Health Beat

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• A recent study released by the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that women of average weight who consume a light to moderate amount of alcohol gain less weight than women who don’t drink. The study followed over 19,000 women without a history of heart disease, cancer or diabetes, aged 40 or older and within the normal body mass index range of 18.5 to less than 25. After 13 years, researchers concluded that over 40 percent of the women studied became overweight, with abstainers gaining on average 9 pounds each and regular drinkers gaining only 3 pounds each. The New York Times points out a link between red wine consumption and less weight gain, as evidenced by suggestions that resveratrol, a red wine compound, inhibits fat cell development.

• Lakeview Regional Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine is opening a brand-new 10,000-square-foot complex complete with six private treatment rooms and two gyms, one for adults and one for pediatric therapy patients. The facility will feature the only dedicated Pediatric and Adult Rehabilitation programs in the area, focusing on physical, occupational and speech therapies as well as vitalstim, lymphedema and wound care. The rehabilitation programs will work to treat adolescents with congenital, neuromuscular and developmental disorders, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and developmental delays. The adult program will focus on rehabilitating after stroke, spinal cord injury, amputation, sports injuries, speech disorders and Parkinson’s.

• The National Resident Matching Program revealed that the number of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center graduating medical students who choose to remain in Louisiana is the highest in recent years. While 50 percent of last year’s senior medical students entered residency programs in the state, this year’s number increased to 59.4 percent. The “Match” is a system that matches applicants to available hospital and academic health center positions in the U.S. Any positions unfilled from the “Match” then undergo the “Scramble,” in which unmatched graduates are placed in unfilled positions. Pre-Katrina, the rate of students who were placed via Match or Scramble was only 94 percent; this year, it’s 100 percent.

nThe Center for Restorative Breast Surgery is looking to “Focus a New Light on Sleep,” through a support group meeting on April 14, led by health and wellness design authority Deborah Burnett. Burnett will discuss a new research study that asserts the importance of light and room temperature on circadian disruption and sleep – especially in breast cancer patients who suffer from sleep issues. For instance, while workplace lighting can be linked to fatigue, simple color and light modifications can improve productivity, performance, cognition, a healthy immune system, memory recall, weight gain/loss and even sexual performance.