Heart disease in Ireland on the rise

Ireland, a land of “happy wars and sad love songs,” is also a nation that  is adopting some of the bad eating habits found in the U.S.  and is trying to break those habits.

That assessment comes from Ian Graham, MD, of Dublin’s Trinity College, who chairs the Irish Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Prevention Council and is co-chair of the program committee at EuroPRevent 2012, which opened with “Ireland Day,” a series of presentations focusing on efforts to tame cardiovascular disease among the Irish.

New test for depression in teens

 A Northwestern Medicine scientist has developed the first blood test to diagnose major depression in teens, a breakthrough approach that allows an objective diagnosis by measuring a specific set of genetic markers found in a patient’s blood.   Diagnosing teens is an urgent concern because they are highly vulnerable to depression and difficult to accurately diagnose due to normal mood changes during this age period.   The current method of diagnosing depression is subjective. It relies on the patient’s ability to recount his symptoms and the physician’s ability and training to interpret them.

New report includes LGBT health disparities

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals (LGBT) experience differences in receipt of health care services and are sometimes denied services according to a new report. Some of the  key findings from the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR) related to health care for the LGBT population are:

Beduin women subject to unacceptible violence

A recent visit to Israel included a drive into the desert of the Negev region.   I noticed small groups of tents  and our guide said they were Bedouin —people who have no land and are not connected to water or electricity.  They roam whenever they need new sources of food and water for their animals and have very limited participation in the growing country of Israel.

Building a Bank of Life

In 1990, researchers in Britain started collecting tissues and detailed information from more than 14,500 pregnant women about their health, relationships, work and home.   Furthermore, after giving birth, the study leaders tracked the offspring development through surveys, clinical exams and biological samples. Data was collected on their eating habits, physiological development including puberty onset, and behaviors, to name a few.  In the long term, the researchers are tracing how genetic and environmental factors in the children’s early years affect their later ones.

Test your knowledge on the uninsured issue

With record numbers of Americans lacking health coverage, the substantial growth of the uninsured population in recent decades has been a vexing problem in the United States and served as a primary impetus for the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.  Unfortunately, there is a lot posturing on both sides of the issue and it’s important for the public to have the real facts.

Can you lose weight on a gluten-free diet?

Recently Miley Cyrus has been touting a gluten free diet as a way to lose weight.   Is this true or just another celebrity fad? Gluten is a protein present in foods including wheat, rye, oats, and barley  but may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and even lip balms.    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating gluten unless you have celiac disease, or gluten sensitive enteropathy (GSE), an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.

April is Sexual Assault Month

Sexual violence is a serious public health problem in the United States and world wide! Statistics underestimate the problem because many victims are afraid to tell the police, family, or friends about the violence. In the United States, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men report that they have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.