52 Weeks to Health: Week 21, Tobacco

Tobacco: A Winnable Battle Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world.   Tobacco killed one hundred million people worldwide in the 20th century — and if current trends continue, it will kill one billion people in the 21st century.  Every year, tobacco kills more than 480,000 Americans and six million people worldwide. A Winnable Battle  We know how to win the fight against tobacco. Science and experience have identified proven, cost-effective strategies that prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke. These strategies include: Higher […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 20, Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19th is Designated Hepatitis Testing Day Are you at risk? Take the Hepatitis Risk Assessment. Hepatitis or inflammation of the liver can be caused by viruses, medication, toxins, excessive alcohol intake but most commonly by viruses named Hepatitis A, B or C. Hepatitis A and B can be prevented by vaccination but there is no vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease which results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus.  It is transmitted through contaminated blood, as when sharing needles or through blood transfusion prior to  1992 (since […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 19, Wash Your Hands

Hand Hygiene When Should You Wash Your Hands? Before, during, and after preparing food Before eating food Before and after caring for someone who is sick Before and after treating a cut or wound After using the toilet After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste After handling pet food or pet treats After touching garbage How to Wash Your Hands? Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap. Lather […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 18, Oral Cancer

Smokeless Tobacco and Oral Cancer There are 28 known cancer causing chemicals in smokeless tobacco; it is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. According to the CDC, in previous years, Kentucky has been ranked #1 in the highest rates of oral cancer. Using smokeless tobacco increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Smokeless tobacco can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Also, it can cause white or gray patches in the mouth known as leukoplakia, which can lead to cancer. The Oral Cancer Foundation states close to 49,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 17, World Immunization Week

Health Tips for the New Year World Immunization Week is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities. Diseases such as smallpox, diphtheria, polio, measles and whooping cough were mostly wiped out in the US through excellent immunization programs.  Unfortunately some of these are coming back as more parents choose to withhold vaccines. Whooping cough and measles outbreaks in recent years exemplify this problem. Whooping cough (pertussis) is a very contagious disease that can be deadly for babies. It is spread […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 16, Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Infections

STIs/STDs A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is an infection caused by bacteria or a virus. It is also known as a sexually transmitted infection. STDs are spread by oral, genital, or anal sex. Some examples of STDs are chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. HIV and viral hepatitis are the most common sexually transmitted infections. If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Make sure you have an open and honest conversation about your sexual history and STD testing with your doctor and ask whether you should […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 15, Alcohol

Alcohol And Your Health Drinking too much can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 were estimated at $249 billion, or $2.05 a drink.  What is a “drink”?  In the United States, a standard drink contains 0.6 ounces (14.0 grams […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 14, Public Health Week

WHAT IS PUBLIC HEALTH? Your local health department’s mission, generally speaking, is to promote the public’s health. Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or recurring through implementing educational programs, recommending policies, promoting healthy lifestyles, assuring a safe environment and through the detection and control of infectious diseases. In contrast, clinical professionals like doctors and nurses, focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. It is important to note that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in our nation; but, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally proportioned helpings of […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 13, National Nutrition Month

NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH: America, Take the Test! During National Nutrition Month®, celebrated each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Put Your Best Fork Forward” by making small, healthy shifts in food choices when cooking at home. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend making small changes to eating patterns to include healthier ingredients while cooking at home. Choosing a variety of healthful foods across and within all food groups helps reduce the risk of preventable, lifestyle-related chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. “Evidence shows that making dietary and lifestyle changes can prevent […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 11, Tuberculosis

World TB Day is March 24th March 24th has been designated World TB Day in order to raise awareness and support for worldwide TB elimination efforts.  This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB.  TB has not disappeared – worldwide it still kills approximately a million people a year. Fortunately, the rates in the United States have declined steadily since the 1990s, after a brief resurgence.  In 2015, 9,563 individuals were diagnosed with active TB in the US, of those 67 were in Kentucky and 3 were in […]