Fatal five: 2 in 3 Americans die from these 5 causes

May 15, 2014—More than 100,000 Americans die prematurely every year, losing their lives to diseases and injuries that could have been prevented, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“As a doctor, it’s heartbreaking when we lose a single patient because of a preventable condition, but as director of the nation’s prevention agency, it’s painful almost beyond words to know that we’re losing well over 100,000 people every year in this country from diseases and injuries that could have been easily prevented,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH.

The report found that nearly 2 of every 3 deaths in the U.S. are from five causes:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases (such as emphysema)
  • Stroke
  • Unintentional injuries

In 2010, these “fatal five” accounted for 63 percent of deaths across the country, with wide variation in rates across the 50 states.

But the good news is that people can change many of the factors that put them at increased risk of death from these causes, Dr. Frieden said.

About the study

For their analysis, researchers used population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and information about deaths from the National Vital Statistics System for the years 2008 through 2010.

To calculate potential preventable deaths, the researchers looked only at deaths that occurred in people younger than 80. (The average life expectancy in the U.S. was about 79 in 2010.)

The three states with the lowest death rates for each specific cause of death were selected as benchmarks. The researchers then calculated the number of deaths from each cause that potentially would have been prevented annually if all states had the same death rates as the states with the lowest rates.

The findings suggest that:

  • 34 percent of premature deaths from heart disease could have been prevented, prolonging the lives of about 92,000 people.
  • 21 percent of premature deaths from cancer could have been prevented, prolonging the lives of about 84,500 people.
  • 39 percent of premature deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases could have been prevented, prolonging the lives of about 29,000 people.
  • 33 percent of premature deaths from stroke could have been prevented, prolonging the lives of about 17,000 people.
  • 39 percent of premature deaths from unintentional injuries could have been prevented, prolonging the lives of about 37,000 people.

What could have helped all these people live longer? Not smoking is at the top of lifesaving lifestyle changes. Tobacco is a significant risk factor for all but unintentional injury.

Other possibly lifesaving behaviors include controlling high blood pressure; lowering cholesterol levels; increasing physical activity; maintaining a healthy weight; preventing type 2 diabetes; and avoiding risky actions like tanning, substance abuse, riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet and not buckling seat belts.

Also modifiable: states’ health policies and how much governments invest in prevention efforts like tobacco control. It’s also important to ensure that most people have easy access to primary (versus emergency) health care, the researchers said.

The take-home message
A good number of deaths in the U.S. are not random but instead can be prevented with proper health care and healthy choices. That includes staying current on screening tests and immunizations and working with your doctor to reduce your risk factors for various diseases.

Memorial offers class to learn infant CPR

May 15, 2014

Unintentional choking and suffocation are the leading causes of injury death for babies under the age of 1. But parents and caregivers of infants can gain the confidence to handle stressful and potentially dangerous situations by learning how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is offering an educational class to teach parents and caregivers to recognize when a baby needs rescue breathing, how to perform CPR and how to deal with a choking situation. The class is May 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Memorial Education Center, 2506 W. Nob Hill Ave., Yakima. No registration is needed. The cost is $5.00 per person.

This is not a certification class. But knowing how to respond in the first few minutes of an emergency – before professional help arrives – can mean the difference between life and death. If you are the parent or caregiver of an infant, learn infant CPR!

For more information, call 248-7322.

Pink Lady® Asks Consumers To Read Nutritional Information And Take A Walk

With the apple already having such a positive image when it comes to healthful eating, one would think its selection over food which may not be as healthy would be a no-brainer. Pink Lady America thinks choosing apples is important enough to do a little research and making smart choices.

“Positive images are certainly valuable to any product in general and in particular to a brand like Pink Lady®,” says Dr. John Reeves, general manager of Pink Lady America LLC headquartered in Yakima, Washington.

“Unfortunately, in a world with other branded products and especially snacks often have huge marketing budgets, the apples’ image of health can take a backseat even though those other guys may have a nutritional profile which pales by comparison.”

So, with the chances of apples being able to compete any time soon when it comes to having a huge marketing bankroll slim or none, Dr. Reeves is asking consumers looking for a healthier lifestyle to do something really quite simple.

“Like most things, a little knowledge can go a long way when it comes to understanding the nutritional value of snacks,” Dr. Reeves says. “In this case all that’s required is about 30 seconds of checking out the nutritional information on the package.”

“Actually, it’s really easy just to start with a quick look at two of the more important nutritional aspects, calories and fiber.”

“For instance, when it comes to calories, one medium apple a day such as Pink Lady®, amounts to 47,550 calories over the period of a year, while a candy bar totals a whopping 108, 090 calories.”

When it comes to fiber, the apple yields 1,825 grams over a year of consuming one each day, while the candy bar provides just 475 grams.
Understanding that a picture is indeed worth a thousand (or more) words, it has produced a single sheet with graphs showing the calorie and fiber comparison. This same sheet is topped by some very active children and Pink Lady® spokesperson, Ali Vincent, first female Biggest Loser.

Pink Lady America is also pointing to another very important choice when it comes to one’s health profile and it’s just as simple as checking on factors such as calories and fiber. This choice involves taking a Pink Lady® for a walk.

With its hand-held convenience, edible (and healthy) wrapper and self-composting core, research is showing the health benefits, not to mention time savings, of eating a Pink Lady® Brand Apple while taking a walk.

A study from the University of Leicester in England shows a walk of 2,000 steps (about 20 minutes) will help reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
(For more information contact Dr. Reeves at 509-840-5075 or Alan Taylor at 509-961-9186 or pinkladyrep@embarqmail.com)

Learn About Infant CPR

Holly Tull and Teresa Posada of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital discussed the importance of learning infant CPR – as well as the opportunity to learn at a class Memorial is offering – during an appearance May 13, 2013 on KIT 1280.

Unintentional choking and suffocation are the leading causes of all injury deaths for infants under one year of age. For that reason, everyone who is going to be a caregiver for an infant – parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or babysitter – should learn to recognize when a baby needs rescue breathing, how to start CPR, and how to care for an infant who’s choking.

The Memorial course provides current CPR instructions and information about recommendations that may have changed since you last learned CPR.

In a class, you’ll learn the proper techniques for breathing, chest thrusts, back blows, and more. You will get experience practicing these emergency techniques. And studies have shown that the more people practice, the more confident they are in a true emergency.

This class does not meet necessary requirements for certification for childcare providers, but it is good training for caregivers.

The class is $5 per person, due at the time of class, or you can prepay online. You do not need to preregister.

Stop by and learn infant CPR:

Thursday, May 15

6:30-8 p.m.

Memorial’s Community Education Center

2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima


To register, call 509-248-7322 or email teresaposada@yvmh.org. For more information, visit yakimamemorial.org.

More than teen angst: Mental health issues may persist into adulthood

May 13, 2014—Having a mental health issue in the teen years raises the risk for similar issues in later life, according to a study in The Lancet. But only some adolescents who experience depression and anxiety will have these disorders persist into adulthood.

About 26 percent of all adults in the U.S. have a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Most adults with mental health disorders experienced their first symptoms before they reached age 24, according to the study background.

This study sought to look into the details surrounding the persistence of depression and anxiety from the teen years into adulthood. The authors found that certain circumstances—including the duration of the illness, parental separation or divorce, and the gender of the teen—played a role in whether mental health issues continued beyond adolescence.

About the study

The study authors followed 1,943 adolescents (most about 15 years old at the start of the study) for 14 years. All the participants came from 44 secondary schools in Victoria, Australia.

The study authors assessed the mental health of participants five different times during adolescence and three times during young adulthood. The study used the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule to define mental disorders.

As they expected, the authors found high levels of depression and anxiety among adolescents. Nearly 30 percent of the boys and 54 percent of the girls had at least one episode of these mental disorders. The study found that:

  • 60 percent of the adolescents who experienced these disorders also had a further episode as a young adult.
  • The prevalence of the disorders had decreased by the time participants reached their late 20s.
  • Many young people had no further episodes of depression or anxiety in adulthood.

Certain factors predicted a greater likelihood of a mental disorder persisting from adolescence into young adulthood. These were:

  • Longer duration of symptoms
  • Being female
  • Having a background of parental separation or divorce
The take-home message
Teens often struggle with mental health issues. While some teens do seem to get better when they hit their early 20s, parents who look for ways to reduce the impact of mental health symptoms on their children could help them to ease into a healthier adulthood.


2nd Healthy Now clinic opens

Contact: Shannon Dininny, Memorial Communications: 509.577.5051
Memorial Physicians opens 2nd Healthy Now clinic

Convenient care clinic treats minor illnesses quickly, comfortably
YAKIMA – Memorial Physicians is pleased to announce that a second Health Now clinic has opened. Designed to meet the demand for convenient care for minor illnesses, the clinic is located at 3904 Terrace Heights Dr.
Healthy Now treats a variety of non-urgent illnesses and injuries that might not be serious enough for a trip to the emergency room, but still require treatment even if your own doctor is unavailable. Services offered include treatment for colds, flu, sore throats, ear aches, minor burns and sprains and strains.
Memorial Physicians opened the first Healthy Now clinic in December at 3909 Creekside Loop. Healthy Now is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Walk-ins are welcome, and appointments can be scheduled online in advance at www.healthynowclinic.com.
Healthy Now accepts most insurance plans and Medicare. The copayment for your specific plan will be collected during your visit. Please have your insurance card and proof of ID at the time of your visit. If you haven’t met your deductible, don’t have insurance or don’t have a plan, we currently accept cash, credit cards, and debit cards.
A third Healthy Now clinic, to be located in West Valley, is slated to open in late summer. For more information about Healthy Now, visit our website at www.healthynowclinic.com.