Karen E. Miller, Dr.P.H, is Health Editor of the Banner and editor of “Be Healthy,” the quarterly health magazine. Dr. Miller has an eclectic background in the health care industry including direct patient care, higher education, management and consulting. She served as the director of clinical training in rehabilitation medicine at Columbia University’s Harlem Hospital Center. She was an assistant professor at New York University and Texas Women’s University, where she taught courses in functional anatomy, orthopedics, neurology and community health. At New York’s Department of Social Services, she was a consultant for the state’s Medicaid program on issues pertaining to quality of care.
At Tenneco, a large oil and gas company in Houston, Dr. Miller developed and ran a managed care program, which involved selective contracting with physicians and hospitals for the treatment of catastrophic illnesses. As an independent consultant she has provided services to small businesses, insurance companies and physician groups. Dr. Miller is a graduate of Boston University and Columbia University. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from New York University and a doctorate in public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Dr. Miller currently serves as a board member of the Massachusetts Association of Mental Health.
Fat may be a better predictor of breast cancer
Postmenopausal women who carry too much body fat may be at risk for invasive breast cancer, even if their BMI is within normal limits.
Longer lasting and more effective
The varicella-zoster virus causes chickenpox as well as shingles. There are vaccines to prevent both conditions. The vaccine for shingles has been recently updated, and provides protection for a longer period of time.
Largely due to prevention
With the advent of Pap smears and immunization against certain types of HPV, the incidence of cervical cancer in this country has plummeted in the past 50 years.
Difference by gender and race
Obesity is a major risk factor for the incidence of many illnesses, including cancer and heart disease, the two leading causes of death in this country.
A two-year decline
Life expectancy in the U.S. population had a decrease of 0.1 year between 2015 and 2016, according to a data brief by the National Center for Health Statistics. You might say that’s not significant and too minor to even mention. But this is the second year in a row that it has dropped in this country. That’s not a good sign.
The #3 killer in African Americans
Strokes are one of the leading causes of death in this country. Many cases are largely preventable by following a healthy lifestyle and properly managing high blood pressure and cholesterol and diabetes.
A change in guidelines by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has updated its guidelines for prostate cancer screening. They now take the position that screening offers a small potential benefit of reducing the chance of dying of prostate cancer.
Strawberries and spinach top the list
Twelve products have made the annual list of “dirty dozen” produce. These fruits and veggies in particular contain high contents of residues from pesticides, according to a report by the Environmental Working Group.
But there can be too much of a good thing
The body cannot survive without sodium, but the typical American diet contains more sodium than the body can handle. High amounts of the mineral can lead to heart and kidney disease.
Still below desired national goals
Although screenings for breast, cervical and colon cancer are covered at no cost by the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of adults in this country that comply with the guidelines are lower than desired.