Progress Notes

Important and interesting news items from your health office

Long Life? Let’s Do It!

Posted by on Dec 7, 2018 in Patient Care | 0 comments

Long Life? Let’s Do It!

Want to live to be 90?

Here’s your blueprint.

An eye-opening new Harvard study reveals 5 brutal truths about people who live the longest. With all the advances in medicine, nutrition, and science, in terms of life expectancy, where do you think the U.S. ranks compared to the rest of the world? First? Fifth? Twentieth?

Nope, nope, and nope: At an average expectancy of 76.3 years, the U.S. comes in 43rd out of 195 countries. And it gets worse. By 2040, researchers predict the U.S. will have fallen to 64th in the world.

In a study 34-year study of more than 100,000 people, the researchers determined there are five factors that contribute most to living longer:

  1. Eat a healthy diet
  2. Get regular exercise
  3. Maintain a healthy body weight
  4. Don’t smoke
  5. Drink alcohol in moderation

The list contains no surprises — but does lead to a surprising conclusion. Based on the data, say you…

  • Exercise at least thirty minutes a day
  • Maintain a “low” BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9
  • Drink no more than two glasses of wine (men) or one glass (women) per day
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet

Do those things and compared to people who don’t meet any of those criteria, if you’re a woman your life expectancy improves from 79 to 93.1 years old. If you’re a man, your life expectancy increases from 75.5 to 87.6 years old. Yep: Women get 14 additional years; men get 12 more years.

While such a sizable difference in life expectancy might seem far-fetched, think about it this way. The top five determinants of average lifespan are “lifestyle” diseases: Obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and alcohol and tobacco use.

Take body weight: Being overweight or obese is linked to serious health consequences like heart disease and stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.

That’s why the people who met the five criteria were 82 percent less likely than those who did not to die from cardiovascular disease and 65 percent less likely to die from cancer.

Yep: Big numbers.

So if you want to live longer — and who doesn’t? — the path is simple. Simple, yet hard. Anyone who tries to tell you that eating right, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy body weight is easy… is either lying, or trying to sell you something.

But you definitely can do it — especially since the payoff, both short- and long-term, is so huge. If you’re overweight, start eating healthier. Start exercising more. That will actually knock three items off the list, since the combination of a better diet and more exercise will also reduce your body fat percentage.

Then keep your alcohol intake moderate. (It’s okay to exceed the limit once in a while; the goal is to stay at or below an average of the equivalent of one or two glasses of wine.) And do everything you possibly can to stop smoking.

Keep in mind that even if you don’t meet all five criteria, meeting a few will still pay off. Researchers found a “dose-response relationship” between each individual healthy lifestyle behavior and a reduced risk of early death. Iin non researcher-speak, that means any lifestyle improvements you make will positively impact your life expectancy.

Lower your BMI and you should live longer. Exercise more and you should live longer. Eat healthier and you should live longer. And you’ll feel better today.

Win-win.

Article by By Jeff Haden, Contributing editor, Inc.com.

Social Media and Depression

Posted by on Nov 28, 2018 in Patient Care | 0 comments

Social Media and Depression

Fascinating new Ivy League study

shows the ‘Clear Causal Link’ between Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and ‘Loneliness and Depression’.

Facebook would be nothing without its Ivy League roots. But now a new Ivy League study could mean big trouble for Facebook, along with Instagram and Snapchat for that matter. That’s because this is the first study to show a “clear causal link” between using these three sites and being lonely and depressed.

Other studies have certainly found that heavy users of Facebook and other social media sites suffered mental health issues. But that was about correlation, not causation. Those studies mostly found that it could simply be that people who are depressed and lonely to begin with wind up using Facebook and similar sites more often–as opposed to the sites themselves causing the issues.

This new study from the psychology department at the University of Pennsylvania, however, says it’s made the crucial link. Here it is in their own words, in what’s probably the most important passage in their published research:

[O]urs is the first study to establish a clear causal link between decreasing social media use, and improvements in loneliness and depression. It is ironic, but perhaps not surprising, that reducing social media, which promised to help us connect with others, actually helps people feel less lonely and depressed.

[Emphasis added, because it’s so important.]

The research is due to be published in the January edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology (opens as PDF file). The study, conducted by professors Melissa Hunt, Rachel Marx, Courtney Lipson and Jordyn Young, focused on 143 University of Pennsylvania undergraduates, who were tested over a period of weeks on seven different scales that measure moods and psychological well-being.

Click here to read the whole article by Bill Murphy Jr., Contributing editor, Inc.com.

For Busy Moms

Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 in Patient Care | 0 comments

For Busy Moms

Morning Routine Cheat Sheet

The journey from your pillow to your working day is an epic one, especially if you have a family to wake up with you.

Do you want to make this complicated journey easier on you and everyone you live with?

If yes, give the frantic morning rush a kick start with The Morning Routine Cheat Sheet!


The Morning Routine Cheat Sheet will help you nail these steps:

1 - Getting out of bed
2 - Using the bathroom
3 - Having breakfast
4 - Getting dressed
5 - Preparing lunch
6 - Packing your bags
7 - Leaving the house!

FDA mulls vaping ban

Posted by on Sep 13, 2018 in Patient Care | 0 comments

FDA mulls vaping ban

Flavored e-cigs appealing to minors

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering a ban on flavored e-cigarettes in response to an “epidemic” of young people using e-cigarettes, the agency’s leader said on Wednesday.

In a speech at FDA headquarters, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency would also revisit its compliance policy that extended the dates for manufacturers of flavored e-cigarettes to submit applications for premarket authorization.

“We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb announced a number of steps the agency planned to take as part of a broader crackdown on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to kids. The agency issued 12 warning letters to companies that it says have deceptive marketing labels on e-liquids. “We cannot allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine,” he said.

Shares of British American Tobacco were up nearly 6 percent and shares of cigarette-maker Imperial Brands PLC were up more than 3 percent. Shares of cigarette and e-cigarette maker Altria Group also rose more than 6 percent, while Philip Morris International shares were up 4 percent.

Manufacturers offer and market e-cigarette flavors that appeal to minors, including candy, bubble gum and fruit flavors. The FDA said more than 2 million middle school and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2017.

The FDA is giving the five top-selling e-cigarette brands – Juul Labs Inc., Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic – 60 days to provide plans for how they will mitigate sales to minors.

Juul Labs said it would work with the FDA on its request and is committed to preventing underage use of its product. But it added that “appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch,” spokeswoman Victoria Davis said. The owners of Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“While we remain committed to advancing policies that promote the potential of e-cigarettes to help adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes, that work can’t come at the expense of kids,” Gottlieb said.

As part of its broader enforcement efforts, the FDA said it issued more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers who illegally sold e-cigarette products to minors.

Reported by Fox News.

Addicted to Pot?

Posted by on Aug 23, 2018 in Patient Care | 0 comments

Addicted to Pot?

America’s Invisible Pot Addicts

More and more Americans are reporting near-constant cannabis use, as legalization forges ahead.

Public-health experts worry about the increasingly potent options available, and the striking number of constant users. “Cannabis is potentially a real public-health problem,” said Mark A. R. Kleiman, a professor of public policy at New York University. “It wasn’t obvious to me 25 years ago, when 9 percent of self-reported cannabis users over the last month reported daily or near-daily use. I always was prepared to say, ‘No, it’s not a very abusable drug. Nine percent of anybody will do something stupid.’ But that number is now [something like] 40 percent.”

They argue that state and local governments are setting up legal regimes without sufficient public-health protection, with some even warning that the country is replacing one form of reefer madness with another, careening from treating cannabis as if it were as dangerous as heroin to treating it as if it were as benign as kombucha.

But cannabis is not benign, even if it is relatively benign, compared with alcohol, opiates, and cigarettes, among other substances. Thousands of Americans are finding their own use problematic in a climate where pot products are getting more potent, more socially acceptable to use, and yet easier to come by, not that it was particularly hard before.

Click here to read Annie Lowery’s penetrating article in this month’s Atlantic Monthly magazine.

What’s different?

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in Patient Care | 0 comments

What’s different?

4 Distinctives of Christ-Centered Healthcare

As I travel visiting clinics, students and with folks who hope to start a Christian healthcare ministry, I am often asked, “What distinguishes a Christian clinic from a non-faith-based clinic?” Usually, I respond by asking what they would expect from a Christian clinic. And people typically talk about excellence, compassion, and affordability. Certainly, any clinic that seeks to represent Christ must strive for those qualities. But all clinics, faith-based or not, should be excellent and compassionate. Those are universal qualities, not qualities that are “uniquely Christian”.

All Christian clinics should exemplify excellence and welcoming customer service. But having personally visited a ton of Christian clinics, I want to suggest four areas where we should be unique if we strive to fully embrace what it means to be a Christ-centered clinic. They are restoring patient dignity, organizational culture, embracing a prophetic role, and investing in a ministry focus beyond your organization’s immediate interest.

Click here to read the full essay by Steve Noblett, Chief Executive Officer of Christian Community Health Fellowship.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Posted by on May 20, 2018 in Patient Care | 0 comments

Vitamin D Deficiency

Lack may increase risks

According to a new study, Vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk for metabolic syndrome* after menopause.

Researchers looked at 463 postmenopausal women with cardiovascular disease who weren’t taking vitamin D supplements. More than two thirds of the women had vitamin D levels lower than 30, which was considered insufficient. Of these women, 58% had metabolic syndrome, compared with 40% of women with sufficient vitamin D. When the vitamin D level was below 20, the odds of metabolic syndrome were doubled.

This observational design can’t prove causation, and more studies are needed. But because metabolic syndrome is a major risk factor for CVD, maintaining adequate vitamin D levels in postmenopausal women may be an important preventive measure.

Charles Vega, MD, clinical professor of family medicine at the University of California at Irvine.

*Metabolic syndrome is a very common and dangerous complex of disorders noted primarily in overweight individuals who develop high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated cholesterol levels.

Satcher Awards 4/25

Posted by on Apr 17, 2018 in Leadership | 0 comments

Satcher Awards 4/25

Keynote by David Satcher

The ninth annual Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards and Special Grand Rounds features a keynote lecture by David Satcher ’72M (Res), the 16th Surgeon General of the United States.

The event runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, at URMC in the Helen Wood Hall Auditorium (1W304), School of Nursing.

Register online. Free parking is available in the Saunders Research Building parking lot. Direct questions to Gail Hamilton at 224-3050 or by email. ASL interpreters will be available, and the event can be viewed live online.

Drinking Too Much?

Posted by on Apr 13, 2018 in Patient Care | 0 comments

Drinking Too Much?

When to say when: Study says limit alcohol to 1 drink a day

This week several news outlets, including the Washington Post, reported that a new international study concludes there are “no overall health benefits from moderate drinking” and the “threshold for low-risk drinking … is about seven beers a week for men and women alike.”

The study was published on April 12 in The Lancet and was co-authored by 120 researchers based on “aggregated data from multiple studies of drinking patterns and health outcomes among nearly 600,000 people in 19 high-income countries.”

The Post says, “Strikingly, the data did not show a significant difference between men and women in the amount of alcohol that can be consumed without a drop in life expectancy” – a conclusion that contradicts US government guidelines.

USA Today reported that the US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s guidelines “allow for drinking in moderation,” which, for men “means up to two drinks per day, or roughly 196 grams per week – nearly double what researchers suggest” in this study. For women, the guidelines say just “one drink per day, which is 98 grams per week.” Spain, Portugal, and Italy also have government recommended guidelines nearly 50 percent higher than the 100-gram threshold shown in this study.

The AP reported that the research “estimates that 40-year-old men who drink as much as the current U.S. guidelines allow can expect to live one to two years less than men who have no more than seven drinks per week.” The study found a “higher risk of stroke, heart failure, and other problems” among those who drink more than the study’s recommendation of about seven beers per week – or five glasses of wine or 1.5-ounce shots of liquor.

PBS NewsHour reported that the study suggests that “people who drank more than 100 grams of alcohol per week, the equivalent of about six glasses of wine, had increased risk of stroke, heart disease, heart failure, fatal hypertensive disease and fatal aortic aneurysm.”

What do you think?

Primary Care is Us

Posted by on Apr 9, 2018 in Patient Care | 0 comments

Primary Care is Us

PCPs Are Becoming Rarer As Healthcare Business Models Change.

On the front of its Sunday business section yesterday the New York Times reported that “in this new medical age of urgent care centers and retail clinics… primary care” physicians are becoming “increasingly scarce.”

The article examined how changes in the healthcare industry have changed how patients receive medical care and interact with physicians.

Fortunately, our “business model” is growing and expanding to meet the complex needs of people who need and value more personal and comprehensive care that urgent care centers and retail clinics cannot and never will, by design, offer.

Do you or someone else you know need a primary care provider that really cares about you and your family? Just call us to set up an appointment. We look forward to serving you!