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January - June 2013


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Suggested Citation: Jung, B.C. (2013 - 2017). Betty C. Jung's 2013 Public Health Blog (January - June).
Web document: http://www.bettycjung.net/Blog2013b.htm

January - June July - December

  • June 28, 2013 - What Women Do for Exercise

    What women do for exercise
    Graphic source: http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2008/sports/
    Here is an interesting graphic which shows what men and women do for exercise. The top 3 forms of exercise favored by women include aerobics, yoga and walking (vs. football, basketball and golfing for men).

    For more information, see Fitness Resources

  • June 27, 2013 - Women & Exercise

    According to 2010 Percent of Women Ages 18+ who Reported Any Exercise in the Past 30 Days*, by State, Age Adjusted that is based on CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2010, 74.2% of all women, 77.1% of White women, 65.85 of Black women and 67.7% of Hispanic women reported having exercised within the past 30 days.

    Overall, women living in Puerto Rico exercised the least (51.8%). Those who were the least active were West Virginia White women (67.2%); Nebraska Black women (50.8%); Puerto Rico Hispanic women (51.7%).

  • June 26, 2013 - Women & Diabetes Mortality (2000-2009)

    Diabetes Mortality
    Graphic source: http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/734161_3
    In 2007, the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that diabetes increases one's risk for dying from any cause, and specifically cardiovascular disease. While the all-cause and CVD mortality rate is higher for men, data trends show that it is decreasing over time. As for women, while the all cause and CVD mortality rate is not as high as for men, the all-cause and CVD mortality rate for women, unfortunately, has actually increased over time.

    For more information, see 2000-2009 Female (All Ages) Diabetes Death Rate*, United States, Age-Adjusted, by Race which shows a reduction in diabetes mortality for women that varies by race and ethnicity.

  • June 25, 2013 - Women & Diabetes (2010)

    According to 2010 Percent of Women Ages 18+ who Reported Ever Having Diabetes*, by State, Age-Adjusted 9.8% of American women reported having diabetes. However, this rate varies by race and ethnicity. 8.2% of White women, 15.9% of Black women and 15.0% of Hispanic women reported having diabetes.

    Guam women has the greatest percentage of diabetes (14.6%), followed by Mississippi (13.6%), Alabama (12.8%) and South Carolina (12.1%)

    Alabama White women have the highest rate of diabetes (11.0%), followed by Mississippi (10.9%), Tennessee (10.8%) and Kentucky and Missouri (10.6% each). Nevada Black women have the highest rate of diabetes (20.8%, although this seems a bit strange to me), followed by Kentucky (19.1%), Mississippi (18.9%), and South Carolina (18.5%). Georgia Hispanic women have the highest rate of diabetes (21.8%), followed by Nebraska and Tennessee (21.2% each, strange for NE), and U.S. Virgin Islands (19.5%).

  • June 24, 2013 - Women Obesity Trends, by Age and Education

    Prevalence of obesity among adults aged 65 and over, by sex and education: United States, 2007–2010
    Female Obesity, by Age and Education
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db106.htm
    According to CDC's NCHS Data Brief Number 106, September 2012 -"Prevalence of Obesity Among Older Adults in the United States, 2007–2010":

    "There was a linear trend among women aged 65-74: There was a decrease in obesity prevalence with increasing education. Almost one-half of those with less than a high school education were obese compared with about one-third of those with a college degree. No linear trends in obesity prevalence by educational attainment were observed in men or women aged 75 and over."

    Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db106.htm

    Well, it would appear that getting an education can turn out to be very beneficial for women in the long run!

  • June 21, 2013 - Women Obesity Trends, by Age, Race & Ethnicity

    Prevalence of obesity among adults aged 65 and over, by sex and race and ethnicity: United States, 2007–2010
    Female Obesity, by Age
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db106.htm
    According to CDC's NCHS Data Brief Number 106, September 2012 -"Prevalence of Obesity Among Older Adults in the United States, 2007–2010":

    ...the prevalence of obesity differed by race and ethnicity among women. Among women aged 65-74, 53.9% of non-Hispanic black women were obese, compared with 38.9% of non-Hispanic white women, but was not significantly different from Hispanic women (46.6%). Among women aged 75 and over, 49.4% of non-Hispanic black women were obese, 30.2% of Hispanic women were obese, and 27.5% of non-Hispanic white women were obese."

    Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db106.htm

  • June 20, 2013 - Women Obesity Trends, Race and Ethnicity

    Prevalence of obesity among women aged 20 years and over, by race and ethnicity: United States, 1988-1994 and 2009-2010
    NCHS women obesity trends
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_adult_09_10/obesity_adult_09_10.htm
    According to Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Extreme Obesity Among Adults: United States, Trends 1960–1962 Through 2009–2010 between 1988–1994 and 2009–2010, the prevalence of obesity among women increased:
    • From 22.9% to 32.2% among non-Hispanic white women
    • From 38.4% to 58.5% among non-Hispanic black women
    • From 35.4% to 44.9% among Mexican-American women

    Source: CDC/NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III 1988–1994 and NHANES 2009–2010.

  • June 19, 2013 - Women Obesity Trends

    Trends in overweight, obesity, and extreme obesity among women aged 20-74 years: United States, 1960-1962 through 2009-2010
    NCHS women obesity trends
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_adult_09_10/obesity_adult_09_10.htm
    Data trends are useful in looking at phenomena over time. Over a 50-year period, one can see that U.S. women are getting heavier over time. Perhaps, the most disturbing trend is the percent of obese women have grown faster than the percent of overweight women.

    Source: CDC/NCHS, National Health Examination Survey I 1960–1962; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) I 1971–1974; NHANES II 1976–1980; NHANES III 1988–1994; NHANES 1999–2000, 2001–2002, 2003–2004, 2005–2006, 2007–2008, and 2009–2010.

  • June 18, 2013 - Women & Obesity

    According to the 2010 Percent of Women Ages 20+ who are Obese*, by State, Age-Adjusted 27.5% of U.S. women are obese (Percent of persons age 20+ identified as obese according to their reported weight and height (body mass index >= 30.0). By race and ethnicity, 24.4% of White women, 44.9% of Black women and 32.5% of Hispanic women are obese.

    By state of residence, Mississippi has the highest percentage of obese women(35.9%), of which 50.1% of Black women living in that state are obese. However, the state with the greatest of Black obese women reside in Michigan (55.4%), followed by Arkansas (53.5%), Alabama (52.2%) Wisconsin (51.7%),Illinois (51.5%), and then Mississippi, coming in 6th. These state-based statistics indicate that these states may need to develop programs to fight obesity among African-American women.

  • June 17, 2013 - Tobacco and Cancer

    Smoking and cancer
    Graphic source: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/causes/lifestyle/tobacco/tobacco-and-cancer-risk

    Here is an interesting table from Cancer Research UK that shows the level of responsibility that tobacco has for various cancers. They report:

    "Smoking is the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer; in the UK, it is the cause of more than a quarter (28%) of all deaths from cancer and has killed an estimated 6.5 million people over the last 50 years.2 A study published in December 2011 estimated that smoking causes nearly a fifth of all cancer cases in the UK.

    Worldwide, tobacco consumption caused an estimated 100 million deaths in the last century and if current trends continue it will kill 1,000 million in the 21st century.36 Around half of all regular smokers will die from the habit, half of these in middle age."
    Citation source: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/causes/lifestyle/tobacco/tobacco-and-cancer-risk

    I included this just to show that not only is tobacco use a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but also for cancer as well. It may be of particular interest to women that tobacco is linked to a possible factor in breast cancer, and to liver cancer in children of parents who smoke. All the more reason to quit.

    For more information, see Tobacco and Cancer

  • June 16, 2012 - Happy Father's Day! & Man Up!

    Man Up - Wear the Gown Make sure you stay around to watch your kids grow up. Besides eating healthy and exercising daily, make sure your health is in tip-top shape. Make the appointment and get screened. Man up and wear the gown!

    For additional information, see Men's Health

  • June 14, 2013 - Women & High Cholesterol (Dyslipidemia)

    Trends in percentage of adults aged 40–59 and 60 and over with high total cholesterol: United States, 1999–2010

    Women and High Cholesterol
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db92.htm

    According to April 2012 NCHS Data Brief, "Total and High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010"

    "Among adults aged 40–59, a decreasing trend was observed in the percentage of men with high total cholesterol during 1999–2010, but not for women (Figure 3). For men, the percentage with high total cholesterol declined from 24.8% for 1999–2000 to 16.7% for 2009–2010. For adults aged 60 and over, a decreasing trend in high total cholesterol was observed in both men and women, with women having consistently higher percentages of high total cholesterol than men."
    Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db92.htm

    For more information, see High Blood Pressure and Women and Heart Disease

  • June 13, 2013 - Women & High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

    Women and High Blood Pressure diagnosis
    Graphic source:http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa12/hs/hshi/pages/hbp.html
    According to Women's Health USA 2012:

    "High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which are among the leading causes of death in the United States (see Heart Disease and Stroke). It is defined as a systolic blood pressure (during heartbeats) of 140 mmHg or higher, a diastolic blood pressure (between heartbeats) of 90 mmHg or higher, or current use of blood pressure-lowering medication.

    In 2007–2010, 27.5 percent of women were identified as having high blood pressure. This includes 15.6 percent of women with controlled hypertension, who had a normal blood pressure measurement and reported using blood pressure-lowering medication, and 11.9 percent with uncontrolled hypertension, who had a high blood pressure measurement with or without the use of medication. In addition to medication, high blood pressure can also be controlled by losing excess body weight, participating in regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco smoke, and adopting a healthy diet with lower sodium and higher potassium intake."
    Citation source: http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa12/hs/hshi/pages/hbp.html

    For more information, see High Blood Pressure and Women and Heart Disease

  • June 12, 2013 - Women & High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

    Women and High Blood Pressure
    Graphic source: http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa12/hs/hshi/pages/hbp.html
    According to Women's Health USA 2012:

    "The prevalence of hypertension does not vary by sex, but increases with age, affecting approximately 3 out of 4 women aged 65 and older in 2007–2010 (74.4 percent). Hypertension also varies by race and ethnicity. Over 40 percent of non-Hispanic Black women had hypertension compared to about 25 percent of non-Hispanic White, Mexican American, and Other Hispanic women. However, both non-Hispanic Black and Mexican American women were more likely to have uncontrolled hypertension than non-Hispanic White women (19.5 and 15.8 versus 10.4 percent; respectively)."
    Citation source: http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa12/hs/hshi/pages/hbp.html

    For more information, see High Blood Pressure and Women and Heart Disease

  • June 11, 2013 - Women & Uncontrolled Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease, 1999-2010

    Age-adjusted percentage of adults aged 20 and over who have uncontrolled high blood pressure or uncontrolled high LDL cholesterol, or who currently smoke, by sex and age: United States, 1999-2010
    NCHS women and cardiovascular risk factors

    1 Significant decreasing linear trend for age groups 40-59 and 60 and over (p < 0.05).
    2 In 2009-2010, significantly different from women.
    3 Significant decreasing linear trend for age group 60 and over (p < 0.05).
    4 In 2009-2010, women aged 60 and over significantly different from women aged 40-59 and 20-39.
    NOTES: Data include participants examined as part of the morning fasting subsample only and exclude pregnant women. Data are age-adjusted to year 2000 U.S. Census Bureau estimates using age groups 20-39, 40-59, and 60 and over. LDL is low-density lipoproteins.
    SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2010.
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db103.htm
    National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, "Prevalence of Uncontrolled Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease: United States, 1999-2010" (August 2012; #103) provided some small hope that women are doing better with cardiovascular, especially those 60 and over!!

    • In 2009-2010, about 47% of adults had at least one of three risk factors for cardiovascular disease¡ªuncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled high levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol, or current smoking.
    • Men were more likely than women to have at least one of the three cardiovascular disease risk factors.
    • During 1999-2010, a decreasing trend was observed in the percentage of adults with at least one of three risk factors for CVD, from 57.8% (about 109 million adults) in 1999-2000 to 46.5% (about 102.5 million adults) in 2009-2010 (data not shown). This decreasing trend was found among both men and women (Figure 1). Among men, this decrease occurred in age groups 40-59 and 60 and over. For women, the decreasing trend was found only among those aged 60 and over, from 78.3% in 1999-2000 to 53.9% in 2009-2010.
    • In 2009-2010, men (51.6%) were more likely than women (41.2%) to have at least one of the three risk factors for CVD. Having at least one of three CVD risk factors did not significantly differ by age group among men. Women aged 60 and over (53.9%) were more likely to have at least one of the three CVD risk factors compared with women aged 40-59 (40.5%) or 20-39 (34.4%)."
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db103.htm

    For more information see Women and Heart Disease

  • June 10, 2013 - Women & Stroke

    Sroke Symptoms
    Graphic source: http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/stroke.cfm
    According to womenshealth.gov:
    • It is a myth that stroke occurs only in older adults. A person of any age can have a stroke. But, stroke risk does increase with age. For every 10 years after the age of 55, the risk of stroke doubles, and two-thirds of all strokes occur in people over 65 years old. Stroke also seems to run in some families. Stroke risk doubles for a woman if someone in her immediate family (mom, dad, sister, or brother) has had a stroke.
    • Compared to white women, African-American women have more strokes and have a higher risk of disability and death from stroke. This is partly because more African-American women have high blood pressure, a major stroke risk factor. Women who smoke or who have high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (a kind of irregular heart beat), heart disease, or diabetes are more likely to have a stroke. Hormonal changes with pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are also linked to an increased risk of stroke."
    • Citation source: http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/stroke.cfm

    When it comes to strokes, time is the of the essence. The sooner a person gets the medical care, the greater the chance that the person will be left with less disabilities.

    For more information, see Cerebrovascular Disease

  • June 7, 2013 - Women & Heart Attacks

    Heart Attack Symptoms
    Graphic source: http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/heart-disease.cfm
    According to New York-Presbyterian Hospital's "What are the warning signs of a heart attack?"
    • "The following are the most common symptoms of a heart attack. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
      • severe pressure, fullness, squeezing, pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
      • pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulders, neck, arms, or jaw
      • chest pain that increases in intensity
      • chest pain that is not relieved by rest or by taking nitroglycerin
      • chest pain that occurs with any/all of the following (additional) symptoms:
        • sweating, cool, clammy skin, and/or paleness
        • shortness of breath
        • nausea or vomiting
        • dizziness or fainting
        • unexplained weakness or fatigue
        • rapid or irregular pulse
      • Although chest pain is the key warning sign of a heart attack, it may be confused with indigestion, pleurisy, pneumonia, or other disorders.
      • The symptoms of a heart attack may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis."
      • Citation source: http://nyp.org/health/women-hrtrisk.html

      For more information see CDC's Women and Heart Disease Fact Sheet

      Also, see Women and Heart Disease

  • June 6, 2013 - Women & Heart Disease - Race and Ethnicity

    Heart Disease and Black Women
    Graphic source: http://www.cardiachealth.org/ca-blog/why-heart-disease-women-different
    In order to address heart disease, the best way is to identify the risk factors. According to the CDC:
    • High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors.
    • Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:
      • Diabetes
      • Overweight and obesity
      • Poor diet
      • Physical inactivity
      • Excessive alcohol use
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_women_heart.htm

  • June 5, 2013 - Women & Heart Disease - Geographic Variations

    Heart Disease and Women US map
    Graphic source:http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_women_heart.htm
    According to the CDC:
    • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 292,188 women in 2009—that’s 1 in every 4 female deaths.
    • Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a "man's disease," around the same number of women and men die each year of heart disease in the United States. Despite increases in awareness over the past decade, only 54% of women recognize that heart disease is their number 1 killer.
    • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for African American and white women in the United States. Among Hispanic women, heart disease and cancer cause roughly the same number of deaths each year. For American Indian or Alaska Native and Asian or Pacific Islander women, heart disease is second only to cancer.
    • About 5.8% of all white women, 7.6% of black women, and 5.6% of Mexican American women have coronary heart disease.
    • Almost two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_women_heart.htm

    For more information, see Women and Heart Disease

  • June 4, 2013 - Women and Tobacco

    Women and smoking
    Graphic source: http://www.usabledt.com/cigarette-smoking-statistics/
    Here are some good reasons why one should stop smoking, or if you don't, all the reasons why one shouldn't start! According to the American Lung Association:
    • "Smoking is directly responsible for 80 percent of lung cancer deaths in women in the U.S. each year. In 1987, lung cancer surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the U.S.
    • Female smokers are nearly 13 times more likely to die from COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) compared to women who have never smoked. In 2009, an estimated 70,490 women died of lung and bronchus cancer.
    • Smoking is directly responsible for more than 90 percent of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or emphysema and chronic bronchitis deaths each year. In 2006, about 52 percent of all COPD deaths were in women. This is the seventh year in a row that women have outnumbered men in deaths attributable to COPD.
    • Women who smoke also have an increased risk for developing cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx (voice box), esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and uterine cervix. Women who smoke also double their risk for developing coronary heart disease.
    • Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never smoked. Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture compared to never smokers. Cigarette smoking also causes skin wrinkling that could make smokers appear less attractive and prematurely old."
    • Citation source: http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/women-and-tobacco-use.html

    For more information, see Tobacco

  • June 3, 2013 - Women and Lung Cancer

    Women and lung cancer
    Graphic source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704764404575287081156194368.html
    Wall Street Journal's "Lung Cancer in Women on the Rise" reports:
    • "Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both women and men. And overall, it still kills more men than women: Some 71,000 deaths are projected in women and 86,000 in men in 2010. That's a much higher casualty rate than the No. 2 killer, breast cancer, with about 40,000 deaths expected, according to the American Cancer Society.
    • The hormone estrogen is a possible culprit. Certain forms of estrogen are known to help create genetic mutations in cells and contribute to tumor formation in the breast. Recently, researchers found out that lung cells in both women and men also make estrogen, raising the possibility that the hormone contributes to lung-cancer development.
    • Some cancer researchers say that the rise in lung cancer cases in women is simply due to differences in men's and women's smoking patterns. Women as a group started smoking later than men and are slower to quit, and smoking is known to be the biggest contributor to lung cancer,...
    • Others say that while smoking patterns explain part of the trend, recent evidence suggests that women are more susceptible to lung cancer than men. One in five women diagnosed with lung cancer has never smoked compared with one in 12 men,... Three times as many female never-smokers are diagnosed with lung cancer compared with male never-smokers,.... "
    • Citation source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704764404575287081156194368.html
    • For more information, see Cancer

  • May 31, 2013 - Women and Binge Drinking

    CDC women and drinking
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/bingedrinkingfemale/infographic.html
    According to the CDC,
    • One in 8 women and 1 in 5 high school girls binge drink, increasing their risk of breast cancer, heart disease, STDs, and unintended pregnancy. Learn how your community can prevent binge drinking.
    • Women's and girls' bodies respond to alcohol differently than men's. It takes less alcohol for them to get intoxicated because of their size and how they process alcohol. Binge drinking can lead to unintended pregnancies, and women and girls who are not expecting to get pregnant may not find out they are until later in their pregnancy. If women binge drink while pregnant, they risk exposing their baby to high levels of alcohol during its early development, which can lead to miscarriage, low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/features/vitalsigns/bingedrinkingfemale/index.html

    For more info, see Binge Drinking Infographic

  • May 30, 2013 - CDC Domestic Violence Statistics

    CDC domestic violence statistics
    Graphic source: CDC Releases Data on Interpersonal and Sexual Violence by Sexual Orientation E-mail
    The CDC has been compiling data about domestic violence for quite some time. According to its 1/25 listserv, "On January 25, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the first of its kind report on the national prevalence of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking victimization by respondents’ sexual orientation. This report highlights the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual violence (SV), and stalking of respondents who self-identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual at the time of the survey and describe violence experienced with both same-sex and opposite-sex partners, using 2010 data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)."
    Just click on the graphic to access the CDC's "2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation" of its National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

    Also, see Domestic Violence

  • May 29, 2013 - Communications X-Change

    This video is an example of what Communications X-change can provide. This Web site is "a place where you can view and download communications from around the world aimed at ending violence against women and children" and "the first interactive global hub for international communications materials that will promote efforts to end domestic and gender-based violence around the world."

    and was created in 6/2012 and operated by Futurewithoutviolence.org which provides "an online library of materials contributed by organizations and individuals around the world who are working to end violence against women and children." Citation source: http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/content/features/detail/1940/

    For additional information, see Violence Against Women. The Communications Evolution Check it out.

    Also, see Domestic Violence

  • May 28, 2013 - Myths About Domestic Violence

    Domestic Violence
    Source and Enlarged Graphic

    For more information, see Domestic Violence

  • May 24, 2013 - Rape as an Occupational Hazard in the Military

    ""I've never met one victim who was able to report the crime and still retain their military career," she says. "Not one." (Myla Haider)

    According NPR.org 3/13/13's "Sexual Violence Victims Say Military Justice System Is 'Broken'"

    • "It's a very telling story about a broken system," says Susan Burke, an attorney who has sued the Pentagon on behalf of many rape plaintiffs, including Haider.
    • The Department of Defense estimates there are about 19,000 sexual assaults in the military per year. But according to the latest Pentagon statistics, only 1,108 troops filed for an investigation during the most recent yearly reporting period. In that same period, 575 cases were processed — and of those, just 96 went to court-martial.
    • "They were only willing to go forward on a small fraction, and then of those, only a portion, only 96 of them, get court-martialed," Burke says.
    • Then — at court-martial — the officer who convened the trial can change the charge, reduce the sentence, or even overturn the verdict.
    • Citation source: http://www.npr.org/2013/03/21/174840895/sexual-violence-victims-say-military-justice-system-is-broken
    Not Invisible.org
    Graphic source: http://www.notinvisible.org/

    Last year I viewed the documentary,"The Invisible War" which was about rape in the military. It was a disturbing film because this issue of female soldiers serving our country being raped by mostly their immediate superiors should be addressed. Fortunately, there is a Web site offering support to those women and their families. Unfortunately, I know a mother of a female soldier who was raped in the military, and it is heartbreaking what this does not only to the soldier but also to her family.

    See also the 5/7/13 NY Times article, Sexual Assaults in Military Raise Alarm in Washington for President Obama's call to investigate sexual assault in the military. Article also includes, "...In 2010, a similar Pentagon survey found that 4.4 percent of active-duty women and fewer than 0.9 percent of active-duty men had experienced sexual assault."

    For more information, click on the graphic, or Invisible No More.org

  • May 23, 2013 - Gendercide

    Gendercide
    Graphic source: http://womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/index.php
    It is hard to believe that such a primitive practice as limiting the number of females born still exist today. In many countries, females are not only second-class citizens, many are just lucky to be born and come of age. Countries that practice gendercide (or prevent it from happening) are paying the price when boys come of age and there are no girls of marriageable age available.

    To learn more about this crude practice, see Gendercide - Boys without Girls
    It's a Girl
    Women's Rights Without Frontiers

  • May 22, 2013 - Reproductive Health During Times of Crises

    American women take for granted that reproductive services will always be available when they decide to start a family. But, this is not the experience of many women living in countries where there is political unrest.

    According to the CDC,

    • "Among the world's 34 million displaced people, approximately 80% are women and children and are vulnerable to abuses and negative health outcomes during crisis. Women often become heads of households because they are widowed or deserted during displacement and become sole providers and caretakers of their families. It is essential to have appropriate reproductive health services that will:
      • Ensure safe pregnancies and deliveries.
      • Meet family planning needs.
      • Prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS.
      • Respond to and prevent gender-based violence (GBV).
    • Citation source: Reproductive Health in Crisis Situations

    For more information, see Reproductive Health

  • May 21, 2013 - Women and HIV

    Estimates of New HIV Infections, by Race/Ethnicity, Risk Group, and Gender for the Most Affected US Populations, 2009
    PLOS - HIV cases, 2009
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/women/index.htm
    New HIV Infections
    • In 2009, there were an estimated 11,200 new HIV infections among women in the United States. That year, women comprised 51% of the US population and 23% of those newly infected with HIV.
    • Of the total number of new HIV infections in US women in 2009, 57% occurred in blacks, 21% were in whites, and 16% were in Hispanics/Latinas. In 2009, the rate of new HIV infections among black women was 15 times that of white women, and over 3 times the rate among Hispanic/Latina women.
    • At some point in her lifetime, 1 in 139 women will be diagnosed with HIV infection. Black and Hispanic/Latina women are at increased risk of being diagnosed with HIV infection (1 in 32 black women and 1 in 106 Hispanic/Latina women will be diagnosed with HIV, compared with 1 in 182 Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander women; 1 in 217 American Indian/Alaska Native women; and 1 in 526 for both white and Asian women).
    • For women living with a diagnosis of HIV infection, the most common methods of transmission were high-risk heterosexual contact6 and injection drug use.
    • Citation: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/women/index.htm
    • For more information, see HIV & Women

  • May 20, 2013 - Women and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    HRSA STD stats Women
    Graphic source:http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa11/hstat/hshi/pages/219sti.html

    Healthy People 2020 provides guidance about various issues impacting the population in general, and specific population groups. Safe sex prevents women from contracting sexually-transmitted diseases or infections (STDs/STIs), some of which are treatable, while others are not. Bacterial STDs not treated can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can affect a woman's fertility.

    This graphic shows that Black females are the most affected by chlamydia, followed by American Indian/Alaskan Native women.

    Baseline data show that "7.4 percent of females aged 15 to 24 years who attended family planning clinics in the past 12 months tested positive for chlamydia trachomatis infections in 2008." The target is 6.7 percent.

    For more information, see CDC's Prevention. How You Can Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases Also, see Sexually-transmitted Diseases/Infections

  • May 17, 2013 - Healthy People 2020 Objectives for Women

    Healthy People 2020 for Women
    Graphic source: http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa11/more/hp2020.html
    Here is an excellent table that identifies all the public health issues that women face today and the Healthy People 2020 target goals to improving women's health. As you can see from the baseline statistics, there is plenty of room for improvement.
  • May 16, 2013 - Status of Women's Health 2012

    HRSA's Women's Health USA 2012
    Graphic source: http://ask.hrsa.gov/detail_materials.cfm?ProdID=4914
    One of the best statistical resources for women's health is HRSA's annual "Women Health USA" reports. It provides the latest statistics for:
    • Population Characteristics
    • Health Status
      • Health Behaviors
      • Health Indicators
      • Reproductive and Maternal Health
      • Special Populations
    • Health Services Utilization

    Click on the graphic to access the 2012 online and pdf editions these annual reports. For more information, see US Government Statistics, and Maternal Child Health Data

  • May 15, 2013 - Immunization Schedule For Pregnant Women

    Pregnancy vaccines
    Graphic source: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/hcp/pregvax.html
    While on the topic of women taking care of themselves, here is a "Pregnancy and Vaccination Pocket Guide" developed by the Minnesota Department of Health. It's always best to keep up with vaccines and get them at the appropriate time. However, exposure to potential pathogens may warrant getting some vaccines while pregnant. Important to keep in mind that some may be contraindicated. Check with your health care provider.

    See Minnesota Department of Health's Pregnancy and Vaccination Pocket Guide for more information.

    Also, see Vacccines.gov and Vaccineinformation.org

  • May 14, 2013 - Screening Schedules for Women

    Womenshealth.gov screening tool
    Graphic source: http://womenshealth.gov/nwhw/health-resources/
    Womenshealth.gov provides a very helpful chart of what kinds of screening you should get to stay healthy, organized by age groups. Unfortunately, the site is no longer available (12/2013).
  • May 13, 2013 - National Women's Checkup Day

    The purpose of the 11th annual National Women's Checkup Day is to:
    • Encourage women to visit health care professionals to receive or schedule a checkup.
    • Promote regular checkups as vital to the early detection of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health illnesses, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and other conditions.
    A Certificate to show your commitment to take care of yourself was available during this campaign.

    For more information, see Women's Health - General Resources

  • May 12, 2013 - National Women's Health Week Starts Today! & Happy Mother's Day! (13th year)

    Happy Mother's Day!
    Graphic source: http://www.homelifeweekly.com/mothers-day/printable-mothers-day-cards/
    Happy Mother's Day to all women who believe in the power of nurturing! On this day, take a moment to reflect on how important it is to take care of ourselves so we can continue to nurture those we love!
  • May 10, 2013 - Women's Health and Mortality Chartbook

    Women's Health Chart Book
    The Office of Women's Health's "Women's Health and Mortality Chartbook" is an excellent online interactive resource to search for state-level women's health data pertaining to:
    • Major causes of death among females (rate per 100,000)
    • Health risk factors (percent)
    • Preventive care (percent)
    • Health insurance coverage (percent)

    See how women are doing in your state, by race and ethnicity, against Healthy People 2020 Objectives, and how your state ranks against other states. Access the chartbook by clicking on the graphic.

    Here is the Connecticut Profile . At a glance you can see which area Connecticut need to improve on when compared to Healthy People 2020's National Targets (e.g., current smoking, breast cancer, mammography, colorectal cancer screening), when it comes to women's health issues.

  • May 9, 2013 - Status of Minority Women's Health Disparities

    "Since 2003, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has annually reported on progress and opportunities for improving health care quality and reducing health care disparities. As mandated by the U.S. Congress, the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) focuses on "national trends in the quality of health care provided to the American people" while the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR) focuses on "prevailing disparities in health care delivery as it relates to racial factors and socioeconomic factors in priority populations." Priority populations include racial and ethnic minorities, low-income groups, women, children, older adults, residents of rural areas and inner cities, and individuals with disabilities and special health care needs."
    Citation source: http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhqrdr11/minority-women.html

    Selected Highlights from 2011's report include:

    • Cancer: "Between 2000 and 2007, Black women had higher breast cancer death rates than White women."
    • Cancer: "Asian women were less likely than White women to receive a pap smear in 2008."
    • Cardiovascular disease: "...women's death rate from heart disease in 2008 was nearly eight times the death rate from breast cancer."
    • Cardiovascular disease: "AI/AN women were less likely to have their blood cholesterol checked than women of other racial groups."
    • Diabetes: "Women in all racial/ethnic groups had low rates of receiving all four recommended services for diabetes (i.e., two or more hemoglobin A1c measurements, dilated eye examination, foot examination, and flu shot)."
    • HIV/AIDS: "Minority women, particularly Black women, are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2006, HIV/AIDS was the fourth leading cause of death among Hispanic men and women ages 35-44."
    • Maternal and Child Health: "In 2008, AI/AN women were significantly less likely to receive prenatal care during the first trimester than other women."
    • Maternal and Child Health: "In 2008, AI/AN women were significantly less likely to receive prenatal care during the first trimester than other women."
    • Mental Health and Substance Abuse: "An estimated 26.2% of Americans ages 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year."
    • Mental Health and Substance Abuse: "In 2009, Black women received treatment for depression less frequently than White women and Hispanic women received treatment less frequently than non-Hispanic White women."
    • Mental Health and Substance Abuse: "In 2009, Hispanic women received treatment for substance abuse less frequently than non-Hispanic White women."
    • Health Care Delivery and Systems: "In 2008, the percentage of women whose provider did not listen, explain things well, respect what they had to say, or spend enough time with them was higher for Blacks than for Whites."
    • Health Care Delivery and Systems: "In 2008, the percentage of women who indicated that their provider did not include them in making decisions about their care was higher for Asians than for Whites."
    • Citation Source: Disparities in Health Care Quality Among Minority Women. Findings From the 2011 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports
  • May 8, 2013 - Leading Causes of Death in Females, by Race & Ethnicity

    The CDC has been compiling leading causes of death in females almost annually since 1998. For the most current complete year of statistics, Leading Causes of Death in Females United States, 2009 (current listing), the CDC offers a breakdown of mortality data, by race and ethnicity.

    Overall, heart disease (24%) is the leading cause of death, followed by cancer (22.2%). This is not necessarily true for all women of color. Heart disease is only the leading cause of death for white and black females. Cancer is the leading cause of death for American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander and Hispanic females!

    While stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death for females, overall, this is only true for all women of color. For white women, chronic lower respiratory diseases is the 3rd leading cause of death, probably due to tobacco use.

    Such mortality data indicate the importance of looking at such disparities by race and ethnicity as it helps to identify areas that may be missed by just looking at the overall population. For example, tobacco cessation messages may need to target white women more, while encouraging cancer screening among women of color would help to reduce the greater cancer mortality among these women.

  • May 7, 2013 - What Women Die From

    What Women die from
    Graphic source: http://www.endotext.org/aging/aging17/agingframe17.htm
    NCHS 2006 statistics show that heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death for postmenopausal women.

    "The largest health threat to women over aged 50 is cardiovascular disease. In women age 45-49, the incidence of cardiovascular disease is 3 times lower than men of matched age. However, data from the Framingham study have shown that by age 75-79, a woman's risk of heart disease increases and equals a man's risk for her age." Citation source: http://www.endotext.org/aging/aging17/agingframe17.htm

  • May 6, 2013 - A Timeline of CDC/ATSDR Contributions to Women's Health

    CDC timeline
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/women/contributions/index.htm
    Want an overview of public health issues affecting U.S. women today? Well, then check out the timeline the CDC and ATSDR have developed to document what they have done to improve the quality of women's lives.

    Click on the graphic, or go to A Timeline of CDC/ATSDR Contributions to Women's Health

  • May 3, 2013 - U.S. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines

    US Physical Activity Guidelines
    Graphic source: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx

    The "2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" is the most current national guidance regarding physical activity. Key Guidelines include:

    Children and Adolescents (aged 6–17)

    • Children and adolescents should do 1 hour (60 minutes) or more of physical activity every day.
    • Most of the 1 hour or more a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
    • As part of their daily physical activity, children and adolescents should do vigorous-intensity activity on at least 3 days per week. They also should do muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activity on at least 3 days per week.
    Adults (aged 18–64)
    • Adults should do 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, preferably spread throughout the week.
    • Additional health benefits are provided by increasing to 5 hours (300 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both.
    • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups performed on 2 or more days per week.

    Older Adults (aged 65 and older)

    • Older adults should follow the adult guidelines. If this is not possible due to limiting chronic conditions, older adults should be as physically active as their abilities allow. They should avoid inactivity. Older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if they are at risk of falling.

    Citation source: "At-A-Glance: A Fact Sheet for Professionals" http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/factsheetprof.aspx

    Click on graphic to get to document. For more information, see Fitness Resources and Obesity

    This was originally posted December 1, 2011

  • May 2, 2013 - May Is Physical Fitness Month

    National Physical Fitness and Sports Month - Get moving!

    Physical activity infographic
    Graphic source: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/
    Enlarged Graphic

  • May 1, 2013 - National Women's Health Week - May 12-18, 2013. It's Your Time

    National Women's Health Week - May 12-18, 2013
    1/2 the world are women!
    Graphic source: http://thoughtfulcynic.tumblr.com/post/11367757493/women-are-half-the-worlds-population-work-two

    "National Women's Health Week is a weeklong health observance coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health. It brings together communities, businesses, government, health organizations, and other groups in an effort to promote women's health and its importance. It also empowers women to make their health a priority and encourages them to take the following steps to improve their physical and mental health and lower their risks of certain diseases:

    • Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
    • Get active.
    • Eat healthy.
    • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
    • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet, and texting while driving.

    Citation source: http://womenshealth.gov/nwhw/about/

    Once again, I am pleased to host an online event on my Web site. Like the last two years, I will be devoting May's blog entries to women's health. This year's theme is: Critical Public Health Issues Affecting Women Today As you can see, I will be covering a variety of topics, and if it runs over into June, then so be it. Hope you learn something new in the coming weeks about health of over half the world's population!

  • April 30, 2013 - Aurora Borealis 2013-03-17

  • April 29, 2013 - Shawn Reeder's Majestic Yosemite & Sierra in Time-lapse Photography.

  • April 26, 2013 - U.S. Self-reported Hypertension and Anithypertensive Medication Use

    Age-adjusted prevalence of self-reported hypertension among adults and the proportion of those participants reporting use of antihypertensive medication, by state — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2009
    High blood pressure awareness in the US
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6213a2.htm
    CDC's "Self-Reported Hypertension and Use of Antihypertensive Medication Among Adults — United States, 2005–2009" (MMWR 4/5/13) reports:
    • "Hypertension affects one third of adults in the United States and is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. A previous report found differences in the prevalence of hypertension among racial/ethnic populations in the United States; blacks had a higher prevalence of hypertension, and Hispanics had the lowest use of antihypertensive medication.
    • From 2005 to 2009, the prevalence of self-reported hypertension among U.S. adults increased from 25.8% to 28.3%. Among those with self-reported hypertension, use of antihypertensive medications increased from 61.1% to 62.6%. Among states, rates of self-reported hypertension in 2009 ranged from 20.9% to 35.9%.
    • In 2009, the prevalence of self-reported hypertension was, in general, higher in southern states and lower in western states.
    • ...compared with whites, black participants were more aware of hypertension and more likely to be treated. However, among those treated, blacks were less likely than whites to have their blood pressure controlled.
    • Hypertension is a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and improving awareness of hypertension is an important first step to treating and controlling hypertension and preventing heart disease and stroke.
    • Clinical guidelines for hypertension management emphasize the control of hypertension through participation in healthy lifestyle behaviors, and using appropriate and specific antihypertensives medications with integrated clinical systems to support sustained adherence
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6213a2.htm
  • April 25, 2013 - U.S. Hypertension Awareness, Treatment and Control

     CDC Hypertension Awareness, Treatment and Control
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db107.htm
    According to the October 2012 NCHS Data Brief, "Hypertension Among Adults in the United States, 2009-2010":
    • "Among adults with hypertension in 2009-2010, 81.9% were aware of their hypertension.
    • Among adults with hypertension in 2009-2010, 76.4% were currently taking medication to lower their blood pressure.
    • The age-adjusted percentage of adults with hypertension whose blood pressure was controlled increased from 48.4% in 2007-2008 to 53.3% in 2009-2010.
    • Significant increases have been seen over the past 10 years in hypertension awareness, treatment, and control among adults with hypertension.
    • However, less than 50% of adults with hypertension controlled their blood pressure (BP) in 2007-2008.
    • The high prevalence of undiagnosed and uncontrolled hypertension, especially among minority groups, remains a challenge.
    • A recent prediction model showed that every 10% increase in hypertension treatment could prevent an additional 14,000 deaths per year in the adult population ages 25-79.
    • Citation source:Hypertension Among Adults in the United States, 2009-2010; http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db107.htm

    While the trends are promising, it is still not enough. Most present statistics indicate that only slightly more than 1/2 of Americans with high blood pressure have it under control!

    For more information, see Hypertension

  • April 24, 2013 - U.S. Prevalence of Hypertension

    CDC US Prevalence of Hypertension
    Graphic source:http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db107.htm
    According to the October 2012 NCHS Data Brief, "Hypertension Among Adults in the United States, 2009-2010":
    • "The overall age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension among U.S. adults aged 18 and over was 28.6% in 2009-2010; there was no significant change from 2007-2008 (29.7%)."
    • The prevalence of hypertension was 6.8% among those aged 18-39, 30.4% for those aged 40-59, and 66.7% for those aged 60 and over.
    • The age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension was higher among non-Hispanic black persons (40.4%) than among non-Hispanic white persons (27.4%) or Hispanic persons (26.1%)."
    • Citation source:Hypertension Among Adults in the United States, 2009-2010; http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db107.htm

    While the majority of those over 60 have high blood pressure, it is disconcerting to see that overall, over 1/4 of Americans are hypertensive. If people are healthy, they would not be hypertensive. More exercise and healthier diet are necessary, or stroke prevalence will rise!

    For more information, see Cardiovascular Disease and Cerebrovascular Disease

  • April 23, 2013 - Hypertension 2011

    Number and percentage of adults aged >/=18 years who had hypertension, who had controlled or uncontrolled hypertension, and who were aware and/or pharmacologically treated for hypertension among those with uncontrolled hypertension, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), United States, 2003-2010*
    MMWR - Awareness and Treatment of Uncontrolled Hypertension Among Adults, United States, 2003-2010
    According to 9/2012 MMWR's "Awareness and Treatment of Uncontrolled Hypertension Among Adults, United States, 2003-2010":
    • "...number and percentage of adults aged >/=18 years who had hypertension, who had controlled or uncontrolled hypertension, and who were aware and/or pharmacologically treated for hypertension among those with uncontrolled hypertension, in the United States during 2003-2010. The overall prevalence of hypertension among U.S. adults aged >/=18 years during 2003-2010 was 30.4%, representing an estimated 66.9 million persons, of whom an estimated 35.8 million (53.5%) had uncontrolled hypertension.
    • Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke in the United States.
    • Nearly one third of U.S. adults surveyed during 2003-2010 had hypertension; about half did not have it under control (systolic blood pressure [BP] <140 mmHg and diastolic BP <90 mmHg ).
    • About 36 million U.S. adults had uncontrolled hypertension. About 39% did not know they had it, 16% knew but were not being treated with medicines, and 45% were taking medicine but did not have it controlled.
    • Nearly one fourth of adults with uncontrolled hypertension have stage 2 hypertension (systolic BP >/=160 mmHg or a diastolic BP >/=100 mmHg), putting them at higher risk for heart disease or stroke.
    • Surprisingly, most people with uncontrolled hypertension did have a usual source of health care (89%). About 88% got medical care during the previous year, and 85% had health insurance.
    • Improving hypertension control will take an expanded effort by health-care systems, health-care providers of all types working together, and greater attention to BP by patients."
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm61e0904a1.htm

    For more information, see Hypertension

  • April 22, 2013 - U.S. Prevalence of Hypertension, by State

    US Prevalence of Hypertension, by location
    Graphic source:http://www.cardiovascularhypertension.com/statistics/high-blood-pressure-and-hypertension-statistics-in-the-us/
    According to Cardiovascular Hypertension:
    • Nearly one out of three adults (31.3%) in the US has high blood pressure and it was listed as a contributor to 326,000 deaths in 2006. In addition to being a silent killer, high blood pressure disease will end up costing just over $76 billion dollars in health care services, medications and missed days of work in 2010.
    • Nearly 25% of American adults have prehypertension.
    • Men and women are equally likely to develop hypertension and high blood pressure, but men are more likely develop symptoms at an earlier age.
    • Levels of high blood pressure vary by race and ethnicity. However, African Americans develop the disease more frequently and at earlier ages.
    • Citation source: http://www.cardiovascularhypertension.com/statistics/high-blood-pressure-and-hypertension-statistics-in-the-us/
  • April 19, 2013 - U.S. Prevalence of Hypertension, by Age

    CDC US Prevalence of Hypertension, by age
    Graphic source: http://www.hypertensiononline.org/slides2/slide01.cfm?tk=22&dpg=2http://www.hypertensiononline.org/slides2/slide01.cfm?tk=22&dpg=2
    According to Hypertension Online:

    "The prevalence of hypertension in a representative sample of the United States population from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999–2000) reveals that approximately 28.4% of the adult population has hypertension and that the prevalence of hypertension increases sharply with advancing age. The 1999–2000 NHANES was conducted in the United States among a representative sample (n = 4,531) of adult, noninstitutionalized, nonpregnant civilians with the goals of 1) estimating the prevalence of selected diseases and risk factors; 2) estimating population reference distributions of certain health parameters; 3) documenting and investigating reasons for secular trends in selected diseases and risk factors; 4) contributing to an understanding of disease etiology; and 5) investigating the natural history of selected diseases.

    Although Ong et al. (2007) and Ostchega et al. (2008) have published data from more recent NHANES — in which subjects were classified into broader age groups (18–39 years, 40–59 years, and ≥60 years) — this graph is more illustrative of the increasing hypertension prevalence with age in the United States. Since 1999, the overall age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension in the United States has varied little, ranging between only 28% and 30%. Nevertheless, the relationship of hypertension and aging is still important, especially since another 28% of adults were found in NHANES 2005–2006 to have prehypertension (defined as a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 mm Hg, a diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89 mm Hg, or pharmacologically untreated hypertension) and could become fully hypertensive as they age.
    Citation source: http://www.hypertensiononline.org/slides2/slide01.cfm?tk=22&dpg=2

  • April 18, 2013 - Hypertension-related Health Outcomes

    Global hypertension
    Graphic source:http://www.hkma.org/english/cme/onlinecme/cme200401main.htm
    Here is the reason why hypertension is such an important condition, why not treated will result in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

    For more information, see Cardiovascular Disease

  • April 17, 2013 - Hypertension is a global problem (2008)

    Global hypertension
    Graphic source: http://www.iashonline.org/category/news
    According to the Inter-American Society of Hypertension, "Globally, around 40% of adults aged 25 and over had raised blood pressure in 2008."
    Citation source: http://www.iashonline.org/category/news
  • April 16, 2013 - Hypertension is a global problem (2008)

    Global hypertension
    Graphic source: http://directorsblog.nih.gov/high-blood-pressure-a-global-health-threat/
    According to NIH's 4/4/13 "High Blood Pressure, a Global Health Threat" :
    • "On Sunday April 7th, we mark the 65th anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO). Each year, WHO uses the occasion to highlight a particular health issue; this year, they chose high blood pressure—hypertension. It’s a timely choice. Worldwide, at least one in three adults suffers from high blood pressure. That amounts to 68 million adults in the U.S. alone.
    • Blood pressure is the force of the blood against the walls of your arteries. It’s an indicator of how hard your heart is working. Measured in milligrams of mercury, your blood pressure is recorded in two numbers. The top number, systolic pressure, is measured when blood is being ejected from the heart during a beat; the bottom, diastolic pressure, is the pressure in the arteries in between beats, when the valve above the heart is closed. The table below explains the ranges of normal vs. high blood pressure."
    • Citation source: http://directorsblog.nih.gov/high-blood-pressure-a-global-health-threat/
  • April 15, 2013 - Hypertension is a global problem (2005)

    National Prevention Strategy
    Graphic source: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/18660422/ns/health-heart_health/
    Having just finished February looking at heart disease, I have decided to follow that up with a closer look at those risk factors associated with heart disease.

    Perhaps the most common risk factor is high blood pressure, also known at hypertension. Hypertension is actually a growing global problem.

    According to Associated Press,

    • "The numbers are a shock: Almost 1 billion people worldwide have high blood pressure, and over half a billion more will harbor this silent killer by 2025."
    • And the dangers go well beyond the heart. High blood pressure is a leading cause of strokes and kidney failure. It also plays a role in blindness and even dementia.
    • Patients seldom notice symptoms until organs already have been damaged.
    • Normal blood pressure is measured at less than 120 over 80. Anyone can get high blood pressure, a level of 140 over 90 or more. But being overweight and inactive, and eating too much salt, all increase the risk. So does getting older.
    • The world’s population is aging and fattening, fueling a continued increase in blood pressure problems."
    • Citation source: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/18660422/ns/health-heart_health/

      For more information, see Cardiovascular Disease

  • April 12, 2013 - Uncontrolled Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

    Age-adjusted percentage of adults aged 20 and over who have uncontrolled high blood pressure or uncontrolled high LDL cholesterol, or who currently smoke, by sex and age: United States, 1999-2010

    CDC Uncontrolled blood pressure and cholesterol


    1 Significant decreasing linear trend for age groups 40-59 and 60 and over (p < 0.05).
    2 In 2009-2010, significantly different from women.
    3 Significant decreasing linear trend for age group 60 and over (p < 0.05).
    4 In 2009-2010, women aged 60 and over significantly different from women aged 40-59 and 20-39.
    NOTES: Data include participants examined as part of the morning fasting subsample only and exclude pregnant women. Data are age-adjusted to year 2000 U.S. Census Bureau estimates using age groups 20-39, 40-59, and 60 and over. LDL is low-density lipoproteins. SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999¨C2010.
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db103.htm
    According to August 2012, "NCHS Data Brief Number 103, August 2012, Prevalence of Uncontrolled Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease: United States, 1999-2010"
    • "During 1999-2010, a decreasing trend was observed in the percentage of adults with at least one of three risk factors for CVD, from 57.8% (about 109 million adults) in 1999-2000 to 46.5% (about 102.5 million adults) in 2009-2010. This decreasing trend was found among both men and women. Among men, this decrease occurred in age groups 40-59 and 60 and over. For women, the decreasing trend was found only among those aged 60 and over, from 78.3% in 1999-2000 to 53.9% in 2009-2010.
    • In 2009-2010, men (51.6%) were more likely than women (41.2%) to have at least one of the three risk factors for CVD. Having at least one of three CVD risk factors did not significantly differ by age group among men. Women aged 60 and over (53.9%) were more likely to have at least one of the three CVD risk factors compared with women aged 40-59 (40.5%) or 20-39 (34.4%).
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db103.htm

    So, the good news is, there is a decreasing trend, and the not-so-good-news is, about 1/2 of all men, and 1/2 of women over the age 40 of still have uncontrolled risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Lots of room for improvement.

    For more information, see Cardiovascular Disease, and Cerebrovascular Disease

  • April 11, 2013 - Chronic Diseases & Conditions, by Age

    Prevalence of the three most common combinations of the nine selected chronic conditions, by age and type of chronic condition: United States, 1999 - 2000 and 2009 - 2010
    CDC, Multiple Chronic Conditions
    1 Significantly different from 1999 to 2000, p < 0.05. NOTES: Parts may not sum to total due to rounding. SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Health Interview Survey
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db100.htm
    According to the July 2012 "NCHS Data Brief Number 100, July 2012, Multiple Chronic Conditions Among Adults Aged 45 and Over: Trends Over the Past 10 Years":
    • "The percentage of adults aged 45 and over with the three most common combinations of the nine selected chronic conditions increased over the 10-year period.
    • Between 1999 - 2000 and 2009 - 2010, the percentage of adults aged 45 - 64 with both hypertension and diabetes increased from 5% to 8% because of an increase in the share with hypertension and diabetes only, as well as an increase in the share with hypertension, diabetes, and additional chronic condition(s)/
    • During the 10-year period, the percentage of adults aged 65 and over with both hypertension and diabetes rose from 9% to 15%; prevalence of hypertension and heart disease increased from 18% to 21%; and prevalence of hypertension and cancer increased from 8% to 11%."
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db100.htm
    • Chronic Disease

  • April 10, 2013 - Chronic Diseases & Conditions, by Race & Ethnicity

    Prevalence of two or more of nine selected chronic conditions among adults aged 45 and over, by age and race and Hispanic origin: United States, 1999-2000 and 2009-2010
    CDC, Chronic Conditions, by Race and Ethnicity
    1 Significantly different from 1999 to 2000, p < 0.05. SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Health Interview Survey.
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db100.htm
    Here is the reality of what we are dealing with today. According to the July 2012 "NCHS Data Brief Number 100, July 2012, Multiple Chronic Conditions Among Adults Aged 45 and Over: Trends Over the Past 10 Years":
    • "The percentage of adults aged 45 and over with two or more of nine selected chronic conditions increased for all racial and ethnic groups between 1999-2000 and 2009-2010.
    • Between 1999 - 2000 and 2009 - 2010, the percentage of adults aged 45-64 with two or more chronic conditions increased 20% for non-Hispanic black, 35% for non-Hispanic white, and 31% for Hispanic adults.
    • During this period, the prevalence of two or more chronic conditions among those aged 65 and over increased 18% for non-Hispanic black, 22% for non-Hispanic white, and 32% for Hispanic adults.
    • In both time periods, the prevalence of two or more chronic conditions was higher among non-Hispanic black adults than among adults in other racial and ethnic groups."
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db100.htm
    • Data Access

    For additional information, see Chronic Disease

  • April 9, 2013 - Chronic Diseases & Conditions, by Age and Sex

    Prevalence of two or more of nine selected chronic conditions among adults aged 45 and over, by age and sex: United States, 1999–2000 and 2009–2010

    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db100.htm
    According to the CDC:
    • The percentage of adults with two or more chronic conditions increased for men and women in both age groups during the 10-year period.
    • In 2009–2010, 21% of adults aged 45–64 and 45% of adults aged 65 and over had been diagnosed with two or more chronic conditions.
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db100.htm

    Note, for these analyses the chronic diseases & conditions include: Hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, current asthma, and kidney disease.

  • April 8, 2013 - Rising Rates of Chronic Disease in the U.S.


    Rising Rates of Chronic Disease
    Graphic source: American Association for Clinical Chemistry
    According to the 2009 American Association for Clinical Chemistry's "Rates of Chronic Disease Expected to Rise Sharply" that reported on the findings of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, “The Impact of Chronic Disease on U.S. Health and Prosperity: A Collection of Statistics and Commentary,”
    • "...the rates of chronic diseases are expected to continue to rise due to several factors, including childhood obesity, poor lifestyle choice, and lack of access or emphasis on preventative care, posing significant problems for the U.S. healthcare system.
    • Currently, more than 133 million Americans, or 45% of the population, have at least one chronic condition, and 26% have multiple chronic conditions. Chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., responsible for 70% of all, and accounted for four of the top five causes of death in 2005.
    • One of the most worrisome trends is the increase in childhood obesity, which has tripled in the U.S. over the past two decades, resulting in the quadrupling of childhood chronic diseases in the past four decades. Due to this increase in childhood obesity, the next generation of Americans is at a greater risk for developing chronic disease.
    • By 2023, the picture worsens considerably, with a more than 50% increase projected in cases of cancer, mental disorders, and diabetes, and more than 40% growth in heart disease. Hypertension and pulmonary conditions are expected to rise by more than 30% and incidences of stroke by more than 25%."
    • Citaton source: http://www.aacc.org/publications/cln/2009/july/Pages/newsbrief0709.aspx#
  • April 5, 2013 - The Global Burden of Chronic Diseases (2011)

    According to JAMA's "The Global Burden of Chronic Diseases" (2011)

    • "Chronic diseases are the largest cause of death in the world, led by cardiovascular disease (17 million deaths in 2002, mainly from ischemic heart disease and stroke) and followed by cancer (7 million deaths), chronic lung diseases (4 million), and diabetes mellitus (almost 1 million).
    • These leading diseases share key risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthful diets, lack of physical activity, and alcohol use.
    • The current burden of chronic diseases reflects past exposure to these risk factors, and the future burden will be largely determined by current exposures.
    • The global prevalence of all the leading chronic diseases is increasing, with the majority occurring in developing countries and projected to increase substantially over the next 2 decades.
    • Cardiovascular disease is already the leading cause of mortality in developing countries. Between 1990 and 2020, mortality from ischemic heart disease in developing countries is expected to increase by 120% for women and 137% for men.
    • Predictions for the next 2 decades include a near tripling of ischemic heart disease and stroke mortality in Latin America, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa.
    • The global number of individuals with diabetes in 2000 was estimated to be 171 million (2.8% of the world’s population), a figure projected to increase in 2030 to 366 million (6.5%), 298 million of whom will live in developing countries.
    • Risks for chronic disease are also escalating. Smoking prevalence and obesity levels among adolescents in developing countries have risen over the past decade and portend rapid increases in chronic diseases. Numerous developing countries and countries in transition have witnessed a rapid deterioration of their chronic disease risk and mortality profiles.
    • Citation source: http://depts.washington.edu/rfgh/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Global-burden-of-chronic-dz-JAMA-2004.pdf

    For more information, see Chronic Diseases

  • April 4, 2013 - World Health Organization's Global Health Risks (2009)

    WHO Global Health Risks
    Graphic source: http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/global_health_risks/en/index.html
    According to WHO's 2009 report,"GLOBAL HEALTH RISKS Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks">
    • "The leading global risks for mortality in the world are high blood pressure (responsible for 13% of deaths globally), tobacco use (9%), high blood glucose (6%), physical inactivity (6%), and overweight and obesity (5%). These risks are responsible for raising the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancers. They affect countries across all income groups: high, middle and low.
    • The leading global risks for burden of disease as measured in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are underweight (6% of global DALYs) and unsafe sex (5%), followed by alcohol use (5%) and unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene (4%).
    • Five leading risk factors identified in this report (childhood underweight, unsafe sex, alcohol use, unsafe water and sanitation, and high blood pressure) are responsible for one quarter of all deaths in the world, and one fifth of all DALYs. Reducing exposure to these risk factors would increase global life expectancy by nearly 5 years.
    • Eight risk factors (alcohol use, tobacco use, high blood pressure, high body mass index, high cholesterol, high blood glucose, low fruit and vegetable intake, and physical inactivity) account for 61% of cardiovascular deaths. Combined, these same risk factors account for over three quarters of ischaemic heart disease: the leading cause of death worldwide. Although these major risk factors are usually associated with high-income countries, over 84% of the total global burden of disease they cause occurs in low- and middle-income countries. Reducing exposure to these eight risk factors would increase global life expectancy by almost 5 years.
    • Citation source: http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GlobalHealthRisks_report_Front.pdf
  • April 3, 2013 - Population Reference Bureau's "The Growing Global Chronic Disease Epidemic" (2007)

    Death by Chronic Diseases
    Graphic source: http://www.prb.org/Articles/2007/GrowingGlobalChronicDiseaseEpidemic.aspx
    In Population Reference Bureau 2007's "The Growing Global Chronic Disease Epidemic," Cohn reports:
    • "Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are among a group of chronic diseases that accounts for most deaths in all regions of the world except South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. While infectious diseases, lack of nutrition, and other traditional killers are claiming fewer lives in developing countries, deaths attributable to chronic diseases are rising.
    • The shift away from infectious and acute illnesses is fed by better living conditions and education worldwide, as well as improved nutrition, sanitation, health practices, and medical care. The world's elderly population, more prone to chronic disease, is growing. The result is a quiet epidemic of chronic illness that has gotten less attention than deadly infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis.
    • Yet diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions account for most deaths in rich, middle-income and lower middle-income countries, surpassing infectious diseases, malnutrition, and deaths of new mothers and babies combined. In low-income countries, they account for 40 percent of deaths, but are predicted to become the cause of more than half of all deaths."
    • Citation source: http://www.prb.org/Articles/2007/GrowingGlobalChronicDiseaseEpidemic.aspx
  • April 2, 2013 - Global Burden of Chronic Disease Deaths (2006)

    Global Burden of DiseaseGraphic source: http://www.dcp2.org/pubs/GBD
    According to the Disease Control Priorities Project's "The Growing Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases"
    • The burden of noncommunicable diseases is increasing, accounting for nearly half the global burden of disease for all ages, a 10 percent increase from estimated levels in 1990. While the proportion of the burden from noncommunicable disease in high-income countries has remained stable at around 85 percent in adults ages 15 and older, the proportion in middle-income countries has already exceeded 70 percent. Surprisingly, almost 50 percent of the adult disease burden in low- and middle-income countries is now attributable to noncommunicable disease. Population aging and changes in the distribution of risk factors have accelerated the epidemic of noncommunicable disease in many developing countries.
    • CVD accounted for 13 percent of the disease burden among adults ages 15 and older in 2001. IHD and cerebrovascular disease (stroke) were the two leading causes of mortality and the disease burden among adults ages 60 and older and were also among the top 10 causes of the disease burden in adults ages 15 to 59. In low- and middle income countries, IHD and cerebrovascular disease (stroke) were together responsible for 15 percent of the disease burden in those ages 15 and older, and DALYs(3,0) rates were higher for men than for women.
    • The proportion of the burden among adults ages 15 and older attributable to cancer was 6 percent in low- and middle income countries and 14 percent in high-income countries in 2001. Of the 7.1 million cancer deaths estimated to have occurred in that year, 17 percent, or 1.2 million, were attributable to lung cancer alone, and of these, three-quarters occurred among men. The number of cases of lung cancer increased nearly 30 percent since 1990, largely reflecting the emergence of the tobacco epidemic in low- and middle-income countries.
    • Stomach cancer, which until recently was the leading site of cancer mortality worldwide, has been declining in all parts of the world where trends can be reliably assessed, and in 2001 caused 842,000 deaths, or about two-thirds as many as lung cancer. Liver cancer was the third leading site, with 607,000 deaths in 2001, more than 60 percent of them in the East Asia and Pacific region. Among women, the leading cause of cancer deaths was breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have been improving during the past decade, but the chance of survival varies according to the coverage of and access to secondary prevention. Globally, neuropsychiatric conditions accounted for 19 percent of the disease burden among adults, primarily from nonfatal health outcomes.
    • Citation source: http://www.dcp2.org/pubs/GBD/3/Section/329
  • April 1, 2013 - April 1 - 7 is National Public Health Week

    The first full week of April has been declared National Public Health Week (NPHW) since 1995. It's nice to have one week devoted to celebrating the importance of Public Health. For more information, see The Basics of Public Health and Public Health Practice

  • March 29, 2013 - Time Zone Trivia

    Antarctica Timezones
    Graphic source: http://www.howtogeek.com/135213/antarctica-land-of-the-complicated-time-zones/
    According HowtoGeek.com, "Although logically Antartic, situated at the Earth’s southern pole, should have a bit of each longitudinally defined time zone in it. Instead, the scarcely population continent is a patchwork quilt of time zones dependent upon which country claims territorial rights there and/or which research stations are active in each section." (Source: http://www.howtogeek.com/135213/antarctica-land-of-the-complicated-time-zones/)

    If you think this is weird, the most populous country in the world, China, has only one time zone! Now you know!

  • March 28, 2013 - Prevent COPD - Quit Smoking

    COPD Treatment
    Graphic source: http://kacen.myblog.it/index-20.html
    After spending the past couple of weeks of blog postings looking at COPD, I would like to end this mini-series with this graphic.

    Obviously, the most effective intervention throughout the course of the disease is smoking cessation. The best news it COPD can be prevented simply by not smoking. And, for those who smoke, quit.

    For more information about the health effects of smoking, and smoking cessation resources, see Tobacco

    A Tip from a Former Smoker: I'm healthy and smoke-free. Learn how I quit.
  • March 27, 2013 - A Visual Guide to COPD

  • March 26, 2013 - Today is Diabetes Alert Day!

    CDC Obesity/Diabetes Map
    Map source: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/diabetes_slides.htm
    According to the MMWR:
    • "March 26 is Diabetes Alert Day, which is dedicated to raising awareness about type 2 diabetes, its risk factors, and its prevention. Type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes such as losing weight and increasing physical activity, accounts for 90%–95% of all diabetes cases in the United States."
    • Prediabetes Risk Test is a helpful resource that uses answers to a few simple questions about weight, age, family history, and other risk factors to indicate a person's risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
    • National Diabetes Prevention Program is working with partners in communities across the United States to establish effective lifestyle change programs for persons at high risk for type 2 diabetes.
    • Just One Step tool provides helpful tips for making lifestyle changes.
    • CDC's Diabetes Interactive Atlases provide data on trends in diagnosed diabetes (both prevalence and incidence), obesity, and leisure-time physical inactivity in the United States.
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6211a6.htm

    For more information, see Diabetes Resources on the Net

  • March 25, 2013 - Treating COPD

    Stop smoking or stop breathing
    Graphic source: http://www.quit-smoking-guides.com/images/Stop-Smoking-Aids.jpg

    For additional information, see Lung Diseases

  • March 22, 2013 - COPD - A visual explanation...

    COPD is caused by smoking
    Graphic source: http://pinterest.com/pin/253609022737930522/

  • March 21, 2013 - What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

    COPD
    Graphic source: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lysicge5em1r0l4eno1_500.jpg

    According to the CDC, "Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) causes substantial morbidity and mortality and may be unrecognized in its early stages. Chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD), which includes both COPD and asthma, was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2008.

    COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which both make emptying air from the lungs progressively more difficult and can be associated with cough, mucus production, wheezing, and breathlessness.

    Risk factors include primarily cigarette smoking, but also exposure to noxious particles or gases, recurrent infection, diet, and genetic factors. COPD is often preventable, but there is no cure. Treatment can control symptoms and slow disease progression."

    It should be noted that when the CDC presents trends in COPD prevalence, hospitalization and death rates, "Asthma is excluded from this report because it is considered a different condition with fully reversible symptoms, although some people may have asthma and COPD concurrently."
    Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db63.htm

    For more information, see Lung Diseases American Lung Association's Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Fact Sheet

  • March 20, 2013 - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, by Gender

    COPD, by Gender
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db63.htm

    According to the CDC, "Prevalence of COPD was stable from 1998 through 2009 and was significantly higher among women than men.
    • In 2007–2009, 5.1% (11.8 million) of adults aged 18 and over had COPD—a rate that was stable from 1998 through 2009.
    • For each 3-year period from 1998 through 2009, women had higher COPD prevalence than men. For 2007–2009, 6.1% of women (7.4 million) had COPD compared with 4.1% of men (4.4 million)."
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db63.htm

  • March 19, 2013 - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, by Age

    COPD, by Age
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db63.htm
    As you can see, chronic lower respiratory diseases are variously defined and this may be problematic in comparing statistics. Since the CDC seems to be concentrating on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we might as well start with that and find out what we really know about COPD.

    According to the CDC, Prevalence of COPD was higher in older age groups, and women had higher rates than men throughout most of the lifespan.

    • The prevalence of COPD rose with age for both men and women throughout most of the lifespan (i.e., across most age groups)
    • COPD prevalence was highest among women aged 65–74 (10.4%) and 75–84 (9.7%) and among men aged 75–84 (11.2%).
    • COPD prevalence was greater among women than men in all age groups except the two highest age groups (75–84 and 85 and over), for which the difference was not statistically significant."
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db63.htm

  • March 18, 2013 - When Did Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases Overtake Stroke as the 3rd Leading Cause of Disease? AND, what is the definition of "Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases"?

    QuickStats: Number of Deaths from 10 Leading Causes — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2008-2009

    National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2008-2009
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6048a7.htm

    Number of Deaths from 10 Leading Causes — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2006-2007

    National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2006-2007
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5846a5.htm

    I decided to explore further about the rising deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases. Apparently it occurred some time between 2007 - 2008, or thereabouts. Nevertheless, this is worth monitoring even though most of our attention is taken up with heart disease and cancer, which are still responsible for the bulk of US deaths.

    Unfortunately, I had a hard time finding one single definition for "Chronic Lower Repiratory Diseases." It appears that various entities use a variant of disease classifications to define this group of diseases. Therefore, I am presenting what I was able to find, and you can see for yourself that the definition of "Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases" will need to be more precise in order to truly understand what we are dealing with.

    The West Virginia Health Statistics Center: "Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (CLRD) is a serious illness affecting millions of people. CLRD actually comprises three major diseases, i.e., chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma, that are all characterized by shortness of breath caused by airway obstruction.

    The obstruction is irreversible in chronic bronchitis and emphysema, reversible in asthma. Before 1999, CLRD was called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The International Classification of Diseases used by the World Health Organization (WHO) to code diseases and mortality was revised in 1999, with slight changes to the category between the 9th and 10th editions. CLRD is used to refer to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma." (Citation source: http://www.wvdhhr.org/bph/hsc/pubs/other/clrd/national.htm)

    Missouri Health Department: "Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease. Resident deaths for which the underlying cause of death was given on the death certificate as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and allied conditions. This category is called "chronic lower respiratory diseases" in the National Center for Health Statistics' current listing of leading causes of death.

    Included are: Bronchitis (unless it is specified as acute bronchitis), emphysema, asthma, bronchiectasis, and chronic airway obstruction not elsewhere classified. The vast majority of the deaths in this category are attributed to "Chronic airway obstruction not elsewhere classified."

    For data through 1998, International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) codes 490-494, and 496. (Profiles ending 1998 or earlier were based on a slightly different definition; effective with the ICD-10 revision, ICD-9 code 495 [extrinsic allergic alveolitis] is no longer included. This affects few, if any, Missouri resident deaths per year.) For data years 1999 forward, International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) codes J40-J47. (Citation source: http://health.mo.gov/data/mica/CDP_MICA/CofDDefinitionofIndicators.html)

    Tarrant County Texas uses:
    ICD 10 Codes for Mortality Data
    o Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease: J40-47
    - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Bronchitis, Chronic and Unspecified (J40-J42)
    Emphysema (J43)
    Other COPD (J44)
    - Asthma (J45-J46)
    - Brochiectasis (J47)

    (Citation source: http://www.tarrantcounty.com/ehealth/lib/ehealth/chronic.pdf)

    The CDC defines "Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema but has been defined recently as the physiologic finding of nonreversible pulmonary function impairment." (Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5106a1.htm)

    "Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous group of slowly progressive diseases characterized by airflow obstruction that interferes with normal breathing. In 2005, approximately one in 20 deaths in the United States had COPD as the underlying cause. Smoking is estimated to be responsible for at least 75% of COPD deaths." (Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5745a4.htm) It seems the CDC is concentrating on chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases that exclude asthma, which is included in other definitions of chronic lower respiratory diseases.

    For more information, see Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Includes: Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema For additional information, see Tobacco and Smoking Cessation Information

  • March 15, 2013 - Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases Moves into 3rd Leading Cause of Death

    QuickStats: Number of Deaths from 10 Leading Causes — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2010

    National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2010
    Graphic source: http://www.stonehearthnewsletters.com/cdcs-top-10-causes-of-death/updates/

    On March 1st, the CDC released its "QuickStats: Number of Deaths from 10 Leading Causes — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2010" (Weekly March 1, 2013 / 62(08);155)

    "In 2010, a total of 2,468,435 deaths occurred in the United States. The first two leading causes of death, heart disease (597,689 deaths) and cancer (574,743), accounted for nearly 50% of all deaths. In contrast, the other leading causes accounted for much smaller percentages, ranging from 5.6% (138,080 deaths) for the third leading cause of death, chronic lower respiratory disease, to 1.6% (38,364) for suicide, the 10th leading cause of death. All other causes combined accounted for 25% of the deaths."
    Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/deaths_2010_release.pdf

    Compare this to the mortality statistics reported in 2007, at which time, 135,952 stroke deaths were reported (6%), and 127,924 chronic lower respiratory disease deaths were reported (5%). (National Prevention Strategy, June 2011, p. 13). The 2010 data are showing that more people are dying from chronic lower repiratory diseases than from strokes.

    For most people this bar chart has not changed much. Heart disease still remains the leading cause of death, followed by cancer However, to me, and those who track trends, this shows a major change - chronic lower respiratory diseases has replaced stroke as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

  • March 14, 2013 - And, one plan to serve them all: National Prevention Strategy America's Plan for Better Health and Wellness

    National Prevention Strategy
    Graphic source: http://www.faithandhealthconnection.org/americas-plan-for-better-health-and-wellness/
    "The National Prevention Strategy: America's Plan for Better Health and Wellness

    On June 16, 2011 the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council, announced the release of the National Prevention Strategy (PDF, 1.81 MB), a comprehensive plan that will help increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. The National Prevention Strategy recognizes that good health comes not just from receiving quality medical care, but also from clean air and water, safe outdoor spaces for physical activity, safe worksites, healthy foods, violence-free environments and healthy homes. Prevention should be woven into all aspects of our lives, including where and how we live, learn, work and play."
    Source citation: http://www.healthcare.gov/center/councils/nphpphc/strategy/index.html

  • March 13, 2013 - Finally, a good news US Map

    US good news map
    Graphic source: http://cordexagri.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/baler-twine-cordexagri-infographic-united-states-of-the-environment/
    Finally, some good news. Every state gets to be good at something. This is based on numerous data sources.
    Citation source: http://cordexagri.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/baler-twine-cordexagri-infographic-united-states-of-the-environment/

  • March 12, 2013 - US State Hazards Map

    US Hazards Map
    Graphic source: http://cordexagri.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/baler-twine-cordexagri-infographic-united-states-of-the-environment/
    Here's a map that highlights the worst environmental hazards for each state.
    Citation source: http://cordexagri.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/baler-twine-cordexagri-infographic-united-states-of-the-environment/

  • March 11, 2013 - US McDonalds Locations

    US Map of McDonalds
    Graphic source: http://ecolocalizer.com/2012/03/13/causation-or-correlation-comparing-us-obesity-mcdonalds-location-maps/
    Here are the location of McDonalds restaurants across the continental US? Hmmm, could there be some connection to the rising rates of obesity and diabetes? However, you can't blame it all on them. We need to take some responsibility for our health and wellness.

    For more information, see Obesity, and Diabetes

  • March 10, 2013 - National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

    Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States, 2009, by Age
    HIV by age
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/youth/

    For more information, see AIDS/HIV

  • March 8, 2013 - US Obesity and Diabetes Maps

    US Maps of Obesity and Diabetes
    Graphic source: http://bettylamarrshow.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-betty-lamarr-show-diabetes-in-mid.html
    Of all the maps I have presented this week, this one is perhaps the saddest one of all. It shows how out of shape the country is. As obesity is increasing over time, so it diabetes.

    For more information, see Obesity, and Diabetes

  • March 7, 2013 - US Continental Poverty Divide

    Classification of counties by rate of poverty and spatial situation
    US Map of poverty
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2007/oct/07_0091.htm
    According to the CDC's "The Topography of Poverty in the United States: A Spatial Analysis Using County-Level Data From the Community Health Status Indicators Project" - "The distinctive north–south divide across most of the United States, in which concentrations of low poverty and spatial outliers of high poverty are confined to the northern half, and concentrations of high poverty and spatial outliers of low poverty are confined to the southern half, is termed the continental poverty divide. Data source: Community Health Status Indicators.
    Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2007/oct/07_0091.htm

  • March 6, 2013 - American Nations

    Multicultural Map of the US
    Graphic source: http://colinwoodard.blogspot.com/2012/04/presenting-slighty-revised-american.html
    This map was updated 4/2012 by Colin Woodard, the creator of this map, and the author of "American Nations." Chronicle Review's (6/25/2012) "Running for President on a Divided Continent" took a look at our country's diversity:
    • "The real founders¡ªearly-17th-century Puritans and Dutch West India Company officials, mid-17th-century English aristocrats, late-17th-century West Indian slave lords and English Quakers, early-18th-century frontiersmen from Ulster and the lowlands of Scotland and so on¡ªdidn't create an America, they created several Americas.
    • Some of these American societies championed individualism, others utopian social reform. Some believed themselves guided by divine purpose, others by freedom of conscience and inquiry. Some embraced an Anglo-Protestant identity, others ethnic and religious pluralism.
    • Recognizing these centuries-old cultures makes our history a lot easier to understand....The United States is a federation comprised of the whole or part of 11 regional nations,... Some of them truly do not see eye-to-eye with one another, and despite the rise of Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and the Internet, there is little indication that they are melting into some sort of unified American culture."
    • Citation source: http://chronicle.com/article/Running-for-President-on-a/132389/

    Now think about how challenging this is for public health practitioners and how every message, regardless of how simple can become so complex that there is a risk that no one will get the same message. For sure, cultural competency will become, if not already, THE mantra for Public Health in the 21st century.

  • March 5, 2013 - U.S. Native American Map

    US Native American Map
    Graphic source: http://www.aaanativearts.com/us_tribes_AtoZ.htm
    As you can see, depending on who you ask, the U.S. can be mapped quite diferently than the map you saw yesterday. Here is how Native Americans see the U.S. They were, after all, here before everyone else started arriving.

  • March 4, 2013 - U.S. Ancestry Map

    Ancestry Map of the US
    Graphic source: http://www.lawpundit.com/blog/2008/10/blawg-review-180.htm
    As you know by now, I simply love maps! Here is one that shows the distribution of Americans, by ancestry. For sure, we are a nation of diverse ancestries!

  • March 1, 2013 - CDC's Guide to Writing for Social Media


    Graphic source;http://www.cdc.gov/SocialMedia/Tools/guidelines/
    Even though the emphasis these days is on the visual, writing remains an important skill all public health professionals to have. Since communication is a vital strategy in addressing many public health issues, how the message is relayed can make a huge difference.

    Released in April, 2012, CDC's Guide to Writing for Social media is an excellent resource for making the most of the Internet's capacity to reach millions. Here you will find all the basics for written communication and how to translate this to social media.

    Just click on the graphic to access the guide. For additional information on social media, see Public Health Practice

  • February 28, 2013 - Social Media User Demographics

    Social media users, February 2013
    Graphic source http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/interactive/popular-socnet-sites-prove-appealing-to-varying-demographics-27040/attachment/pew-social-media-user-demographics-feb2013/
    Here are some stats fom Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project. They have now identified which subpopulations are using which kind of social networking site. Eventually there will be be very little these companies won't know about us.

  • Citation source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/interactive/popular-socnet-sites-prove-appealing-to-varying-demographics-27040/attachment/pew-social-media-user-demographics-feb2013/
  • February 27, 2013 - Risk factors for heart disease

    IDF cvd risk factors
    Graphic source: http://www.cvd.idf.org/Risk_Factors/index.html
    According to the CDC, risk factors for heart disease include "High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors."

    Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:

    • Diabetes
    • Overweight and obesity
    • Poor diet
    • Physical inactivity
    • Excessive alcohol use
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_women_heart.htm
  • February 26, 2013 - Global heart risk for women

    Global risk for women
    Graphic source:http://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0801/p265.html
  • February 25, 2013 - Global heart risk for men

    According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, "Global CHD risk is the absolute risk of a CHD-related event over a specific period, usually 10 years. The event can be “hard” (e.g., myocardial infarction [MI], sudden cardiac death) or “soft” (e.g., chest pain). The risk estimate is based on major risk factors and is calculated using an empiric equation. In contrast, the conventional clinical approach to primary prevention of cardiovascular disease relies on identification and treatment of individual risk factors, such as hypertension and hyper-lipidemia. However, this approach does not account for the fact that major cardiovascular risk factors contribute multiplicatively to overall CHD risk. In addition, physicians tend to observe rather than treat small elevations in risk factors."

    Global risk for men
    Graphic source:http://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0801/p265.html
  • February 22, 2013 - What are the symptoms of a heart attack in women?

  • February 21, 2013 - Women and Heart Disease

  • February 20, 2013 - Women and Heart Disease, by Race/Ethnicity

    Women and heart disease, by race and ethnicity
    Graphic source: http://mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa04/pages/ch2.htm
    Those these stats are from HRSA's "Women's Health USA 2004", it does show that the rate of heart disease among women differ by race and ethnicity. U.S. white and black women have the highest rates, when compared to women of other races. Citation source: http://mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa04/pages/ch2.htm
  • February 19, 2013 - Mapping Women and Heart Disease

    Women and heart disease, CDC, BRFSS data
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_women_heart.htm
    Here is a CDC map of heart disease among women, based on Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data. According to the CDC:
    • "Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 292,188 women in 2009—that’s 1 in every 4 female deaths.
    • Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a "man's disease," around the same number of women and men die each year of heart disease in the United States. Despite increases in awareness over the past decade, only 54% of women recognize that heart disease is their number 1 killer.
    • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for African American and white women in the United States. Among Hispanic women, heart disease and cancer cause roughly the same number of deaths each year. For American Indian or Alaska Native and Asian or Pacific Islander women, heart disease is second only to cancer.
    • About 5.8% of all white women, 7.6% of black women, and 5.6% of Mexican American women have coronary heart disease.
    • Almost two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease."
    • Citation source: http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_women_heart.htm

    For more information, see Women and Heart Disease

  • February 15, 2013 - 2012 NHLBI Morbidity and Mortality Chart Book

    NHBLI Chartbook
    Graphic source: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/resources/docs/2012_ChartBook_508.pdf
    "The Morbidity & Mortality: Chart Book on Cardiovascular, Lung, and Blood Diseases is a biennial compilation of data on the size and trends of morbidity and mortality from the cardiovascular, lung, and blood diseases. While most charts describe national prevalence, hospitalizations, and mortality statistics, some of them provide additional information by state or country. Risk factors estimates and the economic costs of these diseases are also included."

    From this resource you will learn that 2008 mortality statistics show that if you look at deaths by race and ethnicity, cancer is the leading cause of death for Asian males and females, Hispanic females and American Indian females, not heart disease. (pp. 14-17). So, it really is necessary to look at mortality by race and ethnicity to tease out the health disparities that exist.

  • February 14, 2013 - 2011 US Cardiovascular Mortality, by EPA Region

    CVD 2011, by EPA Region
    Graphic source: http://cfpub.epa.gov/eroe/index.cfm?fuseaction=detail.viewInd&lv=list.listbyalpha&r=235292&subtop=381
    According to the EPA,"Both coronary heart disease and stroke mortality have been declining over time in each of the 10 EPA Regions (Exhibits 5-25 and 5-26). In 1979, coronary heart disease and stroke age-adjusted mortality rates ranged from 285.6 (Region 10) to 401.9 (Region 2) per 100,000 and 80.3 (Region 2) to 111.4 (Region 4) per 100,000, respectively. In 1998, coronary heart disease and stroke mortality rates ranged from 145.6 (Region 8) to 233.2 (Region 2) per 100,000 and 43.2(Region 2) to 68.5 (Region 10) per 100,000, respectively. The decreases in coronary heart disease and stroke mortality also appear to continue in the 1999-2007 period across all EPA regions. In 1999, coronary heart disease and stroke age-adjusted mortality rates ranged from 140.4 (Region 8) to 234.8 (Region 2) per 100,000 and 43.8 (Region 2) to 72.8 (Region 10) per 100,000, respectively. In 2007, coronary heart disease and stroke mortality rates ranged from 95.2 (Region 8) to 159.2 (Region 2) per 100,000 and 30.3 (Region 2) to 49.8 (Region 6) per 100,000, respectively. Differences exist in CVD mortality rates among gender, racial, and age groups. For example, in 2007, those age 65 and older had the highest CVD (all types), coronary heart disease, and stroke mortality (1,633, 818.6, and 287.6 per 100,000, respectively). For the same year, the age-adjusted CVD, coronary heart disease, and stroke mortality rates for those 45 to 64 years of age were 161.1, 89.2, and 21.4 per 100,000, respectively. Notable differences in CVD (all types) and, specifically, coronary heart disease mortality rates exist between males and females, but not for stroke mortality. Coronary heart disease mortality among males in 2007 was 165.4 per 100,000, compared to 95.7 per 100,000 for females. In 2007, black or African American males had the highest CVD mortality rate (403.5 per 100,000) compared to white males (292.7 per 100,000), black or African American females (284.2 per 100,000), and white females (204.6 per 100,000). The lowest CVD mortality rates were observed for Asian or Pacific Islander females (125.5 per 100,000) followed by Asian or Pacific Islander males (174.8 per 100,000). (Data not shown.) "
    Citation source: http://cfpub.epa.gov/eroe/index.cfm?fuseaction=detail.viewInd&lv=list.listbyalpha&r=235292&subtop=381

  • February 13, 2013 - U.S. Cardiovascular Disease Mortality

    CVD prevalence, EPA
    Graphic source: http://cfpub.epa.gov/eroe/index.cfm?fuseaction=detail.viewInd&lv=list.listbyalpha&r=235292&subtop=381
    According to the EPA, "In 1998, the national age-adjusted CVD mortality rate (all types) was 352.0 per 100,000 compared to a rate of 541.0 per 100,000 in 1980 (Exhibit 5-24). This decline continues after 1999, with the rate dropping from 349.3 per 100,000 in 1999 to 249.9 per 100,000 in 2007. Mortality rates for coronary heart disease, stroke, and myocardial infarction—subcategories of CVD—have also declined between 1979 and 1998. The age-adjusted coronary heart disease mortality rate ranged from 345.2 per 100,000 in 1980 to 197.1 per 100,000 in 1998. For stroke mortality, the age-adjusted rate ranged from 97.1 per 100,000 in 1979 to 59.3 per 100,000 in 1998. The age-adjusted mortality rates for myocardial infarction ranged from 157.9 in 1979 to 76.0 per 100,000 in 1998. The decline in mortality from these three CVD subgroups continued to be observed between 1999 and 2007. The age-adjusted mortality rates for coronary heart disease, stroke, and myocardial infarction in 2007 were 126.0, 42.2, and 41.4 per 100,000, respectively, compared to 194.6, 61.6, and 73.2 per 100,000, respectively, in 1999. In contrast, mortality attributed to hypertension has slightly increased between 1999 and 2007 from 15.8 per 100,000 to 17.8 per 100,000."
    Citation source: http://cfpub.epa.gov/eroe/index.cfm?fuseaction=detail.viewInd&lv=list.listbyalpha&r=235292&subtop=381

  • February 11, 2013 - U.S. Cardiovascular Mortality

    CVD mortality AHA
    Graphic source: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/125/1/e2/F30.expansion.html
    American Heart Association's Statistical Update - Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2012 Update offers the latest U.S. cardiovascular statistics. Here's is an example of the kind of data they report. Here are U.S. maps depicting age-adjusted mortality rates for cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease and stroke. Such maps help to identify those states with greater number of deaths for disease categories. For example, southern states have the highest stroke mortality rates.
  • February 10, 2013 - Happy Chinese New Year! Asian Americans, A Community of Contrasts

    A Community of Contrasts Report

    Don't know much about Asian Americans? You're not the only one. So, the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice released it demographic report,¡°A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans in the United States, 2011.¡± This report analyzes Census and other data on Asian Americans at the national level and highlights key issues facing the nation¡¯s fastest growing racial group. Some key facts include:

    • "Asian Americans are the country¡¯s fastest growing racial group. The Asian American population in the United States grew 46% between 2000 and 2010, faster than any other racial group nationwide.
    • Asian Americans make significant contributions to the economy through entrepreneurial activity, job creation, and consumer spending. Asian American entrepreneurs own over 1.5 million businesses, employing about 3 million people with an annual payroll of nearly $80 billion.
    • Proportionately, Asian Americans are more likely than any other racial group to be foreign-born. Approximately 60% of Asian Americans were born outside the United States.
    • Roughly one out of every three Asian Americans are limited-English proficient (LEP).
    • Asian American educational attainment varies widely among ethnic groups. Disaggregated data show that the low educational attainment of Cambodians, Laotian, Hmong, and Vietnamese Americans limit employment opportunities for many in Southeast Asian communities.
    • Some Asian Americans struggle economically. Hmong Americans have the lowest per capita income of any racial or ethnic group nationwide, while Hmong, Bangladeshi, and Cambodian Americans have poverty rates that approach those of African Americans and Latinos.
    • Unemployment has impacted Southeast Asian American communities. Hmong, Laotian, and Cambodian Americans have unemployment rates higher than the national average.
    • Asian Americans continue to face housing concerns.
    • Access to affordable healthcare coverage is critical for Asian Americans. Asian Americans are twice as likely than both non-Hispanic Whites and African Americans to have seen a doctor in the past five years, despite being more likely to develop hepatitis, stomach and liver cancer, and other diseases.
    • Citation source: Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence 6/14/2012 Newsletter.

  • February 9, 2013 - Winter Storm Nemo - one for the books!

    CT 2013 blizzard, Hanrahan
    Graphic source: Ryan Hanrahan blog
    We got 28 inches!

  • February 8, 2013 - When Winter Storm Nemo came to visit, it left us with a blizzard!

    CT 2013 blizzard NBC
    Graphic source: http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Snow-Storm-Friday-Connecticut-Weather--189868411.html

  • February 8, 2013 - American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2012 Update

    CVD, by gender AHA
    Graphic source: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/125/1/e2.figures-only
    American Heart Association's Statistical Update - Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2012 Update offers the latest U.S. cardiovascular statistics.

    Here is an example of the kind of data they report. This one is about the incidence of cardiovascular disease by gender. The incidence of cardiovascular disease increases as we get older. While men surpass women in every age group, the incidence of CVD increases for women as well as they get older.

  • February 7, 2013 - U.S. Cardiovascular Disease Prevalence

    CVD prevalence, EPA
    Graphic source: http://cfpub.epa.gov/eroe/index.cfm?fuseaction=detail.viewInd&lv=list.listbyalpha&r=235292&subtop=381
    According to the EPA, "Among adults 18 years and older, the prevalence of heart disease and stroke between 1997 and 2009 has remained essentially the same (Exhibit 5-23). In contrast, the prevalence of hypertension has shown a general increase from 191 cases per 1,000 in 1997 to 249 cases per 1,000 in 2009.

    Gender, race, and age differences in CVD prevalence exist. The prevalence of coronary heart disease is consistently higher among males than among females (81.1 cases per 1,000 for men compared with 49.6 cases per 1,000 for women in 2009). In contrast, hypertension is more prevalent among women (252.3 cases per 1,000 for women compared with 245.2 per 1,000 for men in 2008); however, the gap is narrowing as rates for men have been increasing at a faster pace over time compared to women.

    Among the racial groups reported, American Indians and Alaska Natives had the highest prevalence of coronary heart disease between 1999 and 2001. In 2009, whites had the highest prevalence of coronary heart disease (67.9 cases per 1,000), followed by blacks or African Americans (59.8 cases per 1,000), Asians (32.2 cases per 1,000), and American Indians and Alaska Natives (31.8 cases per 1,000). Between 1999 and 2009, Asians consistently had the lowest prevalence of stroke (9.8 cases per 1,000 in 2009) and hypertension (175.8 cases per 1,000 in 2009) among the racial groups reported."
    Citation source: http://cfpub.epa.gov/eroe/index.cfm?fuseaction=detail.viewInd&lv=list.listbyalpha&r=235292&subtop=381

  • February 6, 2013 - WHO's Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke

    WHO -The Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke
    Heart disease is an international health issue. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "An estimated 17 million people die of CVDs, particularly heart attacks and strokes, every year. A substantial number of these deaths can be attributed to tobacco smoking, which increases the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease 2–3 fold.

    Physical inactivity and unhealthy diet are other main risk factors which increase individual risks to cardiovascular diseases. One of the strategies to respond to the challenges to population health and well being due to the global epidemic of heart attack and stroke is to provide actionable information for development and implementation of appropriate policies. As part of such efforts, WHO in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has produced for the wider audience, "The Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke."" Citation source: http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/resources/atlas/en/

    This atlas provides a wealth of information about heart disease and stroke, including good coverage of all the risk factors contributing to heart disease. Check out the coverage about Obesity as a heart disease risk factor. Just click on the graphic to get to the atlas.

  • February 5, 2013 - WHO's Global Atlas on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control

    Global Atlas on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control, WHO
    Graphic source: http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/publications/ atlas_cvd/en/index.html
    The World Health Organization's "The Global Atlas on cardiovascular disease prevention and control" is an excellent document that comprehensively covers the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease around the world. It has a wealth of maps and graphs about the distribution of heart disease around the world. Definitely check it out. Just click on the graphic to get to the atlas.
  • February 4, 2013 - February is Heart Month

    For more information, see Cardiovascular Disease and Women and Heart Disease

  • February 1, 2013 - Today is National Wear Red Day

    The Heart Truth: National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 1, 2013. Get Involved!
  • January 31, 2013 - Use of social media for Public Health Practice

    CDC Social Media guidelines
    Graphic source: http://idisaster.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/5-ways-to-pump-up-your-em-facebook-presence/

    The lines are blurring between what is consider "Public" vs. "Private". It is not unusual to see people spill their life history online. You know what I am talking about. Social network sites think nothing about having you spill your guts for the world to see. sometimes I cringe at the personal nature of some of the postings I see online. Anonymous postings are even worse.

    Nevertheless, posting anything online could mean an immortality we never bargained for. Just keep in mind that "someone" is using all this information to make money, without having to pay for that information.Gathering this kind of information used to be in the purview of marketing research. Just think of all the marketing researchers out of jobs because so many people willingly give away personal information for nothing. And then you wonder why you have been targeted by advertisers who seem to know so much about you!

    So, exactly where do you draw the line? Where does your private persona end and your public persona begin? Then again, is your virtual avatar the real you? Let the philosophers deal with that one. Then again, we really do need to think about our lives on a philosophical level every now and then. It's call reflection, and I don't think we do quite as much as we should do to bring meaning into our lives.

    We spend our time multi-tasking to the detriment of our mental and physical health. We waste entirely too much time doing social networking to the neglect of the people who are actually here and will be there for you. We eventually find that 1,500 online friends can never replace the one you happen to be with. This is the reality of the world we live in today. Which brings me to today's blog entry about using social media for public health practice.

    Yes, I do see value in using social media to promote Public Health. It is really great to see that the CDC has provided "Social Media Guidelines and Best Practices." Basically, this document provides guidance about the more "professional" uses of social media. This is a good thing. While it specifically refers to Facebook because this is the big one, the principles mentioned can be applied to any social network.

    Additional CDC resources for professional use of social media can be found at CDC Social Media Tools, Guidelines & Best Practices Additional information Public Health Practice

  • January 29, 2013 - 2012 Web Stats - Twitter Streamgraphing

    @bettycjung streamgraph I love Twitter simply because 140 characters is usually enough to get the message across. During 2012 I started using Twitter as a quick way to share Public Heatlh related links I found useful.

    I just recently used Neoformix to create a streamgraph of my tweets for the last 3 months of 2012. This analytic graphing tool provides a visual depiction of the topics I have been tweeting about. Unfortunately, I couldn't save the display so I had to create a few workarounds to develop this graphic. Cool, right?

    For more information, see Neoformix TwitterStreamGraphs Site

  • January 28, 2013 - 2012 E-mail Stats, Part III - Why the USPS is going broke

    Betty C. Jung's 2012 E-mails - the postage cost For the past two days I have been talking about how many E-mails I got in 2012. While it is somewhat overwhelming, what is really more shocking is the impact this has on the economy. So, I did a little math to show how much it would cost to have the E-mails sent by USPS. Is it any wonder why it is going broke?

    Basically, except for paying for Internet access and having an E-mail account, it costs virtually nothing to send an E-mail. Unfortunately, this may explain why I get so much spam. It cost them nothing to fill up my inbox with garbage. Other industries adversely affected are the papermills, publishers, etc., but then less junk mail means less paper waste, and that's good for Public Health!

  • January 25, 2013 - 2012 E-mail Stats, Part II

    Betty C. Jung's 2012 E-mails Here is another way of looking at those 108,128 E-mails. While the total E-mails averaged out to about 296 E-mails a day, of which 48% was spam, there were monthly variations. I got the most E-mails during March through June, May was the worst month for E-mails (5,082).

    April, May, November and December were the months are got the most spam. During those months, at least 50% of the E-mails I received was spam, with December being the worse (53%). Hmm, I wonder if these stats are a fluke. I guess I'm going to need to compile a comparison year....

  • January 24, 2013 - 2012 E-mail Stats, Part I

    Betty C. Jung's 2012 E-mails In recent years I have noticed that the number of E-mails I have been getting seems to be increasing. I mentioned that it feels like I get hundreds. But when I mention this to people I know they say that can't be true. So, for the entire year of 2012 I decided to keep track daily the number of E-mails that I received.

    After compiling and graphing the data, this is what I got. Indeed, I received 108,128 E-mails for 2012!! That comes out to an average of 296 E-mails a day! So, I really was getting "hundreds" of E-mails a day.

    Perhaps, the saddest revelation of finding out that I have been inundated with E-mails, almost 1/2 of what comes into my inbox is spam! There is no solution to getting rid of them. Fortunately, most E-mail accounts have spam filters that work, but they are not perfect. Now you know.

  • January 23, 2012 - Do you spend 3 hours a day social networking?

    January 2013 - US social networking demographics
    Graphic source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/interactive/social-networking-eats-up-3-hours-per-day-for-the-average-american-user-26049/attachment/ipsos-us-average-socnet-time-spend-per-day-jan2013/

    Do you wonder where your day went? Blaming on social networks. According to Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX) researchers:

    • "Americans aged 18-64 who use social networks say they spend an average of 3.2 hours per day doing so....the average online American spends 2 hours a day social networking from a computer, tablet and/or mobile phone. Unsurprisingly, American social networkers aged 18-34 self-report spending more time than their older counterparts, and women outpace men in consumption, also.
    • Specifically, among American social network users:
      *8-34-year-olds report spending 3.8 hours a day;
      *35-49-year-olds report spending 3 hours per day; and
      *50-64-year-olds report spending 2.4 hours per day.
    • .... female social networkers spend almost 40% more time daily with social media sites than men (3.6 hours vs. 2.6 hours),
    • Some other interesting demographic gaps emerge:
      *Social networkers with low household income spending more time than those with high household income (3.7 hours vs. 3.1 hours);
      *Those with low education levels spending more time than those with high education levels (3.5 vs. 3);
      *Business owners spending almost 50% more time than those who don¡¯t a business (4.4 vs. 3);
      *Senior executives and decision-makers spending 40% more time than those not in that position (4.2 vs. 3); and
      *Unemployed social networkers spending 3.5 hours a day on social media, versus 3 hours for the employed.
    • ...roughly 1 in 5 users aged 18-34 claim to spend 6 hours or more per day social networking.
    • Citation source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/interactive/social-networking-eats-up-3-hours-per-day-for-the-average-american-user-26049/attachment/ipsos-us-average-socnet-time-spend-per-day-jan2013/

    Is there anything about Internet users that we don't know about? Unlikely.

  • January 22, 2012 - NASA: Global Warming Trends

    NASA 2012 global warming trends
    Graphic source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=80167&src=eoa-iotd
    According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS),
    • "2012 was the ninth warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. The ten warmest years in the 132-year record have all occurred since 1998. The last year that was cooler than average was 1976.
    • The map at the top depicts temperature anomalies, or changes, by region in 2012; it does not show absolute temperature. Reds and blues show how much warmer or cooler each area was in 2012 compared to an averaged base period from 1951–1980.
    • The average temperature in 2012 was about 14.6 degrees Celsius (58.3 degrees Fahrenheit), which is 0.55°C (1.0°F) warmer than the mid-20th century base period. The average global temperature has increased 0.8°C (1.4°F) since 1880, and most of that change has occurred in the past four decades.
    • The line plot above shows yearly temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2011 as recorded by NASA GISS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, the Japanese Meteorological Agency, and the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom.
    • Scientists emphasize that weather patterns cause fluctuations in average temperatures from year to year, but the continued increase in greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere assures that there will be a long-term rise in global temperatures. Each individual year will not necessarily be warmer than the previous year, but scientists expect each decade to be warmer than the previous decade.
    • “The U.S. temperatures in the summer of 2012 are an example of a new trend of outlying seasonal extremes that are warmer than the hottest seasonal temperatures of the mid-20th century,””
    • Citation source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=80167&src=eoa-iotd
  • January 18, 2012 - Earth From Space (Electro-L Weather Satellite, May 14-20, 2012)

  • January 17, 2013 - Not Just Stars in the Sky

    Space Debris

    Space Debris

    Space Debris
    Graphic source: http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/space-junk-worse-than-you-think-pictures/6393169

    In November 2012 TechRepublic,"Space junk: Worse than you think" photos show there's a lot of junk floating in space.
    • "A chart showing the monthly object in Earth orbit by type shows how the problem of space debris is getting worse.
    • There are many sources of debris. One source is discarded hardware. Launch vehicle upper stages have been left in orbit after they are spent. Satellites are abandoned at the end of useful life, while spacecraft and mission operations have released items such as separation bolts, lens caps, momentum flywheels, nuclear reactor cores, clamp bands, auxiliary motors, launch vehicle fairings, and adapter shrouds.
    • Space debris populations seen from outside geosynchronous orbit (GEO). Note the two primary debris fields, the ring of objects in GEO, and the cloud of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO).
    • The debris environment in low Earth orbit is expected to continue to grow over time, even if strict end-of-life disposal measures are followed. Removing large objects from orbit is no easy task. Almost no spacecraft are designed to be physically grappled once they are in orbit, and they may be tumbling or spinning, making them difficult to control. But active debris removal such as this is a first step to cleaning up the environment in space, and maintaining the low Earth orbit as a safe place to do business.
    • Citation source: http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/space-junk-worse-than-you-think-pictures/6393169

  • January 16, 2013 - Global Warming in 2012

    Arctic Warmup
    Graphic source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206103900.htm
    According to the 12/6/12 Science Daily's "Arctic Continues to Break Records in 2012: Becoming Warmer, Greener Region With Record Losses of Summer Sea Ice and Late Spring Snow"
    • "The Arctic region continued to break records in 2012 -- among them the loss of summer sea ice, spring snow cover, and melting of the Greenland ice sheet. This was true even though air temperatures in the Arctic were unremarkable relative to the last decade."
    • "Snow cover: A new record low snow extent for the Northern Hemisphere was set in June 2012, and a new record low was reached in May over Eurasia. Sea ice: Minimum Arctic sea ice extent in September 2012 set a new all-time record low, as measured by satellite since 1979.
    • Greenland ice sheet: There was a rare, nearly ice sheet-wide melt event on the Greenland ice sheet in July, covering about 97 percent of the ice sheet on a single day.
    • Vegetation: The tundra is getting greener and there's more above-ground growth. During the period of 2003-2010, the length of the growing season increased through much of the Arctic.
    • Wildlife & food chain: In northernmost Europe, the Arctic fox is close to extinction and vulnerable to the encroaching Red fox. Additionally, recent measurements of massive phytoplankton blooms below the summer sea ice suggest that earlier estimates of biological production at the bottom of the marine food chain may have been ten times lower than was occurring.
    • Ocean: Sea surface temperatures in summer continue to be warmer than the long-term average at the growing ice-free margins, while upper ocean temperature and salinity show significant interannual variability with no clear trends.
    • Weather: Most of the notable weather activity in fall and winter occurred in the sub-Arctic due to a strong positive North Atlantic Oscillation, expressed as the atmospheric pressure difference between weather stations in the Azores and Iceland. There were three extreme weather events including an unusual cold spell in late January to early February 2012 across Eurasia, and two record storms characterized by very low central pressures and strong winds near western Alaska in November 2011 and north of Alaska in August 2012.
    • The record-breaking year also indicates that it is unlikely that conditions can quickly return to their former state."
    • Citation: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206103900.htm

    For more information, see Global Warming, and NOAA 2012 Arctic Report Card

    January 15, 2013 - Dual Polarization Radar

    Dual Polarization Radar
    Here is a look at the new technology that will be used for weather forecasting. According to Scott Cimini,
    • "Conventional Radar tells us about the relative size of objects whereas dual polarization radar tells us about the size, shape, and variety of objects.
    • Here are a few things that the new radars will have: Differential Reflectivity (ZDR) will help meteorologists locate hail cores in Thunderstorms. Also, vertical columns of ZDR will also help in determining updraft location and strength.
    • Specific Differential Phase (KDP) is a great new feature. If you have similar reflectivity values, this feature can let you know if the area is experiencing many small raindrops or fewer but larger raindrops. It will give you better insight about how light or heavy the rain is falling in a particular area.
    • The Correlation Coefficient is a measure of strength or weakness between 2 (or more) variables. A CC will have a value between -1 and 1 where -1 would be a very weak relationship and +1 a very positive one. CC is helpful in find the melting layer by comparing all the different shapes and sizes of the wet and frozen particles. It¡¯s also helpful in determining how wet or dry snow is falling."
    • Citation: http://www.wxedge.com/articles/20121226introducing_dual_polarization_radar

    To learn more, see NOAA's Dual-Polarization Radar Training for NWS Partners

  • January 14, 2013 - 2012: ZDNet's definitive guide to the year in tech

    Hurricane Sandy Before starting 2013 it is probably a good idea to see what happened in the world of technology. Check out 2012: ZDNet's definitive guide to the year in tech

    For more information, see Goodies for Techies & Wannabe Techies

  • January 11, 2013 - 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

  • January 9, 2013 - Now, about those resolutions...

    Self-deception
    Graphic source: http://reggieblogged.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-years-resolutions-no-thanks.html
  • January 8, 2013 - Resolutions...

    Calvin and Hobbes and new year's resolutions
    Graphic source: http://yogaspy.com/2012/01/03/pranayama-sleep-and-other-new-years-resolutions/
  • January 4, 2013 - Guinness World Records 2013

  • >
  • January 2, 2013 - See the World in 80 Seconds!

  • January 1, 2013 - Happy 2013!

    Happy 2013!


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    Published on the Web: July 19, 2012
    Updated: 11/27/2016 R475
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