Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Costs of Care Giving by Baby Booners to Parents

According to an article in the New York Times on October 28th, corporate America is losing billions of dollars because of the soaring number of employees whose responsibilities for elderly parents result in absenteeism, lost productivity, premature retirement, stress-related health problems and other consequences of attending to unpredictable crises during working hours. There are many costs to employers and to employees that are not adequately being addressed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Reducing Your Risk of Nursing Home Admission

In the current HEALTHBeat newsletter, Harvard reports that 20-year nationwide survey of people ages 45 to 74 identified five health problems that substantially boost the risk of admission to a nursing home: smoking, inactivity, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Over time, these problems contribute to many chronic illnesses that can cause disability and death, including heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.

Taking action on these health problems can help you keep your independence as you age.

Monday, October 27, 2008

State of Mental Health and Aging in America

Good mental health is integral to overall health and is an emerging public health issue. The CDC’s Healthy Aging Program developed "The State of Mental Health and Aging in America" issue briefs. The recently released first issue brief documents the mental health of older adults 50 years of age and older at the national and state-levels using 6 mental health indicators from the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Cooperative Extension in 12 East Kentucky counties is participating in an outreach research project, Mental Health in Aging Initiative funded by the USDA Rura Health and Safety Education grant. This project focuses on building community capacity in Kentucky through raising awareness of the mental health issue in the aging population. "Aging in Kentucky: A Healthy State of Mind" strives to build the social and emotional support that this issue brief addresses as a problem. Adults age 65 or older reported being more likely, than adults 50-64, of "rarely" or "never" receiving the support ehy needed. (12.2% compared to 8.1%).

Friday, October 24, 2008


In the year since increasing the size of street-name signs, repainting median strips, installing larger and brighter stoplights, upgrading walk lights, and adding left-turn lanes along one busy street, Detroit saw a 35 percent drop in injury crashes for drivers age 65 and older and a four percent drop for drivers age 25 to 64.
Source: The Policy Book: AARP 2004 Public Policies, 10-8

Dr. Bob Flashman

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Economic Downturn has Consequences for Health

From the Washington Post covering the uninsured electronic newsletter:

More Americans Forgo Care as the Economy Worsens
"From Park Avenue dental offices to the Arlington Free Clinic, the global economic crunch is forcing a growing number of Americans to scale back on medical care," but some physicians worry that "the short-term savings may translate into more severe long-term health implications," reports the Washington Post. Source(s): Connolly and Marr, Washington Post, 10/16/08

Those who lose health coverage when they lose their job, will be interested in:

Some Doctors Treat Uninsured Patients DifferentlyAn article in the Washington Post by Manoj Jain, a doctor practicing in Memphis, describes the ways in which some physicians treat their uninsured patients differently, which can lead to inadequate treatment and serious health problems.Source(s): Jain, Washington Post, 10/14/08

Dr. Bob Flashman

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Resource to Help Assess Social Determinants of Health

The CDC has a new resource workbook for communities wanting to address health equity. This workbook is for community-based organizations seeking to affect the social determinants of health through community-based participatory approaches and nontraditional partnerships.

Jackie Walters

Women More Vulnerable to Alcohol’s Long Term Effects on health

According to a press release from Harvard Medical School recently posted on their website, women breakdown alcohol more slowly then men do with their tissues being exposed for a longer period of time to alcohol's effects. The factors affecting this are genes, diet and medications. Recent studies in Japan have shown alcohol to be damaging to arteries and the heart. Other studies have shown alcohol to affect breast tissue.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New High School Data Shows Some Positive and Negative Changes

The Kentucky Department of Education has taken the 2007 Youth Behavior Risk Survey High School data and compared it to the 2003 YBRS High School data in the form of fact sheets. There is a fact sheet for each of the six categories of priority health-risk behaviors listed above. From 2003 - 2007, a lot of the data remained the same, but there were some statistically significant decreases in tobacco use and alcohol and drug behaviors, while there were some statistically significant increases in injury and violence behaviors.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Links Between Housing and Health

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America produced an issue brief on the relationship of housing and health. According to RWJF, "nationwide, 310,000 children ages 1 - 5 have elevated blood lead levels. Between 1998 - 2000, a quarter of the nation's housing - 24 million homes - was estimated to have significant lead-based paint hazards." According to the Northern Kentucky Health Department, one out of every 11 children in the United States has an elevated blood lead level. In Kentucky, 4,200 children may be affected by lead poisoning. The CDC recommends that very child should be tested for lead poisoning at ages 9 to 12 months and again at age 24 months. Children with a higher risk should be tested more frequently. The lead screening consists of a finger stick.

Cooperative Extension has a series of publications and fact sheets:
Lead Poisoning Prevention -ENRI-504
Lead and Drinking Water - ENRI - 207
Lead in and around the Home - IP-60