American women are more than twice as likely to know how much they weighed in high school as they are to know their current cholesterol number, and only half of all women have had their cholesterol tested in the past year, according to a nationwide survey from the Society for Women’s Health Research.
Of the women who had a recent cholesterol test, only 57 percent could actually recall their cholesterol number.Survey data suggests a major disconnect between women understanding risks associated with high cholesterol and actually taking action to monitor and control it.
High cholesterol is linked to hardening of the arteries and heart disease. The society urges women to exercise, eat more fruits and vegetable, and also eat foods low in fat.
As Jimmy Durante used to say, “Everybody wants to get into the act!” and that certainly seems to be the case as far as the process for choosing presidential nominees for both major parties is going.
Wednesday, Michigan moved to upset the calendar further by taking initial steps to move its 2008 presidential primary to Jan. 15. This came a day after Arizona moved its primary to Feb. 5, a crowded day that includes Oklahoma and already has been christened Tsunami Tuesday. So far on Feb. 5 alone the following states plan primaries, caucuses or other delegate selection contests for one or both parties: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.
When Oklahoma moved its primary up in 2004, it attracted a lot of visits from Democratic candidates (no Republican candidates really, since President Bush didn’t have a primary challenger). This year, while candidates from both parties have stopped by, the visits are fewer. The hopefuls can hardly be blamed: With so many early contests, they have to focus resources on states with the most delegates available to win and we don’t fall into that camp.
Of course, Iowa and New Hampshire, who have been indulged for far too long as the lead-off states in the process, have been whining endlessly. As more states move up their voting, don’t be surprised if by the time we get done, they move their contests into December of this year just to remain first.
At some point, this has to be resolved. It already gives an unfair advantage to the better-known and better-financed candidates and the marathon aspect that used to be common actually made for better candidates by putting them to the test.
It’s too late to make radical changes for 2008, but perhaps by 2012, other plans can be developed. Perhaps several regional primaries that would be spaced a month apart, allowing candidates to focus and giving them time to build momentum without being knocked out in the very first round. No single binding vote has been cast, but Republicans Jim Gilmore and Tommy Thompson and Democrat Tom Vilsack already have been forced to leave the contest.
Of course, there will be complaints about which region gets to go first, so maybe they can develop some kind of lottery or set up a rotating system for each presidential year. As it stands right now, the way 2008 is shaping up is no way to pick a presidential nominee and seems like a recipe for guaranteeing a third-party challenger (not that there is anything wrong with that). If both parties’ nominees have been picked by February and the general election will still be nine months away, voters will quickly tire of listening to the same two people and seek other options.
Scott Schuldt, Staff Writer
As I transition back to my first love, health care reporting, I’m trying to find ways to go beyond traditional disease-of-the-week reporting.
I recently had an epiphany of sorts.
Besides, one of our copy editors held my Fraggle Rock toy hostage until I blogged. That and my wooden, brightly painted Oaxaca crab are the only things that make my desk homely.
But I digress.
It’s my opinion that anything health related our readers can get easily online or out of a magazine is probably not gonna keep them reading our paper. Yet, in many cases, the only medical trend stories about Oklahoma that appear are likely to come from us.
So, given that you can get information from national sources on the proper amount of (INSERT VITAMIN NAME/DRUG NAME/THERAPY NAME HERE) to take/undergo (not that there’s certainty or agreement in much of this) and other general health topics, what would you like to see The Oklahoman’s two medical writers cover?
What stories would mean the most to you? What would you like to read about that you can’t get from national media? General or specific — it doesn’t matter.
I can’t promise I’ll write these stories, but I’ll listen to/read your responses.
E-mail me below or call (405) 475-3364.
The folks at Sprint sent out a little item this week that alleges the style of your cellphone says a lot about your personality in much the same way that your automobile tells the world who you are.
It has even launched a Web site where you can take a personality quiz to figure our your “cell style.”
So, I took their little test that asked questions like “Which statement describes you best” with five lame choices for answers. The bottom line? Sprint’s test identified me as a, gulp, “Technosexual,” which is a word of which I am not familiar. Honest.
Anyway, here is how Sprint describes “Technosexual:”
“Although you would never say so yourself, you are the epitome of style and sophistication, and you’re just about as tech savvy as they come. The latest and greatest technology enhances your impeccable style, and your friends count on you to keep them updated on the hottest new gadgets and trends. You spend your free time at all the coolest places, and you’ve got a keen sense of fashion style.
“As a technosexual, you need a cell phone with both looks and smarts.”
Yada. Yada. Yada.
Boy, do they have it wrong. I’m the cellphone equivalent of the doddering old man puttering down the freeway for miles at 50 mph with his left blinker on.
My ideal cellphone comes in a bag and weighs six pounds.
What’s your cellphone style? Take the test and see how far off the Sprint inkblotters miss their mark.
Business News reporter
The majority of Americans between ages 57 and 85 are sexually active and view sexual intimacy as an important part of their lives, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The National Institute on Aging surveyed more than 5,000 men and women. “Its portrait of this aspect of older Americans’ lives suggests a previously uncharacterized vitality and interest in sexuality that carries well into advanced age, which perhaps has not been appreciated as an important part of late life,” said Richard Suzman, NIA official. There are “bothersome” sexual problems for senior citizens such as erectile difficulties for men and low desire for women, and medical problems such as arthritis, diabetes and hypertension can interfere with sexual desire. Healthier older individuals are more likely to report being sexual active, the study indicates. The study stresses that older adults should discuss sex with their doctors. There is this warning: sexual activity among senior citizens poses risks for new HIV-AIDS cases if precautions aren’t taken.
-Jim Killackey, Medical Reporter
I received quite a bit of feedback in response to my blog yesterday about lice treatments for children heading back to school. One reader said she knew a child who received brain damage after using an insecticide meant for removing lice.
While I don’t refute the possibility of this happening, most over-the-counter lice removal products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA-approved drugs have been tested to ensure safety, while we all know occasional mishaps occur.
Aside from the use of insecticides to remove those nasty hair pests, one mother told me she used a product called the Robicomb on her daughter when she was younger. The Robicomb is an electonic comb that passes a small electrical charge from one of the comb’s teeth to kill the louse. This mother also recommended using cans of insecticide within the home to kill any lice that may have jumped off the head.
-Lindsay Goodier, Online Editor
The womens’ magazine “More” says too many American females can’t recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack — despite the fact that it’s the No. 1 killer of U.S. women. The most-common symptoms, which frequently are different from men, include: sudden anxiety, unusual fatigue, and shortness of breath. Signs include: increasingly frequent indigestion and sleep disturbances. In a magazine survey, only 57 percent of women complained of chest pains. The magazine survey concludes that women are extremely good at downplaying the significance of symptoms and talking themselves out of seeking medical help. Also, women often are afraid of wasting money or being embarrassed at going to a hospital emergency room only to find out nothing is wrong. The magazine is marketed for women age 40 and older.
– Jim Killackey, Medical Writer.
No, I do not have lice.
But last night, I fought lice in a duel called Lindsay vs. the lice in kids’ hair, helping administer lice checks, treatments and haircuts for kids in the neighborhood around NW 10th street and McKinley. All kids in Oklahoma City public schools are required to be checked for lice before returning to school. And while we only found lice in two children’s hair, we were glad that those two children were able to go to school today after receiving a thorough lice treatment.
If your child or a child you know has lice, the Web has a number of resources you can turn to for treatment. There are three different forms of lice treatments:
1. Insecticides, including malathion, phenothrin and permethrin.
2. Thorough combing of the hair.
3. Alternative treatments, including essential oils, herbal extracts or homeopathic tincture.
A good lice treatment also includes a thorough washing of any items that may have had contact with the child’s head, and someone should also check for eggs the first few days after the treatment.
Have any more advice on how to get rid of lice? Let us know.
-Lindsay Goodier, Online Editor
It’s time to see how much attention you’ve been paying to the news in the past week or so. From The Oklahoman’s news copy editors and designers, here’s a quiz:
1. The son of which former Major League Baseball player from Oklahoma suffered a knee injury and likely will miss his junior season as Norman North’s quarterback?
a) Joe Carter
b) Johnny Bench
c) Mickey Tettleton
d) Mickey Mantle
2. Oklahoma City Councilwoman Willa Johnson and former state Rep. Forrest Claunch are in the Sept. 11 election for what post?
a) Oklahoma City mayor
b) Oklahoma County commissioner
c) Oklahoma governor
d) U.S. senator
3. Oklahoma’s 2007 high school graduates scored an average of 20.7 on their ACTs, a 1 percent increase over 2006. How does the state compare with the nation?
a) Way above the national average
b) Below the national average
c) Equal the national average
d) Slightly above the national average
4. The University of Oklahoma boasts a 2011 class of 3,865 students, which is an increase over last year’s freshmen class by what percent?
5. Which leading mortgage lender found itself in money trouble and had to borrow $11.5 billion to avoid bankruptcy?
a) Bank of America
c) Capital One
6. University of Southern California running back Emmanuel Moody is transferring and may be considering which Oklahoma university?
a) University of Oklahoma
b) Oklahoma State University
c) University of Tulsa
d) University of Central Oklahoma
7. A recent survey of Oklahoma City residents showed most respondents had concerns about what?
a) Livestock fumes
b) Street maintenance
c) New shopping centers
d) Speeding tickets
8. If a proposed bill is enacted, Oklahoma school bus drivers will be banned from doing what?
a) Talking on their cell phone while driving
b) Eating on the bus
c) Listening to music on the bus
d) Chewing gum
9. What is the Russian region of Ulyanovsk doing to fight the nation’s birthrate crisis?
a) Offering tax breaks
b) Creating public service announcements
c) Building more schools
d) Giving couples time off from work to procreate
10. The late Merv Griffin created what two famous television game shows?
a) “The Price is Right” and “Candy Land”
b) “Family Feud” and “You Bet Your Life”
c) “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”
d) “What’s My Line” and “Wheel of Fortune”
11. What will OU do to help students handle the cost of textbooks?
a) Students will have in-library access to about 800 textbooks for about 250 general education classes.
b) University officials will hand out book discount cards during Howdy Week.
c) Bookstores will discount a book if two or more students share it.
d) OU officials said there’s no help for book prices, but students will receive free bookmarks.
12. What major company was affected by the recent recall of 9 million Chinese-made toys?
13. Which athlete is pictured on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated?
a) OSU’s Jeremy Nethon
b) RedHawk Edinson Volquez
c) OU’s Allen Patrick
d) OU’s Joey Halzle
14. New York Yankees legendary shortstop and broadcaster Phil Rizzuto died at age 89. What was his nickname?
a) The Hammer
b) The Meatball
c) Holy Cow
d) The Scooter
15. All except which one of these precautions is recommended by the Health Department to cut down the danger of being infected with West Nile virus?
a) Use mosquito repellent containing DEET.
b) Remove standing water.
c) Use mosquito dunks.
d) Stock ponds with turtles to eat the larvae.
16. The McAlester Prison Rodeo features many events, and in some inmates participate while in others professional rodeo riders participate. Which one of the following is limited to inmates?
a) Steer wrestling
b) Bull riding
c) Team roping
d) Barrel racing
17. Paul Goodyear is president of an organization of USS Oklahoma survivors and families. He recalls the “stupidest thing I ever did,” which was on Dec. 7, 1941. What was it?
a) He went to the signal deck to retrieve the ship’s code book.
b) He jumped 50 feet from the ship into Pearl Harbor.
c) He stood on the weather deck looking at the attacking planes through binoculars.
d) He volunteered to man an anti-aircraft gun on the ship’s fantail.
18. Tiger Woods collected how much prize money for his victory at the 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa?
19. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took first place in the Iowa Republican Party’s straw poll. Who came in second?
a) Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback
b) Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd
c) Comedian Gallagher
d) Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
20. The search for six men trapped in a Utah mine was called off after what happened?
a) A major earthquake shook the area
b) Experts said too much time had passed
c) Three rescuers were killed in a second collapse
d) Drilling equipment broke down
How did you do on the quiz? Here are the correct answers:
1-C; 2-B; 3-B; 4-A; 5-D; 6-B; 7-B; 8-A; 9-D; 10-C; 11-A; 12-A; 13-C; 14-D; 15-D; 16-B; 17-A; 18-C; 19-D; 20-C
Somewhere in the past few months, my son became me 33 years ago.
Sure he looks like me and has many of my mannerisms. But still, how could the past become the future so quickly.
Point-in-fact, we spent part of Saturday at the Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park in downtown Oklahoma City.
He’s discovered skateboards, bicycles and did I mention ramps.
I spent a great deal of time between the ages of 8 and 14 propelling my body through the air much like my then-hero Evel Knievel.
Ramps were made of hay bales, concrete blocks or any other solid material that would hold up to plywood.
Skateboarding meant using the 45-degree angled hill in front of my house. Never mind that it was one of the more heavily traveled roads in
Sulphur. Not to mention it was chip and seal, which means that chunks of gravel seemed to come out of nowhere.
I have the scars to show for it, too.
I was, as my mother liked to say, a daredevil.
Fast-forward to now. My son, 9, discovered Tony Hawk and Mat Hoffman several months ago. Then he asked for a skateboard for his birthday.
Last week, a teacher, on the first day of school, mentioned the downtown park. Needless to say, he had to try it out.
Saturday, we went.
It’s huge. It’s also pretty nasty. Not in a bad way. As in I wished I’d had something like that when I was younger.
It’s concrete, so if you plan to fall, and you will, be prepared to have a little pain.
Lot’s of fun dips and dives await you, though.
It’s set up for bikes and skateboards.
If you go, please note there are rules. No skating or biking without the proper gear, which includes helmets and shoes.
The park, for which there is no admission fee, is open every day from dusk until 11 p.m. There are security guards and police who frequent the area, so it is safe.
It is at SW 17 and Lincoln Boulevard.
Saturday’s visit was short, thanks to Mother Nature. I fully expect to be returning soon. If you go, have fun and skate safe.Terry Groover, Staff Writer