Health News


Levee Run
Whether your running capacity is 1 mile or 5 kilometers, Ochsner Clinic Foundation is now signing up participants for its 17th Annual Ochsner Levee Run March 23. A 1-mile "fun run" starts at 4:30 p.m. on the levee behind Ochsner (1514 Jefferson Hwy.), followed by a 5K jog at 5 p.m.

Regardless of whether participants cross the finish line first or last, they'll enjoy the after-race Rhythm & Sole party, which features food and beverages from a host of New Orleans caterers and businesses, live dance music from 4-Unplugged, special entertainment for children and opportunities to win prizes.

Tickets, which include registration for the run, passes for the party and a commemorative T-shirt, are $18 in advance and $20 the day of the event. Tickets for the party only are $15, $5 for children 10 and younger. Proceeds from the runs benefit Ochsner for Children, Nursing Educational Grant Fund and competitive sports teams at Elmwood Fitness Center. Call 842-7113 for registration and information.

Sweet Anti-aging Treats
A Canadian chemist always on the look out for new ways to keep skin healthy and beautiful tripped upon a sort of fountain of youth for baby boomer skin -- in the trunk of a maple tree.

Ben Kamins, a chemist who has developed dermatology and other medicines for North American doctors for three decades, extracted compounds from the sap of certain maple trees and developed them into a line of products made to address specific skin problems of the over-20 crowd. Marketed under the name B. Kamins Chemist, the line features a range of products all made with Bio-Maple compound, a balance of anti-oxidants, amino proteins, polysaccharides, minerals and AHA acid. The mixture helps to diminish the natural progress of aging on the skin by rehydrating, smoothing and softening.

Designed for aging baby boomers, products include Maple Treatment Cream for extra dry skin, which has a SPF 15 sunscreen added; Booster Blue Rosasea Treatment (other rosasea products also are available); Sunbar Sunscreen SPF 30, which can even be applied over or under makeup (it also comes in a new fragrance-free version); Baby Boomer Menopause Cream and a full array of cleansers, toners, masques and other skin-care products for men and women.

Belladonna Day Spa recently introduced B. Kamins Chemist to New Orleans customers and is the city's exclusive retailer of the line.

Body & Soul Workout
Mixing Kundalini and Ashtanga-based yoga methods, instructor Adam Koffman is offering a new kind of yoga experience to beginning and intermediate students. Koffman, who has spent the past five years teaching yoga in New York and Los Angeles, recently opened Elysee Yoga Studio (2116 Burgundy St., 388-0511) in the Faubourg Marigny.

"My unique style has proven to be highly effective for beginning and intermediate students," Koffman says. "I moved to New Orleans to pursue my dream to help others achieve a more holistic and healthy lifestyle." He does that, he says, by combining invigorating yoga poses with powerful breathing exercises and a comfortable environment. Students practice the discipline in an intimate setting with hardwood floors, burning candles, essential oils and sensual music.

The studio at the corner of Burgundy and Elysian Fields offers evening classes Monday through Thursday and a morning class on Saturday, but also provides private yoga instruction as well as massage therapy.

Fun Health Programs
Methodist Hospital's (5620 Read Blvd.) Wellspring Program has scheduled several special events this month, including a free one-hour workshop on cardiac rehabilitation at noon on Feb. 22 in the hospital's auditorium. Cardiologist Shmuel Shapira will discuss ways to strengthen cardiac patients' activity capabilities and improve their quality of life. Lunch is provided. Call 244-5728 to register.

"Know Your Numbers, scheduled in the first-floor conference room at Methodist at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 28, features a discussion with a physician regarding strategies for managing diabetes. Call 244-2770 to pre-register.

And just for the fun of it, Wellspring's Senior Focus program is sponsoring a trip to Mobile, Ala., Feb. 28 to view a display of "China! 7,000 Years of Innovation" at the Exploreum. The trip includes a pre-trip continental breakfast, round-trip transportation, lunch at a seafood restaurant, a tour of the exhibit and an IMAX film about China. Cost is $55.

Intensifying the Beat
New Orleans Musicians Clinic (NOMC), now in its fourth year of providing medical services to uninsured and underinsured musicians, is expanding its services to include dental care as well as increased outreach programs.

Musician patients now can receive dental care at the LSU School of Dentistry through grants provided by the Pierre Fourchard Foundation, Orthodontic of America, Musicares, and the Sweet Relief Foundation. The services were added in response to medical research linking periodontal disease with an increased risk of heart disease, lung illnesses and diabetes. For appointments, NOMC patients should call 412-1111.

The clinic currently is offering flu shots to musicians for $5 each through February by calling 412-1111 and asking for a "nurse only" appointment.

NOMC has treated more than 700 people since it was started in 1998 to improve the health of the city's musician community.

Accolades for Ochsner
Modern Healthcare Magazine has named Ochsner Clinic Foundation among the top 100 integrated healthcare networks in the country. The ranking was based on networks' overall integration of all systems, including technology, financial stability, physicians, services, utilization of inpatient and outpatient services and contract capabilities as well as patient outcomes.

Ochsner, a not-for-profit healthcare system, operates a hospital as well as 25 clinics in southeast Louisiana and Latin America.

Down With the Bad
An updated set of guidelines concerning what levels of bad cholesterol bear treatment with cholesterol-lowering drugs could more than double the number of people eligible for such prescriptions.

National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) III guidelines published late last year significantly lowered the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol required for drug therapy. In the II guidelines published in 1993, for example a level of 160mg/dL or higher in a person at risk for heart disease was the point at which drugs were prescribed to lower the level. The new guidelines place the level for the same individual at 130mg/dL. A report published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association in January indicates the new guidelines represent a 140 percent increase in eligibility for cholesterol-lowering drug therapy overall, especially among patients younger than 45 or older than 65. The new recommendations also would mean a 157 percent increase in eligibility among men, compared to a 122 percent hike among women, the survey points out.

Researchers conducted the study to examine how the new guidelines would affect different population groups. Its authors warn that physicians should be cautious about over-prescribing the drug therapy and still emphasize the cholesterol-lowering value of proper diet and exercise.


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