health for your
SUDDEN INFANT Death
Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death—
usually during sleep—of a
child younger than 1 year
old. It is the leading cause
of death of children between
1 month and 1 year of age,
affecting about 2,300 infants
in the U.S. each year and
thousands more worldwide.
The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
reports that the overall rate
of SIDS in the U.S. has
declined by more than 50
percent since 1990, but rates
for non-Hispanic black and
Native infants remain disproportionately higher than for
the rest of the population.
Reducing the risk of SIDS
remains an important public
Reducing SIDS risk
The cause of SIDS is
unknown, but healthcare
providers agree on precautions that can help reduce
; Always place your
baby on its back to sleep—
the safest position.
; Place your baby on
a firm sleep surface, such
as a safety-approved crib
mattress covered with a
; Keep soft objects, toys
and loose bedding out of
your baby’s sleep area.
; Avoid letting your
baby overheat during sleep.
; Maintain a smoke-free
environment for the baby
after birth, and mothers
should not smoke during
For more information,
the National Institute of
Child Health & Human
Development is a good
resource. Go to
nih.gov and search “Sudden
Infant Death.”—David Wight
Maternal health/pregnancy outcome.
Obese women have an increased risk of gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders and
postoperative infections, and an increased
cesarean-section delivery rate.
© CARLOS S PEREYRA / AGE FOTOSTOCK
Fetal health. The fetus of an obese woman
has a higher risk of malformations (particularly
affecting the brain and spinal cord), prematurity,
excessive growth and stillbirth.
Child health. Children of obese mothers have
an increased risk of developing obesity, diabetes,
cardiac disease, hypertension, high cholesterol
and liver disease.
Given the wide array of potentially adverse
outcomes associated with obesity, some general
therapy guidelines should be noted. For women of
any age, the most effective way to lose weight is
to increase activity and decrease caloric
intake. Regular exercise and strength training—
30 minutes a day, three times a week—is
recommended. Healthy diets include six to eight
glasses of water a day, raw fruits and vegetables,
and avoidance of processed or fried foods.
Boost your metabolism with green tea or its
extract. Vitamins speci;c for a woman’s age are
important. If you are pregnant or contemplating
pregnancy, 1 milligram of folic acid daily is a must
to ensure the healthy development of the fetal
brain and spinal cord.
It is essential to have routine medical
evaluations that include screening for breast and
uterine cancer, diabetes and high cholesterol. For
pregnant women, early prenatal care, screening
for diabetes and sonographic evaluation for fetal
abnormalities and excessive growth are impera-
tive for an excellent outcome for both mother
and child. C
By Dr. Kecia Gaither
Costco member Kecia Gaither is the vice chairman
and director of maternal fetal medicine in the
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at
Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center
in Brooklyn, New York (http://brookdalehospital.
org), and has established a comprehensive program
addressing the effects of obesity in pregnancy.
Please take your meds!
JUST IN TIME for American
Pharmacists Month, the National
Consumers League is leading a
three-year campaign to raise
awareness and inspire dialogue
about the importance of taking
medication as prescribed as the
most important step toward better health outcomes.
Diabetes, respiratory disease
and cardiovascular disease are
the three chronic diseases that
this program—called Script Your
Future—is targeting. It provides
practical tools that help patients
and healthcare professionals bet-
ter communicate about ways to
improve medication adherence. One of the major themes of the program seems so obvious when you read it: “If you don’t ake your medicine as directed, you’re putting your future health at risk.” Consider these statistics: ■ Nearly 45 percent of people in the U.S. have one or more chronic conditions that require medication.
© MIPAN / AGE FOTOS TOCK
■ More than a third of all
admissions each year and nearly
125,000 deaths are linked to
■ This problem costs the
U.S. $290 million per year.
For more information, visit
OCTOBER 2012 ;e Costco Connection 73