College Health for Black History Month – Diabetes

Continuing our Black History Month theme of conditions disproportionately affecting African Americans, let’s talk about one of the biggest epidemics in modern medicine: Type 2 Diabetes.

African Americans are almost twice as likely as Caucasian Americans to develop diabetes in their lifetimes (11.8% vs. 6.6%) and much more likely to be obese (36.1% overall, with 42.1% of African American women being categorized as obese). We’re not entirely sure why this is; most likely it is a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors.

Diabetes isn’t just about high blood sugar levels; it comes with many long term complications. People with Type 2 Diabetes are much more likely to suffer heart attacks, vision loss, kidney failure, and strokes. And as if that wasn’t enough, diabetics are also more likely to experience impotence and foot complications that can lead to amputation!

One of the key strategies in fighting Diabetes is prevention. There are a few simple steps you can take to prevent diabetes:

  • If you are overweight, losing 5-7% of your body weight can ward off the development of diabetes – that’s only 10-14lbs for a 200lb person!
  • Squeeze in at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week – you’re already paying for RPAC membership, might as well use it!
  • Replace high fat, high sugar foods with healthier options – it’s easier than you may think.

For more information on Diabetes prevention, please check out this great program developed by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

If you have already been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, you can help prevent complications with good blood sugar control. Regular visits to your doctor are essential to staying in control of this disease.

If you are overweight or have a family history of Diabetes, please see one of our providers at Student Health Services to talk about Diabetes screening.  You can also get some more useful information here.

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

College Health for Black History Month – Sickle Cell

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In recognition of Black History Month, Student Health Services will be dedicating some of our February blog posts to conditions that disproportionately affect people of African descent.

One of the most well known diseases to affect primarily African Americans is sickle cell anemia, an autosomal recessive condition that occurs when a person inherits two copies of the sickle cell gene from their parents.  Unfortunately, people with sickle cell anemia are usually made painfully aware of this condition in childhood.

Sickle cell anemia occurs in roughly 1 in 500 African Americans but sickle cell trait, in which a person inherits just one copy of the sickle cell gene, occurs in about 1 in 12 African Americans! People with sickle cell trait only have painful sickle cell symptoms under extreme conditions such as:

  • At high altitues (ie. flying, mountain climbing)
  • In low oxygen environments (mountain climbing, military or sports training)
  • Dehydration (especially during sports training)

Because several college football players died during training from complications of this condition,  the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recommends that college athletes be tested for sickle cell trait.  While it disproportionately affects people of African descent, it can also occur in people of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian, Caribbean and Central/South American descent (and even rarely Caucasians). People born after 1993 were likely screened at birth for this gene, so if you are a person of African descent born before 1993 and are considering playing college sports, please be sure to discuss testing with your health care provider!

On a somewhat positive note, students suffering from sickle cell anemia may be eligible for special college scholarships, click here for more information.

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University


Cool Programs and Awesome Give-Aways for Sexual Violence Awareness Week!

In recognition of Sexual Violence Awareness Week, there will be a bunch of cool programs on campus this week to promote safety and support for students.  There will be tons of free give-aways, food, music, movies and more, so bring your friends and have a great time while you learn how to keep each other safe!

Here is the schedule for the week.  For updated information visit the Student Wellness Center website, email or call 292-4527.


Kick Off Festival:  Music!  Food!  Prizes!     12noon – 3pm   Ohio Union Lawn

Music, tie-dyeing and other fun events will be held to help raise awareness among students about the issue of sexual violence and week of scheduled events.

When Love Turns to Fear  7-9pm   Ohio Union Ballroom, 2nd Floor

Author Lundy Bancroft will discuss intimate partner abuse, and answer questions such as: What does it look like?  What can you do? This presentation will be helpful to students who have experienced intimate partner abuse or know others who have.  Bancroft will offer information concerning:

  1. The early warning signs of an abusive relationship
  2. Different styles of abusers, how they differ, how they are similar
  3. How to tell if an abuser can change, is changing, or ever will
  4. The role of drugs and alcohol in an abusive relationship
  5. What can be fixed, and what can’t
  6. How to leave a relationship safely: Resources on Campus
  7. Specific safety challenges for intimate partner abuse among college students 


T-shirt making for Clothesline Project  9am-5pm  Student Wellness Center, RPAC

Create a t-shirt design reflecting an experience of sexual violence, healing and recovery. These t-shirts become part of the OSU “Clothesline Project”: a visual awareness-raising display. 

T-shirts and supplies are furnished, or you can bring your own t-shirt.  T-shirts will be displayed on the Oval on Wednesday, 4/21/2010.  The OSU Clothesline Project is displayed every year at the Annual Take Back The Night March and Rally, and at other events.

Options Following Sexual Violence:   Civil, Criminal and Student Judicial Affairs   12:30-1:30pm  Sphinx Suite, Room 2150, Ohio Union 2nd Floor   

Options following an incident of sexual violence (i.e. sexual assault, intimate partner abuse and stalking) will be discussed during this panel presentation.   Representatives from the Capital University Law School’s Family Advocacy Clinic, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office Abuse Unit, and OSU Student Judicial Affairs will offer information and answer questions.  Specifically, the criminal justice process, stalking order process and Student Judicial process will be discussed.  This presentation is designed to answer questions for attendees, as well as to provide an overview of the related processes.

Stalking 101   2:30-3:30pm  Dave Griner Room, RPAC

Learn how to identify and respond to stalking behavior.  An officer from the OSU Division of Police and the long-term advocate at the Student Wellness Center will present on what stalking may look like for college students, options for addressing the unwanted behavior and safety planning.  This workshop would be especially helpful for any student who is wondering if they, or someone they know, is experiencing stalking.

White Ribbon Campaign:  Men Working to End Violence  10am to 2pm   Oval, RPAC pavilion

The white ribbon campaign is an international awareness effort to demonstrate men’s commitment to ending sexual violence.  Men will be passing out white ribbons and providing information about sexual violence.   This event is designed to help men become involved and raise awareness about how sexual violence is not just a “woman’s issue” it’s an issue for everyone.

Tough GuiseMen and Masculinity   7-9:30pm   RPAC Meeting Room #2

A video and presentation will be shown to encourage discussion of masculinity and hyper-masculinity, and how they intersect with sexual violence.    


Clothesline Project on the Oval   12noon – 3pm

T-shirts made by OSU survivors and co-survivors will be displayed on the Oval.   Peer crisis intervention support will be provided in case someone needs to talk about their reaction to the t-shirt display.   

Consent Workshops  4:30-5:30pm   Sphinx Suite, Room 2150, Ohio Union, 2nd Floor

What is consent and how do I get some?

Members of the student groups, Women and Allies Rising in Resistance and Student Support for Survivors, will lead a discussion about consent to sex, and the factors that affect our ability to give and receive consent to sex. 


Sex in the Media  11:30am-12:30pm Barbie Tootle Room, Room 3156, Ohio Union, 3rd  Floor   

Nicole Nieto from the Multicultural Center will offer information and lead a discussion of how sexuality is portrayed in the media and how this portrayl may impact sexual violence.

Root Beer Pong  1-4pm  Oval

Students will have fun while learning about the connections between alcohol consumption and sexual violence.

Crossing Intimate Partner Lines:  People of Color and Intimate Partner Violence  2-3pm  Multicultural Center Lantern Room, Ohio Union, First Floor

Inter-cultural specialists from the Multicultural Center will lead a discussion about the occurance of intimate partner violence in communities of color. 

Violence in Same Sex Relationships  2:30-3:30pm  Dave Griner Room, RPAC

Violence can happen in all kinds of relationships.  Gary Heath from the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) will offer information about violence in same sex relationships. 

Healing Event for Survivors and Co-survivors   6:30-7:30pm  Dave Griner Room, RPAC

Activities are planned to help participants express their feelings surrounding sexual violence.  Survivors and Co-Survivors of Sexual Violence are invited to attend this healing experience.

Candlelight Vigil   8:30-9:30pm   RPAC Pavilion

The candlelight vigil will follow the healing event for survivors and co-survivors.  However, it is open to anyone who wants to participate in a symbolic act to show our unity.  Sexual violence affects everyone and, at the Ohio State University, we have pledged and proclaimed our desire to end sexual violence.  This event will help recognize our shared goal and provide an opportunity for reflection on the week of events.


Free showing of “Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire”   7-9pm   Hagerty Hall 180

This movie depicts a survivor’s story and if you’ve wanted to see it, this can be one way to watch it in good company. Students are encouraged to come and bring a friend.  Advocates will be available, if participants need to talk.


Spring 2010 Power Puff Championship Game  3:30pm (after the Buckeye Spring Game) on turf field behind RPAC.    Playoff games on 4/13 and 4/23.