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February is a busy month for health-care professionals

Feb. 7, 2014
With American Heart Month and National Children’s Dental Health Month taking place, February is a noteworthy month for professionals in the health-care profession. FOCUS Editorial Director Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, addresses these two awareness campaigns in this issue while also giving an update on hygiene efforts at last week’s Yankee Dental Congress held in Boston.
Today is National Wear Red Day®!
Wear Red to Help Fight Against Heart Disease In Women!
February is American Heart Month and National Children’s Dental Health Month. Prevention of diseases, such as cardiovascular, heart, periodontal, and dental decay are reasonable goals for which to strive. It is up to us, as health care professionals, to educate those around us about disease prevention.
This newsletter features Norine Dowd, RDH, BHSc, a dental hygienist from Florida. The picture shown below and the one in the article were taken for the local Go Red campaign sponsored by the Florida Hospital. They are using it in ads in the local paper, on handouts, and on a billboard. Norine will be speaking about heart disease and women at several venues this month for the hospital. Norine is happy to have the opportunity to spread the word, and we are happy to have Norine!
On another front regarding cardiovascular disease, people ages 18 to 40 who had shingles were more likely to have a stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack, also called a TIA or warning for a stroke, years later than people who had not had shingles. People over 40 who had shingles were more likely to have a heart attack or TIA, but not a stroke, than those who had not had shingles.(1) Regarding tobacco cessation, almost 70 percent of adult smokers want to quit smoking. We know that smoking and tobacco use increases the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other diseases and conditions. Conventional quit-smoking treatments, including counseling and medication, can double or triple the chances that a smoker will quit successfully. Some people also try complementary health approaches to help them quit the smoking habit. In one survey of people who visited a tobacco cessation clinic, two-thirds said that they were interested in trying complementary approaches.
Current evidence suggests that some mind and body practices, such as meditation-based therapies, yoga, and guided imagery, may help people quit smoking.(2) Systematic reviews have concluded that there isn’t convincing evidence that acupuncture or hypnosis is helpful for quitting smoking.(3) There is no current evidence that any dietary supplement helps people quit smoking. Studies of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe), lobeline (from the herb Lobelia inflata), and St. John’s wort didn’t find any of these supplements to be helpful.

Lobelia inflata

If you’re considering a dietary supplement, remember that “natural” does not necessarily mean “safe.” Some supplements may have side effects, and some may interact with drugs or other supplements. In particular, St. John’s wort has been shown to interact with many drugs. For more information on quitting smoking, visit the National Cancer Institute’s quit-smoking resource.(4)

I recently attended the Yankee Dental Congress where I presented a course entitled: Women’s Oral Health Through the Life Stages. The course, as well as others, was sponsored by PennWell® Corporation. My company is Seminars for Women’s Health and Sex Based Medicine.
Jo-Anne Jones, RDH, presented Sex and Oral Health: What’s the Connection? Do you see the theme here? Both courses were packed full, and we want to thank PennWell® for the company's support. Part of what was presented in Jo-Anne’s course is that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls for both girls and boys to be vaccinated against HPV, the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
Jo-Anne Jones, RDH

There have been concerns that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination could lead to riskier behaviors in vaccinated adolescents. A new study brings to the table the notion that risk perceptions following HPV vaccination were not associated with subsequent riskier sexual behaviors in sexually experienced and inexperienced young women.(5) These data contribute to the growing evidence that HPV vaccination does not lead to changes in sexual behaviors among adolescents. Young women who get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine don't see it as a license to have more sexual partners or forgo condoms, a new study confirms.(5)
Happy reading, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

1. Judith Breuer, Maud Pacou, Aline Gauthier, et al. Herpes zoster as a risk factor for stroke and TIA: A retrospective cohort study in the UK. published online January 2, 2014. Neurology.
2. Cheng HM, Chung YC, Chen HH, Chang YH, Yeh ML. Systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of acupoint stimulation on smoking cessation. Am J Chin Med. 2012;40(3):429-42.
3. Tahiri M, Mottillo S, Joseph L, Pilote L, Eisenberg MJ. Alternative smoking cessation aids: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Med. 2012 Jun;125(6):576-84. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.09.028. Epub 2012 Apr 11.
5. Mayhew A, Mullins TLK, Ding L, Rosenthal SL, Zimet GD, Morrow C, and Kahn JA. Risk Perceptions and Subsequent Sexual Behaviors After HPV Vaccination in Adolescents. Pediatrics peds.2013-2822; Published online February 2, 2014.


Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

To read previous RDH eVillage FOCUS introductions by Maria Perno Goldie, go to introductions.

To read more about tobacco use and dental hygiene, click here.