Mortality Increase From Alzheimer´s Disease in U.S. within last 10 Years


Talesfromthelou’s Blog – copied:

Mortality Increase From Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States within the last 10 Years. Data for 2000 and 2010

Fascinating data from the Center for Disease Control.  A generation ago we could not even spell Alzheimer’s. It now looks like we are facing an avalanche of seniors losing their minds, and their lives, in later years.  You better believe that I will be looking for all preventative methods and cures for this dreaded degeneration of the brain.  I have seen what it does and it has no dignity. Lou

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States

NCHS Data Briefs Update.

In 2010, Alzheimer’s disease was the underlying cause for a total of 83,494 deaths and was classified as a contributing cause for an additional 26,488 deaths. Mortality from Alzheimer’s disease has steadily increased during the last 30 years. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause for people aged 65 years and over. An estimated 5.4 million persons in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease. The cost of health care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia was estimated to be 200 billion dollars in 2012, including 140 billion dollars in costs to Medicare and Medicaid and is expected to reach 1.1 trillion dollars in 2050.

Alzheimer’s disease mortality varies by age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and geographic area. This report presents mortality data on Alzheimer’s disease based on data from the National Vital Statistics System from 2000 through 2010, the most recent year for which detailed data are available.

Key findings

Data from the National Vital Statistics System

  • The age-adjusted death rate from Alzheimer’s disease increased by 39 percent from 2000 through 2010 in the United States.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is the fifth leading cause among people aged 65 years and over. People aged 85 years and over have a 5.4 times greater risk of dying from Alzheimer’s disease than people aged 75–84 years.
  • The risk of dying from Alzheimer’s disease is 26 percent higher among the non-Hispanic white population than among the non-Hispanic black population, whereas the Hispanic population has a 30 percent lower risk than the non-Hispanic white population.
  • In 2010, among all states and the District of Columbia, 31 states showed death rates from Alzheimer’s disease that were above the national rate (25.1).

Keywords: dementia, National Vital Statistics System, death rate, aging

Alzheimer’s disease mortality increased compared with selected major causes of death.

Figure 1 is a bar chart showing percent change in age-adjusted death rates for the selected causes of death between 2000 and 2010.

Full article:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db116.htm

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Contaminated culture: Native people struggle with tainted resources, lost identity


English: Crest of the Anishinaabe people.

English: Crest of the Anishinaabe people. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Contaminated culture: Native people struggle with tainted resources, lost identity

For the Anishinaabe people at the southernmost tip of Lake Huron, cedar is not just a tree – it is sacred. Used in medicines and teas, the tree’s roots, bark and sap have been central to their physical, mental and cultural wellbeing for centuries.

“We smudge with it, as singers we inhale it, as a medicine we bathe in it,” said Ron Plain, an Anishinaabe tribe member and environmental policy analyst at the Southern First Nation Secretariat.

But the tribe has abandoned its generations-old tradition. The cedar is tainted with cadmium, a metal linked to cancer and learning disabilities. In this region of Ontario, dubbed “Chemical Valley,” the contamination is part of everyday life for the Anishinaabe.

For decades, indigenous people in the United States and Canada have been burdened with health problems linked to environmental pollutants. But that isn’t their only sacrifice: Pollution is crippling some tribes’ culture, too.

Their native foods, water, medicines, language and ceremonies, as well as their traditional techniques of farming, hunting and fishing, have been jeopardized by contaminants and development. And as indigenous people lose these vital aspects of their lives, their identity is lost, too.

“Animals have died off or left, the water is no good. This is not the world that we know and rely on,” said Kathy Sanchez, a member of the Tewa Pueblo, a tribe in New Mexico that is living with a legacy of pollution from uranium mining.

“It’s contaminated our culture.”

Life in Chemical Valley

About 850 Anishinaabe live on the Aamjiwnaang reservation just east of Michigan’s thumb across the St. Clair River near Sarnia, Ontario. The area has earned its ominous nickname, Chemical Valley, because it is home to 62 industrial facilities – 40 percent of Canada’s chemical industry. Chemicals such as benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde and lead permeate the reservation.

A private lab, commissioned by the tribe in 2006, tested the cedar used for ceremonies and teas, and found elevated levels of cadmium.

While cadmium is a naturally occurring element, industrial emissions in Sarnia totaled 611 tons between 2000 and 2010, according to Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory.

It’s difficult to know whether Anishinaabe concerns over cedar are warranted because it is unclear how much cedar goes into the tea or is used in other practices, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesperson.

Oral exposure to cadmium can lead to kidney damage, while inhaling it can damage lungs or raise the risk of lung cancer. In addition, children with higher cadmium levels are three times more likely to have learning disabilities and participate in special education, according to a nationwide study of U.S. children published in January.

At the reservation, 23 percent of children have learning or behavioral difficulties compared with about 3 to 5 percent of children in a neighboring county, according to a 2005 community study.

“Animals have died off or left, the water is no good. This is not the world that we know and rely on.” -Kathy Sanchez, Tewa Pueblo

In addition, about 40 percent of the Anishinaabe use an inhaler, and 22 percent of children reported having asthma, according to a 2007 study by Ecojustice, a Canadian environmental organization. In comparison, the asthma rate was 8.2 percent in surrounding Lambton County, Ontario, and 9.4 percent for all U.S. children.

Birth complications also are commonplace. Of 132 women surveyed in the community in 2005, 39 percent had at least one stillbirth or miscarriage. The average for women in the United States is 15 percent, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Health experts also wonder if industrial chemicals are behind a decline in births of baby boys discovered there. Boys accounted for only 35 percent of births between 1999 and 2003, according to a study by the University of Ottawa. The decline may “partly reflect effects of chemical exposures,” the study says.

Erutuon/flickr. The Anishinaabe used cedar for teas, smudging and medicine before a private study found high cadmium levels in it.

But it is unclear whether industrial pollutants such as cadmium are to blame, said Niladri Basu, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan who is conducting a study of chemical exposures at the reservation.

“For decades the community has been pleading for others to provide science-based evidence to uphold their health claims,” Basu said. “People have done their own surveys … and asthma rates are higher, there are greater rates of cancer, and kids just aren’t learning well. But the science linking chemical emissions and health problems is lacking.”

Results of Basu’s community health study are expected early next year.

Anishinaabe also used to gather rocks from local streams for sweat lodge ceremonies – a purifying ritual used by native people to seek guidance. The rocks are now coated in a “slick oily substance,” Plain said. They haven’t been tested, so no one knows what the substance is. But out of fear of rocks that do not look like they used to, the practice, which has been around for decades, wanes.

“What makes us who we are is our connection to the land and the ability to live off it. We have lost that,” Plain said. “We end up completely reforming to North American society. We’re a dying culture.”

Contaminants affect the ability of tribes to live and raise children in their traditional ways, said Elizabeth Hoover, an assistant professor of ethnic and American studies at Brown University who has worked with the Anishinaabe and other tribes on environmental justice issues.

“We end up completely reforming to North American society. We’re a dying culture.” –Ron Plain, Anishinaabe

“The problem here is two-fold,” Hoover said. “There’s more miscarriages than there should be, and even if a women can have a baby, she can’t raise it in a healthy environment.”

She said many members have expressed despair in becoming a tribe in name only, “just regular Americans, or regular Canadians.”

Contaminated river, lost identity

Before the St. Lawrence River spills into the Atlantic Ocean, it runs through the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne and for centuries gave tribe members water, food and an identity. Straddling the U.S.-Canada border north of New York State and now home to about 12,000, the territory was settled by the Mohawk Nation in the mid-18th century.

Almost three centuries later, industry came to the shores. And with industry came contaminants. In the early 1980s, the river was polluted with polychlorinated biphenyls – PCBs – from three aluminum foundries upstream of the Akwesasne. The water, fish and people were tainted with toxic chemicals.

But there’s an impact that blood tests can’t measure. The relationships and experiences that took place on the river are now endangered as the community avoids it out of fear.

“Fishing is more than throwing a line and bait into the water. Children learned about our culture and their world on that river,” said Katsi Cook, an aboriginal midwife from the Akwesasne community. “Our social practices and identity are tied into the flowing water – its quality of life directly correlates to the life around it.”

Since the chemicals were discovered, researchers have found a relationship between PCB concentrations in blood and decreased cognitive and thyroid function, and elevated risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension in the Mohawk Nation, said David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany.

Due to the chemicals, the New York Department of Health recommends limiting consumption to a meal a month for most fish, and recommends not eating carp, channel catfish and large lake or brown trout caught in the St. Lawrence River. It also recommends that women over 50 and children under 15 years old do not eat any fish from the river.

“Fishing is more than throwing a line and bait into the water. Children learned about our culture and their world on that river.” –Katsi Cook, Mohawk Nation

Carpenter, who has worked with the Mohawk Nation since the 1980s, said PCB levels in the Mohawk have gone down because  they are eating less local fish. But they are still higher than the national average – by almost three times.

“The contamination has been a threat to both their health and culture,” Carpenter said. “When you look at whether or not to fish, people are forced to make a choice – the health of you and your family or preserving your culture. Some still fish, but, not surprisingly, many choose health.”

Cook said fewer children are learning a skill that has defined the Mohawk.

“When I was a girl, our refrigerator was a box of fish in the river,” Cook said. “We had names for fish … like tsikonsis for northern pike, meaning long-nose. Only the elders know that now.

“How you can experience what a tsikonsis is unless you tangled with it at the end of a line … took it to shore, prepared it, cooked it … ate it and shared it with your family? The river, free of these chemicals, is where real learning, understanding and identity take place.”

Toban Black/flickr. Industry has polluted water and land once used for hunting in fishing in places such as the St. Lawrence and St. Clair rivers.

Plain, of the Anishinaabe in Ontario, said his grandfather would take him hunting for their dinner. And his grandmother and mother would take his sisters out to gather medicine and berries.

“We learn not by being told, but by watching, doing,” he said.

Plain said it was more than just passing down knowledge – it was a way to bond.

“It was a learning experience, but it was also history… My grandfather would point out things like where my father got his first kill,” Plain said. “We’ve lost the stories of our families, connections to our land, food, medicines … everything we know.”

“Food is our culture”

Alaska’s St. Lawrence Island Yupik community, about 800 people, is about 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle – miles away from industry. But chemicals have hitched rides on winds and waters that have carried them there, as the cold climate acts like a sink for pollutants.

The pollutants have shown up in the fat of marine animals that are an important part of the community’s diet.

“Our food is literally our culture,” said Vi Waghiyi, environmental health and justice program director at the Alaska Community Action on Toxics and a member of the Yupik people on St. Lawrence Island.

A 2011 study found that the rendered oils of bowhead whale, seals and walrus contained PCB concentrations of 193 to 421 parts per billion. The U.S. EPA consumption limit for PCBs in fish to avoid excess risk of cancer is 1.5 parts per billion.

The people of St. Lawrence Island have levels of PCBs in their blood about four times higher than the average U.S. population, according to a 2011 study by Carpenter. But there has been no comprehensive study of their health.

Unlike tribes in more urbanized areas, the Yupik are so remote that fishing and hunting continue.

“It’s not an option to change our diet,” Waghiyi said. “But the joy of a successful hunt and sharing the food has been replaced with people wondering, will this harm my family?”

Elizabeth Hoover. Mohawk girls attend a ceremony at a community garden. Gardens and farms have decreased in number at Akwesasne due to fear of soil contamination.

Contamination fears don’t tell the whole story. Farming dropped off among the Mohawk at Akwesasne in the past few decades due to encroaching residential and commercial development, according to a 2005 soil survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because prime farmland was taken by industry and urban uses, the Mohawk started farming lands more “erodible, droughty and less productive,” according to the report.

Elders half a century ago warned Cook and other young Mohawk that the world was changing and that the first signs would be in the food by way of agriculture. And they were right, said Cook, who is now 60.

“After the contamination, gardening and agriculture slowed down out of fear. Our connections to the land were slowly lost,” she said. “The nutrients from food we would catch or grow with our hands are replaced by the standard American diet.”

Losing people, wildlife

While elders like Cook and Waghiyi attempt to revive ways of life in the face of pollutants, culture is meaningless if there are no people.

“There were 4,000 of us at one time … 32 villages,” Waghiyi said about the Yupik. “Now we have two villages with 800 people . We’ve faced starvation, epidemics, and illness brought from western contact. And now chemicals, chemicals everywhere.”

“We’ve faced starvation, epidemics, and illness brought from western contact. And now chemicals, chemicals everywhere.” –Vi Waghiyi, Yupik

In the Southwest’s Tewa Pueblo community, mining left uranium and PCBs contamination. Once over 3,000 people, the tribe has dipped to around 1,500, said Sanchez, co-founder of Tewa Women United.

The tribe suspects that health problems and population drops are linked to their proximity to the old uranium mines and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. However, there is no scientific evidence to back up their fears. No studies have been conducted.

“We never knew things like cancer. Now everyone has cancer,” she said. “You can’t say that all of these birth defects and miscarriages aren’t connected .”

Some wildlife becomes contaminated – some vanishes.

The Gabrielinos, an indigenous community in Southern California, use coastal sage scrub just as the Anishnaabe use cedar – a cleansing, purifying plant for smudging and sweat lodge ceremonies. But it’s nearly gone because it was growing on coastal land bulldozed for multi-million-dollar homes. California officials estimate 70 to 90 percent of coastal sage scrub has been destroyed and that nearly 100 species of plants and animals that inhabit it are classified as rare, sensitive, threatened or endangered.

The Tewa Pueblo in New Mexico used to have a clan system – over 250 clans – to “teach children about the world,” Sanchez said. “There was a deer clan, a beaver clan, a water clan and so on.”

Sanchez said the clans would aspire to the positive attributes of their symbol. Children would hear teachings about the history of each clan and how it came to have its symbol, so they would learn about wildlife and their culture at once, Sanchez said.

Kathy Sanchez. The Tewa Pueblo fear that legacy mining contamination and development caused wildlife to leave the area.

“But we’ve lost that,” she said.

She said a Los Alamos National Laboratory expansion in 2008 displaced more wildlife – citing fewer beaver and deer sightings.

Leslie Hansen, a wildlife biologist at the Laboratory’s Environmental Protection Division, said “there is no doubt that there have been dramatic changes in the landscape.” But she said many factors, including human population growth, drought, wildfires and beetle infestations, “could possibly be contributing to changes in wildlife numbers.”

Tribal leaders see the modern threats to their culture as a continuation of the mistreatment suffered decades ago through land grabs, genocide and indoctrination.

“We have battered wife syndrome,” Plain said. “Industry and government contaminate our land, apologize for it, and do it again. And again. And again.”

The above work, by Environmental Health News, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

http://intercontinentalcry.org/contaminated-culture-native-people-struggle-with-tainted-resources-lost-identity/

They are Here Again! No Hurra needed!


 They’re Here (Again)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVC2vyVCWJI
___________________________

(Un-edited) Notice published on dairyherd e-newsletter
March 21, 2012

Raw milk-linked outbreak prompts Kansas warning
Angela Bowman, Staff Writer

“Kansas officials have issued a warning for raw milk
consumers and producers following a Campylobacter
outbreak linked to unpasteurized milk from one of
the state’s dairies.

The outbreak, which was first confirmed in January,
has now affected 18 people according to Food Safety
News. This is the state’s third Campylobacter outbreak
linked to raw milk since 2007.

Now, officials from both the state’s Department of
Agriculture and Department of Health and Environment
have issued a warning on the sale of raw milk and the
dangers associated with consuming it. Raw milk can
only be sold in the state through individual sales
on the farm, and the only promotion can be farm
signs. All raw milk containers must be labeled.

‘While dairy producers can legally sell raw milk
on farms directly to consumers, the practice is not
recommended,’ the joint release noted.

Officials also cited a recent study from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which found
the rate of outbreaks caused by raw milk 150 times
higher than those caused by pasteurized milk.

‘Consuming raw milk is an unnecessary risk,’ Kansas
Department of Agriculture Dairy Inspection Program
Manager George Blush said in the news release.

‘You cannot tell if milk is safe by just looking at,
smelling or tasting it. Even milk from the cleanest
dairies can pose risk without the pasteurization
safeguard.’

Raw milk supporters have had a tough year. In addition
to the CDC study, another Campylobacter outbreak
linked to raw milk from a Pennsylvania dairy sickened
more than 78 people, including a toddler. Another Pa.
raw milk producer faced a federal court-granted
injunction preventing him from distributing raw milk
and raw milk products across state lines.”
___________________________

Robert Cohen
http://www.notmilk.com

CDC Warned Residents in Katherine/Australia to Stay Away from Fruit Bats


 March 2012 Last updated at 05:34 GMT www.bbc.co.uk

Please, read the whole important story there:  www.bbc.co.uk

 Hundreds of thousands of fruit bats like these arrived in the town in late February
Continue reading the main story A town in northern Australia has been invaded by more than 250,000 bats, prompting warnings of a potentially fatal disease related to rabies.

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) warned residents in Katherine to stay away from the fruit bats, which could carry the Australian Bat Lyssavirus.

The disease can be transmitted to people if they are bitten or scratched.

Authorities have closed down the main sports ground in the town 300 km south of Darwin in the Northern Territory.