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University of Iowa News Release

July 14, 2003

Free Fliers Provide Cues About Health Problems

You can usually tell when a toddler has an earache. The child's behavior -- ear-rubbing, irritability, crying -- tells you. Behaviors can also cue you to illness in older children and adults. For example, your elderly aunt with Alzheimer's may not be able to explain that she has problems with headaches, but her behavior can tell you that something is wrong.

To help interpret behavioral cues to health, the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics created a series of 17 fliers called, "Listening to What Behaviors May Be Telling Us." The fliers describe behavioral cues associated with:

* Abuse
* Constipation
* Dental health
* Diabetes
* Headaches
* Hearing disorders
* Heart and blood vessel conditions
* Hyperthyroidism
* Hypothyroidism
* Menstrual disorders
* Orthopaedic conditions
* Seizures
* Skin and scalp conditions
* Sleep apnea
* Disorders of swallowing and of digestion
* Urinary tract infection
* Vision disorders

Each "Listening to What Behaviors May Be Telling Us" fact sheet describes specific behaviors, as well as other factors that might indicate an illness. Each also includes a checklist to help you understand more about the behavior, and contact information if you have questions or concerns.

Free copies of specific fliers are available online at, via e-mail at, or by phone at 319-356-1511 or 1-877-686-0031 (toll free, voice) or 1-877-686-0032 (toll free, TTY).

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

CONTACTS: Media: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, Program contact: Elayne Sexsmith 319-356-0768, Writer: Amy Mikelson.