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On ‘Sound Medicine’: Eating disorders in older women, and the Women’s Health Initiative


“Sound Medicine” covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It’s also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

How prevalent are eating disorders among older women? While most people associate eating disorders with young women, a new demographic has emerged as a prime age for developing an eating disorder. In a recent study, 13 percent of women older than 50 were identified as having some kind of eating disorder. Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., director of the eating disorders program at the University of North Carolina, discusses the ramifications of eating disorders for older women and the previously held assumption that older women have made peace with the state of their bodies.

What impact does fast food consumption have on the development of diabetes? Andrew O. Odegaard, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, studied people from Singapore who consumed Western-style fast food at least twice a week. He found that their odds of developing diabetes increased by 27 percent and their risk of developing cardiovascular disease increase by 56 percent. Odegaard shares the results and significance of his study, the first to compare the impact American fast food has on another culture.

What has changed since the Women’s Health Initiative findings 10 years ago? In the summer of 2002, researchers terminated a long-term trial of hormone therapy in menopausal women, prompted by the discovery that taking hormones put women at a higher risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. This finding has had a significant impact on the way American women manage their menopausal symptoms. Cynthia Stuenkel, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at University of California, San Diego, and the former president of North American Menopause Society, shares hormone replacement therapy discoveries from the past 10 years and the benefits hormones provide during the menopausal period.

How do long periods of sitting affect your longevity? A new study has found that sitting for more than three hours a day can shave years off your life span. Peter Katzmarzyk, Ph.D., lead researcher on this study and a professor of population science at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, discusses how something as harmless as sitting can have such detrimental effects, and how realistic it is for working Americans to start spending more time on their feet.

How does a patient’s motivation towards their health care facilitate health outcomes? In a New York Times column, Pauline Chen, M.D., examines how patient engagement with their health care affects their health. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, M.D., resident women’s health expert for “Sound Medicine,” discusses the increased incidence of patients uninterested in engaging in their health care and issues related to patients’ non-compliance with medication regimens. Rohr-Kirchgraber regularly sees patients at Wishard Hospital and is the director of the IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

“Sound Medicine,” co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is aired on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

“Sound Medicine” is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: WLRH (Huntsville, Ala.), KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.) and KEOS (College Station, Texas).