There is a striking lack of mainstream news coverage of the health hazards posed by beauty products, such as hair relaxers and skin lighteners, that are commonly used by black women. African-American women spend more on beauty products than white women do, but far too little research has looked at how women use these products.
So when the New York City-based WE ACT for Environmental Justice set out to survey African, African-American, and Latina women this year to find out how they use beauty products and what they know about them, it was an important step toward increasing awareness of a long-standing women’s health issue.
“We noticed that groups conducting surveys around this have focused on middle-class white women,” Ogonnaya Dotson-Newman, campaign director for WE ACT in Harlem, told The Uptowner. “But there is a whole area of hair products that you wouldn’t know about unless you live…
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….”recent research suggests that parks aren’t just good for our well-being, they may even be a matter of life and death. In a December 2005 Environmental Health Perspectives article, Amy Schulz and her colleagues suggested that parks might be a protective factor in cardiovascular disease risk; an absence of safe parks may be part of why poverty leads to poorer health outcomes. Amy Auchincloss and her colleagues reported in a 2009 Archives of Internal Medicine piece that residential areas which support physical activity, by having things like ample park space, were associated with a lower incidence of Type 2 diabetes. With links like this sprouting up at increasing rates, researchers have even started to examine which specific park components offer the biggest health bang. In the September 2011 issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, for example, Ariane Rung and her colleagues found that basketball courts and playgrounds offered the highest rate of energy expenditure.
This has been a bad year for state and local parks. If you’ve come across park gates that are chained shut or playgrounds that are rusting, as we have, then you know this firsthand. Budget crises have forced states to not only drastically cut park funding but consider unprecedented closures as well. The impact, as Deena Loyola, the communications coordinator for Utah’s Parks and Recreation Department, said earlier this year, is that parks (and the public) suffer because of “reduced hours, facilities that are less clean and fewer law enforcement rangers.” California, with over 60 of its 278 state parks on the chopping block for 2012, is scrambling for private philanthropy to keep as many open as possible. This neglect runs contrary to public opinion, which consistently supports parks, even in a time of shrinking budgets, because they are good for the economy, animal habitats, family bonding, community building and…
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Health United States is an annual report on trends in health statistics.
Health, United States presents national trends in health statistics on suchtopics [PDF – 10.5 MB] as birth and death rates, infant mortality, life expectancy, morbidity and health status, risk factors, use of ambulatory and inpatient care, health personnel and facilities, financing of health care, health insurance and managed care, and other health topics.
Need help getting started on how to get information in this report? Click here.
FAQs about this report may be found here.
From the Web Page
Health, United States is an annual report on trends in health statistics.
The Internet has a wealth of health information from trusted, reliable sites.
(I’ve noted quite a few in this blog and at my Google site – Health and Medical News and Resources)
However, it is not always easy to locate health information, especially on specific topics.
Your local public or academic library just may have the online sources you need.
Although quite a few online resources require paid subscriptions, your library may have included them at their Web site.
All you have to do is register for borrowing privileges (get a library card) at your local library.
Alternatively, you may be able to just go to the library and get access through their computers.
At my local library, I discovered the following…some or all just might be at your library also…ask a reference librarian or check the library’s Web site
- Alt Health Watch
Offers information about Alternative Health issues, including complementary, holistic and integrated approaches to health care and wellness. Provides full text articles form a number of sources, including: journals, reports, consumer newsletters, pamphlets, booklets, special reports, original research and book excerpts. This database is provided by OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network.
Ratings and reviews, recommendations and buying advice for thousands of products and services. Users will also find in-depth advice, tips and trends written by Consumer Reports experts. Frequently updated articles, blogs and video content allow consumers to peruse the latest consumer news — whether they’re looking to learn more about budget-friendly home improvement plans, understanding the benefits and risks of retirement options, or searching for the latest recalls of baby products. This database provided by the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
- Health & Wellness Resource Center
Provides up-to-date reference material as well as full-text magazines, journals, and pamphlets from a wide variety of authoritative medical sources. Includes streaming videos featuring medical experts plus links to key health websites.
- Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
Provides scholarly full text journals focusing on many medical disciplines and featuring the Lexi-PAL Drug Guide, which covers 1,300 generic drug patient education sheets with more than 4,700 brand names. This database is provided by OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network.
Offers medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system and pre-clinical sciences among many subjects. This database is provided by OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network.
- Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection
Covers many psychological topics, including emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry and psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods. This database is provided by OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network.
- How to obtain free/low cost medical and scientific articles(jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Some publishers which provide free or low cost articles (via PatientInform)
- Elsevier Patient Research provides single copies of articles for $4.95. Elsevier publishes over 2,000 journals.
- AACR’s (American Association for Cancer Research) policy for free patient access to medical articles—“If You Need It, You Can Read It”—can be found under Information for Readers/Subscribers.
- The Endocrine Society For Patients page provides information on how to obtain free articles from its six endocrine research journals.
- Some publishers which provide free or low cost articles (via PatientInform)
- “Summaries for Patients” and other plain language summaries help patients and others understand medical studies and guidelines (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Search the Office of Minority Health’s Library Catalog Online | Health Information Literacy – for health and well being (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff and the Rest of Us(jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Cochrane Reviews – A Great Source for Sound Medical Evidence(jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Free Databases from the US Government (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Health Information from the US National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Diet, nutrient levels linked to cognitive ability, brain shrinkage
CORVALLIS, Ore. – New research has found that elderly people with higher levels of several vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids in their blood had better performance on mental acuity tests and less of the brain shrinkage typical of Alzheimer’s disease – while “junk food” diets produced just the opposite result.
The study was among the first of its type to specifically measure a wide range of blood nutrient levels instead of basing findings on less precise data such as food questionnaires, and found positive effects of high levels of vitamins B, C, D, E and the healthy oils most commonly found in fish.
The research was done by scientists from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore., and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. It was published today inNeurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“This approach clearly shows the biological and neurological activity that’s associated with actual nutrient levels, both good and bad,” said Maret Traber, a principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute and co-author on the study.
“The vitamins and nutrients you get from eating a wide range of fruits, vegetables and fish can be measured in blood biomarkers,” Traber said. “I’m a firm believer these nutrients have strong potential to protect your brain and make it work better.”
The study was done with 104 people, at an average age of 87, with no special risk factors for memory or mental acuity. It tested 30 different nutrient biomarkers in their blood, and 42 participants also had MRI scans to measure their brain volume.
“These findings are based on average people eating average American diets,” Traber said. “If anyone right now is considering a New Year’s resolution to improve their diet, this would certainly give them another reason to eat more fruits and vegetables.”
Among the findings and observations:
- The most favorable cognitive outcomes and brain size measurements were associated with two dietary patterns – high levels of marine fatty acids, and high levels of vitamins B, C, D and E.
- Consistently worse cognitive performance was associated with a higher intake of the type of trans-fats found in baked and fried foods, margarine, fast food and other less-healthy dietary choices.
- The range of demographic and lifestyle habits examined included age, gender, education, smoking, drinking, blood pressure, body mass index and many others.
- The use of blood analysis helped to eliminate issues such as people’s flawed recollection of what they ate, and personal variability in nutrients absorbed.
- Much of the variation in mental performance depended on factors such as age or education, but nutrient status accounted for 17 percent of thinking and memory scores and 37 percent of the variation in brain size.
- Cognitive changes related to different diets may be due both to impacts on brain size and cardiovascular function.
The epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease has suggested a role for nutrition, the researchers said in their study, but previous research using conventional analysis, and looking in isolation at single nutrients or small groups, have been disappointing. The study of 30 different blood nutrient levels done in this research reflects a wider range of nutrients and adds specificity to the findings.
The study needs to be confirmed with further research and other variables tested, the scientists said.###
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
The article is available online only thru paid subscription or purchase.
For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here.
Links to the article abstract and accompanying editorial may be found here. (at Nutrient Biomarker Patterns…)
- Diet rich in fish, vitamins may reduce brain shrinkage (cbc.ca)
- Diet Patterns May Keep Brain From Shrinking (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Fast food may damage your brain: study (vancouversun.com)
- Diet ‘can stop brain shrinking’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Fast food may damage brain: study (windsorstar.com)
- Elderly Brains Stay Sharp After a Low Trans Fat Life (livescience.com)
- Diet Patterns Linked With Brain Health (webmd.com)
- Diet patterns may keep brain from shrinking (eurekalert.org)
- Poor vitamin B-12 status leads to reduced brain volume and cognitive decline (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
School absenteeism is a significant problem, and students who are frequently absent from school more often have symptoms of psychiatric disorders. A new longitudinal study of more than 17,000 youths has found that frequently missing school is associated with a higher prevalence of mental health problems later on in adolescence, and that mental health problems during one year also predict missing additional school days in the following year for students in middle and high school….
- School Absenteeism, Mental Health Problems Linked (psychcentral.com)
- Chronic School Absenteeism Linked to Mental Health Problems (nlm.nih.gov)
Teens who more openly express their own viewpoints in discussions with their moms, even if their viewpoints disagree, are more likely than others to resist peer pressure to use drugs or drink.
That’s one of the findings of a new longitudinal study by researchers at the University of Virginia. The study appears in the journal Child Development.
The researchers looked at more than 150 teens and their parents, a group that was racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse. The teens were studied at ages 13, 15, and 16 to gather information on substance use, interactions with moms, social skills, and close friendships. Researchers used not just the youths’ own reports, but information from parents and peers. They also observed teens’ social interactions with family members and peers.
They found that teens who hold their own in family discussions were better at standing up to peer influences to use drugs or alcohol. Among the best protected were teens who had learned to argue well with their moms about such topics as grades, money, household rules, and friends. Arguing well was defined as trying to persuade their mothers with reasoned arguments, rather than with pressure, whining, or insults.
“The healthy autonomy they’d established at home seemed to carry over into their relationships with peers,” suggests Joseph P. Allen, Hugh P. Kelly Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, who led the study. …
- Study: Argumentative Teens More Likely To Resist Peer Pressure (clutchmagonline.com)
- Argumentative Teens More Likely to Resist Peer Pressure (psychcentral.com)
- Teens Who Butt Heads With Mom Better At Resisting Peer Pressure (livescience.com)
- Teen, mom debates may help resist peer pressure (cbc.ca)
- Arguing with Mom Helps Teens Fend Off Peer Pressure (healthland.time.com)
- Teens who argue with mom might resist peer pressure (ctv.ca)
- Does Your Teen Constantly Challenge You? (nlm.nih.gov)
- Teens who stand up against mom are better at resisting peer pressure: study (theglobeandmail.com)
- Teens who argue with mom might resist peer pressure: study (ctv.ca)
- Teens: Why Arguing With Mom Helps Fend Off Teen Pressure (healthland.time.com)
Microscopic-scale medical robots represent a promising new type of therapeutic technology. As envisioned, the microbots, which are less than one millimeter in size, might someday be able totravel throughout the human bloodstream to deliver drugs to specific targets or seek out and destroy tumors, blood clots, and infections that can’t be easily accessed in other ways.
One challenge in the deployment of microbots, however, is developing a system to accurately “drive” them and maneuver them through the complex and convoluted circulatory system, to a chosen destination….
…Article: “Magnetic Navigation Systems for the Precise Helical and Translational Motions of a Microrobot in Human Blood Vessels” is part of the Proceedings of the 56th Annual Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, to be published in the Journal of Applied Physics in April. Authors: Seungmun Jeon, Gunhee Jang, Hyunchul Choi, Sukho Park, and Jongoh Park.
- New system may one day steer microrobots through blood vessels for disease treatment (eurekalert.org)
- Microrobots may be drug-delivery systems of future (fiercebiotechresearch.com)
- Scientists create water walking bionic microrobot -Via Gizmag (overview-effect.com)
- ‘Fantastic Voyage’ Through the Body, With Precision Control (InnovationToronto.com)
- Microrobots to embark on ‘Fantastic Voyage’ through the body (zdnet.com)
- Polymer-Powered Microbots Could Repair Blood Vessels (medgadget.com)
- Capsule Endoscope Controlled By MRI To Investigate Digestive System – A “Fantastic Voyage” (medicalnewstoday.com)
From the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center 12 December 2011 press release
…shedding the pounds may have some negative consequences on the overall health of older women if the weight loss is not maintained, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study showed that some older women who lose weight gain a lot of their weight back within a year. Importantly, the weight regained is mostly in the form of fat, rather than muscle.
“The body composition of some of the women was worse than before their weight loss,” said Barbara Nicklas, Ph.D., a gerontologist at the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging and Rehabilitation at Wake Forest Baptist and principal investigator for the study. “When older women lose weight, they also lose lean mass. Most women will gain a lot of the weight back, but the majority of the weight regained is fat.”…
“Most people will regain their weight after they lose it.” Nicklas said. “Young people tend to regain weight in the proportion that they lost it. But the older women in our study did not appear to be regaining the muscle that they lost during initial weight loss in the same way.”
The long term consequences of losing muscle mass in middle aged and older women is yet unknown, but in combination with the loss in bone density known to occur as we age, the loss of muscle could increase their fall risk, among other things.
“There are certainly a lot of health benefits to weight loss, if you can keep the weight off,” Nicklas said. “For older women who lose weight, however, it is particularly important that they keep the weight off and continue to eat protein and stay physically active so that, if the weight does come back, it will be regained as muscle instead of fat.”
She cautioned that the results from this study were limited to sedentary, abdominally obese, postmenopausal women, and the findings may differ in men or in younger populations….
- Regaining Weight Bad For The Health (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Regaining Weight After Losing It Might Harm Menopausal Women (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Most Weight Regained by Older Women Is Fat, Study Finds (nlm.nih.gov)
- Weight Regained in Later Years Has More Fat (webmd.com)
- Does Accountability Help You Lose Weight? (edocr.com)
Concerned about the safety of your drugs or medical advices? Wish to report a serious medical product problem online?
The US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) can help.
Medwatch is the FDA gateway for clinically important safety information and reporting serious problems with human medical products.
- DailyMed (National Library of Medicine)
Current Drug Prescribing Information
- Medication Guides
- Potential Signals of Serious Risks/New Safety Information Identified from the Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS)
- Postmarketing Drug and Biologic Safety Evaluations
Evaluations performed 18 months after drug approval, or after its use by 10,000 individuals.
- Current Drug Shortages
- Recalls and Alerts
Medwatch also encourages anyone to report serious problems with human medical products
- Report a Serious Medical Product Problem Online
- Reporting Unlawful Sales of Medical Products on the Internet
Want to stay informed with MedWatch updates? Here are some options…
Now available for free in the iTunes store!
Stay up to date with the latest news and government safety alerts for the prescription medicines you take. Submit any side effects you experience to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make drugs safer for everyone.
MedWatcher is a mobile tool for both healthcare professionals and the general public.
- Addition Of New Infant Acetaminophen Concentration, 160 Mg/5 ML, Says FDA (medicalnewstoday.com)
- FDA Targets Risks From Reused Medical Devices (fda.gov)
- An important FDA advisory update (in my dreams) (medcitynews.com)
- FDA: Do not use ShoulderFlex Massagers (gloucestercitynews.net)
- FDA Warns of Celexa Heart Risk (webmd.com)
- Pradaxa Benefit Outweighs Bleeding Risk – ABC News (abcnews.go.com)
- HCG Weight Loss Products Removed from the Market (fdarecalls.wordpress.com)
- Product Recall: Nostrilla Nasal Spray (habwwe.wordpress.com)
- FDA: Celexa May Damage Heart at High Doses (earlsview.com)
- Nostrilla Nasal Decongestant Recalled – Oct 2011 (wholefoodandmore.net)
- Risk Strategy Requirement Change For Low Platelet Counts Drugs, Nplate And Promacta – FDA (medicalnewstoday.com)