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January 2013

Below, find some possible story ideas for media.

For more information about these items, or for other media requests, contact Cleveland Clinic's Corporate Communications at 216.444.0141.

January 2013

Myths about Women's Heart Disease

Today, an estimated 43 million American women suffer from heart disease, making it the leading cause of death among women. Dr. Leslie Cho, Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist and Director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Center, busts several common myths about women and heart disease:

  • Myth #1: Vitamins C and E help reduce the risk of heart disease. Neither supplement has been proven effective when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Myth #2: Fish oils help reduce cholesterol. Fish oil only lowers triglyceride levels at high doses which can increase HDL, known as "good" cholesterol. It does not lower bad cholesterol LDL.
  • Myth #3: Women have lower cholesterol than men. Prior to menopause, women tend to have lower cholesterol than men and a similar cholesterol level following menopause.
  • Myth #4: Statins do not help women. Statins are effective in the treatment and prevention of coronary heart disease in both men and women.
  • Myth #5: Hormone replacement therapy helps with heart disease. Postmenopausal women should not take estrogen to try to prevent heart disease. Hormonal replacement therapy actually increases the likelihood of heart attack and death from heart disease in older women and those more than ten years from menopause. However, it poses little to no risk when used for short periods (six months) by women.
  • Myth #6: You don't need to exercise if you are thin. If you don’t exercise regularly, you increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease, regardless of your physique.
  • Myth #7: Herbal supplements help. There is no evidence that multivitamins and antioxidants prevent heart disease.

For more tips and information on Women’s Heart Disease or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Cho, please contact Tora Vinci at 216.444.2412 or

Tips on Keeping your Skin Healthy During

Blustery wind, cold temperatures and low humidity can lead to dry, irritated skin. Missale Mesfin, MD, dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Twinsburg Family Health & Surgery Center, offers several tips for keeping your skin healthy in the winter months.

  • Use a humidifier to replace moisture that is lost when the heat is on.
  • Stay cool and avoid sweating which can trigger itchy and dry skin. Dress in layers that you can add and remove as the temperature changes and wear clothing made of softer fabrics like cotton.
  • Moisturize and use lotion throughout the day.
  • Don’t forget your lips and apply lip balm after you eat and before bed. Avoid licking your lips which actually makes them drier.
  • Shower your skin but use moisturizing soap and pat (don’t rub) your skin dry. Slather on moisturizer immediately after.

Click here to link to the full article. To coordinate an interview with Dr. Mesfin, please contact Abbey Linville at 216.445.9274 or

5 Tips for Women and Heart Health

Today, an estimated 43 million American women suffer from heart disease, making it the leading cause of death among women. Dr. Leslie Cho, Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist and Director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Center, offers five tips for reducing and monitoring women’s heart disease risk:

  • Have your fasting glucose levels checked
  • Know your family history
  • Be a mindful eater and lead a healthy eating lifestyle
  • Have your cholesterol and blood pressure checked
  • Exercise every day

For more on Women’s Heart Disease or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Cho, please contact Tora Vinci at 216.444.2412 or

How to Protect the Elderly from Winter Falls

Icy sidewalks, slippery driveways and boots that bring melting snow onto floors can all cause falls. These are minor hazards for most of us, but for an elderly person, one slip can be devastating.

Some adults over age 65 are more at risk for falls than others, says Barbara Messinger-Rapport, MD, PhD, Director of Geriatric Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. She recommends looking out for:

  1. Rapid weight loss that could mean loss of muscle and bone mass.
  2. Vision problems that make it hard to see.
  3. Neurodegenerative diseases that can increase an older person’s risk.
  4. Certain medications that impair judgment.

Click here to link to the full article. To coordinate an interview with Dr. Messinger-Rapport, please contact Jenny Popis at or 216.444.8853.

Abnormal Pap: What Is a Colposcopy?

When doctors want to do a careful evaluation of an abnormal Pap test, they usually recommend a colposcopy — an examination of the cervix in detail with a pair of high-tech binoculars.

Elisa Ross, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist in Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Health Institute, says the procedure takes less than 10 minutes and the more you know about it, the more prepared you will feel.

Click here to link to the full article. To coordinate an interview with Dr. Ross, please contact Halle Bishop at or 216.445.8592.

Frostbite 101

There are plenty of reasons you may be out in the cold this time of year, but whether you are shoveling snow or sledding, you have to be careful not to stay outside too long. Frostbite can set in relatively quickly unless you take the proper precautions.

Dr. Thomas Tallman, an Emergency Department Physician at Cleveland Clinic, says to pay attention to body parts that are most vulnerable to frostbite, including your hands, fingers, toes, feet, nose and ears.

"The skin and cartilage on your nose and ears is thin and very susceptible to frostbite damage,” says Dr. Tallman. “Frostbite develops when the skin tissues freeze and in the early stages, the skin will become very cold, red and give off a tingling feeling.”

Dr. Tallman suggests trying to restore circulation by re-warming the area by using warm water or simply breathing on the area with cupped hands. However, the best defense is to keep your skin covered with layers and keep your clothes dry.

To coordinate an interview with Dr. Tallman, please contact Jenny Popis at or 216.444.8853.

Exercising Outdoors in Cold Weather: Tips to Avoid Asthma and Other Respiratory Conditions

Many avid runners are willing to go out in the cold weather and hit the pavement running. But if you're an asthmatic, or have had respiratory issues in the past, you might need to take precautionary measures before you start your warm-up in the cold.

Sumita Khatri, MD, a pulmonologist and asthma expert at Cleveland Clinic, offers helpful tips and tools for asthmatics interested in exercising outdoors during the winter season.

  1. Warming up and cooling down are key for asthmatics during exercise.
  2. Avoid outdoor winter asthma triggers (i.e., leaf burning, chimney smoke)
  3. Dress appropriately and wear a scarf over your mouth during outdoor adventures.
  4. Monitor air quality forecasts in your area. Asthmatics are at higher risk with air pollution.
  5. Stay prepared and carry your quick response medication in your jacket.

If you'd like to schedule an interview with Dr. Khatri to discuss exercising in the winter and respiratory health, please contact Bridget Peterlin at or 216.444.5703.

Sleep Smart and Get a Better Night’s Rest

If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning or staring at the clock, you know the toll it can take the next day. Insomnia and other sleep disorders can affect your long-term health as well and there are several tips that Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Disorders Center offers to get a better night’s rest:

  1. Turn the clock around and reduce sleep anxiety.
  2. Leave your bed if you can’t fall asleep and do something relaxing like reading or listening to music. Then return to bed when you feel sleepy again.
  3. Keep your exercise routine but try to schedule your session earlier in the day, over four hours before bedtime so you do not boost your energy right before bed.
  4. Prepare your bedroom for sleep using dark curtains, earplugs, white noise or a fan.
  5. Avoiding caffeine late in the evening is an obvious action to take but you should avoid alcohol as well. Although alcohol has a sedative effect, it can lead to poor sleep in the later parts of the sleep cycle and fatigue the next day.

To learn more about getting a better night’s rest or to coordinate an interview with a specialist at Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Disorders Center, please contact Halle Bishop at or 216.445.8592.

Handle Your Child’s Nosebleed Properly

Nosebleeds are common among children but if they are not treated properly, they can become a medical problem. Dr. Kim Giuliano, pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic’s Children’s Hospital says if a child’s nose is bleeding, the first thing to do is to position them upright.

“Have the child sit down or stand with their head bent forward slightly,” says Dr. Giuliano. “Tipping the head back can cause blood to drain down the throat and can cause choking. Blood ends up in the child’s stomach and can lead to further discomfort.”

Stuffing tissues or napkins in the nose is also discouraged because while they can be absorbent, they can also irritate the lining of the nose and cause bleeding to restart when removed. Instead, apply pressure to the front, soft part of the nose and keep constant pressure in that area for at least 10 minutes before checking to see if the bleeding has stopped.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Giuliano, please contact Abbey Linville at or 216.445.9274.

How to Choose a Personal Trainer

Choosing a personal trainer to help you stay fit can be a big decision. There are several questions that Frank Iannotti, Program Coordinator at Cleveland Clinic’s Performance Training Systems, suggests you ask before making the investment.

  • Ask about the trainer’s qualifications, education, certifications and experience.
  • Ask about the ages and ability levels of the people with whom the trainer usually works with.
  • Ask how they train with you to meet your goals and expectations and what the realistic outcomes can be.
  • Ask your trainer about the exercises they recommend and how they will benefit your body.

For more tips on how to choose a personal trainer, please contact Laura Ambro at or 216.636.5876.

5 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Keep

Around this time of year, many will consider the usual New Year’s resolutions of losing weight, quitting a bad habit or exercising more. These are great, healthy resolutions but Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute offers some fun alternatives that should be considered as well.

  1. Eat more dark chocolate – Research shows there are great benefits including increasing blood flow in your brain, setting a positive mood and decreasing the impact of heart disease.
  2. Dance – Dancing burns calories, reduces stress, strengthens muscles and bones and can improve relationships.
  3. Do something uncomfortable – Stimulate your brain by moving out of your comfort zone and trying something new like learning a foreign language.
  4. Drink coffee – Research has shown that caffeine appears to have a beneficial effect on neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
  5. Have a laugh – Studies have shown laughter has positive effects on blood flow, sleep and overall health.

To learn more about each of these resolutions or to coordinate an interview with a member of Cleveland Clinic Wellness Team, please contact Stephanie Jansky at or 216.636.5869.

Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight

Some people avoid quitting smoking because they are afraid of weight gain and don’t realize what they will really gain is a healthier body. There are several tips that Cleveland Clinic’s Tobacco Treatment Center suggests smokers follow to put away the cigarettes for good without packing on the pounds.

  • Eat regular meals and healthy snacks. When you kick the nicotine habit, your body feels hungrier than ever so keep it full with fresh veggies, popcorn or fresh fruit.
  • Walk or exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Nicotine increases your metabolic rate temporarily so when you quit it returns to normal. Boost your metabolism by engaging in regular physical activity.
  • Start a new post-meal ritual. Many smokers have a cigarette after a meal and it becomes a habit. Create a new ritual like taking a walk around the block, meditating for five minutes or even brushing your teeth.
  • Keep your mouth busy. After quitting, the need for oral gratification can be replaced too easily with food so it’s important to develop a positive substitute instead. Chew on baby carrots, gum or even keep your mouth busy with a dental pick.

To learn more about quitting smoking without gaining weight or to coordinate an interview with a member of Cleveland Clinic's Tobacco Treatment Center, please contact Stephanie Jansky at or 216.636.5869.