For years, it's been the best way to find breast cancer in women Now, mammograms are yielding a big surprise. That they may also help identify women at risk for heart disease.
"To have a simple test like a mammogram to predict heart attacks and heart disease is potentially a way to save millions of lives. It's really unique and intriguing to look at the breast arteries as a window to the heart arteries," says Dr. Christopher Cannon, a Cardiologist.
Dr. Cannon says the theory is simple. If a woman has calcification in her breast arteries, she's more likely to have calcifications in her heart arteries as well and he says since we know calcifications in the heart increase the risk of heart disease. Those women with breast calcifications may also want to make lifestyle changes to protect theirs heart. A lot of work needs to be done before mammograms are used for heart screenings. Researchers need to do more testing to form a set of standards. Radiologists would then be trained on those guidelines, but this is very promising since the mammogram is a non-invasive test and already widely available.
If you're looking for motivation to lose weight, this might shake you into action. A 40 year study of 3,400 people brings new evidence that folks who are overweight at middle age don't live as long as those who are normal weight. And the news is even worse for people considered obese. They lost more than seven years compared to the average person, and if an obese person was also a smoker, their life span was shortened by 13 years. This study is in the Annals of Internal Medicine collected much of its data from the Framingham Heart Study, which is supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Earlier studies have shown that people who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of chronic health problems like diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. Obese and overweight designations were based on body mass index measurements taken of participants when the study began in 1950. A BMI (body mass index) between 25 and 30 is considered overweight. BMI over 30 is considered obese. Researchers followed residents of Framingham, Massachusetts for several years beginning in 1950. By 1990, many of the participants had died.
If you have older kids in elementary school, you probably remember us telling you that a TD booster shortage was making the 12 year-old kids wait for that shot until the nation could boost its supply. Well, we have the okay now to get those big kids in for their booster shots before the next school year starts. Toddlers get a Tetanus/Diphtheria shot at age two then 10 years later, kids need a TD booster at age 12. The Texas Department of Health says the deadline now is July 31st for kids to get that booster. And they'll need proof of immunization by the time they enter school next fall. So this Saturday is your first chance to get kids into a TD booster clinic. The Lubbock Health Department will be providing those shots for $5 Saturday from 9a.m. to noon for kids between the ages of 11 and 18. Don't forget to bring your shot record to the clinic. That's required before you can get immunized.