Health & Disease Prevention

How Is Alcohol Abused?

How Is Alcohol Abused?

In most parts of the world, alcohol is legal for adults to both purchase and consume. As a result, beverages that contain alcohol are available almost everywhere, and clearly, many adults partake. Since use is so common, it might seem hard to determine who is drinking alcohol in an appropriate manner and who is drinking in a manner that could lead to alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Experts suggest there are key signs to look for.

Binge Drinking Alcohol

Binge drinking is one such sign of alcohlism. This type of drinking, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, involves consuming alcohol with the intention of getting drunk. For men, that means drinking five or more drinks in about two hours; for women, that involves consuming four or more drinks within two hours.

Excessive Alcohol Use

This type of alcohol abuse pattern is easy to spot. These are people who sit down and attempt to down a great deal of alcohol at the same time. There’s intent to this drinking that is hard to hide. But this isn’t the only type of alcohol abuse out there. People may also abuse alcohol if they:

  • Take in alcoholic beverages and drive
  • Drink alcohol throughout the day
  • Consume alcohol in order to feel a buzz, without drinking in a binging manner
  • Feel the need to drink every single day
  • Drink a large amount of alcohol in social situations

These are all very different drinking patterns, but they have one thing in common. People who drink like this have lost some modicum of control over their consumption. The beverages drive their behaviors. It can seem like a subtle distinction, but it’s an important one to understand, as people who don’t amend troublesome drinking behaviors can become people who have symptoms of alcoholism.

Difficult drinking patterns can shift electrical activities within the brain, and when that happens, people might have little to no control over how they drink or when they drink.

 

Source https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment


: National Public Health Week and COVID-19

COVID-19 AND DAILY THEMES

The COVID-19 pandemic means public health is the topic of the day worldwide. How does that apply to our National Public Health Week daily themes? Here are just a few ideas.

 

MONDAY: MENTAL HEALTH — advocate for and promote emotional well-being

 

COVID-19 is causing heightened levels of stress. In particular, isolation and quarantine can be highly stressful. As can separation from loved ones, especially those detained off-shore or in other countries. And many in the public health and health care sectors, as well as those working in affected industries, are shouldering a significant mental health burden.

 

Reach out and check on your loved ones and community members. And read and share such resources as the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tips on managing anxiety and stress.

 

 

TUESDAY: MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH — ensure the health of mothers and babies throughout the lifespan

Research to date finds pregnant women and young children do not seem to be more susceptible to COVID-19. If anything, women (in general) may have a survival advantage over men (In China, 2.8% of infected men have died, compared to 1.7% of women).

 

Still, pregnant women and children are considered “at-risk populations” and need some special support during the pandemic. Check out the Kaiser Family Foundation’s issue brief Novel Coronavirus “COVID-19”: Special Considerations for Pregnant Women. HealthyChildren.org has a COVID-19 page for children and families. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers links to clinical guidance and other resources, while the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has posted a practice advisory.

 

 

WEDNESDAY: VIOLENCE PREVENTION — reduce personal and community violence to improve health

 

Increased stress can lead to increased aggression, feeding a cycle of violence especially in communities already under strain. And, as APHA member Elena Ong writes in this Public Health Newswire post, “Since the first case of the new coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China, in December, there’s been a surge in reports of microaggressions, discrimination and violent attacks against people who look Chinese or Asian.”

 

Much of the stress people are feeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is linked to fear fed by misinformation. Help counteract the “infodemic” of bad and troubling information by sharing WHO’s mythbusters and resources on APHA’s COVID-19 page and Get Ready site. And as Ong reminds us, “let’s fight fear-mongering with principled and visionary leadership.”

 

 

THURSDAY: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH — help protect and maintain a healthy planet

 

In perhaps one of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic, air pollution, specifically CO2 levels, diminished in Italy due to dramatic lifestyle changes. Yet as always, changes in people’s lifestyle patterns can have unexpected consequences on our environment. For now, remain vigilant in recycling plastics. If you are sick, dispose of soiled items by double-bagging in secured containers with lids. Continue to advocate for increased funding to improve our water infrastructure and adequate funding to support public health workers in monitoring, preparing for and responding to the health effects of climate change.

 

 

FRIDAY: EDUCATION — advocate for quality education and schools

 

As with any illness, reliance on science-based information and response is key. Schools at all levels should be engaged in active surveillance and communicate with their state and local public health departments should a person display possible COVID-19 symptoms. Distance learning is now more necessary than ever, heightening the need for access to technology and high-speed internet As schools are often the key source of daily nutrition for students in low-income families, school systems are now called on to find ways to distribute meals while maintaining social distancing.

 

Reach out to your local school system to see if volunteers are needed, whether for meal distribution, online learning support or other tasks. If you’ve found yourself suddenly at home with your school-aged children, CDC has advice on how to talk to them about COVID-19, as does the National Association of School Psychologists.

 

 

SATURDAY: HEALTHY HOMES — ensure access to affordable and safe housing

 

During the COVID-19 quarantine, people are spending even more time in their homes than usual. For those living in unsafe environments, problems like mold and secondhand smoke exposure can worsen existing health conditions.

 

Share CDC’s workplace, home and school guidance. And while designed to help people prepare their homes for an outbreak, CDC’s Protect Your Home page is still useful now, in the midst of the pandemic. The National Center for Healthy Housing’s Fact Sheets, Checklists and Guides page offers links on ways to keep your home safe, the costs of home upkeep and seasonal maintenance checklists.

 

 

SUNDAY: ECONOMICS — advocate for economic empowerment as the key to a healthy life

 

One of the most dramatic reactions to COVID-19 has been that of the stock markets and the underlying industries they represent. It already appears clear that many industries and their employees will suffer a significant financial hardship. On an individual level, the burden of being out of work and (potentially) hospitalized for an extended period of time can have disastrous impacts on financial health.

Advocate for paid sick leave and a living wage. Urge your members of Congress to prioritize public health infrastructure and paid sick, family and medical leave in any future legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

These tips brought to you by the Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association and APHA.

 

Source http://www.nphw.org/nphw-2020/covid-19


Key Tuberculosis Facts

  • A total of 1.5 million people died from TB in 2018 (including 251 000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS).
  • In 2018, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis(TB) worldwide. 5.7 million men, 3.2 million women and 1.1 million children. There were cases in all countries and age groups. But TB is curable and preventable
  • In 2018, 1.1 million children fell ill with TB globally, and there were 205 000 child deaths due to TB (including among children with HIV). Child and adolescent TB is often overlooked by health providers and can be difficult to diagnose and treat.
  • In 2018, the 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87% of new TB cases. Eight countries account for two thirds of the total, with India leading the count, followed by, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.
  • Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. WHO estimates that there were 484 000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin – the most effective first-line drug, of which 78% had MDR-TB.
  • Globally, TB incidence is falling at about 2% per year. This needs to accelerate to a 4–5% annual decline to reach the 2020 milestones of the End TB Strategy.
  • An estimated 58 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2018.
  • Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Source https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tuberculosis


Facts, Symptoms, and Causes of CKD

The Facts About Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

  • 37 million American adults have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk.
  • Early detection can help prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
  • Heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with CKD.
  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best estimate of kidney function.
  • Hypertension causes CKD and CKD causes hypertension.
  • Persistent proteinuria (protein in the urine) means CKD is present.
  • High risk groups include those with diabetes, hypertension and family history of kidney failure.
  • African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Seniors are at increased risk.
  • Two simple tests can detect CKD: blood pressure, urine albumin and serum creatinine.

What causes CKD?

The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. Diabetes happens when your blood sugar is too high, causing damage to many organs in your body, including the kidneys and heart, as well as blood vessels, nerves and eyes. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels increases. If uncontrolled, or poorly controlled, high blood pressure can be a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. Also, chronic kidney disease can cause high blood pressure.

Other conditions that affect the kidneys are:

  • Glomerulonephritis, a group of diseases that cause inflammation and damage to the kidney’s filtering units. These disorders are the third most common type of kidney disease.
  • Inherited diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease, which causes large cysts to form in the kidneys and damage the surrounding tissue.
  • Malformations that occur as a baby develops in its mother’s womb. For example, a narrowing may occur that prevents normal outflow of urine and causes urine to flow back up to the kidney. This causes infections and may damage the kidneys.
  • Lupus and other diseases that affect the body’s immune system.
  • Obstructions caused by problems like kidney stones, tumors or an enlarged prostate gland in men.
  • Repeated urinary infections.

What are the symptoms of CKD?

Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. However, you may notice that you:

  • feel more tired and have less energy
  • have trouble concentrating
  • have a poor appetite
  • have trouble sleeping
  • have muscle cramping at night
  • have swollen feet and ankles
  • have puffiness around your eyes, especially in the morning
  • have dry, itchy skin
  • need to urinate more often, especially at night.

Anyone can get chronic kidney disease at any age. However, some people are more likely than others to develop kidney disease. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:

  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have a family history of kidney failure
  • are older
  • belong to a population group that has a high rate of diabetes or high blood pressure, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians.

Source https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/about-chronic-kidney-disease



Go Red for Women®

Go Red for Women®

Go Red for Women® is the American Heart Association’s global initiative to end heart disease and stroke in women. Launched in 2004 to close the gap in awareness, Go Red quickly expanded into a worldwide movement dedicated to removing the barriers women face to achieving good health and wellbeing.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined. Learn what it means to Go Red For Women to help women like you fight back:

G: GET YOUR NUMBERS

Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol.

O: OWN YOUR LIFESTYLE

Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, and eat healthy.

It’s up to you. No one can do it for you.

R: REALIZE YOUR RISK

We think it won’t happen to us, but heart disease kills one of three women.

E: EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY

Make healthy food choices for you and your family.

Teach your kids the importance of staying active.

D: DON’T BE SILENT

Tell every woman you know that heart disease is our No. 1 killer.

Source https://newsroom.heart.org/events/february-2020-american-heart-month-and-go-red-for-women


Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

At least one third of cancers are preventable giving us every reason to champion healthy choices and prevention strategies for all, so that we have the best chance to prevent and reduce our cancer risks.

Choosing your health

Not every type of cancer is preventable but we do know we can prevent many cancers through lifestyle choices alone. According to the World Health Organization, at least one third of common cancers are preventable1 through a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.

Smoking

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer and stopping smoking is one of the best things we can do to reduce our risk of cancer. Use of tobacco has been found to cause around 15 different types of cancer including oral cancers, lung, liver, stomach, bowel and ovarian cancers, as well as some types of leukaemia (cancers of the blood)2. Quitting at any age can make huge a difference, increasing your life expectancy and improving quality of life3.

Alcohol

Alcohol is strongly linked with an increased risk of several cancers. By reducing and limiting how much you drink, you can reduce your risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, bowel and breast, and may also reduce the risk of liver and bowel cancers.

Physical activity

Maintaining a healthy weight and making physical activity part of your everyday life can help reduce your risk of ten cancers, which include bowel, breast, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophagus, kidney, liver, advanced prostate and gallbladder cancers6,7.

Ultraviolet radiation

No matter where you live or your skin tone, moderate your exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and avoid tanning beds and solariums to help reduce your risk of skin cancer8. Staying under the shade, covering up your skin and avoiding prolonged periods of exposure to the sun are some ways to help protect yourself. 

 

Fast fact: Smoking is linked to 71%4 of lung cancer deaths, and accounts for at least 22% of all cancer deaths5. 

 

Workplace hazards

Some people risk being exposed to a cancer-causing substance because of the work that they do. For example, workers in the chemical dye industry have been found to have a higher incidence than normal of bladder cancer. Asbestos is a well-known workplace cause of cancer – particularly a cancer called mesothelioma, which most commonly affects the covering of the lungs. In this case, asbestos isn’t just present in workplaces but can also be found in older homes and buildings.

Get vaccinated

Chronic infections (commonly caused by viruses) are estimated to cause approximately 16% of all cancers globally. Some of the most common forms of cancers such as liver, cervical and stomach cancers are associated with infections with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the human papillomavirus (HPV), and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori virus (H, pylori), respectively. Today, there are safe and effective vaccines against HBV and HPV, which can help to protect against the infection-related cancers of liver and cervical cancers.

Source https://www.worldcancerday.org/prevention-and-risk-reduction


Protecting Your Child’s Teeth

Even though tooth decay—or cavities—has been on the decline for the past 30 years, it is still one of the most common chronic diseases for kids from age 6 to 19.

Protect your child’s teeth by following the tips below:

  • Have your child drink tap water that contains fluoride. To see if your community’s water is fluoridated, you can view your water system on CDC’s My Water’s Fluoride website. You can also call your water utility company and request a copy of the utility’s most recent “Consumer Confidence Report.” This report provides information on the level of fluoride in your drinking (tap) water.

 

  • If your drinking water does not have enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay (the optimal amount of 0.7 milligrams per Liter), ask your dentist, pediatrician, family doctor, or nurse if your child needs oral fluoride supplements, such as drops, tablets, or lozenges.

 

  • Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

 

  • If your child is younger than 2 years, consult first with your doctor or dentist regarding the use of fluoride toothpaste. Clean your child’s teeth every day as soon as the first tooth appears by brushing without toothpaste with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and plain water.

 

  • If your child is younger than 6 years, watch your child brush their teeth. Make sure your child only uses a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and always spits it out rather than swallows it. Help your child brush until she has good brushing skills.

 

  • Talk to your dentist, pediatrician, family doctor, or nurse about putting fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears.

 

  • By the time your child is 1 year of age, the American Academy of Pediatrics’s Brushing Up on Oral Health: Never Too Early to Start recommends that your child visit a dentist for an initial check-up. Your child’s chance of getting cavities can be higher if:
    • Family members (older brothers, sisters, or parents) have cavities.
    • They eat and drink a lot of sugary foods and drinks, like soda, especially between meals.
    • They have special health care needs.
    • They wear braces or orthodontics or oral appliances.

If any of these apply to your child, be sure to talk with your dentist, pediatrician, or family doctor to make sure you are taking extra steps to protect your child’s teeth.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/fl_caries.htm


Know Your Risk for Heart Disease

What health conditions increase the risk of heart disease?

High blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is a medical condition that happens when the pressure of the blood in your arteries and other blood vessels is too high. The high pressure, if not controlled, can affect your heart and other major organs of your body, including your kidneys and brain.

High blood pressure is often called a “silent killer” because it usually has no symptoms. The only way to know whether you have high blood pressure is to measure your blood pressure. You can lower your blood pressure with lifestyle changes or with medicine to reduce your risk for heart disease and heart attack.

Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made by the liver or found in certain foods. Your liver makes enough for your body’s needs, but we often get more cholesterol from the foods we eat.

If we take in more cholesterol than the body can use, the extra cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries, including those of the heart. This leads to narrowing of the arteries and can decrease the blood flow to the heart, brain, kidneys, and other parts of the body.

There are two main types of blood cholesterolLDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is considered to be “bad” cholesterol because it can cause plaque buildup in your arteries, and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is considered to be “good” cholesterol because higher levels provide some protection against heart disease.

High blood cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. The only way to know whether you have high cholesterol is to get your cholesterol checked. Your health care team can do a simple blood test, called a “lipid profile,” to measure your cholesterol levels. Learn more about getting your cholesterol checked.

Diabetes mellitusYour body needs glucose (sugar) for energy. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that helps move glucose from the food you eat to your body’s cells for energy. If you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin, can’t use its own insulin as well as it should, or both.

Diabetes causes sugar to build up in the blood. The risk of death from heart disease for adults with diabetes is higher than for adults who do not have diabetes.2 Talk with your doctor about ways to prevent or manage diabetes and control other risk factors.

Obesity. Obesity is excess body fat. Obesity is linked to higher “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels and to lower “good” cholesterol levels. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes as well as heart disease. Talk with your health care team about a plan to reduce your weight to a healthy level. Learn more about healthy weight.

What behaviors increase the risk of heart disease?

Your lifestyle can increase your risk for heart disease.

  • Eating a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterolhas been linked to heart disease and related conditions, such as atherosclerosis. Also, too much salt (sodium) in the diet can raise blood pressure.
  • Not getting enough physical activitycan lead to heart disease. It can also increase the chances of having other medical conditions that are risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Regular physical activity can lower your risk for heart disease.
  • Drinking too much alcoholcan raise blood pressure levels and the risk for heart disease. It also increases levels of triglycerides, a fatty substance in the blood which can increase the risk for heart disease.
    • Women should have no more than 1 drink a day.
    • Men should have no more than 2 drinks a day.
  • Tobacco useincreases the risk for heart disease and heart attack:
    • Cigarette smoking can damage the heart and blood vessels, which increases your risk for heart conditions such as atherosclerosis and heart attack.
    • Nicotine raises blood pressure.
    • Carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry.
    • Exposure to secondhand smoke can also increase the risk for heart disease, even for nonsmokers.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/risk_factors.htm


Causes of Glaucoma

Causes of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging the nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve.

People who have higher eye pressure are at higher risk for glaucoma. But each type of glaucoma is different — and for some of them, experts are still learning about the causes.

How can eye pressure damage the optic nerve?

Research shows that higher eye pressure increases your risk for damage to the optic nerve. The pressure in your eye goes up if fluid can’t drain normally out of the front of your eye.

Between the cornea (clear front layer of the eye) and the iris (colored part of the eye), there’s a space called the “anterior chamber.” Fluid normally flows through this space and out of an opening where the iris and cornea meet. The opening has spongy tissue in it. The fluid passes through this spongy tissue as it drains out of the eye.

The green arrow in the diagram below shows how the fluid normally moves through the eye.

Not everyone with higher eye pressure will develop glaucoma. Whether you develop glaucoma depends on the amount of pressure your optic nerve can take without being damaged. This amount is different for each person.

Getting regular comprehensive dilated eye exams can help your eye doctor figure out what level of eye pressure is normal for you.

What causes open-angle glaucoma?

In people with open-angle glaucoma, the fluid passes too slowly through the spongy tissue in the opening where the iris and cornea meet. This causes fluid to build up in your eye, which increases the pressure inside of your eye.

Experts believe that when the pressure inside your eye gets too high, it can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss. Studies show that lowering eye pressure can help stop vision loss from glaucoma — that’s why it’s important to control the pressure inside your eyes.

What causes normal-tension glaucoma?

It’s possible for your optic nerve to get damaged and cause vision loss without high eye pressure. This is called normal-tension glaucoma or low-tension glaucoma.

Experts don’t know why this happens, but it may be that your optic nerve is more sensitive than most people’s. In this case, even though the pressure in your eye is normal, lowering it can slow down or prevent more damage to your eye.

What causes angle-closure glaucoma?

In angle-closure glaucoma, the opening where the iris and cornea meet gets blocked by the outer edge of the iris. When this happens, the fluid can’t drain out of your eye at all. This is a medical emergency.

Angle-closure glaucoma can cause these sudden symptoms:

  • Intense eye pain
  • Upset stomach (nausea)
  • Red eye
  • Blurry vision

If you have these symptoms, go to your doctor or an emergency room immediately.

What causes congenital glaucoma?

In congenital glaucoma, babies are born with a problem in their eye that makes fluid drain more slowly than normal. The good news is that if a child with congenital glaucoma gets surgery soon after they are diagnosed, they have a high chance of developing good vision.

Can other health problems cause glaucoma?

Yes — you can develop different types of glaucoma that are called secondary glaucomas.

Health problems that can cause glaucoma include:

  • Complications from medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Cataract
  • Certain eye tumors
  • Inflammation of your eye
  • Serious eye injuries
  • A reaction to steroids used to treat some diseases

Source https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/glaucoma/causes