HEADLINES / TRENDS l STATS l RESEARCH l MEDIA l PEOPLE

February 2011

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Where to Go for Heart Help

No one wants to hear a practitioner say, “It’s your heart.” Fortunately for cardiac patients and their loved ones, there are organizations that can provide education, support and other vital services during what is often a bewildering and frightening experience.
The American Heart Association is the best-known heart-related group—but it isn’t the only one. Here are a number of resources you can turn to.

Organization Mission Contact
American Heart Association Provides information on a number of cardiovascular conditions and risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure www.heart.org;
800-242-8721
CDC Heart Disease Centers for Disease Control heart disorder information source; provides educational material and links to related CDC websites www.cdc.gov/heartdisease;
800-CDC-INFO
Congenital Heart
Information Network
Cardiac birth defects affect 40,000 babies each year in the US; features online support and listings for in-person support groups http://tchin.org;
609-822-1572
Heart Rhythm Society Arrhythmia, or abnormal heartbeat; promotes research and advocacy, and provides referrals to specialists www.hrsonline.org;
202-464-3400
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association
In HCM the heart muscle is abnormally
thick; website features a message board and information for newly diagnosed patients
www.4hcm.org;
973-983-7429
Mended Hearts Provides support and information for heart disease patients and their families through local chapters throughout the country
www.mendedhearts.org;
888-HEART99
National Heart, Lung
& Blood Institute
Sponsors research, helping to fund trials; conducts public education campaigns; provides recipe collections www.nhlbi.nih.gov;
301-592-8573
WomenHeart Promotes female cardiac health through advocacy and patient support, including an online community for heart patients www.womenheart.org;
877-771-0030
World Heart Federation A nongovernmental organization working to fight heart disease on a global scale through research, advocacy and awareness raising www.worldheart.org


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Açai May Protect the Brain

One way the brain maintains itself is by recycling toxic proteins. This process, known as neuronal housekeeping, normally declines with age; now research indicates that extracts from the açai berry may bolster this vital function.

Investigators at Tufts University in Boston studied the effects of açai extract on microglia cells, the brain’s housekeepers, in rodents. Açai was able to protect against the release of substances that promote inflammation, a key factor in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. “These results suggest that açai may contribute to ‘health span’ in aging, as it is able to combat some of the inflammatory and oxidative mediators of aging at the cellular level,” say the study team, who reported their results at a recent meeting of the Society of Neuroscience.

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RESOURCES

Men’s Health Network

What It Is: MHN’s mission is to “address the growing men's health crisis” through health fairs and increased screenings along with awareness and advocacy for men’s health issues.
Contact: www.menshealthnetwork.org; 202-543-MHN-1


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NUMBERS

Arthritis Rising

22%

Percentage of the US population that has been
diagnosed with arthritis (49.9 million people)

1 Million

Yearly increase in number of people with arthritis

42.4%

Those with arthritis who report limiting their
activities because of it

Source: CDC National Health Interview Survey

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Vitamin D Plus Sunlight:
Best Breast Cancer Defense?

Vitamin D has been found to provide protection against a number of malignancies, including breast cancer. The skin can create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. But that isn’t enough according to French researchers, whose work suggests that supplementation along with sunlight is the best way to go.

More than 2,800 cases of breast cancer were documented over the 10-year study, which initially involved more than 67,700 women. The risk of cancer development was 32% lower for women who lived where the sun shone brightest and who had the highest D intake, according to results published in the 12/2/10 online edition of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.


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