Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

May 2011, Exercise Is Medicine Month, Lauds The Benefits Of Physical Activity

EIM
From the 29 April 2011 Medical News Today item

The fourth annual Exercise is Medicine® Month kicks off on Sunday, celebrating the health benefits of exercise and offering resources to get people moving.

“Everyone should start or renew an exercise program now as an investment in life-long health,” said Robert E. Sallis, M.D., FACSM, chair ofExercise is Medicine. “Every person, regardless of age or health, is responsible for his or her own physical activity. There are far more reasons to exercise than excuses not to.”

Exercise Lowers Health Care Costs

Research shows that exercise helps treat and prevent more than 40 chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension.

“While there are numerous reasons for soaring health care costs, one undeniable explanation is the poor physical health of so many Americans,” said Sallis. “Exercise is something every person can do to control the rising costs of health care and improve quality of life.”

While the Exercise is Medicine® Month  Web site is geared to health care providers, it does include a Public information section with links to

April 30, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , | Leave a comment

Addiction As A Brain Disease

Source: The National Institute on Drug Abuse, ...

Image via Wikipedia

From the 29 April 2011 Medical News Today article

One can look at drug addiction as a moral issue, a social ill, or a criminal problem. But Lynn Oswald’s experience studying the neuroscience of addiction tells her that it is something else entirely: a disease of the brain.

“Addiction is a brain disease because differences in the way our brains function make some people more likely to become addicted to drugs than others-just as differences in our bodies make some people more likely to develop cancer or heart disease,” says Oswald, PhD, RN, an assistant professor at the School of Nursing.

However, the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie a person’s risks for alcohol and drug abuse are not well understood by scientists. Oswald is hoping to change this. She is currently at work on a study funded by a five-year $3 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse that aims to answer questions about why some people become addicted to drugs and others do not.

“There is growing evidence that vulnerability for substance abuse may stem from pre-existing variances in brain function,” she says.

“These variations could be something that a person is born with or the result of changes that take place later on. Like other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, risks for drug use disorders seem to be influenced by both genes and environment. Scientific evidence continues to grow about the effects of environmental stress on the body. We now know that the brain is a very plastic organ and various life experiences, such as severe stress, can also change the way the brain works.”

April 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 10 Pathogen-Food Combinations With the Greatest Burden on Public Health

From Ranking the Risks : The 10 Pathogen-Food Combinations With the Greatest Burden on Public Health

Thursday, April 28, 2011 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Researchers at the University of FloridaEmerging Pathogens Institute have identified the Top 10 riskiest combinations of foods and disease-causing microorganisms, providing an important tool for food safety officials charged with protecting consumers from these costly and potentially life-threatening bugs.

The report, “Ranking the Risks: The 10 Pathogen-Food Combinations with the Greatest Burden on Public Health,” lists the number of illnesses, costs, and overall public health burden of specific microbes in particular types of food –such as Salmonella in poultry and Listeria in deli meat. This is the first comprehensive ranking of pathogen-food combinations that has been computed for the United States.

Millions of Americans get food poisoning each year and thousands die. Federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and more than 3,000 state and local governments are charged with protecting consumers from these risks, but their efforts often are fragmented and uncoordinated.

[Click here for more of the press release, the report, a video, and an accompanying interview]

These Top-10 pathogen-food combinations cause the greatest burden to the public health 

  • Campylobacter in Poultry costs $1.3 billion and causes a loss of 9500 QALYs (Quality Adjusted Life Years)
  • ToxoplaSma in Pork costs $1.2 billion and causes a loss of 4500 QALYs
  • LiSteria in Deli Meats costs $1.1 billion and causes a loss of 4000 QALYs
  • Salmonella in Poultry costs $700 million and causes a loss of 3600 QALYs
  • LiSteria in Dairy Products costs $700 million and causes a loss of 2600 QALYs
  • Salmonella in Complex Foods costs $600 million and causes a loss of 3200 QALYs
  • NoroviruS in Complex Foods costs $900 million and causes a loss of 2300 QALYs
  • Salmonella in Produce costs $500 million and causes a loss of 2800 QALYs
  • ToxoplaSma in Beef costs $700 million and causes a loss of 2500 QALYs
  • Salmonella in Eggs costs $400 million and causes a loss of 1900 QALYs

April 30, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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