In the News: Air Pollution and Lung Cancer

MP900390146[1]The latest WHO (World Health Organization) report regarding the link between air pollution and lung cancer was all over the news last night. According to a press release by the International Agency for Research on Cancer “After thoroughly reviewing the latest available scientific literature, the world’s leading experts convened by the IARC Monographs Programme concluded that there is sufficient evidence that exposure to outdoor air pollution causes lung cancer.  They also noted a positive association with an increased risk of bladder cancer.”

There has been a great deal of research trying to find a causation link between air pollution and lung cancer.  According to a 1995 article “Lung cancer and air pollution” by A J Cohen and C A Pope, 3rd available full text on PMC “Epidemiologic studies over the last 40 years suggest rather consistently that general ambient air pollution, chiefly due to the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, may be responsible for increased rates of lung cancer.”

For more information on lung cancer visit MedlinePlus.

posted by – Susan, Health Reference

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Posted in Air Pollution and Lung Cancer, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lung Cancer, MedlinePlus, WHO, World Health Organization | Leave a comment

Artificial Sweeteners

ISugar was asked recently about artificial sweeteners.  A patron heard from a friend, who heard from someone who…

I won’t repeat the rumor here because I won’t add fuel to the fire.  What I will do is give you the facts as they stand right now.

The health benefits and risks of sugar substitutes have been studied by scientists and vilified by lay people for years.

The Mayo Clinic  has created a helpful fact sheet that describes possible health benefits and risks of using sugar substitutes.  Please read the entire fact sheet, but the editors recommend moderation.

“Moderation is key with sugar substitutes:  When choosing sugar substitutes, it pays to be a savvy consumer. Get informed and look beyond the hype. While artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes may help with weight management, they aren’t a magic bullet and should be used only in moderation.

Just because a food is marketed as sugar-free doesn’t mean it’s free of calories. If you eat too many sugar-free foods, you can still gain weight if they have other ingredients that contain calories. And remember that processed foods, which often contain sugar substitutes, generally don’t offer the same health benefits as do whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.”

FamilyDoctor.org provides helpful information regarding Sugar Substitutes: What you need to know.

A more scientific article “Sugar substitutes: Health controversy over perceived benefits.”

Not certain what to think please consult with a trusted health professional, and don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

For information on well know hoaxes visit snopes.com it’s “reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.”

posted by – Susan, Health Reference

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Posted in Artificial sweetener, familydoctor.oorg, Mayo Clinic, Sugar substitutes, Sweeteners and Sugar Substitutes | Leave a comment

Affordable Care Act – Part 2

The New York exchange has been up for 10 days now and after some major bumps seems to be ready to enroll.  It’s got a new look and a new name – New York State of Health.

If you are planning to enroll the two-step process can take up to an hour.  The first step requires that you create a NY State Id – it’s a relatively simple process but you must have an e-mail account.  If you don’t and need help stop in or call the Reference Desk and we’ll set up an e-mail class to get you started.

After you have your NY State ID you can begin the enrollment process.

Here is a video that has been prepared to show you the process.

If the process seems daunting there is assistance available.

Visit nystateofhealth for a list of navigators. Navigators will sit with you and walk you through this mulch-layered process.

If you need more information contact the Syosset Public Library and ask for the Health Reference librarian.

posted by – Susan, Health Reference

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Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

The Affordable Care Act

In March 2010, President Obama signed comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), into law. The law makes preventive care—including family planning and related services—more accessible and affordable for many Americans.  This law not only makes health insurance more accessible but also requires that everyone (unless you are exempt) have health insurance or pay a penalty when filing your 2014 return in April of 2015.

Here ia an entertaining and simplified video explanation of Obamacare from Kaiser Family Foundation

The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act

Open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace begins October 1, 2013 and closes March 31, 2014.  Coverage will begin on a rolling basis January 1, 2014.

Important websites

Federal website :https://www.healthcare.gov/

New York State website: http://healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/  anyone living in NYS must enroll using the NYS website.

Tax Credit and Premium calculator: http://healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/node/344 – this is new to the NYS site.  This tool will allow users to input their income and family household numbers and get an idea of plan costs.

Healthcare.gov offers assistance right now via telephone, TTY, and live chat.

https://www.healthcare.gov/help-center/

1-800-318-2596

TTY: 1-855-889-4325

Contact Community Health Advocates at (888) 614-5400 or cha@cssny.org for help with finding, keeping, and using health insurance in New York State.

Other Resources

 

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/healthinsurance.html

http://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform/healthcare-overview

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220809,00.html
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/06/20120629a.html

http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/insurance-basics/default.htm

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Obamacare | Leave a comment

Choking Dangers for Children

CB063903A new report indicates:

An important warning today for parents with young children. Choking remains a leading cause of injury in kids, especially those 4 years of age and younger.

Researchers analyzed data from emergency rooms across the country looking specifically at visits that involved non-fatal choking on food from 2001 to 2009. An average of 12,435 children 14 and under were treated for this type of emergency on an annual basis that’s 34 kids every day.

Candy caused the most concern, with hard candy representing over 15% of all choking episodes. Another 13% could be blamed on other candy. 12% of choking was caused by meat and 12% by bones.

There is a video of this report available from MedlinePlus, and much more information regarding causes available.

Read this in order to find out how to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

Posted by – Susan, Health Reference

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Posted in Candy, Choking Hazards for children, MedlinePlus | Leave a comment

Cyclospora Infection

The CDC is reporting that 285 people over 11 states have been infected by this stomach bug.

FAQs from the CDC

What is Cyclospora?

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite composed of one cell, too small to be seen without a microscope. This parasite causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis.

How is Cyclospora spread?

Cyclospora is spread by people ingesting something – such as food or water – that was contaminated with feces (stool). Cyclospora needs time (days to weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person. Therefore, it is unlikely that Cyclospora is passed directly from one person to another.

Who is at risk for Cyclospora infection?

People living or traveling in tropical or subtropical regions of the world may be at increased risk for infection because cyclosporiasis is endemic (found) in some countries in these zones. In the United States, foodborne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce.

What are the symptoms of Cyclospora infection?

The time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about 1 week. Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms.

If you think that you might have been exposed, or are experiences symptoms contact your health professional.

posted by – Susan, Health Reference

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Posted in CDC, CDC warns, Cyclospora Infection | Leave a comment

Feelin’ Hot Hot Hot

Rising TemperatureIt’s going to be a hot week on the East Coast.

The American Red Cross has prepared a Heat Wave Safety Checklist. It includes information regarding how to prepare, what to do during the heat wave, and how to recognize and care for heat related emergencies.

According to MedlinePlus:

Heat-related illnesses include

  • Heat stroke – a life-threatening illness in which body temperature may rise above 106° F in minutes; symptoms include dry skin, rapid, strong pulse and dizziness
  • Heat exhaustion –  an illness that can precede heatstroke; symptoms include heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a fast, weak pulse
  • Heat cramps – muscle pains or spasms that happen during heavy exercise
  • Heat rash – skin irritation from excessive sweating

For many of us lucky enough to work in air-conditioned offices the heat can be uncomfortable, but there are jobs that require workers to withstand extreme temperatures. Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and workers in hot environments such as firefighters, bakery workers, farmers, construction workers, miners, boiler room workers, factory workers, and others. Workers exposed to extremely high temperatures are at risk for heat stress. For information on the types of heat stress (heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, heat cramps, heat rash) and ways to prevent them visit the CDC.

Do you love your pet?  Never leave your dog, cat, or any other animal friend alone in a car in hot weather! According to the ASPCA “The inside of a car can heat up very quickly—even with a window a little open—and your animal will suffer.  Carry plenty of fresh, cold water.”  Visit the ASPCA for more hot weather tips.

posted by – Susan, Health Reference

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Posted in Heat Related Illness, Heat Stroke, Heat Wave | Leave a comment