For every minute that passes without cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation for a heart attack victim, the chance of survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent, according to the American Heart Association.
Brunswick resident Sheila Glaeser knows that all too well. Having had two open heart surgeries since 2001, she knows how serious heart disease is, especially for women. That's why Glaeser is dedicated to making sure that any individual who experiences a sudden cardiac arrest is treated in a quick manner, no matter where they are.
"Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death. More than 360,000 cardiac arrests happen each year outside of a hospital. Someone dies from SCA (sudden cardiac arrest) every two minutes in the country," Glaeser said. "Many do not realize that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S., killing more women than all cancers combined."
With the help of Mathew Hill, executive director of the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority, she organized a fundraiser for the purchase and promotion of automated external defibrillators, or AEDs.
"I realized there was not a single AED in all of the Historic District - not in the government buildings, the Ritz Theatre, the businesses on Newcastle Street, or the (Brunswick) Police Department," Glaeser said, who has experience using AEDs during her time as a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines.
People should make sure to obtain a copy of medical records when a physician announces retirement or an office closure.
The content of medical records, as stated by the Health Insurance Probability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule and Georgia law, belongs to the individual, who has a right to see and obtain a copy of them.
The first step in obtaining the documentation, says Shannon Webb, director of medical records/resource management for Southeast Georgia Health System, is to request them.
"Complete a written request for a copy of complete medical records prior to your physician's office closure," Webb said.
The request should include, according to the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University, your name, address, telephone number or other contact information and Social Security number.
By DR. DAVID LIPSCHITZ
Thank goodness older people don't want to live forever. When I tell my patients I have no wish to prolong their lives but assure them that the lives they have are of the highest possible quality, the answer is almost always the same: "Thank you, doctor. That's exactly what I want." And yet many naive baby boomers are desperately seeking the magic approach that will prolong their lives to age 100 and beyond.
Well, there really is a way to achieve this, but it is so rigorous that only the truly committed "nuts" will accomplish it. For almost 30 years, scientists have known that feeding animals a diet that decreases food intake by 30 percent prolongs their average and maximal life expectancy by 30 percent.
Extrapolating this to man means increasing our average life expectancy to 100, and maximal life expectancy to 140.
More recently, research on monkeys has found similar results. These results are widely known in the anti-aging society, and there is a small group of people who have attempted this on themselves. They have dramatically restricted their food intake, consuming 30 percent less than their original diets. The National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health is sponsoring research studies on these people.
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE
There may be a link between weather and the risk of suffering a stroke, say researchers who analyzed climate trends and hospital records on millions of Americans.
Cold weather, high humidity and big daily temperature swings seem to land more people in the hospital with strokes. As it got warmer, risk fell -- 3 percent for every 5 degrees, the study found.
"Maybe some of these meteorological factors serve as a trigger," said Judith Lichtman, a Yale University stroke researcher who led the study. With global climate change and extreme weather like this week's freak storm in the South, "this could be increasingly important," she said.
Lichtman and colleagues from Harvard and Duke universities gave results of their study Wednesday at the American Heart Association's International Stroke Conference in San Diego. It is the largest and most detailed research on this issue.
1The Brunswick resident is gearing up for the Second Annual Bald for a Cause event slated for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Old Style Barber Shop, 1216 Chapel Crossing Road, Glynn County.
Diagnosed with stage-four, or advanced, lung cancer on Feb. 21, 2013, Clayborn, who participated in the head-shaving event last year with his mother and more than 40 others, died just two days after celebrating his 44th birthday and three months after his wedding.
"We went camping two weeks earlier and you would have never guessed that there was something wrong with him, and then two weeks later, he was gone," Williford recalled.
As she looks back on his life, Williford is more than proud to have called Clayborn her son.
"When he started his chemotherapy (treatments) last year and started losing his hair, Cliff came to me and said, 'Let's let it count for something,' and so we started the event," Williford said, adding that he was an assistant Cub Scout leader for Taylors United Methodist Church.
Does your skin get extremely dry during winter? How about uncomfortably tight, as if someone is stretching it? Does winter's chill cause your skin to flake, crack or become inflamed?
"I recommend to my patients to moisturize daily after bathing, and then additional applications of a moisturizer to areas of special need, such as the hands," said Dr. Ashley Cavalier, a dermatologist who practices as Atlantic Shore Dermatology, 7000 Wellness Way, St. Simons Island.
Cold temperatures that dipped into southeast Georgia the past week definitely have an effect on skin.
"Cold weather is associated with lower humidity, both outside and inside. Drier air is especially hard on our skin here in south Georgia, where your skin is so accustomed to higher humidity levels," said Cavalier, who has seen patients with a winter eczema pattern known as "eczema craquele" that has a dry, reddish crackled vase appearance.
"Cold winds strip moisture from the skin quickly, and frequently result in reddish chapped skin."
By LAURAN NEERGAARD
BETHESDA, Md. -- Forget being sneezed on: Government scientists are deliberately giving dozens of volunteers the flu by squirting the live virus straight up their noses.
It may sound bizarre, but the rare type of research is a step in the quest for better flu vaccines. It turns out that how the body fends off influenza remains something of a mystery.
"Vaccines are working, but we could do better," said Dr. Matthew Memoli of the National Institutes of Health, who is leading the study that aims to infect up to 100 adults over the next year.
Wait a minute: Flu is sweeping the country, so why not just study the already sick? That wouldn't let scientists measure how the immune system reacts through each step of infection, starting with that first exposure to the virus.
MARY CLARE JALONICK
After 20 years, the nutrition facts label on the back of food packages is getting a makeover.
Knowledge about nutrition has evolved since the early 1990s, and the Food and Drug Administration says the labels need to reflect that.
Nutritionists and other health experts have their own wish list for label changes.
The number of calories should be more prominent, they say, and the amount of added sugar and percentage of whole wheat in the food should be included. They also want more clarity on serving sizes.
Taking care of your eyes involves more than having an eye exam - although that is important.
Eating foods that are good for your eyes is important, said Dr. Carlton Hicks, an optometrist with Coastal Eye Care on St. Simons Island.
"Good nutrition is good for eye health," he said. "There are certain minerals and nutritions that are needed to help your eyes perform healthily. So eat a good, balanced diet with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables."
Dark, leafy greens, such as spinach, kale and collard greens, as well as fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut have eye health benefits.
As for eye safety, it may seem obvious, but there are simple ways to protect your eyes from harm.
Cancer drug fails to meet expectations
The New York company said that dacomitinib failed to show a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival in a study comparing it with the treatment erlotinib. It also missed its goal of prolonging overall survival when compared to a fake drug or a placebo in another study.
Both clinical trials involved patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who had tried other treatments. Progression-free survival measures the time from the start of treatment until a patient's cancer begins advancing again or the patient dies.
Dacomitinib is an oral drug designed to be taken once a day. It has yet to receive regulatory approval in any country.
Weight may negate morning-after pill
By DAVID LIPSCHITZ
I doubt there is a single adult smoker who doesn't wish to stop.
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and is climbing in incidence worldwide, as aggressive marketing has led to a greater prevalence of smoking in developing countries. Smoking leads to lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a major cause of crippling breathlessness, heart failure and frequent infections.
Smoking also leads to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes, which are likely more serious and frequently fatal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 46 million - 19 percent - of all adults smoke. With age, smoking prevalence decreases, but still remains high, with approximately 10 percent, or 3.5 million individuals, over the age of 65 continuing to smoke.
Gatorade ends trial of 'natural' drink
The Purchase, N.Y., company said in a statement that through "engagement with athletes on their fueling needs, we found that Gatorade Naturals and G2 Naturals did not resonate with this core consumer."
On its website, the company said the drinks provided the benefits of regular Gatorade while using ingredients like sea salt. The line had limited distribution in select Whole Foods and Kroger locations.
A spokesman for PepsiCo noted that Gatorade Natural was not the subject of any litigation. He confirmed that the Gatorade Naturals were discontinued this past November.
Safer bottles for kids' medicine urged
There’s nothing like a good night's sleep to make you feel and look good. For the average adult, that’s between 7 1/2 to 8 hours of rest.
Sadly, most people - about 40 million - identify with the bad side of the night. It's no surprise, then, that the average adult is getting less than 8 hours of sleep. More shockingly, about 6 hours or less.
But why are so many people not getting the proper amount of sleep?
Dr. James Daly, sleep specialist and medical director for Southeast Sleep Disorder Center, asserts that it's due to society's 24âÑ7 mentality.
With more people spending more time watching television, surfing the Web, working longer hours and fiddling around with their tablets and smartphones into odd hours of the night, there's less time for sleeping, which causes sleeping disorders. The two most common are insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
By DAVID TEMPLETON
Biometeorology -- the study of weather's impact on living organisms including humans -- uses different terminology but concludes that weather itself, but specifically dramatic shifts in weather, can impact physical and mental health.
The good health news? Experiencing such horrible stretches of weather better prepares us for what National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Hendricks says is a strong likelihood of another cold snap this winter. The so-called polar vortex, blamed for the sub-zero temperatures of the past week, could send us into another mental and physical vortex before spring.
"It's a huge swing physiologically," Jennifer Vanos, a biometeorologist and assistant professor of atmospheric science at Texas Tech University, said. "People were not prepared. Physiologically, adapting is a tough thing to do when you are used to certain weather day after day."
But if another cold snap occurs, "people will be prepared," she said, especially for those 20 and under who never experienced such sub-zero temperatures. "They will know what to do, how to dress, and it won't be as stressful."
By TAN VINH
11At the Seahawks practice facility in Renton on a Friday, the chef stood by the omelet station as the players trickled in, many grabbing the local sports section to see what's been written about them, or USA Today to see what's been written about other teams.
The affable Russell Okung, the 6-5, 310-pound left tackle, came rumbling in for a burrito that, in his mitt, looked to be the size of an egg roll. "Gourmet, luxurious stuff," said Okung as he headed back to the offensive-team meeting with a tortilla stuffed with organic veggies, organic sausage and free-range eggs.
Guard J.R. Sweezy ordered his usual nine egg-white omelet, this time with chicken sausage, mushroom, onion and cheddar, topped with a dollop of salsa.
Tight end Luke Willson also grabbed a man-sized burrito.
Study: Cholesterol ratio affects brain
In a study out of the University of California, Davis, researchers found that a healthy ratio correlated with lower levels of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain - a hallmark of Alzheimer's. The pattern, note the scientists, mirrors the relationship found in cardiovascular disease.
"Our study shows that higher levels of HDL - good - and lower levels of LDL - bad - cholesterol in the bloodstream are associated with lower levels of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain," says Bruce Reed, the lead author of the study.
The findings confirm long-held suspicions and are the first to specifically link cholesterol to amyloid deposits in a study involving living participants. For HDL, a level of 60 milligrams/deciliter or higher is best. For LDL, a level of 70 milligrams/deciliter or lower is recommended for people at high risk of heart disease.
"If you have an LDL above 100 or an HDL that is less than 40, even if you're taking a statin drug, you want to make sure that you are getting those numbers into alignment," said Charles DeCarli, director of the UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center. "You want to get the HDL up and the LDL down."
By DAVID LIPSCHITZ
At the start of a new year, we usually say, "This is the year I resolve to get in shape." We worship thinness and even if not overweight, worry about the little bulge here or blemish there.
A 55-year-old friend of mine, who weighs 104 pounds, is consistently trying to lose an extra 4 pounds, hoping to move her sagging buttock back to where it was when she was 30. Fat chance.
Shape is a national obsession and although it pertains to health, it reflects the way we wish to look. The news media and advertisers portray being thin as a measure of beauty. Pictures of young men with perfect bodies or women wearing scanty clothes, showing a bare midriff and sporting jewelry in their bellybuttons are everywhere.
Our body image has a profound effect on relationships. New research, presented at the British Psychological Association meeting in England, shows that women who are happy with their weight and body image, and are comfortable in their own skin, are far more likely to maintain happy relationships and active sex lives.
For several years now, gluten has become the target of popular diet trends for millions who see the protein - found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley and spelt - as something to avoid.
While many people have latched onto the trend for different reasons, such as perceived increased energy, weight loss and reduced belly fat, others have gone gluten-free for health reasons, said Lauren Bailey, owner and registered dietician of NutriSource Nutritional Services at Brunswick. These are people who have a gluten intolerance, which encompasses gluten or wheat allergies, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.
Gluten, meaning 'glue' in Latin, binds foods together, is responsible for the elasticity in dough and the spongy texture of bread, and is a thickening agent for many soups and sauces. However, gluten can be found in food items that are often overlooked, such as salad dressings, beer, lunch meats and gravies.
Other foods can be cross-contaminated with gluten during processing or preparation, such as imitation meats, ketchup, barbecue sauces, soy sauces or restaurant foods labeled as gluten-free, said Dr. David Whitehead, gastroenterologist with Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Gastroenterology at Brunswick.
Though gluten intolerance deals with the presence of gluten, the umbrellaed conditions react to gluten differently, Bailey said.
Four blood drives set for January
* Jan. 8, 1 to 6 p.m., at American Legion Post 166, 1013 Arthur J. Moore Drive, St. Simons Island.
* Jan. 8 and 10, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at GSI Commerce, 3405 Scarlett St., Glynn County.
* Jan. 20, 1 to 6 p.m., at College Place United Methodist Church, 3890 Altama Ave., Brunswick.
Online insurance balks at babies
1For Gold Coast Nutrition co-owner Kel Quarterman, being healthier means getting rid of foods and drinks that are excessively harmful to the body and adopting a healthier eating program.
Sticking to a store's perimeter can help you bypass middle aisles where ready-to-eat foods high in fat and sodium are typically located and can help you lead a generally healthier diet.
"(Furthermore) processed, packaged foods have additives that make you want to eat more and trick your brain into thinking you hadn't had enough," Quarterman added.
For Dr. Jennifer Miller, a family medicine physician of Family Practitioners of Glynn, encouraging residents to quit smoking is the single best thing to pick up in the new year.
"It doesn't only affect the lungs and cause respiratory problems, but it also increases risks of cervical cancer, coronary disease and heart attack and stroke. And it elevates the blood pressure 30 minutes after use and lowers the amount of good cholesterol," she said. "Once you've quit smoking, you've helped improve all of these things at once."
Time to treat blood pressure rises
But not all experts are on board with the advice -- including the federal agency that appointed the group.
Panel members stressed that they are not changing the definition of high blood pressure: 140 over 90. For adults aged 60 and older, they are recommending a higher treatment threshold, prescribing medicine only when blood pressure levels reach 150 over 90 or higher.
Too aggressive blood pressure treatment can cause fainting and falls in older patients, or bad interactions with drugs they're already taking for other illnesses, panel members said.
The panel does endorse the lower target of 140 over 90 for younger adults -- and for all adults who also have diabetes or kidney disease.
New diabetes drug gets second chance
The Food and Drug Administration panel voted 13-1 Thursday in favor of the drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, downplaying possible links to bladder cancer and liver toxicity. Concerns over those risks led the same group of experts to vote against the drug in 2011, followed by a formal rejection by the FDA in early 2012.
The FDA is not required to follow the advice of its panels, though it often does.
Dapagliflozin is a once-a-day pill designed to help diabetes patients eliminate excess sugar via their urine. That differs from older drugs that decrease the amount of sugar absorbed from food and stored in the liver. The drug's developers have touted dapagliflozin as a new treatment option for the more than 25 million people in the U.S. with diabetes.
Panelists said new information from the companies provides reassurance that the drug is not connected with any life-threatening side effects.
In a nation with a growing childhood obesity problem, there are only two types of children: ones at a healthy weight and ones at an unhealthy weight.
"A child or adolescent is considered a healthy weight if their BMI percentage is in the 5 to 85 percentile, overweight if they fall in the 85 to 95 percentile, and greater than 95 percent is considered obese," said Dr. Evelyn Johnson, a pediatrician in Brunswick who is vice president of the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and chair of the chapter's obesity task force.
"These classifications are important as we project later health for the patient. Children in the overweight/obese category are more likely to have Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and joint problems. With those who are very obese ... (they're more likely to exhibit) all diagnoses that we have previously thought were restricted to adults."
Dr. Lee Heery, a pediatrician with Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-St. Simons Pediatrics, concurs: "In simple terms, obesity is caused by a person taking in more calories than he or she burns. (But) of course, obesity is not really that simple. Research has shown that there are numerous environmental, genetic, epigenetic, behavioral and other causes for obesity," Heery said.
There are numerous causes that can be attributed to children spending much less time being physically active than in past years, Heery said.
BY MARILYNN PRESTON
If I had my magic wand back - I was carrying it in the Halloween parade and it vanished - I would wave it and shazaam! all processed foods would disappear.
It's harsh, I know. I love my Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles as much as the next person. But the truth is, processed foods - the ones that come in colorful packages or cans with a long list of perfectly legal ingredients stacked under the label - aren't good for you.
In fact, they're bad for you. You can discover just how bad in books, videos and all over the Internet. Go there and be educated. It's no secret that processed foods contain chemicals, additives, preservatives, artificial dyes, flavors, colors and other suspect ingredients that are linked to a variety of health problems. And not in a good way.
It's not restful to dwell on the known negatives: the weight gain, the strokes, the fatigue, the diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and annoying digestive upsets that then must be addressed with little purple pills.
New hepatitis C drug offers faster cures
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it approved the pill Sovaldi in combination with older drugs to treat the main forms of hepatitis C that affect U.S. patients.
Current treatments for hepatitis C can take up to a year of therapy and involve weekly injections of a drug that causes flu-like side effects. That approach only cures about three out of four patients. Sovaldi is a daily pill that in clinical trials cured roughly 90 percent of patients in just 12 weeks, when combined with the older drug cocktail.
Between 3 million and 4 million Americans are estimated to carry the blood-borne virus, though most do not even know they are infected. Hepatitis C symptoms may not appear until two or three decades after infection, though the virus can cause liver failure, cirrhosis and cancer if left untreated.
Online genetic tests drop analysis