Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Body & mind

Taking care of your whole self

Just in

        Therapy: Women with eating disorders may benefit from learning new ways to cope with depression, suggests a study in this month's Journal of Counseling Psychology.

        The study, written by psychologists Suzanne E. Mazzeo, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Dorothy L. Espelage, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studied 820 female undergraduates to see what risk factors led to disordered eating.

        Family conflict and childhood abuse and neglect indirectly contributed to eating disorders, the researchers found. But depression and alexithymia — difficulty identifying and describing one's own emotions — more directly influence whether women from troubled backgrounds develop eating disorders.

        More research is needed, the authors say, but the findings could help college counselors and psychologists identify and treat women with eating disorders or women at risk for developing them.


        Long view: New guidelines mean physicians need to be aware of the long-term implications of treating younger patients for high cholesterol, says a report in the Jan. 14 Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

        The National Cholesterol Education Program III guidelines, issued last year, are likely to significantly increase the number of American adults on cholesterol-lowering medications.

        But while numerous studies have focused on the benefits of lowering cholesterol for older Americans, no studies are ongoing that focus on younger Americans, says Dr. Donald O. Fedder, lead author of the study and a professor of pharmacy and medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

        According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey, a projected 36 million Americans ages 20 to 79 would be eligible for cholesterol-lowering drugs under the new guidelines — 32 percent of them under 56.

        The new guidelines would also make more men eligible for treatment than women, even though current medical opinion says heart disease risk should be evaluated equally among men and women.


        Inward: Theresa Horan-Sapunar will lead the seminar “Women, Bodies and Spirituality” from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 24 at Grailville in Loveland. Cost is $65 (includes lunch). 791-7915.

Shelf help

        Balance: In What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer (Warner Books; $25.95), Dr. John R. Lee, Dr. David Zava and Virginia Hopkins blame exposure to synthetic estrogens and other hormones and dietary factors for the increase in breast cancer.


        Click here: Log on to, a general health advice site. You'll find health news and tips geared toward special interests, including pediatrics, alternative medicine, men's health and psychology.

        Contact Peggy O'Farrell by phone: 768-8510; fax: 768-8330; e-mail:


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