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Radon test kits are half price during National Radon Action Month

 

Pontiac, Mich. – Jan. 4, 2017 – Oakland County Health Division encourages residents to purchase radon test kits for only $5 during National Radon Action Month in January to test their homes for the potentially harmful gas.

“Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall, but it is preventable,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Oakland County Health Division is offering radon test kits at half price to help Oakland County families protect themselves and their loved ones.”

The Health Division recommends testing homes for radon during the cooler months as windows and doors remain closed.

“You cannot see or smell radon, and people tend to ignore the possibility that it might exist at high levels in their homes,” said Kathy Forzley, Health Division health officer. “Testing your home is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon.”

Radon test kits for homes are available for purchase at Health Division offices in Pontiac and Southfield:

  • North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph, Building 34E, Pontiac

  • South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield

Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. To purchase more than 10 radon kits, please call 248-858-1312 to preorder. Please note that Health Division offices will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16.

Radon is a naturally-occurring, invisible, odorless gas that is usually harmless outdoors. When the gas is trapped in a building or home, however, it can be a health hazard. The Environmental Protection Agency says there is moderate potential for elevated radon levels in Oakland County homes.

If high levels of radon are found, contact Health Division’s Environmental Health Services at 248-858-1312 in Pontiac or 248-424-7191 in Southfield. Visit www.oakgov.com/health or www.epa.gov/radon for more information.

For up-to-date public health information, visit www.oakgov.com/health, find Public Health Oakland on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @publichealthOC or call the Health Division’s Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533.

 

 

HEART DISEASE

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions.

How to Reduce Your Risk

  1. Choose a Heart Healthy Lifestyle.
    • Engage in regular moderate aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week or more vigorous workouts at least 20 minutes three times a week.

    • Adopt a diet low in salt, saturated and transfats and high in unsaturated fats (fish, avocado, etc.) like the Mediterranean Diet.

    • Maintain a normal body weight with caloric adjustment.

    • Take fish oil supplements.

    • Avoid smoking and recreational drug use.

    • Imbibe no more than ½ to 1 alcoholic beverage per day.

  2. Know and review your risk factors with a trusted physician.

  3. Your physician may recommend medications to control cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes.

  4. High-risk individuals should consider taking a daily aspirin.

  5. Avoid hormone replacement unless you have severe menopausal symptoms.

  6. In selected cases, it may be necessary to conduct non-invasive or even invasive tests to determine the nature and severity of the heart disease.

  7. Sometimes angioplasty/stenting or even bypass surgery may be needed if you have severe and symptomatic arterial blockage.

  8. Learn CPR.

  9. And as Dr. P.K. Shah always recommends, CHOOSE YOUR PARENTS WISELY!

Common Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Age

Heart disease can occur at any age. However, four out of five people who die from coronary heart disease are aged 65 or older. The risk of stroke doubles with each decade after the age of 55.

Gender

Men and women are equally at risk for heart disease, but women tend to get coronary artery disease an average of 10 years later than men. The risk for women increases as they approach menopause and continues to rise as they get older. Death rates from heart disease and stroke for women are twice as high as those for all forms of cancer.

Family History (Heredity)

Presence of heart disease in a parent or sibling, especially at a young age, increases your risk of developing heart disease.

Smoking

Smokers are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks as non-smokers, and they are more likely to die as a result. Smoking is also linked to increased risk of stroke.  The nicotine and carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke damages the cardiovascular system. Passive smoking may also be a danger. 46 million Americans (25 million men and 21 million women) smoke.  Women who smoke and take the oral contraceptive pill are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke.

Cholesterol

The higher the blood cholesterol level, the higher the risk of coronary heart disease, particularly if it is combined with any of the other risk factors. Diet is one cause of high cholesterol – others are age, sex and family history. High levels (over 100 mg/dl) of LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or “bad cholesterol”, are dangerous, and low levels (under 40 mg/dl in men and under 55 mg/dl in women) of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good cholesterol”, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. High levels (over 150 mg/dl) of triglycerides (another type of fat), in some, may also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Nearly 40 million Americans have high cholesterol levels.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (over 140/90 mmHg and over 130/80 mmHg in diabetics) increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and kidney damage. When combined with obesity, smoking, high cholesterol or diabetes, the risk increases several times. High blood pressure can be a problem in women who are pregnant or are taking high-dose types of oral contraceptive pill. 72 million Americans over age 20 have high blood pressure.

Physical Inactivity

Failure to exercise (walking or doing other moderate activities for at least 30 minutes five days a week or more vigorous workouts at least 20 minutes three times a week) can contribute to an increased risk of coronary heart disease as physical activity helps control weight, cholesterol levels, diabetes and, in some cases, can help lower blood pressure.

Obesity

People who are overweight are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke, even if they have none of the other risk factors. Excess weight causes extra strain on the heart; influences blood pressure, cholesterol and levels of other blood fats – including triglycerides; and increases the risk of developing diabetes. 66% of Americans over age 20 are obese.

Alcohol

Small amount of regular alcohol consumption (1/2 to 1 drink per day for women and 1-2 drinks per day for men) can reduce risk of heart disease. However, drinking an average of more than one drink a day for women or more than two drinks a day for men increases the risk of heart disease and stroke because of the effect on blood pressure, weight and levels of triglycerides – a type of fat carried in the blood.  Binge drinking is particularly dangerous.

Drug Abuse

The use of certain drugs, particularly cocaine and amphetamines, has been linked to heart disease and stroke.  Cocaine can cause abnormal heartbeat which can be fatal while heroin and opiates can cause lung failure. Injecting drugs can cause an infection of the heart or blood vessels.

Diabetes

The condition seriously increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, even if glucose levels are under control. More than 80% of diabetes sufferers die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease.

Previous Medical History

People who have had a previous heart attack or stroke are more likely than others to suffer further events.

Stress, Depression, Anger/Hostility

Stress, depression, and negative emotions have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

 

Eat Wisely and Be Physically Active: Take Control of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes can be managed!

Balancing the food you eat with exercise and medicine (if prescribed) will help you control your weight and can keep your blood sugar in the healthy range. This can help prevent or delay complications. Many people with diabetes live long and healthful lives.

If your weight is a concern consider joining MOVE!, a comprehensive lifestyle intervention targeting weight loss through dietary changes, physical activity and improved weight management behaviors. This approach, particularly when delivered in a group format, has been shown to be effective for managing diabetes.

Stay one step ahead of your diabetes with these resources.

MOVE! Resources

MOVE! Handouts

- See more at: http://www.prevention.va.gov/MPT/2016/July_2016.asp#sthash.ofSBkoRU.dpuf