HEADLINES / TRENDS l STATS l RESEARCH l MEDIA l PEOPLE

February 2010

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Women and Stroke

By now it’s well known that heart attack in women often looks different than it does in men: less crushing chest pain, more nausea and dizziness. Now scientists are beginning to realize that the same thing may be true for stroke. Women are as likely to experience disorientation or unconsciousness as sudden weakness, numbness or slurred speech, which are more traditional symptoms.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System looked at ischemic strokes—the kind in which an artery in the brain becomes blocked—in 461 men and women. They found that altered mental status was the most common non-traditional symptom, and that it was more often reported in women. The difference in symptom patterns could lead to delayed diagnosis. It’s a critical issue: Treating someone who is experiencing a stroke within three hours of onset greatly improves the outcome.

What’s even more worrisome is the fact that many women are not aware of their stroke risk. An American Heart Association survey found that less than 20% of women with either known heart disease or irregular heartbeat realized that they were at higher risk of having a stroke; 70% of all women said they never thought about the possibility.

Each year 55,000 more women than men suffer a stroke in the US. Other symptoms include problems with balance, sudden changes in vision and sudden, severe headache.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Quote

If you haven’t any charity in your heart,
you have the worst kind of heart trouble.
—Bob Hope


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

U P D A T E

Mercury-Free Fish

In January 2007 we looked at mercury contamination in fish. These concerns came into fresh focus last year, when an EPA study showed that 49% of all lakes and reservoirs have unsafe mecury levels.

Now there is a program to test fish for mercury before it reaches the retailer. Safe Harbor® operates at processing plants, testing a wide variety of fish species; those that pass muster receive their certification. To learn more, visit www.safeharborfoods.com.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Busy Bs

Vitamin B, often referred to as the B-complex, is the biggest and most varied family of vitamins. One thing that all Bs have in common: They foster energy production by helping convert carbs into glucose, the body’s main fuel source. Here are the main B vitamins, along with the benefits each of them provides.

Name What It Does
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Required for the production of DNA, the master genetic molecule, and ATP, a cellular energy source; helps maintain nerve health
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Used to produce red blood cells, which carry oxygen; needed for proper cell growth; serves as an antioxidant
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Used in cell membrane creation; deficiency linked to cancer development; helps reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) Part of coenzyme A, a substance involved in numerous bodily processes; needed for healthy nerve function; helps the body deal with stress
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Essential for brain health; helps the body create a number of hormones; along with vitamins B9 and B12, helps control homocysteine, an amino acid byproduct linked to heart disease
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) Helps maintain healthy skin, hair and nails; required for proper metabolism of amino and fatty acids
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Reduces the risk of neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida (and may lower the risk of heart defects as well); deficiency linked to depression
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Required for creation of red blood cells (a key factor in energy production) and myelin, a material that helps protect nerves; levels often decrease with age

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

More D, Greater Survival
for Lymphoma Patients

Vitamin D—which has already been shown to aid in cancer prevention—may help improve survival times among patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a malignancy that affects the immune system.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota studied the records of 374 people who had been newly diagnosed with lymphoma. Roughly half the group had inadequate vitamin D levels. The mortality risk for the D-deficient patients was double that of those individuals with ideal amounts of the sunshine vitamin. Patients in the first group also had a risk of disease progression one and a half times that of the second group.

“These are some of the strongest findings yet between vitamin D and cancer outcome,” says lead investigator Matthew Drake, MD. These study results were presented to the American Society of Hematology.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

W O R D

Asymptomatic

If you don’t show symptoms of disease, you are said to be asymptomatic—but that does not always mean you are healthy. Many conditions can progress silently for years before producing symptoms; among them are diabetes and high blood pressure, two common causes of cardiovascular problems.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Numbers

We Need to Move More

59%
American adults who reported engaging in
no vigorous physical activity in 2008

31.8%
Girls in grades 9 through 12 who did not get
60 minutes of at least moderate physical activity
in the previous seven days

18%
Boys who didn’t get 60 minutes of exercise at
least once in seven days

Source: American Heart Association (www.americanheart.org)

Search our articles:

ad

ad

adad

ad

ad
ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad

ad