Insight News

Thursday
Feb 11th

Health

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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President Obama didn’t get it right on the birth control compromise


President Obama didn’t get it right on the birth control compromise

This time I think President Obama got it wrong.  I understand why he made the compromise he did—to avoid a religious-inflamed political battle.  But I wished he hadn’t taken the road of compromise. In doing so, he’s done a disservice to women’s right to choose what happens to our bodies.

Right now, it feels like 1972 before the advent of Roe v. Wade.  This ruling by the Supreme Court overturned a Texas interpretation of abortion law and made abortions legal for women. But at the heart of Roe v. Wade was women’s right to choose what happens to their bodies as backed by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits government from enacting laws that infringe upon a person’s right to the pursuit of life, liberty and property.  “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

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Time to talk about colon cancer

When is the last time you talked about colon cancer? It’s a disease no one wants to talk about, yet it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. A lot of work has gone into bringing awareness to this disease, but because it deals with part of the body that our society is uncomfortable talking about, many suffer needlessly because they postponed a colonoscopy or neglected it altogether.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and a great opportunity to openly discuss the disease and learn how we can prevent it. Understanding risk factors, symptoms, and screening options will not only help in avoiding the disease, but could mean the difference between life and death.

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How toxic is Black hair care?

Little attention has been paid to the connection between African American beauty products and adverse health outcomes. Recent studies suggest that may change.  "Take the kinks out of your mind,” intoned Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), “instead of out of your hair.”

As founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), Garvey refused advertisements for products to lighten the skin and straighten the hair of African Americans in The Negro World, the UNIA’s newspaper. That was “back in the day” – between 1918 and 1933 – when the paper had a circulation estimated at close to 200,000 per week.

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National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Recent scientific advances give us renewed hope that an end to the AIDS epidemic is within our reach, but we cannot allow ourselves to lose our sense of urgency in addressing the heavy burden of HIV/AIDS among Black Americans. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day reminds us that though we have come a long way over the past 30 years, we have so much left to achieve, and the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) – to be held in Washington, D.C. from July 22-27 – will be an opportunity to re-focus the agenda on the U.S., particularly among hard-hit communities, including Black Americans.

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