Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, affecting Americans of all backgrounds. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds and someone dies from heart-disease related causes every minute. One out of every four deaths in the United States is from heart disease. Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States over $200 billion each year in healthcare costs, medications, and lost productivity.

There are a number of risk factors for heart disease. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for one’s heart health. Almost half of Americans (47%) are affected by at least one of these risks. A diagnosis of diabetes also comes with increased risk of heart disease, as well as poor diet, obesity, and excessive alcohol use.

There are different types of heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most common diagnosis, resulting from plaque buildup inside of arteries. Others are affected by arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeat; congenital

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All women are at risk for cervical cancer. Being the third most common cancer globally, it’s important to be mindful of the health risks, symptoms, and resources available to those in need. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 12,000 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and roughly 4,000 die from it annually. As many as 93% of cervical cancers can be prevented by screening and vaccination.

The main cause of cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed between people through sex or any skin-to-skin genital contact with someone who has the virus. HPV is so common that most people will have it at some point in their lives without ever developing symptoms. Up to 90% of cases are cleared naturally by the immune system within two years. There is no way of knowing who will go on to develop health problems.

Some strains of HPV can cause warts around one’s genitals or in their throat, while others can cause normal cells in the body to turn abnormal — potentially developing into cancer over time. Smoking, having HIV, using

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Transgender Pride Flag

Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity is different from their sex assigned at birth; ‘gender identity’ is one’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both (gender fluid), or neither (non-binary). Gender expression involves expressing one’s gender identity through their social roles, appearance, and behaviors. Many health concerns that transgender people face are due to minority stress, such as discrimination and social/internalized stigma.

Transgender people experience gender dysphoria, a clinically significant distress recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) caused by a person’s assigned birth gender differing from the one with which they identify. This leads to increased depression among the transgender community, which can be exacerbated by being rejected by family and friends, being the victim of abuse/violence, or experiencing discrimination. Gender-affirming operations have shown to yield long-term mental health benefits for transgender people

Transgender

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Wearing a mask to protect against coronavirus has become part of daily life for Americans. COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets that travel into the air when you cough, sneeze, talk, and breathe. These droplets can then land on others’ faces or may be inhaled by people in the area. Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent these respiratory droplets from reaching others by reducing the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.

Everyone over the age of two years old should wear a mask, even if you do not feel sick. People who contract COVID-19 who never develop symptoms (asymptomatic) and those who are not yet showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) can still spread the virus to other people. 

The main function of wearing a mask is to protect those around you, in case you are infected and shedding the SARS-CoV-2 virus but not showing symptoms. A cloth mask does offer some protection to the wearer, how much depending on the fabrics used and how your mask is made (the type of fabric, the number of layers, how well the mask fits, etc). Medical

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October has been observed as Talk About Your Medicines Month (TAYMM) for 35 years. Started by the BeMedWise Program at NeedyMeds (formerly known as the National Council on Patient Information [NCPIE]), the awareness month is an annual opportunity to spotlight safe medicine use with the goal of improved health outcomes. This year’s theme is Medication Adherence – On Track With Your Meds and Your Health. Medication adherence is a vital part of maintaining your health. Our goal is to empower patients to maximize the benefits while minimizing the risks of the medications they are taking, and provide the tools they need to talk about their medicines.

Medication adherence has been called America’s “other drug problem.” Nonadherence can lead to illness progression, severe complications, and preventable deaths. Nonadherence includes anything from delaying or not filling a prescription, skipping doses, splitting pills, to stopping a medication early. Not taking medication as directed can lead to poor health outcomes which then increases healthcare service utilization and overall healthcare costs.

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