Monday, November 30, 2009

Vitamin D and Heart Health

We all know that Vitamin D is necessary to absorb calcium and build strong bones, but now it appears that Vitamin D can be important for your heart's health.

A study from Intermountain Medical Center links Vitsmin D deficiency with an increased risk of stroke, heart disease and death.

The study followed over 27,000 patients aged 50 or older who had no prior history of cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that patients who had very low levels of Vitamin D were 77 percent more likely to die, 45 percent more likely to develop coronary artery disease and 78 percent more likely to have a stroke than patients who had normal levels of Vitamin D.

Because recent studies have also linked Vitamin D to the regulation of many other bodily functions including blood pressure, glucose control, and inflammation, researchers postulated that Vitamin D deficiency may also play a role in heart disease.

Vitamin D deficiencies are easily treated, so the results of this study may have wide-reaching impact for patients at risk.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Women's Magazines Depict Babies in Unsafe Sleep Positions

Babies could be at greater risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) if their mothers mimic sleep positions seen in some magazine photographs.

More than one-third of photos in women's magazines showed babies in unsafe sleep positions. Some photos also depicted other hazards such as soft bedding. The findings come from a study conducted by SIDS researchers Rachel Moon, MD, a pediatrician, and Brandi Joyner at Children’s National Medical Center.

To reduce the risk of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be placed on their backs when sleeping, on a separate sleep surface from their parents, without blankets, pillows, or other soft bedding.

Mothers should be aware of the guidelines regarding safe sleep positions for babies, and be aware that what they see depicted in magazines and other media may not be what is best or safe for their babies.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The number of diabetes cases increased by 90 percent over the past decade and in 2007, diabetes killed 300,000 Americans.

Although type 1 diabetes is often genetic, type 2 diabetes is often the result of lifestyle choices. Diet, exercise and weight all play a role in the prevention or development of type 2 diabetes.

Awareness of your risk factors for diabetes and prevention are key. Healthy lifestyle choices can help you avoid the onset of type 2 diabetes. For more information, speak to your health care provider or contact the American Diabetes Association.