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New Study Shows Increase in Raw Milk-Associated Outbreaks

December 14, 2014 Comments off

New Study Shows Increase in Raw Milk-Associated Outbreaks
Source: Emerging Infectious Diseases (CDC)

A study published today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal shows that the average annual number of outbreaks due to drinking raw (unpasteurized) milk more than quadrupled since the last similar study – from an average of three outbreaks per year during 1993-2006 to 13 per year during 2007-2012. Overall, there were 81 outbreaks in 26 states from 2007 to 2012. The outbreaks, which accounted for about 5 percent of all foodborne outbreaks with a known food source, sickened nearly 1,000 people and sent 73 to the hospital. More than 80 percent of the outbreaks occurred in states where selling raw milk was legal.

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America’s Pain Points

December 12, 2014 Comments off

America’s Pain Points
Source: Express Scripts

America claims less than 5% of the world’s population, yet it consumes roughly 80% of the world’s opioid supply. Knowing the potential for misuse of these medications, and facing an increase in opioid-related deaths in this country, we wanted a deeper understanding of how patients in the U.S. are using these medications so we can identify additional ways to protect them from the risks associated with their use.

In A Nation in Pain, our research revealed a drop in short-term use of opioids, and stabilization in the number of patients using these medications longer term, which is in contrast to the increases seen in the past. Both trends indicate that doctors are being more cautious about prescribing these pain medications.

However, the research uncovered some concerning increases in the amount of prescription opioid medications Americans use, and the frequency in which these medications are used in dangerously high doses and in risky combinations with other medications.

Only 3 in 10 Americans with HIV have virus in check

December 11, 2014 Comments off

Only 3 in 10 Americans with HIV have virus in check
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Just 30 percent of Americans with HIV had the virus under control in 2011, and approximately two-thirds of those whose virus was out of control had been diagnosed but were no longer in care, according to a new Vital Signs report published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new study underscores the importance of making sure people with HIV receive ongoing care, treatment, and other information and tools that help prevent transmission to others, as well as the need to reach more people with HIV testing. Among those whose infection was not under control, more than three times the proportion (66 percent) were no longer in care as had never been diagnosed (20 percent).

The HIV epidemic continues to threaten the health and well-being of many Americans – with more than one million people living with the disease in the U.S. and 50,000 new infections each year.

2015 Hunger Report: When Women Flourish…We Can End Hunger

December 9, 2014 Comments off

2015 Hunger Report: When Women Flourish…We Can End Hunger
Source: Bread for the World Institute
From press release:

The 2015 Hunger Report, When Women Flourish…We Can End Hunger, released today by Bread for the World Institute, identifies the empowerment of women and girls as essential in ending hunger, extreme poverty, and malnutrition around the world and in the United States.

The 2015 Hunger Report comes at a time when the 114th Congress, which starts in January, will have 100 women legislators – the most ever in U.S. history. Despite the fact that fully 22 percent of the world’s legislators are female, women face barriers that limit their ability to engage fully in economic activity. Women are also more likely to earn less or work in low-wage jobs.

The report also shows that women’s willingness to share men’s breadwinning responsibilities has not been matched by men’s willingness to share unpaid household work or caregiving responsibilities. Though domestic work is a public good in the same way that education, clean water, clean air, and the food supply are, it is not recognized as such. Women constitute half the global population.

CRS — A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom (November 20, 2014)

December 9, 2014 Comments off

A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This report presents statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in the active missions Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR, Iraq and Syria) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, Afghanistan), as well as operations that have ended, Operation New Dawn (OND, Iraq) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF, Iraq). This report includes statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties. Some of these statistics are publicly available at the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) website and others have been obtained through contact with experts at DOD.

This report will be updated as needed.

Announcement: Diabetes State Atlas Now Available Online

December 2, 2014 Comments off

Announcement: Diabetes State Atlas Now Available Online
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation announces the launch of the Diabetes State Atlas (available at http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data), an interactive Internet tool for the public to view maps and charts of diabetes data and trends at the U.S. state level. Some of the features of the atlas include 1) customizable maps and graphics of diabetes surveillance data, 2) an interactive application to view state-specific trends by age and sex, and 3) downloadable maps, charts, and data tables that can be used in grant applications, reports, articles, and publications.

The Diabetes State Atlas can help state public health officials document the burden of diabetes in their states, monitor trends, identify high-risk groups and assess disparities between groups, and track progress in achieving Healthy People 2020 diabetes objectives (1).

In the United States, about 29 million persons have diabetes (2). An additional 86 million adults have prediabetes, putting them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (2). However, persons with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and prevent complications, and those with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes through weight loss and physical activity (3). Information about diabetes prevention and control is available online from CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation at http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/home/index.html.

Surveillance for Certain Health Behaviors Among States and Selected Local Areas — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2011

December 1, 2014 Comments off

Surveillance for Certain Health Behaviors Among States and Selected Local Areas — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Problem:
Chronic conditions (e.g., heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, malignant neoplasms, and diabetes), infectious diseases (e.g., influenza and pneumonia), and unintentional injuries are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Adopting positive health behaviors (e.g., staying physically active, quitting tobacco use, always wearing seatbelts in automobiles) and accessing preventive health-care services (e.g., getting routine physical checkups, receiving recommended vaccinations on appropriate schedules, checking blood pressure and cholesterol and maintaining them at healthy levels) can reduce morbidity and mortality from chronic and infectious diseases. Monitoring the health-risk behaviors of a community’s residents as well as their participation in and access to health-care services provides information critical to the development and maintenance of intervention programs as well as the implementation of strategies and health policies that address public health problems at the levels of state and territory, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area (MMSA), and county.

Reporting Period:
January–December 2011.

Description of the System:
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an ongoing, state-based, random-digit–dialed telephone survey of noninstitutionalized adults aged ≥18 years residing in the United States. BRFSS collects data on health-risk behaviors, chronic diseases and conditions, access to health care, and use of preventive health services and practices related to the leading causes of death and disabilities in the United States. In 2011, BRFSS adopted a new weighting methodology (iterative proportional fitting, or raking) and for the first time included data from respondents who solely use cellular telephones (i.e., do not use landlines). This report presents results for the year 2011 for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and participating U.S. territories including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and Guam, 198 MMSAs, and 224 counties.

Results:
In 2011, the estimated prevalence of health-risk behaviors, chronic conditions, access to health care, and use of preventive health services substantially varied by state and territory, MMSA, and county. The following portion of this abstract summarizes selected results by some BRFSS measures. Each set of proportions refers to the range of estimated prevalence of the behaviors, diseases, or use of preventive health-care services as reported by survey respondents. Adults with good or better health: 65.5%−88.0% for states and territories, 72.0%−92.4% for MMSAs, and 74.3%−94.2% for counties. Adults aged <65 years with health–care coverage: 65.4%−92.3% for states and territories, 66.8%−94.7% for MMSAs, and 61.3%−95.6% for counties. Influenza vaccination received during the preceding 12 months among adults aged ≥65 years: 28.6%−70.2% for states and territories, 42.0% −80.0% for MMSAs, and 41.1%−78.2% for counties. Adults meeting the federal physical activity recommendations for both aerobic physical activity and muscle–strengthening activity: 8.5%–27.3% for states and territories, 7.3%–32.0% for MMSAs, and 11.0%–32.0% for counties. Current cigarette smokers: 11.8%–30.5% for states and territories, 8.4%–30.6% for MMSAs, and 8.1%–35.2% for counties. Binge drinking during the last month: 10.0%–25.0% for states and territories, 7.0%–32.5% for MMSAs, and 7.0%–32.5% for counties. Adults always wearing seatbelts while driving or riding in a car: 63.9%−94.1% for states and territories, 51.8%−96.9% for MMSAs, and 51.8%−97.0% for counties. Adults aged ≥18 who were obese: 20.7%–34.9% for states and territories, 15.1%–37.2% for MMSAs, and 15.1%−41.0% for counties. Adults with diagnosed diabetes: 6.7%–13.5% for states and territories, 3.9%–15.9% for MMSAs, and 3.5%–18.3% for counties. Adults with current asthma: 4.3%–12.1% for states and territories, 2.9%–14.1% for MMSAs, and 2.9%–15.6% for counties. Adults aged ≥45 years who have had coronary heart disease: 7.1%–16.2% for states and territories, 5.0%–19.4% for MMSAs, and 3.9%–18.5% for counties. Adults using special equipment because of any health problem: 5.1%–11.3% for states and territories, 3.9%–13.2% for MMSAs, and 2.4%–14.7% for counties.

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