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Health

Breast Health Messages to Share with Those You Love

breastcancerawareness2014Men, we know how important the women in your life are to you. Whether you’re thinking about your wife or girlfriend, mom, aunt, grandmother, sisters or daughter, you want them to be the best they can be.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and African American women really need to pay attention to the health of their breasts.

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Blacks May Face Higher Risk of Diabetes-Linked Vision Loss

diabetesvisionlossDiabetic macular edema seems to strike some types of patients more frequently

Black Americans are at greater risk for diabetes-related vision loss than other racial groups battling the blood sugar disease, a new study says.

Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which evaluates about 5,000 people each year. They found that blacks had the highest rates of a condition known as diabetic macular edema -- one of the leading causes of blindness in people with diabetes.

Diabetic macular edema occurs when fluid and protein builds up in a part of the retina. This causes retinal swelling and a resulting loss of vision, the researchers explained.

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Why Do They Call it Cancer?

cancerchangeSome of the conditions that doctors label cancer may not be as serious as they sound – and may not even require treatment. That’s the consensus of a panel of experts that is urging the National Cancer Institute to reconsider the definition of the disease as a way to reduce unnecessary treatment.

The proposal would eliminate the words “cancer” or “carcinoma” from the diagnoses of certain lesions and small tumors, including ones affecting the prostate, thyroid and breast.

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Dental Care for People with Heart Disease

dentalafterheartproblemPeople with heart disease have special needs when it comes to dental care. Here are some tips to consider before going to the dentist if you suffer from one of the following heart conditions.

Dental care after heart attack

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Tips to Feel Better All Day

bestdayeverWhat are the most important steps to follow if you want to feel good from morning to night?

David Rakel, MD, spends his days helping people figure that out. He's the director of the integrative medicine program at the University of Wisconsin and to him, feeling good means that your body and mind are working at their peak level, and you have a general sense of well-being.

To feel good day after day, he suggests these tips:

Get sunlight during the day.

Sunlight stimulates the brain chemical serotonin, which plays a role in helping you feel happy.

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The Latest on Vitamin D and Dementia

vitaminDandalzheimersNew research shows a clear link, plus 3 ways to get more D

Older adults who are severely vitamin D deficient have a 122 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology.

The research team, lead by Dr. David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, anticipated a link between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive problems (previous research has shown a general correlation). But they were surprised by how high the risk was.

“The association was twice as strong as we anticipated,” Llewellyn says.

Adults moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind. Those who were severely deficient had 125 percent increased risk.

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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health

deepveinthrombosis

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism is the sudden blockage of a major blood vessel (artery) in the lung, usually by a blood clot. In most cases, the clots are small and are not deadly, but they can damage the lung. But if the clot is large and stops blood flow to the lung, it can be deadly. Quick treatment could save your life or reduce the risk of future problems.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Sudden shortness of breath.
  • Sharp chest pain that is worse when you cough or take a deep breath.
  • A cough that brings up pink, foamy mucus.

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Low Birth Weights May Put Black Women at Risk for Diabetes

lowbirthweightdiabetes

 

Study found association regardless of their current weight

Being born at a low birth weight puts black women at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

The findings may partly explain high diabetes rates among black Americans, a population that has a high prevalence of low birth weight, the researchers added.

Their study of more than 21,000 black women found that those with a low birth weight were 13 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with a normal birth weight. The risk of diabetes was 40 percent higher in those with a very low birth weight.

Low birth weight was defined as less than 5.5 pounds and very low birth weight as less than 3.3 pounds.

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High Blood Pressure in African-Americans

highbloodpressurecountriesHigh blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects African-Americans in unique ways:

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HIV/AIDS

hivaidsmanAlso called: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS, HIV, Human immunodeficiency virus

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body's immune system cells. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV.

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12 Heart Symptoms Never to Ignore

12symptomsHeart disease is the No. 1 killer of U.S. men and women, accounting for 40% of all U.S. deaths. That's more than all forms of cancer combined.

Why is heart disease so deadly? One reason is that many people are slow to seek help when symptoms arise. Yes, someone gripped by sudden chest pain probably knows to call 911. But heart symptoms aren't always intense or obvious, and they vary from person to person and according to gender.

Because it can be hard to make sense of heart symptoms, doctors warn against ignoring possible warning signs, waiting to see if they go away, or being quick to blame them on heartburn, muscle soreness, or other less serious, noncardiac causes. That's especially true for people over 65, as well as for people with heart risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease.

"The more risk factors you have, the higher the likelihood that a symptom means something is going on with your heart," says David Frid, MD, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. "People often don't want to admit that they're old enough or sick enough to have heart trouble. Putting off treatment for other medical problems might not be so bad, but a serious heart problem can mean sudden death."

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The ABCs of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

hypertensionHigh Blood Pressure Treatment

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is dangerous because it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, or kidney disease. The goal of hypertension treatment is to lower high blood pressure and protect important organs, like the brain, heart, and kidneys from damage. Treatment for hypertension has been associated with reductions in stroke (reduced an average of 35%-40%), heart attack (20%-25%), and heart failure (more than 50%), according to research.

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Will I Have Chest Pain If I Have a Heart Attack?

heartattackNot always, our expert says. And that's why you should know all the potential symptoms of a heart attack.

Q: I'll know I'm having a heart attack because my chest and arm will hurt, right?

A: Not necessarily. While some heart attacks do feature classic symptoms like chest and arm pain, the idea that they all do is FALSE.

About 25% of men and 40% of women don't have chest pain during heart attacks, says Harmony Reynolds, MD, associate director of the Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.

With or without chest and arm pain, women may have "shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, sweating, palpitations, dizziness, loss of appetite, or pain in other areas such as the jaw, throat, neck, shoulders, or upper or middle back," Reynolds says.

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Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio like this:
 

bloodpressureabSystolic

The top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).
 
Diastolic

The bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).

 

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The Warning Signs of Stroke

strokewarningsignsA stroke occurs about every 40 seconds. Each year, about 795,000 Americans have a stroke. Do you know the warning signs?

Sometimes symptoms of stroke develop gradually. But if you are having a stroke, you are more likely to have one or more sudden warning signs like these.

  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
  • Confusion or trouble understanding other people
  • Trouble speaking
  • Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking or staying balanced or coordinated
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache that comes on for no known reason

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Heart Attack Symptoms

heartattacksymptomsSymptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm or below the breastbone
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm
  • Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
  • Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats

 

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