"A good goal is like a strenuous exercise - it makes you stretch."
-- Mary Kay Ash, cosmetics pioneer
Insider Arthritis Tips August 2011
Arthritis drug may ward off
lung cancer in ex-smokers
Delicia Honen Yard writing in Oncology Nurse
Advisor reported Celebrex had
potential as a powerful chemopreventive
agent for lung cancer. This nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is
often prescribed to relieve the symptoms
by various forms of arthritis.
In a report published by Cancer Prevention
Research, Jenny T. Mao, MD, and
colleagues from the University
of New Mexico noted that ample studies
suggest the COX-2/prostaglandin E2
pathway plays a pivotal role in cancer.
To investigate further, the team conducted
a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled,
phase II trial to explore the effects of a
6-month regimen of Celebrex 400 mg
twice a day on former smokers.
The 137 participants were at least
45 years old, had at smoked for at least
30 pack-years, and had not smoked for
at least 1 year. A total of 101 patients
randomized to celebrex or placebo completed
both baseline and 6-month bronchoscopies
and were measured for levels of
bronchial Ki 67 LI
a cell growth marker.
All patients eventually underwent
6 months of celebrex therapy by
the end of a 12-month treatment period.
In those who crossed groups, Ki-67
reductions correlated with a reduction
of lung nodules on CT scans.
Celecoxib lowered Ki-67 LI by an
average of 34%, whereas placebo
increased the marker by an average
of 3.8%. “Taken together, these
findings strongly suggest that Celebrex
can be used as a chemopreventive agent
in these high-risk groups,” observed Mao.
Comment: A different application for this arthritis drug perhaps?
Remember, aspirin has many uses also.
CDC Survey Indicates Obesity
Rate Is 30% Or Greater In 12
Jonathan Shorman writing in USA
Today reported, "Southern states
remain among the most obese,"
according to a survey released by
the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. "Twelve states had
obesity rates of 30% or higher in
2010, show results of the
Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance
System, a phone survey of
400,000 US adults."
Comment: Too much Coca Cola and
Whoopie pies I imagine…
"July Effect" Real
Roni Caryn Rabin writing
in the New York Times reported,"
that "until recently there was little
proof that medical errors spike in
the summer when new medical
trainees start working at teaching
hospitals - a phenomenon known
as the 'July effect.' But a new review
has found evidence that death rates
do increase in July, and that many
patients stay in the hospital longer
than in other months."
The study in the Annals of Internal
Medicine, is believed to be the
first systematic review of the data
from previous studies. The studies
indicated that patient death rates in
teaching hospitals increase by 8 percent in July.
Those studies also reported longer
hospital stays, more drawn-out procedures
and higher hospital charges in July,
when 20 to 30 percent of the more
experienced doctors-in-training leave
and a class of newly minted doctors
starts working at teaching hospitals,
said Dr. John Q. Young, the paper’s
lead author, who is associate program
director for the residency training program in
psychiatry at the University of
California, San Francisco.
Comment: Don’t go into
the hospital in July if you can avoid it!
Urban Dwellers Often
Healthier Than Rural Peers
Melinda Beck writing in the Wall Street Journal
reported that despite popular images of rural areas
being cleaner and healthier, Americans living in
major urban areas are now living longer, healthier
lives than those in rural areas. This is because many
cities that were once polluted and filled with disease
have cleaned up, while rural areas have not. People
in cities tend to have higher income and education,
and also more access to healthcare. Advantages of
rural living include lower incidence of autoimmune
conditions, including asthma and allergies, and
healthier eating habits. Moreover, studies show
urban residents have a higher incidence of mental
illness. However, by some measures, suburban
residents are in the best health; they also have
the highest average income.
Comment: Well… isn’t that interesting!
Vitamin D Insufficiency
Common Among Psoriatic
Robert Preidt writing in Healthday reported,
"Vitamin D insufficiency is common among people
with psoriatic arthritis," according to a study
published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.
In the study including "more than 300 patients
living" in Canada and Israel in
whom 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25 (OH) D] levels
were measured both in the summer and winter,
researchers also found that "seasonal or
geographic differences in vitamin D levels
were not statistically significant, and vitamin
D levels did not affect disease activity."
Comment: Another form of arthritis (to
Go along with rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis)
Where vitamin D deficiency should be looked for.
Even Mild Concussions
May Increase Risk Of
Marilyn Marchione writing in the
Associated Press reported, "A large
study in older veterans raises fresh
concern about mild brain injuries that
hundreds of thousands of American
troops have suffered from explosions
in recent wars.
Even concussions seem to raise
the risk of developing Alzheimer's
disease or other dementia later in life,
researchers found." The research,
funded by the US Department of Defense
and the National Institutes of Health,
was led by Dr. Kristine Yaffe,
director of the Memory Disorders
Clinic at the Veterans Affairs hospital
in San Francisco.
on the study "reviewed medical records
on 281,540 veterans who got care
from Veterans Health Administration
hospitals from 1997 to 2000 and
had at least one follow-up visit from
Comment: Sobering statistics. If you’ve ever
had personal encounters with someone
you care about who has dementia,
this article emphasizes the one
of the many causes.
Physicians Connect With
Patients Who Share A Disease
Carolyne Krupa writing in the American Medical
News reported physicians who have experienced
the same conditions as their patients. Neurologist
William Shaffer, who has and treats MS, says
it helps him connect with his own patients,
and that "without doubt, it gives patients a
level of comfort." Gynecologic oncologist
Carolyn Runowicz, who experienced breast
cancer, said, "It makes you more empathetic,
but also tougher in that you can tell patients
what they need to do and that you did it. ...
I think they appreciate having an oncologist
who has walked in their shoes."
Comment: Since one of my kids and one
of my sisters both have arthritis,
and I’m getting a touch of Arthur as
well, I can appreciate this story.
More Americans Undergoing
Knee, Hip Replacement Surgeries
William Loeffler writing in the Pittsburgh
reported that aging baby boomers who are
determined "to stay young and fit" are
"helping to drive a surge in hip and knee replacements."
According to the Agency for Health Research and
Quality, "knee replacements rose from 318,625 in
1997 to 679,260 in 2009, and more than tripled"
in patients between the ages of 45 and 64.
The primary cause is "osteoarthritis, in which
cartilage around the joints degenerates through
overuse, obesity or congenital defects such as
hip dysplasia." Also, more Americans "under
50 years of age are getting knee replacements,
says Jennifer Hootman, epidemiologist at
Centers for Disease Control. ... Those who
want to continue pursuing an active lifestyle
simply take it for granted that they'll get
another artificial knee or hip when they
wear out the first."
Comment: There must be a better way.
Metal and plastic can only last so long.
Soy, Milk Protein Supplements
May Be Associated With
Lower Blood Pressure
Jeannine Stein writing in the
Los Angeles Times reported that,
according to a study published in
Circulation, Journal of the American
Heart Association, "soy and milk
protein supplements may be
associated with lower blood pressure
more than refined carbohydrate
For a two-month period,
researchers randomized 352 "people
with mild hypertension or
higher-than-normal blood pressure on
three separate regimens of daily
supplements containing soy protein,
milk protein, and complex carbohydrates."
"The carbohydrate supplement
had no measurable effect on
blood pressure, but the soy and milk
protein supplements, reduced their systolic
blood pressure (the top number
in a blood pressure reading)
by about two points, on average."
Comment: I personally hate the taste of soy
products. On the other hand I don’t like
my blood pressure being high either.
Millions Of Alzheimer's
Cases Worldwide Could
Be Prevented By Curbing
Marilyn Marchione writing
in the Associated Press
reported, "Millions of cases
of Alzheimer's disease worldwide
could be prevented by curbing risk
factors such as high blood pressure,
smoking, obesity and lack of exercise,"
according to research presented
at the Alzheimer's Association
International Conference in Paris
and published in The Lancet Neurology.
For the study, researchers from
the University of California-San
Francisco, "used a mathematical
model to estimate the impact
of top modifiable risk factors
for Alzheimer's disease: smoking,
depression, low education, diabetes,
too little exercise, and obesity
and high blood pressure in mid-life."
Comment: What it boils down to is taking care of
your body because you only have one of them.
August Special Of The Month
Decker Lids-Off Jar Opener
Opening jars has never been quicker or easier! Simply press the handle down
and the Lids Off Jar Opener Deluxe will open virtually any size jar in one
simple operation. Its compact design makes it easy to store, and its stylish
look compliments any kitchen.
- No hand strength or strenuous twisting required
- Innovative design adjusts to fit and open virtually any size jar
- Saves time and simplifies the task of opening jars
For the month of August, you can purchase this product by typing this link
into your internet browser:
Don’t have a computer?? No worries, call our office at 301-694-5800, and we
can help you with your purchase.
Plus, if you purchase the Black and Decker Lids Off Jar Opener during the
month of August, you can receive a copy of Arthritis Research Institutes,
“Recipes & Remembrances” cookbook. This is a 25.00 book packed with delicious
recipes for only $14.99. All proceeds benefit the Arthritis Research Institute
and are tax deductible.
Just call our office at 301-694-5800, provide us with your receipt number for
the Lids Off Jar Opener, and we will send your “Recipes & Remembrances” cookbook
to you promptly!
Wei’s World August 2011
For one evening, I was almost a star.
As you know, one of my kids, Jeffrey, is an aspiring Broadway theater star. He has two upcoming performances- one in New Jersey and one in Phoenix, Arizona. My wife and I are, of course, going to see him perform.
In June, I had a chance to make my stage debut. My wife, two of our children, and I went to see a production of the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” This was a show that was originally off- Broadway but because it was so popular, eventually made it to Broadway.
The production we went to see was in a theater in Washington. The premise of the play is that there is a county-wide spelling bee and the play is a comedy that highlights the background of the contestants. What makes them human… what makes them frail… what makes them strong… all in a fun sort of way.
As part of the show, audience members are preselected to participate in a live spelling bee. I was one of the chosen. We all got special seats in the front row. When the play began, we were called up on stage to sit with the performers.
Well… in 9th grade, I had won my school’s spelling bee, so I thought, “I’m going to blow everyone away.”
To my surprise I was the first person chosen to go up to the mike. Now, I’m not that shy in front of an audience. I think I can hold my own. So I was given the word “fandango.” I asked for the meaning and also asked for its use in a sentence as I had been instructed. Then I spelled the word… and heard the buzzer signifying … I was WRONG!!!
I had left out the letter “n.” How did that happen? I couldn’t believe it.
When I was escorted back to my seat in the audience, there was light applause. It seemed like everyone felt sorry for me but was thinking, “what an idiot- he couldn’t spell “fandango?”
My wife whispered, “How did that happen. You did that on purpose didn’t you? You didn’t want to stay up there. Right?”
The truth is I just left out the “n.” Why? I have no idea. It just happened. But it didn’t bother me. I enjoyed the play anyway.
But… I knew it was going to take me a long time to live that one down!