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January - June 2012

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Suggested Citation: Jung, B.C. (2012 - 2023). Betty C. Jung's 2012 Public Health Blog (January - June).
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January - June July - December

  • June 28, 2012 - Growing Older in America: The Health and Retirement Study - Health

    Growing Older in America: The Health and Retirement Study
    NIH's Health and Retirement Study (HRS)looks at the lives of those 50 and older. In looking at health issues, HRS reports:
    • "Health has an important influence on older people's ability to work. In 2002, 20 percent of men and 25 percent of women ages 55 to 64 reported a health problem that limited their work activity, but one-fifth of those reporting a health limitation were working in some capacity. More than half of men and one-third of women who left the labor force before the Social Security early-retirement age of 62 said that health limited their capacity to work."
    • Lifestyle factors influence older adults' health and physical well-being. One study found that men who were heavy drinkers (five or more drinks per day) but not functionally impaired when first interviewed have a four-fold risk of developing at least one functional impairment (including memory problems) over a 6-year period of time. Among HRS respondents over age 70, overweight and obesity also are factors in functional impairment, having an independent effect on the onset of impairment in strength, lower body mobility, and activities of daily living.
    • Heavy smokers underestimate the mortality effects of smoking. One analysis shows that people who had never smoked, had quit, or were light smokers at the time they were surveyed have a realistic sense of their mortality, their expectations coinciding with actuarial projections. Heavy smokers, however, significantly underestimate their premature mortality, in denial of the potential effects of their smoking habit. Another study found level of education to be the major positive influence on the decision to quit among heart attack survivors.
    • Arthritis and hypertension are the most common conditions, at all ages, followed by heart problems. The likelihood of having (or having had) most problems increases steadily with age, although diabetes, hypertension, and chronic lung disease appear to be somewhat less common above age 85.
    • Cognitive health declines with age. A preliminary study based on HRS data indicates that some 10 percent of people age 70 and older have moderate to severe cognitive impairment, and prevalence rises sharply with age."
    • Citation Source:

    For more information, see Senior Health

  • June 27, 2012 - National HIV Testing Day

    HIV testing day
    "You should be tested at least once to find out your HIV status. Ask your doctor or nurse if and when you need the test again. All pregnant women should be tested for HIV. All other women should be tested at least once to find out your HIV status. You should be tested more often if you are at higher risk of HIV infection. You are at higher risk if you:
    • Having unprotected sex with more than one partner
    • Injecting drugs, either now or in the past
    • Having sex with someone to get money or drugs in return, or having sex with someone who has traded sex for money or drugs
    • Having sex, now or in the past, with someone who has HIV, is bisexual, or injects drugs
    • Having another sexually transmitted infection (STI)
    • If you had a blood transfusion between 1978 and 1985"
    • Citation source:

    Click on graphic or blog title for more info. For additional info, see AIDS/HIV

  • June 26, 2012 - The Biology of Aging

    NIH's Biology of Aging
    While all of us do this every day, we pay little attention to how we age. In November, 2011, the National Institute on Aging released,"The Biology of Aging." This document provides a basic understanding of what is known today about the aging process and what researchers are finding out on how we can grow old gracefully while maintaining a healthy level of functioning. Get up to speed about something we take granted but affects us and our health as time marches on.

    Click on the title or graphic to access the document. For more information, see Senior Health Resources on the Net

  • June 25, 2012 - June is Older Americans Month

    Never too old to play
    Graphic source:
    It's nice to set aside one month to remember America's older citizens, whose numbers are growing. Unfortunately, as we get older we need to rely on services for a variety of reasons. The Administration on Aging has a great Web site to find out what is available. Click on the graphic to access the site. For more information, see Senior Health
  • June 22, 2012 - The Healthy Woman: A Complete Guide for All Ages

    ( The Healthy Woman: A Complete Guide for All Ages "The Healthy Woman: A Complete Guide for All Ages" is a great publication developed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health Unfortunately, it is NO available on the Web site (no longer available, 12/2013).

    For more information, see Women's Health Resources

  • June 20 - 21, 2012 - Summer 2012 - Heat Alert

    Graphic source: 6/20/2012
    Yes, it is the first day of summer, and the heat is on. If you spend time outdoors, take care! See CDC's Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety
  • June 20, 2012 - Resources for Minority Women's Health Issues

    Minority Women's Health
    Graphic source:
    ('s Minority Women's Health was a series of Webpages devoted to highlighting health and public health issues that affect women of color and those in special groups. Health disparities impact the general population's quality of life because even if one person cannot live healthy then all of us really cannot live healthy either. By identifying those specific issues that affect specific women, interventions can be developed that can effectively address those health and public health issues that affect some group of women more than others. As of 12/2013, this site is no longer operational.

    Click on above links to access these pages. For more information, see Women's Health

  • June 19, 2012 - Women's Mental Health

    SAMHSHA Women's Mental Health Wellness is not just physical health, but psychological and emotional health. These days, women are pulled in so many directions that it's easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Are you doing too much for others that you are are in danger of burning out? Check out's "Women's Mental Health" to learn more what what mental health is all about. Just click on the graphic.

    For additional information, see Women's Mental Health and Mental Health Resources

  • June 18, 2012 - Man Up!

    Man Up - Wear the Gown Yesterday was Father's Day. Today 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!

    To see what you need to you, see Men's Health

  • June 15, 2012 - Intimate Partner Violence

    DOJ - Trends for nonfatal intimate partner victimization
    Graphic source:
    DOJ Homicides of intimates
    Graphic source:
    It is an unfortunate fact of life that women around the world share the common experience of intimate partner violence. Women in abusive relationships live in constant fear for their lives and the lives of their children.

    These graphs from the U.S. Department of Justice show that nonfatal violent victimization differs by gender, and that women remain victims of homicides that occur with intimate violence.

    See Domestic Violence

  • June 14, 2012 - Women, Know Your Numbers: Blood pressure, lipids and BMI!

    For the kind of exercise that's good for your heart, check out Your Heart-Smart Fitness Routine

  • June 13, 2012 - Effectiveness-based Guidelines for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women 2011 Update

    Effectiveness-based Guidelines for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women 2011 Update
    Graphic source:
    This is a graphic that summarizes American Heart Association's Effectiveness-based Guidelines for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women 2011 Update.

    To read this document, go to: 2011 Guidelines for CVD Prevention in Women . For additional information, see Women and Heart Disease

  • June 12, 2012 - U.S. Female Obesity and Risk for Death

    Risk of death, by BMI in Women
    Graphic source:
    Perhaps, this is the most telling graphic about the impact of obesity, especially when it comes to the major causes of death.

    Here is a graphic from the Second Expert Report from the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institue of Cancer Research. While we know that smoking is the leading preventable cause of death, this factor was removed to just look at the impact of obesity on non-smoking women.

    Thus, looking at non-smoking American women,the trend is consistent, the higher the BMI, the greater the risk for death from cardiovascular disease, cancer and other causes.
    Citation source: cancer_resource_center/er_graphics_display.php?ID=177

    For more information, see Women and Heart Disease Cancer and Obesity

  • June 11, 2012 - U.S. Female Obesity Trends, by Gender, Race and Ethnicity

    U.S. Weight by gender
    Graphic source:
    Here is a trending of NHANES obesity statistics which shows the rise of obesity over a 40 year period. The rise is found for all groups, but for Black women, obesity has always had a higher prevalence since 1960, and it has continued to rise to 2000.

    High obesity prevalence puts Black women at greater risk for many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.

    For more information, see Obesity and Minority Health

  • June 8, 2012 - U.S. Adult Obesity Statistics, by Gender (2009-2010)

    US Obesity Adults Statistics
    Graphic source:
    NCHS Data Brief, Number 82, January 2012's "Prevalence of Obesity in the United States, 2009-2010" offers obesity trends for children and adults.

    Between 1999-2000 and 2009-2010, the prevalence of obesity increased among men but not among women.
    In 1999-2000, 27.5% of men were obese, and by 2009-2010 the prevalence had increased to 35.5%. Among women, 33.4% were obese in 1999-2000 with no significant change in 2009-2010 (35.8%). In 1999-2000, the prevalence of obesity was higher in women than in men. Between 1999-2000 and 2009-2010, the difference in the prevalence of obesity between men and women decreased so that in 2009-2010, the prevalence of obesity in men was virtually equal to that in women. There was no significant change in the prevalence of obesity from 2007-2008 to 2009-2010 overall or among men or women."

    Citation source:

    For more information, see Obesity

  • June 7, 2012 - U.S. Childhood Obesity Statistics, by Gender (2009-2010)

    US Obesity Children Statistics NCHS Data Brief, Number 82, January 2012's "Prevalence of Obesity in the United States, 2009-2010" offers obesity trends for children and adults. The news is not good. Over time, the prevalence of obesity continues to rise. Most interesting, obesity is rising faster in males (both boys and men) than in females.

    "Between 1999-2000 and 2009-2010, there was an increase in the prevalence of obesity among boys but not among girls.
    The prevalence of obesity among boys increased from 14.0% in 1999-2000 to 18.6% in 2009-2010. There was no significant change among girls: the prevalence was 13.8% in 1999-2000 and 15.0% in 2009-2010 (Figure 5). There was no significant change in obesity prevalence from 2007-2008 to 2009-2010 overall or among boys or girls."

    For more information, see Obesity

  • June 6, 2012 - Pregnancy-Related Diabetes, BRFSS Data

    2002 BRFSS Pregnancy-related Diabetes Data
    Yes, Pregnancy-Related Diabetes, 2002 BRFSS Data
    Map source:

    2010 BRFSS Pregnancy-related Diabetes Data
    Yes, Pregnancy-Related Diabetes, 2010 BRFSS Data
    Map source:
    2010 BRFSS Pregnancy-related Diabetes Legend

    In August, the CDC released 2010 BRFSS data. So I decided to take a look at diabetes prevalence, more specifically, pregnancy-related diabetes. As you can see, the prevalence has increased during an 8-year period.

    Of course, there is a problematic issue pertaining to these statistics, and that is the way the question is asked does not distinguish between type 2 diabetes that just happens to be discovered when the woman became pregnant, and a woman who develop diabetes because of her pregnancy (gestational diabetes).

    There is still no consensus about how to distisguish the two, but once a pregnant woman has been diagnosed, then she will receive appropriate medical management, provided she is getting prenatal care.

    However, these data would imply that there is a need to develop some consensus about what type of diabetes the pregnant woman has. Research has shown that women who have 3 pregnancies with gestational diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes. The good news with this research is that if a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes she does not have to have type 2 diabetes if she learns to manage it properly with diet and exercise.

    The suggestion that H1Ac can be used to distinguish between gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes that just happens to be discovered during pregnancy sounds like a good idea. H1Ac is a blood test that assesses the glucose in the blood for the past 3 months.

    For more information, see Diabetes Resources

  • June 5, 2012 - High animal fat and cholesterol diet increases gestational diabetes risk

    Gestational Diabetes Awareness
    Graphic source:
    A January 25, 2012 NIH and Harvard University researchers reported:
    • "Women who consumed a diet high in animal fat and cholesterol before pregnancy were at higher risk for gestational diabetes than women whose diets were lower in animal fat and cholesterol,
    • Women whose diets were high in total fat or other kinds of fats but not in animal fat or cholesterol did not have an increased risk.
    • Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes seen during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes increases the risk for certain pregnancy complications and health problems in the newborn.
    • ...exercise is known to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. Among women who exercised, however, those who consumed higher amounts of animal fat and cholesterol had a higher risk than those whose diets were lower in these types of fat.
    • "Our findings indicate that women who reduce the proportion of animal fat and cholesterol in their diets before pregnancy may lower their risk for gestational diabetes during pregnancy,"
    • ...changing the source of 5 percent of dietary calories from animal fat to plant-derived sources could decrease a woman's risk for gestational diabetes by 7 percent.
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Diabetes

  • June 4, 2012 - Trans Fat Consumption May Raise Stroke Risk in Women

    Trans fat sources
    Graphic source:

    Burgers and Fries
    Graphic source:

    According to Annals of Neurology study, as reported by HealthDay News:
    • "A new study found a 39 percent increased risk of stroke among postmenopausal women who ate the highest amount of this common ingredient in baked goods, fast food and packaged products.
    • "We recommend a reduced intake of trans fats" to avoid heart disease and stroke,"
    • Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability among adults in the United States,
    • Strokes occur when an artery carrying blood to the brain is either blocked or bursts, cutting off the flow of blood and oxygen. As a result, brain cells start to die. Strokes can affect speech, motor skills or cognitive functions, depending on which part of the brain is damaged.
    • Risk factors for strokes include obesity, smoking, hypertension and lack of exercise. Drinking too much alcohol, or none at all, is also associated with strokes.
    • Trans fats contribute to cardiovascular disease -- one of the risk factors for stroke -- by raising bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol, and may have the worst impact on health of all fats,
    • Trans fats are rare in nature, but "can commonly occur in foods as a result of food processing when a liquid vegetable oil is turned into a solid fat,"
    • "It is interesting to note that the women who consumed the most trans fat also had other unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as decreased physical activity, increased energy intake and smoking,"...they also had a higher incidence of diabetes.
    • "Trans fats are not really a part of a healthy diet,...this is one ingredient in food we should not be eating at all."
    • Citation source: March 1, 2012, Annals of Neurology, online; as reported by HealthDay (3/1/12)
    HealthDay Copyright (c) 2012 HealthDay [] . All rights reserved.
  • June 2, 2012 - What speed do you read?

    ereader test
    Source: Staples eReader Department

  • June 1, 2012 - The Stock Market at Closing Bell on 6/1/2012

    Dow Jones 6/1/12
    Graphic source: CNN 6/1/2012 - Stocks slammed as Dow erases 2012 gains
  • May 31, 2012 - Annular Solar Eclipse May 20 2012

  • May 30, 2012 - Women's Trigylceride Levels and Stroke

    Graphic source:
    According to a February 2, 2012 Stroke article, researchers report:
    • "...a positive correlation between increasing triglyceride levels and the risk for stroke, and this effect was more pronounced among women vs men.
    • Elevated triglycerides, VLDL size, and the IDL particle number were all significantly associated with an increased risk of stroke.
    • Women with triglyceride levels in the highest quartile, those with levels >192 mg/dL, had a significant 56% increased risk of stroke compared with women in the lowest quartile.
    • Similarly, for women in the highest quartile of VLDL particle size and IDL particle number, there was a significant 59% and 46% increased risk of ischemic stroke compared with women in the lowest quartile."
    • Citation source:
    • For more information, see Women and Stroke and Stroke Information

  • May 29, 2012 - Some Good News About HDL Cholesterol and Women

    CDC - Women and low HDL
    Percentage of adults aged 20 and over with low HDL cholesterol, by sex and race and ethnicity: United States, 2009-2010
    Graphic source:

    Cholesterol has received a bad rep for years for causing heart disease. But, it is not that simple. Our body needs cholesterol for many vital functions, which is the reason why it creates the cholesterol it needs. The only problem is some people create too much, especially of the bad kind - the low density lipoprotein, which is the one that deserves the bad rep.

    However, high density lipoprotein (HDL) is the "good guy" and its function is to take back to the liver the excess cholesterol circulating in the body so it doesn't gunk up our arteries. Low levels of HDL is a risk factor for heart disease. (

    When it comes to HDL, women have a major advantage. Women should build on this advantage by maintaining the higher levels of HDL through aerobic exercise, on a daily basis. An hour a day would be great. Presently, this is the only way to raise HDL without compromising one's health. Alcohol is also known to raise HDL, but scientists are reporting that even one drink a day can increase the risk for breast cancer. (;

    This graphic depicts the advantage women have over men when it comes to HDL level. According to the NCHS Data Brief Number 92, April 2012, Total and High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2010:
    "For 2009-2010, 21.3% of adults aged 20 and over had low HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL). The percentage of adults with low HDL cholesterol was higher for men (31.4%) than for women (11.9%). Percentages among men were also higher than those among women of the same racial and ethnic group. For men, the percentage with low HDL cholesterol was lower among non-Hispanic black men than non-Hispanic white or Hispanic men. No racial or ethnic differences were found among women in the percentage with low HDL cholesterol." Citation source:

    Given this natural advantage you have wonder why heart disease is the number cause of death for women. For more information, see Heart Disease and Women

  • May 28, 2012 - Calcium Supplements and the Increased Risk for Heart Attacks

    On May 23rd, Science Daily's "Calcium Supplements Linked to Significantly Increased Heart Attack Risk, Study Suggests" reported:
    • "...when the analysis looked at vitamin/mineral supplements, it found that those who took calcium supplements regularly were 86% more likely to have a heart attack than those who didn't use any supplements.
    • And this risk increased further among those who used only calcium supplements. They were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who didn't take any supplements.
    • ...those with an intake of more than 1100 mg daily did not have a significantly lower risk. There was no evidence that any level of calcium intake either protected against or increased the risk of stroke,
    • ...many women taking calcium supplements to ward off brittle bones are already healthier than those who don't, and that the overall protective effect is modest -- in the order of just 10%."
    • ...boosting overall calcium intake from dietary sources confers no significant advantage in terms of staving off heart disease and stroke *
    • Supplements cause calcium levels in the blood to soar above the normal range, and it is this flooding effect which might ultimately be harmful,
    • Calcium supplements have been widely embraced by doctors and the public, on the grounds that they are a natural and therefore safe way of preventing osteoporotic fractures,
    • The authors conclude: "This study suggests that increasing calcium intake from diet might not confer significant cardiovascular benefits, while calcium supplements, which might raise [heart attack] risk, should be taken with caution."
    • Citation sources:; * Original source: M. J. Bolland, A. Grey, A. Avenell, G. D. Gamble, I. R. Reid. Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: reanalysis of the Women's Health Initiative limited access dataset and meta-analysis. BMJ, 2011; 342 (apr19 1): d2040 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d2040
    BMJ Calcium supplements and heart disease
    Graphic source:
    However, I should note that this is really nothing new. The July 29, 2010 British Medical Journal's "Effect Of Calcium Supplements On Risk Of Myocardial Infarction And Cardiovascular Events: Meta-Analysis," that was also conducted by Bolland et al, which concluded:

    "Calcium supplements (without coadministered vitamin D) are associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction. As calcium supplements are widely used these modest increases in risk of cardiovascular disease might translate into a large burden of disease in the population. A reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in the management of osteoporosis is warranted." There was about a 30% increased risk for heart attack; the range went up to 70%."

    "Dairy Products, Calcium, and Vitamin D and Risk of Prostate Cancer, Epidemiologic Reviews, 2001" reports "When serum levels of calcium are low, 1, 25 D [this is active vitamin D] acts on the bones, kidneys, and intestines to increase retention and absorption of calcium until serum levels return to a normal range. Similarly, if serum levels of calcium are high, production of 1, 25 D is suppressed by reduced parathyroid hormone production." (Vitamin D is a hormone which is thought to play a role in, not just bone health, but heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and cancer.)
    Citation source:

    Basically, the evidence is piling up that calcium supplements may be putting women at risk for heart disease. For more information, see Nutrition, and Heart Disease and Women

  • May 27, 2012 - EPA's UV Index

    EPA's UV Index Map for 5/27/12
    Graphic source:
    Here's the map for the EPA's UV Index Forecast for today. Looks pretty raw, mean and hot!

    The EPA has come up with the UV Index Scale that is consistent with the international guidelines for UVI reporting established by the World Health Organization:

    UV Index Scale
    Graphic source:

    For example, an index value of 6 to 7 is considered "High"
    "A UV Index reading of 6 to 7 means high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Apply a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15. Wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes. Protection against sunburn is needed. Reduce time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen. Wearing sunglasses protects the lids of your eyes as well as the lens." (Citation source:

    You can look up the UV Index for your geographic location by plugging in your zip code or city and state. To access this look-up tool, click on this entry's title, map or scale graphics. Protecting your skin against the sun is essential not only for preventing skin cancer, but also from premature aging of the skin. For additional information, see Radiation, Skin Cancer

  • May 25, 2012 - Women Have Atypical Symptoms for a Heart Attack

    On February 21, 2012, JAMA reported:

    • "Researchers combed a database of more than 1.1 million heart attack cases looking for clues about heart attacks. They found 42 percent of women didn't have chest pain when they were admitted to the hospital with heart attacks. compared with about 31 percent of the men. Overall, about 15 percent of the women died in the hospital, compared with 10 percent of men.

    • Women are more likely to have heart attacks that don't announce themselves with crushing chest pain,...And women having heart attacks like these are more likely to die than men.
    • While pain and discomfort in the chest are classic signs of a heart attack, they're not always present.... Shortness of breath, nausea and pain in the jaw or back can also signal a heart attack in progress.
    • As women get older, the symptoms of their heart attacks and the likelihood they'll die from them starts to look a lot more like the picture for men,
    • For now, they're recommending that younger women be made more aware of the possibility that a heart attack might not be accompanied by chest pain.
    • To survive a heart attack, it's important to recognize what's happening and get immediate care. "If a patient is more likely to delay, a patient is less likely to be diagnosed promptly and receive life-saving treatment,"
    • Citation source: In Women, Heart Attacks Often Strike Without Chest Pain, as reported at;;

    For more information, see Women & Heart Disease

  • May 24, 2012 - Women and Peripheral Artery Disease

    Peripheral artery disease
    Graphic source:
    On February 15, 2012, the American Heart Association released a statement about how peripheral artery disease is under-treated and under-studied in women.
    • "Women with peripheral artery disease, or PAD, are two to three times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack than those without it ― yet it's often unrecognized and untreated, especially in women,...
    • PAD is a serious circulatory disease caused by a buildup of fat and other materials in blood vessels outside of the heart, usually in the legs, feet and arms. Left untreated, it can increase heart attack and stroke risk, severely limit walking ability and cause tissue death requiring limb amputation.
    • About 8 million people in the United States have peripheral artery disease. Most research available suggests nearly equal prevalence among men and women.
    • Only about 10 percent of those with PAD experience the warning sign of leg pain typically associated with it, and this pain usually goes away while resting. Many people experience no symptoms at all. As a result, few sufferers receive prompt treatment. Even so, PAD care leads to more than 1.1 million medical office visits annually, according to the new statement.
    • Major risk factors of peripheral artery disease include being 50 and older, smoking and diabetes. High blood pressure and high cholesterol, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and a family history of PAD also may increase the risk.
    • Treatment includes diet and lifestyle changes, medication and supervised exercise. Rarely, patients may require procedures to insert stents ― small, wire mesh tubes ― to open constricted blood vessels or surgical bypass surgery.
    • Typically, diagnosis involves a simple test, called an ankle-brachial index to compare arm blood pressure to leg blood pressure.
    • Citation source: Peripheral artery disease undertreated, understudied in women;

    For more information, see Women and Heart Disease

  • May 23, 2012 - Female Smokers Have More Cardiovascular Risk Than Male Smokers

    Smoking causes premature aging

    Graphic source:

    • "Women who smoke tend to suffer cardiovascular events at a younger age than male smokers, and they experience more complications following those events,...
    • Note that among smokers, after adjusting for age, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and previous myocardial infarction, being a woman remained a significant risk factor for cardiovascular events at six months.
    • Overall, smokers -- men and women -- were younger than nonsmokers when they presented with their index event: men by nine years, women by 13 (P<0.001 for both).
    • Smokers of both sexes presented more often with ST-segment elevation MI than nonsmokers
    • Female smokers outnumbered male smokers in terms of inhospital combined cardiovascular events such as recurrent MI, stroke, and death (11.2% versus 7.7%).
    • At six months follow-up, women who smoked outnumbered their male counterparts in the following outcomes:
      • Death -- 5.6% versus 3.2%
      • Recurrent MI -- 8.7% versus 4.2%
      • Stroke -- 1.1% versus 0.7%
      • Cardiac-related rehospitalization -- 36.7% versus 21%
      • Emergency revascularization -- 13.5% versus 4.4%
      • Combined cardiovascular disease events -- 54.5% versus 33.1%
    • Interestingly, men who smoked were less likely than nonsmoking men to have more of these cardiovascular outcomes, but the same was not true for women. Women who smoked invariably had higher cardiovascular outcomes at six months than their nonsmoking counterparts, except in stroke and death.
    • ...intravascular ultrasound studies have shown that culprit lesions in women contain more thrombus. With their smaller arteries, women might need less thrombus for occlusion, "potentially magnifying the thrombogenic effects of smoking,..."
    • Citation source: Effectiveness-Based Guidelines for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women -- 2011 Update;

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

  • May 22, 2012 - Women and Lung Cancer

    Tobacco control and lung cancer in women

    Graphic source:

    According to the March 7, 2012 NIH news bulletin,"Nearly 800,000 deaths prevented due to declines in smoking" publicizing research published in 3/14's Journal of the National Cancer Institute:
    • "If all cigarette smoking in this country had ceased following the release of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health in 1964, a total of 2.5 million people would have been spared from death due to lung cancer in the 36 years following that report,
    • Since the 1964 report, tobacco control efforts in the United States have included restrictions on smoking in public places, increases in cigarette excise taxes, limits on underage access to cigarettes, and efforts to increase public awareness of the hazards of smoking.
    • Using [mathematical] models, the researchers were able to estimate the impact of changes in smoking patterns resulting from tobacco control activities on lung cancer deaths during the period from 1975 through 2000. The difference between lung cancer deaths in the no tobacco control scenario and the numbers of actual lung cancer deaths provided an estimate of the numbers of lung cancer deaths averted as a result of tobacco control activities.
    • An overwhelming majority of lung cancer deaths can be prevented by eliminating cigarette smoking."
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Cancer

  • May 21, 2012 - More Women will Die From Lung Cancer Than Breast Cancer

    Breast and Lung Cancer

    Graphic source:

    Tobacco trends by Gender
    Graphic source:"
    HRSA - Women and Cancer
    The above graph shows a clear relationship between smoking and the incidence of lung cancer. "Because of social mores, significant numbers of American women did not smoke until after World War II, when many social conventions changed. As late as 1963, when lung cancer among males was near current levels, this disease was still rare in women. In the United States that year, only 6588 women died of lung cancer. But as more women smoked, more developed lung cancer, again with a lag of about 20 years. American women today have achieved equality with men in the numbers of cigarettes they smoke, and their lung cancer death rates are today approaching those for men. In 2002, more than 65,000 women died of lung cancer in the United States. The current annual rate of deaths from lung cancer in male and female smokers is 180 per 100,000, or about 2 out of every 1000 smokers each year." Citation source:

    For more information, see Tobacco and Cancer

  • May 18, 2012- Women and Cancer

    Cancer and Women
    Age-Adjusted Invasive Cancer Incidence Rates for the 10 Primary Sites with the Highest Rates
    Graphic source:

    CDC Breast Cancer Stats

    According CDC's United States Cancer Statistics (USCS) for 2008, the female breast is the most common cancer site for women, regardless of race/ethnicity.

    While breast cancer may be the most common cancer for women, fortunately, mortality rates, by race/ethnicity, are low, thanks to mammographies, early diagnoses and aggressive treatment.

    For more information, see Breast and Other Female Cancers, and Cancer

  • May 17, 2012- Stay Healthy - Get Screened

    real deal
    Graphic source:
    Get HIV test
    Graphic source:

    If you are sexually active, you should get test for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. It is essential for women to be promptly treated to reduce the damaging effects of pelvic inflammatory disease. While HIV cannot be cured, early diagnosis would mean earlier treatment, prolonging life.

    See CDC's National HIV and STD Testing Resources to find the closest testing site near you For additional information, see AIDS/HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Infections

  • May 16, 2012- HIV Infection and Black Women

    HIV and Black Women
    Graphic source:
    According to the CDC's "Estimated rate of New HIV Infections, 2009, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity," black women are more affected by HIV than women of all other races, accounting for nearly 60 percent (57 percent) of all new HIV infections among women in 2009. The HIV infection rate among black women was 15 times that of white women (39.7 v. 2.6 per 100,000).

    For more information, see AIDS/HIV

  • May 15, 2012- New HIV Infections Among Heterosexuals

    HIV and Black Women
    Graphic source:
    CDC - HIV transmission, 2009
    Graphic source:
    According to the CDC, in 2009, 61 percent of new HIV infections were among men who have sex with men. However, this is followed by 27 percent among heterosexuals. Citation source:

    And, CDC's "Estimated New Infections among Heterosexuals, 2009, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity" indicates there are race/ethnicity differences for heterosexual transmission. More than twice as many new HIV infections occurred among heterosexual black women than among heterosexual black men (5,400 vs. 2,400). (Citation source:

    For more information, see AIDS/HIV

  • May 14, 2012 - National Women's Checkup Day

    The purpose of the 10th 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.
    When you take the pledge, enter the state you are from and get a certificate to show your commitment to take care of yourself!

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

  • May 13, 2012 - National Women's Health Week Starts Today! & Happy Mother's Day! (13th year)

    Happy Mother's Day!
    Graphic source:
    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 11, 2012- Breast Cancer Update: Decreasing Incidence; Spatial Clustering

    Breast cancer cell and green antibodies
    Breast Cancer Cell
    Graphic source:

    According to CDC's "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2008"
    "Breast cancer incidence rates, which increased 1.3 percent per year from 1992 through 1999, declined 2.0 percent per year from 1999 through 2005 and leveled off from 2005 through 2008. The factors that influence breast cancer incidence are complex, including changes in reproductive status, obesity, the prevalence of mammography screening, and others. Recent reports suggest that the decrease in breast cancer incidence may be related to the rapid discontinuation of hormone replacement therapy, a known risk factor for breast cancer, and also because of a plateau in mammography screening prevalence."
    (Citation source:

    Breast cancer incidence
    Graphic source:

    Geomedicine is the mapping of disease patterns with geographic analysis. According to International Journal of Health Geographics, looking at NCI 2000-2005 data, "...breast... cancers cluster spatially. The Getis-Ord Gi* analysis suggests there were statistically signifcant clusters of counties with high incidence rates of breast cancer ("hot" clusters) in the Northeast, Midwest and northern and mid Pacific West regions." (Citation source:

    For more information, see Breast and Other Female Cancers

  • May 10, 2012 - The Facts about Female Mortality

    Women and mortality

    Graphic source:

    According to Medscape's article,"Menopause Management for the Millennium,"
    • "In the United States, many women believe that the leading cause of death in women is breast cancer.
    • Many also believe that only a small percentage of deaths are attributable to CVD (Cardiovascular Disease). The truth, of course, is the reverse.
    • One in 3 women older than 65 years has some evidence of CVD, and the risk of breast cancer after age 65 is 1 in 36.
    • Although it has been widely asserted that the incidence of breast cancer in women is approximately 1 in 8 women, this is the lifetime risk.
    • Age-specific data are quite different, and the risk is 1 in 77 in the fourth decade, 1 in 42 in the fifth decade, and 1 in 45 in the eighth decade.
    • In terms of mortality, the case fatality rate of CVD is several times greater than that of breast cancer; thus, even if the incidence rates of these 2 diseases were similar, many more women would die of CVD.
    • Soon after menopause, at age 50-54, breast cancer mortality decreases while CVD mortality rises steadily.
    • ...the leading cause of cancer death in postmenopausal women is lung cancer.
    • Overall, however, 30%-40% of women die of CVD, and by age 55, 20% of all deaths result from CVD."
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Heart Disease & Women

  • May 9, 2012 - National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

    National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day
    Graphic source:

    For more information, see Caring for Every Child's Mental Health and Maternal & Child Health Resources

  • May 8, 2012 - Health-Related Quality of Life, by Gender

    Health-Related Quality of Life, by Gender

    Graphic source:

    National trends for Health-related Quality of Life are available from the CDC.

    The concept of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and its determinants have evolved since the 1980s to encompass those aspects of overall quality of life that can be clearly shown to affect health either physical or mental.

    On the individual level, this includes physical and mental health perceptions and their correlates including health risks and conditions, functional status, social support, and socioeconomic status. On the community level, HRQOL includes resources, conditions, policies, and practices that influence a population's health perceptions and functional status.

    HRQOL questions about perceived physical and mental health and function have become an important component of health surveillance and are generally considered valid indicators of service needs and intervention outcomes. Self-assessed health status also proved to be more powerful predictor of mortality and morbidity than many objective measures of health. Citation source:

    New data released in February show that women reported greater number of mentally or physically unhealthy days than men. While the average number of such days have risen steadily for both genders since 1993, women report a mean of 6+ days vs. 4+ days for men.
    Citation source:

  • May 7, 2012 - 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.

  • May 4, 2012 - Healthy People 2020 Objectives for Women

    Healthy People 2020 for Women
    Graphic source:
  • May 3, 2012 - Status of Women's Health 2011

    HRSA's Women's Health 2011
    Graphic source:
    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 2002-2011 online and pdf editions these annual reports. For more information, see US Government Statistics, and Maternal Child Health Data

  • May 2, 2012 - Global Excess Female Mortality

    4 million missing women
    While I will be covering U.S. women's health and public health issues, I would like to call your attention the missing 4 million women, internationally, who suffered "excess female mortality."

    According to the International Monetary Fund, "Since 1980, women have been living longer than men in all parts of the world. But across all developing countries, more women and girls still die at younger ages relative to men and boys, compared with rich countries. As a result of this excess female mortality, about 3.9 million girls and women under 60 are missing each year in developing countries. About two-fifths of them are never born, one-sixth die in early childhood, and more than one-third die during their reproductive years. Female mortality is growing in sub-Saharan Africa, especially for women of childbearing age and in the countries hit hardest by the HIV/AIDS pandemic (World Bank, 2011, Chapter 3)." Citation source: Empowering Women Is Smart Economics (March 2012)

  • May 1, 2012 - National Women's Health Week - May 13-19, 2012 It's your time!

    1/2 the world are women!
    Graphic source:

    According to The Office of Women's Health's "Healthy Women Today" newsletter:
    "Get ready for National Women's Health Week
    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. The theme for 2012 is It's Your Time. National Women's Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority. The 13th annual National Women's Health Week kicks off on Mother's Day, May 13, 2012 and is celebrated until May 19, 2012. National Women's Checkup Day is Monday, May 14, 2012."

    Once again, I am pleased to be a's Collaborator. Like last year, I will be devoting May's blog entries to Women's Health and Public Health Issues Updates. 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!

  • May 1, 2012 - An Infomous Visualization of Betty C. Jung's Tweets

    How cool is this? Here is a visualization created by Infomous that shows what I have been recently posting on Tweeter!

  • April 30, 2012 - Evolution of the Moon from NASA

  • April 27, 2012 - CDC's Interactive Immunization Scheduler Software

    CDC Immunization Scheduler Software
    Graphic source:

    For more information about how to download this software to your computer so you know when to get the appropriate shots, see CDC's Adult Immunization Scheduler

    April 26, 2012 - Recommended Immunizations for Adults with Medical and Other Indications

    Recommended Immunizations for Adults with Medical Conditions
    Click on graphic for larger size

    For more information, see CDC's Adult Immunization Schedule (Anyone over 18 years old)

    April 25, 2012 - Recommended Immunizations for Adults

    Recommended Immunizations for Adults
    Click on graphic for larger size

    For more information, see CDC's Adult Immunization Schedule (Anyone over 18 years old)

    April 24, 2012 - Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, 5th Edition, 2011

    Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases 5th Edition, 2011 The latest edition of "The Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases" is now available online. It "provides current guidelines for those directly involved in surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases, especially personnel at the local health departments. For each of the vaccine-preventable diseases, this manual includes a chapter describing the importance of rapid case identification; the importance of surveillance; disease reduction goals; case definitions (including clinical description and case classifications); epidemiologically important data to be collected during case investigation; activities for enhancing surveillance; activities for case investigation; and activities for outbreak control. Other chapters include information on surveillance indicators; surveillance data analyses; reporting adverse events following vaccination; and enhancing surveillance. In addition, the manual includes a section reserved for insertion of state-specific guidance for VPD surveillance and extensive appendices." Citation source:

    You can access this resource by click on the blog entry title or the graphic.

    April 23, 2012 - NIIW (National Infant Immunization Week)

    HHS, CDC National Infant Immunization Week April 21-28, 2012 button image Immunization is very important for protecting infants from diseases that used to contribute to high infant mortality rates. Getting all the proper immunizations, at the appropriate age, not only protects the child, but those around from getting sick. It prevents the occurrence of epidemics and reduces potential health issues that can occur if the child is not immunized.

    For more information, see CDC's NIIW (National Infant Immunization Week) Page

  • April 20, 2012 - The 8K-pixels Earth from NASA

    NASA 2012 Earth 8k pixels
    Graphic source:;
    Image Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring
  • April 19, 2012 - Global Age Standardized Mortality Statistics 2008

    Age Standardized  Death Rates, 2008 WHO
    Graphic source:
    Here is the latest global mortality statistics from the World Health Organization, issued 11/2011. Africa has the highest death rates, followed by Asia.

    For more data, see Data Search Engines

  • April 18, 2012 - World Health Statistics 2011

    World Health 2011 Health Stats
    Graphic source:
    The World Health Organization annually releases health statistics. The 2011 edition contain data for 193 Member States, and includes a summary of the progress made towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and associated targets.

    Key facts from this report include:

    • Fewer children are dying. Annual global deaths of children under five years of age fell to 8.1 million in 2009 from 12.4 million in 1990.
    • Fewer children are underweight. The percentage of underweight children under five years old is estimated to have dropped from 25% in 1990 to 16% in 2010.
    • More women get skilled help during childbirth. The proportion of births attended by a skilled health worker has increased globally, however, in the WHO Africa and South-East Asia regions fewer than 50% of all births were attended.
    • Fewer people are contracting HIV. New HIV infections have declined by 17% globally from 2001-2009.
    • Tuberculosis treatment is more successful. Existing cases of TB are declining, along with deaths among HIV-negative TB cases.
    • More people have safe drinking-water, but not enough have toilets. The world is on track to achieve the MDG target on access to safe drinking-water but more needs to be done to achieve the sanitation target.
    • Citation source:

    Click on graphic for the report. For more health statistics, see Data Search Engines

  • April 17, 2012 - Reporting on Healthy People 2020 Targets

    I think that The State of Aging and Health in America Report: Healthy People 2010 Targets is the best design for the tracking and reporting of Healthy People targets.

    While this Webpage is specific to the reporting on indicators specific for data pertaining to those 65 and older, this page could serve as a template for reporting all data pertaining to Healthy People indicators. Check it out!

    For more information, see Healthy People 2020

  • April 16, 2012 - Determinants of Health: A Framework for Reaching Healthy People 2020 Goals

    Here is a video developed by the US DHHS that summarizes the public health approaches to achieving Healthy People 2020 objectives by addressing determinants of health. For more information, see Healthy People 2020 Page, and Determinants of Health

  • April 13, 2012 - Tracking Environmental Debris from March 2011 Japan Tsunami

    NASA Surface Currents from Diagnostic (SCUD) model

    Graphic source:

    The effects of the March 2011 Japan Tsunami continues to cast its shadow on the environment. Most notably, everything that got washed and swept away by the tsunami is now traveling on the Pacific Ocean, to reach the U.S. in the foreseeable future.

    Here is a map from NASA's "Surface Currents from Diagnostic (SCUD) model" that attempts to simulate where and how that debris would disperse. Orange and red shaded areas represent parcels of water with a high probably of containing floating debris. The deeper the red color, the higher the likely concentration. The debris field stretches roughly 5,000 kilometers by 2,000 kilometers across the North Pacific.
    As of April 3, 2012, there had been very few reports of debris at Midway Island and Kure Atoll. Observers in Canada recently detected an abandoned 150-foot Japanese fishing vessel floating offshore of British Columbia. Other reports of debris in Washington and Hawaii came in months ago."

    Citation source:

  • April 12, 2012 - Categorizing the Determinants of Health

    National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity

    Graphic source:

    The various factors that impact the Public's health are called the determinants of health. I like how the National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity categorizes these factors:
    • Social determinants of health Examples include gender, socioeconomic status, employment status, educational attainment, food security status, availability of housing and transportation, racism, and health system access and quality
    • Behavioral determinants of health Examples include patterns of overweight and obesity; exercise norms; and use of illicit drugs, tobacco, or alcohol
    • Environmental determinants of health Examples include lead exposure, asthma triggers, workplace safety factors, unsafe or polluted living conditions
    • Biological and genetic determinants of health Examples include family history of heart disease and inherited conditions such as hemophilia and cystic fibrosis
    • Source:

    For more information, see Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities

  • April 11, 2012 - Social Determinants and Health Status

    Education and Health, RWJF Education and Health, RWJF

    Graphic source:

    Authors of May 2009's "What You Don't Know Can Hurt You" concluded "There is a strong association between educational attainment and health." (Source:

    The Robert Wood Johnson continues its exploration of how social factors impact health status in its recently released series of issue briefs. The following are snippets from the 3 briefs.

    From "Early Childhood Experiences: Laying the Foundation for Health Across a Lifetime"

    • "...children in families of all socioeconomic levels experience benefits from early childhood programs that translate into improved development and is widely recognized that factors such as nutrition, housing quality, and household and community safety - all linked with family resources, are strongly linked with child health....experiences in early childhood affect children's brain, cognitive and behavioral development...Parents' social and economic resources can affect the quality and stability of their relationships with their infants, and parent-infant relationships affect children's emotional development and the cognitive stimulation they receive."

    From "How Social Factors Shape Health: The Role of Stress"

    • "During childhood and adolescence, stress appears to increase risk of poorer mental and physical health....children and adolescents exposed to higher levels of stress have increased risks of being overweight and/or obese...Among adults, exposure to work-related and other stressors has been linked in multiple studies with cardiovascular illness such as coronary heart disease and heart attacks, as well as with cardiovascular disease risk factors....prolonged activation of the stress response due to chronic stressors is more likely to lead to poor health....Chronic stress, particularly early in life, can result in long-term damage in multiple body organs and systems and can affect the ability to respond to stress, impairing the body's ability to appropriately "switch off"; the stress response later in life...Lower levels of both family income and educational attainment have been associated with greater financial, marital and parental stress among U.S. adults over age 25."

    From "What Shapes Health-Related Behaviors? The Role of Social Factors"

    • "...our behaviors protect us from, or put us at risk for, disease. A person's behaviors are shaped in part by his or her individual characteristics, including genetics, but there is growing evidence that the environments in which people learn, adopt and maintain behaviors also play an important role....increases in income and educational attainment typically correspond to decreases in the prevalence of health-harming behaviors and increases in the prevalence of health-promoting behaviors...we often see incremental improvements with each step up the income or education ladder...higher rates of sedentary behavior seen at lower levels of income and educational attainment...Lower-income neighborhoods often lack safe places to exercise...A person's educational attainment is closely linked with his or her options for employment and income, which in turn can influence behaviors... Having more education and a better job is also linked with the kinds of social support, networks and norms that support healthy behaviors and discourage behaviors that are health-harming."

    I highly recommend these briefs for all public health professionals because they provide a comprehensive, yet concise overview of why social determinants need to be addressed in developing policies and interventions that are meant to improve the health of all the populations we serve through the programs and projects we work on. You can find links to these briefs on my Public Health Practice Page, under, "Social Determinants of Health."

  • April 10, 2012 - Introduction to the 1940 Census Data, available 4/2/2012

  • April 9, 2012 - Coming May 13 - 19, 2012: Women's Health Week

    For the month of May, I will be once again participating as a ( 2012 National Women's Health Week collaborator. This will be my 2nd year as a collaborator. This year I will be focusing on ( Women's Health and Public Health Issues Updates. I am setting aside all of the May blog entries to this.

    If you are interested in seeing what I covered last year, see May 2011 National Women's Health Week blog entries

  • April 6, 2012 -

    Stop Bullying Bullying is such a public health problem that the federal government has a Web site devoted to raise awareness about the problem of bullying. While bullying used to occur in school settings, starting from kindergarten onwards, the increased use of technology has worsen the impact of bullying. Now children can be bullied all the time, even while they are at home, via the Internet.

    Children really do need a safe environment to grow in and nurture the development of who they really are without feeling threatened at emotional and psychological levels. I urge adults in positions of authority to take a proactive approach to intervening when they see bullying occurring. It is not reasonable to expect children work out issues of intimidation on their own. Children need to be taught not only to respect others, but to also respect themselves. Children who have good positive self-images do not need to bully others to feel good about themselves.

    For additional information, see Health Issue - Kids & Bullying

  • April 5, 2012 - April is STD Awareness Month

    Reaching young people. Photo of diverse young men and women. April is STD Awareness Month.
    Nearly half of all new STD cases occur in people aged 15 to 24. Photo of concerned young woman. April is STD Awareness Month.

    For more information see Sexually Transmitted Diseases

  • April 4, 2012 - National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading a new initiative called the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA). "The mission of the NPA is to increase the effectiveness of programs that target the elimination of health disparities through the coordination of partners, leaders, and stakeholders committed to action."

    "The goals of the NPA and its National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity are:

    • Awareness - Increase awareness of the significance of health disparities, their impact on the nation, and the actions necessary to improve health outcomes for racial, ethnic, and underserved populations.
    • Leadership - Strengthen and broaden leadership for addressing health disparities at all levels.
    • Health System and Life Experience - Improve health and healthcare outcomes for racial, ethnic, and underserved populations.
    • Cultural and Linguistic Competency - Improve cultural and linguistic competency and the diversity of the health-related workforce.
    • Data, Research, and Evaluation - Improve data availability and coordination, utilization, and diffusion of research and evaluation outcomes.
    • Citation source:

    In order to have a healthy nation, everyone has to be healthy. Addressing health disparities is the best way to achieve a healthy nation. I have taken the pledge and doing my part. So can you! The more people working on this, the greater the possibility of success in reducing health disparities!

    For more information, see Health Disparities and Social Determinants of Health

  • April 3, 2012 - April is National Minority Health Month

    National Minority Health Month
    Graphic source:
    "April is National Minority Health Month. This year's theme, Health Equity Can't Wait. Act Now in Your CommUNITY!, is a call to action and unity for the regions, the state and local offices of minority health, the health departments and all the organizations and partners involved and invested in reducing health disparities. Citation source:

    For more information, see Minority Health

  • April 2, 2012 - April 2 - 8, 2012 is National Public Health Week!

    National Public Health Week
    Graphic source:

    Public Health gets taken for granted when it is doing its job. While it is "public" in scope, most of what happens for the good of the public goes on behind the scenes. It is only when things break down do we realize just how important Public Health is to our daily lives.

    To learn more about Public Health practice, check my Public Health Practice Page and the rest of this Web site, which is predominately devoted to Public Health.

  • March 30, 2012 - GAO's Designing Evaluations, 2012 Revision

    GAO's Designing Evaluation During times of limited funding, it is no longer acceptable to develop a program without having an evaluation component. Including evaluation shows you are accountable for what you are doing and that you will make a concerted effort to offer an effective program. And, if the program isn't effective, you have the data you have been collecting to help you make corrections along the way. Funders like to see this because they will know that the money they are giving you won't be wasted. That's the basic idea behind the importance of evaluation.

    In January, the Government Accounting Office released Designing Evaluations 2012 Revision It is well-written and a wonderful primer of what Evaluation is all about. It is generic enough to provide guidance across a variety of programs, but provides the nuts and bolts needed to build a solid evaluation component into any program you are involved with. Additionally, it provides additional resources for more information. Click on the graphic or links above to access the PDF document.

    For additional information, see Evaluation Resources on the Internet

  • March 29, 2012 - CDC's Data Security and Confidentiality Guidelines

    CDC's Data Security and Confidentiality Guidelines
    Graphic source:
    CDC recently released,"Data Security and Confidentiality Guidelines for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Disease, and Tuberculosis Programs: Standards to Facilitate Sharing and Use of Surveillance Data for Public Health Action." This is a really useful and needed resource for any Public Health Professional who must handle data. While surveillance data are not as sensitve as medical record data, it still contains confidential information that should be handled appropriately. To access the document, click on the blog entry title or the graphic.

    For more information, see Public Health Surveillance and Health Care Quality Data Standards

  • March 28, 2012 - CDC's Database of State Legislative and Regulatory Action to Prevent Obesity and Improve Nutrition and Physical Activity

    Strategies taken to address obesity can occur at many levels. Passing legislation can provide environmental support to individual action. For example, it would be really great if we can devote an hour a day to physical activity outdoors. Making changes to the environment that would allow for such physical activity can enhance individual efforts, such as just having accessible sidewalks can go a long way.

    Do you know what legislation or regulations have been passed in your neck of woods addressing obesity, nutrition and physical activity? Well, now you can search the CDC's Database of State Legislative and Regulatory Action to Prevent Obesity and Improve Nutrition and Physical Activity! Here are two examples:

    For Obesity, I entered this search criteria:
    • Type: Legislation
    • Category: Obesity
    • State: All
    • Status: Enacted
    • Year: All
    • Topics: Food Restrictions
    • Setting: All
    For Physical activity, I entered this search criteria:
    • Type: Legislation
    • Category: Physical Activity
    • State: All
    • Status: Enacted
    • Year: All
    • Topics: Physical Activity Requirements
    • Setting: All
  • March 27, 2012 -

    Smoke-free Teen Web site
    Graphic source:
    Here is a new site from the federal government that is totally devoted to helping teens think wisely about tobacco use. If you are a teen and smoke, you can quit! The sooner you do, the better off you will be in the years to come. And, if you are a teen and don't smoke, you are smart! Best yet, never start!

    Click on blog entry title or graphic to get on the site. For more information, see Tobacco

  • March 26, 2012 - Toolkit to Identify Teens with Mental Health Issues

    According to 10/28/2011 HealthDay article, a toolkit has been developed to spot teens with mental health issues.
    • "One in 10 youths have a mental health condition that is severe enough to impair functioning, either at home, school or in the community,"
    • "This toolkit will allow pediatricians, teachers and others that could help get the word out to families we can close the gap so the three out of four children with mental health disorders who aren't identified do get identified,"
    • About half of mental health disorders manifest themselves by the time a child has turned 14, and 75 percent manifest by age 24,
    • Because differentiating a true mental health disorder from the inevitable ups and downs of adolescence is difficult, the authors chose to focus on the more severe end of the mental health spectrum.
    • If your child has any of these 11 warning signs, he or she may have a mental health disorder and should be referred to treatment as soon as possible:
      • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for two or more weeks;
      • Seriously trying to harm or kill themselves, or making plans to do so;
      • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing;
      • Involved in multiple fights, using a weapon, or wanting badly to hurt others;
      • Severe out-of-control behavior that can hurt the teenager or others;
      • Not eating, throwing up, or using laxatives to lose weight;
      • Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities;
      • Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that puts a teenager in physical danger or causes school failure;
      • Repeated use of drugs or alcohol;
      • Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships;
      • Drastic changes in behavior or personality
    • Citation source: Oct. 28, 2011, teleconference with Peter Jensen, M.D., Gary M. Blau, Ph.D., Lisa Hunter Romanelli, Ph.D., Abigail Schlesinger, M.D.; Oct. 28, 2011, Pediatrics, reported by HealthDay

    For more information, see Mental Health, Child & Mental Health Issues.

  • March 23, 2012 - SAMHSA's 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Suicide Findings

    Suicide, SAMHSA,2010
    Graphic source:
    SAMHSA's "Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior in the Past Year among Adults Aged 18 or Older: 2010":
    • "Among the 1.1 million adults who attempted suicide in the past year, 752,000 (67.2 percent) received medical attention for their suicide attempt in the past year, and 572,000 (51.1 percent) stayed overnight or longer in a hospital as a result of their suicide attempt in the past year.
    • In 2010, the percentage of adults aged 18 or older having serious thoughts of suicide in the past year was 2.4 percent among Hispanics, 3.2 percent among Asians, 4.0 percent among whites, 4.1 percent among blacks, 4.6 percent among Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, 5.4 percent among persons reporting two or more races, and 7.5 percent among American Indians or Alaska Natives.
    • The percentage of college-aged adults (i.e., those aged 18 to 22) who had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year was higher in 2010 (7.3 percent) than in 2009 (6.3 percent).
    • In 2010, full-time college students aged 18 to 22 were less likely than other adults aged 18 to 22 to have serious thoughts of suicide (6.5 vs. 7.8 percent), make suicide plans (1.8 vs. 2.5 percent), and attempt suicide (0.9 vs. 1.6 percent) in the past year."
    • Citation source:

    For more results, see Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings . For additional information, see Suicide Prevention Resources and Violence/Suicide Data

  • March 22, 2012 - SAMHSA's 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings

    Mental Illness, SAMHSA,2010
    Graphic source:
    SAMHSA's "Any Mental Illness (AMI) in the Past Year among Adults Aged 18 or Older, by Age and Gender: 2010":
    • "The percentage of adults with AMI in the past year was highest for adults aged 18 to 25 (29.9 percent), followed by adults aged 26 to 49 (22.1 percent), then by adults aged 50 or older (14.3 percent).
    • Adult women in 2010 were more likely than adult men to have AMI in the past year (23.0 vs. 16.8 percent). Among adult males, the percentage having AMI in 2010 was higher than in 2009 (15.6 percent).
    • In 2010, the percentage of persons aged 18 or older with past year AMI was 15.8 percent among Asians, 18.3 percent among Hispanics, 18.7 percent among American Indians or Alaska Natives, 19.7 percent among blacks, 20.6 percent among whites, and 25.4 percent among persons reporting two or more races. The estimate of past year AMI among Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders aged 18 or older could not be reported due to low precision."
    • Citation source:

    For more results, see Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings . For additional information, see Mental Health and Mental Health Data

  • March 21, 2012 - U.S. Adult Mental Illness Surveillance Report

    Learn more about the CDC Report: Mental Illness Surveillance Among U.S. Adults.
    On September 2, 2011, the CDC released "U.S. Adult Mental Illness Surveillance Report." According to the CDC:

    "The term mental illness refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders. Effects of the illness include sustained abnormal alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior associated with distress and impaired functioning. The effects of mental illnesses include disruptions of daily function; incapacitating personal, social, and occupational impairment; and premature death. The most common mental illnesses in adults are anxiety and mood disorders.

    Here are some interesting facts about mental illness:

    • "according to the World Health Organization, mental illnesses account for more disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease;
    • published studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime;
    • mental illness is associated with increased occurrence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, epilepsy, and cancer.".
    • Citation source:

    Click on graphic to access the CDC page. For more information, see Mental Health

  • March 20, 2012 - How Are Americans Managing Stress?

    How Americans Handle Stress, 2010
    Graphic source:
    Since stress is a part of living, we have all found ways to deal with stress. Health-risk behaviors such as smoking, substance abuse, overeating, etc. are ineffectual ways to handle stress because they compromise our health in the process.

    Here is a graphic of the various ways Americans use to handle stress, as reported in APA's "Stress in America 2010 Report."

    It is good to see that the most popular methods are not health-compromising. Over a three-year period, it is good to see that fewer people are eating, or smoking to manage stress.

    Access the Stress in America at Mental Health - Stress

  • March 19, 2012 - CDC Launches Graphic Antismoking Ad Campaign

    Terri's smoking finally gets her
    Graphic source:

    Smoker with stoma
    Graphic source:;previous

    Originally, the FDA was charged with raising public awareness of the dangers of smoking. To that end, the FDA developed a series of graphic anti-smoking ads and then elicited public participation in choosing which ads to use on cigarette packaging. Unfortunately, Ongoing litigation to stop such labeling has prevented the FDA from doing what it was mandated to do.

    As of today, according to, ( U.S. Appeals court backs FDA's graphic tobacco warning labels

    • "The lawsuit was filed in Kentucky. It's one of two suits by tobacco companies against the federal rules that would make them slap large images on cigarette packs depicting the health ravages of smoking.
    • The other case has so far resulted in a federal judge in Washington blocking the new requirement, arguing last month it violated free speech,..That decision is being appealed by the government.
    • But on Monday, an appeals court in Ohio ruled 2-1 to uphold parts of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which also restricts how tobacco products may be marketed."

    The ( HHS Statement on Cigarette Health Warning Ruling shows that the main federal agency for Public Health supports the need to warn young people about the hazards of smoking. I applaud the CDC for stepping in and picking up the banner to continue this important duty to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking in a graphic way. After all, tobacco companies think nothing of using devious means to get children and teens to smoke by promising intangibles as popularity among peers, social attractiveness, etc. Such labeling is effective as attested to by Big Tobacco's efforts to block such labeling.

    According to WebMD's coverage:

    • The $54 million campaign consists of eight television spots, including one about secondhand smoke in Spanish; seven radio spots that are 30 seconds and 60 seconds in length; seven print ads in various sizes; and five billboard and bus stop ads. About 70% of current smokers say they want to quit, according to the CDC, so the broadcast spots and print ads include a toll-free phone number, 800-QUIT-NOW, and a web site smokers can contact in search of help quitting.
    • In just the first two days of the year, the tobacco industry spent more on marketing cigarettes than the CDC will spend this year on its ad campaign, CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, said at the news conference.
    • Each year, more than 443,000 Americans die from smoking-related illnesses, according to the CDC, which will study the new campaign's impact on smoking in the United States. For every person who dies, 20 more Americans live with an illness caused by smoking, Sebelius said.
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Tobacco . See "Shocking Ads: Tips From Smokers from

  • March 16, 2012 - The Moon in 2012, Hour by Hour

  • March 15, 2012 - Stress in America 2010

    For just release 2012 Stress in America report, see Stress in America: Our Health At Risk Also, see Stress

  • March 14, 2012 - Getting Enough Sleep to Function at Your Best

    How much sleep to function at your best

    Graphic source:

    As I end this series on the importance of sleep, I wanted to share what a National Sleep Foundation study reported on how much sleep we need to function at our optimum.
    • "Overall, respondents reported that they need, on average, 7 hours and 25 minutes of sleep to function at their best during the day, about one hour less than what they report getting on a typical weeknight.
    • Specifically, more than one-third (37%) said they need at least 8 hours of sleep to function at their best.
    • At the same time, more than one in ten (13%) said they needed less than 6 hours of sleep to function at their best.
    • The results of the number of hours respondents said they need to function at their best during the day was compared to the number of hours respondents reported they actually slept.
    • Citation source:

    Sweet dreams

  • March 13, 2012 - Sleep is a Necessity

    Amount of sleep you need

    Graphic source:

    For more information, see Sleep

  • March 12, 2012 - To Sleep Better: Exercise!

    Diet, exercise  and sleep

    Graphic source:

    Oregon State University researchers reported in the December 2011 issue of the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity:
    • "People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week,
    • ...150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.
    • Among adults in the United States, about 35 to 40 percent of the population has problems with falling asleep or with daytime sleepiness.
    • "Increasingly, the scientific evidence is encouraging as regular physical activity may serve as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep."
    • After controlling for age, BMI (Body Mass Index), health status, smoking status, and depression, the relative risk of often feeling overly sleepy during the day compared to never feeling overly sleepy during the day decreased by 65 percent for participants meeting physical activity guidelines.
    • Similar results were also found for having leg cramps while sleeping (68 percent less likely) and having difficulty concentrating when tired (45 percent decrease).
    • "Physical activity may not just be good for the waistline and heart, but it also can help you sleep,"..."There are trade-offs. It may be easier when you are tired to skip the workout and go to sleep, but it may be beneficial for your long-term health to make the hard decision and get your exercise."
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Sleep

  • March 9, 2012 - 2011's top ten pages with the most hits; Web site update

    2011 Top 10 Pages with the greatest number of hits

    Graphic created by BCJung

    Here are the latest statistics for my Web site, for those who are interested. "Graphing Resources on the Internet" continues to be the most popular page on the Web site, surpassing the Home Page!

    The Public Health Blog webpages also continue to be popular destinations for Web site visitors. What's most interesting is that visitors come by way of the Google Image search!

    Finally, it wasn't until the past week that I have decided to spend some time to make the blog pages more accessible that I discovered that my first tweet was actually made on March 1, 2010! So, I have been actually tweeting for two years! I did not really use this social media to its full advantage until last year when I decided to use it to publicize blog postings, which have become more regular and frequent. Starting this month I will use Twitter to publicize the links I am adding to my various pages, so this should increase accessibility to the various resources I have on the Web site.

    I have also found a way to create RSS feeds so those with RSS readers can access updates to the current Public Health 2012 Blog and my other webpages. This is, however, a work in progress, as setting up a current feed requires a lot time. Instead, I have decided to use the feeds that have, as well as the's service to make Webpages available for RSS readers. Enjoy! E-mail your suggestions to:!

  • March 8, 2012 - Reason to Sleep: Reducing the Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

    sleeping girl

    Graphic source:

    According to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia researchers:
    • Obese teenagers who don't get the proper amount of sleep may have disruptions in insulin secretion and blood sugar (glucose) levels,
    • ...getting a good night's sleep may stave off the development of type 2 diabetes in these adolescents.
    • keep glucose levels stable, the optimal amount of sleep for teenagers is 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night."
    • ...this is consistent with research in adults showing an association between sleep deprivation and increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
    • The optimal sleep duration was neither too little nor too much,...both insufficient and excessive sleep were linked to higher glucose levels. While sleep stages did not predict glucose levels, lower duration of N3 ("deep" sleep) correlated with decreased insulin secretion.
    • ...getting adequate sleep in adolescence may help protect against type 2 diabetes."
    • Citation source: "Sleep Architecture and Glucose and Insulin Homeostasis in Obese Adolescents," Diabetes Care, published online Sept. 20, 2011, to appear in November 2011 print edition; as reported at:

    For more information, see Sleep

  • March 7, 2012 - Reason to Sleep: For Your Heart

    Stages of sleep
    Graphic source:

    According to WebMD's "How Your Sleep Affects Your Heart"

    • "Sleep duration has decreased 1.5 to 2 hours per night per person in the last 50 years.
    • ...recent studies show links between shortened sleep duration, defined as less than six hours of sleep, and increased risk of heart disease.
    • A 2011 European Heart Journal..found that short sleepers had a 48% increased risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) in a seven to 25-year follow-up period (depending on the study) and a 15% greater risk of developing or dying from stroke during this same time.
    • Interestingly, long sleepers -- those who averaged nine or more hours a night -- also showed a 38% increased risk of developing or dying from CHD and a 65% increased risk of stroke.
    • One 2008 study from the University of Chicago found a link between shortened sleep and increased coronary artery calcification (calcium deposits), "a good predictor of subsequent coronary artery disease,"
    • ...shorter sleep predicted worsening hypertension (high blood pressure). "For most people, blood pressure falls at night,"..."so it could be that with shorter sleep it's just not enough for that dip to take place."
    • "It's pretty safe advice for the majority of people that sleeping less than six hours a night is probably not good,"
    • Good-quality sleep decreases the work of your heart, as blood pressure and heart rate go down at night.
    • People who are sleep-deprived show less variability in their heart rate, meaning that instead of fluctuating normally, the heart rate usually stays elevated. "That is not a good sign,"..."That looks like heightened stress."
    • Lack of sleep can increase insulin resistance, a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
    • Shortened sleep can increase CRP, or C-reactive protein, which is released with stress and inflammation. "If your CRP is high, it's a risk factor for cardiovascular and heart disease,"
    • Shortened sleep also interferes with appetite regulation. "So you may end up eating more or eating foods that are less healthy for your heart,"
    • Citation Source:

    For more information, see Heart Health

  • March 6, 2012 - Reason to Sleep: Learning

    Learning while you sleep

    Graphic source:

    • ...something 63 percent of Americans are not getting, according to the U.S. National Sleep Foundation.
    • "People may be learning while they sleep, dramatically improving their memory in some cases.
    • "There is substantial evidence that during sleep, your brain is processing information without your awareness and this ability may contribute to memory in a waking state."
    • "Simply improving your sleep could potentially improve your performance in the classroom,"
    • Citation source: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General; Michigan State University, news release, September 2011; HealthDay
  • March 5, 2012 - National Sleep Awareness Week March 5-11, 2012

    Teen sleep cycles

    Graphic source:

    How fortuitous that National Sleep Awareness Week falls right in the midst of my series on the importance of sleep! As this graphic shows, the problem of not getting enough sleep affects people of all ages, especially teens. Poor sleeping habits perpetuates itself in a vicious cycle.

    According to the MMWR:

    • "The National Sleep Foundation recommends that U.S. adults receive, on average, 7-9 hours of sleep per night; however, 37.1% of adults report regularly sleeping <7 hours per night.
    • Persons reporting sleeping <7 hours on average during a 24-hour interval are more likely to report unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least 1 day out of the preceding 30 days (46.2% compared with 33.2%) and nodding off or falling asleep at the wheel during the previous 30 days (7.3% compared with 3.0%).
    • Frequent insufficient sleep (14 or more days in the past 30 days) also has been associated with self-reported anxiety, depressive symptoms, and frequent mental and physical distress.
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Sleep

  • March 4, 2012 - Follow me on Twitter; Retweet a Webpage; Subscribe to the Betty C. Jung's Public Health Blog RSS Feed!

    Clicking on this button will take you to If you don't have an account, create one for free, and then follow me!
    When you click on the Tweet button or Tweet This! you will be able to post a tweet about the Webpage you are on. It will automatically provide the name of the Webpage. You can add a message, up to 140 characters, and post a tweet on your Twitter page!
    This link will activate the RSS reader, if you have one, to view the content of the current Public Health Blog entries. If you subscribe, you will get postings to your reader as I add content to the page.
  • March 2, 2012 - Now available on the Web site: Betty C. Jung Twitter widget!

    I am pleased to announce that I can now stream all my tweets with a Twitter widget. I will be adding this to all my Blog pages in the coming days. This is exciting! See the top of the page and use the Twiter buttons to follow or post!

  • March 1, 2012 - THANK YOU!!!

    3 million hits, as of 2/2012
  • February 29, 2012 - Rare Diseases Day

    February 29, 2012 is Rare Disease Day

    Graphic source:

    February 29 is Rare Disease Day. According,"A disease is rare, or "orphan," if fewer than 200,000 people in the United States have it. There are close to 7,000 rare diseases and about 25 million people in the U.S. have one. Some diseases affect fewer than 100 people nationwide." (Source:

    For more information, see

  • February 28, 2012 - Ozone Update

    The Ozone Hole
    Graphic source:

    According to an October 14, 2011 report, "Antarctic Ozone Hole 5th Largest on Record":

    • "The ozone hole above the Antarctic has reached its maximum extent for the year, revealing a gouge in the protective atmospheric layer that rivals the size of North America,
    • Spanning about 9.7 million square miles (25 million square kilometers), the ozone hole over the South Pole reached its maximum annual size on Sept. 14, 2011, coming in as the fifth largest on record.
    • The largest Antarctic ozone hole ever recorded occurred in 2006, at a size of 10.6 million square miles (27.5 million square km), a size documented by NASA's Earth-observing Aura satellite.
    • On the Earth's surface, ozone is a pollutant, but in the stratosphere it forms a protective layer that reflects ultraviolet radiation back out into space, protecting us from the damaging UV rays.
    • The international banning of ozone-destroying oxidizing chemicals like CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons) has helped to reduce the loss of protective ozone. Even so, these ozone-destroying compounds are still in the stratosphere where they slowly break down over time. As such, years with large ozone holes are now more associated with very cold winters over Antarctica and high polar winds that prevent the mixing of ozone-rich air outside of the polar circulation with the ozone-depleted air inside, the scientists say.
    • This year, for the first time scientists also found a depletion of ozone above the Arctic that resembled its South Pole counterpart. "For the first time, sufficient loss occurred to reasonably be described as an Arctic ozone hole,"
    • Citation source:
  • February 27, 2012 - Climate Change 101

    For more information, see Global and Global change & warming

  • February 24, 2012 - What does it say about physicians who lie on their training applications?

    Lying on your resume
    Graphic source: BCJung, based on results retrieved 2/22/12:

    According to 3,775 responses tallied on 2/22/12, for an online survey,"Would you lie on your resume?" ONLY 42% said they would not lie on their resume! This means that 58% are not telling the truth about who they are. Then again, I am wondering just how truthful these responses were.

    This is extremely disturbing, and very foolish that people think they can get away with lying on a resume. Employers can pretty much find out as much as they want on any applicant with very little expense by googling you online, or search your presence on social networks. Other than being caught in a lie, what does it really say about those who lie?

    On February 21st, Reuters released findings from research published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, March 2012:
    • "Honesty and attention to detail are qualities expected of physicians, yet two studies looking at applications to training programs in obstetrics show that up to 30 out of every 100 applicants took credit for research publications that could not be found.
    • Anywhere from one to 30 percent of applications to training programs in radiology, emergency medicine, orthopedics and others include references to published research that can't be located by reviewers.
    • The biggest error was that 62 applicants had listed a publication as "peer-reviewed" when it wasn't. Peer review involves submitting a study for scrutiny by other researchers before it gets published, and therefore implies a high degree of rigor.... study could not tell whether these were honest mistakes or intentional misrepresentations.
    • Applicants might be deliberately padding their resumes to try and get a spot, and it's concerning. The whole thing about being a physician is that you are expected to be honest,"....
    • Amies Oelschlager and her colleagues suggested that medical schools should include training in authorship and peer review."
    • Citation source:

    If these doctors feel they have to lie on their applications, what does that say about their moral values? If they lie on their applications that is important to their career, what else would they lie about? What it really comes down to is this: If you need medical advice, wouldn't you want to see a doctor who would be honest with you? I would.

  • February 23, 2012 - Increased Risk for Hypertension in Men Who Lack Deep Sleep

    Man sleeping with kitty cats

    Graphic source:

    According to August 29th's Hypertension,
    • "Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining physical and psychological health, and disordered sleep may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. Metabolism and neuroendocrine systems may be affected by sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), sleep duration, and sleep architecture.
    • ...decreased percentage of time in slow-wave sleep was related to increased odds of obesity.
    • In men 65 years and older, increased percentage of time spent in slow-wave sleep appears to be associated with a lower risk for incident hypertension,
    • ...obstructive sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, and/or short sleep duration, is strongly associated with hypertension.
    • ...slow-wave sleep is the third and final stage of non-REM sleep and is considered to be the most restorative of the rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM stages of sleep. Slow-wave sleep has also been linked to many health benefits, including enhanced cognitive skills, positive changes in glucose metabolism, and decreased heart rate and blood pressure."
    • Source citation:; as reported by Medscape
  • February 22, 2012 - Inadequate Sleep Causes Premature Aging

    Effects of Sleep Deprivation

    Graphic source:

    According to WebMD:
    • "What number is just right [for sleep]? The answer is really a range: somewhere between 6-8 hours. Any more or less than that may do more than just make you sleepy and it may cause your brain to age prematurely.
    • ... both men and women who averaged seven hours of sleep performed better on reasoning tests than both people who slept fewer than six hours, as well as people who slept more than eight hours.
    • ...consistent sleep routines that include sleeping for around seven hours a night every night can help reduce the regular cognitive decline that happens to all of us as we get older
    • ...people who got too little or too much sleep showed a loss in brain function that was like aging 4 to 7 years!
    • People tend to sleep less when they age, so maintaining between 6-8 hours of sleep a night may be a great natural way to prevent some of that natural memory loss that occurs with aging.
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Sleep Resources

  • February 21, 2012 - Sleep Deprivation's Effects on Teens

    Columbia University Sleep Deprivation and the Brain
    Graphic source:">
    According to 1/31/12 HealthDay, consequences of sleep deprivation in teens include:
    • Becoming more forgetful, and having trouble learning, problem-solving and concentrating.
    • Developing acne and other skin problems.
    • Developing aggressive or inappropriate behaviors.
    • Gaining weight and overeating.
    • Increasing use of nicotine or caffeine to stay awake.
    • Becoming more likely to get sick, or injured from drowsy driving
    • Citation source:

    According to the National Sleep Foundation, this is what you can do:

    • Keep your room quiet or use earplugs or a white noise machine.
    • Keep your room at the right temperature -- not too hot and on the cooler side.
    • Make sure the room is dark.
    • Allow plenty of room in your bed to stretch out and get comfortable. Choose a comfortable mattress and pillow.
    • Address issues that affect your sleep, such as snoring or television watching, with your partner.
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Sleep Resources

  • February 20, 2012 - Inhaled Caffeine

    Inhaled caffeine
    Graphic source:
    According to (Eyewitness news)
    • "AeroShot delivers an airborne shot of caffeine powder through a small dispenser. The company's materials claim that the product is safe and does not enter the lungs, but rather is dissolved in the mouth and swallowed. There is no evidence on the company's website to substantiate these broad, health-related claims. On the contrary, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), while caffeine has been shown to enhance physical performance in adults, these effects are extremely variable, dose dependent, and most importantly, have not been thoroughly studied in children and adolescents. Moreover, because of the potentially harmful developmental and addictive effects of caffeine, the AAP discourages the non-medical use of caffeine by children and adolescents. The impact of inhaled caffeine on the lungs of children and teens has never been examined."
    • "United States Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Sunday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to conduct a full review of the safety and legality of the new caffeine inhaler, AeroShot, which hit stores in New York and Boston this past month. The product, a lipstick sized disposable inhaler, allows the user to inhale a powder that sends 100mgs of caffeine into the body. The product was introduced into New York and Boston markets in January without an age restriction on its purchase, without ever having been reviewed by the FDA, and without having its safety claims independently verified by regulators."
    • Citation source:

    For more information about caffeine, see Caffeine

  • February 17, 2012 - Crab Nebula's astronomical surprise

    Crab Nebula
    Graphic source: Email&utm_campaign=SP_10102011
    Astronomy books may have be rewritten with a new discovery made by Andrew McCann, a Ph.D. candidate at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and published in October 7, 2011, Science.
    • "...astronomers detected intense radiation pumping out of the Crab Nebula, ...inexplicably powerful gamma-rays came from the very heart of the Crab Nebula, where an extreme object called a pulsar resides.
    • High-energy rays coming from the nebula are well-known, but coming from the pulsar is something nobody expected."
    • The photogenic Crab Nebula is really the wreckage of a long-dead star that emitted an explosion of light that reached Earth in the year 1054, and was seen and recorded by Chinese and Native American skygazers. The dying star was located 6,500 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Taurus when it erupted in a brilliant supernova explosion.
    • At the heart of the nebula's colorful layers of gas is a so-called pulsar, which is the remains of the original star's core that collapsed in on itself into a super-dense, spinning neutron star. The Crab pulsar spins 30 times a second and is so dense that it has a greater mass than the sun.
    • The gamma-ray beams that were detected from the Crab pulsar exceeded 100 billion electron-volts, stronger than anyone or any theories projected a million times more energetic than medical X-rays and 100 billion times stronger than visible light,
    • These new details of the Crab pulsar could change scientists' understanding of gamma-ray emissions and how they are generated."
    • Citation source:

  • February 16, 2012 - Heart Attacks and Insomnia

    Sleep and the heart
    Graphic source:
    On November 8th, the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology reported:
    • "Insomnia is an all-too-common sleep disorder, affecting as many as a third or more of American adults.
    • There are two basic types of insomnia. Acute insomnia consists of short-term episodes of sleeplessness. Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, can last for months or years. Most people with chronic insomnia spend several nights a week struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep.
    • "...people who suffer from insomnia are at higher risk for heart attacks.
    • People who had difficulty falling asleep had a 45% greater risk of heart attack compared to those who regularly fell asleep without trouble.
    • People who had trouble staying asleep throughout the night had a 30% greater risk of heart attack than people who were able to sleep through the night.
    • People who woke feeling tired and unrested had a 27% higher risk of heart attack than people who woke feeling refreshed.
    • ...disordered sleep, such as insomnia, increases the risk of cardiovascular problems for both men and women.
    • Track your sleep. Being mindful of your sleep patterns is the best way to catch and treat any sleep problems early, before they become more entrenched.
    • Keeping a journal or a log can help, keeping regular track of bedtimes and wake times, as well as how you feel in the morning when you wake up, can give you a clear picture of how you are really sleeping.
    • Exercise. Physical activity is good for your heart, your overall health, and your sleep. There is also evidence that it helps alleviate insomnia.
    • Manage your stress.... Mind-body activities such as meditation, yoga, and even massage can help.
    • Take that sleep journal with you to your next checkup and have a real conversation with your physician about your sleep before it becomes a problem.
    • Citation source:
  • February 15, 2012 - Coronary Artery Disease and Lack of Sleep

    Zzzs from the CDC

    A report at this year's European Society of Cardiology's EuroPRevent meeting indicates how lack of sleep increase the risk for heart disease:
    • "Short sleep duration of poor quality was associated with a significant 65% elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and significant 85% excess risk of coronary heart disease
    • Anything less than seven hours of sleep per night appeared to raise total cardiovascular disease risk, but the greatest risk was when short duration combined with poor sleep quality,
    • Sleeping for eight or more hours tended to be protective against both overall cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease."
    • Citation source: Hoevenaar-Blom MP, et al "Short and long sleep duration in relation to 10-year cardiovascular disease incidence: The MORGEN Study" EuroPRevent 2011; Abstract 351; as reported in

    For more information, see Cardiovascular Disease, and Sleep

  • February 14, 2012 - Sleep Loss and Diabetes

    Diabetes and Sleep Loss

    Graphic source:

    According to WebMD, "There are several causes of sleep problems for people with type 2 diabetes, including obstructive sleep apnea, pain or discomfort, restless legs syndrome, the need to go to the bathroom, and other problems associated with type 2 diabetes.

    Obesity, or too much body fat, is often associated with snoring, sleep apnea, and sleep disturbance. Obesity increases the risk of sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, and stroke." Citation source:

    For more information, see Diabetes

  • February 13, 2012 - Poor Sleep and Diabetes

    Diabetes and Apnea

    Graphic source:

    According to a 1/1/2012 American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release:
    • "Poor sleep may be undermining the efforts of children with type 1 diabetes when it comes to controlling their blood sugar,
    • ...about one-third of the children with type 1 diabetes had sleep apnea, irrespective of their weight. What's more, those who had sleep apnea also had much higher blood sugar levels. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes frequent pauses in breathing during sleep, which leads to daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
    • ...sleep apnea is a condition that has previously been associated with type 2 diabetes (which typically affects adults).
    • "sleep problems were associated with lower grades, poorer performance on state standardized tests, poor quality of life and abnormalities in daytime behavior. On the upside, sleep is a potentially modifiable health behavior, so these kids could be helped by a qualified professional to get a better night's sleep."
    • Citation Source: HealthDay 1/3/2012 posting

    For more information, see Diabetes and Sleep

  • February 11, 2012 - Remembering Whitney Houston (1963-2012)

  • February 10, 2012 - Caffeine Consumption and Sleep

    Kids drinking too much caffeine

    Graphic source:

      Common Forms of Caffeine
    • Coffee (8 oz) = 184 mg
    • Iced Tea (12 oz) = 70 mg
    • Coca-Cola (12 oz) = 54 mg
    • Dark Chocolate (1 oz) = 20 mg
    • Energy drinks = up to 500 mg of caffeine per can
    According to the results of two recent studies that were reported on
    • A recent study shows that children are consuming 30% above the recommended amount of caffeine daily, leading to an earlier onset of medical problems including sleep issues.
    • According the Journal of Pediatrics, on any given day, 75% of American kids will drink at least one caffeinated beverage. Each canned soda often comes with a price tag of up to 60 mg of caffeine. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not developed pediatric guidelines for caffeine consumption, Canadian guidelines recommend no more than 45 mg/day for 4 to 6 year olds, 62 mg/day for 7 to 9 year olds, and 85 mg/day for 10 to 12 year olds.
    • ...caffeine packs an even more powerful punch for children than adults, giving kids an amplified version of the alertness, anxiety, nervousness and insomnia. In addition, most of these sugary drinks are packed with calories, which is problematic given the national childhood obesity epidemic. It's troubling that the favorite beverages among American youth are those high in caffeine and sugar, instead of calcium and vitamin C.
    • Overall, 75% of children consumed some amount of caffeine. Average intake among 8 to 12 year olds was 102 mg/day (equivalent to one cup of coffee), which is 28% higher than the maximum recommended. Even 5 to 7 year olds consumed, on average, 52 mg of caffeine a day (16% above the limit recommended for that age group). Caffeine intake was linked directly to less sleep, resulting in 9% less shut-eye for the older caffeine-guzzling kids.
    • According the American Academy of Pediatrics, energy drinks contain substances that act as stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana and taurine. Caffeine, the most popular stimulant, has been linked to a number of harmful health effects in children, including effects on the developing neurologic and cardiovascular systems. Energy drinks are never appropriate for children or adolescents."
    • Citation sources: Warzak, W., S. Evans, M. Floress, et al. Caffeine Consumption in Young Children. Journal of Pediatrics (2011), doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.11.022; American Academy of Pediatrics. Kids Should Not Consume Energy Drinks, and Raraely Need Sports Drinks, Says AAP Press Release May 30, 2011; as reported at

    For more information, see Caffeine, Soda, Nutritional Information

  • February 9, 2012 - Female Shift Workers and Heart Disease

    Female Shift workers and heart disease

    Graphic source:

    Note: I started a series of blog postings about sleep last year, and I am back to finish up with what we know about sleep. See December 8 - 23, 2011 Sleep Postings

    A study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research found that female shift workers may be at higher risk of heart disease.
    • "Women hospital staff working night shifts may be compromising their own health as they try to improve the health of patients
    • ...approximately one in five middle-aged women who do shift work have at least three risk indicators for heart disease.
    • ...age and current shift work status were significantly associated with increased risk. Women over 45 years, those who had reached menopause, had a shift work history of more than six years, and those currently working either 12 hour shifts or rotational shifts were more likely to have metabolic syndrome.
    • Metabolic syndrome was present in eight per cent of those working shifts for less than six years, in 18 per cent in those working shifts for six to 15 years, and in 74 percent of those working shifts for more than 15 years. While the increase in prevalence of risk factors is also associated with age, the influence of the combination of older age and shift work on risk raises concern.
    • "Just how shift work contributes to the development of such risk factors isn't clear,"..."It is possible that the disruption of biological rhythms, sleeping, eating, and exercise patterns may be factors."
    • Shift workers were more likely to cut back on sleep, to spend less time with their spouse, and to worry about not spending enough time with family, compared with regular day workers.
    • "All women should manage their weight and other risk factors, and this study shows women working shift work especially need to be aware."
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Cardiovascular Disease, and Sleep

  • February 8, 2012 - Making Living a Healthy Lifestyle Sacred

    Decision Making

    Graphic source:

    On January 25, 2012, researcher reported in "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society."

    • "The brain's "rule book" keeps us from having to weigh the pros and cons of unthinkable moral decisions.
    • People weigh questions of sacred values such as "don't murder" in different brain regions than they do mundane preferences. These special brain regions seem to be those associated with recalling rules, suggesting that we don't weigh the costs and benefits when asked to do something against our most firmly held values. Instead, we fall back on a mental "cheat sheet" of right and wrong.
    • "If you had to do cost-benefit calculations for everything you do in your daily life, you wouldn't be able to come to any decisions at all,"... "So rules actually have the benefit of making decision-making much easier you just look up in your own personal 'rule table' how to act."
    • Though the vast majority of people can agree that killing someone is bad, there are two main ways to come to that conclusion, Berns told LiveScience. You might take a utilitarian approach, figuring that whatever benefit would come from the murder would be outweighed by the costs in risk of punishment or pain to the victim's family.
    • Alternatively, you might take a rule-based, or "deontological," approach. This is the "Ten Commandments" line of reasoning, Berns said: Murder is wrong, because it's wrong, and that's that.
    • Instead of measuring people's willingness to break their sacred values, they measured their willingness to take money to sign a document announcing that they believed the opposite of what they really believed. "The idea is, if you feel really strongly about something, there is no amount of money that will make you say otherwise,"
    • There was a broad range of what people were willing to sell out, with the firmest-believing participant opting out of auctioning all but 8 percent of his (or her) beliefs. Some people named a price for everything on the list, though the average was about half.
    • Those values that people refused to sell out were considered to be sacred. It turned out that the values later shown to be sacred were the ones that activated two particular brain regions: the left temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. The TPJ is the point where the temporal and parietal lobes of the brain meet on the side of the head, while the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex is on the underside of the frontal lobe. Both of these areas are associated with rule retrieval and beliefs about right and wrong.
    • "When people engage sacred values in their thought processes, they are by and large using rule-based systems in their heads,"..."They're not using cost-benefit calculations."
    • This makes sense, given how inefficient it would be to weigh the pros and cons of every moral decision, he said."It's much easier just to fall back on well-worn rules that serve you well, and serve society well," Berns said.
    • The downside to rules is that people loathe breaking them, even when the rules are based on faulty experiences or information.
    • "Once a rule is in someone's head, it's going to be hard to change it, even if there is a mountain of evidence saying that it's not a good rule," Berns said.
    • Interestingly, the people who tended to hold their sacred values most strongly, those with the biggest brain response differences between sacred- and non-sacred processing, also tended to be those who participated in the most group activities,... The groups could be anything from religious organizations to sports teams to professional societies,... The researchers are now continuing studies to find out how group conformity might play a role in sacred values.
    • "It stands to reason that the more involved you are with groups, the stronger the rules become."
    • Citation: As reported at

    How does all this fit into our health behaviors? Most health behaviors are behaviors that rule our daily lives. And if what these researchers are saying is true, our behaviors that affect our health are put on automatic pilot. Because if we spent the time to think about the costs and benefits of what we are doing, we would be paralyzed with inaction. It's great if our health behaviors are positive to begin with, but in most cases they are behaviors that ruin our health. Such behaviors would then get repeated over and over because it would require too much work to make the change, even though we know the behavior is bad for our health.

    Then there is the whole issue of being influenced by the company we keep, like overweight people hanging out with those who are similarly overweight ( This research does explains a lot, in terms how hard it is to making any kind of changes without taking the needed time to weigh the pros and cons, the costs and benefits, etc. For example, "Mindless eating - eating on autopilot without thinking about what your eating - is one of the biggest causes of weight gain" (

    So, can we ever get living a healthy lifestyle to the point of being something so sacred to our quality of life that we would never sell out for all the money in the world? So sacred that we don't have to think twice about eating the fruit instead of the donut? Something to think about.

  • February 7, 2012 - Lifestyle Factors Responsible for 1/3 of Cancers

    Cancer Risk Factors, By Gender
    Graphic developed by bcjung from data tables at:
    According to a supplement of December 2011's British Journal of Cancer:
    • "One third of all cancers are caused by 4 common lifestyle factors: tobacco, diet, alcohol, and obesity."
    • "Many people believe that cancer is down to fate or is 'in the genes,' and that it is the luck of the draw whether they get it," ..."looking at the evidence, it's clear that about 40% of all cancers are caused by things we mostly have the power to change."
    • The figure is 45% in men and 40% in women; that difference was mostly accounted for by breast cancer in women,
    • In the United Kingdom, this means that around 134,000 cancers annually could be prevented - just over 100,000 of these cases were attributed to tobacco, unhealthy diets, alcohol, and excess weight.
    • Smoking was by far the most important factor, accounting on its own for 60,000 cancers in the United Kingdom each year, or 1 in 5 of all cancers diagnosed,
    • "We didn't expect to find that eating fruit and vegetables would prove to be so important in protecting men against cancer," he said. "And for women, we didn't expect being overweight to have a greater effect than alcohol."
    • Citation source: The Fraction of Cancer Attributable to Lifestyle and Environmental Factors in the UK in 2010, British Journal of Cancer,, as reported in:

    For more information, see Cancer

  • February 6, 2012 - The Cancer Genome Atlas: The Genetic Basis of Cancer

    Genomics has really taken off in recent years. The application of genetics to the delivery of health care will come in the form of personalized medicine, where treatment will be tailored by the patient's genetic makeup.

    Check out this video to learn the basics of genetics and cancer from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

    And, check out The Cancer Genome Atlas Web site for more information about this exciting new field that has a real potential for making a difference in our quality of life.

    For more information, see Cancer Resources

  • February 5, 2012 - Women, Know Your Numbers: Blood pressure, lipids and BMI!

  • February 4, 2012 - World Cancer Day

    World Cancer Day
    Graphic source:
    See CDC's World Cancer Day Page

    Most Frequent Cancers in the World, Both Sexes (2008)
    2008 Men and Women Cancers
    Graphic source:

  • February 3, 2012 - "National Wear Red Day"

    Today is Wear Red Day to raise awareness about women and heart disease. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Know your family history, and if there is heart disease in your family tree, it does not mean you will get the disease; however, it means you will have to be a little bit more diligent about living a healthier lifestyle than those who don't.

    Know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar), get at least an hour a day of moderate exercise, get adequate sleep,limit alcohol intake, eat more fruits and veggies and cut out trans fats and high glucose corn syrup (corn sugar) from your diet. Most important, if you smoke, quit! Know what the symptoms of a heart attack are so you can get medical help right away. Work with your doctor to address risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, etc.) that put you at greater risk for heart disease and you are on your way!

    The Heart Truth

    For more information, click on above graphic. Also, get Healthy Heart Handbook for Women NIH's The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women

    Also, see General heart disease information, Specific heart disease information and Women's Health - Heart and Stroke

  • February 2, 2012 - Self-Efficacy in Decision-making

    Rodin's Thinker

    Graphic source:

    In September, 2010, researchers reported:

    • "Neuroscience research is revealing how the chemistry and architecture of the brain make decisions for us, and how the brain's reaction to decision-making is based on confidence. Researchers has shown that a networked, hierarchical process is strung out across the brain to achieve these functions, even while specific neuron clusters are more active than others in helping us make decisions.
    • Confidence is a trait typically cast as a higher-order function in the brain. It's at once the act of making a decision, recognizing the decision as thought, and measuring the degree to which that decision makes sense."
    • Citation source:Brain Confidence: How Our Neurons Make Decisions
    Well, this sounds like the concept of "Self-efficacy".
    • "According to Albert Bandura, self-efficacy is the belief in one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations (1995, p. 2). In other words, self-efficacy is a person's belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation. Bandura described these beliefs as determinants of how people think, behave, and feel (1994).
    • Virtually all people can identify goals they want to accomplish, things they would like to change, and things they would like to achieve. However, most people also realize that putting these plans into action is not quite so simple.
    • People with a strong sense of self-efficacy:
      • View challenging problems as tasks to be mastered.
      • Develop deeper interest in the activities in which they participate.
      • Form a stronger sense of commitment to their interests and activities.
      • Recover quickly from setbacks and disappointments.
    • People with a weak sense of self-efficacy:
      • Avoid challenging tasks.
      • Believe that difficult tasks and situations are beyond their capabilities.
      • Focus on personal failings and negative outcomes.
      • Quickly lose confidence in personal abilities (Bandura, 1994).
    • Citation source:

    So, basically, having confidence your own ability, that is, self-efficacy is more than half the battle in making the changes we need to make to improve our quality of life!

  • February 1, 2012 - Betty C. Jung's Web site is a Healthy People Consortium Organization

    I Believe in a Healthier Nation for All Americans - Healthy People 2020
    I have always supported Healthy People's goals and objectives. Now, as a Healthy People Consortium Organization member I will continue to do so in a more focused way.

    "The Consortium is a diverse, motivated group of agencies and organizations committed to achieving Healthy People 2020 goals and objectives." (

    I will continue to add new links to Healthy People 2020 Webpage and post pertinent updates on my Public Health Blog.

    Get Healthy People 2020 program planning tools: MAP-IT - Healthy People 2020
  • January 31, 2012 - 3-D Map of the Universe

    3-D Map of the Universe
    Graphic source:
  • January 30, 2012 - The Moon, as you have never seen it

    The Moon's surface
    Composite Moon Map of the Lunar Surface
  • January 26, 2012 - Healthfinder's Quick Guide to Healthy Living

    Quick Guide to Healthy Living - Ever wonder what you need to do to stay healthy? Well, now you can find out, all on one Webpage! One important strategy is to get preventive services to shore up your immune system with regular checkups and vaccines, etc.'s Quick Guide to Healthy Living, a Webpage that organizes what you need to do in tables for adults, women and children. It lists health topics for each group,with links to additional information. Click on the graphic and check it out. Make sure you are doing all that you can do to keep yourself healthy.

  • January 25, 2012 - Health and Human Services, Global Health Strategy

    HHS Global Health Strategy
    Graphic source:
    Disease knows no boundaries. It travels across all terrains. No one is immune to the ravages it may choose to inflict on those who cannot fend for themselves, or have access to the ever-growing arsenal Technology and Science can pony up. In the end, humanity can only hope to stem the ravages of Disease with a united front.
    In recognition of this basic truth, the Health and Human Services released its "Global Health Strategy." Its objectives are to:
    • "...enhance global surveillance to detect, control and prevent diseases and health concerns;
    • prevent infectious diseases and other health threats from crossing borders;
    • prepare for and respond to international outbreaks and public health emergencies;
    • increase the safety and integrity of global manufacturing and supply chains for medical products, food and feed;
    • strengthen and implement international science-based international health and safety standards;
    • catalyze biomedical and public health research and innovation for new interventions that improve health and well-being;
    • identify and exchange best practices to improve health strategies and health systems;
    • address the changing global patterns of death, illness and disability;
    • support the President's Global Health Initiative to achieve major improvements in health outcomes for women, children and families;
    • and advance health diplomacy through scientific and technical expertise."
    • Citation source:, p. 5

    Click on graphic to access the document.

  • January 24, 2012 - CDC's Approach to Emergency Preparedness: Zombie Pandemic

    Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic
    Graphic source:
    Who wants to think about emergency preparedness? It's probably the last thing people think about until they have to - in the midst of a disaster. But, this is another year, and we need to be vigilant about being prepared.

    To raise awareness about the importance of being prepared the CDC has decided to get people to think about taking on zombies as a scenario for preparing for emergencies. It's a cool approach.

    Just click on the graphic to read the graphic novel. For more information, see Emergency Preparedness/Disaster Planning

  • January 23, 2012 - The Loss of concentration, contemplation, and reflection

    In "Is Google making us stupid?" (May 30, 2011) Nicholas Carr asserts:

    • "Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan,...every information technology carries an intellectual ethical set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence.
    • ...the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources.
    • Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection."
    • Citation source:

    More recently, Harvard researchers have found internet addiction can disrupt brain functions in a Chinese study.

    • "...the brains of teenagers who are seemingly addicted to the Internet have abnormal "white matter," the biological insulation that surrounds the wiring between neurons.
    • "The areas that they [the study authors] have pinpointed are ones that we already know are involved in addiction and compulsive behavior,"...differences in white matter in the subjects described as Internet addicts is "the kind of impairment that we'd expect to disrupt the normal function of those areas."
    • Internet addiction has been an especially hot topic in China, where researchers at Jiao Tong University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched the new study.
    • ...the teens said they were preoccupied with the Internet, had repeatedly tried to control their use without success, and felt restless, moody, depressed or irritable when they tried to cut down.
    • The scientists found that those teens who appeared to have Internet addiction had impaired "white matter" connecting the parts of their brains that deal with issues like decision-making.
    • White matter refers to the insulation that envelops the wiring that connects brain cells called neurons,
    • "We don't know whether the poor insulation connecting these areas of the brain predisposes these people to developing compulsive behaviors or whether engaging in a behavior repetitively could damage the connections between brain areas,"
    • The research offers more insight into how some people may be more prone to addiction because of the way their brains work,... It's not just a personal failing or weakness,"
    • Citation source: Jonathan Wallis, Ph.D., associate professor, psychology and neuroscience, University of California, Berkeley; Gordon Harris, Ph.D., professor, radiology, Harvard Medical School, and director, 3D Imaging Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Jan. 11, 2012, PLoS One, as reported by HealthDay

    Perhaps, the Internet is something we always wanted, even though we may not know for what, or what for. Regardless, it has changed us in ways we did not anticipate, and perhaps not always for the better. Much of what we know as Culture today was the result of generations of individuals who created something new and different to enrich our collective lives. Such creativity was nurtured with concentration, contemplation and reflection about the human condition. Will the Future become the "same old, same old" rife with boredom that offers no hope of a newer and different perspective of what Life is all about? Something to think about for 2012.

  • January 20, 2012 - Pregnant Women Should Not Drink Alcohol

    Don't drink alcohol while pregnant!
    On January 17th, University of California San Diego in La Jolla researchers report:
    • "Any alcohol consumption during pregnancy -- especially during the second half of the first trimester -- puts the newborn at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), results of a study showed.
    • For every additional drink a day on average during those early months, there were increased risks of 25% for smooth philtrum, 22% for thin vermilion, 12% for microcephaly, 16% for lower birth weight, and 18% for reduced birth length,
    • There were similar findings for each additional episode of binge drinking and each additional drink in the maximum number consumed per occasion,
    • This study found that when it comes to avoiding fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in newborns, there is no safe level of alcohol consumption for mothers.
    • Note that the risk of FAS among the children of women who drank alcohol was especially high in the second half of the first trimester.
    • Although FAS was first identified in 1973, little is known about the specific dose and timing of exposure to alcohol that increases the risk for birth defects.
    • "Based on our findings, there is no safe threshold for alcohol consumption during pregnancy with respect to selected alcohol-related physical features," the authors concluded. "Women who are of childbearing age and who are contemplating or at risk for becoming pregnant should be encouraged to avoid drinking, and women who are pregnant should abstain from alcohol throughout the pregnancy."
    • Citation source: Feldmen HS, et al "Parental alcohol exposure pattern and alcohol-related birth defects and growth deficiencies: A prospective study" Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2012; DOI: 10.111/j.1530-0277.2011.01664.x; as reported at

    For more information, see Birth defects, Women and Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse

  • January 19, 2012 -

    Graphic source:
    The Geospatial One-Stop portal and catalog (formerly at has been integrated with A comprehensive listing of geospatial data and tools are now available at Just click on the graphic to access the site.

    You can also find a link to this site at Data Search Engines and Public Health Mapping

  • January 18, 2012 - Binge Drinking While Pregnant Is Bad for the Fetus

    Drug Abuse among Pregnant Women in the U.S.
    Here is an interesting population of binge drinkers that hardly gets much notice, pregnant women. Unfortunately, such drinking affects not only women, but the fetus they are carrying. According to's statistics, alcohol use and binge drinking while pregnant occur more frequently among 15 - 17 year old pregnant teens.

    According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), "Children born with the most serious problems caused by alcohol have fetal alcohol syndrome. Children with fetal alcohol syndrome may:

    • Be born small.
    • Have problems eating and sleeping.
    • Have problems seeing and hearing.
    • Have trouble following directions and learning how to do simple things.
    • Have trouble paying attention and learning in school.
    • Need special teachers and schools.
    • Have trouble getting along with others and controlling their behavior.
    • Need medical care all their lives.
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Pregnancy Alchol Abuse

  • January 17, 2012 - U.S. Binge Drinking Statistics

    The average largest number of drinks consumed by binge drinkers on an occasion
    US Bingeing
    SOURCE: 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Combined Landline and Cell Phone Developmental Dataset, Adults Aged 18 and Older, US
    Graphics source:
    According to the CDC,"The average largest number of drinks within a short period of time among binge drinkers ranged from 6 drinks in the District of Columbia to 9 drinks in Wisconsin. The largest number of drinks consumed by binge drinkers is highest in the Midwest and southern Mountain states (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah), and some states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina where binge drinking is less common."

    People can:
    Choose not to binge drink themselves and help others not to do it.
    Drink in moderation if they do drink. The US Dietary Guidelines on alcohol consumption recommend no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men. Pregnant women and underage youth should not drink alcohol.
    Citation source:

    For more information, see Alcohol, Alcohol Statistics and Community Guide: Preventing Excessive Alcohol Consumption

  • January 16, 2012 - January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

    Glaucoma Awareness Month
    Graphics source:
    For more information, see

  • January 13, 2012 - How Earth Looks From the International Space Station

    A year in space: 30 pictures of Earth taken from the International Space Station in 2011

  • January 12, 2012 - CDC's Media Outreach Guide

    CDC's Media Outreach Guide

    Graphic source:

    I highly recommend this must-have resource for your digital library to start off the new year right - CDC's Media Outreach Guide.

    While originally developed by the CDC for its "Protect the Ones You Love: Child Injuries are Preventable" initiative, it is a resource you can use for any public health program in which you need to get the message out to the public about a public health issue. It's 34 pages long, and covers basic media relations, as well providing you with publicity tools, samples, checklists, along with communication tools and templates. I wish I had this when I was in graduate school, as it would have made it much easier to understand how to put health promotion into practice.

    Click on the graphic to access this resource. For additional information, see Public Health Practice

  • January 11, 2012 - FBI's Hate Crime Statistics 2010

    FBI's Hate Crime Statistics 2010

    Graphic source:

    The FBI released its "Hate Crime Statistics 2010" report November, 2011. In its press release, the FBI reports:
    • "Law enforcement reported 8,208 victims of hate crimes a victim can be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole.
    • Of the 6,628 hate crime incidents reported to us for 2010, nearly all (6,624) involved a single bias 47.3 percent of the single-bias incidents were motivated by race; 20 percent by religion; 19.3 by sexual orientation; 12.8 percent by an ethnicity/national origin bias; and 0.6 by physical or mental disability.
    • As a result of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crime Prevention Act, the FBI is implementing changes to collect additional data for crimes motivated by a bias against a particular gender or gender identity, as well as for hate crimes committed by or directed against juveniles.
    • A reported 4,824 offenses were crimes against persons intimidation accounted for 46.2 percent of these offenses; simple assault for 34.8 percent; and aggravated assault for 18.4 percent.
    • There were 2,861 reported offenses of crimes against property the majority (81.1 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism.
    • Of the 6,008 known offenders, 58.6 were white and 18.4 percent were black. 31.4 percent of reported hate crime incidents took place in or near homes."
    • Citation source:

    For more information, see Crime Statistics

  • January 9, 2012 - FDA's Warning About Stem Cell Therapy

    FDA's Warning about stem cell therapy
    Graphic source:
    On January 6, 2012, FDA issued the following:
    • "...Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned that the hope that patients have for cures not yet available may leave them vulnerable to unscrupulous providers of stem cell treatments that are illegal and potentially harmful.
    • FDA cautions consumers to make sure that any stem cell treatment they are considering has been approved by FDA or is being studied under a clinical investigation that has been submitted to and allowed to proceed by FDA.
    • FDA has approved only one stem cell product, Hemacord, a cord blood-derived product manufactured by the New York Blood Center and used for specified indications in patients with disorders affecting the body's blood-forming system."
    • Citation source:

    See FDA Warns About Stem Cell Claims , Consumer Information on Stem Cells, Health Fraud Scams

  • January 6, 2012 - Electric Slide Your Year to Fitness!

    Life by numbers
    Graphic source:
    Keep moving!!!

  • January 5, 2012 - What is the single best thing you can do for your health?

  • January 4, 2012 - Getting into the (New) Groove

    New Year Resolutons
    Graphic source:
    Calvin's resolutions
    Graphic source:

    New year, new beginning. Yes! Since we are not perfect, there is always something we can perfect, when it comes to our health. What can you do for yourself? Be selfish for a change and think about something you can change that will make you feel better about yourself. Of course, making changes is always a challenge, but it can be done. Check out NIDDK's Changing Your Habits:Steps to Better Health for how to start.

    For more information, see Fitness & Nutrition

    Check out's "Guide to Health Living

  • January 3, 2012 - The Process of Making Mistakes (Or, another way to look at New Year's Resolutions)

    the process of making a mistake
    Graphic source:

    While we all make mistakes, how we handle them can say a lot about who we are. But, if we learn from them, then we wouldn't be making THAT mistake again. Think of this as a geek approach to how New Year's resolutions turn out. Alan Norton of TechRepublic came up with "10 immutable laws of mistakes":

      • "Law #1: Everyone makes mistakes (Everyone makes mistakes. That's why there is an eraser on every pencil. Japanese proverb);
      • Law #2: Not all mistakes are bad mistakes (The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything. Theodore Roosevelt);
      • Law #3: Mistakes not seen by others are not mistakes (When a tree falls in a lonely forest, and no animal is near by to hear it, does it make a sound?Charles Riborg Mann and George Ransom Twiss);
      • Law #4: Ignorance does not excuse your mistakes (Ignorance of the law excuses no man. John Selden);
      • Law #5: Mistakes occur at the very worst time (If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then. Corollary to Murph's Law);
      • Law #6: Mistakes beget mistakes (Desperate people do desperate things. Anonymous);
      • Law #7: Mistakes made with computers propagate faster and cause more damage (Computers have enabled people to make more mistakes faster than almost any invention in history, with the possible exception of tequila and hand guns. Mitch Ratcliffe);
      • Law #8: Mistakes of inaction are mistakes nonetheless (I never worry about action, but only about inaction. - Winston Churchill);
      • Law #9: Failing to own up to your mistakes is a mistake (You may make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you start blaming someone else.Mary Pickford);
      • Law #10: Failing to learn from your mistakes is a mistake (The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. John Powell);
      • The bottom line: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Rita Mae Brown."
      • Citation source:
  • January 2, 2012 - Message from Mario

    The wisdom of Mario
    Graphic source:

  • January 1, 2012 - Happy New Year!

    Happy 2012!
    Happy 2012!


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Published on the Web: August 3, 2011
Updated: 12/11/2022 R977
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