Pulse of UTMC
Administrators, Faculty and Graduate/ Professional students,
I would like to take a moment and invite you to this year’s 5th Annual Midwest Graduate Research Symposium which will be held on March 29th, 2014. This event will take place at the University of Toledo Memorial Field House. The Midwest Graduate Research Symposium is the largest multidisciplinary symposium in the midwest. This event is the perfect opportunity for students such as yourself to practice your presentation skills and share your work. You will have the opportunity to present and network with students and faculty from over 65+ graduate universities in the Midwest. This all day symposium will include graduate student presentations (poster and oral), an awards ceremony and will end with a dinner and keynote speaker.Last year we had over 200 in participation and over 300 to attend the event. Online registration is open and is free to all graduate students. The deadline to register for this years Symposium is February 28th.
The University of Toledo Graduate Student Association has opened applications for the 2014 Graduate Research Awards. This is a chance for graduate and professional students to get up to $2000 from the GSA to help with the expenses of their research. For more Information please visit http://www.utoledo.edu/graduate/currentstudents/gsa/index.html
My interest in prevention of cardiovascular diseases started well before I started my Masters degree at UT in Exercise Physiology focusing specifically in cardiopulmonary physiology. Below is a current illustration of our nation’s current debt and assets. The numbers are absolutely staggering to say the least. So… what exactly is the value of cardiovascular disease prevention, and will the savings from prevention make a difference?
Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease and other underlying causes such as obesity and tobacco use affect more than 130 million people, nearly half the population of the US. This burden consumes 75% of health care spending or $1.5 trillion annually… Now we’re talking!! If you still need a bit of convincing that prevention is best, the US spends 96% of Medicare dollars and 83% of Medicaid dollars on people with chronic conditions. High chronic disease and obesity rates are annually responsible for over $1 trillion in lost productivity in the workplace. The direct and indirect costs of CVD in the United States have been projected by the American Heart Association to increase from $272.5 and $171.7 billion in 2010 to $818.1 and $275.8 billion in 2030, respectively. The estimated cost of diabetes mellitus in the United States in 2007 was $174 billion, with 28% of expenditures attributed to cardiovascular complications of diabetes mellitus. Thus, most employers have invested in prevention wellness programs with positive results: (IBM has saved more than $175 million utilizing these programs, resulting in health care premiums that are 6-15% below industry averages. The CDC reported that for every dollar spent on prevention, $18.40 is saved. A study based on a simulation model found that for every $1 invested in building parks, and recreational areas such as trails, nearly $3 in medical cost savings may be achieved. A recent meta-analysis showed that medical costs fell by $3.27 and absenteeism costs fell by $2.73 for every dollar spent on worksite wellness programs.
When comparing the investment of prevention with the detriment of disease, one can see that it is simply a NO-BRAINER -that if together, we started to make healthy choices it would make a huge positive impact on our current economic situation!
(Weintraub et al., 2011)
Devol R, Bedroussian A. An Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease. The Milken Institute. October 2007. Available at: www.chronicdiseaseimpact.com .
More program examples are available online at: www.fightchronicdisease.org/promisingpractices and www.prevent.org/lbe .
Full program description available at: http://promisingpractices.fightchronicdisease.org/programs/detail/ibm .
Full program description available at: http://promisingpractices.fightchronicdisease.org/programs/detail/heath_care_university
Weintraub, W. S., Daniels, S. R., Burke, L. E., Franklin, B. A., Goff, D. C., Jr., Hayman, L. L., et al. (2011). Value of primordial and primary prevention for cardiovascular disease: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 124(8), 967-990.
Summer is my favorite time of the year simply because it is warm and the sunlight makes me feel good. In the winter, the sunlight frequents us much less often- but does that affect us?
On average, humans used to spend at least half a day exposed to sunlight before electricity. Nowadays, exposure to sunlight is highly discouraged for fear of skin cancer and modern lifestyles are built around spending long hours inside exposed to artificial light. There is evidence that Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) in the form of sunlight is a significant factor for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers in pale skinned people. Since our skin is a very large organ, about two square meters in an average adult male, exposure to the sun- whether risky or beneficial will impact us significantly. Similar to stroke, rates of acute coronary syndromes (including unstable angina, acute myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death) are highest in the winter months with shorter hours of sunlight.
Two benefits of sunlight:
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is formed when ultraviolet B (UVB) hits the skin and mediates photolysis of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin.
Melatonin: Melatonin is produced from serotonin by the pineal gland located in the center of the brain during periods of darkness, and its release is suppressed as a function of visible light intensity sensed through ocular photoreceptors.
In the 1970’s it was observed in several studies that people had consistently lower blood pressure in the summer than in the winter. It was found that the prevalence of mean population diastolic and systolic blood pressures correlate directly with latitude, being higher in populations living further from the equator. Recent studies have also confirmed this by demonstrating that biologically relevant doses of UVA lead to a sustained reduction in blood pressure. With a reduction in blood pressure, and a 20 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure- this leads to a two-fold reduction in overall mortality in both men and women aged 40-69 years. With this in mind, moderate exposure to sunlight may also reduce the economic burden of CVD. One study estimated this amount to be $519 Billion for hypertension, heart disease, and stroke in the USA (Combined impact of healthcare costs and lost economic output).This could potentially translate into hundreds of thousands of person- years of life and $Billions saved each year- (What a convenient way to boost our economy!).
If you have read my past articles, you know that I am a fan of arginine and Nitric Oxide (NO). In a recent study, it was found that moderate exposure to sunlight may activate bound stores of NO in the skin and mobilize it to its bioactive form. Nitrites, a byproduct of NO has long been considered biologically inert at low concentrations, but is now known to not only dilate blood vessels on its own, but to protect organs against ischemia/ reperfusion. Skin bound NO stores are in equilibrium with circulating nitrite in un-irradiated individuals, and dietary-derived nitrite may therefore increase the skin “NO” reservoir. Nitrite and NO are generated on the skin surface by reduction of sweat nitrate and possibly the oxidation of ammonia. A recent study demonstrated that UVA irradiation can increase plasma nitrite levels by 40%. The adult cardiovascular system may be more susceptible to the beneficial effects of sunlight- related NO release compared to children considering that the demographic is transitioning to an ageing world population with enhanced CVD.
So……… Next time the sun hits your face and you feel its warmth- remember—It might be doing much more for you than you think!
Is sunlight good for our heart? (2010). European Heart Journal, 1-5.
The Christmas holiday is approaching quickly. As we pack up in the next couple of weeks, we will go back to our families and loved ones to spend time with them and share in the holiday spirit by giving gifts and enjoying the break from school.
Unfortunately everyone may not be as lucky as you. Every day at the Cherry Street Mission, there are over 700 meals served to people who arrived at Cherry Street, hopeless and homeless, sometimes through circumstances most of us can’t imagine, but often for reasons we can imagine all too well. An extended illness that racks up insurmountable debt. A sudden cutback at work that leaves one jobless without warning. The loss of a spouse or child that rocks one’s world off its foundation.
This year in Toledo, during the holidays there is expected to be a huge increase in the number of meals served each day. Unfortunately, people in desperate need of help will not be fed if there is not an increase in the amount of food donated to Cherry Street Mission. Below is a picture of the shelves at Cherry Street Mission this month. The GSA (Graduate Student Association) will be helping to collect canned fruit and veggies, canned meat of any kind, coffee, hot chocolate, toilet paper, razors and deodorant to help fill the shelves at Cherry Street Mission and hearts of those in need.
If you feel obligated to help, Please bring canned donations to the GSA office – Room (SU1509) on main campus or contact any of the GSA officers (http://www.utoledogsa.com/). Each and every item will help those in need this holiday. To volunteer at Cherry Street Mission over the holidays please visit http://www.cherrystreetmission.org/how-you-can-help/volunteer .
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”- Winston Churchill
One of my interests- to pursue in the near future is “metabolic cardiology”- learning to prevent and treat heart disease as well as maintain a healthy heart and vascular system.
The benefits of regular moderate intensity, non-exhaustive physical exercise has been known for a long time. Some of those benefits include a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and in general- a lower risk of all-cause of mortality. HOWEVER, recent research has shown us that these beneficial effects are lost with strenuous exercise.
In the past few years, strenuous sports such as ultra marathon running, cross- country running, and Ironman triathlons have become very popular around the world. This type of exercise causes structural damage to muscle cells indicated by muscle soreness and swelling, prolonged loss of muscle function and leakage of muscle proteins into the circulation. This type of exercise has been associated with high increases of free radicals, and pro-inflammatory mediators. Damage like this can be PREVENTED by optimizing nutrition and increasing dietary nutritional antioxidants.
The heart relies on energy substrates to keep the voltage high in the heart so that it can pump blood effectively and efficiently. If you have had a lot of damage to your heart through strenuous exercise, there is a good chance that your heart is not in “tip top shape”. Your heart has lost essential substrates that keep its energy up. If you have this type of damage, it’s like having a pocket full of coins, with a hole in the pocket- your continually losing coins (substrates)- the leakage of the energy molecule ATP!!
In a recent publication in the European Journal of Nutrition, scientists have shown that taking a natural supplement termed “CoQ10” or Ubiquinone can dramatically prevent inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise.
If you are not familiar with Ubiquinone, it is an electron carrier found in the electron transport chain- located on the inner wall of the mitochondria, that is used help generate (ATP)- The ENERGY MOLOCULE. Here is a short clip to get you up to speed………. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbJ0nbzt5Kw
In this study- there were two groups, a control group that did not take CoQ10 and an experimental group that took CoQ10. The Experimental group took 150mg of CoQ10 through a span of 48 hours before a strenuous run. Both groups then participated in a run that was a combination between mountain running and ultra-endurance racing. They ran to the top of the “Sierra Nevada”, considered to be one of the hardest workout trials worldwide. It was a total of 50km and had an initial elevation of 640m to a peak elevation of 3,393 m- almost a continuous incline the whole 50km.
Results showed that after the run the group that took CoQ10 had a significant decrease in creatinine compared to the control group. The CoQ10 group also had significant reduction in the DNA expression of free radicals, a decrease in lipid peroxidation, a significant reduction in the expression of NADPH- one of the main sources of free radicals, a significant decrease in a whole array of molecules that promote inflammation and also found a significant increase in muscle triglyceride levels, which is good during exercise because it improves skeletal muscle activity and exercise capacity.
All of the effects seen from this study show a strong antioxidant defense and an increase in markers that lead to the maintenance of the cell and its integrity. Since I have read this article, I have talked to several cardiologists that also prescribe CoQ10 to their patients to help increase heart health. If you are interested in learning more about “metabolic cardiology” you would find the book- by Dr. Stephen Sinatra M.D, F.A.C.C, F.A.C.N, C.N.S “The Sinatra Solution” a great read!
Dı´az-Castro, J. (2011). Coenzyme Q10 supplementation ameliorates inflammatory signaling and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise. European Journal of Nutrition, 9.
Graduate students…. The time is here for our first Graduate Student Association (GSA) meeting. The GSA gives graduate students the opportunity to become great leaders, participate in a nationally recognized symposium, provides travel reimbursement money for those seeking funds to attend conferences or symposiums around the US, enables your voice and concerns to be heard at the administrative level at UT, provides professionalism services, gives you the chance to make friends with potential colleagues in different colleges at UT and perhaps most importantly gives you the opportunity to network with successful individuals and corporations in almost every aspect of study. We look forward to meeting and working with you!
About the Pulse of UTMC
A journal about how the people at UT Medical Center are improving the human condition. UTMC provides compassionate, university-caliber patient care while supporting and enhancing the health education of The University of Toledo.
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