The finding of liver test abnormalities during pregnancy creates significant anxiety in both the pregnant woman and the expectant father. This anxiety is made worse by the simple fact that liver disease in pregnancy is poorly understood by many medical practitioners. The good news is that most liver test abnormalities seen in pregnancy resolve on their own with no effect on either the mother or newborn child/children. The cause is usually unknown and tends not to recur with subsequent pregnancies. Despite this reassuring fact, a physician must evaluate liver test abnormalities found during pregnancy as significant liver disease can occur during this period. The most common cause of abnormal liver tests in pregnancy are not specific for pregnancy and are mostly due to viral infections or medication use. There are, however, several important conditions specific for pregnancy that need to be addressed.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is deeply appreciative that the Nassau County Executive and the Legislature have approved the legislation that requires certain chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards. The policy will directly empower consumers to make healthier choices for themselves and their families.
Fatty liver continues to be the most prevalent liver disease in America. While affecting more than 50 million Americans, most with this condition will have a benign course and will not develop significant liver disease. A small percentage, however, will develop inflammation and scarring in the liver in addition to just fat deposition. When these findings are present, they are indicative of more advanced liver disease and the condition is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH. NASH can lead to cirrhosis and its complications including liver cancer and in certain circumstances, a liver transplantation may be needed. As Americans grow larger and this condition increases in prevalence, we can expect to see significantly greater morbidity and mortality from this condition. Current estimates are that 2-4 percent of people with fatty liver will develop NASH. This means that one to two million Americans are at risk for developing cirrhosis and its complications from this condition.
Governor David Paterson proposes to close a growing multibillion dollar budget deficit by, in part, making deep cuts to human services including community-based children’s mental health services. On Oct. 27, I testified before the New York State Finance Committee on the deadly combination of cuts to children’s mental health and the New York State Office of Mental Health’s (OMH) plan to refinance outpatient clinics (also known as “clinic reform”). Following is a portion of my testimony.
As of this writing there has been a major change in the county legislature and the race for the county executive is still in doubt. We feel a key ingredient in these results is the public’s disenchantment with the privatization and misuse of the county park system. Are there other factors at work? Of course, but few issues strike with as much impact as open space, parks and preserves.
Two studies were released this past month that should give Long Islanders a reality check on how we are educating our children. One provides data on student achievement, the other a close-up of five Long Island school districts.
The close-up study, conducted for The Long Island Index by Columbia University’s Teachers College, examined one wealthy, almost all-white district; one poor, minority district; and three districts with greater diversity. What the researchers found was vast inequity in education systems: in terms of teachers, academic programs, student support, and more.
The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR) is spreading the word that the extended Bottle Bill begins Sunday, November 8, 2009. The extended bill was originally set to begin this Saturday, October 31, but New York officials are giving retailers a “grace period” to comply with the new requirement (according to Department of Environmental Conservation spokesperson Maureen Wren).
A few months ago, there was a news report about a man from upstate New York who was accused of practicing dentistry without a license. The report stated that he operated in his kitchen. In lieu of Novocain, he offered his patients wine to help them through the pain. The story brought back a flood of memories from my childhood. One was a traumatic episode that I re-live every time I sit in a dentist’s chair.
Housing on Long Island represents a microcosm of all the problems Long Island needs to address – from economic and social equity, smart growth, zoning challenges, and how to make fragmented government work better, inspire community action, and ensure that opportunity is more fairly distributed and readily accessible.
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