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Women Are Breast-feeding Longer

According to a survey by Ross Products, the number of women who start breast-feeding in the hospital and breast-feed for at least 6 months is climbing. The Mothers Survey, which Ross has conducted since 1955, draws responses from approximately 200,000 women. Currently, only 70% of women attempt to breast-feed and only 33% of those continue for at least 6 months. White and Hispanic women breast-feed more than Black mothers, although the rise in participation came across all ethnic groups.


FDA Poised to Revise Food Advice on Methylmercury and Fish

The Food and Drug Administration's Food Advisory Committee met to review and discuss the FDA's recommendations for at-risk groups, such as pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children, on minimizing consumption of fish and shellfish, which are significant sources of methylmercury. These include swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tile fish, and other species of fish, such as canned albacore tuna and tuna steaks, when consumed in large amounts. The FDA plans to revise its consumer advice and will begin an outreach program next year.


Take It Home and Keep It Safe

In a joint partnership, the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods are piloting a food safety labeling program at Francesca Restaurants in Chicago. Starting in July, Francesca restaurants will place food safety labels featuring safe food-handling, storage, and reheating information on all of its takeout and leftover containers. The label will also include a space for consumers to write the date they received the food. Food safety is a burgeoning concern among health professionals and the public. With takeout comprising 21% of meals eaten by Americans on any given day, the possibility for food poisoning from the mishandling of food items greatly increases. The ADA/ConAgra Foods program, "Home Food Safety... It's In Your Hands," helps consumers identify the procedures for ensuring the safe handling of carry-out foods:


Refrigerate restaurant leftovers within 2 hours of eating the meal


Label and date restaurant leftovers and eat them within 3 to 4 days


Reheat restaurant leftovers to 165[degrees] F.


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Is Lp(A) Lipoprotein a Predictor of Vascular Disease in the Elderly?

Although Lp(a) lipoprotein is a potent predictor of vascular disease in middle-age, its relevance to the elderly population is unknown. To evaluate the incidence of stroke and to track deaths from vascular causes related to Lp(a) lipoprotein, 3,972 subjects age 65 or older were followed for a median of 7.4 years. The healthy subjects provided baseline serum samples for Lp(a) lipoprotein. The researchers used a Cox proportional-hazards model to determine the risk associated with each quintile level of Lp(a) lipoprotein. The study found that compared with those in the lowest quintile, subjects in the highest quintile had 3 times the unadjusted risk of stroke and almost 3 times the risk of death associated with vascular events, making it a significant predictor of vascular disease in the older population. (New England Journal of Medicine, 2003;349: 2108-2115.)