The Norman Transcript

Headlines

July 12, 2013

Heart disease and prescription drug abuse are leading causes of death in Oklahoma

NORMAN — Heart disease and prescription drug abuse are growing causes of death in the U.S. and especially in Oklahoma, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a lecture Thursday in Oklahoma City.

CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden came to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center on Thursday to discuss what the center’s data has shown about improving public health and health care.

The No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. by far right now is cardiovascular illnesses such as heart disease and strokes, Frieden said.

“We’re living in a huge increase in cardiovascular diseases,” he said.

Some measures that communities and individuals can take to decrease cardiovascular diseases are controlling tobacco use, reducing sodium intake and eliminating trans fat, he said.

Tobacco usage rates for individuals 18 and over in the U.S. are lower than they have ever before been documented, he said. But communities need to continue inhibiting smoking.

In response to a question from an audience member, Frieden said he does not know whether the increasingly popular e-cigarettes have helped prevent tobacco use. The effect of e-cigarettes is still a mystery to the CDC — they’ve been difficult to study since there is such a wide variety of products put into them.

One quickly growing cause of death in Oklahoma right now is prescription drug overdose, specifically opiates, he said. More deaths in the U.S. are caused by overdosing on opiates than heroine, meth or motor vehicle accidents.

“We’re just beginning to understand how dangerous these drugs are,” he said.

The CDC is investigating treatments that won’t involve prescribing patients these drugs, he said.

“It is the job of us who work in health to bring those things to light that will improve public health,” Frieden said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Body 1 Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • County moves forward on nursing home bonds

    Cleveland County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution authoring a county trust to issue up to $15 million for a nursing home on the site of the former Whispering Pines nursing home at 501 E. Robinson St....

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal to improve health care costs $17B

    WASHINGTON — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Little Axe Health Center hosting blood drive

    Norman-area blood donors this summer will not only save lives when they donate with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), they’ll also get “Feel Cool” T-shirts and two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo....

    July 29, 2014