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Health

Area hospitals receive top marks for safety

Three hospitals in the St. Charles County area received “A” safety grades for spring 2017 from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit dedicated to driving quality, safety and transparency in the U.S. healthcare system. Progress West Hospital, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital-Lake Saint Louis and SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital-St. Charles were awarded top marks

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Health Capsules: Free health screenings

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Free health screenings are offered on Wednesday, May 10 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at Progress West Hospital, 2 Progress Point Parkway in O’Fallon, in Conference Room B. Screenings include lung function and blood pressure checks, cholesterol lipid panel, glucose panel, body composition analysis and body mass index [BMI] calculation.  Participants should fast for at least 10 hours prior to screening. Preregistration is required and is available online at www. bjcstcharlescounty.org or by calling (636) 928-9355.

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More genetic contributors to autism identified

New research from the ongoing Autism Speaks MSSNG project – the world’s largest autism genome sequencing program, which was launched in 2014 through a collaboration between Autism Speaks and Google – recently identified an additional 18 genetic variations that appear to increase the risk of autism.

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Low ‘good’ cholesterol common in young heart attack patients

A high level of “bad” cholesterol, or LDL-C,  has long been considered a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, because it indicates that arteries may be clogged with dangerous deposits called plaque. However, a recent small study found that men under the age of 45, and women under 50, who suffer heart attacks are far more likely to have abnormally low HDL-C, or “good” cholesterol, than elevated bad cholesterol. In the bloodstream, HDL-C acts like a scavenger, scouring the arteries to get rid of excess fat and bad cholesterol, reduce inflammation and prevent blood clots. For that reason, healthy levels of HDL-C [defined ...

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Opioids and kids

Use of opioids by young people, both accidental and otherwise, resulted in more than 188,000 calls to U.S. Poison Control Centers from January 2000 through December 2015, averaging one call every 45 minutes, according to a newly published study. Overall, most of the opioid exposures leading to those calls occurred among children younger than five years of age [60 percent] followed by teenagers [30 percent]. The medications that prompted the most calls were hydrocodone [29 percent], oxycodone [18 percent] and codeine [17 percent]. The reason for, and the severity of, the children’s exposures varied by age. Among young kids, the ...

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Mature Focus: free bone density/osteoporosis screenings

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Free bone density/osteoporosis screenings, sponsored by BJC of St. Charles County, are available on Thursday, May 4 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Middendorf-Kredell Library Branch, 2750 Hwy. K in O’Fallon. This screening test for women will help determine personal risk of developing osteoporosis, and discuss what can be done to decrease that risk. Preregistration is required. Register online at www.bjcstcharlescounty.org or call (636) 928-9355.

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Mature Focus: AARP Smart Driver Course

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An AARP Smart Driver Course is offered on Friday, May 5 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Adult and Community Education Center, 2400 Zumbehl Road in St. Charles. The course covers safe driving strategies, information about the effects of medications on driving, how to prevent driver distractions and proper use of new technologies. The cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members, payable at the door [cash or check only]. Register by calling (636) 443-4043.

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