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World Heart Day

World Heart Day

Today is World Heart Day. Each year about 17 million people die from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle can reduce your risk of CVD. 

Join more than 90 countries in observing World Heart Day, celebrated on September 29. The annual event was established in 2000 to increase awareness of CVDs and their impact on the global population. All around the world, people can attend events and find resources to help deal with CVDs or support others suffering from CVDs.

Contrary to popular belief, CVD does not disproportionately impact those in developed countries. Although the sedentary lifestyle more common in technology-dependent societies may certainly increase CVD risk, middle- and low-income countries suffer the most CVD deaths. More than 17 million people die from CVD every year, caused mainly by coronary heart disease or stroke, and 80 percent of these deaths are in middle- or low-income countries. The cost of CVD treatment is high, and untreated CVD compounds issues due to loss of productivity and ability to work regularly.

The good news is that CVD can be prevented with modifiable factors. Lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise, eating a better diet, and avoiding smoking can have an enormously beneficial effect on CVD. World Heart Day aims to provide this information to as many people as possible.

Look for events near you and join in!

 

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Kurt von Tish

National Women’s Health and Fitness Day

Established in 2002 by the Health Information Resource Center, National Women’s Health and Fitness Day promotes fitness and healthy living yearly among women of all ages.

Women’s health and fitness has historically been marred by inconsistent science and pseudoscience, old wives’ tales, and conjecture and has even been taboo in certain cultures and societies. An early example of this is the insistence on wearing corsets for femininity between the 1500s and the 1900s. We now know how damaging that fashion trend was and hardly any woman wears one today.

Modern health developments have helped shift perceptions on women’s fitness. Long feared to cause unwanted masculine features in women, weightlifting is now encouraged for women. Gone are the days of our grandmothers exercising only at home to hide their sweat from the public eye. No longer are women allowed only in women-only gyms called reducing salons.

In the United States, one in four deaths among women is caused by heart disease. On National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, it is important to spread awareness of programs such as the WISEWOMAN (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation) program. Programs such as WISEWOMAN help women ages 40–64 learn how to lead heart-healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease and stroke. WISEWOMAN is administered through the CDC for low-income, uninsured, or underinsured women.

Find out more about National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, WISEWOMAN, and other health information for women:

https://nationaltoday.com/national-womens-health-and-fitness-day/

https://www.womenshealth.gov/getting-active/physical-activity-all-women

https://www.cdc.gov/wisewoman/index.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/index.htm

 

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Kurt von Tish

NCMA Woodlawn Lunch & Learn Conference

NCMA Woodlawn Lunch & Learn Conference

Econometrica attended the Lunch & Learn session held by National Contract Management Association (NCMA) Woodlawn Chapter at beautiful Martin’s West on September 20. The very successful session, headlined by Benjamin Simcock and Robert Burton, included discussion topics such as Office of Acquisition and Grants Management (OAGM) accomplishments in the phased proposal evaluation approach now used in the IT field, current Administration acquisition priorities, the President’s Management Agenda (PMA), and acquisition-related executive orders and policies and their impact on the federal contractor community.

There was great news to go around. OAGM is looking to focus on strategic hiring practices that will increase spending for small, disadvantaged businesses by 15 percent by 2025. For IT contracts, there will be a focus on normalization in solicitations, language, and evaluation criteria. We were encouraged to hear that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid listened to contractors’ concerns at industry day. We also enjoyed learning of President Biden’s PMA. Hearing that the agenda would be a new roadmap for ensuring an equitable, effective, and accountable federal government was reassuring. Biden’s PMA has three priorities:

  • Strengthening and empowering the federal workforce.
  • Delivering excellent, equitable, secure federal services and customer experience.
  • Managing the business of government to build back better (i.e., advancing equity through procurement).

“We commend NCMA for a great learning session. There were many encouraging revelations, and we are eager to attend the next Lunch & Learn. We would also like to give a special thank you to Anita Allen, a true champion for small businesses – thank you for all you do! Thank you to NCMA for a wonderful event!” — Omeed Baghelai

National Opioid Awareness Day

National Opioid Awareness Day

Addictive, strong, and inexpensive, opioids, which include opiates and fentanyl, helped cause nearly 841,000 deaths to drug overdoses between 1999 and 2020. While it is easy to dismiss opioid related deaths as another drug related lapse in judgement, opioid addiction can occur from legal, prescribed medication. National Opioid Awareness Day hopes to highlight the dangers of opioids and remove the associated stigma of opioid addiction and opioid overdoses.

Opioids are a highly addictive substance. Medical use of opioids is often left as a final resort due to the addictive nature of such medication and typically only used in the absence of safer alternatives. The opioid epidemic in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is due to the overuse of opioid medications both through medical prescriptions and illegal sources.

Between 1999 and 2020, it is believed that 500,000 drug overdose deaths were caused by opioids. In 2017, 47,600 opioid related deaths were recorded and according to a report from 2017, it is estimated that 130 people in the U.S. die every day from opioid-related drug overdose.

The history of opioids and opioid-related drug overdoses is complicated and often intermingled with legal and legitimate prescription opioid medication addiction. It is important to acknowledge the dangers of such addictions and remove the stigma associated with opioids. September 21 is National Opioid Awareness Day – a perfect time to help in correcting misunderstandings about opioid addiction and opioid-related drug overdoses.

For more important information on opioid addiction, overdose, and National Opioid Awareness Day, please visit:

https://nationaltoday.com/national-opioid-awareness-day/

https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/data/analysis-resources.html

 

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Kurt von Tish

Risk of Serious Flu Complications in the Elderly

Risk of Serious Flu Complications in the Elderly

Elderly populations, aged 65 and older, are at risk for developing serious flu complications when compared with healthy, young adults. Adults older than 65, adults with chronic conditions (asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and children younger than 5 are at an increased risk in serious complications related to the flu. An estimated 70 or 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths were those aged 65 and older, and 50 to 70 percent of hospitalizations due to seasonal flu were for those over 65. Flu vaccination for the elderly population is not only important, but those in that age group should get an increased dose or adjuvanted flu vaccine.

Elderly populations can suffer from serious complications from the flu. A proactive solution is with a flu vaccine. It is important to receive annual vaccinations due to changing flu viruses as well as immunity waning over time. Not only is following general guidelines important, but for the elderly, receiving a higher dose or adjuvanted flu vaccine, a potentially more effective option according to existing studies, is recommended for elderly populations. Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, Flublok Quadrivalent, or Fluad Quadrivalent are some of the vaccine options available.

Serious complications that can occur from the flu include:
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis)
  • Brain failure (encephalitis) 
  • Muscle tissues failure (myositis, rhabdomyolysis)
  • Multi-organ failure (e.g., respiratory and kidney failure)
  • Sepsis
  • Complications with existing, chronic medical conditions such as asthma.

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Kurt von Tish

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

The most commonly inherited blood disorder continues to have difficulties in high quality treatment options for adults living with the disease. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), an intensely painful blood disorder caused by red blood cells having an abnormal, sickle shape, affects over 100,000 United States citizens of all ethnicities but disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic populations, occurring, alarmingly, in 1 in every 365 Black or African American births and 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic births.

SCD causes the body to create abnormally shaped red blood cells in the form of a “C” or sickle. These cells disrupt the normal flow of red blood cells in blood vessels, causing extreme, acute, and chronic pain episodes and failing to transfer oxygen to body tissues. Signs and symptoms of the disease include:

  • Pain Episodes or Crisis
  • Hand-Foot Syndrome
  • Acute Chest Syndrome
  • Infection
  • Eye Disease
  • Stroke

SCD can affect any ethnic group, but Black and Hispanic populations in the US are most heavily affected by the disease. An estimated 1 in every 13 black and African American births suffer from Sickle Cell Trait, abetting it in being the most commonly inherited disease.

Due to SCD having varying treatment options, only 25% of patients receive a standard of care recommended by current guidelines. Studies indicate patients of SCD, compared to other patients, do not receive adequate treatment for pain, or in appropriate doses.

September is National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month – a great opportunity to spread awareness of the disease, its insufficient treatments, and minority communities being affected in much higher numbers.

Additional resources, including a new video on SCD by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health, are available:

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Kurt von Tish