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An unexpected twist showed up in a new study on older women who are exposed to physical and verbal abuse. Study author Dr. Charles P. Mouton said that verbal abuse alone was more damaging than physical abuse alone.


Mouton analyzed data on nearly 94,000 women, ages 50 to 79, who had participated in the Women's Health Initiative study, one of the first studies to look at older women. Mouton states, "The group who had verbal abuse-only reported more depressive symptoms than the group that had physical abuse-only. The group who reported the most depressive symptoms had both physical and verbal abuse." Women who had been abused either physically or verbally over a 3-year period had lower scores for mental health, a greater number of depressive symptoms, more social strain, and less optimism about life than women who weren't abused. Although some women in Mouton's study reported only physical or only verbal abuse, most commonly, some combination of physical, verbal, and sexual abuse was reported.- Accessed 10/21/2010.



Age, gender, and ethnicity are contributing factors for the nearly 7.6 million Americans (2.6 %) who suffer from food allergies. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that Black male kids are 4.4 times more likely to have a food allergy than the general population. Researchers also reported a link between food allergies and asthma attacks. Asthma patients with food allergies were nearly seven times more likely to have a severe asthma attack than those without food allergies.


Andrew Liu, a researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, states, "This study provides further credence that food allergies may be contributing to severe asthma episodes, and suggests that people with a food allergy and asthma should closely monitor both conditions and be aware that they might be related."


Other findings: Children ages 1 to 5 showed the highest food allergy rates (4.2%); adults over the age of 60 had the lowest rates (1.3%); peanut allergies were found in 1.8% of kids ages 1 to 5, and in 2.7% of kids between 6 and 19.- Accessed 10/18/2010.



Americans are getting larger. A report from 300 hospitals and health organizations found that 61% report a significant increase in admissions of the morbidly obese since 2008. As a result, hospitals have renovated facilities and purchased specialized medical products ranging from blood pressure cuffs to commodes to post-mortem bags to handle their largest patients. Some 28% report having invested in physical renovation of facilities to accommodate the morbidly obese. Many kinds of specialized medical equipment are necessary to handle obese patients. Bariatric blood pressure cuffs are the most common. Bariatric beds and mattresses, stretchers, compression stockings, OR tables, nonclinical furniture, surgical instruments, ID bands, needles, and post-mortem bags are needed to assist obese patients. About 50% of the facilities reported providing special meals or supplement for morbidly obese patients.- Accessed 10/18/2010.



African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV in the United States. In 2007, Blacks accounted for 46% of people living with a diagnosis of HIV infection. Even though new HIV infections among Blacks overall have been roughly stable since the early 1990s, compared with members of other races and ethnicities African Americans continue to account for a higher proportion of cases at all stages of HIV-from new infections to deaths.- Accessed 10/18/2010.



A journal report from the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that chronic exposure to the heat source on the underside of a laptop computer can cause a rash dubbed "laptop skin" or, officially, laptop-induced "erythema ab igne." The burn is also known as "toasted skin syndrome." Erythema ab igne results from prolonged skin contact with any significant heat source. Laptops are often the source of the rash.


"The concern is mainly aesthetic," said Jean Tang, assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford Medical Center. Tang states, "This type of laptop burn is not a first-degree burn." Rather it is actually a reddening of the skin caused by the dilation of capillaries. Treatment is simple. When exposure to the laptop is removed the lesion fades.


The heat originates from three potential sources on the laptop: the optical drive, battery, and the ventilation fan, all of which are usually located on the left side of the computer.- Accessed 10/20/2010.



The American Heart Association (AHA) issued new guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). "Compression is the only way to go," says AHA's Michael Sayre, an emergency physician at Ohio State University. However, he notes that rescue breathing is still recommended for children and anyone whose cardiac arrest is likely due to oxygen deprivation.


Research indicates that bystanders are more likely to perform compression-only CPR on strangers, that it works better than conventional CPR, and that bystanders who applied hands-only CPR boosted survival to 34% from 18% for those who received conventional CPR or none at all. In addition, the percentage of people willing to provide CPR rose from 28% in 2005 to 40% in 2009.


The new guidelines dictate that a bystander should compress the victim's chest 100 times a minute to a depth of about 2 inches. This keeps blood and oxygen flowing to the brain, sustaining it until help arrives.- Accessed 10/21/2010.



Hospital gowns; for some the gown is worse than the procedure. Jeanne Ryan, RN, and executive liaison at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, started improving the hospital gown about 5 years ago. During the gown makeover, Cleveland Clinic's president and chief executive had a chance meeting with famous designer Diane Von Furstenburg that led to a collaborative effort. The new gown looks more like a robe with a gently gathered waist that ties on the side. It can open in either the front or back, and there's no grabbing at the back while walking. "It makes you feel covered," Ryan said, adding, "I've been a nurse for almost 30 years, and gowns have always been a sore spot with me. We're trying to improve things on all levels, and it was obvious to me that the hospital gown could use some improvement."- 20100909,0,2339856.story?track=rss/ Accessed 10/21/2010.

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Anyone with a medical condition not obvious to medics or doctors if they were unable to communicate should consider some form of medical-identification program, says Alfred Sacchetti, a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians. New bracelets and other medical-identification systems fill in first responders on a patient's health history. These devises must be linked with membership to a medical-information service, such as the nonprofit MedicAlert Foundation.


For those in areas where electronic medical records are not kept, companies such as MedInfoChip sell software programs that help consumers set up their own health records on a computer and load them onto a USB device. American Medical ID offers a flash drive in a dog-tag style pendant that can be engraved with basic medical information and loaded with a patient's medical records.- Accessed 10/21/2010.



"Two words, intentional and active, are critical to your approach in achieving the goals of grieving. Be intentional about grieving when you have the motivation and energy to actively engage in specific behaviors to achieve these goals. That means you will have many things you will need to do and face in order to work through your grief."


"Your grief journey will undoubtedly have its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows. Recognizing that life is a combination of both joy and sadness helps you gain a more realistic picture of what has happened. Nothing is perfect or lasts forever. ...You have experienced a profound and unwanted change with your loss. ...Work through your grief by taking hold of your pain and working through it to the point where you no longer feel the intense, heart-piercing sadness of your loss. Hold firmly to the belief that you are going to survive this most unfortunate event in your life, and you will become stronger and wiser as a result." Excerpted: From We to Me: Embracing Life Again After the Death or Divorce of a Spouse, p. 26, Baker Books, 2010.