April 15, 2008 - Health Headlines

Project Lifesaver, the Baby Boom Generation, Women & Alcohol, and the DASH Diet

Cleveland County has a great program to keep Alzheimer's patients safe.

It's called Project Lifesaver. Alzheimer's patients get a bracelet fitted with a radio transmitter. For twenty dollars a month, Project Lifesaver will monitor the patients. If they wander away and get lost, then deputies can track them down by following the frequency.

Karen Costner bought one of the bracelets for her 87 year-old father. "It's safety for me and dad. It makes me feel good that I know I'm doing something that if something happens, that I've done everything possible to try and find him," she said.

Not all communities have the equipment, but the bracelet will work wherever Project Lifesaver operates. Right now, Charlotte Mecklenburg does not have the technology.

The Institute of Medicine says the American Health Care system is not ready for the aging baby boom generation.

The institute says Medicare does not provide for the team care that many older patients will need. It also says there aren't enough specialists in geriatrics, not to mention Medicare's low reimbursement rates. Seventy-eight million baby boomers will turn 65 in 2011.

Turns out, it's especially unhealthy for older women to drink too much alcohol.

A new study links it to breast cancer.

Researchers kept track of about 200-thousand post-menopausal women for this study. Those who had one to two drinks a day were 32-percent more likely to develop breast cancer.

Women who had three or more drinks saw their risk raise by 51-percent!

And you may have heard of the DASH diet.

It's one that favors lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and low-fat milk.

Now a big new study says it IS the way to go.

This study followed 88-thousand healthy nurses for 25 years.  The women who stuck to the diet had lower blood pressure, and a much lower risk of heart attack and stroke.