May 2010

World No Tobacco Day

May 31st is World No Tobacco Day—an annual awareness day sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1987 to draw worldwide attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. The theme for this year’s World No Tobacco Day is “gender and tobacco, with an emphasis on marketing to women.”   Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide and is estimated to kill more than 5 million people each year.

Girls More Worried about Wrinkles than Cancer

The results of a study were recently released that examined the best strategy to wean college-age women who are considered addicted or pathological tanners from tanning salons.   “They’re not worried about skin cancer, but they are worried about getting wrinkled and being unattractive,” said June Robinson, a professor of dermatology at Northwestern University and senior author of a May 17 paper in Archives of Dermatology. “The fear of looking horrible trumped everything else,” said Robinson.

Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating

You may have seen the cover article on our Spring Newsletter titled “Spotlight on Obesity: Is it just your weight?”  This article focuses not only on the epidemic of obesity in the U.S. but also on the serious health conditions that may result from obesity.  Although obesity is on the rise, however, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia still continue to be a problem, especially in women.  According to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (2003) 90 percent of individuals with eating disorders are women between the ages of 12 and 25.  Eating disorders are closely correlated with depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders, so it is important to diagnose and treat early.

‘Stand-up for Women’s Health’ Energizes Women

Last night, the Institute for Women’s Health Research held is first grassroots social event in Chicago.   More than 120 women (and a few brave men) turned  out  to network with each other, learn about the state of women’s health research and enjoy Chicago comedienne Patti Vasquez.  Patti’s humor resonated with the multi-generational audience with jokes focusing on everything from teenage antics,  pregnancy, mother-daughter relationships and growing up in a mixed family (Mexican/Irish).   Women came from the city as well as the southern, western and northern suburbs to attend and many of them were truly energized about the Institute and what it is accomplishing.

IWHR celebrates National Women’s Health Week

Northwestern’s Institute for Women’s Health Research is celebrating National Women’s Health Week with our Stand Up For Women’s Health Event tomorrow evening, May 12, at 6 PM.  You can get more information here, but we are looking forward to a great night of comedy with one of Chicago’s finest comediennes, Patti Vasquez.

National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance coordinated by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health.  From their website: “National Women’s Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority.  With the theme “Its Your Time,” the nationwide initiative encourages women to take simple steps for a longer, healthier, and happier life.”

Sharon Green with Patti Vasquez on WGN Radio!

Sharon Green, Executive Director of the Institute for Women's Health Research

In celebration of National Women’s Health Week, Sharon Green, Executive Director for the Institute for Women’s Health Research at Northwestern will be appearing on the Steve Cochran Show, WGN-AM radio 720 in Chicago, during the 1:30-3:30 PM slot.  She will be talking about the importance of focusing research on sex and gender differences.  You can listen through the WGN website, here.

Reducing Salt as a Public Health Intervention

A recent article by Appel and Anderson in the New England Journal of Medicine, reaffirms previous studies that have suggested that salt intake reduction can be a highly effective, inexpensive way to reduce deaths due to heart disease and stroke.  Table salt is 40% sodium and 60% chloride and the maximum recommended levels of sodium is 2300 mg per day (about 1 teaspoon of salt).   The mean intake of salt (reported as sodium on food labels)  in the United States is very high and far above the recommended levels.   Unfortunately, American men average a consumption of bet