Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fish Oil for Healther Gums

Gum disease isn't something many people think about. They think about their teeth and, for the most part, try to be sure they don't lose them, but not so much care is done for the gums. The thing is, without healthy gums, you can't have healthy teeth. So, what to do?

Besides the usual recommendations of brushing your teeth well and flossing regularly, there is now the recommendation that omega-3 fatty acids, or fish oil, may help your gums stay healthy.

A study published in November's issue of Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that people who participated in the study and who had higher levels of fish oil consumption were less likely to have gum disease than people who consumed little or no omega-3 fatty acids.

The study was not a long-term study, in fact it was only a snapshot of one day of consumption, but it does lead to some interesting questions about more benefits from fish oil than originally thought.

You can read more about the study in this article, Fish Oil Might Help Fight Gum Disease

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Most popular blog page here - broken hips and elderly

When you write for a blog or maintain your own blog, you never know which posts will garner the most attention - good or bad. For this blog, the most popular, by far, is a post I put up on July 26, 2007 - that's over four years ago. It still gets several visits per week from new people who find it through Google or other search engines.

According to the blogger stats, Broken hips in the elderly can lead to death has been viewed 1,274 times. The next closest comes in at only 504 times, written earlier this year, Another Medication Recall - Is Anything Safe?

The visitors come from all over the world. So far this month, there have been:

  • 2219 visitors from the United States
  • 191 from the United Kingdom
  • 147 from Canada
  • 55 from Macedonia
  • 54 from the Netherlands (I wonder if some of their searches were for "Marijke")
  • 41 from Luxembourg
  • 41 from Russia
  • 38 from Australia
  • 36 from Switzerland
  • 36 from India

Sometimes I'm referred from individual blogs, but when I go back to see how I'm linked, I can't find it. Or, other times, I see that the blog or website has copied my information word for word. That is a big, BIG no-no. Whatever I write here is mine for you to read and that's it. No-one is allowed to just republish it on their site. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that yet.

I get a lot of emails too, but what I would like are COMMENTS. Yup, just a comment or two a day would make me feel like there's really someone out there. :-)

Ok, have a great day everyone! And if it's not a great day, I really hope things do get better for you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A blood pressure reading with that shave sir?

It may sound odd, but a study published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine earlier today has found that if neighborhood barbers can take customer blood pressures, hypertension care is improved in African-American men.

African-American men are one of the groups that are at increased risk of developing hypertension. The problem is that hypertension, or increased blood pressure, is a silent disease until after it has already done damage to the body. The only way to detect hypertension is through blood pressure screening. However, to do that, the patients have to willingly go to a clinic or doctor's office to have their blood pressure checked.

In this particular study, which took place over 10 months, barbers offered to take their customers' blood pressure when they came in for a hair cut. The barbers also promoted physician-follow up and provided patient education material about hypertension and its long-term effects. Seventeen barber shops participated in the study and reached 1,300 men. All 17 shops offered the screenings and then were divided into the intervention and comparison groups.

Both groups of shops took initial blood pressure readings of the men. In the eight comparison shops, the men were then offered standard educational material about hypertension. In the nine intervention shops, after the initial blood pressure reading, the men were offered free checks with every hair cut. If the BP reading was high, the barber encouraged the patron to see a doctor and the man was given a free haircut if he returned with a doctor-signed referral card. If the man did not go to the doctor, the barber called the study's staff to arrange a visit and would then give the customer the information.

Results of the study showed marked improvements in blood pressure levels among the barbershop patron who went to the shops in the intervention program.

This isn't the first time that the neighborhood barber shop has been the center of medical and screening programs. According to a press release issued by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,

Since the 1980s, African-American-owned barbershops and hair salons have hosted screening programs for medical conditions that disproportionately affect African-Americans. Victor's study concludes that if hypertension intervention programs were put in place in the estimated 18,000 African-American barbershops in the U.S., it would result in the first year in about 800 fewer heart attacks, 550 fewer strokes and 900 fewer deaths.

Interesting and effective way to reach people, isn't it?