Archive for the ‘CDC News’ Category

Sales Tax Holidays, Save Your Medicare BenefitsIt’s almost back to school time, and when you’re a parent, that means it’s back to school shopping time.  I don’t know why, but it always catches me by surprise. I should know better. The kids have grown and they need new clothes, and shoes. Their backpacks are worn to threads so they need new back packs and lunch boxes. It’s warm here now, but soon they’ll even need jackets and sweaters and snow boots!

All of this shopping can get expensive, and some states offer sales tax holidays to make your back to school shopping a little more affordable. Other states offer sales tax holidays to help you buy supplies to prepare for hurricane season, or to help you afford energy-efficient appliances.

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Medicare Card As a kid, I was sick a lot and I missed school quite a bit. I seemed to spend a lot of time at the doctor’s office and I was often diagnosed with sinus infections, colds, post-nasal drip, chronic/acute
, or pneumonia. For months at a time, I lived on antibiotics, cough medicine, and cough drops. During my sick times, it was a nightly routine to slather my chest with Vick’s VapoRub and put oven-warmed towels on my chest to help me breathe.

It was a struggle for my folks because my coughing was keeping them awake. I have memories from when I was just an itty-bitty thing struggling to suppress this constant coughing. On occasion I would go sit in the closet in my bedroom coughing into my pillow trying to silence my coughs so everyone could sleep. I would do this until the wee hours of the morning and sometimes I would fall asleep in the closet.

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downed power linesJust a few weeks ago, I wrote a post about not being caught off-guard in summer storms. Sometimes I need to learn to take my own advice.

This past Sunday a wicked thunderstorm tore through the Maryland, DC and Virginia area. There were tornado warnings in some areas and, though I don’t think any funnel clouds were actually spotted, the storm left quite a mess to clean up.

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Farmers MarketI watched the movie Food, Inc last weekend and one of its messages was that if you want the healthiest food, you should strive to buy your produce locally. There’s no better way to do that than shopping at your local farmers market. The Department of Agriculture is promoting farmers markets this week by deeming it National Farmers Market Week.

Farmers markets are a place where farmers can sell their products and develop a personal relationship with their buyers and the community. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service supports the development of the farmers markets and counts them through the National Farmers Market Directory. This year’s count will be released this week and if it is anything like last year’s, it will demonstrate the rapid growth of farmers markets in the U.S.

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Scanning the genomes of more than 100,000 people from all over the world, scientists report the largest set of genes discovered underlying high cholesterol and high triglycerides — the major risk factors for coronary heart disease, the nation’s number one killer. Taken together, the gene variants explain between a quarter and a third of the inherited portions of cholesterol and triglyceride measured in the blood. The research, representing scientists from 17 countries, appears in two papers in the Aug. 5 issue of Nature.

Researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health have for the first time activated mouse egg cells at the earliest stage of their development and brought them to maturity. In a related experiment, the researchers replicated the finding by also bringing human eggs to maturity in the laboratory.

The National Institutes of Health today launched a multidisciplinary network of experts who will explore new approaches to understanding the origins of health disparities, or differences in the burden of disease among population groups. Using state-of-the-science conceptual and computational models, the network’s goal is to identify important areas where interventions or policy changes could have the greatest impact in eliminating health disparities. The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), part of NIH, is contracting with the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, to establish the Network on Inequality, Complexity, and Health (NICH).

People with treatment-resistant bipolar disorder experienced relief from symptoms of depression in as little as 40 minutes after an intravenous dose of the anesthetic medication ketamine in a preliminary study; while the patient group was small, this work adds to evidence that compounds in the class to which ketamine belongs have potential as rapid and effective medications for depression, including bipolar depression.

Nobel Prize winner Harold E. Varmus, M.D., today took the oath of office to become the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) 14th director. NCI is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

I got my first passport when I was fifteen and going on a school trip to England and France. This means I spent the following 10 passportyears flashing a picture of me in braces and with hair styling fresh from basketball practice.

When it was due for renewal I snickered when I realized that renewing my passport actually cost me more than applying for one originally. By this time, they stopped letting you smile in your picture and I couldn’t show off the fruit of my years of orthodontic labor.

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kikds playingAlright, confession time: I watch a lot of bad reality TV. Please don’t judge me.

For many reasons, one of my favorite shows is the Biggest Loser. I’m a health nut; I love watching the transformations; and I get a kick out of the trainers screaming their heads off.

But the fact that such a show even exists and that the people on it are getting bigger and bigger each season is kind of a sad commentary on the state of overall health in this country.

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ReadingMy fiance is an elementary school teacher and sometimes I think she gets more excited about summer vacation than her students. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t do anything school-wise during her break; summer reading is a big part of her R&R. In fact, last week she went to the local library, checked out a couple of books and finished reading them within three days. 

It would be great if her students showed that much enthusiasm for reading during the summer. According to, studies have shown that if children don’t read during the summer, they can lose 2-3 months of academic progress. Children who participate in summer reading programs can maintain their academic progress and be better prepared for the new school year. My fellow blogger Joanne is wise to have her children read every day during summer vacation.

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Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), currently known for its therapeutic benefits against HIV, also reduced the spread of the virus among people with a history of injection drug use, according to a population-based study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health. The study was published today in the Lancet.

woman on a cell phoneDid you hear the rumor? Any day now telemarketers will be assaulting your cell phone! The good news is that it’s a rumor and nothing more.

E-mails have been circulating and urging you to register your cell phone number with the special Do Not Call Registry for wireless phones. I just saw one in my e-mail inbox and I was almost fooled. Luckily I work with a small army of dedicated consumer information experts who set me straight!

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Today’s older Americans enjoy longer lives and better health than did previous generations. These and other trends are reported in Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being, a unique, comprehensive look at aging in the United States from the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.

The National Institutes of Health Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health announces the appointment of five new members: Francisco Garcia, M.D., M.P.H., Ronda S. Henry-Tillman, M.D., F.A.C.S., Karen E. Kim, M.D., Claire Pomeroy, M.D., and Paul F. Terranova, Ph.D.

Things I wanted to write about today: Certain Hollywood starlets being sent to the slammer, the ending to the movie "Inception", the oil_spill_clean_upPhillies current performance making me lose my appetite.

However, none of these things make the rankings on the FAQ page of the most searched topics by citizens.

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