Per JournalWatch, "Cognitive-behavioral therapy, with a focus on stress management, is associated with fewer recurrent cardiovascular events in patients with coronary heart disease, according to anArchives of Internal Medicine study.
Some 350 adults who had recently had a coronary heart disease event were randomized to either usual care alone or usual care plus cognitive-behavioral therapy. Psychologists and nurses led 20 2-hour group sessions over 1 year. The therapy emphasized ways to reduce daily stress, time urgency, and hostility.
Over 8 years' follow-up, the intervention group experienced 41% fewer first recurrent cardiovascular events and 45% fewer recurrent myocardial infarctions, compared with the control group. All-cause mortality did not differ significantly between groups.
The authors speculate that the CBT group may have reduced their behavioral and emotional reactivity, "which would lead to less psychophysiologic burden on the cardiovascular system." They estimate that roughly 10 people would need to be treated in order to prevent one cardiovascular event.
Original article - Archives of Internal Medicine article (Free abstract)"
Wow! According the new CDC estimates of diagnosed AND UNDIAGNOSED (people walking around who likely have diabetes but don't yet know it...or who choose to not see the doctor to find out), nearly 26 million Americans (11.3% of adults) now have diabetes! This number is startling!! Not to mention, that nearly 80 million (35% of adults) qualify as having prediabetes (a 3 month fasting blood sugar percentage (called a hemoglobin A1C) of 5.9 - 6.4%), the stage before diabetes. The American Diabetes Association marks 6.5% as the cutoff for the diagnosis of Diabetes. If these trends continue, one in three American adults could have diabetes by 2050! That's really hard to grasp in terms of health care outcomes. Can you imagine how expensive this will be!!?!?!!
As many of you know uncontrolled diabetes wreaks havoc on the body. It is the number one cause of chronic kidney disease (and the need for people to be on dialysis) and contributes significantly to the prevalence of blindness, stroke, heart attack, etc., in the U.S. It is time to take control and reverse this trend. At the very least, for future generations! For the first time since the industrial revolution, a child born today in the U.S. is slated to live a shorter lifespan than their parents! And this is DESPITE all of the advances in treatment of disease! As a Public Health professional as well as a general internist, this concerns me gravely. We MUST take a stand (yet again!) and demand more for ourselves and our children!
Despite what many people think, it really doesn't take that much to make small changes in your lifestyle that contribute to big results. Walk to work (if close enough); play outside with your kids for at least 20 minutes a day; cut out regular sodas (and diet too as they train your tongue to crave super sweet things...but start with regular); cook healthy, low-cost dinners for your family instead of eating out; order dressing on the side; use sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes; skip a few servings of meat 2-3 times a week and consider ordering a regular coffee instead of a latte. Not only will your organs and joints thank you, but you'll save money too! Also try Mindfulness-Based Eating, a mind-body technique to train your brain to know when to stop eating because you are full. (I hope to learn to facilitate this therapy in the next few years).
Don't get me wrong, change is hard. But, it really doesn't take that much energy to institute a few of these ideas...you just have to make up your mind to CHOOSE health or CHOOSE disease...it's up to you! I believe in you and would love to help any of my readers improve their health through weight loss. Just email me and I can help get you started! And NO, I do not think you are weak, lazy or undisciplined. Life is hard and we sometimes lose ourselves in the chaos of it all. I am here for YOU!
I've been reading a lot about updates on the health effects of environmental toxins and thought I'd share them with you all. First of all, I'd like to tell you all about two books I've recently gotten a hold of - "Healthy Child, Healthy World" and "Not Just a Pretty Face". They both discuss the innumerable toxins in household items like cleaning supplies, foods and more specifically, beauty and hygiene products, in the latter. As many of you know, companies are not required to list the chemicals in their products, leading to the use of the cheapest, harshest chemicals in products we use every day. These chemicals are known to disrupt hormone pathways and/or cause direct damage to DNA, increasing risk of cancer and other disease processes. These chemicals are even being found in high levels in pregnant women, leading me to think of a connection between chemicals and increasing rates of childhood cancers and ADHD among U.S.-born children. (http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/14/pregnant-women-awash-in-chemicals-is-that-bad-for-baby/?xid=yahoo-feat)
Until we get a handle on the ubiquitious nature of these chemicals, I will continue to read about it and report it on my blog and Facebook pages. That is the purpose of this post. These books are easy to read and both give practical tips to decreasing your exposure to toxic chemicals and easy alternatives to use. (Yes, there ARE alternatives!) I've posted the President's Cancer Panel Report twice on my blog, because it is crucial that you all see the SCIENTIFIC evidence that has been widely accepted by the NIH and other scientific communities. These two books discuss the movement that built the case for environmental awareness and/or reform. So, download them to your kindles/ipads and get to reading!
I've also been introduced to the work of Dr. Phillip Landrigan of Mount Sinai Hospital in NY. This ground-breaking preventive medicine physician and researcher led the way in childhood lead intoxication research in the 1970s and the policy changes that resulted as a consequence. Here's a link to an Op/Ed of his featured in the NY Times...pretty much sums up the issues:
(It may seem like I present a lot of doom and gloom through my blog, but I do not feel this is the case. I just firmly believe that education and knowledge lead to reform. And we as consumers have been in the dark for TOO long! So, once again, I urge you to read about these issues in order to become informed consumers.)
Let me know if you'd like more info on this topic or have any questions...I'm always willing to find out more!
I've been on a bit of a hiatus from the blogging world...just took some time off unintentionally to enjoy some true "downtime", which I don't get the opportunity to do very often. I finished my rotation at HOPE Clinic in Houston and cannot say enough about this incredible clinic! They are completely devoted to improving the health of un- and underinsured populations in Houston...kudos to Dr. Andrews and his incredible staff for providing me with an invaluable educational experience. I even picked up a few words in Vietnamese, Kurdish and Arabic (well, not really, but I could have if I had tried)!
Monday, I started a rotation at the Galveston County Health District and have begun learning about public health practices on a local level. So far, I know who to contact in case of any kind of emergency...you wouldn't believe the planning that goes in to preparing for natural and man-made disasters! It's insane! I attended a Childhood Lead Task Force Meeting today which, in conjunction with numerous county organizations, has sought to decrease the impact of lead intoxication on Galveston County children. The island has done a TREMENDOUS job of decreasing blood lead levels among island children thanks to 20 years of evidence-based interventions (proven through evidence). Lead is generally found in paint chips of old houses, of which Galveston Island has its fair share! Young children living in these houses just LOVE to put the paint chips and cheaply made toys from Asia who have not banned the use of lead in these products in their mouth which can result in significantly reduced IQs later on. No bueno! So, the Lead Task Force was created to combat this problem and they are doing an excellent job thus far! But of course, they still have approximately 20 cases of elevated blood lead levels among children at this time and are working to prevent any further cases. Hurricane Ike definitely didn't help the situation by uplifting soot and debris and replanting it in local yards and play areas (although a recent survey of Galveston island parks shows NO lead in any parks thus far...great news!).
This rotation also provides me with ample time to study for Boards (coming up in August and October) and blog. So expect to hear more from me over the next few weeks. I'll be doing a rotation in Laredo, TX next month focusing on Environmental Health and Border Medicine.
Hope all is well with everyone and that you had a restful and meaningful holiday season! I know I did despite it's quick passing!
Ciao for now,
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evaluation by a qualified health care practitioner. It also does not represent the opinions of any of the medical institiutions or practitioners mentioned.
Consult a physician or local health care provider before changing any medications, diet or exercise regimen.