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Drowsy Driving and Risk Behaviors — 10 States and Puerto Rico, 2011–2012

July 8, 2014 Comments off

Drowsy Driving and Risk Behaviors — 10 States and Puerto Rico, 2011–2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Findings in published reports have suggested that drowsy driving is a factor each year in as many as 7,500 fatal motor vehicle crashes (approximately 25%) in the United States (1,2). CDC previously reported that, in 2009–2010, 4.2% of adult respondents in 19 states and the District of Columbia reported having fallen asleep while driving at least once during the previous 30 days (3). Adults who reported usually sleeping ≤6 hours per day, snoring, or unintentionally falling asleep during the day were more likely to report falling asleep while driving compared with adults who did not report these sleep patterns (3). However, limited information has been published on the association between drowsy driving and other risk behaviors that might contribute to crash injuries or fatalities. Therefore, CDC analyzed responses to survey questions regarding drowsy driving among 92,102 respondents in 10 states and Puerto Rico to the 2011–2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys. The results showed that 4.0% reported falling asleep while driving during the previous 30 days. In addition to known risk factors, drowsy driving was more prevalent among binge drinkers than non-binge drinkers or abstainers and also more prevalent among drivers who sometimes, seldom, or never wear seatbelts while driving or riding in a car, compared with those who always or almost always wear seatbelts. Drowsy driving did not vary significantly by self-reported smoking status. Interventions designed to reduce binge drinking and alcohol-impaired driving, to increase enforcement of seatbelt use, and to encourage adequate sleep and seeking treatment for sleep disorders might contribute to reductions in drowsy driving crashes and related injuries.

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National Athletic Trainers’ Association (Nata) Advance Releases Executive Summary of Exertional Heat Illnesses Position Statement and Issues New Research on Heat and Hydration

July 7, 2014 Comments off

National Athletic Trainers’ Association (Nata) Advance Releases Executive Summary of Exertional Heat Illnesses Position Statement and Issues New Research on Heat and Hydration
Source: National Athletic Trainers’ Association

At NATA’s 65th Clinical Symposia & AT Expo in Indianapolis today, leading health care professionals advance released an executive summary of the association’s exertional heat illnesses position statement. This is an update to the original 2002 guidelines and will be published in its entirety in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Athletic Training, NATA’s scientific publication. A copy of the executive summary is available at http://www.nata.org/press-room.

In addition to the guidelines, the NATA Research & Education Foundation unveiled hot topics in heat illness as presented by study authors and as part of the convention’s Free Communications program.

“Exertional heat illnesses are largely preventable within the confines of organized sports when appropriate protocols are put into place,” said Douglas J. Casa, PhD, ATC, FACSM, FNATA, chief operating officer of the Korey Stringer Institute, director of Athletic Training Education, Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut and chair of the position statement writing group.

“This includes heat acclimatization, body cooling, hydration, modifying of exercise based on environmental conditions, among other considerations. These guidelines are not just for athletes – they are also valuable for individuals exposed to warm weather environments such as those in the military or individuals whose work necessitates heat exposure.”

Exertional heat stroke is one of the three leading causes of death in sport (and the leading cause in the summer). The period of 2005 to 2009 had more heat stroke deaths than any other five year period in the 35 years prior. There were 18 deaths from 2005 to 2009; from 2010 to 2014 (still being tracked) there are now an estimated 20 to 22 deaths.

Overview of Emergency Department Visits in the United States, 2011

July 4, 2014 Comments off

Overview of Emergency Department Visits in the United States, 2011
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Emergency departments (EDs) provide a significant source of medical care in the United States, with over 131 million total ED visits occurring in 2011. Over the past decade, the increase in ED utilization has outpaced growth of the general population, despite a national decline in the total number of ED facilities. In 2009, approximately half of all hospital inpatient admissions originated in the ED. In particular, EDs were the primary portal of entry for hospital admission for uninsured and publicly insured patients (privately insured patients were more likely to be directly admitted to the hospital from a doctor’s office or clinic).

ED utilization reflects the greater health needs of the surrounding community and may provide the only readily available care for individuals who cannot obtain care elsewhere. Many ED visits are “resource sensitive” and potentially preventable, meaning that access to high-quality, community-based health care can prevent the need for a portion of ED visits.

This HCUP Statistical Brief presents data on ED visits in the United States in 2011. Patient and hospital characteristics for two types of ED visits are provided: ED visits with admission to the same hospital and ED visits resulting in discharge, which includes patients who were stabilized in the ED and then discharged home, transferred to another hospital, or any other disposition. The most frequent conditions treated by patient age group also are presented for both types of ED visits. All differences between estimates noted in the text are statistically significant at the .0005 level or better.

A Population-Based Investigation into the Self-Reported Reasons for Sleep Problems

July 3, 2014 Comments off

A Population-Based Investigation into the Self-Reported Reasons for Sleep Problems
Source: PLoS ONE

Typologies of sleep problems have usually relied on identifying underlying causes or symptom clusters. In this study the value of using the patient’s own reasons for sleep disturbance are explored. Using secondary data analysis of a nationally representative psychiatric survey the patterning of the various reasons respondents provided for self-reported sleep problems were examined. Over two thirds (69.3%) of respondents could identify a specific reason for their sleep problem with worry (37.9%) and illness (20.1%) representing the most commonly reported reasons. And while women reported more sleep problems for almost every reason compared with men, the patterning of reasons by age showed marked variability. Sleep problem symptoms such as difficulty getting to sleep or waking early also showed variability by different reasons as did the association with major correlates such as worry, depression, anxiety and poor health. While prevalence surveys of ‘insomnia’ or ‘poor sleep’ often assume the identification of an underlying homogeneous construct there may be grounds for recognising the existence of different sleep problem types particularly in the context of the patient’s perceived reason for the problem.

International Food Security Assessment, 2014-24

July 2, 2014 Comments off

International Food Security Assessment, 2014-24
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

The number of food-insecure people is projected to fall 9 percent to 490 million in 2014 from 539 million in 2013 in the 76 low- and middle-income countries included in the ERS report. Over the longer term, the food security situation is projected to deteriorate with the share of the population that is food insecure projected to reach 14.6 percent in 2024 up from 13.9 percent in 2014.

Integrating Primary Care Practices and Community-based Resources to Manage Obesity: A Bridge-building Toolkit for Rural Primary Care Practices

July 1, 2014 Comments off

Integrating Primary Care Practices and Community-based Resources to Manage Obesity: A Bridge-building Toolkit for Rural Primary Care Practices
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Managing and treating obesity is particularly challenging for primary care practices. Although evidence suggests the potential for improving eating and physical activity behaviors by effectively linking primary care practices and community resources, establishing such linkages may be especially challenging in rural areas, where limited availability of and access to services may compound standard barriers.

In 2010 the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN) received funding from the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality for research into “Integrated Primary Care Practices and Community-based Programs to Manage Obesity.” Over a 2-year period we worked with eight primary care practices and community-based health coalitions in four rural Oregon communities to:

  1. Evaluate local clinic and community factors necessary to develop sustainable linkages between primary care and community resources for obesity management.
  2. Design, implement, and evaluate a participatory process using practice facilitation and community-health development principles to achieve these linkages.

We used the findings from this 2-year process to develop this toolkit to help other primary care clinics that want to improve linkages with community-based resources for obesity management. This process highlights strategies to build on the ties that often already exist in rural areas. Although our process is tailored to rural settings, we anticipate that many of the strategies will be beneficial for urban practices and communities to consider. This toolkit offers key steps in our process, providing tools and recommended steps that we encourage you to adapt to fit your local setting.

State-Based Medicaid Costs for Pediatric Asthma Emergency Department Visits

June 28, 2014 Comments off

State-Based Medicaid Costs for Pediatric Asthma Emergency Department Visits
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
The prevalence of childhood asthma in the United States increased from 8.7% in 2001 to 9.5% in 2011. This increased prevalence adds to the costs incurred by state Medicaid programs. We provide state-based cost estimates of pediatric asthma emergency department (ED) visits and highlight an opportunity for states to reduce these costs through a recently changed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulation.

Methods
We used a cross-sectional design across multiple data sets to produce state-based cost estimates for asthma-related ED visits among children younger than 18, where Medicaid/CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) was the primary payer.

Results
There were approximately 629,000 ED visits for pediatric asthma for Medicaid/CHIP enrollees, which cost $272 million in 2010. The average cost per visit was $433. Costs ranged from $282,000 in Alaska to more than $25 million in California.

Conclusions
Costs to states for pediatric asthma ED visits vary widely. Effective January 1, 2014, the CMS rule expanded which type of providers can be reimbursed for providing preventive services to Medicaid/CHIP beneficiaries. This rule change, in combination with existing flexibility for states to define practice setting, allows state Medicaid programs to reimburse for asthma interventions that use nontraditional providers (such as community health workers or certified asthma educators) in a nonclinical setting, as long as the service was initially recommended by a physician or other licensed practitioner. The rule change may help states reduce Medicaid costs of asthma treatment and the severity of pediatric asthma.

New Older Driver Data Trends in Upward Direction

June 27, 2014 Comments off

New Older Driver Data Trends in Upward Direction
Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

According to a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, older Americans are extending their time behind the wheel compared to previous generations. For example, 84 percent of Americans 65 and older held a driver’s license in 2010 compared to barely half in the early 1970s. Today, one in six drivers on U.S. roads are ages 65 and older and this new research shows an increased automobility of older drivers with travel patterns indicating about a 20 percent increase in trips and a 33 percent increase in miles travelled between 1990 and 2009.

While upward trends indicate greater mobility for the silver tsunami, the Understanding Older Drivers: An Examination of Medical Conditions, Medication Use and Travel Behaviors report reveals that 90 percent of older drivers also use prescription medications with two-thirds taking multiple medications. Previous Foundation research has shown that combinations of medications, both prescription and over- the-counter, can result in an impairment in safe driving ability.

The report also reveals gender differences when it comes to medication-use behind the wheel. Older women that use medications are more likely to regulate their driving compared to men and, even without a medical condition, female drivers drive less than their male counterparts with a medical condition.

Geographical variation in dementia: systematic review with meta-analysis

June 27, 2014 Comments off

Geographical variation in dementia: systematic review with meta-analysis
Source: International Journal of Epidemiology

Background
Geographical variation in dementia prevalence and incidence may indicate important socio-environmental contributions to dementia aetiology. However, previous comparisons have been hampered by combining studies with different methodologies. This review systematically collates and synthesizes studies examining geographical variation in the prevalence and incidence of dementia based on comparisons of studies using identical methodologies.

Methods
Papers were identified by a comprehensive electronic search of relevant databases, scrutinising the reference sections of identified publications, contacting experts in the field and re-examining papers already known to us. Identified articles were independently reviewed against inclusion/exclusion criteria and considered according to geographical scale. Rural/urban comparisons were meta-analysed.

Results
Twelve thousand five hundred and eighty records were reviewed and 51 articles were included. Dementia prevalence and incidence varies at a number of scales from the national down to small areas, including some evidence of an effect of rural living [prevalence odds ratio (OR) = 1.11, 90% confidence interval (CI) 0.79–1.57; incidence OR = 1.20, 90% CI 0.84–1.71]. However, this association of rurality was stronger for Alzheimer disease, particularly when early life rural living was captured (prevalence OR = 2.22, 90% CI 1.19–4.16; incidence OR = 1.64, 90% CI 1.08–2.50).

Conclusions
There is evidence of geographical variation in rates of dementia in affluent countries at a variety of geographical scales. Rural living is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer disease, and there is a suggestion that early life rural living further increases this risk. However, the fact that few studies have been conducted in resource-poor countries limits conclusions.

SAGE – A Test to Measure Thinking Abilities

June 26, 2014 Comments off

SAGE – A Test to Measure Thinking Abilities
Source: Ohio State University (Wexner Medical Center)

The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) is designed to detect early signs of cognitive, memory or thinking impairments. It evaluates your thinking abilities and helps physicians to know how well your brain is working.

You may want to take SAGE if you are concerned that you might have cognitive issues. Or you may wish to have your family or friends take the test if they are having memory or thinking problems. The difficulties listed can be early signs of cognitive and brain dysfunction. While dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can lead to these symptoms, there are many other treatable disorders that also may cause these signs.

It is normal to experience some memory loss and to take longer to recall events as you age. But if the changes you are experiencing are worrying you or others around you, SAGE can be a helpful tool to assess if further evaluation is necessary.

See: A Test for the Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease (New York Times)

Surgery and Neurodevelopmental Outcome of Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants

June 26, 2014 Comments off

Surgery and Neurodevelopmental Outcome of Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants
Source: JAMA Pediatrics

Importance
Reduced death and neurodevelopmental impairment among infants is a goal of perinatal medicine.

Objective
To assess the association between surgery during the initial hospitalization and death or neurodevelopmental impairment of very low-birth-weight infants.

Design, Setting, and Participants
A retrospective cohort analysis was conducted of patients enrolled in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network Generic Database from 1998 through 2009 and evaluated at 18 to 22 months’ corrected age. Twenty-two academic neonatal intensive care units participated. Inclusion criteria were birth weight 401 to 1500 g, survival to 12 hours, and availability for follow-up. A total of 12 111 infants were included in analyses.

Exposures
Surgical procedures; surgery also was classified by expected anesthesia type as major (general anesthesia) or minor (nongeneral anesthesia).

Main Outcomes and Measures
Multivariable logistic regression analyses planned a priori were performed for the primary outcome of death or neurodevelopmental impairment and for the secondary outcome of neurodevelopmental impairment among survivors. Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed as planned for the adjusted mean scores of the Mental Developmental Index and Psychomotor Developmental Index of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Second Edition, for patients born before 2006.

Results
A total of 2186 infants underwent major surgery, 784 had minor surgery, and 9141 infants did not undergo surgery. The risk-adjusted odds ratio of death or neurodevelopmental impairment for all surgery patients compared with those who had no surgery was 1.29 (95% CI, 1.08-1.55). For patients who had major surgery compared with those who had no surgery, the risk-adjusted odds ratio of death or neurodevelopmental impairment was 1.52 (95% CI, 1.24-1.87). Patients classified as having minor surgery had no increased adjusted risk. Among survivors who had major surgery compared with those who had no surgery, the adjusted risk of neurodevelopmental impairment was greater and the adjusted mean Bayley scores were lower.

Conclusions and Relevance
Major surgery in very low-birth-weight infants is independently associated with a greater than 50% increased risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment and of neurodevelopmental impairment at 18 to 22 months’ corrected age. The role of general anesthesia is implicated but remains unproven.

Metabolic syndrome among psychiatric outpatients with mood and anxiety disorders

June 25, 2014 Comments off

Metabolic syndrome among psychiatric outpatients with mood and anxiety disorders
Source: BMC Psychiatry

Background
Few studies have simultaneously compared the impacts of pharmacotherapy and mental diagnoses on metabolic syndrome (MetS) among psychiatric outpatients with mood and anxiety disorders. This study aimed to investigate the impacts of pharmacotherapy and mental diagnoses on MetS and the prevalence of MetS among these patients.

Methods
Two-hundred and twenty-nine outpatients (men/women = 85/144) were enrolled from 1147 outpatients with mood and anxiety disorders by systematic sampling. Psychiatric disorders and MetS were diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR and the new International Diabetics Federation definition, respectively. The numbers of antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and antidepressants being taken were recorded. Logistic regression was used to investigate the impacts of pharmacotherapy and psychiatric diagnoses on MetS.

Results
Among 229 subjects, 51 (22.3%) fulfilled the criteria for MetS. The prevalence of MetS was highest in the bipolar I disorder (46.7%) patients, followed by bipolar II disorder (25.0%), major depressive disorder (22.0%), anxiety-only disorders (16.7%), and no mood and/or anxiety disorders (14.3%). The percentages of MetS among the five categories were correlated with those of the patients being treated with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Use of antipsychotics and/or mood stabilizers independently predicted a higher risk of MetS after controlling for demographic variables and psychiatric diagnoses. When adding body mass index (BMI) as an independent variable in the regression model, BMI became the most significant factor to predict MetS.

Conclusion
BMI was found to be an important factor related to MetS. Pharmacotherapy might be one of underlying causes of elevated BMI. The interactions among MetS, BMI, pharmacotherapy, and psychiatric diagnoses might need further research.

Improving Dementia Long-Term Care: A Policy Blueprint

June 25, 2014 Comments off

Improving Dementia Long-Term Care: A Policy Blueprint
Source: RAND Corporation

In 2010, 15 percent of Americans older than age 70 had dementia, and the number of new dementia cases among those 65 and older is expected to double by the year 2050. As the baby boomer generation ages, many older adults will require dementia-related long-term services and supports (LTSS). This blueprint is the only national document to date that engages local, state, and national stakeholders to specifically focus on policy options at the intersection of dementia and LTSS.

The authors undertook five major tasks that resulted in a prioritized list of policy options and research directions to help decisionmakers improve the dementia LTSS delivery system, workforce, and financing. These were to (1) identify weaknesses in the LTSS system that may be particularly severe for persons with dementia; (2) review national and state strategies addressing dementia or LTSS policy; (3) identify policy options from the perspective of a diverse group of stakeholders; (4) evaluate the policy options; and (5) prioritize policy options by impact and feasibility.

Stakeholders identified 38 policy options. RAND researchers independently evaluated these options against prespecified criteria, settling on 25 priority options. These policy options can be summarized into five objectives for the dementia LTSS system: (1) increase public awareness of dementia to reduce stigma and promote earlier detection; (2) improve access to and use of LTSS; (3) promote high-quality, person- and caregiver-centered care; (4) provide better support for family caregivers of people with dementia; and (5) reduce the burden of dementia LTSS costs on individuals and families.

This policy blueprint provides a foundation upon which to build consensus among a larger set of stakeholders to set priorities and the sequencing of policy recommendations.

Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination With Digital Mammography

June 25, 2014 Comments off

Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination With Digital Mammography
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association

Importance
Mammography plays a key role in early breast cancer detection. Single-institution studies have shown that adding tomosynthesis to mammography increases cancer detection and reduces false-positive results.

Objective
To determine if mammography combined with tomosynthesis is associated with better performance of breast screening programs in the United States.

Design, Setting, and Participants
Retrospective analysis of screening performance metrics from 13 academic and nonacademic breast centers using mixed models adjusting for site as a random effect.

Exposures Period 1: digital mammography screening examinations 1 year before tomosynthesis implementation (start dates ranged from March 2010 to October 2011 through the date of tomosynthesis implementation); period 2: digital mammography plus tomosynthesis examinations from initiation of tomosynthesis screening (March 2011 to October 2012) through December 31, 2012.

Main Outcomes and Measures
Recall rate for additional imaging, cancer detection rate, and positive predictive values for recall and for biopsy.

Results
A total of 454 850 examinations (n=281 187 digital mammography; n=173 663 digital mammography + tomosynthesis) were evaluated. With digital mammography, 29 726 patients were recalled and 5056 biopsies resulted in cancer diagnosis in 1207 patients (n=815 invasive; n=392 in situ). With digital mammography + tomosynthesis, 15 541 patients were recalled and 3285 biopsies resulted in cancer diagnosis in 950 patients (n=707 invasive; n=243 in situ). Model-adjusted rates per 1000 screens were as follows: for recall rate, 107 (95% CI, 89-124) with digital mammography vs 91 (95% CI, 73-108) with digital mammography + tomosynthesis; difference, –16 (95% CI, –18 to –14; P < .001); for biopsies, 18.1 (95% CI, 15.4-20.8) with digital mammography vs 19.3 (95% CI, 16.6-22.1) with digital mammography + tomosynthesis; difference, 1.3 (95% CI, 0.4-2.1; P = .004); for cancer detection, 4.2 (95% CI, 3.8-4.7) with digital mammography vs 5.4 (95% CI, 4.9-6.0) with digital mammography + tomosynthesis; difference, 1.2 (95% CI, 0.8-1.6; P < .001); and for invasive cancer detection, 2.9 (95% CI, 2.5-3.2) with digital mammography vs 4.1 (95% CI, 3.7-4.5) with digital mammography + tomosynthesis; difference, 1.2 (95% CI, 0.8-1.6; P < .001). The in situ cancer detection rate was 1.4 (95% CI, 1.2-1.6) per 1000 screens with both methods. Adding tomosynthesis was associated with an increase in the positive predictive value for recall from 4.3% to 6.4% (difference, 2.1%; 95% CI, 1.7%-2.5%; P < .001) and for biopsy from 24.2% to 29.2% (difference, 5.0%; 95% CI, 3.0%-7.0%; P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance
Addition of tomosynthesis to digital mammography was associated with a decrease in recall rate and an increase in cancer detection rate. Further studies are needed to assess the relationship to clinical outcomes.

Prevalence of U.S. Food Insecurity Is Related to Changes in Unemployment, Inflation, and the Price of Food

June 25, 2014 Comments off

Prevalence of U.S. Food Insecurity Is Related to Changes in Unemployment, Inflation, and the Price of Food
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

Food security has remained essentially unchanged since the 2007-09 recession. Falling unemployment from early post-recession (2009-10) to 2012, absent any other changes, would suggest a modest decline in the prevalence of food insecurity. However, this report finds that potential improvement was almost exactly offset by the effects of higher inflation and the higher relative price of food in 2012.

Cigna: 20 Years of Disability Claims Data Reveal Emerging Workforce Productivity Challenges

June 23, 2014 Comments off

Cigna: 20 Years of Disability Claims Data Reveal Emerging Workforce Productivity Challenges
Source: Cigna

An analysis of 20 years of Cigna’s short-term disability claims shows that absence related to obesity, treatment for skin cancer and herniated disc surgery increased significantly from 1993 to 2012, while a reduction in absences related to depression coupled with an increase in prescribed anti-depressants may signal a hidden problem. These and other health trends identified by the analysis are important for employers to understand when structuring an integrated wellness and absence management program to improve workforce productivity.

Behavioral and Clinical Characteristics of Persons Receiving Medical Care for HIV Infection — Medical Monitoring Project, United States, 2009

June 21, 2014 Comments off

Behavioral and Clinical Characteristics of Persons Receiving Medical Care for HIV Infection — Medical Monitoring Project, United States, 2009
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Problem:
As of December 31, 2009, an estimated 864,748 persons were living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and six U.S.-dependent areas. Whereas HIV surveillance programs in the United States collect information about persons with a diagnosis of HIV infection, supplemental surveillance systems collect in-depth information about the behavioral and clinical characteristics of persons receiving outpatient medical care for HIV infection. These data are needed to reduce HIV-related morbidity and mortality and HIV transmission.

Reporting Period Covered:
Data were collected during June 2009–May 2010 for patients receiving medical care at least once during January–April 2009.

Description of the System:
The Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) is an ongoing surveillance system that assesses behaviors and clinical characteristics of HIV-infected persons who have received outpatient medical care. For the 2009 data collection cycle, participants must have been aged ≥18 years and have received medical care during January–April 2009 at sampled facilities that provide HIV medical care within participating MMP project areas. Behavioral and selected clinical data were collected using an in-person interview, and most clinical data were collected using medical record abstraction. A total of 23 project areas in 16 states and Puerto Rico were funded to collect data during the 2009 data collection cycle. The data were weighted for probability of selection and nonresponse to be representative of adults receiving outpatient medical care for HIV infection in the United States and Puerto Rico. Prevalence estimates are presented as weighted percentages. The period of reference is the 12 months before the patient interview unless otherwise noted.

Results:
The patients in MMP represent 421,186 adults who received outpatient medical care for HIV infection in the United States and Puerto Rico during January–April 2009. Of adults who received medical care for HIV infection, an estimated 71.2% were male, 27.2% were female, and 1.6% were transgender. An estimated 41.4% were black or African American, 34.6% were white, and 19.1% were Hispanic or Latino. The largest proportion (23.1%) were aged 45–49 years. Most patients (81.1%) had medical coverage; 40.3% had Medicaid, 30.6% had private health insurance, and 25.7% had Medicare.

An estimated 69.6% of patients had three or more documented CD4+ T-lymphocyte cell (CD4+) or HIV viral load tests. Most patients (88.7%) were prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 71.6% had a documented viral load that was undetectable or ≤200 copies/mL at their most recent test. Among sexually active patients, 55.0% had documentation in the medical record of being tested for syphilis, 23.2% for gonorrhea, and 23.9% for chlamydia.

Noninjection drugs were used for nonmedical purposes by an estimated 27.1% of patients, whereas injection drugs were used for nonmedical purposes by 2.1% of patients. Overall, 12.9% of patients engaged in unprotected sex with a partner of negative or unknown HIV status.

Unmet supportive service needs were prevalent, with an estimated 22.8% in need of dental care and 12.0% in need of public benefits, including Social Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance. Fewer than half of patients (44.8%) reported receiving HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention counseling from a health-care provider.

Interpretation:
The findings in this report indicate that most adults living with HIV who received medical care in 2009 were taking ART, had CD4+ and HIV viral load testing at regular intervals, and had health insurance or other coverage. However, some patients did not receive clinical services and treatment in accordance with guidelines. Some patients engaged in behaviors, such as unprotected sex, that increase the risk for transmitting HIV to sex partners, and some used noninjection or injection drugs or both.

Public Health Actions:
Local and state health departments and federal agencies can use MMP data for program planning to determine allocation of services and resources, guide prevention planning, assess unmet medical and supportive service needs, inform health-care providers, and help focus intervention programs and health policies at the local, state, and national levels.

Five-Week Outcomes From a Dosing Trial of Therapeutic Massage for Chronic Neck Pain

June 20, 2014 Comments off

Five-Week Outcomes From a Dosing Trial of Therapeutic Massage for Chronic Neck Pain
Source: Annals of Family Medicine

PURPOSE
This trial was designed to evaluate the optimal dose of massage for individuals with chronic neck pain.

METHODS
We recruited 228 individuals with chronic nonspecific neck pain from an integrated health care system and the general population, and randomized them to 5 groups receiving various doses of massage (a 4-week course consisting of 30-minute visits 2 or 3 times weekly or 60-minute visits 1, 2, or 3 times weekly) or to a single control group (a 4-week period on a wait list). We assessed neck-related dysfunction with the Neck Disability Index (range, 0–50 points) and pain intensity with a numerical rating scale (range, 0–10 points) at baseline and 5 weeks. We used log-linear regression to assess the likelihood of clinically meaningful improvement in neck-related dysfunction (≥5 points on Neck Disability Index) or pain intensity (≥30% improvement) by treatment group.

RESULTS
After adjustment for baseline age, outcome measures, and imbalanced covariates, 30-minute treatments were not significantly better than the wait list control condition in terms of achieving a clinically meaningful improvement in neck dysfunction or pain, regardless of the frequency of treatments. In contrast, 60-minute treatments 2 and 3 times weekly significantly increased the likelihood of such improvement compared with the control condition in terms of both neck dysfunction (relative risk = 3.41 and 4.98, P = .04 and .005, respectively) and pain intensity (relative risk = 2.30 and 2.73; P = .007 and .001, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS
After 4 weeks of treatment, we found multiple 60-minute massages per week more effective than fewer or shorter sessions for individuals with chronic neck pain. Clinicians recommending massage and researchers studying this therapy should ensure that patients receive a likely effective dose of treatment.

The Role of Substance Use and Mental Health Problems in Medication Adherence Among HIV-Infected MSM

June 19, 2014 Comments off

The Role of Substance Use and Mental Health Problems in Medication Adherence Among HIV-Infected MSM
Source: LGBT Health

Mental health and substance abuse problems are highly prevalent among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) and frequently interfere with antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. Novel interventions that address underlying psychosocial health problems are necessary for improving ART adherence to enhance HIV-related health outcomes and suppress HIV viral load in an effort to prevent transmission to uninfected partners. This brief review describes the mental health problems and specific substances that pose the greatest threat to medication adherence among MSM and summarizes findings from recent intervention trials that simultaneously address ART adherence and comorbid psychosocial factors among HIV-infected MSM.

Medical Costs and Productivity Losses of Cancer Survivors — United States, 2008–2011

June 18, 2014 Comments off

Medical Costs and Productivity Losses of Cancer Survivors — United States, 2008–2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

The number of persons in the United States with a history of cancer has increased from 3 million in 1971 to approximately 13.4 million in 2012, representing 4.6% of the population (1,2). Given the advances in early detection and treatment of cancer and the aging of the U.S. population, the number of cancer survivors is projected to increase by >30% during the next decade, to approximately 18 million (2,3). Cancer survivors face many challenges with medical care follow-up, managing the long-term and late effects of treatments (4), monitoring for recurrence, and an increased risk for additional cancers (4,5). These survivors also face economic challenges, including limitations in work and daily activities, obtaining health insurance coverage and accessing health care, and increasing medical care costs. To estimate annual medical costs and productivity losses among male and female cancer survivors and persons without a cancer history, CDC, along with other organizations, analyzed data from the 2008–2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The results indicate that the economic burden of cancer survivorship is substantial among all survivors. For male cancer survivors, during 2008–2011, average annual medical costs and productivity losses resulting from health problems per person and adjusted to 2011 dollars were significantly higher among cancer survivors than among persons without a cancer history, by $4,187 and $1,459, respectively; for females, the estimated annual costs per person were $3,293 and $1,330 higher among cancer survivors than among persons without a cancer history, respectively. These findings suggest the need to develop and evaluate health and employment intervention programs aimed at improving outcomes for cancer survivors and their families.

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