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UMD Develops a DASH-Plus community-based hypertension management program for older adults

New USDA-NIFA funding brings together research, academics, and Extension to improve knowledge, access, and self-monitoring skills for hypertension management Credit: Edwin Remsberg, University of Maryland To address the significant health burden of hypert



New USDA-NIFA funding brings together research, academics, and Extension to improve knowledge, access, and self-monitoring skills for hypertension management

Credit: Edwin Remsberg, University of Maryland

To address the significant health burden of hypertension (characterized by consistently high blood pressure), the University of Maryland (UMD) was recently awarded a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) to develop, test, and deliver an integrated hypertension management program for older adults. The program takes the existing DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and tailors it to those aged 55 and older through a virtual education program (due to the pandemic) ongoing this summer, with an in-person program coming next summer. The DASH-Plus intervention developed by UMD faculty incorporates diet, simple chair exercises, access to fresh fruits and vegetables through the Imperfect Foods produce delivery service, and blood pressure self-monitoring. Working with dietetics students to develop and test recipes, this program brings together research, academics, and Extension to adapt and deliver strong hypertension management education to the older adults who need it most.

“Heart disease is the number one killer in our country, and high blood pressure is a primary risk factor,” says Hee-Jung Song, associate professor in Nutrition and Food Science and UMD Extension (UME) specialist leading this grant. “Hypertension is particularly prevalent among older adults, but many are unfamiliar with how to manage it. If blood pressure is not managed properly, it takes enormous resources and huge healthcare costs to deal with the complications. We hope this grant can help reduce that burden and improve quality of life for our aging population.”

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29% of U.S. adults suffer from hypertension. But this proportion increases substantially with increasing age, with 63% of adults aged 60 and over having hypertension. According to Song, it is estimated that by 2030, one in five people in the U.S. will be an older adult.

With this new grant, Song saw the opportunity to help this growing demographic, leveraging partnerships across research, academics, and UME. The DASH-Plus (featuring the DASH diet plus physical activity and self-management) hypertension education and management program being developed and tested consists of eight weeks of education, meeting once a week for one hour. The program starts with older-adult-appropriate chair exercises, followed by an educational module, and finishes with a DASH-friendly recipe video teaching proper food prep and safety.

“One of the very well studied approaches to manage hypertension is the DASH diet,” says Song. “DASH is not only for someone with hypertension, it is a healthy eating pattern for everyone along with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and a Mediterrean heart healthy diet. But in addition to DASH, we wanted to integrate the exercise program with older adult tailored exercise, and recipes that are easy to prepare and enjoy.”

To develop the DASH-Plus program and recipes presented, Song partnered with Margaret Udahogora, Dietetics Program director and lecturer in Nutrition and Food Science. “I worked in hospital and long-term care settings, and the DASH diet is something I applied one-on-one with older adults managing chronic diseases,” says Udahogora. “To see it being incorporated into a community approach is something I was very interested in and gave a unique experience to my students.”

As a part of Udahogora’s Food Service Operation course, her students developed and tested recipes, created full nutrition labels for them, and even produced educational videos as an example of what can be done for the program to show off the recipe and how it can help manage hypertension.

“This came at a great time for our dietetics students who couldn’t get work experience because of the pandemic,” explains Udahogora. “Students are learning about what changes in the body as you age, what you can eat and digest, and considering all the practical components of a recipe that their grandparents can make and will want to eat. This gave them a different perspective on what needs to be considered for an older population, and it allowed them to apply it from the individual to the community level.”

Song is working with Jinhee Kim and UME educators in Family and Consumer Sciences to test and disseminate the program throughout the state of Maryland. Because of the pandemic, the program will be initially tested virtually, and is ongoing this summer. The team will then use this information to adapt, improve, and deliver the program more broadly in-person next summer.

“UME educators are key players because they are actually implementing this program virtually, or in person later on,” emphasizes Song. “They have extensive experience and established partnerships with senior centers, churches, and departments of aging, so we were able to leverage those existing resources and community relationships. That’s why we are able to offer the program this summer.”

In addition to the educational components of the program, Song hopes to address access issues to fresh fruits and vegetables in older adults by working with Imperfect Foods, a subscription service that delivers “ugly” produce at discounted rates. Song found in her initial needs assessment that even if older adults were provided with coupons or discounts at local farmers markets, getting to the farmers market to use the voucher was still a major barrier to eating more fruits and vegetables.

Similarly, she is hoping to remove some barriers to blood pressure self-monitoring, an important part of managing hypertension. Participants in her program will be asked to take their blood pressure regularly and share the information with their healthcare providers. With this combination of education, access, and monitoring, Song and Udahogora hope to make a difference in the quality of life of older adults with a program that can be used across the country.

“Managing blood pressure is very important for quality of life in older adults, because so many things worsen with high blood pressure,” says Udahogora. “Fatigue, depression, kidney problems – you can remove some unnecessary suffering and prevent these issues from worsening. It is a silent killer, and it takes a toll on the person, the healthcare system, and their families when grandparents can no longer play with their grandkids. We want to prevent that as much as we can.”


The virtual DASH-Plus program launched this month and is open for registration! If you are interested in participating or learning more, please visit:

This work is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), Award # 2021-68015-33435.

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Top Stories This Week: Gold Manipulators Go to Court, Silver’s Industrial Side in Focus

Catch up and get informed with this week’s content highlights from Charlotte McLeod, our editorial director.
The post Top Stories This Week: Gold Manipulators Go to Court, Silver’s Industrial Side in Focus appeared first on Investing News Network.



The gold price held above US$1,800 per ounce this week, finishing the period around that level, which is down from last week’s July high point of around US$1,830. 

Marc Lichtenfeld of the Oxford Club is one market watcher who’s struggling to understand why gold isn’t doing better this year. We had the chance to speak this week, and he pointed to money printing, the impact of COVID-19 and inflation as factors that should be pushing gold to record highs.

So far in 2021 those elements have have failed to do the trick, and Marc said he sees a disconnect between the yellow metal’s traditional fundamentals and what’s happening in the market.


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“There just seems to be a disconnect between what are the traditional gold fundamentals and what’s happening out in the world … it’s really difficult to try to figure out what is happening with gold and why gold isn’t at record highs” — Marc Lichtenfeld, the Oxford Club

Of course, some would argue that price manipulation is the reason gold isn’t moving, and this week there was more news on that front. Chat logs were released in a spoofing trial for two former precious metals traders from the Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) Merrill Lynch unit, and they show one of the traders bragging about how easy it is to manipulate the price of gold. The trial isn’t over yet, but in its opening arguments that trader’s attorney said he stopped spoofing after he found out it was illegal.

Looking over to silver, I heard this week from Collin Plume of Noble Gold Investments, who thinks industrial demand will help push the white metal above the US$40 per ounce mark in the next 12 to 18 months. Silver has struggled to pass US$30 so far this year.

Solar panels are one of silver’s key uses, but it’s also found in other high-tech applications such as electronics and electric vehicles. Collin isn’t aware of any commodities that can replace silver in its end-use markets, and with demand “through the roof,” he expects to see shortages of silver by next year.

With silver in mind, we asked our Twitter followers this week if they think its industrial or precious side is driving the most demand right now. By the time the poll closed, about 70 percent of respondents said they think the precious angle is more important.


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We’ll be asking another question on Twitter next week, so make sure to follow us @INN_Resource or follow me @Charlotte_McL to share your thoughts.

We’re going to finish up with the cannabis space, where there was a major announcement last week.

A group of Democratic senators headed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced a draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which among other things would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. The long-awaited bill will need 60 votes to get through the Senate, and opinion is split on whether that will actually happen.

INN’s Bryan Mc Govern spoke with Dan Ahrens of AdvisorShares Investments, who thinks it has “no chance of passing,” but remains optimistic about prospects for American cannabis companies.

“No one should expect US (cannabis) legalization anytime soon. We should expect reforms; they’re not coming as fast as anyone would like to see, but everybody agrees we’re going to get some form of banking reform in the near future … we’ll see baby steps” — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares Investments

Why? In his opinion, these stocks remain undervalued compared to their Canadian counterparts, and are operating well even without federal cannabis approval. Any legalization progress would be a bonus.

Want more YouTube content? Check out our YouTube playlist At Home With INN, which features interviews with experts in the resource space. If there’s someone you’d like to see us interview, please send an email to

And don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates! 

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.


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The post Top Stories This Week: Gold Manipulators Go to Court, Silver’s Industrial Side in Focus appeared first on Investing News Network.

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Top 5 Rubber Stocks to Buy in 2021

Here are some of the best rubber stocks to buy right now. Increased demand and supply chain disruptions are putting pressure rubber prices.
The post Top 5 Rubber Stocks to Buy in 2021 appeared first on Investment U.



When it comes to investing, all the attention tends to go to healthcare, tech and increasingly renewable energy. But these aren’t the only stocks on the block, and some old mainstays can also add value to your portfolio. One of those old, reliable industries is rubber: it always has some level of demand, and that won’t likely change anytime soon. But recent economic conditions make rubber even more intriguing than usual. One of the biggest uses of rubber is car tires, and sharp economic recovery is likely to mean a sharp demand for new cars. Hence, we may also see a sharp increase in demand for rubber as many people head to the dealer to buy a new car. There’s more to it than just the auto industry, of course. CNBC reported that disruptions in the supply chain are also causing major disruptions. And we use rubber for many different essential items, including personal protective equipment and countless other items. With increased demand and supply chain disruptions, rubber stocks are poised for a rise. Here are some of the best rubber stocks to buy:
  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber (Nasdaq: GT)
  • Trinseo (NYSE: TSE)
  • Michelin (OTC: MGDDY)
  • Carlisle Companies (NYSE: CSL)
  • Protolabs (NYSE: PRLB)
If you’ve never invested in rubber stocks before, you might be wondering if they are a good investment. Let’s consider that question before looking at each stock more closely. And if you want to see how your investment portfolio might grow, check out our free investment calculator.

Is Rubber a Good Investment?

Rubber can certainly be a good investment because it is nearly ubiquitous; it is used in many different products, including tires, footwear, pharmaceuticals, textiles and many other products. As Zacks notes, rubber is among the most profitable industries when it comes to natural resources. But rubber isn’t exactly the most innovative product. Perhaps it was decades ago, but these days, it’s something most of us are just used to seeing. We don’t really demand rubber so much as the products that contain it. Hence, it’s only when demand for those products increases that the demand for rubber spikes. And as mentioned earlier, we are at a point right now where many people are looking to buy new cars, and rubber’s use in tires could cause a surge in demand. However, these things can be very cyclical. The Zacks page linked above highlights this very well. There, you can see the rubber tires industry has a YTD performance of 42.90% compared to 16.09% for IVV, an S&P 500 fund. But as good as that sounds, the 5-year performance for rubber tires is -33.71% compared to 112.67 for IVV. Given the downside risk, rubber is probably best used as part of a balanced portfolio containing more well-round assets, such as funds like IVV.

Rubber Stocks to Buy Now

If you want to “bounce” your returns upward with rubber stocks, here are some of the best rubber stocks to buy right now. Keep an eye on them as the situation with the auto industry progresses.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber

Goodyear Tire & Rubber is a tire manufacturer that makes tires for a variety of uses. Tires for automobiles are one of the biggest uses of Goodyear tires. However, they are also used on buses, trucks, aircraft, motorcycles, mining equipment, industrial equipment and farm equipment. In addition to the Goodyear name, it also has Dunlop and Kelly tires under its belt. Goodyear has been around since 1898 and was the first global tire manufacturer to enter the Chinese market. It produces a range of tires, rubber products and chemicals across the U.S. and Canada.


Trinseo is a global materials company that manufactures latex, plastics and synthetic rubber. Notably, it produces plastic for Lego. When it comes to rubber, Trinseo produces styrene-butadiene rubber (SSBR). This material is primarily used in high-performance tires. In addition to Legos, its plastic is used in automotive applications, LED lighting and medical devices. Trinseo is growing rapidly, with 17 manufacturing and 11 research facilities worldwide. In addition, it is already seeing healthy revenue increases as it continues to grow. Its website notes Trinseo is “dedicated to making a positive impact on society,” and it will support the “sustainability goals of our customers in a wide range of end-markets.”


Michelin is another name that is big in the tire manufacturing business, and the demand for new cars places it squarely on this list. In addition to the Michelin tire brand, the company also owns BFGoodrich and Uniroyal. BFGoodrich is a premium tire brand for sports cars, offroad vehicles and light trucks. Michelin is the largest tire manufacturer in the US and the second-largest in the world. It has 34 plans in two countries and had over $8 billion of sales in 2020. Its revenue has been increasing, as has its stock price. As the situation with the auto industry evolves, it will be interesting to see how Michelin fares.

Carlisle Companies

Founded in 1917 and based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Carlisle Companies is about more than just rubber. It is more of an umbrella under which there are a number of different operations. Its products and services include healthcare, commercial roofing, aerospace and electronics, lawn and garden, agriculture, energy, mining and construction equipment, and dining. Of course, there are many uses for rubber and plastic across these industries. In 2018, Carlisle Companies released a plan called Vision 2025 in which it detailed how it will continue to grow over the next 100 years.


Protolabs is an intriguing company. It produces low-volume 3D printed, CNC-machining, sheet metal fabrication and injection-molded custom parts. These parts are then used for short-run production and in prototypes. The company describes itself as the “world’s fastest digital manufacturing service.” It also provides rubber, metal and commercial plastics. Given its business model, it was able to produce several items during the coronavirus pandemic, including face shields, plastic clips and items used in test kits. They were in turn used in Minnesota hospitals, where the company is based.

More Investing Opportunities

The rubber stocks above might produce some big returns for investors. Although, there are many industries and stocks to choose from. So, here are some more investing opportunities and research… If you’re looking for expert analysis delivered straight to your inbox, consider signing up for Profit Trends. It’s a free e-letter that’s packed with investing tips and tricks. Whether you’re new or already an experienced investor, there’s something for everyone. The post Top 5 Rubber Stocks to Buy in 2021 appeared first on Investment U.

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Biden Says New Cuba Sanctions Are “Just The Beginning” 

Biden Says New Cuba Sanctions Are "Just The Beginning" 

President Biden says the newly announced sanctions against Cuba are "just the beginning" after rare widespread protests took over multiple cities on the communist-run island starting…



Biden Says New Cuba Sanctions Are "Just The Beginning" 

President Biden says the newly announced sanctions against Cuba are "just the beginning" after rare widespread protests took over multiple cities on the communist-run island starting earlier in July. In the Thursday fresh sanctions announcement Biden condemned "the mass detentions and sham trials that are unjustly sentencing to prison those who dared to speak out in an effort to intimidate and threaten the Cuban people into silence," according to a White House statement

Specifically these latest sanctions target the defense minister and the National Special Brigade of Cuba’s Interior Ministry (on top of broader decades-long US sanctions against the government and economy).

Cuban Americans at a protest in Miami, via AP

Biden said these two officials in particular are spearheading the crackdown on Cuban protesters. He suggested there's much more to come.

"This is just the beginning — the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people," Biden said.

The administration further said it's working to "restore internet access" in Cuba after widespread shutdowns were reported over this month as Cuban security forces struggle to gain control of the demonstrations, largely driven by an economy in tatters, food and fuel shortages, and severe mismanagement of the pandemic crisis. 

Currently, the US even prohibits remittances, barring Cuban-Americans from sending money to their families, with last year Western Union also shutting down all money-sending services to Cuba after the Trump administration re-imposed sanctions. 

The Biden White House since he took office has vowed to "review" Trump era policies, but so far has kept them in place and now even appears to be ramping up the pressure once again. He again hinted this week that there could be a policy change toward "easing" restrictions. 

Cuba has for its part alleged a foreign hand behind the recent protests, especially following the so-called "Cuban Twitter" initiative of the past decade, which was long ago exposed as part of Washington's covert efforts to stir unrest on the island. 

Tyler Durden Fri, 07/23/2021 - 20:40

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