|PHOTO: TOP HEALTH STORIES OF 2013
1. Tasty diet cuts heart disease, study finds
A Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil and a little wine can cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 30 percent, researchers reported on Monday in a study that shows the real-life benefits of a diet long encouraged by doctors. Link to story.
2. Hospital merger provides stability in face of reforms
With the merger of two of the largest health care systems in the western suburbs — Edward Hospital & Health Services and Linden Oaks at Edward both in Naperville and Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare — CEO Pam Davis predicts patients will see few changes in their care. Link to story.
3. The ultimate guide to buying insurance on HealthCare.gov
With HealthCare.gov now working for most -- but not all -- consumers, questions are pouring in about how to make an informed, successful insurance purchase. Here’s a guide to what you need to know. Link to story, or find additional local and national resources to help you navigate the new law at http://www.edward.org/health-care-reform.
4. AMA declares obesity a disease
The American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease, a move that could induce physicians to pay more attention to the condition and spur more insurers to pay for treatments. Link to story.
5. Nurses running Naperville half marathon 'saviors' for runner who collapsed
Among all the volunteer medical personnel staffing the inaugural Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon and Half Marathon on November 10, it was three nurses actually running the race who are being credited with saving a life. Link to story.
6. Cheating ourselves of sleep
Failing to get enough sleep night after night can compromise your health and may even shorten your life. Link to story.
7. Mental illnesses share common DNA roots, study finds
The biggest study yet into genetics and mental health has come up with a stunning result: The five most common mental illnesses -- autism, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disease, schizophrenia and major depression -- all have a common genetic root. Link to story.
8. Elmhurst Memorial Center for Cancer Care set to open
Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare is now treating patients at its new 32,000-square foot Center for Cancer Care. “We’re creating an ideal patient experience and providing our patients with more choices,” says Jean Lydon, RN, Associate Vice President of Clinical Operations. “In one centralized location, this new facility will help us better facilitate communication and collaboration because patients can get lab work, see their physicians and undergo therapy – all in one day.” Link to story.
9. F.D.A. moves to ban trans fats, citing health concerns
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed measures that would all but eliminate artificial trans fats, the artery clogging substance that is a major contributor to heart disease in the United States, from the food supply. Link to story.
10. Elmhurst Memorial fifth hospital in world to achieve Planetree Distinction
Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare is in very exclusive company with a recent announcement that it is one of only five hospitals in the world to receive Planetree Distinction. This designation, the highest honor presented by Planetree, Inc., recognizes Elmhurst Memorial’s achievement and innovation in the delivery of patient-centered care. Link to story.
11. Cancers share gene patterns, studies affirm
Scientists have discovered that the most dangerous cancer of the uterine lining closely resembles the worst ovarian and breast cancers, providing the most telling evidence yet that cancer will increasingly be seen as a disease defined primarily by its genetic fingerprint rather than just by the organ where it originated. Link to story.
12. Exercise as effective as drugs for treating heart disease, diabetes
Forget the pills — there’s new evidence that exercise may be as effective as medications in treating heart disease and diabetes. Doctors now advise everyone, from young children to older adults, to become more physically active. But can exercise be as good as drugs in actually preventing disease and treating serious chronic illnesses? Link to story.
13. Cardiac teams join forces in Edward’s Hybrid OR
When a sore pinky toe led Terry Wallace to visit his doctor in July 2013, he never imagined it was a problem that could cost him his leg. Because Wallace needed both vascular surgery and catheter-based intervention, he was a good candidate for Edward Heart Hospital’s Hybrid Operating Room, which features the most technologically sophisticated equipment available to ORs and cardiac procedure rooms. Link to story.
14. Flu shot may cut risk of heart problems
Getting your annual flu shot could mean a 55 percent less chance of another heart problem in the coming year, adding to the list of known yet mysterious benefits of the flu vaccine, according to a new analysis. Link to story.