The seven Regional Arthritis Centers (RACs) are part of a statewide network run by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service’s Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program (MAOP). For Missouri Arthritis Program information, click here. Click on the map to go directly to each RAC's web page.
It's that time of year! The 2013 Jingle Bell Run/Walk, sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, is hitting cities around Missouri this month. This 5K (3.1 mile) event is an opportunity to join up with friends, family, and coworkers to celebrate the holiday season by giving. Bonus - you get some physical activity/exercise too! St. Louis hosted their Jingle Bell Run/Walk in November, but there are 4 other cities in/near Missouri who are hosting this event next weekend. It's not too late to sign up (see below), so get your bells on and put on your shoes!
With Thanksgiving less than a week away, many families are preparing to travel to spend time together for the holiday. Spending time with your family around the holidays may feel comfortable since you likely have spent a lot of time with them over your years. The start of the holiday season may even feel a bit predictable as you can say with some certainty who will fall asleep first after the meal, who will complain that a "family favorite" isn't on the table this year, and who will win the fight for control of the remote. We tend to think that we know our families very well, but there are some topics we generally avoid. How well do you know your family's health history?
There are many reasons why family members choose not to talk about their health history - they may feel embarrassed if diagnosed with certain conditions; they may not want to worry younger family members; they may not want to answer questions about it; or they may be struggling to understand the condition on their own, much less explain it to someone else.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) recommends that virtually everyone six months and older get the flu vaccine. It is especially important for children younger than 5 years of age, pregnant women, adults 65 years of age and older, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, people who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, people who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, and people with certain chronic medical conditions who are at a higher risk for developing flu-related complications. Some people should not be vaccinated without first consulting with their health care provider.
While a consistent high-level protection against influenza remains elusive for the present generation of vaccines, all scientists and public health professionals agree that present vaccines still are the best intervention available for seasonal influenza. Encourage everyone in your care to get vaccinated against the flu now.
If you smoke, and are open to the idea of quitting, you're in good company. Many people around the country are using tomorrow, November 21, 2013 as a quit day. The Great American Smokeout, an initiative by the American Cancer Society, takes place every year on the third Thursday in November.
Smokers are encouraged to quit smoking on this day. This could mean that you don't smoke at all on November 21, but smoke in coming days and weeks. Or, it could be that you've planned for November 21 to be the first day of a tobacco-free life. Perhaps you haven't thought of quitting smoking before this point, or haven't heard of the Great American Smokeout and don't feel prepared to quit smoking for 24 hours. Make tomorrow about making a plan to quit smoking in the future.
Do you know what the leading cause of death in Missouri is? What about the leading cause of disability? If you answered heart disease (leading cause of death) and arthritis (disability), you are correct. With these chronic health conditions being very impactful on their own in Missouri, it’s very important that we take a look at the impact they have together.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking.
Individuals who are considered overweight and obese are at an increased risk for arthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “excess weight can contribute to both the onset and progression of knee osteoarthritis”. Obesity is also a risk factor for other health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Being obese with some of these diseases increases your chances of decreased quality of life, serious health issues, and may even lead to death.
Today, November 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This week’s report contains important information for the arthritis community. A report was released on regular activities that were limited for persons self-reporting as diagnosed with arthritis. The report, Prevalence of Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation – United States, 2010-2012, looks at national data from the 2010-2012 National Health Interview Survey. According to this survey, over 52.5 million Americans have arthritis, and nearly half (43.2%) of those people are limited in their activities as a result of their arthritis. Nationally, many adults who have arthritis also have another chronic health condition like heart disease or diabetes, and nearly 1/3 of adults who are obese also have arthritis. Having multiple health concerns can impact your ability to engage in regular, daily activities. You can read the national report in full here. Check back next week as we look more specifically about the problem of activity limitations in Missouri, and how that impacts and connects with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Have you heard of "Tips from Former Smokers" (Tips) before? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched their first-ever paid national tobacco education campaign in March of 2012; new advertisements were released in April of this year and a third set of advertisements are scheduled to be released in 2014. This campaign featured emotionally powerful stories of former smokers who are now living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities. People who smoke and were thinking of quitting were encouraged to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or to visit a quit-assistance website.
According to the CDC, "Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and kills about 443,000 Americans each year."