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UK — Gestation-specific Infant Mortality, 2012

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Gestation-specific Infant Mortality, 2012
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Findings

  • Babies born in 2012 had an infant mortality rate of 3.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 4.4 deaths per 1,000 live births for babies born in 2008.
  • For babies born at term (between 37 and 41 weeks gestation), the infant mortality rate was 1.4 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • The infant mortality rate for babies born pre-term (between 24 and 36 weeks) in 2012 was 23.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. This was almost 16% lower than the rate for pre-term babies born in 2008 (27.6 deaths per 1,000 live births).
  • The infant mortality rate for babies born to mothers aged 40 years and over was 4.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • For babies born to mothers aged less than 20 years, the infant mortality rate was 5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • The infant mortality rate for babies born pre-term was higher for single births than for multiple births (24.8 and 19.9 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively).\
  • Infant mortality rates by ethnic group were highest for babies in the Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean groups (6.9 deaths per 1,000 live births).
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Sofas and Infant Mortality

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Sofas and Infant Mortality
Source: Pediatrics

OBJECTIVE:
Sleeping on sofas increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related deaths. We sought to describe factors associated with infant deaths on sofas.

METHODS:
We analyzed data for infant deaths on sofas from 24 states in 2004 to 2012 in the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths Case Reporting System database. Demographic and environmental data for deaths on sofas were compared with data for sleep-related infant deaths in other locations, using bivariate and multivariable, multinomial logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS:
1024 deaths on sofas made up 12.9% of sleep-related infant deaths. They were more likely than deaths in other locations to be classified as accidental suffocation or strangulation (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6–2.3) or ill-defined cause of death (aOR 1.2; 95% CI, 1.0–1.5). Infants who died on sofas were less likely to be Hispanic (aOR 0.7; 95% CI, 0.6–0.9) compared with non-Hispanic white infants or to have objects in the environment (aOR 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5–0.7) and more likely to be sharing the surface with another person (aOR 2.4; 95% CI, 1.9–3.0), to be found on the side (aOR 1.9; 95% CI, 1.4–2.4), to be found in a new sleep location (aOR 6.5; 95% CI, 5.2–8.2), and to have had prenatal smoke exposure (aOR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2–1.6). Data on recent parental alcohol and drug consumption were not available.

CONCLUSIONS:
The sofa is an extremely hazardous sleep surface for infants. Deaths on sofas are associated with surface sharing, being found on the side, changing sleep location, and experiencing prenatal tobacco exposure, which are all risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome and sleep-related deaths.

Mortality in the United States, 2012

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Mortality in the United States, 2012
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings
Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality

  • Life expectancy at birth for the U.S. population reached a record high of 78.8 years in 2012.
  • The age-adjusted death rate for the United States decreased 1.1% from 2011 to 2012 to a record low of 732.8 per 100,000 standard population.
  • The 10 leading causes of death in 2012 remained the same as in 2011. Age-adjusted death rates decreased significantly from 2011 to 2012 for 8 of the 10 leading causes and increased significantly for one leading cause (suicide).
  • The infant mortality rate decreased 1.5% from 2011 to 2012 to a historic low of 597.8 infant deaths per 100,000 live births. The 10 leading causes of infant death in 2012 remained the same as in 2011.

This report presents 2012 U.S. final mortality data on deaths and death rates by demographic and medical characteristics. These data provide information on mortality patterns among residents of the United States by such variables as sex, race and ethnicity, and cause of death. Information on mortality patterns is key to understanding changes in the health and well-being of the U.S. population. Life expectancy estimates, age-adjusted death rates by race and ethnicity and sex, 10 leading causes of death, and 10 leading causes of infant death were analyzed by comparing 2012 final data with 2011 final data.

Increases in Heroin Overdose Deaths — 28 States, 2010 to 2012

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Increases in Heroin Overdose Deaths — 28 States, 2010 to 2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Nationally, death rates from prescription opioid pain reliever (OPR) overdoses quadrupled during 1999–2010, whereas rates from heroin overdoses increased by <50%.* Individual states and cities have reported substantial increases in deaths from heroin overdose since 2010. CDC analyzed recent mortality data from 28 states to determine the scope of the heroin overdose death increase and to determine whether increases were associated with changes in OPR overdose death rates since 2010. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which found that, from 2010 to 2012, the death rate from heroin overdose for the 28 states increased from 1.0 to 2.1 per 100,000, whereas the death rate from OPR overdose declined from 6.0 per 100,000 in 2010 to 5.6 per 100,000 in 2012. Heroin overdose death rates increased significantly for both sexes, all age groups, all census regions, and all racial/ethnic groups other than American Indians/Alaska Natives. OPR overdose mortality declined significantly among males, persons aged <45 years, persons in the South, and non-Hispanic whites. Five states had increases in the OPR death rate, seven states had decreases, and 16 states had no change. Of the 18 states with statistically reliable heroin overdose death rates (i.e., rates based on at least 20 deaths), 15 states reported increases. Decreases in OPR death rates were not associated with increases in heroin death rates. The findings indicate a need for intensified prevention efforts aimed at reducing overdose deaths from all types of opioids while recognizing the demographic differences between the heroin and OPR-using populations. Efforts to prevent expansion of the number of OPR users who might use heroin when it is available should continue.

See also: Heroin overdose deaths increased in many states through 2012

Deaths Related to Drug Poisoning in England and Wales, 2013

October 7, 2014 Comments off

Deaths Related to Drug Poisoning in England and Wales, 2013
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Findings

  • 2,955 drug poisoning deaths (involving both legal and illegal drugs) were registered in 2013 in England and Wales (2,032 male and 923 female deaths).
  • Male drug poisoning deaths increased by 19% compared with 2012. Female drug poisoning deaths have increased every year since 2009.
  • Male drug misuse deaths (involving illegal drugs) increased by 23%, from 1,177 in 2012 to 1,444 in 2013. Female drug misuse deaths increased by 12%, from 459 in 2012 to 513 in 2013.
  • Heroin/morphine remain the substances most commonly involved in drug poisoning deaths. 765 deaths involved heroin/morphine in 2013; a sharp rise of 32% from 579 deaths in 2012.
  • Deaths involving tramadol have continued to rise, with 220 deaths in 2013. This is almost 2.5 times the number seen in 2009 (87 deaths).
  • There was a sharp increase of 21% in the number of drug misuse deaths in England in 2013, with no change to the number of these deaths in Wales. However, mortality rates from drug misuse were still significantly higher in Wales than in England.
  • Male mortality rates significantly increased in three substance categories: heroin/morphine, benzodiazepines and paracetamol. Conversely female mortality rates remained relatively stable except for a sharp increase in the cocaine-related death rate.
  • In England, the North East had the highest mortality rate from drug misuse in 2013 (52.0 deaths per million population), and London had the lowest (23.0 deaths per million population).
  • All figures presented in this bulletin are based on deaths registered in a particular calendar year. Out of the 2,955 drug-related deaths registered in 2013, 1,488 (just over half) occurred in years before 2013.

Using Forecast and Observed Weather Data to Assess Performance of Forecast Products in Identifying Heat Waves and Estimating Heat Wave Effects on Mortality

October 6, 2014 Comments off

Using Forecast and Observed Weather Data to Assess Performance of Forecast Products in Identifying Heat Waves and Estimating Heat Wave Effects on Mortality
Source: Environmental Health Perspectives (CDC)

Background:
Heat wave and health warning systems are activated based on forecasts of health-threatening hot weather.

Objective:
We estimated heat–mortality associations based on forecast and observed weather data in Detroit, Michigan, and compared the accuracy of forecast products for predicting heat waves.

Methods:
We derived and compared apparent temperature (AT) and heat wave days (with heat waves defined as ≥ 2 days of daily mean AT ≥ 95th percentile of warm-season average) from weather observations and six different forecast products. We used Poisson regression with and without adjustment for ozone and/or PM10 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 μm) to estimate and compare associations of daily all-cause mortality with observed and predicted AT and heat wave days.

Results:
The 1-day-ahead forecast of a local operational product, Revised Digital Forecast, had about half the number of false positives compared with all other forecasts. On average, controlling for heat waves, days with observed AT = 25.3°C were associated with 3.5% higher mortality (95% CI: –1.6, 8.8%) than days with AT = 8.5°C. Observed heat wave days were associated with 6.2% higher mortality (95% CI: –0.4, 13.2%) than non–heat wave days. The accuracy of predictions varied, but associations between mortality and forecast heat generally tended to overestimate heat effects, whereas associations with forecast heat waves tended to underestimate heat wave effects, relative to associations based on observed weather metrics.

Conclusions:
Our findings suggest that incorporating knowledge of local conditions may improve the accuracy of predictions used to activate heat wave and health warning systems.

UK — Guidance: Progress on premature deaths of people with learning disabilities

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Guidance: Progress on premature deaths of people with learning disabilities
Source: Department of Health

This report shows progress against the 18 recommendations in the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities both locally and nationally.

It also recognises that more needs to be done including all local areas:

  • participating fully in the Self-Assessment Framework and act on its results
  • securing the provision of named care co-ordinators
  • ensuring reasonable adjustments are made and audited
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