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TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH: Cholesterol meds will not spur growth of prostate cancer

I was diagnosed with high LDL cholesterol 20 years ago. I have been taking higher statin doses and now take Crestor 20 mg. Due to muscle pain, my cardiologist prescribed Praluent injections of 75 mg every two weeks to lower my LDL to below 77. I am 74 and have two heart stents in my right coronary artery, but have never had a heart attack.

Praluent is a monoclonal antibody, and the literature states that it can lower your immunity. I also have low-grade (Gleason 3+3) prostate cancer that has been stable since diagnosed in 2012. Is there a risk that Praluent could cause my prostate cancer to advance?

Although taking a statin (such as the Crestor you were taking to reduce cholesterol) was once thought to increase cancer risk, multiple studies have since found no convincing evidence that this is the case.

Praluent (alirocumab) is in a new class of drugs, called the PCSK-9 inhibitors. They have not been used for very long, but I found no evidence that these drugs increase cancer risk either. There was some concern that the increase in bile acids seen in people treated with these drugs might predispose them to colon cancer, but initial studies have not shown any problems so far with either Praluent or evolocumab (Repatha).

I believe that for you, heart disease is a larger risk to your life than your prostate cancer. Since you can’t tolerate a statin, a PCSK-9 inhibitor is more likely to prolong your life by reducing heart disease risk than it is to shorten your life by increasing prostate cancer risk. There is no evidence that it does so.

Ever since my mother became ill, my father’s health has gone downhill. He has trouble walking and getting up from a sitting position, and he has hardly any feeling in his hands. It has gotten so bad that he has to pick things up with the webbing of his fingers then manipulate it to the correct position.

His doctor claims that this is old age, but I fear it could be a bone issue. A friend of mine many years ago found that she could not raise her arm past her shoulders and subsequently had neck surgery at the age of 80 to correct it. My father is 77 and was fine until recently. Is this really “old age,” or could something else be wrong?

It is NOT “old age.”

It’s a problem with his nervous system, but I can’t tell you what exactly without a more comprehensive evaluation. There are several likely possibilities, including carpal tunnel syndrome, but many others as well. He should have an evaluation. A neurologist would be an excellent place to start.

DR. ROACH WRITES: A recent column on itchy ears generated a lot of letters from readers, mostly asking whether this was due to allergies. One person found that it was the dye from shampoo that seemed to cause the symptom. Several people wrote in that treatment with medicated selenium shampoo helped solve their problem.

As always, I appreciate helpful suggestions from readers.

— Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or send mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

Article source: http://theledger.com/entertainmentlife/20190521/to-your-good-health-cholesterol-meds-will-not-spur-growth-of-prostate-cancer

Knox panelists look at barriers to good health — and how to get rid of them

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Dr. Martha Buchanan, director of the Knox County Dept. of Health, explains the concept of health equity.
Knoxville News Sentinel

When Dr. Kathleen Brown moved from West Knoxville to South Knoxville last year, she said, her life expectancy statistically decreased by six years.

Brown, a former nurse who now directs the University of Tennessee’s Master of Public Health program, used that example of variances in health by ZIP code to illustrate “social determinants” — outside factors that can influence health — Monday morning at the News Sentinel’s Newsmakers breakfast.

The event included a health-related legislation update by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, followed by a panel discussion, “Who Gets to Be Healthy?”


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U.S. Rep. Phil Roe speaks at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.The Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.The Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.U.S. Rep. Phil Roe speaks at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.Dr. Keith Grey, chief medical officer of UT Medical Center, moderates a panel at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.The Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.U.S. Rep. Phil Roe speaks at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, center, at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.Dr. Martha Buchanan, director of the Knox County Health Department, speaks on panel at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.Attendees listen as U.S. Rep. Phil Roe speaks at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.Dr. Mark Browne, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Covenant Health, speaks on a panel at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.The Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.Dr. Keith Grey, chief medical officer of UT Medical Center, moderates a panel at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.UT Medical Center's Dr. David Rankin speaks on a panel at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.Attendees listen to panelists speak at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.Tony Benton, chief executive officer of Tennova Healthcare East Tennessee, speaks on a panel at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.Attendees speak and ask questions to a panel at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.Dr. Kathleen Brown, associate professor and Master of Public Health program director at the University of Tennessee, speaks on a panel at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.U.S. Rep. Phil Roe speaks at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.U.S. Rep. Phil Roe speaks at the Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.The Knoxville News Sentinel's inaugural health care breakfast Who Gets to Be Healthy? held at Relix Variety on Monday, May 20, 2019.

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Distrust after Tuskegee syphilis study had long-term effect on black men’s lifespan

More barriers than just willpower

Gray said he’d been cutting out cancers for more than a decade when, at a community event at Beck Cultural Exchange Center, he learned the patients he was telling to eat better and get more exercise faced more barriers than just willpower: They lacked safe places, or streetlights to be outside. Healthy food might not be available close enough to make it feasible to obtain regularly.

That’s when he realized that, just as with cancer, a community must cut out inequity to ensure its health, he said.

Brown said it’s expected that, overall, the wealthiest people would be in the best health and the poorest people the unhealthiest. But her team’s research during her years as director of Community Assessment and Health Promotion for the Knox County Health Department showed a “true gradient,” where health gradually rose and fell depending on income and, by extension, education.

“It’s not just one group that you want to think about,” Brown said.

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Dr. Kathleen Brown explains the gradient of health at a panel during the Knox News inaugural breakfast on health care.
Angela Gosnell, Knoxville News Sentinel

Simply the stress of trying to obtain healthy food, health care or medication is itself bad for health, she added.

For example, the price of insulin can make diabetes — a manageable chronic illness — a “death sentence,” she said, for people who don’t have “the same level of resources,” including money and the ability to seek out information and understand it.

“And who is most affected by diabetes?” she asked. Statistically, lower-income people are.

Benton and Brown pointed out that lack of resources lead people to wait longer to seek health care — until a problem is much more serious and expensive to treat.

Lack of insurance can be a big barrier

For some, lack of insurance is a barrier. Roughly 10 percent of Tennesseans don’t have health insurance.

But even with insurance, people face high deductibles or copays they can’t pay, or don’t have paid time off to go to the doctor and can’t afford to miss wages.

For some, Benton said, they live in such rural areas that “getting to the mailbox is a challenge” with a chronic health condition — let alone going to dialysis or radiation treatments.

For others, Browne said, it’s hard to get healthier after hospitalization because they don’t have a permanent, stable address or a support system.

“You can’t have home health care if you don’t have a home,” he said.

Browne said a partnership between Covenant Health and Knox Area Rescue Ministries provides short-term housing where patients have an address and a caregiver as they receive follow-up care. He said it has reduced the number of patients’ hospitals day by more than 300 days.

More: Watch the whole panel discussion

Rankin, whose monthly Lonsdale clinic sees a number of patients from different countries, said not speaking English — or understanding the system — is a tremendous barrier to care.

‘Opportunity to link arms’

What does health equity look like? Citing the health department’s vision of “Every person a healthy person,” Buchanan said it’s a community where health outcomes and life expectancy don’t vary by income, ZIP code or education.

Collaboration among health providers and community groups is one way to get there, panelists and audience members agreed. Licensed clinical social worker Cynthia Finch, who volunteers with a free medical clinic held weekly at Magnolia Avenue United Methodist Church, noted hospitals’ social workers ought to have a comprehensive list of available resources for people with low incomes. She and others suggested timing future discussions to be convenient for a larger percentage of people.

And Gray said he hopes there will be future discussions, that Monday’s panel discussion was a “kick-off” of health leaders collaborating to work toward equity, though they’re likely “planting a seed of a tree we’ll never sit under.”

“This is an opportunity for us to link arms … and solve this problem,” Gray said.

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Rep. Phil Roe spoke at the Knox News inaugural health care breakfast May 20 addressing issues surrounding health care access in East Tennessee.
Knoxville News Sentinel

Article source: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/health/2019/05/21/knoxville-panel-barriers-social-determinants-health/3705957002/

McConnell Wants to Raise Tobacco Age to 21, a Rare Good Idea From the GOP on Public Health

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation to raise the tobacco-purchasing age to 21, aimed as an attempt to counter the recent spike in e-cigarette use among teenagers that threatens the decades-long decline of youth smoking rates. Joined by Virginia senator Tim Kaine as a co-sponsor, the bill enters the Senate with a bipartisan endorsement from representatives of two top tobacco-producing states. Rarer still than this aisle-crossing effort willing to counter local titans of agribusiness is the possibility that a GOP leader has put forth a bill that may be an actual good idea in public health.

The bill includes raising the purchasing age for all tobacco products, though e-cigarettes are the intended focus, considering the low rates of actual cigarette use among teenagers. In 2018, around two in 25 high-school students reported that they smoked a rolled cigarette in the past month, per the CDC. But in that same year, one in five high-schoolers said they had vaped in the past month. That number is growing rapidly: According to the CDC, e-cigarette use among high-schoolers jumped 78 percent between 2017 and 2018.

Switch focus to good health, not illness

Gain a global perspective on the US and go beyond with curated news and analysis from 600 journalists in 50+ countries covering politics, business, innovation, trends and more.

Article source: https://www.ft.com/content/2043745e-78bb-11e9-bbad-7c18c0ea0201

Strong bones vital to good health

Bone health for everyone is important at all stages of life. Though, having strong bones is something people tend to take for granted, as symptoms often don’t appear until bone loss is advanced. There are many nutrition and lifestyle habits that can help build and maintain strong bones — and it’s never too early to start.

Bone health forms the structure; protects internal organs and provides attachment to muscles and stores calcium and minerals. There are many ways we can keep our bones strong and healthy. Eating foods that are rich in calcium, minerals and vitamin ‘D’ with regular exercise, along with good health and hygiene habits helps us to keep our bones healthy.

If we are not eating the right and required amount of food and not doing the right kind of exercise, our bones can become weak and even break. Broken bones (called fractures) can not only be painful, but at times might require surgery to heal. They can also cause long-lasting health problems.

If our bone health is poor, it will lead to weakening of our muscles strength. In case of prolonged poor bone health, it will lead to osteoporosis leading to structural changes like kyphosis or brittle bones leading to fractures, also the joints weaken and undergo arthritic changes. The most common bone disease is osteoporosis and with osteoporosis, our bones become weak and are more likely to break. People with osteoporosis most commonly break their bones in the wrist, spine, and hip.

The most vulnerable group of people with poor bone health in India primarily belongs to the lower socioeconomic strata. Inadequate nutrition or malnutrition is the main cause of high prevalence of osteopenia (52%) and osteoporosis (29%) among this group of population.

Osteoporosis is more prevalent in women than men. Indian women from low-income groups consume diets that are low in calcium coupled with less calories, proteins and micronutrients. Hospital-based data suggest that these women have osteoporotic hip fractures at a much earlier age. Indian women between within the age group of 30 to 60 years are more affected than their western counterparts.

The primary cause of poor bone health is dietary which indicates low calcium intake, eating disorders, and patients who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery. Patients who are on steroids and other medication with side effects are also prone to poor bone health.

Vitamin D is a vital element of bone health and as such exposure to sunlight for a certain time during the day is important. Further lifestyle diseases like atherosclerosis, heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes and diseases like thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease also contributes to poor bone health structure. Diseases associated with smoking, alcohol and drug abuse also leads to poor bone health.

Diagnosis and treatment

Status of your bone health can be evaluated by X-ray; ‘Bone Mineral Density Test’ which is done to diagnose early onslaught of osteoporosis; certain other blood tests like Calcium, VitD, Alkaline phosphatase, etc. based on a clinical evaluation by the doctor.

Anyone with poor bone health must see the doctor early. Secondary causes of osteoporosis like other medical diseases or use of medication causing osteoporosis also needs to be diagnosed and evaluated by the doctor.

The food that one intakes can affect bone health. Learning about the foods rich in calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients that are important for bone health and overall health will help make a healthier food choices. A well-balanced diet with plenty of dairy, fish, fruits and vegetables, one should get enough of the nutrients every day, but if a person is not getting the recommended amount from food alone, he/she may need to complement his/her diet by taking multivitamins or supplements.

Good bone health can be maintained by following a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise, proper diet rich in calcium and minerals, exposure to adequate amount of sunlight. It is always advisable to avoid use of alcohol and tobacco (in any form) to maintain a good bone health.

Medicines and drugs that are recommended for treatment of weak bones ranges from ‘antiresorptive’ which slow down bone resorption like bisphosphonates, calcitonin, estrogen, etc. to anabolic steroids/agents that promote bone formation like parathyroid hormone (PTH) analogues.

(The writer is Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Vikram Hospital, Bengaluru)

Article source: https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/panorama/strong-bones-vital-to-good-health-734983.html

To Your Good Health: Fatty liver is increasingly common health problem

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Article source: https://tucson.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/to-your-good-health-fatty-liver-is-increasingly-common-health/article_5bc049a4-b930-50f1-9090-e9b2feff55be.html

Lexington senior dance group promotes good health – ABC 36 News

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Staying fit at any age can be tough but there’s a movement across the country to exercise and that includes Lexington. Mark Green is the founder of America Let’s Exercise. Green says it started in Michigan as a motivational fitness song in 2014 that encourages people get up and move.

Since then, it’s grown to become a non-profit organization with a national message.

“We connect with different fitness instructors in different communities and educate the community on the importance of exercise,” said Green.

Green connected with Jode Rose and the Lexington Senior Center’s Prime Time Dancers. It’s one of the programs they offer at the center to keep seniors active and aging well.

Rose says there are evident health benefits to dancing she’s seen in their members, “Dancing helps physical, mental and social. They get a lot of socialization with the group too.”

Rose says their dancers range in age from 61 to 77. To be a member you must be 60 years and up as well as a Fayette County resident.

But Green says it doesn’t matter what your current condition is as long as you try, “If you can move, even if you can’t get up and stand, you can sit and wiggle.”

Green says anyone interested in joining the movement can checkout their Facebook page HERE or email amerletsexercise.com.

Article source: https://www.wtvq.com/2019/05/17/lexington-senior-dance-group-promotes-good-health/

Healthy Lodi Initiative: Understanding diet’s role in disease is key to good health – Lodi News

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Article source: https://www.lodinews.com/lodi_living/health/article_fe73b786-784b-11e9-b28e-4b5e16773d60.html

Police: Missing North Las Vegas girls found, in good health

Published Saturday, May 18, 2019 | 9:15 a.m.

Updated Saturday, May 18, 2019 | 3:16 p.m.

Lina Gonzalez

Kenia Gonzalez

Two young girls who went missing after their elementary school let them out Friday were found in good health about 24 hours later, according to North Las Vegas Police.

The sisters, Kenia Gonzalez, 6, and Lina Gonzalez, 9, were reported missing at 11:30 p.m. Friday, police said. They were last spotted walking away from the Lincoln Elementary School, 3010 Berg Street, near Cheyenne Avenue and Civic Center Drive.

The investigation was ongoing said police, who credited social media for spreading the word about the search.

The girls’ mother realized they were gone when she went to pick them up at their babysitter’s house after work late Friday, Officer Eric Leavitt said this morning.

Police learned that about 1 p.m., the mother called the babysitter, who watches the girls multiple times a week, to solicit her services, because she found out she had to be at work, Leavitt said.

The babysitter, who she met through the school, went pick them up, as well as other kids she watches, but didn’t see the girls come out and assumed they’d walked to their home— which is right down the street near the school — as they do when their mother is there, Leavitt said.

Video footage showed the sisters leaving campus, Leavitt said. The search was extensive, he said.

Police had canvassed the area near the school, knocking on doors, approaching businesses and showing their photos, Leavitt said. The disappearance had been reported to neighboring jurisdictions as well.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 702-633-9111.

Article source: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2019/may/18/police-searching-for-2-girls-reported-missing-in-n/

Ben Ali ‘in good health’ and will return to Tunisia

Ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali is in “good health” and “will return to Tunisia”, he wrote in a letter published by his lawyer in response to reports that he is in a coma.

Mounir Ben Salha posted the letter on Facebook on Wednesday, in it Ben Ali wrote: “There have been many statements in Tunisia lately about me and my health as well as a number of personal issues that concern me as the former president of the Tunisian Republic.”

Ben Ali, who has been living in exile in Saudi Arabia since he was deposed, continued: “Though I was forced to leave my country, I wish dear Tunisia and its people safety, stability and prosperity. I have chosen to keep quiet about my reservations about many issues that may further disturb the situation of the country and add weight to its heavy burden, as dictated by my sense of responsibility as a statesman towards his homeland. However, I completely refuse to become the subject of political investment in favour of any party.”

READ: UN calls on Tunisia to immediately release detained official

Ben Ali revealed that he was “in good health” and that he was surprised by some of the “news that said otherwise”.

The former Tunisian president, who was deposed by Tunisians in the 2011 revolution, said in his message that he is following the situation in Tunisia, like any citizen. He insisted that Tunisians need “to work harder to protect the country and lift its deteriorating economic situation.”

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali concluded his message saying: “Be sure that I will return to Tunisia, God willing, and I wish my fellow Tunisians a blessed Ramadan.”

Tunisian media had reported that Ben Ali health had deteriorated, adding that “he went into a coma due to being in the later stages of cancer, and that he recommended not to be buried in Tunisia, allegedly saying: ‘I will never hand my bones over to an ungrateful homeland.’”

READ: We are witnessing a tsunami of Arab crises

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Article source: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190517-what-did-ben-ali-say-about-his-return-to-tunisia-and-poor-health/