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The Postal Service Loves Your Heart

heart stamp,jpg

The fiscal health of the U.S. Postal Service hasn't been so great lately, but that hasn't stopped them from worrying about the  heart health of the rest of us.

In honor of February being American Heart Month -- and the month for that other heart-related holiday, Valentine's Day -- the postal service is releasing two new stamps celebrating the heart. One reminds us to keep our heart healthy. The other offers a cheery heartfelt tribute to love.

Both are "Forever" stamps, meaning they are always equal in value to the current first-class mail one-ounce rate.

The Heart Health stamp, left, available now, was designed to raise public awareness about the importance of eating right, exercising and managing stress to help prevent heart disease.

And just in case you need a little extra push, on the back of each sheet of stamps are tips on staying healthy, including not smoking, getting enough sleep and getting regular health screening to lower your risk of heart problems.

And for you romantics, this year's effusive, red Love stamp, right, will be issued on Feb. 14

love stamp

(Valentine's Day, duh).

Graphic designer Louise Fili used a design of satin ribbons to spell out the word "love" -- perfect for mailing valentines, wedding or shower invitations or -- gasp! -- even a love letter.

Sent first-class mail, of course.

In other health news:

Repeat breast cancer surgery varies widely -- with no clear reason. One in four women who get breast-conserving lumpectomies often undergo another operation to remove additional tissue, even though for half of them there's no conclusive evidence of any lingering cancer, a study has found. The study pinpoints a persistent problem in breast cancer treatment: There is no agreement about how much healthy surrounding tissue to take out when removing a tumor, and surgeons often opt to remove more, despite a lack of evidence that it's necessary.

The Big 9: The chronic diseases that cost $1.5 trillion yearly. Americans are living longer with chronic illnesses, but it's costing the country a lot -- $1.5 trillion yearly, says the Institute of Medicine, fully three-fourths of annual healthcare spending. A panel of experts called on policy-makers to do more to prevent these diseases and streamline care for patients who live with them. The Big 9: arthritis, cancer survivors, chronic pain, dementia, depression, Type 2 diabetes, post-traumatic disability, schizophrenia, hearing and vision loss.

Weight loss may prevent leaky bladder in overweight diabetics. Overweight women with diabetes may be able to cut their risk of bladder leakage if they lose even a modest amount of weight, a new study finds. Extra belly weight, in particular, increases the risk for incontinence. Unfortunately, the study also found that women who already had urine leakage were not helped by losing weight.

Stamp images: Copyright U.S. Postal Service

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