Feb 17 2014

February Is American Heart Month: Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the month of February, Americans see the human heart as the symbol of love. February is American Heart Month, a time to show yourself the love. Learn about your risks for heart disease and stroke and stay "heart healthy" for yourself and your loved ones. I am sure you read the latest tragic headline: John Paul Henson, son of the late legendary puppet master Jim Henson, died suddenly of a massive heart attack at the young age of 48. Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities. CVD costs the United States over $300 billion each year, including the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. Understanding the Burden of CVD CVD does not affect all groups of people in the same way. Although the number of preventable deaths has declined in people aged 65 to 74 years, it has remained unchanged in people under age 65. Men are more than twice as likely as women to die from preventable CVD. Having a close relative who has heart disease puts you at higher risk for CVD. Health disparities based on geography also exist. During 2007–2009, death rates due to heart disease were the highest ...

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Oct 23 2011

Reviews of the News Making News!

FECAL BACTERIA ON YOUR CELL PHONE-YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS! Okay my friend’s, here is one for the record books, a recent British Study (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London, October 14, 2011) found that one out of every six cell phones in the United Kingdom, is contaminated with fecal material. Yes, that means lots of people in the UK (and probably all over the world) are not washing their hands after they use the bathroom.   In fact, additional testing of hands after people leave the bathroom found that 82% of them had bacteria on them. According to experts, bacteria on surfaces can survive for hours to days at a time. If the temperature is warmer, bacteria can survive for longer periods. Millions of people all over the world pick up germs from surfaces (and foods) daily-sometimes with deadly consequences. What do you do? Come on, this is a no brainer-WASH YOUR HANDS people! Wash them thoroughly with soap and warm water. Wash them before you leave a bathroom. Wash them after touching various surfaces like door handles, counter tops, phones, plane seats, bus handles, etc. WASH YOUR HANDS!  So the next time you are using your friend’s cell phone, think about where you are putting your ear!! MORE ATHLETES ARE DYING FROM SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH Another research document from the journals (Kimberly Harman, MD, et ...

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Oct 02 2011

Cheerleader Collapses and Dies At A Football Game

As you may know, my predecessor, Graehm Gray,  was a champion for the prevention of sudden cardiac death in our young athletes by advocating routine cardiac testing of ALL of our young athletes as part of their pre-participation physicals. So many young kids make headlines, not by their talents on the court or field, but by their obituary.  And now another young student, Angela Gettis, a 16 year old cheerleader from Los Angeles, California collapsed this past Friday at a football game. Her autopsy is pending. How many times have we read, “…..was such a good student,” or “….we never knew anything was wrong.” Sudden cardiac death according to most sources is a rare event.  Usually there are no significant symptoms experienced before the catastrophic event. Studies from Italy and in the United States have shown that the use of cardiac ultrasound screening can identify serious heart conditions (e.g hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) that would put our children at increased risk for physical activity. And not only would cardiac ultrasound screening help identify heart conditions in kids that would place them at high risk for sports,  but also in college and professional athletes too (e.g. Hank Gathers-basketball player from Loyola Marymount University and Reggie Lewis-basketballplayer from the Boston Celtics)! It’s a reoccurring theme. Thousands of child athletes get screened each year, most by simple history and physicals. Some are lucky enough to get an electrocardiogram.  A ...

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Mar 05 2011

High School Athlete Dies After Basketball Game: Graehm Gray

Haven’t we had enough? Yet another young wonderful child is in the headlines -no, not for his terrific accomplishments like being the star of the basket ball team and the quarterback of the football team and  just a wonderful human being. He made the news this past week for his death. That’s right! Fennville, Michigan high school star basketball player, Wes Leonard, 16, died March 3rd after he had scored the winning basket, allowing his team to finish the season with a 20-0 record! According to the forensic pathologist, Dr. David A. Start, the cause of death was sudden cardiac arrest due to a  “dilated cardiomyopathy” otherwise known as an enlarged heart. My friends, I have had to take a momentary break in writing my Best Diet in The Universe series to again focus on this tragic state of affairs. As you all may remember, I have been a strong proponent ( please read Medical Testing For Student Athletes-Add an ECG And ECHO ) for using our currently available medical technology to test young athletes for cardiac problems.  We have the ability to diagnose heart problems and can use these simple, non-invasive tests to examine the child athlete. These tests can save lives-the lives of our precious children. There are certain heart conditions like enlarged hearts, ones that could be potentially lethal, and they can be silent. Heart conditions which may ...

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Jan 04 2011

Secrets Revealed For A Healthy New Year: Graehm Gray

Okay, happy New Year!  Blah blah blah! I hope everyone has had enough of the new year’s parties and eating and more eating and snacking and more eating and NO EXERCISE. Have you had enough? Are your clothes a bit tighter? Yea-big surprise! Your pants-a bit more snug? Your dress-not fitting the way it did last year? And forget the bathing suit-that’s not happening! Have you had enough yet? What? Now you can’t remember all of those calories you ate, drank and woofed down? Your clothes can! They have perfect memory and they are not forgiving. That’s right-not all clothes have that comfort elastic Hanes waistband. Not all clothes have that wonderful stretch. So let’s get to the problem. You have gained weight. Yes, that’s right, admit it, face your problem. Say it-say it with me, “I have gained weight and I am not happy.” Okay, doesn’t that feel better? It’s out in the open. Now we can deal with it. Yes, there is a solution. Yes, you came to the right blog page.  I will help you. Don’t adjust your dial, don’t switch to another web page. Take a moment, relax and read on. The answer is just words away! You are asking yourself-how can I lose this weight by summer? How can I fit in to my bathing suit? I don’t want anyone to see me this way. Well, there is ...

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Sep 20 2010

Medical Clearance for Student Athletes-Add an ECG and Echo!:Graehm Gray

I usually write about childhood obesity issues, nutrition or fitness but I want to make a slight departure and discuss an issue that I feel very passionate about: Medical clearance of student athletes. Maybe the timing of this article is due to news of several student athletes in various sports, from running to football, collapsing and dying on the field, either from seizures or heart problems. It’s not a new story. Children in school sponsored sports programs have been dying every year, all over this country.  Sometimes it’s a headline in the “Local” section of your daily newspaper or on your local market television news show. Sometimes it makes it to the network morning shows as a segment. It’s even discussed and debated on a national level by heart specialists and sport medicine specialists. The American Heart Association has even gone on record by saying that the current clearance guidelines are inadequate. But what has been done?Nothing. There is no consensus on the proper way to screen a child that will enter a sports program. Where are we now? Up to this point, most public and private schools require students that want to enter a sports program to have a medical exam or a Pre-participation Physical Examination. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the pre-participation physical exam (PPE) is an important step toward safe participation ...

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