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                                                                                                                                                                                      Stone Mountain, GA
                                                                                                                                                                                       Permit No. 1130

                                                                                                                                                                                     3001 Hospital Drive
                                                                                                                                                                                     Cheverly, MD 20785

   A        P U B L I C A T I O N                        O F     D I M E N S I O N S                H E A L T H C A R E              S Y S T E M                     F A L L       2 0 0 4

H E A LT H                                                                                                                                                                 Monitor cholesterol
                                                                                                                                                                              through regular

                                                    IT’S A


                                                                                                                                                                           IT DOESN’T MATTER whether
                                                                                                                                                                            you are a woman or a man,
                                                                                                                                                                           old or young, or whether you
                                                                                                                                                                           already have heart problems

                                                                                                                                                                                 or not. Normalizing your
                                                                                                                                                                          cholesterol numbers reduces
     Brushing for two min-                                                                                                                                                   your risk of heart disease.
      utes with an electric                                                                                                                                                  And if you do have the dis-
    toothbrush set at me-

                                                                                                                                                                            ease, a healthy cholesterol
   dium speed gets teeth
                                                                                                                                                                                level cuts your chance of
   cleaner than scrubbing                           ATING RIGHT TODAY CAN GIVE YOU A
           teeth forcefully.                                                                                                                                                      having a heart attack.
                                                    HEAD START ON A HEALTHY HEART.
     —Journal of Clinical Periodontology            IN FACT, EVERYONE IN YOUR FAMILY,                                                                                            A blood test is the only
                                                    even children as young as 2, can benefit from                                                                             way to know whether your
  BEST FOR BABY. Most                               measures that help control a major risk factor for                                                                           cholesterol level is OK.
    foods are safe to use
      for homemade baby                     heart trouble: cholesterol.                                                                                                           “In this day and age of
  foods. But avoid beets,                      Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the bloodstream                                                                    preventive medicine, obtain-
  turnips, carrots, collard                 and elsewhere in the body. Small amounts of cholesterol are                                                                     ing a lipid profile is a major
     greens and spinach.                    necessary for good health. But too much can contribute to                                                                        step in what you can do to
    These vegetables can                    the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, and that can
   contain large amounts                                                                                                                                                   gauge your risk of cardiovas-
   of nitrates, a chemical
                                            lead to heart disease and heart attack. Each year, more than                                                                  cular disease,” says Gregory
     that could cause low                   a million Americans have heart attacks and about half a                                                                         Fisher, M.D., a cardiologist
   blood count in babies.                   million die from heart disease, according to the National
                                                                                                                                                                            at Laurel Regional Hospital.
       —American Academy of Pediatrics      Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
                                                                                                                                                                           “If a profile is abnormal, you
                                               Although heart disease is typically thought of as an
                                                                                                                                                                            can take early steps to pre-
                                            “adult” disease, research shows that problems associated
                                            with too much cholesterol can actually begin in childhood                                                                           vent a problem later on.
                                            and then slowly get worse with age.                                                                                                   Many pediatricians are
                                                                                                                                                                          now testing children’s choles-
                                            A FAMILY MEAL PLAN To control cholesterol, your                                                                                terol levels in order to effect
                                            entire family—adults and kids alike—should maintain a                                                                             dietary treatments before
                                            healthy weight and try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise                                                                 problems can start,” he says.
                                            on most days.                                                     weekly servings of fatty fish, such as salmon or mackerel,       The test measures total
         DRINK UP WHEN                          And encourage healthy eating habits early. The American       served baked or grilled.                                    cholesterol, LDL cholesterol
       TAKING MEDICINE.                     Heart Association (AHA) says children 2 and older should              You should also limit some foods, including butter, (the “bad” kind), HDL choles-
   When taking drugs with                   eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily as      egg yolks and cheese, and foods made with them; and
      water, be sure to drink                                                                                                                                               terol (the “good” kind) and
                                            well as a variety of other foods low in cholesterol and           saturated oils, such as coconut and palm oils, often found
      a full 8-ounce glassful,                                                                                                                                           triglycerides, another type of
      not just a swig to get it             saturated fat. (Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels.)   in commercially baked goods.
                                                                                                                                                                                              blood fat.
      down. Too little liquid               Adults should follow the same advice.                                 When you prepare foods, try these heart-friendly
                                                                                                                                                                            If your numbers are abnor-
     with some medicines,                       Likewise, the AHA encourages the whole family to eat:         cooking tips:
    such as Fosamax, can                     Six or more daily servings of bread, cereal, rice and            Use unsaturated vegetable oils, such as canola, corn, mal, talk to your doctor about
      prevent the medicine                  pasta, including whole grains.  Two to four daily servings       olive and soybean oils.                                          how to correct them and
     from working properly.                                                                                                                                                when you should have your
  It can also cause throat
                                            of fat-free or low-fat dairy products.  Up to 6 ounces per        Remove all visible fat from meat and skin from poultry
        irritation if the drug              day of lean meats and poultry without skin.  At least two        before cooking.                                                     next cholesterol test.
  does not get completely
             to the stomach.
  —Advice for the Patient: Drug Informa-                   3 HAVE ASTHMA? GET YOUR FLU SHOT                                    4 MEN A GUY’S GUIDE TO GOOD HEALTH
    tion in Lay Language (MICROMEDEX
                                                           6 STRESS YOU CAN HELP MANAGE IT                                 7 AGING KNEES HOW TO TAKE CARE
            Thomson Healthcare, 2002)
              T N
         N                                  EVENTS

                                                                                                                                            Our focus at Dimensions
                                                                                                                                            Healthcare System is
                                                                                                                                            on your family’s health.
                                                                                                                                            Check out the many
                                                                                                                                            opportunities below to
                                                                                                                                            improve and preserve
                                                                                                                                            your health and the
                                                                                                                                            health of those you love.

 FREE CLASSES!                             a community-based, nonclinical pro-           SUPPORT GROUPS                            Senior Center, Brentwood, Md.
                                            gram that involves group participa-                                                      Mondays, Oct. 18 through
                                            tion. It includes activities to improve       AL-ANON                                   Nov. 22, noon to 2 p.m.
                                            endurance, joint mobility and body            Fridays, 7 p.m.                           (six two-hour sessions)
 DIMENSIONS HEALTHCARE PROGRAMS             mechanics. This program also encour-          Call (301) 497-7914 or (410) 792-7636.    Classes to be held at Glenarden
 DIMENSIONS SMOKING                         ages peer interaction and socializa-          ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS                      Senior Center as part of Prince
 CESSATION PROGRAM                          tion. The exercises are designed to           Sundays, 7 p.m.                           George’s Community College’s
  Tuesdays, 6 to 7:30 p.m.                 be within the capability of most peo-         Call (301) 497-7914 or (410) 792-7636.    SAGE Program, Glenarden, Md.
                                            ple with arthritis. Participants must
 Laurel Regional Hospital                                                                 AMPUTEE SUPPORT GROUP                     WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
                                            be able to walk independently or with
  Wednesdays, 6 to 7:30 p.m.                                                             Third Thursday of each month, 6 p.m.      ABOUT BREAST CANCER
 Prince George’s Hospital Center            a device, or be able to transfer into a
                                                                                          Call (301) 497-7901.                      Wednesday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m.
  Thursdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m.              straight chair from their wheelchair.                                                   PGHC auditorium
                                            To register, call (301) 497-8769 or           BIPOLAR SUPPORT GROUP
 Bowie Health Campus                                                                                                                Speaker: Gurdeep Chhabra, M.D.
                                            (410) 792-2413.                               Thursdays, 6 p.m.
 A unique four-week program for                                                                                                     Breast cancer is the most common
                                                                                          Call (301) 497-7980.
 smokers who would benefit from a           BABYSITTERS CLASS                                                                       cancer occurring in women (excluding
 supportive, educational environment.       Saturday, Nov. 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.            NAR-ANON                                  cancers of the skin) and the second
 To register or to learn more, call         Conference Rooms A and B                      Mondays, 7 p.m.                           most common cause of death from
 (301) 618-6363.                            $28 per person                                Call (301) 497-7914 or (410) 792-7636.    cancer in women, after lung cancer.
                                            Laurel Regional Hospital and Health-          NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS                       Men also can develop breast cancer.
 LAUREL REGIONAL HOSPITAL                   Quest® sponsor this class for moth-           Mondays and Thursdays, 7 p.m.             If diagnosed at an early stage, breast
 JOINT REPLACEMENT SEMINAR                 ers helpers 11 to 12 and babysitters          Call (301) 497-7914 or (410) 792-7636.    cancer has an encouraging cure rate:
 Tuesday, Oct. 5, 6 to 7 p.m.               13 and older. Topics include: when                                                      Up to 97 percent of women diagnosed
                                            and how to call for emergency help;
                                                                                          PARKINSON’S SUPPORT GROUP                 with localized breast cancer will sur-
 J. R. Jones Room
                                                                                          Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.
 Speaker: Scott Berkenblit, M.D.            how to recognize safety hazards; how                                                    vive at least five years after their diag-
                                                                                          Call (301) 497-7914 or (410) 792-7636.
 A free seminar on joint replacement        to properly handle an infant; how to                                                    nosis. Join Gurdeep Chhabra, M.D.,
 will be held at Laurel Regional Hos-       select safe and age-appropriate toys/         REHABILITATION                            an oncologist at Prince George’s
 pital. Scott Berkenblit, M.D., will        activities; how to verbalize, prevent         SHARING GROUP                             Hospital Center, as he discusses risk
 present a one-hour program that will       and provide basic aid for common              Second Thursday of each month, 6 p.m.     factors, prevention, symptoms and
 include a tour of the operating room       injuries; and how to market newly             Call (301) 497-7901.                      treatment for breast cancer. To regis-
 and the physical rehabilitation gym,       learned skills. Participants must bring                                                 ter, call (301) 618-3795.
 an explanation of joint replacement        a lunch. To register, send class fee          PRINCE GEORGE’S HOSPITAL CENTER
                                                                                                                                    DIABETES DAY
 surgery and a showing of various artifi-   and registrant’s name and age to:             HEALTH AND WELLNESS EVENTS                AWARENESS SYMPOSIUM
 cial joints. A question-and-answer ses-    Laurel Regional Hospital, Public Rela-
                                                                                          ARTHRITIS SELF-HELP COURSES               Saturday, Nov. 6, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 sion will be included. To register, call   tions and Development, 7300 Van
                                                                                          These courses are offered by the Ar-      PGHC auditorium
 (301) 497-8736 or (410) 792-2413.          Dusen Road, Laurel, MD 20707, or
                                                                                          thritis and Joint Institute at PGHC and   Experts in the field of diabetes will
                                            call the registration hotline at (301)
 NATIONAL DEPRESSION                        497-8736 or (410) 792-2413.                   taught by an expert from the Arthritis    discuss the latest research, treat-
 SCREENING DAY                                                                           Foundation. Benefits of this program      ment options and medications as-
 Thursday, Oct. 7, 6:30 to 8 p.m.           BLOOD DRIVE                                   include:                                  sociated with this condition. Last
 Conference Room B                          Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2 to 8 p.m.                   Learning and practicing the             year more than 150 people attended
 If you haven’t been feeling like your-     J. R. Jones Room                              skills needed to build your own self-     this informational event. To register,
 self lately, this event can help you       Laurel Regional Hospital, in conjunc-         management program.                       call the Diabetes Center at PGHC at
 figure out what is wrong. On Oct. 7        tion with the American Red Cross,              Gaining the confidence to make          (301) 618-6555.
 Laurel Regional Hospital will offer        encourages all eligible donors to give        and carry out your action plans.          ARTHRITIS AND TAI CHI
 free, anonymous mental health              blood—the gift of life. To schedule an         Learning relaxation techniques and      Thursday, Nov. 18, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
 screenings. Attendees will complete a      appointment, call (301) 497-7950,             how to manage pain, stress and fatigue.   PGHC
 written self-assessment and have the       Monday through Friday between                 To register, call (301) 618-3795.         Instructor: Penny Martin
 opportunity to talk privately with a       8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Walk-ins are              Tuesdays, Oct. 5 through Nov. 9,        Let the Arthritis and Joint Institute at
 mental health professional. For more       welcome, but scheduled appoint-               4 to 6 p.m. (six two-hour sessions)       PGHC get your joints moving! Tai chi
 information, see page 6 or call (301)      ments will be given priority.                 Classes to be held at PGHC                has been practiced as an effective aid
 497-7980.                                  MATERNAL/CHILD                                 Thursdays, Oct. 7 through Nov. 18,      for the relief of arthritis and has be-
 PEOPLE WITH ARTHRITIS                      HEALTH CLASSES                                6 to 8 p.m. (six two-hour sessions)       come accepted as a successful means
 CAN EXERCISE (PACE)                        Laurel Regional Hospital offers a             No meeting on Nov. 11 in obser-           of dealing with stiffness and pain. Join
 Mondays and Thursdays, 10 to 11 a.m.       six-week prepared childbirth class,           vance of Veterans’ Day                    tai chi expert Penny Martin as she
 Seven-week program begins Oct. 25          a breastfeeding course, tours of the          Classes to be held at Bowie Senior        shows how you can integrate body
 $25 per person                             labor and delivery unit, and an infant        Center, Bowie, Md.                        and mind to add flexibility, strength,
 Laurel Regional Hospital and the           CPR course. For more information,              Wednesdays, Oct. 13 through             balance and relaxation to your aching
 Metropolitan Washington Chapter of         please call (301) 497-7979 or (410)           Nov. 17, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.               joints. Space is limited to 25 attend-
 the Arthritis Foundation offer PACE,       792-2270, ext. 77979.                         (six two-hour sessions)                   ees. To register, call (301) 618-3795.
                                                                                          Classes to be held at Cora B. Woods
                                      W W W. D I M E N S I O N S H E A LT H . O RG    2      H E A LT H   S C E N E
                                                        Is a product safe?
                                                        Get information
                                                        about common
                                                        household items
                                                        Those unpronounceable ingredients in your bathroom and           Have asthma?
                                                                                                                         Get your flu shot
                                                        kitchen cleaners sure eat away the grime. But they also come
                                                        with a host of warnings: Avoid contact with skin. Do not
                                                        breathe fumes. Keep out of reach of children.
                                                            It makes you wonder what those same ingredients might        If you have asthma, you’re always looking for ways to
                                                        be doing to your body. Now you can find out.                     breathe easier. One simple way to help protect your health is
                                                            The National Institutes of Health has launched an online     to get a flu shot once a year, advises the Centers for Disease
                                                        consumer guide that gives information about the ingredi-         Control and Prevention.
                                                        ents in common household products—and how they might                 People with asthma are at high risk for flu complications,
                                                        affect your health.                                              such as pneumonia. Yet only a third of adults with asthma
                                                            The guide, called the National Library of Medicine’s         get the vaccine, according to the results of a national health
                                                        Household Products Database, currently includes informa-         survey.
                                                        tion on more than 2,000 ingredients and will be expanding            Researchers found that vaccination rates were lowest for
                                                        to include even more.                                            18- to 49-year-old adults who have asthma, with only one in
                                                            The database can help answer questions such as:              five getting the flu shot. Older adults and those with more
                                                         What chemicals are in certain brands? What percentage          education had the best vaccination rates. About 45 percent
                                                        do they contain?                                                 of adults 50 to 64 with asthma received the shot.
                                                         Who makes a certain brand of product and how can I                 Many people with asthma may not be vaccinated
                                                        contact them?                                                    because they are unaware of the need. Or they may have
                                                         What are the possible health effects of the ingredients        concerns about getting sick from the shot itself, a popular
                                                        in certain brands?                                               but false belief.
                                                                     Go online to       Take extra steps to protect yourself from the flu—
                                                                  to use the database. You can search for products in    particularly if you have asthma. In addition to getting your
                                                                  various categories, such as auto products, home        shot, wash your hands often and try to avoid people who
                                                        maintenance, hobbies and crafts, and personal care.              are sick.
                                                            The database lists information such as ingredients,              Laurel Regional Hospital will offer free flu shots
                                                        manufacturer’s information, health effects, and handling         to the community later this fall. For more informa-
                                                        and disposal of the product.                                     tion, call (301) 497-7914 or (410) 792-7636.

                                          reservations are necessary for this free        behavioral health services. Call (301)
Thursday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m.
                                          event. Please call (301) 618-3275.              618-2436.
                                                                                                                                         SENIOR DINING AND LECTURE SERIES
PGHC auditorium                           BREASTFEEDING CLASSES                           BRAIN INJURY                                   Please join us for dinner and dis-
Speaker: Noori Mirmirani, M.D.            For women breastfeeding newborns                SUPPORT GROUP                                  cussion on the following health top-
Nearly 20 million Americans experience    and infants. Call (301) 618-3544.               Second and fourth Wednesdays, 7 p.m.           ics that relate to seniors. Space is
depression, yet only one in 10 seeks                                                      Support for the survivors of minor or          limited, so reservations are required
                                          CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION CLASSES
treatment. Depression often seems                                                         traumatic brain injuries. Call (301)           48 hours in advance. To register or
                                          Weekend and weekday classes
to be caused by stress. Join Noori                                                        618-2790.                                      for more information, please call
                                          available, PGHC auditorium
Mirmirani, M.D., medical director of      Information to prepare you for the              BREAST CANCER                                  (301) 618-2546. Fee: $1, payable
psychiatry at PGHC, in this discussion.   birthing experience. To make a reserva-         SUPPORT GROUP                                  at the door.
To register, call (301) 618-3795.         tion, or to inquire about cost or about         First and third Tuesdays, 6 p.m.               SHATTERING THE
BLOOD DRIVE                               the classes, call (301) 618-3275.               1701 McCormick Drive, Landover, Md.            MYTHS OF OLD AGE
Friday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.        NICU REUNION                                    A supportive environment for survivors         Wednesday, Oct. 13, 3 to 5 p.m.
PGHC, in conjunction with the Ameri-                                                      of breast cancer. Call (301) 883-3525.         Gladys Spellman Specialty Hospital
                                          Saturday, Oct. 16, noon to 2 p.m.
can Red Cross, encourages all eligible    PGHC Pavilion                                   DIABETES SUPPORT GROUP                         and Nursing Center
donors to give blood—the gift of life.    Celebrating the many children who have          Meets monthly. Call (301) 618-6555             Paul Devore, M.D.
To schedule an appointment, call          graduated from our neonatal intensive           for details.                                   TAKING CARE OF YOUR KNEES
(301) 618-3053.                           care unit (NICU). Parents and families of                                                      Wednesday, Nov. 10, 3 to 5 p.m.
                                                                                          PREEMIE SUPPORT GROUP
MATERNAL CHILD EVENTS                     our graduates are invited to attend this        Second Wednesdays, 7 p.m.                      Laurel Regional Hospital
                                          fun event. Entertainment, face painting
BEAUTIFUL BEGINNINGS TOUR                                                                 Support for parents of premature               ADVANCED TREATMENT
                                          and a visit from a very special guest!
FOR EXPECTANT MOTHERS                                                                    infants. Call (301) 618-3280.                  OF KIDNEY DISEASE
                                          For more information or to RSVP for this
Sundays, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12,                                                       SEXUAL ASSAULT CENTER                          Wednesday, Dec. 8, 3 to 5 p.m.
                                          free event, call (301) 618-2636.
1:30 p.m., PGHC auditorium                                                                SUPPORT GROUPS                                 Gladys Spellman Specialty Hospital
Expectant mothers and their families      SUPPORT GROUPS                                  The Sexual Assault Center offers indi-         and Nursing Center
are welcome to join us for pregnancy-                                                                                                    Wei Lu, M.D.
                                          BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES                      vidual and group counseling for survi-
friendly refreshments and a tour of       Family support and individual meet-             vors of sexual abuse and/or assault.
our labor and delivery and mother/        ings for families of patients receiving         Call (301) 618-3154.
baby units. Space is limited, so
                                    W W W. D I M E N S I O N S H E A LT H . O RG      3      H E A LT H   S C E N E
                                                                                                DIRECTIONS? BAH!  YOU’RE A
                                                                                                GUY, RIGHT? ASKING FOR DIREC-
                                                                                                TIONS IS FOR CHUMPS. LOST
                                                                                                CHUMPS. WHICH IS WHY, WHEN
                                                                                                YOU’RE LOST, YOU REACH FOR
                                                                                                THE HANDY ROAD ATLAS UNDER
                                                                                                YOUR SEAT.  SMART THINKING.
                                                                                                                                   SK FOR

                                                                                                    But if you’re a guy who never sees a doc-
                                                                                                tor, who never contemplates risks to your
                                                                                                health, you’re lost without a map.
                                                                                                    Seeing a doctor regularly, and learning
                                                                                                how to protect yourself from key health
                                                                                                risks, will keep you on the road to good
                                                                                                    Unfortunately, many men don’t even
                                                                                                think about getting medical care until
                                                                                                they’re too sick to get off the couch. The
                                                                                                statistics prove it.

                                                                                                MACHO, MACHO MEN According
                                                                                                to the Centers for Disease Control and Pre-
                                                                                                vention, women are 100 percent more likely
                                                                                                than men to visit their doctors each year.
                                                                                                    Men pay a price for skipping those
                                                                                                appointments. Regular doctor visits and
                                                                                                screenings could help catch and even pre-
                                                                                                vent many of the leading causes of death in

                    A GUIDE
                                                                                                men, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke,
                                                                                                diabetes and pneumonia.

                                                                                                    Yet, men still won’t go.
STAYING ON COURSE                                                                                   “Part of why men don’t see a doctor on
                                                                                                a regular basis is how we are brought up,”
                                                                                                says Hema Yadla, M.D., an internal medicine
                                                                                                physician and president-elect of the Prince
                                                                                                George’s Hospital Center medical staff.
                                                                                                    “From a young age we are taught to

                      TO GOOD HEALTH
                                                                                                ignore pain or not give it the proper atten-
                                                                                                tion,” says Dr. Yadla. “Little boys are told not
                                                                                                to cry when injured; by the time he starts
                                                                                                playing sports he’s encouraged to just walk
                                                                                                it off. When a male reaches adulthood, he is
                                                                                                conditioned to ignore the pain or not deal
                                                                                                with it right away.”

                                                                                                THE BIG (HEALTH) PICTURE
                                                                                                Changing such attitudes is a key challenge
                                                                                                for health agencies working to educate men

                    W W W. D I M E N S I O N S H E A LT H . O RG   4   H E A LT H   S C E N E
Don’t miss out! Come to PGHC for                         FREE health events                                                                                                  Give him a

                                                                                                                                                                                                   WHEN YOUR MAN WON’T BUDGE
                           PROSTATE                                    DIABETES
                                                                                           D AY
                                                                                                 SYMPOSIUM                                                              NUDGE
Thursday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m.                                             Saturday, Nov. 6, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.                                                     YOU LOVE HIM. But he drives
Prince George’s Hospital Center Auditorium                             Prince George’s Hospital Center Auditorium                                                                    you nuts.
   All men are at risk for developing prostate cancer. A man              Experts in the field of diabetes will discuss the latest                              He eats too much junk food
has about a one in 10 chance of being diagnosed with pros-             research, treatment options and medications associated with                        and never gets any exercise. He’s
tate cancer during his lifetime.                                       this condition.                                                                       stressed out, and he works too
   Besides being male, there are other factors, such as age,              Last year more than 150 people attended this informa-                                                           hard.
race and family history, which may contribute to a person’s            tional event. To register for this free symposium, call the                            And today he’s sick. He walks
risk. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of prostate              Diabetes Center at PGHC at (301) 618-6555.                                            around moaning and groaning,
disease and the latest treatment advances by attending this                                                                                                feeling awful. He insists on work-
free seminar. To register, call (301) 618-3795.                                                                                                            ing when he should see a doctor.
                                                                                                                                                        But, of course, he never goes to the
                                                                                                                                                           If this sounds familiar, you could
about the importance of health care.             doctor can give you details.                        wearing sunscreen with a sun protection                            be living with a male.
    So, you want to reform? First step: See         Diabetes. Having diabetes can double             factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Wear clothes
                                                                                                                                                               A stereotypical male, anyway.
a doctor regularly. Next step: Learn how to      your risk for heart disease or stroke. It may       that cover your body, plus a hat, whenever
                                                                                                                                                           But, despite some exaggeration,
protect yourself from some of the key health     also bring along serious complications              you go outside.
                                                                                                                                                          these traits are all too common in
risks for men, such as:                          such as blindness, kidney disease and                   Also, see your doctor about moles that fit
    High blood pressure. High blood pres-        amputations.                                        any of these alphabetical categories:                                    many real men.
sure puts a strain on your heart and blood          An additional risk for men is impotence,          Asymmetrical (one half isn’t identical               Men are notoriously reluctant to
vessels. Over time, this can lead to heart       the inability to have or keep an erection.          to the other).                                       seek health care, which is among
disease, kidney disease and stroke.                 You’re more likely to develop diabetes            Borders that are uneven or ragged.                the reasons why they’re hit so hard
    You don’t want to wait for those prob-       if you’re overweight. However, a modest              Color varies from one area to another.                            by serious disease.
lems to develop. To spot high blood pressure     5 percent to 7 percent weight loss can               Diameter is larger than a pencil eraser.             The numbers show it. According
early, have your levels checked every year or    protect those at high risk for developing               (3) Testicular cancer. Check yourself                to the Men’s Health Network,
two by a medical professional.                   the disease.                                        monthly. During a shower or bath:  Check           50 percent more men than women
    Levels are measured with two numbers.           If you think you’re at risk, talk to your        each testicle one at a time.  Place your in-        die of cancer. And men are nearly
A reading of less than 120/80 mm Hg is           doctor about lifestyle changes you could            dex and middle fingers under the testicle              twice as likely to die from heart
considered normal, while one of 140/90 is        make.                                               and your thumb on top.  Gently roll the
considered high.                                    “According to the Department of Health           testicle between your thumb and fingers.
                                                                                                                                                              Obviously, if you’re concerned
    To help prevent or lower high blood          and Human Services, it is recommended               It should feel smooth.  Feel for any
                                                                                                                                                          about a man’s health, you want to
pressure:  Stop smoking.  Lose weight          that routine testing for diabetes occur             hard lumps.  Repeat the process with
if you’re too heavy.  Exercise regularly. Try   every three years starting at age 45,” says         the other testicle.  Report any lumps to           be sure he gets the care he needs.
for 30 minutes of activity on most days of       Faranak Sotoudeh, M.D., an endocrinolo-             your doctor.                                           But how do you convince him of
the week.  Cut down on salt (sodium) and        gist and medical director of the Diabetes               (4) Prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor                                         that?
fat in your diet.                                Center at Prince George’s Hospital Center.          about the pros and cons of screening tests,             All it might take is a little prod-
    If needed, a doctor may prescribe medi-      “However, your doctor may recommend                 which generally begin at age 50.                          ding to get even one doctor’s
cations to lower blood pressure.                 earlier testing based on your family history            (5) Colorectal cancer. Your doctor can            appointment, says Michael Flem-
    Heart disease and stroke. Organs             or if you have high cholesterol, high blood         tell you about screenings and screening               ing, M.D., 2003–2004 president
don’t get any more vital than the heart and      pressure or are overweight.”                        methods. Screening usually begins at                of the American Academy of Family
brain. And both depend on a steady supply           Cancer. Types men should think about             age 50.                                                                       Physicians.
of blood to keep working well. Fat deposits      and act to prevent include:                                                                                   A checkup puts men in touch
in the arteries, however, can disrupt blood         (1) Lung cancer. Of all cancers, it kills        IN CONTROL Remember, when you                          with the whole system of health
flow to the heart or brain, putting us at risk   the most people. Smoking is thought to be           keep good health in mind and get the help
                                                                                                                                                                               care, he says.
for heart attack or stroke.                      responsible for eight out of 10 cases. If you       you need, you’re not giving up control. You’re
                                                                                                                                                           A physician will give your guy the
    These deposits, called plaque, can de-       smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting.          staying on the right track.
velop with age. And you’re at greater risk       Smoking cessation classes and medications              Protecting your health will help                health screenings he needs and talk
for them if you smoke, are overweight,           can help.                                           you live longer, stay strong and remain             about good fitness and eating hab-
have diabetes or high blood pressure, or            (2) Skin cancer. Protect yourself by             independent.                                          its. Plus, a doctor can emphasize
eat a high-fat diet.                                                                                                                                      why it’s important to keep coming
    To reduce risks, don’t smoke, exercise
                                                 “THE IMPORTANCE OF PROSTATE
regularly, control blood pressure and man-                                                                                                                       “That’s key to everything,”
age your weight.                                                                                                                                                            Dr. Fleming says.
    Also, lower your “bad” cholesterol. Large
amounts of low-density lipoprotein (LDL)         CANCER SCREENING IS DUE TO THE                                                                            Keeping up with doctor visits will
                                                                                                                                                           get easier after that first appoint-
cholesterol in your blood increases your
risk for plaque deposits. Eating a low-fat       LACK OF SYMPTOMS IN PROSTATE                                                                             ment. So, if you need to give your
                                                                                                                                                         man a nudge to get there, give him

                                                 CANCER. BY THE TIME A PATIENT
diet and exercising regularly helps reduce
                                                                                                                                                                             a friendly nudge.
    You should have your cholesterol checked
once every five years starting at age 20.
    Ask your doctor about aspirin. Taking a      IS SYMPTOMATIC, THE CANCER IS
low dose of aspirin daily can help prevent
heart disease. But there are risks too. Your     USUALLY ADVANCED.”                                               —JOHN KISHEL , M.D., A UROLOGIST AT
                                                                                                                           L AUREL REGIONAL HOSPITAL

                                           W W W. D I M E N S I O N S H E A LT H . O RG          5      H E A LT H   S C E N E

                                                                                                                                                                                                 STRESS AND DEPRESSION: FREE SCREENING AND SEMINAR
                                                                                                                                                                SCREENING              D AY
                                                                                                                                                          Thursday, Oct. 7, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                        Conference Room B
                                                                                                                                                              Have you been feeling consis-
                                                                                                                                                           tently moody or sad? Can’t relax
                                                                                                                                                          or concentrate? Been alternating
                                                                                                                                                        between highs and lows? Have you
                                                                                                                                                       been troubled by unexplained aches
                                                                                                                                                       and pains? Are you unable to eat or
                                                                                                                                                       sleep? If so, you may have a mental
                                                                                                                                                                             health disorder.
                                                                                                                                                              On Oct. 7, as part of National
                                                                                                                                                          Mental Health Awareness Month,
                                                                                                                                                          Laurel Regional Hospital will offer
                                                                                                                                                            free, anonymous mental health
                                                                                                                                                         screenings for a range of common
                                                                                                                                                        emotional situations that are often
                                                                                                                                                          undiagnosed and misunderstood.
                                                                                                                                                         So if you haven’t been feeling like
                                                                                                                                                         yourself lately, this event can help
                                                                                                                                                               you figure out what is wrong.
                                                                                                                                                           Screenings for depression, post-
                                                                                                                                                         traumatic stress disorder, general-
                                                                                                                                                           ized anxiety disorder and bipolar
                                                                                                                                                              disorder will be held at Laurel
                                                                                                                                                           Regional Hospital in Conference
                                                                                                                                                       Room B from 6:30 to 8 p.m. As part
                                                                                                                                                        of the program, attendees will com-

                                                                                                                                                       plete a written self-assessment and
                                                             YOU CAN’T                                  Paul J. Rosch, M.D., president of the
                                                                                                   American Institute of Stress, recommends
                                                                                                                                                       have the opportunity to talk privately

                                                             AVOID IT, BUT                         making a list of the people, events and               with a mental health professional.
                                                                                                                                                        The program is free and completely
                                                                                                   situations that you find stressful and then
                                                             YOU CAN HELP                          dividing it into two categories:                                             confidential.

                                                             MANAGE IT                              Things you can’t avoid or control.                       This screening is jointly spon-
                                                                                                    Things you can influence or change.               sored by the Mental Health Associa-
IF YOU STACK HEAVY BOOKS ON A CARTON OF EGGS, YOU’LL QUICKLY                                            Try not to worry about things out of your       tion of Prince George’s County and
LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON: THERE’S ONLY SO MUCH STRESS                                             control. Instead, devote your time and talent             NAMI–Prince George’s County.
THINGS CAN TAKE BEFORE THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES.  IT’S A                                            to those where you can make a difference.                      The hospital is located at
bit obvious—and a lot less messy—but difficult job or a hectic lifestyle, or from                  If, for example, you’re too busy, set realistic      7300 Van Dusen Road, Laurel, Md.
the same principle applies to stress and events such as a divorce or a fender bender.              goals for yourself and learn to say no.                For more information, please call
your body. When you’re under too much, Even things normally considered positive                         To change stressful situations, consider                           (301) 497-7980.
consequences can result.                       events, such as getting a promotion, can            these tips from Dr. Rosch and other experts:
                                                                                                                                                             ASK      THE      DOCTOR
    You can’t avoid stress altogether. But cause us to feel stressed.                               Deal with one thing at a time.
                                                                                                                                                                     Stress and Depression
there are strategies for dealing with it.          Ultimately, if you don’t deal with the           Prepare, as well as you can, for things
                                                                                                                                                              Thursday, Dec. 9, 7 to 9 p.m.
Learning how to cope and knowing when stress, it can affect your health.                           that may be stressful.
to get help are key to keeping stress at bay.      “Stress can play a key role in almost any        Turn negatives into positives. For in-                               PGHC Auditorium
                                               illness,” says Dr. Mirmirani. “Stress can be        stance, if you’re stuck in traffic, use the time                   Noori Mirmirani, M.D.
A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE                     Pre- a contributing factor to the onset of the ill-       to listen to a favorite book on tape.                        Nearly 20 million Americans
cisely defining stress isn’t easy.             ness or can prolong or aggravate the illness         Make positive life changes. Hone your              experience depression, yet only one
    “Every person defines stress differently,” as well.”                                           time management skills, for example.                  in 10 seeks treatment. Depression
says Noori Mirmirani, M.D., director of psy-       For some, the illnesses are serious—such             Other tips:                                    often seems to be caused by stress,
chiatry at Prince George’s Hospital Center. as heart disease. For others, the impact may            Exercise, eat well and get plenty of rest.Avoid   especially when due to the death of a
“Events or circumstances that are stressful be less severe, but troubling nevertheless.            alcohol. It only masks the causes of stress.         family member or friend, or because
for some people may have no impact on oth-          According to the American Academy               Take time to do things you enjoy.                   of a situation in the workplace. Join
ers. Situations that are very enjoyable for of Family Physicians (AAFP), some stress-               Share your feelings. Social support is vi-               Noori Mirmirani, M.D., medical
some people may cause stress in others.”       related health problems include:  Anxiety.         tal. If family, friends and co-workers don’t
                                                                                                                                                           director of psychiatry at PGHC, in
    To a certain extent, some stress is help-  Back pain.  Depression.  Insomnia.               satisfy that need, involve yourself in group
                                                                                                                                                           discussing prevention, symptoms
ful. It may spur you to accomplish things or  Upset stomach.  Weight loss or gain.               activities, volunteer work or hobbies with
                                                                                                                                                        and treatment. To register
push you to get out of the way of a speeding                                                       people who share similar interests.
car, for instance.                             TAKE ACTION           If you and your doctor             It may take time to discover which strat-        for this free seminar, call
    Generally, however, stress is considered think stress could be behind your health              egies work best for you. But if your stress                   (301) 618-3795.
bad when it causes ongoing tension or problems—or if you’d like to prevent                         level doesn’t improve or you’re finding it
leaves you feeling out of control. That can problems before they occur—there are                   hard to function physically, emotionally or
result from everyday demands such as a steps you can take.                                         mentally, speak with your doctor.

                                         W W W. D I M E N S I O N S H E A LT H . O RG          6       H E A LT H    S C E N E
                                                                                                                                  and therapy. Your doctor may request x-rays and other
                                                                                                                                  tests which will determine the extent of the problem. In
                                                                                                                                  some cases, people with extensive arthritis may need total
                                                                                                                                  knee replacement.
                                                                                                                                     Most minor problems, such as torn cartilage, can be
                                                                                                                                  easily treated with arthroscopic surgery. However, knee
                                                                                                                                  replacement surgery is fairly common for people with

                                                                                                                                             An effective treatment will
                                                                                                                                   include a program to help you gain leg
                                                                                                                                      strength and lose weight.
                                                                                                                                  extensive joint disease, and these surgical patients usually
                                                                                                                                  start walking again on the same day.
                                                                                                                                      If you’d like to stay active, it may be better to change your
                                                                                                                                  lifestyle than to have surgery, says the American Academy of
                                                                                                                                  Orthopaedic Surgeons. An
                                                                                                                                  effective treatment for any
                                                                                                                                  knee problem will include
                                                                                                                                  a program to help you gain
                                                                                                                                  leg strength and lose weight
                                                                                                                                  if you need to.                            self-help courses
                                                                                                                                      Other options for treat-                    THESE COURSES are
                                                                                                                                  ing aging knees include                   offered by the Arthritis and
                                                                                                                                  medications to help reduce                    Joint Institute at Prince

                                                                                                                                  inflammation; corticoste-              George’s Hospital Center and
                                                                                                                                  roid injections in the knee             taught by an expert from the
                                                                                                                                  joint that can temporar-               Arthritis Foundation. Benefits

                                                                                                                                  ily help relieve pain and                     of the program include:
                hether gardening, running or skiing, adults        Torn ligament. A sudden twist can injure your                 swelling; physical therapy                  Learning and practicing
                like to play too. Unfortunately, all that bend-   ligaments—bands of tissue that connect your leg bones.          to improve joint flexibility,         the skills needed to build your
                ing, running and twisting can strain aging         Torn meniscus. The menisci absorb shock from the              increase range of motion,
                                                                                                                                                                       own self-management program.
                knees, causing persistent pain, buckling,         weight of the rest of the body and add stability to the knee.   strengthen muscles, bones
                                                                                                                                                                            Gaining the confidence to
                loss of movement, swelling, or popping or         They can rip when the upper body turns while the foot stays     and cartilage, and reduce
                clicking sounds.                                  planted (in basketball, for instance).                          pain; and supportive devices, make and carry out your action
    If any of those symptoms seem familiar, then you may                                                                          such as an elastic bandage,                                      plans.
have one of the following knee problems common among              DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT According to                            splint, brace or cane.                           Learning relaxation
baby boomers:                                                     Sankara Kothakota, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at Prince                                              techniques and how to manage
 Osteoarthritis. This occurs when the cushiony carti-            George’s Hospital Center, an accurate diagnosis is the most     PREVENTION “Keep-                         pain, stress and fatigue.
lage wears down, allowing the bones to rub together. It           important step in receiving the right treatment.                ing our knees healthy and                     To register, call (301)
is caused by stress to the joints from repeated injury or            Minimally invasive surgery, such as arthroscopy, is          in good condition is of pri-                              618-3795.
excess weight.                                                    required for people who do not respond to medication            mary importance to enable                          T U E S D AY S

                   FOREARM FRACTURES and kids
                                                                                                                                  us to walk without pain.                     Oct. 5 through Nov. 9
Risky play:                                                                                                                       Proper footwear, avoiding                                4 to 6 p.m.
Most kids like to run, skip, jump or play sports—all of which are good for them. But these activities sometimes
                                                                                                                                  jarring movements and                      (six two-hour sessions)
                                                                                                                                  aquatic exercise is also
come with a price: a fall that can break one or both bones in the lower arm. This type of break is known as a                                                                   Classes to be held at
                                                                                                                                  essential for good knees,
forearm fracture, and it is very common—up to half of all childhood fractures involve the forearm.                                                                         Prince George’s Hospital
                                                                                                                                  along with maintaining a
   According to Frederick Corder, M.D., medical director of Nightlight Pediatric Care at the Bowie Health                                                                                        Center
                                                                                                                                  healthy weight,” says Bruce
Center, most forearm fractures in children are a result of a fall onto an outstretched hand. In addition to the                   Neckritz, D.O., Physical                        T H U R S D AY S
forearm, the injury usually affects the area around the wrist.                                                                    Medicine and Rehabilita-                   Oct. 7 through Nov. 18
  Signs of a forearm fracture include:  Any type of deformity about the elbow, forearm or wrist.  Sharp pain.                   tion, Laurel Regional Hos-                               6 to 8 p.m.
 Tenderness at a specific point.  Swelling.  Limited use of the forearm or elbow.                                              pital. “Straightening of the               (six two-hour sessions)
   Because children’s bones knit more quickly than adults’ bones do, it is always important that a child see a                    fine muscles to reduce knee                 No meeting on Nov. 11
doctor within days of a fracture so that the bones can be set for proper healing.                                                 joint stress will help keep                        in observance of
TREATING            FRACTURES                                                                                                     knees happy and healthy,”                             Veterans’ Day
Doctors consider the following factors when treating a forearm fracture:  The severity of the break.                             Dr. Neckritz says.                            Classes to be held at
 Whether the bones have moved (become displaced).  Whether the bone has punctured the skin (called an                              It’s also a good idea to                   Bowie Senior Center,
“open” fracture).  Which bone is involved.
                                                                                                                                  switch from high-impact                                  Bowie, Md.
                                                                                                                                  activities that twist and
   An undisplaced fracture is usually treated with a long arm cast. A displaced or more severe fracture may                                                                    W E D N E S D AY S
                                                                                                                                  turn the joints—such as
require an anesthetic, a reduction and a cast. During a reduction, a surgeon moves the bones into place with his                                                            Oct. 13 through Nov. 17
                                                                                                                                  running, tennis, racquet-
or her hands.                                                                                                                                                                     9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
                                                                                                                                  ball, basketball and base-
PREVENTION                                                                                                                        ball—to low-impact ones                    (six two-hour sessions)
“There are many preventive measures parents can take to prevent forearm fractures,” stresses Dr. Corder.                          that are easier on the joints,                Classes to be held at
“Watching your kids while they are playing and making sure that they are wearing safety gear—such as wrist                        including swimming, water           Cora B. Woods Senior Center,
guards, as well as a helmet, when in-line skating or skateboarding—are excellent strategies to prevent injuries.”                 aerobics, walking and play-                         Brentwood, Md.
   For hours and more information about Nightlight Pediatric Care, call (301) 464-2800.                                           ing golf.                                     See page 2 for more.

                                           W W W. D I M E N S I O N S H E A LT H . O RG        7     H E A LT H   S C E N E

     t’s not uncommon for your heart to beat a little faster
     after a good scare or a strenuous workout. But if it beats
     too fast on a regular basis, you may have a heart condi-
     tion called atrial fibrillation (AF). And that can lead to
     other, potentially dangerous health problems.
         “Atrial fibrillation is a condition that should be taken
very seriously because of its association with stroke,” says
Hector Collison, M.D., cardiologist and medical director of
the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Prince George’s Hospital
    In AF, the left atrium—or upper left chamber of the
heart—beats up to four times faster than the rest of the
heart. This causes an irregular blood flow, which can lead
to the formation of blood clots. If a clot breaks off and goes
                                                                    steps you can take to control it.
                                                                       In treating AF, the key goals are to slow down your heart
                                                                                                                                   AF by the         NUMBERS
to your brain, you can have a stroke. AF can also lead to           rate and keep your blood thin to avoid clotting. Possible      If your doctor tells you that you have atrial fibrillation,
chronic fatigue and heart failure.                                  treatments include:                                            you’re certainly not alone. According to the American
                                                                     Anticoagulants—medications, such as aspirin and              Heart Association (AHA):
WHO’S AT RISK? As the population grows older, AF                    warfarin, that thin the blood and help prevent clots.           Atrial fibrillation is the most common serious type of
is becoming more common. “As you age,                                                                                              irregular heartbeat.
the more likely you are to get atrial fibril-
lation,” says Dr. Collison. “You are con-
                                                             can � �� ���� �
                                                While AF� ���� � ���be� dangerous,
                                                 � � � �� ��
                                                                                         you can live with it                       About 2.3 million people in the United States have
                                                                                                                                   atrial fibrillation.
sidered high-risk if you are 60 or older.”           if you work with your doctor to control the problem.                           The number of Americans hospitalized with atrial
    You are also more likely to get AF if                                                                                          fibrillation nearly tripled—from 787,750 to roughly
you have pulmonary disease, high blood pressure, thyroid  Beta-blockers and calcium blockers—medications that                     2.3 million—over a 15-year period between 1985 and
problems or other types of heart disease.                         can slow the heart rate.
    The symptoms of AF are not always obvious. But if you  Pacemakers—devices implanted under the skin that
                                                                                                                                    The number of atrial fibrillation hospitalizations is pre-
have it, you may experience an irregular heartbeat that help regulate heart rhythm.
                                                                                                                                   dicted to rise to more than 3.3 million a year by 2025.
feels like your heart is “flopping.” Other symptoms include:  Heart surgery—used in severe cases when other treat-
 Dizziness.  Shortness of breath.  Tightness in your ments are not effective.                                                    More than half of all hospitalizations due to atrial
chest.  Sweating.  Fatigue.                                        “Atrial fibrillation is a condition that can be               fibrillation occur in people 75 or older.
                                                                  managed effectively and complications can be avoided,”                         For more information on atrial fibrilla-
WHAT CAN BE DONE                      If you think you have says Dr. Collison, “if people follow the advice of their                         tion, contact the AHA at 1-800-242-8721 or
symptoms of AF, see your doctor right away. There are doctor.”                                                                     

          CALL US!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gladys Spellman Specialty Hospital and Nursing Center • Larkin Chase Rehabilitation and Nursing Center • Woodward Estate • Senior Health Center • Glenridge Medical Center
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Prince George's Hospital Center • Laurel Regional Hospital • Bowie Health Center • Dimensions Surgery Center • Laurel Medical Arts Pavilion • Mullikin Medical Office Building •
                                                                                                                                                                 HEALTH SCENE is published
                                                                                                                                                                  as a community service for
                                                                                                                                                                   the friends and patrons of
                                                                                                                                                                 DIMENSIONS HEALTHCARE
 Bowie Health Center                                                                                                                                               SYSTEM, 3001 Hospital
(301) 262-5511                                                                                                                                                            Drive, Suite 4000,
                                                                                                                                                                       Cheverly, MD 20785,
 Dimensions Surgery Center                                                                                                                                     telephone (301) 583-4000,
(301) 809-2000                                                                                                                                        
 Gladys Spellman Specialty Hospital
and Nursing Center
(301) 618-2010                                                                                                                                                    Patrick F. Mutch
                                                                                                                                                                        President and CEO
 Glenridge Medical Center                                                                                                                                   Dimensions Healthcare System
                                                   HOW TO FIND US

(301) 322-2326                                                                                                                                                          Calvin Brown
                                                                                                                                                               Chairman, Board of Directors
 Larkin Chase Rehabilitation                                                                                                                                Dimensions Healthcare System
and Nursing Center
(301) 805-6070                                                                                                                                                         Amy Karfonta
                                                                                                                                                                Marketing Communications
 Laurel Regional Hospital                                                                                                                                                    Coordinator
                                                                                                                                                                  Laurel Regional Hospital
(301) 725-4300                                                                                               �
 Nightlight Pediatric Care
(301) 464-2800                                                                                                                                                         Information in HEALTH

 Prince George’s Hospital Center                                      �                                                                                         SCENE comes from a wide
                                                                                                                                                                   range of medical experts.
(301) 618-2000                                                                                                                                                   If you have any concerns or
 School-Based Health Center                                                                 �
                                                                                                                                                                     questions about specific
                                                                                                                                                                      content that may affect
(301) 809-2068                                                                                                                                                    your health, please contact
 Senior Health Center                                                                                   �                                                          your health care provider.
                                                                                                     �                                                                Models may be used in
(301) 927-4987                                                                                                                                                       photos and illustrations.
 Woodward Estate                                                                                                                                                          Copyright © 2004      FALL
(301) 464-4400                                                                                                                                                   Coffey Communications, Inc.
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