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Take Note – November 2007


Medical illiteracy can kill
A 6-year study of 3,260 patients ages 65 and older found that almost 40% of those considered medically illiterate died during the study. Only 19% of those who were considered medically literate died. After factoring in patient health and other variables, the medically illiterate patients were still more likely to die.

My family health portrait
Because many diseases—including common ones such as diabetes and heart disease—run in families, the U.S. Surgeon General has created an online tool kit people can use to create their own family health portrait. When the portrait is completed, the user can print it out and share it with family members and healthcare providers—and create realistic prevention strategies. The Surgeon General has designated Thanksgiving as a day to discuss family health history with family members.

Website for 9/11-related health problems
New York City has launched a website to help people deal with World Trade Center–related health issues. In his message on the site, Mayor Bloomberg declares, “We have a clear responsibility to each and every one of these participants in the City’s recovery, some of whom are now suffering from 9/11-related health problems.” The site provides information about all Trade Center–related health programs as well as a Trade Center health registry and research information.

New info on the effects of depression
Depression adversely affects people’s health more than angina, arthritis, asthma, or diabetes. That’s what researchers found when they studied data from 245,404 people included in the World Health Organization’s World Health Survey.

Newly approved device lets stroke patients control paralyzed limbs
After a stroke, learning how to move a hemiparetic arm is a significant challenge. Now, a newly approved device, called the Myomo e100 NeuroRobotic™ System, allows stroke patients to initiate and control movements of partially paralyzed limbs, using their own biological signals—without electrical stimulation or invasive procedures.

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