February 25th, 2014
Don’t forget to look both ways before crossing the street — especially if you’re walking the streets in Louisiana. According to a recent study, the Pelican State has the fifth highest pedestrian death rate in the country.
The report, prepared by the Center for Planning Excellence and the Louisiana Public Health Institute, evaluated 10 years of federal fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report demonstrates a need for more state and city planners to incorporate pedestrian and cyclist safety into traffic plans, according to Rachel DiResto, CPEX executive vice president.
February 20th, 2014
Two more Louisiana children are dead from the flu, bringing the total number of terminal pediatric flu cases this season to four, health officials report.
Department officials will not release the age of the children or the parish in which they lived, citing federal patient confidentiality laws. But they did say that the two latest deaths are from southeast and southwest Louisiana.
The two previous deaths were reported in the northwest and southeast portions of the state.
Since Oct. 1, Louisiana has tracked a total of 53 deaths attributable to influenza. But health experts say that number doesn’t likely reflect the full picture of flu or flu-related deaths since hundreds of people die annually without being diagnosed.
February 12th, 2014
Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car safety seats because children can be trapped, but is refusing to recall seven other infant seat models, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall notice.
In the seats being recalled, the buckles may not unlatch, making it difficult to remove the child from the seat. That increases the risk of injury in a crash, fire or other emergency when a speedy exit from the vehicle is required.
February 7th, 2014
The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the safety of caramel colorings used in a variety of foods, including colas and other dark soft drinks, to determine whether the agency should act to limit consumers’ exposure to a chemical created during the manufacturing process.
The agency’s announcement came in response to a Consumer Report investigation that prompted the watchdog group Consumers Union to call for limits on 4-methyliminazole, or 4-Mel, an impurity produced in the production of some caramel colorings, as well as for labeling of products containing caramel coloring.
January 30th, 2014
Eric Lawson, who died of COPD on Jan. 10, was one of many models and actors who portrayed the rugged “Marlboro Man” over the course of the ad campaign. that began in the early 50s. Others include David Millar, who died of emphysema in 1987, and David McLean, who died of lung cancer in 1995. The latest Surgeon General’s report links smoking to a myriad of diseases that include diabetes, liver cancer and colorectal cancer.
January 24th, 2014
A new website recently launched in Baton Rouge features a high-tech mapping tool, allowing people to delve into data ranging from where parks and libraries are located to crime statistics and educational levels mapped out across the parish.
The new “City Key” website also features neighborhood forums, so people can post events and other communications for residents in their neighborhoods.
January 15th, 2014
Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have devised a flu predictor that could pinpoint peak cases as much as nine weeks early.
That could help to contain the yearly flood of influenza cases, which stretch from December to April and can surge unpredictably. Knowing when specific cities or regions might be hit especially hard could help people to be more vigilant about washing their hands, as well as allow doctors and public health officials to stockpile vaccines and other flu remedies.
Click here to read the full story from Time and to check out the Forecaster for yourself.
January 9th, 2014
The Louisiana Clinical Data Research Network (LACDRN) was recently approved for a funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to develop and expand a health data network that will be part of PCORnet: the National Patient-Centered National Clinical Research Network. The LACDRN is one of 29 such networks that were approved nation-wide for a total of approximately $93.5 million from PCORI on Dec. 17, 2013, to form this new national resource that aims to boost the efficiency of health research.
The LACDRN is a partnership between the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and Tulane University. This project, including its requested budget of $6.9 million, is approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award contract. During the next 18 months, this collaborative partnership will work together to build an infrastructure for clinical research that may benefit millions of patients in Louisiana. Additionally, the team will advance the capacity to conduct efficient clinical research on two highly prevalent health conditions, obesity and diabetes, along with multiple associated comorbidities, sickle cell disease, and some rare cancers.
“We are thrilled to receive this PCORI award,” said Dr. Anjum Khurshid, Principal Investigator and Director of Health Systems at LPHI. “The LACDRN is a unique collaboration between a top-level research center (Pennington Biomedical), an academic institution of great repute (Tulane) and an established, community-based public health institute (LPHI). The infrastructure investments in IT in this region and the strong relationships with our community partners provide an unprecedented opportunity to involve patients, clinicians and researchers in meaningful clinical research. Not only does the LACDRN promise to bring opportunities for funding clinical research in our state, it also opens numerous opportunities for economic development, entrepreneurship, and job creation in this region and puts Louisiana and New Orleans on the map of major players in biomedical and translational medical research.”
Good news for those in the state who may have been facing problems finding new insurance under the Affordable Care Act!
Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has agreed to implement a federal health care act adjustment that could mean 93,000 Louisianians who were facing canceled health insurance policies might be able to keep their existing plans for another year.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana — which provides 60,000 of the 93,000 plans in jeopardy — has said it will try to extend all of the coverage that it had previously slated for cancellation, after Donelon’s decision. Donelon and the insurance company made their announcements Wednesday night (Nov. 27).
December 10th, 2013
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of delicious (and fat-filled) holiday foods. So how do you enjoy yourself without completely sabotaging your diet? Check out Discovery Health’s 52 diet and nutrition tips to cut calories without depriving yourself of a true holiday feast. A sampling is below, but click here to read the full article.
- Pass up the ham
- Dark meat is OK, but skip the skin
- Steamed sides = Slim
- Pumpkin is perfect