Monday, May 31, 2010

Next generation in patient empowerment

Canadian Diabetes Association supports TELUS Health Solutions to offer first of its kind online consumer ehealth service in Canada

VANCOUVER, May 31, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Access to relevant health information is crucial when it comes to successful diabetes management. The Canadian Diabetes Association is pleased to support TELUS Health Solutions' launch of TELUS health space - an innovative new online consumer health service for Canadians and their healthcare providers.

TELUS health space, powered by Microsoft HealthVault, will allow consumers to manage their personal and family health information through a secure online platform. Consumers will be able to access a wide range of value-added applications such as personal health records, tools for chronic disease management, resources for pediatric care including fitness and wellness solutions.

The Canadian Diabetes Association's HealthProgram on TELUS health space will include interactive educational tools and information to assist people living with diabetes in developing a systematic approach to self-management. The user's caregivers and healthcare team will have the ability to monitor their progress and results through TELUS health space and provide reminders and recommendations. The educational tools for people living with diabetes will focus on cardiovascular risk assessment and reduction and will help to optimize diabetes care while preparing users for upcoming diabetes-focused visits with their healthcare provider. These educational tools on TELUS health space are modelled from the Canadian Diabetes Association 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada. The Canadian Diabetes Association's HealthProgram will act as an interactive "health coach" for users providing information and support anywhere and at anytime as required.

"With more than three million Canadians living with diabetes and a further six million Canadians living with prediabetes, TELUS health space will empower individuals to take control of their personal and family health. Through multiple online and mobile tools and applications, individuals will be able to make informed decisions to improve health outcomes," said Anna Kennedy, Interim President & CEO, Canadian Diabetes Association. "We are pleased to endorse this initiative and see tremendous value in Canadians being able to access, store, connect, analyze and share health information to achieve goals and maintain good health."

Visit for more information.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association

Across the country, the Canadian Diabetes Association is leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. We are supported in our efforts by a community-based network of volunteers, employees, healthcare professionals, researchers and partners. By providing education and services, advocating on behalf of people with diabetes, supporting research and translating research into practical applications - we are delivering on our mission. Visit for more

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Big City Mayors Support Expansion of CPP

CAW's Lewenza Urges Wide Support for Pension Expansion

TORONTO, May 28, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - A group of 22 mayors from Canada's biggest cities are calling for expansion of the Canada Pension Plan, a federal system of pension insurance, and for the federal government to hold a national summit on pension issues.

The Big City Mayors Caucus approved yesterday in Toronto a multi-point resolution on pension reform that they are urging the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to support. CAW President Ken Lewenza commended Toronto Mayor David Miller for leading the charge on the pension resolution.

The resolution highlights the hardship that the economic downturn in Canada is having on workers and their retirement security. It stresses the increased number of employer bankruptcies which have resulted in under-funded pension plans and the loss of pension benefits.

"This is an important and positive signal from the elected leadership of our largest cities," said Lewenza.

The CAW and others in the labour movement have been campaigning and lobbying municipal officers to support an expansion of CPP and ensure greater retirement security for workers and their families.

"By supporting this resolution, the elected leadership from all municipalities will encourage the provincial and federal levels of government to act to ensure all Canadians enjoy adequate and secure pension income in future," Lewenza said.

The resolution indicates only one in four private sector workers in Canada belong to an employer pension plan, while the remainder must rely more heavily on personal savings to provide for their retirement. While CPP and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is safe, it falls well short of replacing the 50 to 70 per cent of pre-retirement income needed to maintain a decent standard of living.

The Big City Mayors call on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to support expansion of the Canada's public pension system by increasing the GIS by 15 per cent so no senior lives in poverty and by protecting Canadian pensions through a federal system of pension insurance.

They also call on the FCM to urge the federal government to hold a national pension summit and to support the expansion of the CPP.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Canadian Black Book Launches Web Site for Consumers

TORONTO, May 27, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canadian Black Book, the recognized institution for vehicle values for almost 50 years, announced today it has launched a web site for consumers that includes access to its popular "Trade-in Value" estimator along with some new tools and advice.

Car buyers and tire kickers can now visit to learn the trade-in value, average asking price and future value of virtually every car and truck manufactured since 1997.

"It's an all new web site designed to bring qualified consumers together with dealers," says Kathy Ward, President and CEO of the Canadian Black Book.

The data drawn from a variety of real-time transactional sources provides the public with the most accurate values available.

The web site will also serve up classified ads for cars and trucks from dealer inventory, plus feature articles and automotive reviews by its own industry analysts and guest experts.

Top automotive industry analyst, Dennis DesRosiers, says,

"The new Canadian Black Book web site and the tools it offers is welcome news to consumers who often don't know where to turn for authoritative pricing for a trade-in, a new or used car purchase or a leased vehicle. Building on its roots as the "Industry Bible" and an unbiased provider of car and truck values based upon its proprietary transactional data, this is the natural evolution of Canadian Black Book."

The new site gets top marks for its ease of use and depth. Consumers simply select their model, year, and then further fine tune the match by choosing options and trim packages. The engine that calculates the vehicle's value takes into account the actual kilometres, and similar vehicles for sale in the consumer's vicinity, then provides a low, medium and high value range in seconds.

"Dealers advertising their cars and trucks with this degree of transparency are making a clear statement about their ethics," adds DesRosiers. "The site's ability to generate a future value for literally every vehicle available in Canada also provides an invaluable tool in determining the total cost of ownership."

"This is something consumers have been asking for, for quite some time," adds Ward. "We've created an excellent online resource to help consumers get answers and make smart vehicle purchasing decisions."

"The auto industry has been our business for 50 years. We can bring a balanced point of view to the consumer. With so many online classified sites and web resources out there, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and confused when it comes to car buying and value. It also serves dealers by delivering informed buyers to their showrooms."

Ward has worked at Canadian Black Book since her early teens and has become a prominent expert in the automotive valuing process. After assuming control of the firm from her father in 1996, she has grown the company into the go-to industry source for car values. Most widely known for its printed reference guides consulted by dealers, the Canadian Black Book continues to offer data solutions specifically for dealers but is now ready to turn its expertise toward helping the consumer better understand the industry.

"This is a bold example of how the Internet can be harnessed to the benefit of both buyers and sellers," says Larry Shred, executive vice president Canadian Black Book. "Our new web site will fulfill the unique role as a community that brings together consumers and dealers in a transparent environment, with education and accurate values at its core. In the past you had owners thinking their trade-ins were worth way more than they were, and dealers who had the advantage of current market data."

The Canadian Black Book is a privately owned Canadian company founded in 1960.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Vitamin D - it's the essential "sunshine vitamin" everyone needs. But are you getting enough?

TORONTO, May 21, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin - we make it when our skin is exposed to UV rays. In a perfect world everyone would eat fresh, organic foods, get outside, and enjoy a little sunshine all year round. But with today's busy lifestyles and concerns about skin cancer many people are vitamin D deficient and don't know it. Concern for vitamin D deficiency is not confined to northern climates, but is becoming more frequent in hot climates where people stay out of the sun.

Dark-skinned individuals may need much higher exposure to sunlight - six to ten times as much - than white-skinned people to produce the same amount of the vitamin D. Therefore people with dark skin can be particularly at risk of health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency.

What are the signs of vitamin D deficiency?

Often you may not be able to tell if you're lacking vitamin D. But the most common signs of deficiency include a loss of muscle strength, pain and weakness, especially in the elderly. You may have difficulty going up and down stairs, difficulty walking, back, hip or leg pain, or difficulty getting up out of a chair. Another common finding is a pronounced body sway.

What if we don't get enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D has important benefits for your entire body. It's needed for growth and formation of bones and teeth, maintaining muscle strength, and for the absorption of important bone-building minerals like calcium and phosphorus. It is critically important in pregnancy, protecting the health of the mother and baby.

New studies show Vitamin D has a much wider role in controlling blood pressure, cholesterol levels, supporting the immune system, maintaining a healthy brain, and supporting cell growth in every tissue of the body. It may aid in the prevention of some cancers including breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer as well as preventing health problems including diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. Many cases of fibromyalgia may actually be misdiagnosed vitamin D deficiency.

If there is a severe deficiency of vitamin D, children can develop rickets, adults can develop osteomalacia or a softening of the bones.

What can I do?

Few foods naturally contain Vitamin D. Milk, margarine and cereals are often enriched, but the amount doesn't meet the daily recommended intake. For example, you would have to drink 10 glasses of milk a day to receive the 1,000 IU recommended for winter consumption by the Canadian Cancer Society or 20 glasses a day to get the 2,000 IU recommended for pregnant women by the Canadian Paediatric Society. But it is easy and inexpensive to supplement with vitamin D.

Your doctor can test your vitamin D levels with a reliable blood test - ask to make it part of your annual physical. Talk to your doctor about your blood test results and about your daily sun exposure (in Toronto, on a sunny summer day in a swimsuit, your body can produce 10,000 units of vitamin D in just 15 minutes) to determine a safe level for you and monitor it at regular check-ups.

What kind of vitamin D should I take?

Vitamin D is available at virtually every health food store and pharmacy. It comes in two forms - vitamin D3 which is identical to the natural vitamin D you create in your skin, and a synthetic form called vitamin D2. Simply read the back label. The best form to take is D3 as it has been shown to be more potent than D2.

Can I take too much vitamin D?

The answer is yes. Taking excessive amounts of vitamin D can elevate calcium levels in your blood. It's a rare but serious condition that can lead to nausea, vomiting, even death. People with kidney disease, or primary hyperparathyroidism should not take vitamin D without consulting their doctor.

Today the upper limit of safety set by the European Union is 4,000 IU per day. In North America it is 2,000 IU per day. This upper limit is currently questioned by scientists as perhaps being too low. With lots of research in progress, these limits are now under review.

Information in this article should be considered as general information only and should not be used to diagnose or treat any health condition. See your health care provider who can determine which diet, supplement, exercise or lifestyle changes are right for you, particularly if you are on medication or have an existing health condition.

For further information: Holistic Health Research Foundation of Canada, (416) 778-4443 or website at

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happiness begins at 50 claims new research

The good life begins at fifty claims a new report which found that this was the start of the happiest time of our lives.

from The Telegraph
By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 18 May 2010

Stress, anger and worry fade after the landmark birthday when we begin experiencing greater daily joy than younger adults, it is claimed.

Despite increased risk of death and disease, it seems that people worry less and that they ignore the negatives and accentuate the positives.

Dr Arthur Stone, a psychologist of Stony Brook University, New York, said the findings were "striking".

"You would think as chronic illness threatens life would get worse but that is not the case because people don't focus on the threats," he said.

"They focus on the good things in life like family and friends."

A survey of more than 340,000 people published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found overall feelings of wellbeing improve as we pass middle age.

The researchers found positive and negative emotions varied with age similarly in both sexes – although women reported greater stress, worry and sadness at all ages.

Stress and anger reduced after people reached their early 20s with worry declining after the age of more story at The Telegraph

Friday, May 14, 2010

What You Need to Know About Aging Baby Boomers

Article Source: Joven Villanueva

Baby Boomers are group of people who experienced the similar events within similar period of time. They were born in North America during the 20th Century nine months after the World War II and make them as the biggest demographic group in history. Children who were born between the years 1946-1964 are considered as Baby Boomers. They are identified with their favorite toys and friends, grew up with televisions and have a desire to stay young forever. Baby boomers showed as a generation of hopefulness, adventure and success. They are also considered as the most healthiest and wealthiest among the generations.

At present, many of this adult will turn 64 years old. At this age, they still want to go at work without filing their retirement or without saying "I am too tired to work" because they think they can work more just like the old times. They think that working beyond 65 years old can make them stay active, alive and of course, can make them feel and remain young for the rest of their lives in which the opposite side of what the aged baby boomers should feel.

It is clear that the generation of this adults is unsatisfied of simply sit back and ease into old age. They are staying physically active, involved in community relationships, being confident in their daily tasks, seek collaborative group discussion making and mainly focused on physical condition and nourishments.

These adults s will experience constant diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, obesity, heart disease, disability and many more. At this age, they have larger proportion of being hospitalized. But more aging baby boomers focus on nutrition diet since they find out the advantage of taking nutritional supplements and they are aware of the impact of diet in their health. They are using medical advances tools and enhanced knowledge on nutrition and exercise to fight this all kind of disease and illness which cause of their aging.

Care to know more about Aging Baby Boomers? Visit this site for more information

Kug is a Travel Mug and Tea Kettle In One

by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California

A couple designers figured they'd take two consumer favorites - coffee mugs and kettles - and combine them. Behold, the Kug, a mug that will boil your tea like a kettle. The design was inspired by arthritis sufferers who find it difficult lifting a kettle heavy with water, but it also could potentially serve a greener purpose by cutting down on the number of things a person owns. On the flip side, unless it's build extraordinarily durable, it could mean just another piece of e-waste. Click through to check out a video tour of the Kug and weigh in on whether you think the design is a hit or a miss.

It's a bit of a stretch (ok, more than a bit), but we might also say that this could lower our water footprint in a very tiny way. How often do you throw out a not insignificant portion of your beverage because it's gotten too cold. You could reheat your drink right in the Kug without needing to be anywhere near a microwave. I for one don't have a microwave and am guilty of always tossing tea into my houseplants because it got cold long before I had a chance to finish more story at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Help save Canadians' lives this summer

TORONTO, May 13, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - North American Safe Boating Awareness Week will take place across Canada from May 22nd to May 28th, 2010. The purpose of this initiative is to promote safe boating practices to the estimated 16 million recreational boaters in Canada.

To help increase awareness of Safe Boating Awareness Week, on May 20, 2010 at 11 AM EDT, boating safety educators, marine enforcement officials, politicians, media and the general public will gather to establish a World's Record Inflatable Life Jacket Inflation. At one single moment across North America, all participants will inflate their inflatable life jackets and record their individual events to prove the size of the initiative and set the bench mark for future year attempts. The purpose of this event is to raise public awareness of the new styles of lifejackets, both inflatable and inherently buoyant, and about general boating safety practices. Two of the biggest events will take place at Yonge/Dundas Square in Toronto and the Art Gallery in Vancouver, but check "Join an Event" for the location closest to you.

This year we have five key messages for boating safety:

- the importance of wearing a life jacket and the options that are available with comfort and style

- the dangers associated with drinking and boating

- the importance of taking a safe boating course

- ensuring that your vessel is safe and seaworthy

- the risks associated with a fall into cold water

This initiative is promoted by the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), a registered charity, and its members and partners from all areas of the marine community including boat and marine product manufacturers, boating education organizations, water safety and marine law enforcement sectors, Canada's resource for boating information, Transport Canada Office of Boating Safety and the BC Marine Trades Association. The goal is to ensure that the millions of Canadians who head out on the waters in canoes and kayaks, sailboards and sailboats, fishing boats, personal watercraft, power boats and cruisers are equipped with the knowledge for a safe day on the water.

Please visit, and for further information.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What Causes Hair Loss?

Many things, from genetics to an underlying health problem, can trigger hair loss in men. Learn about possible hair loss causes so you can take action against thinning hair.

By Diana Rodriguez

If you are experiencing hair loss, you may assume that your genes are the cause and that nothing can be done. But many factors can cause too much hair to fall out, including some you might find surprising — all those cheeseburgers and fries, that blood pressure medication your doctor prescribed, or the surgery you had a few months ago.

While some types of hair loss are permanent, others are temporary, and once the cause of the hair loss is treated or removed, hair will grow back.

Genetics and Male Pattern Baldness

For many men, hair loss is genetic. This type of hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia, or as it’s commonly known, male pattern baldness. This can start as early as puberty.

"By the age of 25, 25 percent of all men will be affected by male pattern hair loss. By age 40, this figure increases to approximately 50 percent," says Paul J. McAndrews, MD, clinical professor in the department of dermatology at the University of Southern California School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

"Androgenetic alopecia, the most prevalent type of hair loss for which patients seek professional treatment today, is a condition of aging that everyone experiences to some extent," says Dr. McAndrews.

A patient’s genetics will determine the severity and extent of hair loss. And don't just blame Dad — male pattern baldness can be inherited from Mom, too.

If your hair loss is genetic, talk to your doctor about treatment options. Prompt treatment can often help prevent more hair loss and sometimes can stimulate new growth. more at

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Concord, Massachusetts to be First U.S. Town to Ban Bottled Water

by Jerry James Stone, San Francisco, CA

Last week residents of Concord, Massachusetts voted to ban the sale of all bottled water by next January, making it the first U.S. town to take such action.

The effort was lead by Jean Hill, an 82-year old activist, who lobbied neighbours and officials alike on the consequences of plastic bottles filling landfills and polluting local waters.

"All these discarded bottles are damaging our planet, causing clumps of garbage in the oceans that hurt fish, and are creating more pollution on our streets,'' says Hill. "This is a great achievement to be the first in the country to do this. This is about addressing an injustice.''

Of course, the $10 billion industry is less than thrilled with the news and has even threatened a legal challenge. They argue that singling out bottled water is unfair when "thousands of food, medicinal, beauty and cleaning products packaged in plastic." But this isn't the first time bottled water has been targeted.

More than 100 towns across the United States already prohibit spending city dollars on the product... Read the full story on