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It was two years ago when the University of Texas Southwestern was asked to help organize Lamar County’s participation in the National Children’s Study (NCS), one of the most comprehensive research efforts focused on children’s growth, development and health in the United States. It’s now time for a community update.
“The NCS is a long term study designed to examine the differences, such as access to healthcare, disease occurrence or exposure to environmental toxins, between groups of children across the country, and to identify the factors that contribute to these differences or disparities,” NCS Community Outreach & Engagement Manager Sherry Lloyd said. “The NCS will take place in two phases; currently the Vanguard Study, which is a pilot phase that is evaluating the feasibility, acceptability and cost of the study and, subsequently, the Main Study.”
The Vanguard Study started in 2007 and is taking place in 40 locations across the US. Lamar County is one of these locations.
“The Vanguard Study is focused on testing and evaluating the best ways to collect and manage the information provided by families about their child, as well as assessing the best approaches to keeping families engaged and willing to participate in the Study,” Lloyd said.
The National Institutes of Health recently implemented a new regional approach for managing this study, according to officials.
Lamar County is now part of the South Region and is being led by a team from three entities: Northwestern University in Chicago, Delve Research Marketing in St. Louis and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.
“The Lamar County Data Collector is a resident of the community and worked on the Vanguard Study previously with local participants,” she said.
The NCS is no longer enrolling children in Lamar County but is now concentrating on how to best stay in touch with the children and their families and keep them participating in the study to continue and gather information as the children grow older.
As part of this retention effort, the South Region team plans to have a local NCS office in Lamar County where participants can conveniently come for their scheduled data collection appointments.
“We are following over 150 babies in Lamar County in this 21 year study,” Lloyd said. “The South Region team will be spending a lot of time over the next several years in Lamar County communities and the relationships that we are building help to fuel participant retention and community engagement.”
“Residents of Lamar County have embraced the National Children’s Study with open arms,” Dr. Jane Holl, M.D., M.P.H. from Northwestern University and one of the NCS principal investigators said. ”During the entire recruitment and enrollment period, families were supportive and recognized the important knowledge that will be gained from this study.”
“As part of the Vanguard Study, we will focus on continuing to gather high quality data, to engage and retain families in the study, and to reach out and inform the community. Our research team has successfully started following and gathering information from more than 150 families about their toddlers through telephone calls and home visits. The commitment of these families to continue to participate in the NCS Vanguard Study is a testament to the wonderful relationship that was established by the team from the University of Texas Southwestern with them — one that we fully intend to live up to. The continued contribution to the Study by these families for the next 21 years could make a difference in children’s health for generations to come,” continues Holl.
Other Study locations included in the NCS South Region along with Lamar County are Baldwin County, GA; Baker County, FL; Benton County, AR; Bexar County, TX: Davidson County, TN; Hinds County, MS; Harris County, TX; Orleans Parish, LA; and Valencia County, NM.
If you are a Lamar County participant in the NCS and need to contact the South Region Center, call (877) 749-0333 or email NCSSouth@ncsoperations.org.
By Josh Allen, eParis Extra
More About the National Children’s Study
The National Children’s Study (NCS) is the largest long-term study of children’s health ever conducted in the United States, and will follow 100,000 children from before birth to age 21 to learn how the environment influences children’s health, development and quality of life. The Study is led by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in collaboration with a consortium of federal government partners. Study partners include the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
“ About 80% of the patients whose legs or extremities I have to amputate are current smokers. If they are not current smokers, then they almost certainly used to smoke. If patients presenting with P.A.D have never smoked, I have cause to doubt whether they have the disease at all”.
– Mr. Daryll Baker, Consultant Vascular Surgeon Royal Free Hospital.
On Sept. 24, Khalid Shafiq M.D. was invited by Paris Regional Medical Center to deliver a talk on P.A. D or Peripheral Arterial Disease at the Lewis Hall, Paris Regional Medical Center.
One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has Peripheral Arterial Disease. (P.A.D.). It is a common disorder, but because P.A.D. is not life threatening it has not yet received the same degree of attention or research that coronary heart disease has. In all, P.A.D. affects eight to 12 million people in the United States.
At the talk, Shafiq presented cases, which he has successfully performed on patients with P.A.D., at Paris Regional Medical Center. He offered treatment options to patients with P.A.D. At the end of the talk, patients were encouraged to ask questions on the subject.
The intention of the talk was to create awareness amongst patients for their timely detection and treatment of P.A.D. in order to improve their quality of life and to help them keep their independence and mobility. The talk centered towards educating patients on how to reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke, leg amputation and even death resulting from Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.).
What is Peripheral Arterial Disease?
Peripheral Arterial Disease, also known as P.A.D., occurs when extra cholesterol and other fats circulating in the blood collect in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to your limbs. This buildup, called plaque, narrows your arteries often reducing or blocking the flow of blood. P.A.D. is most commonly seen in the legs, but it can also be present in the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys and stomach.
Nearly everyone who has P.A.D. suffers from an inability to walk as fast as they could before P.A.D.
Causes of P.A.D.:
Those who smoke or have a history of smoking have up to four times greater risk of P.A.D and those who suffer from coronary heart disease also have a one in three chance of also having P.A.D. Moreover, one in every three people with diabetes is likely to have P.A.D.
Symptoms of P.A.D.:
Most people with P.A.D. do not experience symptoms; however, if they are present, the typical signs of P.A.D include:
If you believe you are at risk for P.A.D., discuss your concern with your health care provider. Your health care provider will review your medical history, your status as a current or former smoker, your personal and family history of cardiovascular disease, any symptoms you may be having in your legs and feet and your current diet and medications.
When checking you for P.A.D., your health care provider may perform a simple non-invasive test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). The ABI readings compare the blood pressure readings in your ankles with the blood pressure readings in your arms.
This painless and easy test can determine whether you have P.A.D. or not. After receiving confirmation through this test for presence of P.A.D., your health care provider may refer you to a specialist for further testing and treatment.
Non-surgical treatment options of P.A.D include: Atherectomy such as (Turbo Hawk Atherectomy and Jet Stream Atherectomy), Angioplasty and Stent Placement in arteries of the legs.
Moreover, the upcoming new generations of drug eluting stents and balloons offer further hope for long-term successful results in patients with P.A.D.
Dr. Shafiq at Paris Regional Medical Center offers these non -surgical options to Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease. (P.A.D.).
The main battle, however, in the treatment of P.A.D. will always lie in taking care of oneself and making positive life style changes towards careful management of diabetes, complete cessation of smoking, lowering cholesterol numbers and hypertension.
Contributed by Ayesha Shafiq
“Who would not give a trifle to prevent what he would give a thousand worlds to cure?“
Every 30 to 40 seconds, heart disease kills one person in the United States. In addition to this, the American Heart Association has projected that throughout the next 20 years there will be 16.6% increase in prevalence of coronary heart disease and that the direct medical costs attributed to cardiovascular disease will triple.
So the questions we need to ask are:
The power to prevent the progression of this disease lies within us. We can prevent heart disease from progressing and can reverse its effects by making positive adjustments in our lifestyles and in the lifestyle habits of our children.
A number of studies including a study from Mayo Clinic has reported that 80% of heart disease is preventable and reversible.
Nowadays in our society, it is normal to have atherosclerosis and die from cardiovascular disease but the thought of reversing cardiovascular disease is unheard of.
If we continue to have standard Western diet and lifestyle we will certainly develop heart disease at some point and die from it.
But, everyone deserves to know that heart disease can be avoided and those who already have heart disease deserve to know that they can reverse their disease.
There is a significant amount of good quality evidence that shows that eating, drinking, exercise and good sleep habits formed during early childhood can continue for many years in adulthood while unhealthy lifestyle habits left unchecked in early childhood can relate to heart diseases in adulthood.
1. The habit of eating and drinking:
Eating high levels of salt in early childhood has been linked with increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke in adulthood. The recommended daily doses of salt for children belonging to different age groups are mentioned below.
For example: A happy meal that consists of a hamburger, a coke and small fries contains 1.8 g of salt which is over half the recommended daily limit for a 5 year old.
You should also limit the amount of saturated fat and sugar in your child’s diet. Too much saturated fat and sugar in your child’s diet can lead to high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and tooth decay in later life.
Pre-packaged, ready-to-eat foods and fast foods often contain high levels of salt, sugar and saturated fat.
You should always check the label of any foods you give your children to keep their salt, sugar and saturated fat intake under check. Children should not be encouraged to have: crisps, biscuits, ice-cream, fizzy drinks, sweets, chocolates, fast foods like burgers, chicken nuggets, processed foods such as microwave meals, hot dogs and breakfast cereals.
According to statistics most children start smoking at the age of 13. Smoking is a very high risk factor for the development of heart disease in later life. Kids need to be educated about the hazards of smoking before they hit their teens.
2. The habit of exercising:
Children who spend time doing pastimes like watching television and computer games do not usually get the exercise they need. Try to involve your children in team sports like football, basketball, volleyball or other fun activities like hiking, swimming, dance or just cycling to school.
It is recommended that children under five years of age who can walk unaided should be physically active doing indoor or outdoor activities for three hours through out the day.
Children and young people (5-18 years) should do at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity every day.
This amount of exercise is enough to strengthen bones and muscles and can help prevent children putting on weight that in turn leads to other heart disease related risk factors.
3. The habit of good sleep:
Sleep is a necessity like food and water. It is not a luxury. You need to know what kind of sleep your child is getting.
When you fall asleep your body goes into a state called NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement). 75% of your sleep time is spent in this state. Your breathing slows down. The other 25% of sleep time is spent in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) during which dreams occur. In REM sleep breathing becomes more rapid, irregular and shallow.
School going Children are required to get between (9 to 11 hours) of sleep every day. Treating sleep problems may improve heart health. Researchers have linked lack of sleep to irregular heart rhythms, atherosclerosis, obesity and diabetes.
For the future of our children, it is vital for parents and guardians to take charge now and make these healthy lifestyle changes so that our little ones will not suffer from the deadliest disease in the world.
Yes, we do have the power to stop the progression of heart disease.
Contributed by Ayesha Shafiq, eParisExtra
Ayesha Shafiq is the Director of Paris Cardiology Center, now in her eleventh year. She is the wife of Khalid Shafiq, M.D. and mother of their 2 children. She holds a Masters Degree in International Relations. Shafiq runs management with the help of 22 employees.
Paris Regional Medical Center and Traffick911 will host a free educational class and training on domestic minor sex trafficking to first responders and those interested on Sept. 3 at PRMC’s Lewis Hall.
Attendees will receive information and teaching from law enforcement personnel, nurses, allied health professionals, teachers and social work professionals.
The half-day event will begin at noon and end at 5 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
Visit www.Traffick911.com for more information.
In a continuing effort to educate our community, Paris Regional Medical Center invites all those who have or work with children to a special training session on Thursday, August 22, to learn more about children’s eating and feeding problems and how to change them.
Rachell Harris, a certified speech pathologist at PRMC, will present information regarding children’s eating problems that start with infancy and follow them into adulthood, affecting their weight, growth and social skills.
Harris will provide information that can help you change these eating habits. Participants will have the opportunity to know more about:
PRMC asks that reservations be made by Tuesday, August 20. Child care will not be provided. To make a reservation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 903.737.3394 and leave your name and phone number.
The training will be held at PRMC’s Lewis Hall, 865 Deshong Drive, on Thursday, August 22, from 5:30-7 p.m. A light dinner will be provided.
By Josh Allen, eParisExtra