CDH plans annual holiday lighting benefit ceremony

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Compiled by Debra Scherban. Please send items to dscherban@gazettenet.com.

CDH plans annual holiday lightingbenefit ceremony

A holiday lighting ceremony will be held Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in the Healing Garden at Cooley Dickinson Hospital on Locust Street in Northampton. A reception will follow in the Kittredge Surgery Center waiting area with refreshments and music by the Horse Mountain Jazz Band.

Through a donation of $15 or more per individual, community members can designate a light in honor or memory of someone through the Friends of Cooley Dickinson’s annual Trees of Love & Thanksgiving.

Over the years holiday lights have illuminated the hospital grounds while providing funds for numerous health-care projects. This year the donations will support pediatric rehabilitation services, providing specialized equipment for children with developmental delays or who are recovering from injuries. In addition, funds again will provide infant car beds for the transport of underweight babies. This year’s fundraising goal is $15,000.

Over more than two decades, Trees of Love campaigns have raised more than $300,000, providing funding for pediatric rooms in the hospital’s emergency department, an infusion bay in the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson and 3D mammography.

Those wishing to donate can pick up a form at any hospital information desk or download one at https://www.cooleydickinson.org/volunteer/trees-of-love-thanksgiving/. Names of those being honored and remembered are posted in the corridor adjacent to the hospital’s main lobby.

Trees of Love & Thanksgiving is a project of the Friends of Cooley Dickinson and Pastoral Care.

UM study finds early menopausetied to low weight

A new study from epidemiologists at the University of Massachusetts reports that based on a study of nearly 80,000 women, underweight women are at greater risk of early menopause than other women. Early menopause is defined as naturally occurring menopause before age 45.

Lead author Kathleen Szegda, who did the work as a postdoctoral research associate with senior author Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson of the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, says that up to 10 percent of women experience early menopause. It is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and other health conditions such as cognitive decline, osteoporosis and premature death. Details appear in Human Reproduction, the monthly journal of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Underweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 kg/m2. BMI is calculated by dividing weight in pounds by height in inches squared, and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703. So a 150-pound person who is 5-feet, 5-inches tall has a BMI of 24.96. Using the formula to calculate for underweight, a person 5-feet, 5-inches tall would weigh 111 lbs.

The authors point out that their study, which takes advantage of data on BMI, weight distribution, weight change and timing of menopause collected from 78,759 premenopausal women between ages 25-42 who joined the Nurses’ Health Study II in 1989, is one of very few to follow women prospectively from as young as 25 to menopause.

The participants reported information from their teen years. They also provided information on their medical history and health-related behaviors such as smoking and exercise, which they updated every two years. The researchers followed them until 2011, when 2,804 women had reported early natural menopause.

Specifically, Szegda and Bertone-Johnson found that women who were underweight at any age had a 30 percent increased risk of early menopause compared with lean or normal weight women. Overweight women with BMIs between 25-29.9 kg/m2 had a 21 to 30 percent lower risk of early menopause.

Further, women who were underweight at age 18 had a 50 percent higher risk of early menopause. Women who had a BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m2 at the age of 35 had a 59 percent increased risk.