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Archive for January, 2011

High Sugar Consumption May Increase Risk Factors for Heart Disease in American Teenagers

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Teenagers who consume a lot of added sugars in soft drinks and foods may have poor cholesterol profiles — which may possibly lead to heart disease in adulthood, according to first-of-its-kind research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

“Added sugars” are any caloric sweeteners added to foods or beverages by the manufacturer during processing or the consumer.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2,157 teenagers (ages 12 to 18) found the average daily consumption of added sugars was 119 grams (28.3 tsp or 476 calories), accounting for 21.4 percent of their total energy.

The American Heart Association recently recommended a specific upper limit for added sugars intake, based on the number of calories an individual needs throughout the day, according to their energy expenditure, sex and age. For example, an appropriate amount for an individual with an energy requirement of 1,800 calories per day (an average teenage girl aged 14-18 might be in this calorie range) would be no more than 100 calories from added sugars. An individual with a requirement of 2200 calories per day should eat or drink no more than 150 calories from added sugars.

Teens consuming the highest levels of added sugars had lower levels of high density lipoprotein levels (HDL), the good cholesterol, and higher levels of triglycerides and low density lipoproteins (LDL), the bad cholesterol.

“This is the first study to assess the association of added sugars and the indicators of heart disease risk in adolescents,” said Jean Welsh, M.P.H., Ph.D., R.N., study author and post-doctoral fellow at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. “The higher consumers of added sugar have more unfavorable cholesterol levels. The concern is long-term exposure would place them at risk for heart disease later in adulthood.”

Teenagers with the highest levels of added sugar consumption at more than 30 percent of total energy had 49.5 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL) compared to 54 mg/dL of HDL levels in those with the lowest levels of added sugar consumption — a 9 percent difference.

Previous studies indicate that the largest contributors of added sugars to the diet are sugary beverages such as sodas, fruit drinks, coffees and teas, Welsh said.

“Adolescents are eating 20 percent of their daily calories in sugars that provide few if any other nutrients,” she said. “Sweet things have lost their status as treats.”

The study included dietary recall from one 24-hour period that researchers merged with sugar content data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture My Pyramid Equivalents Databases. Researchers estimated cardiovascular risk by added sugar consumption of less than 10 percent up to more than 30 percent of daily total energy. Two days of dietary data were used among a subsample of 646 adolescents and the key findings remained consistent:

  • Those with higher intake of added sugar had higher LDL levels of 94.3 mg/dL compared to 86.7 in those with the lowest levels, a 9 percent difference.
  • Triglyceride levels in those with the highest consumption were 79 mg/dL compared to 71.7 mg/dL among the lowest, a 10 percent difference.
  • Overweight or obese adolescents with the highest level of added sugar consumption had increased signs of insulin resistance.

“While Americans appear to be working hard to lower their intake of saturated fats, there is not the same awareness when it comes to added sugars,” Welsh said. “The intake of added sugars is positively associated with known cardiovascular risk factors. Added sugars play a significant role in the U.S. diet, contributing substantially to energy intake without contributing important nutrients to the diet.”

Adolescents and adults should “use the labels of the drinks and food they consume to become familiar with the amount of sugar in them,” Welsh said. “Replacing sugar laden drinks with water is one way to substantially reduce sugar and calorie intake.”

Physicians also need to ask adolescents about their sugars intake and guide them to better choices, she said.

Because the researchers used cross-sectional data, they don’t know if added sugars intake caused the differing cholesterol levels, only that they are linked.  They also assessed the diet using one 24-hour recall of intake, which may not reflect on a person’s usual intake.

Long-term studies are needed to fully understand the effect that added sugars consumption in adolescence has on cardiovascular disease risk in adulthood, Welsh said.

Co-authors: are Andrea Sharma, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Solveig A.Cunningham, Ph.D.; and Miriam B. Vos, M.D., M.S.P.H. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.


Russell Rosenberg, MD

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

A recent sleep study titled ‘Workplace Power Outage’ found that nearly 1 in 4 American office workers have taken a nap at work. In response to the study results, Dr. Russell Rosenberg, currently the Vice Chairman of the National Sleep Foundation and Director of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and Technology, said “the findings…support the link between sleep and workplace performance.” He adds “the survey shows that inadequate sleep and poor sleep habits are primary factors for poor job performance, and can also lead to increased irritability, moodiness and lack of energy.”

The study, commissioned by Philips Consumer Lifestyle, reveals that most American office workers don’t consistently get good sleep, which is affecting their on-the-job performance.

Some key findings include:

  • 85 percent of office workers admit that if they slept more, they would be more productive while on the job
  • More than half (56%) of office workers don’t consistently get a good night’s sleep
  • Two-thirds (64%) of office workers surveyed believe that lack of sleep means their day begins on a low note
  • Two-thirds (64%) of employees do not wake up before their alarm goes off and more than one-third (37%) are not ready to get up when their alarm goes off

“The typical office worker usually accounts for hours slept as a measure of healthy sleeping, when in fact, there are several variables, ” says Dr. Rosenberg. “Room temperature, comfort, bedtime, room lighting and method of wake up are all contributing factors of healthy sleep habits that can make a person feel better during the day. One tip is to get at least 30 minutes of exposure to bright light in the morning using a light  device to energize you and prepare you for a productive day.”

With 25 years of experience in clinical sleep medicine and research, Dr. Rosenberg is a Board Certified Sleep Specialist and Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  He obtained his doctorate in clinical and research psychology from Ohio State University and received specialized training in sleep disorders medicine and research at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical center in Chicago.

Dr. Rosenberg’s current research interests include treatments for insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders as well as treatments for disorders that cause excessive sleepiness.


Atlanta Leaders Launch Prostate Cancer Pledge Campaign

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

According to the American Cancer Society, the state of Georgia ranks 11(th) in number of estimated deaths per capita from the prostate cancer.  In an effort to raise awareness about the disease and ensure more men commit to be informed and screened, several companies and media organizations have joined the Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition in launching a pledge campaign.

Georgia Prostate Cancer

Pictured from left to right: Harry the Hawk, Dr. Roland Mathews (Morehouse School of Medicine), Damon Aluisy (SB), Shelly Glenn (RC Cancer Centers), Mike Krachon (Bard), Twanda Black (Kiss 104.1), Bob Williams (President, Atlanta Hawks) Mayor Kasim Reed, Alan Wills (Georgia Cancer Coalition) Tom McCleary (Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition), Margaret Murphy (RC Cancer Centers), Dr. M. Rony Francois (Director, Division of Public Health), Virgil Fludd (State Representative) and Ken Stevens (Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition). (PRNewsFoto/The Georgia Prostate Cancer Pledge Committee)

The Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition, RC Cancer Centers and the Georgia Department of Community Health along with the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers, UPS, CR Bard, WXIA Television, Morehouse School of Medicine, KISS 104.1 Radio and WSB Radio are supporting this initiative to increase prostate cancer awareness throughout the state of Georgia.

“Specifically, we are encouraging every man who is over the age of 40 in Georgia to speak to his doctor and take the pledge to get screened for prostate cancer,” said Frank Catroneo, Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition Board Member.  “Our goal is to have 10,000 men in Georgia pledge to have the conversation with their doctors and/or be screened between now and April 20, 2011.”

M. Rony Francois, MD, MSPH, PhD, Director, DCH Division of Public Health and State Health Officer said, “I look forward to the potential that this pledge campaign holds in increasing the number of men who talk to their doctor about prostate cancer screening.”

To encourage prostate cancer discussions and screenings, the Atlanta Hawks and the Georgia Prostate Cancer Pledge committee will provide two tickets to several Atlanta Hawks home games to the first 2,000 men who commit to being screened for the first time. Men can visit to make their screening pledge and redeem their complimentary tickets online.

There will be a number of activities and events to help educate men and their loved ones, and to bring awareness to the serious health impact of prostate cancer for all concerned.  The events will culminate in April with a prostate cancer symposium, a golf tournament, a motorcycle ride, video testimonials of survivors and much more.

Michael Holton, president and COO of RC Cancer Centers, which specializes in the ProstRcision treatment for prostate cancer said, “Throughout the campaign, we will be offering free of charge PSA screenings for men over 40 years old, who have not been diagnosed with prostate cancer or previously treated for this disease. They can be screened at any one of our five locations in Georgia.  For screening locations, visit”

Current data available from Georgia Department of Community Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society show:

  • Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer among Georgia males and accounts for 28 percent of all new cancer cases among males each year.
  • Nationally, about one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime and more than two million men in the United States
  • have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point and are still alive today.
  • Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men and the second leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer.

“It is crucial for men to maintain an ongoing relationship with their healthcare provider as the risk for prostate cancer will vary from person to person,” said Roland Matthews, M.D., from Morehouse School of Medicine and Director of Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Health System.

A prostate screening PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a simple blood test which will not define a man’s prostate cancer status, but provides the basis for men to start the right conversations with their doctor.  When prostate cancer is detected early, it is a very curable disease.

To learn more about this prostate cancer initiative, visit


Piedmont Newnan Hospital Receives $5.1 Million Gift

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

The Piedmont Newnan Hospital replacement facility on Poplar Road will offer enhanced services in the areas of interventional radiology, surgery, emergency care and women’s and neonatal services thanks to a major boost from Newnan Hospital Inc.  Newnan Hospital Inc. (NHI) has made a historic gift valued at over $5.1 million to Piedmont Newnan Hospital, the largest, private, one-time gift in Piedmont Healthcare’s 105-year history.

Newnan Hospital Inc. is the legal entity that was the previous owner of Piedmont Newnan Hospital and continues today with a mission to support healthcare-related needs and initiatives to improve the healthcare of the local community.

“We are building a new hospital today because of the vision and perseverance of the Newnan Hospital Inc. Board of Directors,” said Michael Bass, president and CEO of Piedmont Newnan Hospital. “This transformational gift demonstrates loud and clear Newnan Hospital Inc.’s longstanding commitment to improving healthcare for all citizens of Coweta County. We sincerely thank the board for this most generous gift.”

The gift includes $4 million of enhancements and additions, previously not programmed into the scope of the replacement hospital. A major portion of the funds will purchase medical equipment in interventional radiology services and will enable the build-out of two additional surgical suites, including one with enhanced capabilities for urological procedures. The additional rooms will improve scheduling and availability of surgery and other procedures for patients and doctors.

In addition, it will provide further enhancements to the emergency department, including multi-purpose, ceiling equipment booms in the trauma rooms to keep the floors clear of diagnostic equipment; a faster, 64-slice CT scanner; and critical care monitors compatible with future technology.  Additionally, pediatric and infant resuscitation equipment and infant warmers will be purchased for exclusive use in the emergency department, rather than be shared with the labor and delivery unit.  For women’s and neonatal services, the donation will allow the provision of dedicated NICU incubators with resuscitation capability in all rooms, including delivery rooms.

In making the announcement, Tom Moat, president of the Newnan Hospital Inc. Board of Directors, expressed the board’s feeling on how important it is for NHI to be involved in providing the best possible hospital for residents of the Coweta community.

“Piedmont is going to provide our community with a new, state-of-the-art hospital, and we believe it is important for Newnan Hospital Inc. to take the lead in helping augment vital services in the new facility,” said Moat. “We can help provide enhanced services that will benefit all of us for many years.”

“Having been in the hospital business for almost 90 years, our board recognizes that community support includes both using services available at our local hospital and supporting it financially,” added Moat. “We are grateful to Piedmont Healthcare for all they are doing by building a new hospital facility. We want to help through these donations and hope this will encourage others to support further development of the new hospital and advance healthcare in our community.”

The gift also includes the property on the court square in downtown Newnan, which serves as the Piedmont Newnan Hospital Wellness Center. Valued at $840,000, Piedmont Newnan Hospital will continue operating the downtown Newnan Wellness Center for the community.

The third element of the gift is an additional $260,000 set aside for the utilization of the original Newnan Hospital campus, located at 80 Jackson Street. This campus currently houses both the Piedmont Newnan Hospital Ambulatory Surgery Center and the Piedmont Heartburn Treatment Center. These services will be relocated to the new facility on Poplar Road, scheduled to open in the spring of 2012.

“This gift from Newnan Hospital Inc. represents the largest one-time gift in Piedmont’s history and sets the stage for fundraising efforts to support the new hospital,” said R. Timothy Stack, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare. “To the 500-plus annual donors who already support Piedmont Newnan Hospital, as well as our Auxilians and our community, this contribution makes a bold statement that through philanthropy, we have the ability to make a tremendous impact on the quality of local healthcare in the communities we serve.”

This gift is the largest in a series of recent gifts made by NHI to benefit healthcare in Coweta County.  Earlier this fall, NHI announced a $2 million gift to University of West Georgia’s School of Nursing; a $1 million gift to West Georgia Technical College, benefiting the allied health sciences programs; and another $1 million contribution to the new Coweta Samaritan Clinic.


Acclaimed Neurointerventionalists Join Grady’s Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

The Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center at Grady Memorial Hospital announced the addition of two Interventional Neurologists.  Dr. Rishi Gupta and Dr. Raul Nogueira, Visiting Associate Professors with Emory School of Medicine in Neurology and Stroke, are both acclaimed neurologists with specialties in Endovascular Neurosurgery, Neurocritical Care and Interventional Neuroradiology.

Dr. Gupta comes to Grady from Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he served as Assistant Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Radiology and worked in the Vanderbilt Stroke Center.  Prior to Vanderbilt, Dr. Gupta worked at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation where he was on staff at the Cerebrovascular Center working in Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology and served as director of the Vascular Neurology Fellowship Program.

Dr. Raul Nogueira spent the past eleven years at Massachusetts General Hospital working and training with the Harvard Medical School. There he completed his residency in Neurology, a fellowship in Neurocritical Care and Stroke, and a fellowship in Endovascular Neurosurgery and Interventional Neuroradiology. Academically, he served as Assistant Professor of Neurology for Harvard Medical School.

“Combining the talents of these doctors with our team, technology and state-of-the-art design of the center enables Grady to advance its already strong care for stroke patients,” says Dr. Michael R. Frankel, Professor of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, and Director of the Marcus Stroke & Neuroscience Center for the Grady Health System. “Drs. Gupta and Nogueira are at the forefront of their profession and their unique talents are an invaluable asset to the entire Southeast region, an area of the country more prone to strokes than any other.”

Grady’s Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center also welcomed Brenda Miller, nurse clinician and vascular neurologists Dr. Aaron Anderson and Dr. Samir Belagaje.


27th Annual Breast Surgery Symposium in Atlanta

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (SESPRS) has assembled a world-class faculty and program for its 27th Annual Breast Surgery Symposium, Jan. 14-16, 2011, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Atlanta.  Titled “Breaking New Ground,” the program will feature breast surgery leaders, who will share their insights into a full range of aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, with an emphasis on practical solutions to problems relevant to all plastic surgeons.  Approximately 400 participants are expected to attend.

Mark Codner, M.D., program chair, says that this year’s program will include discussions of several latest innovations and less-invasive alternatives for patients requiring surgery.  “We will demonstrate breast reconstruction using one-stage surgery, which replaces procedures that traditionally took up to two or three operations over as many as six months,” said Codner.  “New techniques allow immediate reconstruction following mastectomy.”

Also on the agenda will be a new breast lift, which uses an internal device to eliminate scarring and lift the breast, as well as a new breast augmentation technique, which eliminates the need for breast implants.  “Discussions of these new and innovative techniques will provide groundbreaking news that will be available at the Breast Symposium by the very experts performing these procedures,” said Codner.

Northside Hospital has sponsored the symposium each year since 1999.

For more information about the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons or the annual breast surgery symposium, contact SESPRS at 703-234-4137 or


Suresh Ramalingam, MD Awarded National Cancer Institute Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Suresh Ramalingam, MD, a medical oncologist at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, has been awarded a National Cancer Institute Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award. The award includes a two-year, $100,000 grant.

The Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award recognizes clinical investigators at NCI designated cancer centers who provide critical leadership and support for institutional and multi-center clinical trials. NCI provides the award to support, acknowledge and recognize outstanding clinical investigators whose participation and activities promote successful clinical research programs and to promote retention of clinical investigators in an academic career in clinical research.

Ramalingam is an associate professor of hematology and medical oncology at Emory and director of Winship’s Translational Thoracic Malignancies Program. He also is a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Clinician and Scientist.

“We are immensely proud of this major recognition of Dr. Ramalingam’s work,” says Fadlo Khuri, MD, chair of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory.  “This is well-deserved recognition by the NCI of Dr. Ramalingam, who is a superb investigator as well as a caring and thoughtful clinician.”

Ramalingam serves as the principal investigator on several lung cancer clinical trials, many of which are sponsored by the NCI. He is widely published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and serves as a reviewer for a number of medical journals. Ramalingam is the Co-chair of the Thoracic Core Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and serves on the editorial board of the journals Cancer, Clinical Lung Cancer and Cancer, Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.

Ramalingam earned his medical degree at the University of Madras in India, and served as chief medical resident in Internal Medicine at Wayne State University in Detroit. He conducted his fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Pittsburgh.



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