Depression Often Goes Untreated in Working Moms

working momTUESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) — More than 65 percent of U.S. mothers with depression don’t receive adequate treatment, a new study has found.

Black, Hispanic and other minority mothers are least likely to receive adequate treatment. Mothers with health insurance are three times more likely to receive adequate treatment than those without insurance, wrote the researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

“Health insurance facilitates access to adequate treatment for maternal depression. Expanding health insurance coverage to mothers with depression is a critical step in helping them get the care that they need,” study author Dr. Whitney P. Witt, an assistant professor of population health sciences, said in a news release from the university.

The analysis of national data on 2,130 mothers with depression also found that working mothers were less likely to receive adequate treatment, possibly because long work hours make it difficult for them to find time to seek treatment. This means that workplaces could prove a useful location for depression intervention.

“Services like employee-assistance programs can help these mothers get screened and treated, even if they are unable to visit a provider or a mental health professional in the health-care setting,” co-author Kristin Litzelman, a population health sciences doctoral student, said in the release. “Since healthy employees are productive employees, it’s often a win-win for employers to offer benefits that support employee mental health.”

Depression in mothers can have a major impact on the entire family, especially on the health and well-being of their children, the researchers noted. Treating depression in mothers can improve the long-term health of their families.

Health-care providers need to understand the racial, ethnic and educational disparities that affect treatment of mothers with depression in order to intervene and help these patients get the care they need, the study authors noted.

The study was released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research.



Top 5 Cholesterol Myths

belly_fastfoodEven if you think you know everything there is to know about cholesterol, there may be a few more surprises in store. Check out these common myths about high cholesterol; find out who’s most likely to have it, what types of food can cause it, and why—sometimes—cholesterol isn’t a bad word.

Myth 1: Americans have the highest cholesterol in the world
One of the world’s enduring stereotypes is the fat American with cholesterol-clogged arteries who is a Big Mac or two away from a heart attack. As a nation, we could certainly use some slimming down, but when it comes to cholesterol levels we are solidly middle-of-the-road.

According to 2005 World Health Organization statistics, American men rank 83rd in the world in average total cholesterol, and American women rank 81st; in both cases, the average number is 197 mg/dL, just below the Borderline-High Risk category. That is very respectable compared to the top-ranked countries: In Colombia the average cholesterol among men is a dangerous 244, while the women in Israel, Libya, Norway, and Uruguay are locked in a four-way tie at 232.

Myth 2: Eggs are evil
It’s true that eggs have a lot of dietary cholesterol—upwards of 200 mg, which is more than two-thirds of the American Heart Association’s recommended limit of 300 mg a day. But dietary cholesterol isn’t nearly as dangerous as was once thought. Only some of the cholesterol in food ends up as cholesterol in your bloodstream, and if your dietary cholesterol intake rises, your body compensates by producing less cholesterol of its own.

While you don’t want to overdo it, eating an egg or two a few times a week isn’t dangerous. In fact, eggs are an excellent source of protein and contain unsaturated fat, a so-called good fat.

To see the last 3 Myths Click Here.


7 Surprising Triggers of Lung Trouble

coughingAirborne irritants—both outdoors and indoors—can aggravate or even cause asthma, a respiratory condition characterized by a chronic cough or wheezing.

Common pollutants, such as traffic exhaust and secondhand smoke, are well-known causes of lung problems, including asthma.

But there are a number of other irritants—some of them found in your home or car—that can also trigger asthma symptoms.

Over the years there have been scattered reports of fireworks causing asthma attacks. In one especially chilling incident, detailed in 2000 in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, a 9-year-old girl with moderate asthma suffered a severe asthma attack and died after playing with sparklers at a Fourth of July picnic.

When lit, Roman candles, bottle rockets, sparklers, and other fireworks release numerous chemicals, including sulfur dioxide, which can exacerbate asthma when inhaled in concentrated amounts.

In large-scale firework displays, even the smoky fallout, which contains barium aerosols, could potentially exacerbate asthma, a 2008 study suggested.

Asthmatics who stay in their car after a crash have been known to experience asthma attacks. One might chalk this up to stress, but something else is to blame: the aerosol compounds that are released into the cabin when an airbag inflates.

A group of researchers at General Motors confirmed this effect in the mid-1990s. Two dozen asthmatics each sat for 20 minutes in the backseat of an airtight car after an airbag was deployed, and 10 of them had significant reactions in their lung passages.

When the latter group underwent the same test wearing an air-filter mask, however, they did not.

When inhaled in large quantities, flour dust can irritate the lungs, so much so that experts have coined a term for it: baker’s asthma.

Surprisingly, this is among the most common forms of workplace-related asthma.

Many professional bakers who develop asthma are allergic to wheat flour (or other inhalable ingredients).

But studies have shown that even bakers who aren’t allergic can develop the condition, which suggests that, over time, flour dust itself may compromise lung function.

Gas appliances
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a byproduct released by gas appliances, has been linked to asthma symptoms in children.

A 2008 study followed 150 asthmatic children in Baltimore over a six-month period; it found that children who lived in homes with higher levels of NO2 had more frequent wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. (Most studies in adults have failed to find a similar effect.)

NO2 can aggravate asthma even in the relatively small amounts generated by gas stoves, heaters, and fireplaces. Properly venting appliances can help avoid unsafe NO2 levels, experts say.

There are 3 more, CLICK HERE to see.


Prognosis for Heart Attack Patients May Depend on What’s in the Medicine Cabinet

pillsWhether you’re trying to recover from a massive heart attack or hoping to mitigate your risk factors, the right prescription heart drug can put your goals within reach. In recent years doctors have hit upon effective combinations for the most common heart conditions. The future of heart attack and heart disease patients depends in part on the contents of their medicine cabinet, says Sharonne Hayes, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Women’s Heart Clinic. “Heart patients who go home with aspirin, a statin, and a beta-blocker have fewer second heart attacks and live longer than those who don’t,” she says.

When lifestyle changes aren’t enough
John Maiorana, a 65-year-old retired Navy chaplain living in Virginia Beach, Va., has been taking Lipitor every day since his quadruple bypass surgery 10 years ago. His doctor runs a simple blood test every year to check for signs of liver damage—a standard procedure for anyone taking a statin—but the drug has never caused Maiorana any trouble.

Over the years the combination of Lipitor, regular exercise, and a low-fat diet has brought his total cholesterol down from the high 240s to the low 150s and allowed him to enjoy his retirement. “I walk, I jog, and I even eat pizza with cheese on it,” he says. “I just don’t overdo it.”

Using medication to avoid surgery
If you have heart disease but have never suffered a heart attack or gone through bypass surgery, the right medications can help keep you out of the hospital. In fact, improvements in drug treatments may in part explain why bypass surgeries have sharply declined in the past decade. As more people manage to control their symptoms and slow their disease with drugs, fewer need to go under the knife.

Statins can clear artery-clogging cholesterol, beta-blockers can lower blood pressure while preventing runaway heartbeats, and warfarin or aspirin can help to prevent dangerous blood clots. If taken properly by at-risk patients, these drugs have the potential to save many of the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to heart disease in the U.S. each year.

Consequences of skipping doses
But a prescription is just a piece of paper. You need to follow through by taking the drugs as directed. A new four-year study of patients with coronary artery disease found that patients who skimped on their prescribed medications were more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack, a stroke, or fatal heart trouble. By some estimates, failing to take either aspirin, a beta-blocker, or a statin after a heart attack nearly triples the risk of dying within a year. Watch a video of a young heart attack survivor who admits he often skipped his cholesterol medication, and hear what he tells his younger brother about taking it.

Taking medications correctly is ultimately a one-person job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little help. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist to make sure you understand your medications—what they can do, how to take them, and how to keep side effects to a minimum.

If cost is an issue, ask your doctor if generic drugs are an option. (Significantly cheaper generic versions of several brand-name heart medications—including two statins—have become available in recent years.) And remember, even if medications are expensive, the cost of not taking them can be incalculably higher.


Pumpkin-Orange Cake

Try this holiday treat!

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
Cooking spray
3 cups sifted powdered sugar, divided
3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 cups mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 2)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add pumpkin; beat well. Add egg substitute and vanilla; beat until well blended.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through nutmeg), stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Place 1 cup powdered sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add remaining powdered sugar and rind; beat until fluffy.

Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread 2/3 cup cream cheese frosting evenly over top of cake. Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining cream cheese frosting over top, but not sides, of cake. Arrange orange slices in a ring around outer edge of top cake layer. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over center of top cake layer. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.


25 Things You Can Do To Prevent Cancer

medical_devices_img01Anyone can develop cancer. One in three people will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime.

That doesn’t sound encouraging, but, consider this: Experts believe more than two-thirds of all cancer cases can be prevented if we would just make the right lifestyle choices.

How we live affects our health, and not surprisingly, we’re now finding many common cancers are linked to lifestyle.

That’s actually good news. Not that we’re suggesting cancer is completely curable, but many can be influenced by simple healthy measures.

Here are 25 things you can do to prevent cancer:

1) Don’t smoke
2) Limit alcohol consumption
3) Enjoy chocolate (in moderation)
4) Sweat out toxins
5) Eat 5-9 servings of fruits & veggies
6) Eat cruciferous vegetables
7) Eat less red meat
8) Avoid products made with nitrates
9) Lose weight
10) Get regular exercise
11) Reduce stress
12) Make a place for spirituality
13) Do monthly self-exams
14) Follow screening guidelines
15) Know your family history
16) Practice safe sex
17) Girls get HPV vaccine
18) High risk women get annual MRIs
19) Reconsider hormone replacement therapy
20) Teach your kids a cancer-free lifestyle now
21) Avoid tanning beds
22) Protect your skin from the sun
23) Check for radon in your home
24) Do your part to reduce air pollution
25) Participate in clinical trials

Source: JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News –

Grilled Halibut with Onions, Tomatoes, & Avocado

halibut-avocado-oh-1896013-l[1]The pungent green onions mellow as they grill. Be sure to place the onions crosswise on the grill rack. Use kitchen shears to easily cut the cooked onions into 1-inch pieces. For a quick accompaniment, grill slices of bread alongside the fish and onions.

Prep: 7 minutes; Cook: 8 minutes

4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet, 1/2 cup tomato topping, and about 1/4 cup onions)

4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
1 bunch green onions (about 10 onions), trimmed
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1 avocado, peeled and diced
4 lime wedges

1. Prepare grill.

2. Coat fillets and onions with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish evenly with pepper and salt. Place fish and onions on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cover and grill fish 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Grill onions 3 minutes on each side or until charred and tender.

3. While fish and onions grill, combine tomatoes and avocado in a small bowl.

4. Cut grilled onions into 1-inch pieces. Place grilled fish on a serving plate. Top with tomato mixture; sprinkle with grilled onions. Squeeze 1 lime wedge over each serving.

Nutritional Information
Calories:292 (36% from fat)
Fat:12g (sat 1.8g,mono 6.1g,poly 2.3g)