says Edelman. Another way to avoid yellowing is to always clean clothes before putting them in storage: stains that might not be apparent will oxidize and become potentially permanent while hidden away.

6) Treat Stains Right Away, Even if You're in a Pinch "The longer a stain goes untreated, the more likely it becomes oxidized and sets into the fabric," says Mahdessian. If you stain your new lBD while out with your friends, put a stain remover on it as soon as you can and then hand wash. If you can't go to the cleaners or do laundry until next week, try pretreating it with a stain remover (Edelmen recomments Shout Wipes), but don't apply laundry detergent directly on the stain. You can also buy Madame Paulette's professional stain removal kits to keep in your clutch in case of emergencies.

Study pits low-sugar cereals against sugary brands CHICAGO – A Yale University study has good news for parents wanting to avoid serving super-sugary cereals. The kids studied liked low-sugar options, and even though they added more sugar, their breakfasts weren't nearly as sweet as kids who ate sugary cereals. The results appear online in Pediatrics. The study involved 91 school-aged kids at New England summer camps. About half were given sugary cereals, the others got low-sugar cereals. Both could choose to add sugar and fruit slices. Kids in the low-sugar group added more sugar than the others, but also more fruit.

The sugary group kids ate almost twice as much refined sugar. The researchers say the results show kids will eat healthier breakfasts with low-sugar cereals, especially if parents offer fresh fruit, and a little extra sugar, too.


DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

7

Scientists learn Why Alcohol Can Be Good For You When you raise a glass to toast with some wine or champagne this Christmas Holiday, you are doing your heart a favor, according to a new study.

man coronary arteries in dishes, and exposed them to alcohol. They found that alcohol stopped growth of the arterial cells by putting the brakes on the signaling abilities of Notch, Redmond said. Then, the researchers tested the effects of alcohol in mice. They gave one group of mice the equi-valent of two alcohol drinks a day, and another group no alcohol. Mice given the alcohol had less Notch signaling, and their blood vessels walls were thinner than the mice that didn't drink, according to the study.

T

he results of the study revealed how moderate alcohol consumption can help to prevent heart disease by blocking the signals of molecules linked to plaque buildup in arteries.

The molecules, called "Notch" proteins, are vital to embryonic development, and in adults, they help control the tiny, involuntary muscles that regulate blood flow though arteries. When Notch molecules are stimulated - by high levels of cholesterol, smoking or changes in blood flow - they spur these smooth muscle cells to multiply, which can lead to development of arterial plaques, said study researcher Eileen Redmond, an associate professor in the department of surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The finding demonstrates how alcohol works to benefit the heart and paves the way for future research for a drug that can mimic alcohol, Redmond said. But when these smooth muscle cells are exposed to alcohol, the Notch signaling is blocked, and the cells in the arterial wall don't grow and thicken, Redmond said. Drinking "small amounts, regularly, is how to get the best effect," she told MyHealthNewsDaily. "It's the people who drink one to two drinks a day who have the best protection" from heart disease.

However, large amounts of alcohol and binge drinking can be harmful to the heart and can lead to stroke, according to the American Heart Association. The study was published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. Testing the theory Researchers grew cells from hu-

"If we can understand the mechanisms mediating the beneficial effects of moderate alcohol consumption, we can develop therapy that can mimic good effects without the intoxicating and deleterious effects of alcohol," she said. Real-life applications The finding supports evidence from other studies that modest alcohol

consumption is good for heart health. A study presented at an American Heart Association meeting this month found that male heart bypass patients who drank lightly or moderately were less likely to need another heart procedure or suffer a heart attack or stroke than patients who didn't drink. But what counts as a "healthy" dose of alcohol? The Mayo Clinic recommends healthy women drink no more than three drinks on one occasion, or seven drinks a week, and healthy men ages 65 and younger drink no more than four drinks per occasion, or 14 drinks a week. Healthy men ages 65 and older should drink no more than three drinks per occasion, or seven drinks a week. A 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits counts as one drink, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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8 DECEMBER ISSUE

• 2010

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The skinny on Weight Watchers' new Points plan

Apples are getting a big fat zero. Ditto grapes. Weight Watchers unveiled an updated version of their Points system, slashing the number on most fruits and vegetables. Now everything from pomegranates to bananas won't make a dent on a dieter's daily Points.

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he zero-foods update is all part of Weight Watchers’ revamped diet method, called the PointsPlus Program. The revised regimen rethinks the body-slimming giant's 13-year-old philosophy, which limited members to a number of daily Points based on calorie count. The new plan incorporates new strides in scientific research that prove that simply counting calories isn’t enough.

One piece of fruit and a bag of low-cal chips can have the same calorie count, according to nutrition research, but different effects on the body. That’s because fruits and veggies are water-rich and have what’s called “lower energy density.� In other words, you get fuller faster so you don’t reach for the second bag of chips. While calorie counting is still important, the new plan “takes into account the energy contained in each of the components that make up calories – protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber – and it also factors [in] how hard the body works to process them,� according to the company’s PointsPlus press release.

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Since the body burns foods high in fiber and protein faster than carb-heavy products, the plan encourages lean meats and whole grains in addition to fruits and veggies. labeled "power foods," the company's diet experts have highlighted the healthiest options not just in the produce section, but in all aisles of the supermarket. Researchers gathered nutritional in-

formation on over 40,000 grocery store products, from soups to frozen foods, and selected the most nutritious choices. So if you're looking for Points values on sandwich breads, Weight Watchers' new diet compendium will single out the healthiest whole grain, low-calorie brands. If it's labeled a "power food" " it's likely to have a lower Points value than other foods in the same category. Weight Watchers researchers have been testing the new plan in clinical studies and launched a version in the U.K. earlier this year. "After following the program, we've seen improvements in healthy eating habits, successful weight loss and even changes in peoples' innate response to hunger and food – ultimately aiding in long-term weight loss success," says Karen Miller-Kovach, Weight Watchers' chief scientific officer and the inventor of the original Points system. Despite the health benefits, there are practical concerns. Before the plan went live on the Weight Watchers website yesterday, members flooded community message boards with concerns about how the new plan would jibe with their set routine. But Danica Pike, a veteran Weight Watchers member and the blogger behind the healthy eating site, Danica's Daily, says the new program is easier to follow than the old one. Now Weight Watchers is taking the more responsible tactic: rewarding what Pike calls "real foods," over more processed products. With fruits and vegetables joining the hallowed zero-Points club, they’re no longer competing with low-cal chips to be a chosen afternoon snack. Starchy veggies like potatoes and corn, and the highfat avocado are the few produce exceptions to the Points-free list. Even the competition is supportive of the new strategy. "I think this is a great change," admits lauren Slayton, a nutritionist who runs another points-based diet website, FoodTrainers.net. But when it comes to losing weight, change can be a challenge.

Most popular baby names of 2010

B

abyCenter released its list of Top 100 Baby Names of 2010 today and there's a new queen in town. Sophia takes the number one spot this year, pushing Isabella out, while Aiden Top 10 Girls' Names of 2010 1. Sophia 2. Isabella 3. Olivia 4. Emma 5. Chloe 6. Ava 7. lily 8. Madison 9. Addison 10. Abigail

continues his reign at the top of the boys' list for the sixth year in a row. New to the top 10 this year: Abigail and liam. Top 10 Boys' Names of 2010 1. Aiden 2. Jacob 3. Jackson 4. Ethan 5. Jayden 6. Noah 7. logan 8. Caden 9. lucas 10. liam


DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

9

Diabetes Mellitus A Silent Malady

Shekhar V. Sharma, M.D. Board Certified in Internal Medicine

D

iabetes Mellitus can be defined as a disease where an individual’s overnight fasting blood sugar is more than 125 mg. Impaired blood sugar is defined as blood sugar levels between 110 mg. and 125 mg. A diabetic can only be diagnosed by the checking of blood sugars. Diabetes Mellitus is definitely a silent disease that can hurt an individual without their knowledge. In fact, one could be totally unaware that one has it most of the time. It is a condition that could become worse if left undiagnosed, untreated, and mishandled. How does one get Diabetes Mellitus? One of the reasons is impairment of insulin secretion from a group of cells in the pancreas called the ‘islets of langerhans’. One of the most common symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus is polyuria which means frequent urination on a daily basis. Other

symptoms are excessive hunger called polyphagia and excessive thirst polydypsia when one drinks a lot of water. Failure to diagnose Diabetes Mellitus can be due to various reasons such as: individuals not seeking medical attention, or the physician not doing a simple blood sugar level. Persons with diabetes usually present themselves to a physician feeling good, with no symptoms. Sometimes the individual may say that they have blurry vision, numbness of the extremity, and feeling weak and fatigued. Studies have shown that complications of Diabetes Mellitus, especially microvascular disease (which means blood vessel disease) has a direct correlation with control of one’s blood sugar. Cardiovascular disease also remains a leading cause of death in Diabetes Mellitus Type II individuals. Other risk factors like hypertension, (which means blood pressure) high cholesterol, and obesity in Diabetes Mellitus should be taken into consideration in coordination with good control of one’s blood sugar. Individuals with impaired fasting blood sugar are at high risk for the development of diabetes and arterial disease. Approximately one third of patients with impaired blood sugar develop full blown Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Mellitus also runs in

families and family history is an important indicator of this disease. Complications of Diabetes Mellitus are strokes, heart attacks, kidney disease, peripheral arterial disease, especially of the lower extremities and retinopathy of the eyes which can lead to blindness if left untreated. Treatment for Diabetes Mellitus is first of all DIET CONTROl controlling what you eat. This way you can not only lose weight but you can also control your diabetes. Eating the right foods and avoiding foods such as high carbohydrate/starch, diet and sweets with a high sugar content is important. Reduction of saturated fat intake and the addition of high fiber in one’s diet have become critically important. Exercise has been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of the onset of

Diabetes Mellitus Type II. The added benefits of exercise is lowering of one’s blood pressure, improving cardiac performance and raising the good cholesterol called HDl in the blood. If blood sugars are still high despite diet and exercise, I would recommend a continuation of a diet and exercise program along

with pharmaco therapy. There are various ways of treating Diabetes Mellitus with either tablets or with insulin and blood sugars can definitely be contained. We all need to be aware that there is so much more to this disease that is not understood by the lay person. This is where the physician who is well versed and experienced in the disease steps in and this can be beneficial to any individual with Diabetes Mellitus. Dr. Sharma is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice for 19 years in the Western communities. His office is located at 3347 State Rd. 7 (2 miles south of the Wellington Green Mall in the Palomino Park Center) Suite 200, Wellington, Florida. Please contact his office at 561-795-9087 for an appointment.

Dr. Sharma has relocated his office in Belle Glade to 1200 South Main Street, Suite 101 (opposite the Old Glades General Hospital). Dr. Sharma will be seeing patients at this location along with his nurse practitioner Grace VanDyk. He is currently accepting New Patients and the office accepts most insurances

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10 DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

How to Survive Travel Emergencies Crashed your rental car? Missed a flight? Lost a passport? Don't panic: When the you-know-what hits the fan, we have the strategies to salvage your vacation. What Should I Do When... ...I MISS MY FLIGHT? Get to the airport right away and ask to be put on the next flight. If an agent gives you grief, explain why you missed the flight—particularly, why it wasn't your fault (snarled traffic, for instance). Airlines are more likely to ask for additional payment if an agent thinks you missed the flight simply because you wanted to change your ticket without paying a change fee. With a little luck (and a sympathetic agent), you'll be on a flight later that day at no extra charge. Worst case: Paying the difference between your new ticket and the original fare, plus a ticket-changing fee of about $150 for domestic flights. When all else fails: Realize that no matter what the official policy is, agents can cut you some slack. Mentioning that you belong to the airline's frequent-flier program can't hurt. May we also suggest crying as a tactic?

have auto insurance, the credit card you used to pay for the rental should pay for damage to the vehicle. Worst case: You didn't check for loopholes in your policy's fine print, and now you're stuck with a huge bill. Coverage provided by your credit card or auto insurer often doesn't apply to vans and luxury vehicles. Rentals in some countries, such as Ireland and Jamaica, may not be covered either. That's why you need to call your credit card company and check the fine print before you depart. When all else fails: Never agree to pay anything to the rental company on the spot. If you've looked into all the other options and it looks like you're on the hook for thousands of dollars, call a lawyer.

VICTIM OF A CRIME? For most crimes except minor pickpocketing, call the police. If you've been hurt or robbed, or your travel plans must be changed, the police report will help you file claims with health and travel insurers. Cancel any stolen debit and credit cards, too. Worst case: Your passport was stolen, and without it you won't be allowed back into the country. Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate ASAP. With luck, you normally either travel with a photocopy of your passport,

airline directly—and quickly, because claims often must be submitted within as little as 24 hours of an incident. Ironically, airlines won't pay for the mostlikely-to-be-stolen items, such as jewelry and electronics, and they impose caps on their total liability per passenger. When all else fails: File claims with the airline, the airport(s), and the TSA. To be safer next time, put a TSA-recognized lock on your bag to prevent the half dozen, non-TSA workers who handle it from being able to pry it open.

...I GET SICK WITH A BUNCH OF OTHER PASSENGERS ON A CRUISE? If your cruise is interrupted or postponed because of an outbreak, you should expect to be

...THE AIRLINE LOSES MY LUGGAGE? Take the obvious first step and contact the airport's lost-andfound. File a bag-claim form and ask about the airline's policy for reimbursing you for toiletries and other essentials. Most bags are recovered and will be shipped to you (at home, a hotel, wherever—and at the airline's expense), so stay polite. Worst case: About 2 percent of delayed luggage disappears forever. If your bag vanishes for good, file a form that itemizes what was inside it. Most airlines won't pay for precious items, including cash, artwork, electronics, and jewelry. So don't pack them in luggage. For covered items, you'll be paid for the depreciated value, not what it would cost to buy brand-new gear (including the bag itself). Sometimes you'll even have to produce receipts. On domestic flights, a carrier's liability maxes out at $3,300 per passenger. Weirdly, liability on most international flights is even less— about $1,700 per passenger. When all else fails: Instead of looking for receipts for items purchased years ago, bring in printouts of the current value of comparable items for sale as "used" on Amazon. Overall, the moral is: Never pack anything of value in your checked luggage.

...I CRASH MY RENTAL CAR? After the accident (here or abroad), insist on calling the police (even if it's a minor fender bender), and make copies of the report. If you declined collision damage waiver insurance coverage, your auto-insurance policy should cover damages. If you declined rental coverage and don't

have to pay the hospital or doctor directly and get reimbursed later, so keep all receipts. In some rare cases, health plans work with doctors and clinics overseas, and if your treatment occurs in-network, your insurer may be able to pay the bill directly, saving you the trouble of paying out of pocket. Worst case: You have no insurance and rely on Medicare or Medicaid. Neither program will protect you outside the U.S. Be sure to buy supplementary travel insurance in advance of your trip. To scout out the policies of multiple established, well-regarded providers, use insuremytrip.com. When all else fails: Get to a doctor or hospital and worry about payment later. In many parts of the world, medical treatments cost far less than in the U.S. And in countries with socialized health plans, medical bills have a way of disappearing, even for foreigners.

...I'VE BEEN ARRESTED OVERSEAS? Drugs are involved in roughly one-third of the arrests of Americans abroad, so it goes without saying to just say no. legal systems vary widely around the globe, however, and to avoid getting in trouble because of an unusual foreign law—in Singapore, for instance, you can be fined for not flushing the toilet—study up on your destination's peculiar regulations in guidebooks and at travel.state.gov. Worst case: You're facing serious jail time, or worse. When speaking to the police, be respectful and apologetic without necessarily admitting wrongdoing. When all else fails: Tell everyone who will listen that you demand to speak with a U.S. embassy officer, who can help you navigate that country's legal system, find a local attorney, and send messages to your family.

...I'M CAUGHT IN A NATURAL OR MAN-MADE DISASTER? ...MY TOUR OPERATOR GOES OUT OF BUSINESS? Hopefully, you paid with a credit card, which you should always do because it offers the most protection. If so, call your card company and explain what happened. Your money can be refunded if you contest the charges within 60 or 90 days of when your statement is mailed to you. Worst case: You paid with a check and didn't buy travel insurance that specifically covers the financial default of a tour operator. In which case, you're not getting your money back. When all else fails: Contact the United States Tour Operators Association (ustoa.com) to see if the tour operator was a member of their group—and as such, would have been required to keep $1 million in reserves to refund to customers.

...MY PASSPORT IS STOLEN—AND I'M THE

which will help speed up the process of getting a new one, or you've e-mailed a scan of your passport to yourself at a Webbased account you can access. When all else fails: Bust out your emergency stash of traveler's checks, which you brought along for just such an occasion—and which should hold you over until you get your hands on new cards and a new passport.

...MY CHECKED LUGGAGE IS ROBBED? You'll probably never get your stuff back, but you should file reports anyway. Why? They increase the chances that the thieves will eventually be caught. If there's a slip in your bag stating that the TSA inspected it, file a claim at the TSA website (www.tsa.gov). Worst case: There's no slip of paper from the TSA noting that your bag has been inspected. So file a claim for reimbursement for lost and stolen items with the

given the option to cancel for a full refund or to reschedule at a discount of up to half off. Worst case: Cruise ships are not required to compensate passengers for illnesses. If you and a small number of passengers get sick on an otherwise uneventful sailing, don't expect a refund. When all else fails: Call the cruise line's customer-service department and request a discount on a future sailing, explaining that your vacation was ruined and that you'd like to give the experience another shot at a discounted rate, or with credit for on board purchases.

...I NEED EMERGENCY MEDICAL HELP AT MY DESTINATION? Most U.S.-based health-insurance plans offer some coverage overseas, but only for emergencies, such as broken bones or heart attacks—anything that would send a reasonable person to the ER. Chances are you'll

Serious emergencies can happen anywhere (see: london, Haiti, Chile, Mumbai, New Orleans), so it's a good idea to e-mail your itinerary, including flight and hotel info, to a friend back home. Register your trip with the State Department for free at travel.state.gov, so that the government will know where you are and will be able to help get you to safety in a crisis. Worst case: If you're fortunate enough to have life and limb intact, money shouldn't be a concern: When true emergencies occur, hotels and airlines are generally very sympathetic to travelers and waive cancellation and change restrictions. When all else fails: Figure out a way to get yourself to a U.S. embassy or consulate, which can provide safety and coordinate evacuations. Getting home may take time, so be patient, and try to console the travelers around you, who may become your new best friends.


DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

10 ways to walk off fat faster

get your calf, hamstring, and glute muscles involved—and the more muscle you use, the more calories you burn.

Go shoe shopping To get the most power from your push-off, opt for a shoe with minimum cushioning and maximum flexibility in the front of the shoe, Fenton says.

Stand straight When your body’s aligned, your back and butt muscles are able to work more powerfully, so you walk faster and torch more calories. Stand tall with a straight spine, keeping your ears and shoulders aligned over your hips.

Here’s how to boost your calorie-burn big time—without much extra effort.

Raise your rate

Get some poles Using Nordic poles torches an average 20 percent more calories by engaging the muscles in your upper body and torso, says Mark Fenton, author of The Complete Guide to Walking. Plant the pole firmly at a 45-degree angle behind you, then push back forcefully against the ground to propel yourself forward.

Skip killer hills Don’t assume the biggest inclines are the best for burning fat. “It’s better to maintain your speed on a moderate hill than to slow down substantially on a steeper one,” Fenton says.

Use your arms Vigorously pumping your bent arms helps you go faster—and

Wearing a heart-rate monitor is like having your own coach keeping you at optimal fat-torching pace. “It’ll give you a push if you’re slowing down too much, but also get you to ease up if you’re pushing too hard,” Iknoian says. burn more calories, says lee Scott, walking coach and director of WoW Power Walking in Toronto.

Take smaller steps The best way to boost your speed—and thus your burn—is to take shorter, faster steps, Scott explains. Time yourself walking 100 steps, then recover for one minute. Count another 100 steps, and try to shave five seconds off your time. Repeat 12 times.

Set goals you can see Choose markers (stop sign, park bench, etc.) and speed up until you reach them, suggests Therese Iknoian, author of Fitness Walking. Slow down for the same distance.

Wipe the pavement Roll through from heel to toe. When you get to the ball of your foot, push off as if wiping gum off your sole, Iknoian says. This will

Add strength Simple moves like push-ups and lunges get more muscles involved for major burn, reveals Harley Pasternak, who trains many celebs, including our November cover celeb Hilary Duff. When you walk, stop every five minutes and do one minute of moves. This will help up your metabolism over the long-term, too. What’s better than burning more calories while you walk? Blasting them off while you sleep, of course.

Beauty Tips for Women Over 30 There are many beauty tips that a woman can begin to practice that are very simple that you may have never heard of. Did you know that you can use Fuji pears or Asian pears to get rid of dark circles under your eyes? The pears are very rich in vitamin C and copper, which can protect the delicate skin around the eyes from free radical damage. You can also use plain yogurt as a nice facial peel that will leave your skin smooth and soft. Just take the yogurt and apply a thin layer to your face and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Yogurt contains lactic acid that will help peel and even renew your skin. This can be done every other day. It is natural and safe and does not cause the same redness that a chemical peel would. Did you know that you can lessen age spots with sardines and anchovies? Sound fishy? Well, it’s true. These little fish work as long as they have been packed in water. Dimethyl aminoethanol (DMAE) found in little fish not only promotes focus and energy, but also reduce age spots. Another beauty tip for a woman over 30 is to routinely give herself a facial massage. Do one in the morning and one at night. Begin by raising your eyebrows as high as you can and then just relax them. Then blow up your cheeks with air. lastly, open your mouth as wide as you can and then stick out your tongue. Now this may sound silly, but the benefits are great.

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12 DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

Kids Who Eat Fruits, Veggies May Cut Heart Risk

Children who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be able to help ward off atherosclerosis in adulthood, a precursor of heart disease, a new study suggests.

A

nd a second new study found that children as young as 9 years old may already be exhibiting health problems such as high blood pressure that put them at risk of heart disease as adults. Both reports, from researchers in Finland, are published in edition of Circulation. Commenting on the first study, Dr. David l. Katz, director of the Yale University School of Medicine's Prevention Research Center, who was not involved with the study, noted that it had taken knowledge about diet and heart health a step further. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which plaque -- a sticky substance consisting of fat, cholesterol, and other substances found in the blood -- builds up inside the arteries, eventually narrowing and stiffening the arteries and leading to heart problems. It's a process that can take years, even decades, and this study shows that diet even in childhood -- helps prevent the condition, Katz said. "We certainly, before this study, knew that vegetable and fruit intake were good for our health in general, and good for cardiovascular health in particular," he said. For the first study, researchers led by Dr. Mika Kahonen, chief physician in the Department of Clinical Physiology at Tampere University Hospital in Finland, looked at lifestyle factors and measured the pulse of 1,622 people who took part in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. The participants ranged in age from 3 to 18 when the study began and were followed for 27 years. The researchers also assessed "pulse wave velocity" -- a measure of arterial stiffness. The researchers found that those young people who ate fewer vegetables and fruits had higher pulse wave velocity, which means stiffer arteries. But those who ate the most vegetables and fruits had a

pulse wave 6 percent lower than people who ate fewer fruits and veggies. Because arterial stiffness is linked with atherosclerosis, rigid arteries makes the heart work harder to pump blood. Besides low fruit and vegetable consumption, other lifestyle factors such as lack of physical activity and smoking in childhood was associated with pulse wave strength in adulthood, the researchers said. "These findings suggest that a lifetime pattern of low consumption of fruits and vegetables is related to arterial stiffness in young adulthood," Kahonen said in a news release from the American Heart Association, which publishes Circulation. "Parents and pediatricians have yet another reason to encourage children to consume high amounts of fruits and vegetables." "While it is never too late to use a healthful diet to prevent heart disease, it is certainly never too early," Katz said. "The best way to cultivate healthy blood vessels in adults, it seems, is to feed our children well." "Cardiovascular risk factors measured at or after the age of 9 are predictive of vascular changes in adults," said lead researcher Dr. Markus Juonala, an adjunct professor at Turku University Hospital in Finland. "Of the individual risk factors, childhood obesity was the most consistently associated with vascular changes across different age groups," he said. Prevention of atherosclerosis should start in childhood, Juonala said, adding, "We should make all efforts to keep our kids fit, not fat." Commenting on the study, Dr. Gregg Fonarow, American Heart Association spokesman and professor of cardiology at the University of California, los Angeles, said "atherosclerotic vascular disease can begin early in childhood and adolescence but becomes clinically manifest later in life." This study provides insights into the early development of vascular disease and has important implications for prevention efforts in children, he said. "There is currently an important, but largely unmet, need to prevent and reverse cardiovascular risk factors in childhood," Fonarow said.


DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

The Kids Teeth Doctor

Brandon Adams, Bianca Adams, Tara Marugo, Sherma Sealy, Kevin Loss, Toothy (Brandon Adams) and Dr. Haik.

Tomer Haik, DDS, PA Specializing in Dentistry for Infants, Children, & Adolescents

H

alloween is such a festive holiday, bringing friends and neighbors together for some laughs and good treats. And although Trick or Treating is such a great American tradition, there is always that concern of eating too much candy!!

ted to match all dollar amounts to the school to which each child attends. On Tuesday, November 2nd, children from around the community came to Dr. Haik’s office with bags of candy and big smiles. 21 schools were represented throughout the evening, and the room was filled with excitement, smiles and laughter. Both Elmo and Toothy dropped by to say hello, and Dr. Haik simply kept clowning around.

Every year, immediately after Halloween, there is a significant rise in the number of children going to the dentist due to toothaches. Most parents tend to struggle with the issue of what to do with all that candy and how to explain to the child that he or she should not eat all of it.

A Total of 417.5 pounds of candy were collected in three hours. The two top schools with the most collected candy by weight were:

For the past three years, Dr. Haik’s office has brainstormed with different ideas on how to encourage the children of the community to give their candy away. This year seems to have been most successful.

2. Panther Run (79 lbs.) All the candy will be arranged to be shipped to our service man and women overseas, with the hopes that they do not forget to brush and floss.

Dr. Haik offered children of the community to bring their candy to their office and trade it in for CA$H. 1 pound=$1 and a brush with each trade, and Dr. Haik also commit-

Please visit their website at www.youngsmiles.com for a thorough breakdown of all the pounds of candy collected from each school.

1. Equestrian Trails Elementary (179.75 lbs)

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13


14 DECEMBER ISSUE

• 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

Infidelity Might Be in the Genes

Study found dopamine receptor variant plays major role in sexual behavior.

G

enetics might help explain why some people are more prone to infidelity and promiscuity, says a study. new Researchers analyzed the DNA of 181 young adults who provided a complete history of their sexual activity and intimate partnerships. They concluded that the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene plays a major role in sexual behavior.

Previous research has linked the DRD4 gene, which influences brain chemistry, to sensation-seeking activities such as gambling and alcohol use. "What we found was that individuals with a certain variant of the DRD4 gene were more likely to have a history of uncommitted sex, including one-night stands and acts of infidelity," study leader Justin Garcia, of the

laboratory of evolutionary anthropology and health at Binghamton University, State University of New York, said in a university news release. "The motivation seems to stem from a system of pleasure and reward, which is where the release of dopamine comes in. In cases of uncommitted sex, the risks are high, the rewards substantial and the motivation variable -- all elements that ensure a dopamine 'rush,'" Garcia explained. The findings, published in the current issue of the online journal PloS One, shouldn't be viewed as an excuse for cheating or promiscuity, Garcia stressed. "These [gene-behavior] relationships are associative, which means that not everyone with the genotype will have one-night stands or commit infidelity. Indeed, many people without this genotype still have onenight stands and commit infidelity," Garcia said. "The study merely suggests that a much higher proportion of those with this genetic type are likely to engage in these behaviors."

TV Watching Is Bad for Babies' Brains Babies who watch TV are more likely to have delayed cognitive development and language at 14 months, especially if they're watching programs intended for adults and older children. We probably knew that 24 and Grey's Anatomy don't really qualify as educational content, but it's surprising that TV-watching made a difference at such a tender age.

Babies who watched 60 minutes of TV daily had developmental scores one-third lower at 14 months than babies who weren't watching that much TV. Though their developmental scores were still in the normal range, the discrepancy may be due to the fact that when kids and parents are watching TV, they're missing out on talking, playing, and interactions that are essential to learning and development. This new study, which appeared in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, followed 259 lower-income families in New York, most of whom spoke Spanish as their primary language at home. Other studies examining higher-income families have also come to the same conclusion: TV watching not only isn't educational, but it seems to stunt babies' development. But what about "good" TV, like Sesame

Street? The researchers didn't find any pluses or minuses when compared to noneducational programs designed for small children, like SpongeBob SquarePants. Earlier research by some of the same scientists, most of whom are at New York University School of Medicine-Bellevue Hospital Center, has found that parents whose children watch non-educational TV programs like Spongebob SquarePants spend less time reading to their children or teaching them. At this point, parents reading this are probably saying D'oh! TV is so often a parent's good friend, keeping kids happily occupied so the grownups can cook dinner, answer the phone, or take a shower. But clearly that electronic babysitter is not an educational aid.


DECEMBER ISSUE • 2010

FlORIDAHEAlTHNEWS-ONlINE.COM

Many Men Over 75 Still Sexually Active: Study Almost a third in Australian report had been active in prior year.

l

The researchers found that almost a third of these older men were sexually active at least once a year -- including about 1 in 10 men aged 90 to 95.

The study, based on a survey of Australian men aged 75-95, most of whom were married or living with a partner, found that younger seniors were busiest of all: 40 percent of those aged 75-79 said they'd had sex in the past 12 months. But even among those aged 90-95, 11 percent reported sexual activity with someone else over the prior year. "Although many people, including some clinicians, continue to believe that sexual activity is not important to older people, our study shows this is not the case. Even in the 10th decade of life, 1 in 5 men still considered sex important," said study lead author Zoe Hyde, a researcher at the University of Western Australia. The findings appear in the issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Several studies in recent years

Daily Aspirin linked to Steep Drop in Cancer Risk Long-term, lowdose regimen study shows dramatic findings for many common cancers.

l

ife for men aged 75 or older doesn't mean an end to sex, according to an Australian study.

What's more, many older men who are sexually active say they'd love to be having more sex. Others are forgoing sex due to health issues, low testosterone levels or simply a lack of partners.

15

have tried to analyze sexuality in older people, who are sometimes assumed to have little or no interest in sex. The popularity of Viagra and related drugs seems to suggest that's hardly the case, but solid numbers have been tough to find. However, one 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that a bit more than half of people surveyed in the U.S. aged 65-74 reported recent sexual activity, as did 26 percent of those aged 74-85. In the new study, researchers examined the results of a sexuality study of almost 2,800 Australian men who didn't live in nursing homes or other health-care facilities. Among other things, the researchers asked the men if they'd had sexual activity with a partner -- not necessarily intercourse -within the past year. Overall, close to 49 percent of men aged 75 to 95 considered sex at least "somewhat important," and just under 31 percent had been

Classified

sexually active with another person at least once during the previous year. The study linked a variety of factors to a lack of sexual activity among older men. "Increasing age, lower testosterone levels, a partner's lack of interest in sex, or physical limitations, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, diabetes, use of depression drugs, and use of some blood pressure drugs (beta-blockers) were associated with absence of sexual activity," the team wrote. Overall, Hyde said, the study suggests that health problems are the main reason why some older men aren't sexually active. "But also lack of a partner and decreased interest in sex for some people are important factors, too," she said. The researchers took special note of the connection between lower testosterone levels and less sexual activity. "However, it would be too early to suggest testosterone therapy to improve sexual interest and activity in older men at this stage," Hyde stressed.

ong-term use of a daily low-dose aspirin dramatically cuts the risk of dying from a wide array of cancers, a new investigation reveals. Specifically, a British research team unearthed evidence that a low-dose aspirin (75 milligrams) taken daily for at least five years brings about a 10 percent to 60 percent drop in fatalities depending on the type of cancer. The finding stems from a fresh analysis of eight studies involving more than 25,500 patients, which had originally been conducted to examine the protective potential of a low-dose aspirin regimen on cardiovascular disease. The current observations follow prior research conducted by the same study team, which reported in October that a longterm regimen of low-dose aspirin appears to shave the risk of dying from colorectal cancer by a third. "These findings provide the first proof in man that aspirin reduces deaths due to several common cancers," the study team noted in a news release. But the study's lead author, Prof. Peter Rothwell from John Radcliffe Hospital and the University of Oxford, stressed that "these results do not mean that all adults should immediately start taking aspirin." "They do demonstrate major new benefits that have not previously been factored into guideline recommendations," he added, noting that "previous

guidelines have rightly cautioned that in healthy middle-aged people, the small risk of bleeding on aspirin partly offsets the benefit from prevention of strokes and heart attacks." "But the reductions in deaths due to several common cancers will now alter this balance for many people," Rothwell suggested. Rothwell and his colleagues published their findings in the online edition of The lancet. The research involved in the current review had been conducted for an average period of four to eight years. The patients (some of whom had been given a lowdose aspirin regimen, while others were not) were tracked for up to 20 years after. The authors determined that while the studies were still underway, overall cancer death risk plummeted by 21 percent among those taking low-dose aspirin. But the long-term benefits on some specific cancers began to show five years after the studies ended. At five years out, death due to gastrointestinal cancers had sunk by 54 percent among those patients taking low-dose aspirin. The protective impact of lowdose aspirin on stomach and colorectal cancer death was not seen until 10 years out, and for prostate cancer, the benefits first appeared 15 years down the road.

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Global Health Tribune - December 2010 issue