Anyone watching international competitions has noticed the sleek, hi-tech bodysuits now worn by competitive swimmers. Made of polyurethane and neoprene-like material, they are claimed to help the sportsman reach higher speeds; as a result, many new worlds records have been set. As swimming is a low-impact sport, injuries are relatively rare. But a team of sports medicine experts has found that as a direct result of the new swimsuits, a new kind of athletic injury has emerged. Extensive blistering and ulceration of the finger tips and "distal interphalangeal joints" (those between the second and third sections of bone that form the fingers and toes) have become common in swimmers wearing the hydrodynamic suits, as well as bruises to the lower limbs. Dr. Naama Constantini of Hadassah University Medical Center's orthopedics department and Hadassah Optimal in Jerusalem, and colleagues from the Aquatic Federation of Canada, British Swimming and Swim Canada urged team physicians working with elite swimmers to be aware of this phenomenon and initiate preventative measures. The study was just published in the British Medical Journal of Sports Medicine. The authors wrote that half to 80 percent of the athletes competing at a Rome swimming competition had sores on their fingers from pulling on the bodysuits, and more than half had bruises on their legs caused by the very process of putting on the suits, which takes half an hour or more. The bruises resulted from pulling the thin fabric over their limbs without tearing it, as the suits cost hundreds of dollars apiece. MELABEV HONORS JERUSALEM POST Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief David Horovitz has accepted on behalf of the newspaper the top award of the Friends of Melabev organization for promoting greater public awareness of the plight of Alzheimer's patients. Melabev, a non-profit leader in Alzheimer's care in the country, operates a network of day centers in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, plus home care programs that bring the activities of Melabev directly to the client and his or her family. Melabev also operates an assessment clinic at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center. KICK THE SALT HABIT Consuming less salt can mean fewer mourning families. Reducing your consumption of salt to five grams or less per day can bring down the risk of stroke by 23 percent, and that of cardiovascular disease by 17%. A meta-analysis by Prof. Pasquale Strazzullo of the University of Naples, and Prof. Francesco Cappuccio at the University of Warwick, UK of studies encompassing over 170,000 people has just been published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Based on these results, the authors estimate that reducing daily salt intake by this much could avert 1.25 million deaths from stroke and almost three million deaths from cardiovascular disease each year. The link between high salt intake and high blood pressure is well-established, and it has been suggested that a population-wide reduction in salt intake has the potential to substantially reduce the levels of cardiovascular disease. Now it is proven. The World Health Organization has recommended a daily salt-consumption level of about one teaspoon, yet dietary salt intake in most Western countries is about double that, and much higher in many Eastern European countries. One must take into consideration not only how much salt one adds to food, but the large amount of salt already in processed and canned foods. ISRAELI MINI-SLEEP LAB CITED An Israeli-developed "miniature sleep lab" worn on the wrist and one finger to diagnose and identify the source of sleep problems has been named one of the 10 best medical innovations for 2010 by the Cleveland Clinic, one of the best-known medical facilities in the world. The device, produced and marketed by the Itamar Medical Company, enables people with sleep problems to spend the night in their own beds rather than a sleep lab, and bring the data collected in for interpretation. The results are usually more accurate because people are used to sleeping in their own homes. The patented, self-contained device, called Watch-PAT 100, poses no risk to the patient. Operated with a single button, the device records and stores data on removable media.