Pisgah Family Health News

March 2012

Office News

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Office News

Pisgah Family Health is now on Facebook!

Find us on Facebook Pisgah Family Health is proud to announce it's new page on Facebook. We will keep this site updated with medical news of interest to our patients. This will also allow us to keep our patients up to date with office announcements, such as weather closings.

Free Health Videos on YouTube

Pisgah Family Health is proud to announce the launch of its new YouTube channel. On this channel, we have collected useful videos on a variety of health topics. We hope this will be a way for our patients to learn more about their health conditions in the comfort of their own homes.

Visit us on YouTube Video topics are grouped into playlists, to make it easy to watch the videos that are most relevant to you. The topics currently include diabetes, asthma, cholesterol, smoking, nutrition, mental health, exercise, and many more. As we locate more useful videos, we will post them to the site, and notify our patients by Facebook and our newsletter.

Office Hours

We are proud to announce our expanded office hours!

Our office hours are now 8:30-5pm Monday through Friday.   When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers and Mission Hospital ER.  Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873.   Telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran’s call partners.

  • Dr Curran will be out of the office April 2-6.
  • Melissa Martinez, PA-C will be here April 2-5 for patient care.
  • Pisgah Family Health will be closed April 6th for Good Friday.

Office Reminders

Please bring your medications to each visit. This helps us treat you safely, and make your refills in a timely fashion.

To protect your privacy, we will not release any of your medical information without your written consent. Please let us know if you would like to authorize us to release information to your spouse or a family member.

Effective 10/1/11, we have a new billing company: Current Medical Services, 596 W Main St, Sylva, NC, phone # 855 226-5772.

If you have been seen both before and after October 1, 2011, you will receive a statement from both our new billing company as well as our previous billing company; Raleigh Durham Medical Group.

Medical News

Take your photo supporting Asheville's Greenways

Support Asheville's Greenways

Asheville is currently designing and seeking input on its next generation of greenways. If you like to exercise outdoors, and if you care about the future of Asheville, now is your chance to speak up.

What is a Greenway?

A greenway is a pedestrian trail for recreation as well as transportation. Greenways benefit bikers, runners, walkers, commuters, and anyone who prefers to breathe clean air. Greenways connect people to the places they want to go – parks, schools, shopping, and recreation. Most greenways are flat, making them easy to use for the young and old.

First the bad news-

Greenways take a lot of time, money, and effort to build. Property must be bought from private owners. Contaminated industrial sites must be rehabilitated. Politicians must be convinced to spend their resources on this project. Greenways typically cost $1 million per mile to develop. Asheville's greenways may not see completion for 10-20 years.

Next the good news-

Asheville has a very extensive plan to build greenways throughout the county. Greenways are planned to run the entire length of the Swannanoa river, from Azelea Park to Carrier Park. Greenways are planned to run the length of the French Broad from Hominy Creek to Madison County. A Greenway is planned to connect Carrier Park to Bent Creek. A greenway is planned to connect Enka to Asheville. Greenways are planned to run throughout the city, to get people where they want to go, without vehicles. View the Master Plan here: http://www.buncombecounty.org/Governing/Depts/Parks/SubmitPhotos.aspx

Now the better news-

Asheville is not alone in this goal. The towns of Woodfin, Black Mountain, Waynesville, Brevard, and Weaverville also have greenway plans and greenways that are being built. Many of these will eventually connect to Asheville’s greenway system with a network of bike routes.

And the best news-

Asheville has a very enthusiastic and capable group of people who are working on this project. This includes Riverlink and the Buncombe County Parks Department. They have been working on this for many years, and are committed to seeing this become reality. There are some great leaders in place, who need your help to keep this project moving.

How can you help?

Are Vitamins Safe and Useful? vitamins (5K)

Recently there was media attention focused on a study that questioned the use of vitamins. The results of this study were very complex, and difficult to understand without sophisticated statistics. For the summary, read on.

Nearly 40% of men and 50% of women older than 60 years of age consume at least 1 vitamin or mineral supplement. Dietary supplements are widely used by older adults, even though the effectiveness of these supplements in preventing illness is questionable. Can dietary supplements actually increase the risk for death? A new study suggests that the answer is yes for some of the most common supplements.

The study*, an arm of the Iowa Women's Health Study, consisted of 38,772 elderly white women between the ages of 55 and 69 years in 1986 who were followed over 20 years. This study adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, diet composition, alcohol consumption, smoking status, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and educational level. The main goal of the study was to determine the relationship between supplement use and all-cause mortality.

When adjusted for the above risk factors, regular use of some supplements was associated with a slightly higher risk of death, including multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper. The use of vitamins C, D, and E had nearly no effect on mortality. In contrast, taking calcium supplements slightly reduced the risk for mortality. The results indicate that unnecessary use of multivitamins does not reduce all-cause mortality in women; to the contrary, it may slightly increase it. Other studies have proven harm in taking high doses of certain supplements, for instance vitamin E.

The widespread use of dietary supplements is not supported by practice guidelines. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) states that there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of vitamins A, C, E, or multivitamins with folic acid or antioxidants. The USPSTF cites concerns regarding the balance of benefits vs harms of these supplements.

In conclusion, there is inadequate evidence to recommend for or against the routine use of vitamin supplements unless you have a documented deficiency. It is best to eat a diverse diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, so you obtain your vitamins through a natural diet.

* Source: Mursu J, Robien K, Harnack LJ, Park K, Jacobs DR Jr. Dietary supplements and mortality rate in older women: the Iowa Women's Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171:1625-1633.

Health Links

For local health events, check out these links:

A few of the most-trusted health information links:

  • WebMD.com A web service with health advice on hundreds of topics.
  • FamilyDoctor.org Patient-oriented information from the American Academy of Family Physicians.
  • CDC.gov The Center for Disease Control features credible information on almost every health topic.

About our Newsletter

Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients.  Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics.  We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news.  The newsletters will also be archived on our website, http://www.pisgahfamilyhealth.com/

Privacy:  We promise to use your Email address only for the purpose of sending this newsletter.  We will not give your Email address to any other organization.  We do not use Email to discuss personal medical issues.  If you want to be removed from our Email list, reply to this newsletter with the subject “unsubscribe me”.

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