Insight News

May 29th


A Game Plan for Healthy Living: Helpful Hints for Prostate Health

 A Game Plan for Healthy Living: Helpful Hints for Prostate HealthFor many men around the country, September is significant for one reason and one reason only…the start of new seasons of college and professional football. Roster depth analysis, fantasy football drafts, and the office betting pool all begin to take place this month. But as important as keeping up with football stats may be for so many Americans, few put the same amount of time and effort into keeping up with their own health stats. September should also hold a place of importance in men’s calendars because it is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Teen Pregnancy: Facts you should know

Teen pregnancy and birth rates have been slowly declining since the early 1990s.  These modest shifts have been particularly noticeable among African American teens. Nonetheless, African American girls are more likely than their white or Hispanic counterparts to become pregnant as a teen.

Today, one-third of African American teens will have sex by the age of 15. And, nearly six in ten African American girls will get pregnant at least once by age 20. The birth rate among African American teens (age 15-19) in Minnesota is 62.9 per 1,000, compared to 26.7 per 1,000 among white teenagers. 

Experts agree that frank, frequent discussions with teens are critical in addressing the issue of teen pregnancies. Begin early to establish open communications.  Here are a few frequently asked questions to help shape your conversations.


NAMIWalks changing minds one step at a time

NAMIWalks is changing minds one step at a time. NAMIWalks is a 5K walk to increase public awareness of mental illness, fight stigma, and raise funds for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMIWalks Minnesota will be held at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. Nearly 150 walk teams and more than 2,500 people from across the state are expected to participate. NAMI provides educational classes, support groups and resource information, and advocates for better mental health services.


Congregations unite to promote health

Four St. Paul congregations are joining forces, for the second year, to raise awareness around the importance of health and wellness.  The “Know Your Numbers” health fair will take place at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, 451 Central Avenue W, St. Paul, on Saturday, Sept. 18, 10 am to 1 pm.  The goal is to promote healthy lifestyles by empowering people through education and screenings, while creating increased awareness of community resources that are available to individuals and families.  

Obamacare pre-existing condition insurance now enrolling

Some call it health reform, some Obamacare, yet many with a pre-existing health condition and no health insurance may call it a life saver. For them the wait for affordable health insurance may be over. The Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), part of the new Affordable Care Act, is now enrolling.

“For too long, Americans with pre-existing conditions have been locked out” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. “The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan gives them a new option – the same insurance coverage as a healthy individual.”

Returning predators to the wild

Returning predators to the wildDear EarthTalk: What is happening with various programs initiated over the years in the U.S. to return to the wild certain animal species that had been endangered or threatened? And do environmentalists tend to be for or against such efforts? -- Susan Adams, Owl’s Head, ME

From the standpoint of species and ecosystem health, limited attempts at predator reintroduction in the United States have for the most part proven very successful. The gray wolf, extirpated by hunters in the Yellowstone region some 90 years ago, is now thriving there in the wake of a controversial reintroduction program initiated in 1995, when the National Park Service released 31 gray wolves into the park’s expansive backcountry. Today as many as 170 gray wolves roam the park and environs, while the elk population—which was denuding many iconic park landscapes in the absence of its chief predator—has fallen by half, in what many environmentalists see as a win-win scenario.

Radiation exposure from CT scans

Radiation exposure from CT scansDear EarthTalk: Should I fear radiation exposure associated with medical scans such as CT scans, mammograms and the like? -- Shelly Johansen, Fairbanks, AK

The short answer is…maybe. Critics of the health care industry postulate that our society’s quickness to test for disease may in fact be causing more of it, especially in the case of medical scans. To wit, the radiation dose from a typical CT scan (short for computed tomography and commonly known as a “cat scan”) is 600 times more powerful than the average chest x-ray.

A 2007 study by Dr. Amy Berrington de González of the National Cancer Institute projected that the 72 million CT scans conducted yearly in the U.S. (not including scans conducted after a cancer diagnosis or performed at the end of life) will likely cause some 29,000 cancers resulting in 15,000 deaths two to three decades later. Scans of the abdomen, pelvis, chest and head were deemed most likely to cause cancer, and patients aged 35 to 54 were more likely to develop cancer as a result of CT scans than other age group.
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