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Mississippi Retains Least Healthy State Title, Hawaii Ranks Healthiest in 2013 Rankings

According to the latest, and frankly most, state health rankings, the healthiest states are mostly found in the western and northeastern parts of the country while the least healthy are in the South. America’s Health Rankings have released their list for 2013, with Hawaii taking the top health spot.

overall rank

The top three is rounded out by Vermont and Minnesota. At the bottom of the overall list are Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. To determine the overall health of each state, America’s Health Rankings combined information about individual health choices, environment, public policy and clinical care. States were also ranked on percentage of adult population who smoke, are obese, are physically inactive, and have diabetes.


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Invokana Drug May be Game Changer for Type 2 Diabetes Patients

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first of a new class of drugs to treat Type 2 Diabetes called Invokana.
  • Invokana filters sugar into the kidney as opposed to previous medications which manipulated insulin levels to control blood sugar.
  • Our resident pharmacist Dr. Sarah Kahn says there are some concerns regarding how Invokana will affect the heart. According to Kahn, the current data is inconclusive, so they are conducting a trial called the CANVAS study (Canagliflozin Cardiovascular Assessment Study). Those results won’t be available until 2015. In addition, the FDA is requiring Janssen Pharmaceuticals – Invokana’s manufacturer - to conduct five studies once the drug hits the market.
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Betsy Schow Lost 75 Pounds, Became an Author and Ran a Marathon All in One Year

Betsy Schow’s weight struggles began early on in life. She recalls her childhood, growing up with two parents who both struggled with their weight and three siblings who were the stark opposite.

“I have three older sisters and they were always skinny little whips. It was obnoxious,” she joked. “When I was 12 my dad lost quite a bit of weight – 150 pounds – with Atkins and Fen-Phen. It was at that point that he not so politely pointed out that was I fat.”

Perhaps not so aware of her weight before that moment, Betsy’s struggles all of the sudden became a preoccupation. She did everything she could to try and lose the weight, testing out various diet and fitness programs but they all ended up leaving her heavier than she was before. It didn’t take long before this pattern left her fed up and willing to do just about anything to lose the weight.

At 5 feet 7 inches tall, Betsy weighed just shy of 220 pounds at her heaviest. A big push came when she tried to eat better over one summer in an attempt to finally get in a swimsuit and feel comfortable. But when she stopped nursing her youngest daughter that year she gained an unexpected 10 pounds in one month, which sent her to a sinking point.

“Between that 10 pounds and the scale I lost it. I broke down and realized I had to change,” she recalled. “Even then it started out pretty much the same but I needed to do something drastic because my doctor was warning me I was pre-diabetic.”
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The High Cost of Diabetes: $2 Billion per Year While 80 Percent of Cases are Reversible

As the American Diabetes Association encourages us to focus on diabetes this month, it’s important to understand just how prevalent it is in our country and get an idea of what a diabetic lives with on a daily basis. Furthermore, it’s also important to look at the cost of this growing disease and try to understand what can be done to change the upward trend of diagnosis.

The most recent assessment was released in 2011. The American Diabetes Association, The National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control completed a comprehensive report describing the impact of diabetes in the United States during 2007. Since the report, the numbers have continued to climb.

The data found that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes; or 8.3 percent of the population. These stats do not breakout the difference between the two kinds of diabetes, type I and type II.

More than 230,000 death certificates in 2007 had diabetes listed as the contributing factor for the death. Those who have diabetes are most susceptible to conditions like heart disease, stroke, hypertension, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.

Nearly $175 billion was spent in 2007 to cover all the costs of diabetes. These expenses included direct medical costs, indirect medical costs, disability, work loss, and premature death. These factors only include the diagnosed cases of the disease. There are millions more people living with the condition yet haven’t been diagnosed, while others are treating the symptoms of pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes. The costs of treating these groups came to about $218 billion in 2007.

So, if we see the staggering costs of this disease, what can be done? First, it’s important to note the major differences between the two types of diabetes. Dr. Josh Umbehr of Altas.MD broke down the differences to the very basic level.
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Alzheimer’s May be Result of Poor Diet; Some Calling it Type 3 Diabetes

There have been many speculations as to the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Currently, there is no cure for the condition and as it progresses it worsens, often causing memory loss, mood swings, aggression and confusion, and eventually leading to death.

Though Alzheimer’s was formerly thought to be a disease of age, a growing body of research now suggests that it may be a metabolic disease – linking it to poor diet. As reported by the Guardian, scientists have even gone so far as to call it type 3 diabetes.

This news is especially concerning as Alzheimer’s currently affects an estimated 35 million people worldwide, and that number is expected to reach 100 million by 2050. Equally alarming are projected growth rates of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. alone, which are also expected to triple in the next several decades.

These speculations are tied to two potential factors: 1) Alzheimer’s causes a lack of natural insulin in the body, or 2) it causes an impairment of the brain’s ability to respond it. Suspicions of the link continue to rise as those who die from Alzheimer’s are often found to have low insulin levels in the brain. This has led researchers to believe that insulin is produced in the brain as well as in the pancreas, explaining why it could play such a crucial role in neuron signaling and cell growth and lifespan, according to Popsci.
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