Insight News

Aug 27th


2009: Lowest Teen Birth Rate

2009: Lowest Teen Birth RateA lowest teen birth rate—39.1 per 1000—in 70 years of record keeping was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week. The rate for 2009 was 6% lower than for 2008, and marked the second consecutive year that the rate fell. The reduction follows two years of increases in 2006 and 2007.

Significantly, the rates fell for all sections of the population’s teens.

In a 2007 article, noted researcher, John Santelli, M.D., suggests that most of the decline in teen birth rates since the early 90s is due to better use of contraceptives.

Medicare: What you need to know now

Medicare is health insurance for people at age 65 and for disabled people.   Understanding Medicare can save you money-here are some important facts:  Most people first become eligible for Medicare at age 65, and there are four parts to Medicare: Parts A, B, C and D.

•    Part A helps pay for inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and other services.
•    Part B helps pay for doctors' fees, outpatient hospital visits, and other medical services and supplies not covered by Part A.
•    Part C allows you to choose to receive all of your health care services through a provider organization. These plans, known as Medicare Advantage Plans, may help lower your costs of receiving medical services, or you may get extra benefits for an additional monthly fee. You must have both Parts A and B to enroll in Part C.
•    Part D is the Medicare Prescription Drug Program.

New year, new hope: Suggestions for facing the New Year after losing a loved one

With the majority of the holiday spotlight directed towards Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's easy to overlook the difficulty that New Year's Eve can cause after a traumatic year. Joni Aldrich offers support and advice to those who are facing 2011 without a loved one.

Most of us look forward to the second when that famous ball drops in Times Square. After all, a new year represents a fresh start, a chance to make the changes in our lives we've been wanting, and an opportunity to put the troubles of the past behind us. All around the world, it has become tradition to close out the past twelve months with cheerful abandon and to toast the incoming year with family and friends.

Metro Refugee Health Task Force Update

Summary of topics:
Jan 4: Metro Refugee Health Task Force Meeting
Jan. 24: National Children’s Study Launch Event
Jan. 29: "Telling Your Story" for Non-Profits

Feb. 4 & 5: 6th Immigrant and Minority Farmers Conference in St Paul!
Feb. 15: Dr. Judith Kaur Cancer Disparities Grand Rounds

March 3: Rally For Youth Day at the Capitol


One of five deaths caused by cigarette smoking

One of five deaths caused by cigarette smokingWhether you smoke or not, you may already know that tobacco use is the single largest cause of preventable death in the United States, exceeding the death toll from HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, motor vehicle accidents, suicide, and homicide combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, an estimated one out of five deaths in this country are caused by cigarette smoking alone.

As the curtain starts to come down on the year, it is the time of year when we focus on Lung Cancer Awareness, and many people use this period to smoke less or to quit smoking for good on a specially designated day called the Great American Smokeout, which this year was November 18. But, whether it is during the Lung Cancer Awareness period or any other time of year, it is never a bad time to take the pledge to stop smoking. If you don’t smoke, pledge to help a family member or a friend quit.

Amphibians still declining

Amphibians still decliningDear EarthTalk: Are the world’s amphibians still in decline and what’s being done to help them? -- Chris W., Stamford, CT

Unfortunately yes, amphibians are still in serious trouble around the world. A recently updated worldwide population assessment by the non-profit International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that 32 percent of the 6,000-plus amphibian species left on the planet have declined to dangerously low levels—and qualify for vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered status on the group’s “Red List” of at-risk wildlife.

Perhaps even more disturbing is that upwards of 160 amphibian species—some of which have been around for hundreds of millions of years—have gone extinct just in the last 25 years. Since amphibian species are particularly sensitive to environmental change, they are often the first animals to decline in areas just beginning to experience environmental degradation, and as such are considered to be important indicators of the health of the wider ecosystems surrounding them.

China's carbon emissions

China's carbon emissionsDear EarthTalk: I understand that China is about to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest global warming polluter. What is China doing to address this issue as well as its other environmental impacts as such a populous nation? -- Sophie N., Andover, MA

Actually, China passed the U.S. as the world’s leading greenhouse gas emitter back in 2006 and today produces some 17 percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide output. According to the China Daily news service, air and water pollution, combined with widespread use of food additives and pesticides, make cancer the top killer in China. Meanwhile, World Bank data show that, based on the European Union’s air quality standards, only one percent of the country’s 560 million urban inhabitants breathe air deemed safe. But many Chinese insist that all this environmental trouble is part of the cost of developing into a world superpower, and government leaders there are hesitant to impose restrictions on economic development.
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