Insight News

Saturday
Aug 01st

Health

The National Cancer Institute: What it is and what it means to you in addressing cancer's impact on communities of color

If you've been following Lifelines articles about your health, you've been connected to information from the National Cancer Institute, or NCI for short. NCI is a U.S. government agency and part of the National Institutes of Health. More than 40 years ago, the National Cancer Act gave NCI new authorities as the government's principal agency for cancer research and training, including the responsibility for coordinating the National Cancer Program. What does this mean? It means that NCI has an important federal mandate to direct programs that investigate all aspects of cancer, from prevention and early detection to treatment and survivorship. In addition, NCI was charged with ensuring that doctors, patients, and the public receive the latest information about cancer.

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Walking Your Way to Better Health, Wealth and Well-Being

Winter Walkoff 2012 Promotes a Walk a Day During February

One of the easiest, safest and least expensive forms of exercise and getting around doesn’t require a fancy gym membership, designer clothing or special training. In fact, you’ve been doing it practically your entire life: it’s walking!

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New automobile fuel economy standards

New automobile fuel economy standards

Dear EarthTalk: I read that car makers had agreed to up fuel economy standards to an average of about 55 miles per gallon by the year 2025, and that specifics were due to be hammered out by the end of 2011. Did this happen and where do things stand now?  -- Scott Ellis, Norwalk, CA

After years of wrangling on the issue, auto companies, regulators and policymakers have finally come to terms on increased Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for vehicles plying American roads. According to the plan as formulated by the Obama administration, automakers will double the average, unadjusted fuel-economy rating of their car and light truck vehicle fleets to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 from today’s standard of 27 miles per gallon. Automakers which don’t meet the standards will be penalized $5.50 per 0.1 miles per gallon they fall below, multiplied by their total production for the U.S. market. Congress is likely to sign the new rules, which will start taking effect for the 2017 model year, into law this summer.



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Disease clusters

Disease clusters

Dear EarthTalk: There are many areas around the U.S. where “disease clusters” have occurred, whereby unusually large numbers of people have gotten sick, usually because of proximity to a polluter. What if anything is being done to remedy the situation?  -- Michael Sorenson, Natick, MA

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) defines a disease cluster as “an unusually large number of people sickened by a disease in a certain place and time.” The organization, along with the National Disease Clusters Alliance (NDCA), reported in March 2011 that it had identified 42 disease clusters throughout 13 U.S. states: Texas, California, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Delaware, Louisiana, Montana, Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas, all chosen for analysis, states the report, “based on the occurrence of known clusters in the state, geographic diversity, or community concerns about a disease cluster in their area.”

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Nurses Wanted: Largest women's health study seeks 100,000 nurses

Nurses' Health Study recruits "next generation"

From the dangers of tobacco and trans fats to the benefits of physical activity and whole grains, much of what we know about health today is thanks to the Nurses' Health Study.

Researchers are recruiting 100,000 nurses and nursing students to join the long-running Nurses' Health Study and expand its landmark research on women's health.

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Remember your heart, says the Circle of Red

Remember your heart, says the Circle of Red

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but now is not a time to forget about your heart.  That’s the main message of the Circle of Red, a member organization committed to educating women in their community about the dangers of heart disease.

Two days after V-day, on February 16, 2012, I was fortunate to attend a chocolate and wine event sponsored by a Raleigh-based group, and led by professional CPA Sheila Ahler, the current Circle of Red Chair (COR).  The organization is affiliated with the American Heart Association (AHA) and its “Go Red for Women” National Campaign. Each member is asked to make a financial commitment of $1,000- $2500 annually.  This generous tax deductible contribution does beg the question, “how much is your heart health worth?”  About 14 women were in attendance at this post-Valentine’s event, and COR Chair Ahler has already reached her membership goal of 24, but wants to surpass it. 

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How green is the state of our union?

How green is the state of our union?

Dear EarthTalk: What are the environmental implications of the road ahead as laid out by President Obama in his recent State of the Union? -- Marilyn Pike, Bethesda, MD

The economy dominated President Obama’s recent State of the Union address, but his discussion about energy and the environment took up almost seven minutes—or nine percent—of the hour-plus address. And while much of what Mr. Obama said was comforting to environmentalists, his statements about expanding natural gas production—albeit “without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk”—and opening up more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources did not sit well.

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