Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Body and Mind: Taking care of your whole self


Q&A: Mercy Franciscan at West Park, 2950 West Park Drive, Westwood, will hold a free program on Medicare and Medicaid at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Attorney Janet Pecquet will discuss issues and answer questions. Information: 451-8900 or

Pressure: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center will hold a program on high blood pressure in children at 7 p.m. March 4 at its Outpatient Mason location, 9560 Children's Drive, Mason. $5. Information: 636-5714.

Pain: The Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine, 6400 E. Galbraith in Kenwood, will hold a free program on managing debilitating headaches at 7 p.m. March 8. Topics include acupuncture, alternative therapies and new medications. Limited seating. Reservations: 791-5521.

Test: St. Elizabeth Pulmonary Health Center will offer free screenings for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease by appointment March 16 at St. Elizabeth Medical Center South, Edgewood. Registration: (859) 578-5750.


Bad fat: Trans fat, the unhealthiest of all fats, poses a double whammy for heart health: It lowers "good" cholesterol levels while spiking the bad stuff.

Harvard Women's Health Watch offers suggestions for limiting trans fat in its March edition:

• Know your labels: If a product lists shortening or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil as one of the first ingredients, it's high in trans fat.

• Do the math: Food labels will soon list trans fats content. For now, figure it this way: Add polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats to the saturated fat. Subtract that sum from the "total fat" listed on the label. The difference is trans fat.

• Spread smart: The softer a margarine is at room temperature, the lower its trans fat content. Or buy the kind labeled "trans fat-free."

• Fry right: Use olive or canola oil. In restaurants, look out for foods cooked in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

• Make your own breads, soups, and salad dressings to cut out trans fats.

Shelf help

Release: The Stress Effect (Avery; $14.95) by chiropractor Richard Weinstein looks at a possible link between the stress hormone cortisol and disease.


Lifesaver: Giving heart failure patients statins - medications that lower cholesterol and prevent arterial plaque - cuts their risk of dying by 55 percent, say California researchers.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found that heart failure patients benefited from the drugs regardless of their cholesterol levels or the cause of their heart failure.

Only a third of heart failure patients now receive statins.

Cardiologist Gregg Fonarow led the study, which looked at medical records of more than 550 heart failure patients.

Fonarow said data showed results were better for patients whose heart failure was caused by a heart attack than in those whose heart failure resulted from other causes.

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

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Body and Mind: Taking care of your whole self