A new study of 2,700 women with heart disease may help explain why African American women are nearly twice as likely to die from heart trouble than white women. The blame goes to quality of care. The study in the journal, Circulation, found that even though black women were more likely to have high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, they were less likely than white women to receive the aggressive treatment they needed. Another factor was that black women were less likely to be taking a daily aspirin, or cholesterol lowering drug, both of which have been found to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Every year in this country there are about 16 million cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and five million of those have Emphysema. Smoking is still considered the biggest risk factor, but after interviewing more than 2,000 people across the country, researchers at the University of California at San Francisco say now that workplace exposure to dust or fumes may be to blame for 20 to 30% of COPD cases, even among non-smokers. Researchers broke it down to three hazards: vapors, gases and smoke. They found miners and metal workers were the groups most exposed to non-organic smoke and dust, while textile workers, bakers and farmers were threatened by exposure to organic dust. Researchers suggest that health policymakers work towards preventing harmful exposure to workplace toxins. The study is being published in the September issue of the European Respiratory Journal
Only half the adults over age 65 have received a vaccination that could save them from a deadly disease, according to Mount Sinai Researchers. It's called the Pneumococcal Vaccine and it provides lifetime immunity to the disease that causes Bacterial Pneumonia. That's important, particularly to seniors because an estimated 500,000 patients develop Bacterial Pneumonia every year, with 40,000 dying. That's why it's recommended that every adult over age 65 get the pneumonia vaccine along with any high risk patients over age two which would include those with heart disease, diabetes, liver disease or a weakened immune system. By the way, the Lubbock Health Department offers pneumonia vaccines for just $15. Call (806) 775-2933 for more information.