Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gout Pain Relief Drugs Help Kidney Disease Sufferers

/24-7/ -- What used to be a cure for one disease can also be used to cure others. This is a new discovery that brings hope to those who are suffering from diseases that takes their life away slowly. This new research showed a significant role of gout pain treatment in treating one common and fatal disease called Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD.

According to the analysis shown in the new issue of Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology or (CJASN), Allopurinol treatments to CKD patients will decrease inflammation, slows the progression of the disease and it will also decrease the risk of having Cardiovascular conditions.

Allopurinol, a common relief for gout works by inhibiting the enzymes used to produce uric acid. Thus it decreases the amounts of uric acid the blood stream. Excess of this Uric acid or Hyperuricemia accumulates in the joints and forms crystals which causes tremendous pain and inflammation.

Gout is usually located forming on the big toe. This is a painful experience to those who are experiencing it. But with the studies made by Marian Goicoechea, PhD, Jose Luño, MD (Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, in Madrid, Spain) and their colleagues, they found through research that same medicine can help CKD patients.

The researches have done this by having randomized trial of 113 CKD patients who were divided by two groups being the first one given a daily medication of Allopurinol and the other continue their usual therapy. They studied the kidney disease progression, Cardiac arrests and hospitalizations among these patients.

After two years of thorough research they have found out that patients who were taking Allopurinol showed a major progress in the control of the disease they were having. They had low levels of uric acid and C-reactive Protein (a major indicator of inflammation). The control group had kidney functions declined while the Allopurinol treated ones showed the opposite.

This is a promising move and though the authors say they have more studies to go, until they confirm this, it's a reason for giving hope to those persons who are suffering from this dreadful disease. Time will come that these studies will be perfected and will help mankind live for more.

If you want to know how to cure gout, and stay away from the excruciating pain that it brings without medications, visit http://stopgoutpain.info for more information.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Your guide to buying hearing aids

(ARA) - For many, accepting the fact that they may be suffering from hearing loss is a difficult process. But what could make it even worse is the process of finding the best hearing aid for their needs.

Buying a hearing aid can be a real challenge. A new publication, "Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids," available for free online, can make the process easier and understandable. "The guide is designed to offer confidence and support by educating the consumer," says Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., executive director of the Better Hearing Institute, the organization that published the guide. "We want to help ensure that anyone in need of a hearing aid receives the very best information and professional service available so they can make the very best purchasing decision possible."

For example, "Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids" walks the consumer through four distinct phases of the purchasing experience:

Phase 1: Gathering information and scheduling the first appointment

Start your process of receiving information about hearing loss and treatment options by scheduling an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional (HHP). Look for recommendations from family and friends with hearing loss. Ask your family doctor for a referral to a HHP he trusts. Check with the better business bureau to determine if the HHP has any complaints filed against them.

Phase 2: What to expect during your first appointment

Your first visit should be a combination of in-depth conversation with the HHP about your communication needs, along with some objective medical-type tests that identify the extent of a possible hearing loss.

More than likely, the HHP will ask you questions about your ears, hearing ability and current communication situation so they can create an individualized and detailed assessment of your hearing as it relates to your lifestyle.

You should undergo the following tests in a sound proof booth:
* Pure tone audiometry measuring your hearing sensitivity in each ear.
* Utilizing tones to assess your tolerance of loud sounds.
* Measuring your ability to understand speech in noisy listening situations.

In addition the HHP should:
* Measure your annoyance to noise.
* Assess the mechanics of your middle and inner ear.

Some HHPs are able to simulate how you hear with and without hearing aids in what is called a simulated sound field. With modern computers, most HHPs should be able to simulate how you will hear with hearing aids in many listening situations such as in a place of worship, noisy restaurant, at a cocktail party or in a car. A description of hearing aid technology and styles is available on the BHI Web site.

Phase 3: What to expect during the hearing aid fitting

If you decide to pursue completely-in-the-canal (CIC), in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), or larger behind-the-ear hearing aids, the HHP will take a mold or cast of your ear, allowing the manufacturer to customize the hearing aid to your ear. Hearing aids are customized instruments so you will have a follow-up appointment in two or three weeks. If you purchase mini-BTE or on-the-ear (OTE) devices, an earmold will not be necessary and the programming of the hearing aid can begin on your first visit. In programming your hearing aid make sure that the HHP uses real-ear measurement or speech mapping to optimize the prescriptive fitting for your unique hearing loss.

If you are new to hearing aids, you should be given a detailed schedule that outlines approximately how long and where you should wear them for the first week or two. It takes your brain a little time to get rewired with hearing aids, especially if you have had a hearing loss for several years.

Don't be surprised if that initial starting point sounds a little loud or abrasive. Remember you are hearing a lot of sounds you could not hear for many years. Hearing aids are fit prescriptively and this prescriptive formula has been shown to be a reasonable starting point for the vast majority of hearing aid users. If they are uncomfortably loud, communicate this to the HHP who has the ability to turn down the gain.

Phase 4: What to expect during post-fitting follow-up and after care

Buying hearing aids from the HHP is the first step in a successful hearing improvement journey. Make sure you get the most out of your investment by getting your hearing aids serviced when needed. Part of the service provided should include periodic hearing tests, hearing aid cleanings and fine tuning adjustments of the instruments.

Between 14 to 45 days following the initial fitting, you will need an outcome measure to determine how the hearing aids are working for you.

It may take more than a few visits to the HHP to get your hearing aids fine tuned. If that happens to you, be patient and work with your HHP to get it right. After you have given your ears and brain a few weeks to get acclimated to new hearing aids, they should be worn every day for several hours each day. Because they are worn in a very humid ear canal that often contains large amounts of cerumen (ear wax), hearing aids must be cleaned every day. Understand that hearing aids may not be returned after the trial period so be sure that you are getting benefit from your hearing aids before the trial period ends.

"Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids" can be down loaded for free from www.betterhearing.org (under hearing loss treatment).

Courtesy of ARAcontent



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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Standing tall: What women need to know about spinal fractures

(ARA) - When you think of women's health issues, spinal fractures probably don't come to mind. But they should. These common fractures can not only be disfiguring, but deadly.

Spinal fractures are the most common osteoporotic fracture; over 900,000 spinal fractures occur every year in the United States alone, according to industry estimates and research. They occur more often than hip fractures in any one year. They also increase the risk of death. Unlike a hip fracture, the risk of death following a spinal fracture continues to increase progressively, so it is important to treat spinal fractures soon after they occur. Sadly, only about one third of these fractures ever receive medical attention.

The main cause of spinal fractures is osteoporosis, which silently robs you of the density in your vertebrae - bones we often take for granted. Think of the vertebrae in your spine as a stack of square building blocks with mesh interiors. Osteoporosis causes the mesh architecture inside the blocks to deteriorate, eventually causing micro-fractures. As micro-fractures accumulate, the blocks become weaker and less able to resist the stresses we expect them to handle. Many times, what seems like very minor stress can cause fractures and the vertebrae to collapse, which causes the vertebrae to become compressed. You may notice you are getting shorter, and gradually you will notice a curving forward of your spine. This is called kyphosis.

Besides loss of height, some other changes occurring in your body might be due to spinal fractures. Do your clothes not quite fit right? Are you developing a "tummy" that you never had? Do you eat less because you get full so fast? Are you short of breath from small exertions?

With spinal fractures, what was once a nice sturdy compartment for your internal organs gradually becomes smaller and smaller, compressing your stomach, lungs and digestive tract. The compression keeps your lungs from expanding fully, makes your heart work harder and your entire digestive track is pushed forward between your ribs and hips.

Spinal fractures can occur spontaneously or from the minimal stress of day-to-day activities. Sometimes there is no pain and the fracture goes unnoticed, but sometimes there is extreme pain.

For Marian Williams, 80, of Salem, Va., it was both spontaneous and very painful. As she was walking down the stairs in her home, "It felt like something slipped in my back. It started hurting right away, and the pain quickly became unbearable. I couldn't do anything. Even when I was lying down or sitting down, it hurt," she said. "It hurt to move. It hurt to breathe. I never had pain like that before. It was excruciating."

Marian was admitted to the hospital and referred to Dr. Van Lewis, a neuroradiologist in nearby Roanoke, who recommended a minimally invasive surgery known as KYPHON (R) Balloon Kyphoplasty. During this procedure, two tiny incisions are made in the back and balloons are inserted through small tubes into the fractured bone. The balloons are then carefully inflated in an attempt to raise the collapsed bone. The balloons are then removed, creating cavities in the bone that are filled with bone cement. A clinical study has shown that those who undergo this procedure experience improved quality of life, faster back pain relief and quicker return of physical function than patients who opt for non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy or pain medication. The benefits were sustained on average throughout 12 months. While spinal fractures may be associated with mortality, no data exists currently to show that KYPHON Balloon Kyphoplasty improves the mortality rate.

The complication rate with KYPHON Balloon Kyphoplasty has been demonstrated to be low. There are risks associated with the procedure (e.g., cement leakage), including serious complications, and though rare, some of which may be fatal. This procedure is not for everyone. A prescription is required. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, contraindications, benefits, and risks. Only you and your physician can determine whether this procedure is right for you.

Three days after being admitted to the hospital, Marian was treated with balloon kyphoplasty. "When I woke up from the surgery, they took me back to my room and told me to lie flat for two hours ... the excruciating pain was gone," Marian said.

Marian no longer has excruciating back pain and is back to her regular activities, which include lifting light weights, using the weight machines and taking low-impact aerobic classes at her gym three times a week.

For a free, informational packet on KYPHON Balloon Kyphoplasty, potential patients and physicians can call (800) 677-7172. More information about spinal fractures can be found on the Internet at www.spinalfracture.com or www.kyphon.com or by writing to Medtronic, Inc., 1221 Crossman Ave., Sunnyvale, CA, 94089.

KYPHON Balloon Kyphoplasty incorporates technology developed by Dr. Gary K. Michelson.

Courtesy of ARAcontent



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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Women Help Women Live and Cope with a Chronic Medical Condition in the Family

/PRNewswire/ -- A new campaign explores the roles and responsibilities women uniquely encounter when living, or caring for a loved one, with epilepsy. "Women Succeeding with Epilepsy" is a collaboration between Epilepsy Advocate and HealthyWomen to educate, empower and inspire women and families whose lives are affected by epilepsy.

To view, download and share photos and videos, visit:
-- http://www.multivu.prnewswire.com/player/42846-epilepsy-advocate/
-- http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100720/MM36844
-- http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100720/MM36844


"Women Succeeding with Epilepsy" illustrates the multidimensional impact of epilepsy on women through the personal stories of those who have faced -- and overcome -- the unique challenges posed by epilepsy, such as:

-- When to see a specialist and what to expect
-- How to help a child achieve independence and transition into adulthood
-- How to manage family life while living with a chronic condition like
epilepsy


"The challenges and solutions shared by the women featured in this campaign should resonate with those who have either experienced life with a chronic condition, or cared for a loved one," said Beth Battaglino Cahill, RN, Executive Director, HealthyWomen. "As healthcare decision makers for themselves and their families, women need information and tools to help them navigate through some of the challenges posed by conditions like epilepsy."

The Epilepsy Advocate community includes more than 60 Epilepsy Advocates who share their challenges and triumphs so that others are empowered to seek care with a goal of seizure freedom with minimal side effects. HealthyWomen is the leading independent health information source for women. The success stories and epilepsy information featured in the "Women Succeeding with Epilepsy" video series, moderated by Ms. Battaglino Cahill, are available at EpilepsyAdvocate.com and HealthyWomen.org, and include:

-- Shelley Kays, Epilepsy Advocate, mother and caregiver of a 21-year-old
daughter diagnosed with epilepsy at age six and who is now getting
ready for on-campus college life.
-- Heather Evrley, Epilepsy Advocate, diagnosed with epilepsy while in
college, married for 13 years, raising two young children, and working
toward an advanced degree in the legal field.
-- Blanca Vazquez, MD, provides perspective on how epilepsy uniquely
affects women. Dr. Vazquez is an epilepsy specialist at the
Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University Langone Medical
Center.


"I hope my story will help other women realize they can live life on their own terms by advocating for themselves and their families," said Heather Evrley, Epilepsy Advocate. "This means learning about your medical condition and finding a doctor who not only understands the condition, but also answers all of your questions."

In addition to the new video series, EpilepsyAdvocate.com and HealthyWomen.org contain a wealth of epilepsy data, expert insights and stories of other individuals living with epilepsy.

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting approximately three million people in the U.S. -- making it as common as breast cancer. Anyone can develop epilepsy; it occurs across all ages, races and genders. Uncontrolled seizures and medication side effects pose challenges to independent living, learning and employment, so the goal of epilepsy treatment is seizure freedom with minimal side effects. However, only half of people diagnosed will achieve seizure freedom with the first medication they try and more than one million people in the U.S. continue to experience seizures despite trying two or more antiepileptic drugs. New medications and treatments give hope to those living with uncontrolled seizures.

About Epilepsy Advocate(TM)

UCB, a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in neurology, sponsors Epilepsy Advocate, a community of people whose lives are directly affected by epilepsy, including those with epilepsy, their caregivers, family and friends. These remarkable individuals share their challenges and triumphs so that others are empowered to seek care with a goal of seizure freedom with minimal side effects. Beginning in 2006 with 18 Advocates, the program has grown to include more than 60 Advocates. Over 15,000 people have connected with Epilepsy Advocates at more than 300 programs across the U.S., and Epilepsy Advocate magazine has a readership of over 100,000 per issue. For more information about the Epilepsy Advocate program, as well as speaker events in cities and towns nationwide, visit EpilepsyAdvocate.com or find us on Facebook: Facebook.com/EpilepsyAdvocate.

About HealthyWomen (HW)

HealthyWomen (HW) is the leading independent health information source for women. A not-for-profit organization, HW provides health information through a wide array of online content and print publications that are original, objective and reflect the latest advances in evidence-based health research. For more than 20 years, women have been coming to HW for answers to their most pressing and personal health care questions. To learn more, visit HealthyWomen.org. Recently ranked in the top 100 websites for women by ForbesWoman, we are proud to bring our visitors essential and compelling information about epilepsy.

Women Succeeding with Epilepsy is sponsored by UCB, Inc.

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FDA Warns Consumers, Pharmacists, and Wholesalers Not to Use Stolen Advair Diskus Inhalers

The FDA is warning the public that certain Advair Diskus inhalers stolen from a distribution warehouse in 2009 have been found in some pharmacies. The safety and effectiveness of the stolen inhalers cannot be assured and they should not be used.

Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder) is an inhalerused to treat patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The products were reported stolen in August 2009 from a GlaxoSmithKline warehouse near Richmond, Va. The inhalers found recently were the first from the stolen lots to be found in commerce. However, more stolen product may still be on the market and the FDA continues to aggressively investigate the matter.

Stolen medicine may be harmful because it may have been stored at the wrong temperature or humidity or other improper conditions, may degrade or lose potency, become contaminated, or may have been tampered with or handled improperly while outside of the legitimate supply chain.

The lot numbers, doses, and quantities of the stolen Advair Diskus inhalers are:

* Lot 9ZP2255 - NDC 0173-0696-00, Advair Diskus 250/50, 60 Dose, Exp: Sep 2010 (14,400 inhalers)
* Lot 9ZP3325 - NDC 0173-0697-00, Advair Diskus 500/50, 60 Dose, Exp: Sep 2010 (11,200 inhalers)

Patients who have products with these lot numbers should immediately stop using them, contact GlaxoSmithKline’s Customer Response Center at 888-825-5249, and follow-up with their physician or pharmacist to obtain a proper replacement.

Pharmacists and wholesalers who find Advair Diskus inhalers bearing these lot numbers should remove them from shelves and contact the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) at 800-551-3989. The agency also is asking for the public's help in reporting any information regarding these inhalers, including suspicious or unsolicited offers for the Advair Diskus lots in question, to OCI or by visiting the OCI website.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Surprising facts about staying hydrated in summer's heat

(ARA) - Record temperatures bring disturbing news reports of heat related deaths and the familiar calls to seek shade, limit outside work and drink large quantities of water. But experts caution water alone may not be sufficient and could actually increase your risk of severe heat related injuries.

According to Dr. David McCarron, adjunct professor at University of California Davis, "You must also replace the sodium and potassium along with the water. This is why athletes drink sports drinks like Gatorade, rather than just water. Replacing water without sufficient sodium can quickly produce hyponatremia, a potentially fatal condition," says McCarron.

When the body loses electrolytes, typically from perspiration, over-rehydration with only water will produce hyponatremia which is a true medical emergency. Hyponatremia symptoms are similar to those of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and can often be overlooked. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can include nausea, muscle cramps, disorientation, confusion, seizures, coma and death.

To avoid this condition, medical authorities advise marathon runners to consume extra salt and this advice should also be considered by those exposed to excessive heat. Salt is critical in maintaining hydration.

The proper balance of electrolytes in the human body is essential for normal function of the cells and organs. Electrolytes help to regulate cardiovascular and neurological functions, fluid balance and oxygen delivery.

In 2007, a 28-year-old mother of three died from hyponatremia hours after competing in a Sacramento radio station contest to see which contestant could drink the most water without urinating.

A few years ago, a 21-year-old student died of water intoxication during a hazing incident. He had been forced to drink from a five-gallon jug of water that was repeatedly refilled. He soon collapsed and had a seizure. Fraternity members didn't initially call an ambulance. By the time they did, it was too late. He was pronounced dead a few hours later.

Water intoxication is more commonly seen among athletes, usually extreme athletes, but older individuals are also at high risk for several reasons. Their kidneys are less efficient at conserving salt when the body is stressed and common medications such as diuretics greatly increase that risk. That is why during severe high temperatures, news accounts most often refer to elderly victims of the heat.

Although most hyponatremia victims may not have obvious symptoms, severe hyponatremia is a medical emergency that calls for immediate treatment. The low sodium level is restored to a normal level by gradually and steadily giving sodium and water intravenously. Milder cases can be handled by administering of salt and fluid replacers by mouth.

The next time the local meteorologist recommends cranking up the air conditioner and drinking a lot of water to beat the heat, remember that doctors recommend also cranking up your intake of electrolytes, particularly sodium and potassium.

Courtesy of ARAcontent



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Friday, July 09, 2010

Extremely Obese Children Have 40 Percent Higher Risk of Reflux Disease of Esophagus

/PRNewswire/ -- Extremely obese children have a 40 percent higher risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and children who are moderately obese have a 30 percent higher risk of GERD compared to normal weight children, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published online in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity.

This large population-based study establishes an association between obesity and GERD in children, an association that has been previously reported in adults. GERD can lead to decreased quality of life, chronic respiratory conditions, and increased risk for cancer of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach) if it persists through adulthood.

Researchers used electronic health records to conduct a cross-sectional study of 690,321 children aged 2 - 19 years who were members of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California integrated health plan in 2007 and 2008.

About 8 to 25 percent of children in the U.S. may be affected by frequent symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, depending upon their age and body mass index. GERD is a chronic condition in which the liquid content of the stomach flows up in to the esophagus. This can inflame and damage the lining of the esophagus. GERD may be responsible for an increased occurrence of coughs, asthma, and inflammation of the larynx. Left untreated, GERD may result in chronic esophageal inflammation and lasting damage to the esophagus. Cancer of the esophagus is the nation's fastest growing cancer and is expected to double in frequency in the next 20 years -- unlike most other cancers, which are decreasing in frequency. Researchers suspect this rise is due in part to the nation's obesity epidemic.

"Childhood obesity, especially extreme childhood obesity, comes with a high risk for many serious health consequences such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The takeaway message of our study is that GERD now also is one of the conditions associated with childhood obesity," said study lead author Corinna Koebnick, PhD, a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California's Department of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif. "Beyond counseling for weight loss, obese children who report symptoms of GERD may need to be treated for the underlying reasons to help avoid persistence of GERD into adulthood and to prevent its complications."

"Even though some health conditions associated with extreme childhood obesity may not seem important early in life, they can be a significant burden for the patient and a link to other serious conditions later in life. We need to be aware of these links, search for obesity-related conditions and address childhood obesity as a family issue as early as possible," noted Dr. Koebnick.

Previous research into the association between obesity and GERD was hospital-based instead of population-based, included mainly people with asthma, and did not address extreme childhood obesity. In this study, the percentile of the measure of a child's weight in relation to height for age was calculated according to the 2000 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation to assign a weight class (normal weight, overweight, moderate and extreme obesity). Children in the study had an average of 2.6 medical visits per year where height and weight were measured.

This study is part of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Children's Health Study, Kaiser Permanente's ongoing work to identify and treat childhood obesity through research and community programs. Results from the Children's Health Study published in the Journal of Pediatrics in March 2010, reported that extreme obesity is affecting more children at younger ages, with 12 percent of African American teenage girls, 11.2 percent of Hispanic teenage boys, 7.3 percent of boys and 5.5 percent of girls 2 - 19 years of age now classified as extremely obese.

In February 2010, Kaiser Permanente announced that it was a founding partner of the Partnership for a Healthier America (www.ahealthieramerica.org), a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation created to catalyze and increase support around First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign to curb childhood obesity in a generation.

Other study authors included: Darios Getahun, MD, Ning Smith, MS, and Steven J. Jacobsen, MD, PhD, from the Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif.; Amy H. Porter, MD, from the Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center; and Jack K. Der-Sarkissian, MD, from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Los Angeles.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Treatment for nicotine addiction inconsistent across the country

Researchers at the University of Georgia have received a five-year, $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the disparity in available treatment programs for nicotine addiction across the country.

“Some facilities have a policy that includes treatment for smokers, but the programs often aren’t implemented,” said Jessica Muilenburg, an assistant professor in the UGA College of Public Health. “Other programs don’t consider nicotine a dangerous drug—or they look at it as a less-important side issue, so may or may not address it in conjunction with another addiction.”

Muilenburg heads the study along with UGA psychology professor, Lillian Eby. The researchers will look at which facilities provide evidence-based treatment for nicotine addicted patients, including low-income clients. They also will investigate the attitudes and influence of counselors, who researchers say have considerable discretion about whether or not to address nicotine dependence in patients.

“We want to learn how the organizational structure in treatment facilities supports or discourages treatment for nicotine, which is among the most common and also most harmful drugs,” said Muilenburg “We will survey counselors about their incentives or disincentives for addressing nicotine, find out how it translates into treatment, and if so, how effective is that treatment?”

Research shows that alcohol and other substance abuse often go hand-in-hand with smoking. In fact, the vast majority of people in drug treatment programs—some 70 to 95 percent—also smoke (compared to about 21 percent in the general population). What’s more, most of these people started smoking earlier—and are more likely to be heavy smokers who have difficulty quitting.

Numerous studies have shown that quit rates for smokers are higher when they seek formal treatment rather than trying to quit on their own. For this reason, researchers believe that most clients—but especially low-income clients with less access to treatment—have a better chance of quitting nicotine while already in treatment for another drug addiction.

“Clients seeking substance abuse treatment are already making behavior and lifestyle changes that not only support drug abstinence but also smoking cessation,” said Muilenburg.

Other UGA investigators include psychologist James MacKillop; management professor Robert Vandenburg; and sociologist Paul Roman, all from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Outside collaborators include J. Aaron Johnson, department of family medicine at Mercer University; and Hannah K. Knudsen, department of behavioral sciences at the University of Kentucky.

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Sunday, July 04, 2010

CDC Survey Finds Nine in 10 U.S. Adults Consume Too Much Sodium

/PRNewswire/ -- Less than 10 percent of U.S. adults limit their daily sodium intake to recommended levels, according to a new report, "Sodium Intake in Adults - United States, 2005-2006," published June 24 in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report also finds that most sodium in the American diet comes from processed grains such as pizza and cookies, and meats, including poultry and luncheon meats.

According to the report, U.S. adults consume an average of 3,466 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, more than twice the current recommended limit for most Americans. Grains provide 36.9 percent of this total, followed by dishes containing meat, poultry, and fish (27.9 percent). These two categories combined account for almost two-thirds of the daily sodium intake for Americans.

An estimated 77 percent of dietary sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods. Many of these foods, such as breads and cookies, may not even taste salty. "Sodium has become so pervasive in our food supply that it's difficult for the vast majority of Americans to stay within recommended limits," said Janelle Peralez Gunn, public health analyst with CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and lead author of the report. "Public health professionals, together with food manufacturers, retailers and health care providers, must take action now to help support people's efforts to reduce their sodium consumption."

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that people consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Specific groups, including persons with high blood pressure, all middle-aged and older adults and all blacks, should limit intake to 1500 mg per day. These specific groups comprise nearly 70 percent of the U.S. adult population. This study found that only 9.6 percent of all participants met their applicable dietary recommendation, including 5.5 percent of the group limited to 1,500 mg per day and 18.8 percent of the 2,300 mg per day group.

The report examined data for 2005-2006 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), an ongoing study that explores the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. Researchers used information from 24-hour dietary recall and the USDA National Nutrient Database to estimate the daily sodium intake and sources of sodium intake for U.S. adults.

The findings add to a growing body of observational research studies on Americans' excessive sodium consumption. Over-consumption of sodium can have negative health effects, including increasing average levels of blood pressure. One in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, and an estimated 90 percent of U.S. adults will develop the disease in their lifetime. Blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death among adults in the United States.

For more information about sodium and blood pressure, visit www.cdc.gov/salt.

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