Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness NewsWelcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Grilled Cheese for Grownups

Grilled Cheese for Grownups photo recipehealthpromo-tmagArticle_zpse4603dbd.jpg

On these nights I don’t want to get down another frying pan or saucepan. I crave a sandwich, and I turn lovingly to my toaster oven. I rummage in the refrigerator – there is always something, like greens I’ve blanched, a roasted red pepper, a box of mushrooms that are beginning to shrivel, or a hunk of butternut squash left over from another recipe test. I try to keep my refrigerator stocked with a few different cheeses – goat cheese and feta, a blue of some kind, Gruyère and Parmesan. This year, because my son went away to boarding school and I can’t go through a loaf of bread before it goes stale, I’ve begun to keep loaves of sliced whole-wheat country bread in the freezer, so that I can pull it out by the slice when I need it.

~Martha Rosle Shuman~

Roasted Mushroom and Gruyère Sandwich

Mushrooms add a somewhat meaty essence to this quick vegetarian sandwich.

Grilled Gorgonzola and Beet Green Sandwich

A satisfying dinner that can be put together in 10 minutes.

Grilled Feta and Roasted Squash Sandwich

The sweet and earthy flavors of roasted squash are a tasty contrast to salty feta.

]Grilled Goat Cheese and Broccoli Sandwich…

The Middle Eastern nut and spice mix called dukkah is the surprise touch in this sandwich.

Grilled Goat Cheese, Roasted Pepper, and Greens Sandwich

Roasted artichoke hearts are an optional addition to this vegetable-filled sandwich.


FDA Orders New Warning Labels for Tanning Beds

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

All sunlamp devices must warn against use by people under 18, agency says

May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Just in time for summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that tanning beds and tanning booths now must carry a visible warning explicitly stating that the devices should not be used on people under age 18.

“There’s mounting evidence showing that indoor tanning in childhood and early adult life further increases risk of melanoma later in life due to greater lifetime exposure,” Nancy Stade, deputy director for policy at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a press conference announcing the order.

However, the order does not outright ban teen use of tanning beds. “It reflects a very strong statement by the FDA that they should not be used by individuals under age 18,” Stade said.

More Salmonella Cases Tied to Foster Farms Chicken

WebMD News from HealthDay

Salmonella poisoning linked to Foster Farms chicken has been confirmed in 50 more people, bringing the total to 574 cases in 27 states since March 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

Since the last agency update in April, there have been an average of eight new cases a week. While there appears to be a decline in the number of new cases reported each week, the outbreak isn’t over, said Dr. Rob Tauxe, the CDC’s director of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases, NBC News reported.

General Medicine/Family Medical

Bad Sunburns While Young and Melanoma Risk

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay

Odds for deadly skin cancer rise 80 percent, nurses’ study finds

May 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) — White women who get five or more blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20 have an 80 percent increased risk for melanoma — the most deadly form of skin cancer, new study findings indicate.

Researchers also found these women have a 68 percent greater risk for two other forms of skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Heart Risks May Depend on Which BP Number Is High

By Robert Preidt, HealthDayBy

Researchers also discovered lifetime heart risks were greater even with medications to treat the condition

May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — When you have high blood pressure, exactly what type of increased heart risk you face may be determined by which number in your blood pressure reading is high, new research shows.

In a blood pressure reading, systolic pressure is the top number and diastolic pressure is the bottom number.

People with higher systolic blood pressure had a greater risk of bleeding strokes and stable angina (chest pain), while those with higher diastolic blood pressure were more likely to be diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an overstretched, weakened section in the body’s main artery, that occurs in the belly. If it bursts, it can cause serious bleeding and even death.

Many Delay Blood Thinners After Stents, Risk Death

By Maureen Salamon, HealthDay

Going 3 days without Plavix triples odds of heart attack within a month, researchers say

May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Many patients undergoing coronary stent placement don’t fill their prescription for vital blood-thinning medication within the recommended time frame, a lapse leaving them much more likely to die within a month, new research suggests.

Researchers found that 30 percent of stent patients neglect to start taking Plavix (clopidogrel) as directed within three days of hospital discharge. This can triple their risk of heart attack and quintuple their risk of death over the following 30 days, the study authors said.

Income Might Influence Risk for Certain Cancers

By Steven Reinberg HealthDay

Lifestyle-related disease, such as lung cancer, is more common among the poor, researchers find

May 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Some cancers in the United States are tied to poverty, while others are more common among the wealthy, researchers report.

In the poorest areas of the country, the incidence of cancer is generally lower than in richer regions, but deaths from cancers are higher, the study authors said.

“Socioeconomic status is not something that appears on a medical record, so it is not really part of national cancer statistics, and this has skewed our thinking about cancer risk,” said study co-author Kevin Henry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Rutgers School of Public Health in New Jersey.

Cancer Center Ads Focus on Emotion More Than Facts?

By Amy Norton, HealthDay

Researchers say it’s not clear whether this sways patients when making treatment decisions

May 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) — TV and magazine ads for U.S. cancer centers are heavy on emotional appeal, but light on the facts that patients need to know, a new study finds.

In an analysis of more than 400 ads that ran nationwide, researchers found that few gave objective information on cancer treatment benefits or risks. Instead, the ads mainly used emotional appeals — relying on patient testimonials and general messages of hope.

The problem, experts said, is that the ads could potentially mislead cancer patients and their families.

Whether that’s actually happening, however, is unclear.

Seasonal Flu/Other Epidemics/Disasters

U.S. Measles Cases at 20-Year High

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay

Almost all infections involve unvaccinated residents who traveled abroad, CDC says

May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Measles cases in the United States are at a 20-year high so far this year. And nearly all the cases involve unvaccinated U.S. residents who’ve traveled abroad to countries where the respiratory disease is much more prevalent, federal health officials said Thursday.

“The current increase in measles cases is being driven by unvaccinated people, primarily U.S. residents, who got measles in other countries, brought the virus back to the United States and spread [it] to others in communities where many people are not vaccinated,” Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Anne Schuchat said in a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention news release.

CDC: 3rd Suspected MERS Case Was False Alarm

By Steven Reinberg and Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

Thorough blood tests found no sign of infection in Illinois man, agency says

May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) — An Illinois man thought to have contracted the potentially fatal MERS virus from a business associate was not infected after all, federal health officials said Wednesday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on May 17 that the unidentified Illinois man had been infected with MERS by a man who brought the first known case of the mysterious respiratory illness to the United States in late April. That first case was a health care worker who had traveled to Saudi Arabia — the epicenter of the MERS outbreak — and returned to the United States before falling ill and being hospitalized in Indiana and later released.

MERS Update: All Workers Test Negative

By Kathleen Doheny, WebMD Health News

Florida, Indiana Hospital Workers All Cleared for Return to Work

May 27, 2014 — All hospital workers in Florida and Indiana who were in contact with the patients diagnosed with Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have been cleared to return to work, hospital officials say.

In Florida, follow-up testing on all 23 health care workers exposed to the MERS patient showed they didn’t catch the virus, according to Dain Weister, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Health. They were able to return to work May 24.

In Indiana, all 50 employees of Community Hospital in Munster who had direct contact with the patient diagnosed there did not catch MERS either, a second test confirmed, according to the hospital.

Women’s Health

Sperm Swim Against the Current, Study Finds

By Robert Preidt, HealthDayBy

Discovery may help scientists develop better artificial insemination techniques

May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Sperm are highly adept at swimming against a current, new research shows.

This finding may help explain how sperm cells can travel the long distances necessary to reach and fertilize an egg. And, that could lead to more efficient artificial insemination techniques, according to the researchers.

Having Babies May Be ‘Contagious’ Among Old Friends

By Randy Dotinga, HealthDay

Women tend to get pregnant soon after friends they’ve known since high school give birth, study finds

May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Getting pregnant may be contagious among long-time friends — when one woman has a baby, her former high school classmates are more likely to intentionally get pregnant within the next two years, according to new research.

“Our study shows that friend effects have a significant and strong influence on when a woman has her first child,” said study co-author Nicoletta Balbo, a postdoctoral researcher with Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. “And it’s interesting to note that our high school friends might play a relevant role in our fertility decisions well after the end of high school.”

Antidepressant Eases Menopause-Related Symptoms, Study Finds

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Effexor nearly as good as estrogen therapy for reducing hot flashes, night sweats, researchers report

May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) — The antidepressant venlafaxine is nearly as effective as estrogen therapy in reducing menopause-related hot flashes and night sweats, a new study shows.

Estrogen therapy is considered the “gold standard” treatment for hot flashes and night sweats, but is used at the lowest possible doses due to potential risks associated with the treatment, according to the researchers. These risks include blood clots and an increased risk of certain cancers.

Iodine Deficiency Common in Pregnancy, Docs Warn

By Kathleen Doheny, HealthDay

Processed foods deprive women of iodized salt; supplementation recommended

May 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Many pregnant and breast-feeding women are deficient in iodine and should take a daily supplement containing iodide, according to a leading group of pediatricians.

Iodine, generally obtained from iodized salt, produces thyroid hormone, an essential component for normal brain development in the developing baby.

But as consumption of processed foods has increased, so has iodine deficiency because the salt in processed foods is not iodized, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Men’s Health

Dad’s Brain May Become More ‘Maternal’ When He’s…

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

Regions where emotions are processed get more active, researchers report

May 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Fathers who spend more time taking care of their newborn child undergo changes in brain activity that make them more apt to fret about their baby’s safety, a new study shows.

In particular, fathers who are the primary caregiver experience an increase in activity in their amygdala and other emotional-processing systems, causing them to experience parental emotions similar to those typically experienced by mothers, the researchers noted.

Pediatric Health

Environmental Changes to Genes & Kids With Autism

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay

Double whammy of mutated genes and environmental genetic changes may make disorder more severe

May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — New research appears to confirm that environmental influences on genes, and not just gene mutations, play a role in the development of autism.

Scientists from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York City said this may help explain why older pregnant women are at greater risk for having a baby with autism.

Can Fire Retardants Raise Risk of Children Born With Lower IQs?

By Randy Dotinga, HealthDay

Study found higher levels of the chemicals in mom also upped chances of hyperactivity in kids by age 5

May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A new study bolsters the concerns of some scientists that hazardous levels of fire retardants in furniture and other products may harm children before they are born.

A team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati, Canada and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the chemicals in the retardants may penetrate the bodies of pregnant women. This may boost the risk that their children will be hyperactive and have lower IQs.


Race and Older Trauma Patients in the ER

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Researchers found older white trauma patients were 20 percent more likely to die

May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Older black trauma patients are 20 percent more likely to survive their injuries than their white peers are, a new study shows.

The finding is surprising because studies typically show that black trauma patients have worse outcomes than whites, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers noted.

Sagging Eyelids More Common in These People?

By Randy Dotinga, HealthDay

A family history of condition also increases your risk

May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — The dreaded drooping eyelids that often come with age are more likely to appear on men, people with fair skin and those who are overweight, a new study finds.

The study also suggests that sagging eyelids can run in families, and researchers have found at least one gene that may play a role in causing eyelid sag.

There’s no clear evidence that any of the risk factors directly cause sagging eyelids, and the researchers say these findings don’t offer an easy fix for droopy lids.

1 in 5 Elderly Patients Injured by Medical Care

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay

Sickest patients at greatest risk, researchers say

May 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Nearly one in five Medicare patients are victims of medical injuries that often aren’t related to their underlying disease or condition, according to new research.

The injuries included: being given the wrong medication, having an allergic reaction to a medication, or receiving any treatment that led to more complications of an existing medical problem.

“These injuries are caused by the medical care or management rather than any underlying disease,” said lead researcher Mary Carter, director of the Gerontology Program at Towson University in Maryland.

Mental Health

 Today’s Heroin Abusers Often Middle Class: Study

By Amy Norton, HealthDay

Problem often starts after prescription painkiller use, researchers say

May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Today’s typical heroin user is a middle-class suburban dweller who started off with prescription painkillers, a new study reports.

Once mainly a problem of teens living in impoverished neighborhoods in large cities, heroin use now more commonly affects whites in their early 20s, according to research published online May 28 in JAMA Psychiatry.


Could White Bread Be Making You Fat?

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Risk of obesity higher with 2 or more portions daily, researchers say

May 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) — If you’re watching your weight, you may have to watch your white bread consumption, too.

When white bread is a diet staple, you may be more likely to become overweight or obese than if you favor whole grain bread, according to a new study.

Researchers tracked the eating habits and weight of more than 9,200 Spanish university graduates for an average of five years.

Diabetes Drug May Spur Weight Loss in Obese People

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay

One-third who took Victoza lost 10 percent of body weight, researchers say

May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A higher dose of the diabetes drug liraglutide (Victoza) may help obese people without the disease lose weight, a new study suggests.

In this test of its effectiveness as a diet aid, people taking liraglutide for over a year lost an average of 8 percent of their body weight, compared with 2.6 percent shed by those taking a placebo (dummy drug), researchers found.

Fast Weight Loss May Mean Muscle Loss

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Study volunteers eating 500 calories a day lost more muscle than those eating more than twice as much

May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — If you lose weight too fast, you lose more muscle than when you shed excess pounds more slowly, a small study says.

The researchers put 25 participants on a five-week very-low-calorie diet of just 500 calories per day. Another 22 volunteers went on a 12-week low-calorie diet of 1,250 calories per day.

The investigators found that right after the end of their diets, both groups had similar levels of weight loss. The average weight loss was a little over 19 pounds among those on the very-low-calorie diet and just under 19 pounds among those on the low-calorie diet.

Obesity, Overweight Rates Jump Worldwide: Report

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

And United States is home to highest proportion of world’s obese people, researchers add

May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) — In the past three decades, the number of overweight and obese people worldwide has jumped from 857 million to 2.1 billion, a new analysis shows.

Not only that, the United States is home to the highest proportion of the world’s obese people, at 13 percent.

The study shows that obesity is a major public health epidemic in both developing and developed nations, said the researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Obesity Gene and Why Some Gain Weight as They Age

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

But experts say a healthy lifestyle can combat tendency to overeat

May 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A defective gene linked to obesity appears to affect impulse control and food choices. And this could explain why people with the gene have so much trouble maintaining a healthy weight as they age, a new U.S. study says.

Middle-aged and older people with obesity-associated variants of the FTO gene tend to gain weight, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health. Moreover, scans detected reduced function in brain regions that govern impulsivity and perception of food texture and taste, the researchers found.