Percent of Severe Housing Problems By County (2008 to 2012)

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Today’s map of the day shows the percent of severe housing problems by county for years 2008 to 2012. Severe housing problems was defined as households with at least 1 of 4 housing problems including: overcrowding, high housing cost, or lack of kitchen or plumbing facilities. From the map we can see a large portion of counties within Alaska and some western states, such as California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington have a higher percentage of severe housing problems indicated by the dark shaded counties compared to counties within other regions, such as the Midwest.

By Julia Watson

The Transformation From Skin Cells to Brain Cells

In the US approximately 5.1 million people have Alzheimer’s disease [1] and usually research involving the disease is done on animals. However, researchers from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have developed a new technique allowing them to transform human skin cells into stem cells and programing them into microglial cells. This new technique will allow researchers to use human cells instead of animal cells. Microglial cells play an important role in Alzheimer’s disease so this new method will allow researchers to have a better understand of the biology behind the disease.

Check out the article here.
By Julia Watson

Average Daily PM 2.5 By County in 2011

MOTD7_19_17_AvgPM252011Particulate Matter (PM) are small particles that contain microscopic solids and liquid droplets that are suspended in the air which can be inhaled and cause health effects. PM range in size, but particles less than 10 mm present the greatest threat. Some particles are emitted directly from a source such as, smokestacks, fires, construction sites, etc. and others are a result of complex atmospheric reactions [1].

Check out this map that shows the average daily PM 2.5 by county in 2011. From the graph we see a three distinct darkly shaded clusters indicating a high amount of daily exposure. The first cluster includes counties in Nevada and Utah. The second cluster includes counties within Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska. The third and most prominent includes counties within various southern states such as, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and North and South Carolina. In contrast, we can see states such as Oregon, Texas, California and Arizona are shaded yellow indicating a lower daily average.

By Julia Watson

 

Possible New Way to Predict Heart Attacks

Scientist at the University of Oxford have developed a new cardiac imaging method that detects inflamed fat cells as they are transforming into atherosclerotic plaque which clogs the arteries. Generally, a person finds out they have a cardiac blockage when it’s too late and the only option is some form of surgical treatment. In some cases a heart attack or a stroke might be their first symptoms. However, with this new development providers will be able to start patients on cardiac drugs earlier than they do now. Hence, reduce the chance of a person having a heart attack, stroke or needing surgical intervention.

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Check out the article here.

By Julia Watson

Percent of Excessive Drinking By County 2014

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Check out this map that shows the percentage of adults who reported binge or heavy drinking in 2014 by county. From the map we can see the majority of counties within Midwestern states and Alaska are shaded dark indicating adults reported a high percentage of excessive drinking. In contrast, southern states, such as Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, North and South Carolina have counties shaded yellow/orange indicating adults reported a low percent of excessive drinking.

Check out the map here.

By Julia Watson

Years of Potential Life Lost Rate (2011 to 2013)

Check out this map that shows the years of potential life lost rate from years 2011 to 2013. The years of potential life lost rate, also known as premature mortality rate, measures the frequency in which people are dying. From the map we can see a pronounced cluster of states darkly shaded (Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia) indicating a large proportion of counties within these states had a high rate of premature deaths. In other words people who lived within these counties were dying at an early age. In contrast we can see counties within states such as, Maine, Road Island, Vermont are lightly shaded yellow/orange, indicating people who lived within these counties were dying at an older age.

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For more information click here

By Julia Watson

Poor Sleep Could Increase Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

A study published in the journal Brain found that poor sleeping can increase levels of proteins, beta-amyloid and tau, involved in Alzheimer’s disease. The data suggested that in some participants when their slow wave sleep was disrupted on average their levels of beta amyloid increased by 10 %. Interestingly, the duration of sleep did not affect beta amyloid, but did increase the levels of tau. Thus, the study showed that poor quality sleep could lead to an increase of beta amyloid and tau causing the risk of plaque to build up in the brain and eventually increasing a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Check out the article here.

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By Julia Watson