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November 7, 2013

Premium and Prescription Savings for People with Medicare

Medicare premium costs are meeting or beating expectations for the third year in a row. The 2014 Part B premiums in original Medicare and most seniors and people with disabilities will remain the same at $104.90 a month.  According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the last five years have been among the slowest periods of average Part B premium growth in the program’s history.

August 16, 2013

The 48th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

July 30th marked the 48th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid becoming law.  Medicare helps older Americans, along with certain persons under 65 with disabilities, while Medicaid helps low-income working Americans and families.  Though each program serves a unique purpose, both help millions of Americans have the medical care they need to live healthier lives.

The reforms in the Affordable Care Act strengthen both Medicare and Medicaid.  Medicaid provides health coverage to 57 million people, including more than 4.6 million low income seniors, nearly all of whom are also enrolled in Medicare, and 27.8 million children. The Affordable Care Act is also strengthening the Medicare Trust Fund, extending its life until at least 2026, nearly a decade longer than projected at the time of the law’s passage in 2010. Over 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs as a result of the Affordable Care Act.  The Department for Health and Human Services is committed to sustaining, strengthening, and protecting Medicare and Medicaid on behalf of all Americans.

Read the full press release.

July 10, 2013

$150 Million Awarded to Enroll Uninsured Americans

On July 10, 2013, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $150 million in grant awards to 1,159 health centers across the nation to enroll uninsured Americans in new health coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act. With these awards, which health centers in all 50 states have received, consumers will get help understanding their coverage options through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program; determine their eligibility and what financial help they can get; and enroll in new affordable health coverage options. These awards, issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), complement and align with other federal efforts, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-funded Navigator program.  A list of health centers receiving this funding. Read the full press release: Health centers to help uninsured Americans gain affordable health coverage 

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June 11, 2013

CDC Releases Toolkit to Assist with Patient Notification Events after Unsafe Medical Practices

Unsafe injection practices and other lapses in basic infection control put patients at risk of infection. CDC has released a new toolkit to assist health departments and healthcare facilities with notifying patients after an infection control lapse or potential disease transmission during medical care.  This toolkit is intended to assist in conducting a swift and effective notification process.  It also provides resources to assist with creating notification documents, planning media and communication strategies, developing communication resources, and releasing notification letters.  The toolkit is composed of four sections, not all of which may be necessary for each patient notification.  Learn more about the Patient Notification Toolkit and how to use it.

May 1, 2013

HHS Releases Blueprint Standards for Language and Culture Appropriate Health Care

Health and Human Services (HHS) released enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care.  These updated standards, first established in 2000, will help organizations improve health care quality in serving the nation’s diverse communities.  A key initiative in the HHS Office of Minority Health’s effort to reduce health disparities, the update marks a major milestone in the implementation of the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. The updated CLAS Standards build on this ongoing effort to ensure that effective and equitable care is accessible to all.  It provides a framework to guide healthcare organizations in adopting services and policies that respect cultural and language differences. By adopting the framework, health and human services professionals will be better able to meet the needs of all individuals at all points of contact. Read the full news release here: HHS releases blueprint to advance culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health and health care

For additional information, please visit Think Cultural Health and HHS Office of Minority Health.

March 22, 2013

2013 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program

The 2013 NHSC Scholarship Program application cycle is now open until May 14, 2013!! The NHSC Scholarship Program awards scholarships each year to students pursuing careers in primary care. In return, students commit to serving for two to four years in high-need urban, rural, and frontier communities across the nation. The Application and Program Guidance can be found on the NHSC Website, which contains all of the program requirements and details.

February 8, 2013

New Children’s Electronic Health Record Format Announced

In an effort to bridge the gap between the current functionality in most electronic health records (EHR) and the functionality that will best serve children, the Children’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) Format has been developed. This Format specifically provides information to EHR system developers and others about critical functionality, data elements, and other requirements that need to be present in an EHR system to address health care needs specific to the care of children, especially those enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Please visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) website for more information.

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January 17, 2013

The Health Center Program New Access Point Announcement.

The Health Center Program New Access Point Announcement.  The link below will direct you to the full PDF funding opportunity announcement (FOA).  We encourage you to read the FOA carefully and in its entirety.  Click HERE to view the FOA and download the PDF.   For your convenience we put together a brief eligibility summary (click HERE) for you to decide if your business is eligible to apply.  The attached summary is only a guideline for eligibility requirements.  We wish you great success in your application process.

January 11, 2013

Advance Payment ACO Model

The new Accountable Care Organizations announced by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius include 15 Advance Payment Model ACOs. These are physician-based or rural providers who would benefit from greater access to capital to invest in staff, electronic health record systems, or other infrastructure required to improve care coordination.  Medicare will recoup advance payments over time through future shared savings. In addition to these ACOs, last year CMS launched the Pioneer ACO Program for large provider groups able to take greater financial responsibility for the costs and care of their patients over time.

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January 11, 2013

New Accountable Care Organizations

According to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid now have 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in Medicare. This will help ensure as many as 4 million Medicare beneficiaries now have access to high-quality, coordinated care across the United States. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 250 Accountable Care Organizations have been established.

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December 20, 2012

People with Medicare Save $5 Billion on Prescription Drugs Because of Health Care Law

On December 3, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the Affordable Care Act has helped more than 5.8 million people with Medicare fill prescription drug coverage gaps. Open enrollment ends on December 7, 2012 for those wishing to ensure uninterrupted coverage on January 1, 2013. During this time you can compare costs, benefits, and quality to find the best personalized Medicare health/drug plan.

To read more and to view a list of helpful resources click HERE

December 20, 2012

Reacting to Stress

We all experience stress at some point. There are interpersonal stressors, like arguments. There are overloads. I have too much to do and no time! And there are network stressors that happen around you. Researchers reviewed the National Study of Daily Experiences to see how people react to stress, and how that affected long-term health.

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November 16, 2012

Smokefree Smartphone Applications

NCI QuitPal is a free smartphone app to support smokers working to become smoke-free. This interactive app is developed using proven quit strategies and tools to help change behavior and assist you with giving up smoking.

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November 16, 2012

Tips from Former Smokers

The Tips from Former Smokers campaign features real people suffering as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. Their compelling stories send a powerful message: Quit smoking now. Or better yet — don’t start.

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November 16, 2012

Is it a cold or the flu?

As winter approaches, more and more people start to feel like they’re coming down with “something.” With flu season just around the corner, how do you know if you have the flu or the common cold?

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November 16, 2012

It’s Plain and Simple

Plain language is baked into the Digital Strategy. It charges content editors with using plain language for two reasons:

  • to be customer-centric
  • to use web content best practices

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November 16, 2012

Heading off arthritis

People can reduce their risk of the most common form of arthritis – and can reduce the risk that the condition will get worse if they have it. That form is osteoarthritis, where the cartilage at the ends of bones breaks down, so the bones can rub against each other.

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November 16, 2012

Digital Strategy In Action

Today we launched BeTobaccoFree.gov.  This site brings together the best tobacco-related information from across HHS.  It’s done in the spirit of the Digital Government Strategy, providing consumers with one-stop access to more than 120 different collections of tobacco-related web content from across the federal family. In addition, more than 100 redundant or outdated websites are being taken down as part of this effort.

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November 16, 2012

Supplementing teens

Burgers, pizza and soda are not a wholesome diet, although lots of teens might wish it. Fruits and vegetables, fish and dairy products are part of a wholesome diet, but lots of teens don’t like them. So researchers have been looking at ways to make up at least part of what’s missing, by vitamin and mineral supplements.

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November 16, 2012

HHS Launches BeTobaccoFree.gov

Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the launch of BeTobaccoFree.gov, a comprehensive website providing one-stop access to the best and most up-to-date tobacco-related information from across its agencies. This consolidated resource includes general information on tobacco, federal and state laws and policies, health statistics, and evidence-based methods on how to quit.

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November 16, 2012

Be Tobacco Free

The new website, www.BeTobaccoFree.gov, brings together the best information HHS has on the health effects of tobacco, quitting smoking, and more.

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November 15, 2012

Today is the Great American Smokeout!

On November 15, 2012, the American Cancer Society celebrates the 37th Anniversary of the Great American Smokeout! On the third Thursday in November, smokers make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and quit smoking that day (American Cancer Society, n.d.). To view available tools and more information about the Great American Smokeout, please visit:

http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/index

November 15, 2012

Want to Quit Smoking?

For Mike McMichael, eight rather than three was the magic number. A smoker for more than 25 years, he finally quit on the eighth try, while participating in a study of a new smoking cessation treatment being tested at the Durham Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.

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November 13, 2012

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers Aid in the Wake of Sandy

HHS has organized personnel in New York and New Jersey.  These individuals are providing public health and medical assistance for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  For more information on:

To learn more visit www.hhs.gov

November 12, 2012

Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Veterans Day

This Veterans Day, we honor all those who have served in our nation’s armed forces and are grateful for their service and dedication to our country. But we do more than honor them. The Obama administration and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are committed to the men and women who have served our nation and are helping to ensure that they lead fulfilling lives at home.

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November 8, 2012

Explore HHS’ Mobile Apps

The Digital Strategy requires us to make digital content available where, when, and how citizens want it. Many HHS websites are creating mobile versions or using responsive design sites to accomplish this. Others around the Department are creating apps for iPhone and Android smartphones. Today more than half of adult cell phone owners have apps on their phones, so in some cases that may be a good approach.  But creating an app also assumes that users will value it enough to keep it on their device.

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November 8, 2012

HHS Offers Aid in the Wake of Sandy

HHS has more than 1,200 personnel on the ground in New York and New Jersey, providing public health and medical assistance.

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November 8, 2012

National Diabetes Prevention Program

CDC awarded $6.75 million in grants under Prevention and Public Health Funds (PPHF) 2012—National Diabetes Prevention Program: Preventing Type 2 Diabetes Among People at High Risk. These funds will expand the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) to help establish a network of structured, evidence-based lifestyle change program designed to prevent type 2 diabetes among people at high risk. Funding was awarded to six organizations on the basis of the number of qualified applicants, the scope of the proposals, and the geographic reach.

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November 8, 2012

Preventing Chronic Disease October 2012 Releases

Have you seen the recently published articles in Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD)? Below you will find links to all manuscripts published in October 2012. Please visit our site at www.cdc.gov/pcd, where you will find other downloadable articles and information on PCD.

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November 8, 2012

Working to Address HIV/AIDS in Native American Communities

In her statement last week on the observance of National Native American Heritage Month, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius reiterated the Department’s commitment to ensuring the health and well being of all Americans. She highlighted examples of how the Department is working to reduce the health disparities that have burdened American Indians and Alaska Natives.

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November 8, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Matters for Women E-Newsletter Update

Pregnant women are classified as “at-risk individuals” in the 2006 Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. Research studies conducted after disasters in the United States have shown that pregnant women may have increased medical risks such as blood pressure disorders or anemia. Also, their infants may experience health issues such as low birth weight, shorter length, preterm birth, or smaller head size.

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November 8, 2012

SAMHSA’s Road to Recovery Update

Building on the 2012 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: It’s Worth It!,”  this episode features footage, photos, and interviews of participants from events held around the country as individuals, families, and entire communities united in celebration of Recovery Month. In addition, the show highlights the positive and affirming message realized by millions of Americans: Behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover!

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November 8, 2012

VFC-ACIP Vaccine Resolutions

Vaccine procured through the VFC program must be administered according to the guidelines outlined by the ACIP in VFC resolutions. VFC vaccine also may be administered in accordance with State school attendance laws.

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November 8, 2012

Lyme Disease Diagnosis and Treatment

Laboratory blood tests are helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Laboratory tests are not recommended for patients who do not have symptoms typical of Lyme disease. Just as it is important to correctly diagnose Lyme disease when a patient has it, it is important to avoid misdiagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease when the true cause of the illness is something else.

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November 8, 2012

Lyme Disease Data

To facilitate the public health and research community’s access to NNDSS data on Lyme disease, CDC has developed a public use dataset. Based on reports submitted to CDC, this dataset provides the number of reported cases by county for the years 1992-2006, in three 5-year intervals. County tabulation is by American National Standard Institute (ANSI) [formerly Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) codes]. ANSI county codes ending in “999” represent “unknown” county of residence within each state. More recent county-level case counts are not publicly available at this time.

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November 8, 2012

Loss of Key Blood Cell Gene Tied to Anemia, Animal Research Suggests

Scientists have discovered a new gene, known as Atpif1, that enables the body to make hemoglobin — the protein in red blood cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood.

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November 8, 2012

Anemia

If you have anemia, your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body. The most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives the red color to blood. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

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November 8, 2012

Body Temperature May Matter After Cardiac Arrest

Lowering the body temperature of people who have been resuscitated following cardiac arrest may increase their chances of survival, according to a new study.  Researchers also found that cooling cardiac arrest patients could result in greater brain function and the ability to perform normal daily tasks, such as bathing and dressing, after recovery.

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November 8, 2012

How Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Treated?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an emergency. A person having SCA needs to be treated with a defibrillator right away. This device sends an electric shock to the heart. The electric shock can restore a normal rhythm to a heart that’s stopped beating.  To work well, defibrillation must be done within minutes of SCA. With every minute that passes, the chances of surviving SCA drop rapidly.

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November 8, 2012

New Diabetes Drugs Have Different Advantages, Study Says

A head-to-head comparison of two new type 2 diabetes drugs produced mixed results.  In the study, liraglutide (Victoza) was somewhat better than the other drug, exenatide (Bydureon), in lowering blood sugar and weight, but Bydureon was associated with fewer side effects, researchers said.

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November 8, 2012

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood.

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November 8, 2012

Miscarriages Tied to Elevated Risk for Heart Conditions

A new study finds that women who have had one or more miscarriages are at increased risk for hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to problems such as heart attack and stroke.

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November 8, 2012

What Is Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis (ath-er-o-skler-O-sis) is a disease in which plaque (plak) builds up inside your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body.

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November 8, 2012

Heart Failure Patients May Be at Higher Risk for Cancer: Study

People suffering from heart failure may have a nearly 60 percent higher risk of developing cancer, a preliminary study suggests.  Moreover, cancer appeared to increase the risk of death in heart failure patients by 46 percent, according to lead researcher Dr. Tal Hasin, with the cardiology department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

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November 8, 2012
Pregnancy Hormone Shows Promise as Heart Failure Drug

A synthetic form of a hormone that ramps up during pregnancy might prove to be a powerful new drug against tough-to-treat heart failure.  Researchers who presented data from a study this week at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Los Angeles said the drug, serelaxin, shows promise.

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November 8, 2012

What Is Heart Failure?

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. In some cases, the heart can’t fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems.

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November 8, 2012

Mother’s Menopause May Influence Her Daughter’s Fertility

A mother’s age at menopause may predict her daughter’s fertility in terms of eggs remaining in her ovaries, a new study suggests.  For the study, researchers divided more than 500 Danish women, aged 20 to 40, into three groups: those whose mothers had an early menopause (younger than 45); normal menopause (46 to 54 years); or late menopause (older than 55).

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November 8, 2012

Infertility/Fertility

Infertility is the term health care providers use for women who are unable to get pregnant, and for men who are unable to impregnate a woman, after at least one year of trying.  In women, the term is used to describe those who are of normal childbearing age, not those who can’t get pregnant because they are near or past menopause.

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November 7, 2012

PAL 2013-02: Uniform Data System Changes for 2013

This Program Assistance Letter (PAL) provides information on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) changes to the calendar year (CY) 2013 Uniform Data System (UDS) to be reported by Health Center Program grantees in early 2014.

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November 1, 2012

Flu Risks for People with Diabetes

People with diabetes are at unique risk for flu-related complications. In recognition of American Diabetes Month, Flu.gov wants to give you the knowledge you need to fight illness this flu season.  Diabetes can weaken your immune system, which makes it harder for your body to fight the flu virus. Being sick can raise your blood glucose and prevent you from eating properly.

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November 1, 2012

Follow #Sandy

The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services provides more #Sandy related information at the link below.

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November 1, 2012

Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Investigation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with state and local health departments and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),  is investigating a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections among patients who received contaminated steroid injections. This form of meningitis is not contagious. The investigation also includes fungal infections associated with injections in a peripheral joint space, such as a knee, shoulder or ankle.

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November 1, 2012

More tanning bed cancers

Tanning beds can raise your risk of the deadly skin cancer, melanoma – and, researchers now say, your risk of other forms of skin cancer – not as often deadly, but damaging to your looks.  At the University of California, San Francisco, Eleni Linos reviewed data from articles involving about 80,000 people. She says indoor tanning accounts for about 170,000 new cases a year of these non-melanoma skin cancers. And she says the risk is higher among people under 25.

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November 1, 2012

What the label says

If the label on a dietary supplement says it can do something good for you, can you believe it? An investigation by the Office of the Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the answer is not necessarily. The IG’s office bought a sample of 127 supplements, and checked the accuracy of the claims.

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October 26, 2012

Smoking, Diabetes Are Risk Factors for Poor Leg Circulation: Study

New research confirms that smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can all raise men’s risk for poor circulation in the legs, otherwise known as peripheral artery disease (PAD).

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October 26, 2012

Issuance of Guidance on Management of Asymptomatic Patients Who Received Epidural or Paraspinal Injections with Contaminated Steroid Products

As part of its ongoing investigation of the multistate outbreak of fungal infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to assess and revise interim guidance to clinicians involved in the management of patients who received injections with contaminated steroid products distributed by the New England Compounding Center (NECC).1 Since early in the outbreak, CDC has recommended against antifungal prophylactic or presumptive treatment of exposed asymptomatic patients in the absence of diagnostic testing with results indicating meningitis. This recommendation remains unchanged.

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October 24, 2012

Smoking, Diabetes Are Risk Factors for Poor Leg Circulation: Study

New research confirms that smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can all raise men’s risk for poor circulation in the legs, otherwise known as peripheral artery disease (PAD).

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October 24, 2012

Issuance of Guidance on Management of Asymptomatic Patients Who Received Epidural or Paraspinal Injections with Contaminated Steroid Products

As part of its ongoing investigation of the multistate outbreak of fungal infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to assess and revise interim guidance to clinicians involved in the management of patients who received injections with contaminated steroid products distributed by the New England Compounding Center (NECC).

Read more…

October 23, 2012

Lose Weight the VA Way

Veteran William A. Collins says that his eating was “off the charts” when he finally realized how negligent he had become with his health. “I was eating too much unhealthy food, drinking too much soda, going out for late night meals, and not exercising,” he explains. “I was abusing myself.”

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October 23, 2012

Exercise May Beat Socializing at Staving Off Brain Shrinkage

Regular exercise may offer seniors more protection against brain shrinkage than social or mentally stimulating activities, a new study suggests.  Previous research has linked aging-related brain shrinkage to memory and thinking problems.

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October 23, 2012

Beans a Boon for People With Diabetes, Study Finds

People suffering from type 2 diabetes can see an improvement in both their blood sugar levels and blood pressure if they add beans and other legumes to their diet, Canadian researchers report.

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October 23, 2012

3-D Mammograms Might Be Safer, More Accurate, Early Study Shows

Scientists have developed a new technique to produce 3-D images of breast tissue that they say are two to three times sharper than current hospital CT scans with a lower radiation dose than is delivered currently by conventional mammograms.

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October 23, 2012

More Americans Have High Blood Pressure Under Control: Survey

Increased use of multiple drug combinations likely explains the significant increase in the number of U.S. adults with hypertension who say they have their blood pressure under control, according to a new study.

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October 23, 2012

Heart Disease Risk Factors Also Tied to Death From Prostate Cancer

Men with metabolic syndrome — a group of symptoms linked to heart disease and diabetes risk — may also face a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer if diagnosed with the disease, according to a large new study.

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October 23, 2012

Health Tip: Signs of Heart Attack in Women

Every 90 seconds, a woman in the United States has a heart attack, according to the womenshealth.gov website. Sadly, many women don’t recognize the typical symptoms.

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October 23, 2012

Approval Expanded for Sapien Artificial Heart Valve

U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve has been expanded to include additional people with aortic valve stenosis, the medical term for a narrowing of the aortic valve that prevents the valve from functioning properly.

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October 23, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Call with Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary Sebelius

We would like to invite you and your organization to attend a conference call on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 2:30pm PT with Dr. Jill Biden, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, breast cancer patients and survivors in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Dial in Number: 800-369-3106  Participant passcode: Breast Cancer Awareness  / Please dial in early to ensure participation as lines are limited

October 23, 2012

Lifting away type 2 diabetes

Men who do weight training consistently may reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. Add aerobic exercise to their routine, and their risk may drop even more. Researchers followed 32,000 men for two decades, adjusting results for other lifestyle factors. Men who did at least 150 minutes of weight training a week cut their risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 30 percent.

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October 19, 2012

Breast cancer and weight

A study indicates many breast cancer patients have a higher risk of the cancer coming back, and of dying, if they are overweight or obese.

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October 19, 2012

Linking Primary Care and Public Health through Residency Program Partnerships

Strong linkages across clinical medicine and public health are vital to addressing national health priorities. Collaboration among clinicians and public health is especially critical, given the United States’ rising health care costs and poorer health indicators when compared with other industrialized nations.

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October 19, 2012

Weight-Loss Surgery Tied to Drop in Heart Risk Factors

Gastric band surgery, and other types of weight-loss operations, can significantly reduce obese people’s risk for heart disease and stroke, and also improve the health of the heart itself, researchers report.

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October 19, 2012

Menopause Won’t Spur Weight Gain, But May Boost Belly Fat: Review

Menopause does not cause weight gain, but it does increase belly fat, according to a new study.  “It is a myth that the menopause causes a woman to gain weight. It’s really just a consequence of environmental factors and aging that cause that,” study leader Susan Davis, a professor at Monash University in Australia, said in an International Menopause Society news release.

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October 19, 2012

Health Tip: Am I at Risk for Endometriosis?

Endometriosis occurs in women when endometrial tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Pelvic pain during menstruation is a common symptom.

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October 19, 2012

Health Tip: Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that you can’t see or smell, but it can kill people and animals if a leak isn’t detected quickly.

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October 19, 2012

Could Green Tea Help Fight Prostate Cancer?

Six cups of green tea a day may slow the progression of prostate cancer, a new study suggests.  The finding stems from research that showed prostate patients scheduled for a type of surgery known as a prostatectomy, where the prostate is removed, reduced their levels of some disease-associated inflammation by drinking lots of brewed green tea in the weeks preceding the operation. And that reduction in inflammation may inhibit tumor growth, the researchers suggested.

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October 19, 2012

Colorful Detergent ‘Pods’ a Danger for Children: CDC

Those bite-sized, brightly colored packets of concentrated liquid laundry detergent need to be kept out of the reach of small children, who often mistake them for candy, U.S. health officials warn.  Ninety-four percent of poisonings from these laundry detergent “pods” are among kids aged 5 and younger, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

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October 19, 2012

Caring Parents Less Likely to Raise a Bully, Study Finds

Children whose parents know their friends, support them academically and talk to them are less likely than others to become bullies, according to a new study.

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October 19, 2012

Can Allergies Thwart Fatal Colon Cancer?

A new study suggests that people who suffer from both hay fever and asthma may be less likely to die from colon cancer.  The research found that people with both hay fever and asthma were 17 percent less likely to die from colon cancer compared with people who have neither condition. But individuals with hay fever or asthma had little reduction in their risk of fatal colon cancer, according to the report.

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October 19, 2012

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is a cancer that starts in the tissues of the breast. There are two main types of breast cancer:

  • Ductal carcinoma starts in the tubes (ducts) that move milk from the breast to the nipple. Most breast cancers are of this type.
  • Lobular carcinoma starts in the parts of the breast, called lobules, that produce milk

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October 19, 2012

Breast-Feeding Might Cut Risk for Tough-to-Treat Breast Cancer: Study

Breast-feeding may reduce a woman’s risk for a form of breast cancer that’s particularly difficult to treat, a new study suggests.  The study, by researchers at Columbia University, found that breast-feeding lowered the odds for estrogen receptor-negative and progesterone receptor-negative (ER/PR-) breast cancer.

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October 19, 2012

Blood Test May Help Define Breast Cancer Risk in Older Women

The effort to develop a blood test to reveal a woman’s risk for breast cancer may be one step closer to fruition, but is still far from becoming a reality, according to a new study.

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October 18, 2012

Common Antidepressants May Raise Stroke Risk a Bit, Study Finds

People taking the popular antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have a slightly higher risk of a hemorrhagic stroke, according to new research.  The increased risk for drugs such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Paxil (paroxetine), however, still translates only to about a one in 10,000 rate of a hemorrhagic stroke for anyone taking an SSRI for a year.

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October 18, 2012

New Vaccine Strategy May Fight Genital Herpes, Mouse Study Suggests

A new vaccination approach may provide protection against genital herpes as well as other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, according to a new study involving mice.  The vaccination model developed by researchers at Yale University focuses on tissue in the vagina where viral exposure occurs, rather than the immune system’s antibodies, known as T-cells, which circulate throughout the body.

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October 18, 2012

Multivitamins May Slightly Lower Men’s Cancer Risk: Study

What has become a daily ritual for millions of Americans may have an unintended and beneficial effect.  A new study finds that men who take multivitamins every day for several years may lower their risk of cancer by a small amount.  “Total cancer was reduced modestly by about 8 percent,” said Dr. J. Michael Gaziano, lead author of the study that appears online Oct. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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October 18, 2012

Antioxidants in Tea, Fruit, Veggies Might Fight Prostate Cancer: Study

Prostate cancer patients who, before their diagnosis, routinely consumed hefty helpings of the flavonoid compounds found in plant-based foods and drinks may be at lower risk for the most aggressive form of the disease, new research suggests.  But the research has significant limitations, the study authors noted, so it’s too soon to say that a plant-based diet protects against prostate cancer.

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October 18, 2012

New Resource Highlights Innovations in Oral Health Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS

I would like to call your attention to an excellent new resource that can help advance our efforts to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV: “Innovations in Oral Health Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS Exit Disclaimer,” a special supplement to Public Health Reports (the official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service). This PHR supplement presents findings from the Innovations in Oral Health Care Initiative, which involved 15, five-year demonstration projects supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau with resources from the Ryan White Care Act’s Special Projects of National Significance.

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October 17, 2012

When Adults Smoke in Cars, Child Passengers Suffer: Study

Smoking in cars produces levels of harmful particulate pollutants that are far above World Health Organization indoor air standards and likely pose a threat to children’s health, a new study reveals.

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October 17, 2012

Epilepsy Drug Shows Promise as Weight-Loss Aid, Study Says

A prescription medication originally developed to treat epilepsy may help obese adults shed weight when combined with routine nutritional counseling, researchers say.

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October 17, 2012

Brain Recovery From Alcoholism Seen Soon After Abstinence: Study

Two weeks of abstinence from drinking can reverse damage to the brain caused by chronic alcohol abuse, according to a new study.  However, recovery may vary among different parts of the brain.

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October 17, 2012

Alcoholism Shortens Life More Than Smoking: Study

New research suggests that people who are alcohol-dependent, particularly women, may be cutting their lives even shorter than smokers.  In the study, German researchers found death rates were 4.6-fold higher among alcohol-dependent women and 1.9-fold higher among alcohol-dependent men, compared with the general population.

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October 17, 2012

Cholesterol Levels Dropping in U.S. Adults, Mostly From Statin Use

When it comes to coronary artery disease in the United States, there’s good news and bad news.  The good news? Average levels of the worst forms of cholesterol are dropping among U.S. adults.

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October 17, 2012

Many Older Heart Attack Survivors Don’t Stick With Meds

Many older people who’ve survived a heart attack fail to take their prescribed medications over the long-term, a new study finds.

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October 16, 2012

7 Daily Servings of Fruits, Veggies Best for Happiness, Study Finds

People who eat seven servings of fruit and vegetables a day have the highest levels of happiness and mental health, according to a new study.  In a joint effort with Dartmouth University, researchers at the University of Warwick examined the eating habits of 80,000 people in England and found that mental well-being rose with the number of daily servings of fruits and vegetables, peaking at seven servings a day.

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October 16, 2012

Study Shows Bicycle Helmets Save Lives

A new study offers more proof that bicycle helmets prevent fatal head injuries.  Canadian researchers examined data on all 129 cycling deaths that occurred in the province of Ontario between January 2006 and December 2010. The cyclists ranged in age from 10 to 83 years old, and 86 percent were boys or men. Motor vehicles were involved in 77 percent of the deaths.

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October 16, 2012

Sitting Can Harm Health, Even for Those Who Exercise

Sitting for long periods boosts your risk of diabetes, heart disease and death, even if you work out regularly, a new study contends.  U.K. researchers analyzed data from 18 studies that included more than 794,000 people. They found that people who sit for long periods throughout the day have a two-fold increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and death compared to those who don’t.

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October 15, 2012

Seasonal Influenza (Flu)

This website helps you keep up to date with CDC updates on Seasonal flu.

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October 15, 2012

Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak – Current Case Count

Cases with Fungal Infections Linked to Steroid Injections.

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October 15, 2012

Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Investigation

CDC Responds to Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with state and local health departments and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)External Web Site Icon are investigating a multistate meningitis outbreak of fungal infections among patients who have received a steroid injection of a potentially contaminated product into the spinal area. This form of meningitis is not contagious. The investigation also includes fungal infections associated with injections in a peripheral joint space, such as a knee, shoulder or ankle.

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October 15, 2012

Global Handwashing Day and More Tools for Schools

Today is Global Handwashing Day, an occasion to support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap, shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in each country, and raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap.

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October 15, 2012

Join Vital Signs Live Facebook Chat on Preventing Teen Drinking and Driving as a part of National Teen Driver Safety Week

Did you know that nearly one million high school students drank alcohol and go behind the wheel last year? Teen drivers are 3 times more likely than more experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash. Drinking any alcohol greatly increases this risk for teens.  Parents can play an important role in keeping their teen drivers safe. Be part of our Facebook chat for moms and dads to learn what steps to take to protect the safety of their teens and others on the road. CDC’s Injury Center will be hosting a Facebook chat, Friday, October 19, at 10:00am ET on the CDC—Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers Facebook Page.  We’ll be talking about how to start the conversation about safe driving with your teen, who’s at risk, and what everyone can do to protect the lives of young drivers and everyone that shares the road with them.

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October 12, 2012

Dengue Fever & Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

The 4 dengue viruses (DENV) are immunologically related, positive-strand RNA viruses of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. These viruses cause both dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Asymptomatic infection also occurs. Infection with 1 DENV produces lifelong immunity against reinfection with that DENV type but no long-term cross-protection against the other 3 DENV types (any cross-protection is ≤2 months).

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October 12, 2012

Update: Dengue in Tropical and Subtropical Regions

Dengue virus is present in all tropical and many subtropical areas worldwide. The mosquitoes that carry dengue bite most often in the morning and evening and during hot, wet times of the year. However, they can bite and spread infection all year long and at any time of day.

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October 12, 2012

Dengue in Puerto Rico

The Dengue Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Although travel-associated dengue infections do occur and a number of dengue outbreaks have been detected in the continental United States, most dengue cases among U.S. citizens occur as a result of endemic transmission in some U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico.

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October 10, 2012

New England Compounding Center Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of All Products

New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. d/b/a New England Compounding Center (NECC) today announced a recall of all products currently in circulation that were compounded at and distributed from its facility in Framingham, Massachusetts. This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution due to the potential risk of contamination, and in cooperation with an investigation being conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy. The FDA had previously issued guidance for medical professionals that all products distributed by NECC should be retained and secured. While there is no indication at this time of any contamination in other NECC products, this recall is being taken as a precautionary measure.

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October 10, 2012

Instructions for Clinical Teams Regarding Diagnostic Testing and Specimen Submission to CDC – Outbreak Associated With Injection of Potentially Contaminated Steroid Products

The pathogens involved in this cluster of infections are still under investigation. At present, there is culture and/or histopathologic evidence of fungal infection in at least 9 patients; isolates have included Aspergillus spp. and Exserohilum spp. Because the ranges of pathogens associated with this outbreak may not have been fully determined, it is important to perform a thorough diagnostic work-up in exposed patient with signs and symptoms of CNS and/or parameningeal infections or septic arthritis. The following algorithm has been developed to help guide clinicians in their diagnostic work-up. These instructions are meant to supplement routine laboratory and microbiologic test deemed necessary by the clinical team and should not replace existing diagnostic protocol.

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October 10, 2012

Map of Healthcare Facilities which Received Three Lots* of Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) Recalled from New England Compounding Center on September 26, 2012

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October 10, 2012

Update: Multistate Outbreak of Meningitis and Stroke Associated with Potentially Contaminated Steroid Medication

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to work closely with state public health departments on a multistate investigation of fungal meningitis among patients who received an epidural steroid injection. Some of these patients also suffered strokes that may have resulted from their infection. These cases are associated with a potentially contaminated steroid medication prepared by New England Compounding Center (NECC), located in Framingham, Mass. This HAN notice provides updated information about the investigation (including a change in the case definition*), laboratory findings, an expanded voluntary recall of products, and recommendations for clinicians.

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October 2, 2012

October Is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

Substance use, including underage drinking and the non-medical use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, significantly affects the health and well-being of our nation’s youth and people of all ages.

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October 2, 2012

VA Leads Nation in Breast Cancer Screening Rates

The Department of Veterans Affairs leads the Nation in breast cancer screening rates and has outperformed non-VA health care systems in breast cancer screenings for more than 15 years, with 87 percent of eligible women receiving mammograms in the VA health care system in fiscal year 2010.   In comparison, in 2010, the private sector screened 71 percent of eligible women, Medicare screened 69 percent and Medicaid screened 51 percent, according to Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, a tool used by more than 90 percent of U.S. health plans to measure performance on important dimensions of care and service.

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October 2, 2012

Prevention & Wellness

Under the health care law, many insurers are required to cover certain preventive services at no cost to you.

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October 2, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a time to recognize the importance of prevention and early detection in the fight against breast cancer.

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October 2, 2012

Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In October, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we remember those who have lost their lives to breast cancer, and those who are battling it now, by recommitting ourselves to their fight and spreading the word of the importance of prevention and early detection.

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October 1, 2012

Child Health Day – October 1

In the U.S., the number babies who die in their first year of life is declining, with an all-time low 6.4 infant mortality rate (6.4 deaths for every 1,000 live births) reported in 2009, the most recent available data.  The U.S. infant mortality rate ranks near the bottom among industrialized nations. Moreover, there are persistent disparities that affect racial and ethnic minorities and geographic areas. As a result, Secretary Sebelius has announced the creation of the first-ever national strategy to address infant mortality.

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September 28, 2012

Exercising with Osteoarthritis

Exercise is safe for almost everyone. In fact, studies show that people with osteoarthritis benefit from regular exercise and physical activity. For people with osteoarthritis, regular exercise can help.

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September 28, 2012

Doctors don’t always address high blood pressure

Doctors sometimes miss the opportunity to better control their patients’ high blood pressure, according to a new study.  Researchers found that of 7,153 people with uncontrolled high blood pressure participating in a U.S. survey, only about 20 percent were prescribed new medications during doctors’ visits.

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September 28, 2012

More Americans getting pacemakers

The number of Americans getting pacemakers implanted has risen in the past two decades – and the recipients are increasingly older and sicker, a new study finds.  In 1993, there were about 121,300 pacemaker implantations in the U.S. By 2009, that number was 188,700 – a 56-percent increase.

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September 28, 2012

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the #2 cancer killer in the US among cancers that affect both men and women. But it doesn’t have to be. Screening can find precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

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September 28, 2012

People With Implantable Defibrillators May Need More Mental Health Support

Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are common among people with implanted heart defibrillators, but improved patient education and ongoing psychological support can help them cope.

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September 28, 2012

Seasonal Influenza

Flu vaccine for the 2012-13 influenza season has begun shipping from manufacturers. Shipments will continue throughout the fall. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a yearly vaccine. Right now, there is very little seasonal flu activity. Flu season usually begins in October and can last through May. Get vaccinated before flu season starts.

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September 28, 2012

FDA Approval for Regorafenib

On September 27, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved regorafenib (Stivarga® tablets, made by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) who have been previously treated with fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-based chemotherapy, with an anti-VEGF therapy, and, if KRAS wild type, with an anti-EGFR therapy.

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September 28, 2012

Readmissions for Heart Attacks

Readmission following an inpatient hospitalization is fairly common and costly.  High rates of hospital readmissions and unexplained variation in those rates may indicate problems in quality of care, transitions of care, and outpatient management following discharge.

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September 28, 2012

Results and Recommendations

Almost everyone needs to eat more fruits and vegetables. A growing body of research shows that fruits and vegetables are critical to promoting good health. To get the amount that’s recommended, most people need to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables they currently eat every day.

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September 28, 2012

The Affordable Care Act and the Quick Guide to Healthy Living

The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Many insurance plans are now required to cover the full cost of important preventive services, like medical tests (screenings) and shots (vaccines).

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September 28, 2012

Snack Attack!

Spice up snack time with these fun foods with calcium.

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September 28, 2012

Differences Seen in Lung Microbes of Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Marked differences exist between the communities of bacteria in the lungs of healthy people and those with cystic fibrosis, according to a new study.

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September 28, 2012

Declining Funding May Cause U.N. to Fall Short of Health Goals

Declining donor funding is one of the reasons most of the world will not meet the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals for women’s and children’s health by 2015, according to a new report.

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September 28, 2012

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

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September 27, 2012

Heart Attack – Frequently Asked Questions

The heart works 24 hours a day, pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the body. Blood is supplied to the heart through its coronary arteries. If a blood clot suddenly blocks a coronary artery, it cuts off most or all blood supply to the heart, and a heart attack results.

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September 27, 2012

U.S. Sees a Run on New Knees Since 1990s

The number of Americans getting knee replacement operations has jumped more than 100 percent over the past two decades, keeping many more older adults active and independent, a new study finds.

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September 27, 2012

Aging Population Poses Long-Term Challenges to U.S. Economy

The well-noted aging of the American population will continue long after the Baby Boomer generation crests, posing continuing economic challenges for the country for decades to come, a new congressionally mandated report states.

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September 27, 2012

MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program

Your FDA gateway for clinically important safety information and reporting serious problems with human medical products.

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September 27, 2012

FDA issues Safety Alert on Intestinomicina, drug product marketed as treatment for infectious diarrhea

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Intestinomicina, a drug product manufactured in El Salvador and marketed as a treatment for infectious diarrhea and acute gastrointestinal infections. Consumers who have purchased this product should immediately stop taking it and consult with a health care provider.

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September 27, 2012

Mirapex (pramipexole): Drug Safety Communication – Ongoing Safety Review, Possible Risk of Heart Failure

FDA notified healthcare profesionals about a possible increased risk of heart failure with Mirapex (pramipexole). Results of recent studies suggest a potential risk of heart failure that needs further review of available data. Because of the study limitations, FDA is not able to determine whether Mirapex increases the risk of heart failure. FDA is continuing to work with the manufacturer to clarify further the risk of heart failure with Mirapex and will update the public when more information is available.

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September 27, 2012

Mojo Nights and Mojo Nights for Her: Recall – Undeclared Drug Ingredient

Evol Nutrition Associates, Inc./Red Dawn (“Evol Nutrition”) notified the public of a nationwide recall of all lots of two dietary supplement products distributed by the company under the names Mojo Nights and Mojo Nights for Her to the consumer level. Testing by the FDA revealed the presence of undeclared tadalafil and sildenafil in Mojo Nights (Evol Nutrition is also recalling Mojo Nights for Her). Tadalafil and sildenafil are active ingredients of FDA-approved drugs for Erectile Dysfunction (ED), making Mojo Nights an unapproved new drug.

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September 27, 2012

Hydrocodone Bitartrate and Acetaminophen Tablets, USP 10 mg/500 mg (Watson Laboratories): Recall – Potential for Oversized and Superpotent Tablets

Watson Laboratories, Inc. notified the public of a voluntary nationwide recall for two lots of Hydrocodone Bitartrate and APAP Tablets, USP 10 mg/500 mg (Lot Numbers 519406A and 521759A, both with the expiry date April 2014, distributed between 6/27/2012 and 7/18/2012 to wholesale distributors and retail pharmacies nationwide).

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September 27, 2012

Set Your Goals

Many people find that having a firm goal in mind motivates them to move ahead on a project. Goals are most useful when they are specific, realistic, and important to you. Your success depends on setting goals that really matter to you. Write down your goals, put them where you can see them, and review them regularly. Consider both short- and long-term goals.

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September 27, 2012

How To Evaluate Health Information on the Internet: Questions and Answers

The growing popularity of the Internet has made finding health information easier and faster. Much of the information on the Internet is valuable; however, the Internet also allows rapid and widespread distribution of false and misleading information. You should carefully consider the source of information you find on the Internet and discuss that information with your health care provider. This fact sheet can help you decide whether the health information you find on the Internet or receive by e-mail is likely to be reliable.

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September 27, 2012

Get Your Cholesterol Checked 

You can lower your cholesterol to help reduce your risk of heart disease and live a longer, healthier life. That’s why it’s so important to find out your cholesterol levels as soon as possible.

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September 27, 2012

Choosing Whole Grain Foods

Whole grains are important sources of nutrients like zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and fiber.  There are many choices available to make half your grains whole grains. But whole-grain foods should be handled
with care. Over time and if not properly stored, oils in whole grains can cause spoilage. Consider these tips to select whole-grain products and keep them fresh and safe to eat.

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September 27, 2012

Make the Call. Don’t Miss a Beat

The Make the Call. Don’t Miss a Beat. campaign is a national public education campaign that aims to educate, engage, and empower women and their families to learn the seven most common symptoms of a heart attack and encourage them to call 9-1-1 as soon as those symptoms arise.

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September 27, 2012

Distracted Driving

39 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers. Twelve of these laws were enacted in 2010 alone.  10 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.

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September 27, 2012

Health Tip: Exercise to Combat Stress

Exercise helps more than just your physical well-being, experts say.

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September 27, 2012

That May Not Be a Cold, Could Be Fall Allergies

Many parents complain that as soon as school starts, their child inevitably catches a cold. But, while kids do swap their fair share of germs during the school day, not every runny nose stems from a cold — often, those sneezy symptoms are the result of fall allergies.

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September 27, 2012

Exercise and Physical Fitness

There are 1,440 minutes in every day. Schedule 30 of them for physical activity!  Regular exercise is a critical part of staying healthy. People who are active live longer and feel better. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. It can delay or prevent diabetes, some cancers and heart problems.

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September, 27, 2012

Working Out Cuts Women’s Appetite, Study Finds

Exercise reduces people’s motivation to eat, according to a small new study that found just 45 minutes of brisk walking lowers the brain’s response to food that day, regardless of a person’s body weight.

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September 27, 2012

COPD May Contribute to a Bad Night’s Sleep

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are more likely to sleep poorly than their peers without this serious condition, a new study confirms.  Their sleep quality may be associated with low oxygen levels in their arterial blood, the researchers found.

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September 27, 2012

Alcoholism Treatment Saves Families Money

Treating alcoholics greatly reduces the financial burden their addiction places on their families, according to a small new study.  Researchers looked at 48 German families with an alcoholic member. After 12 months of treatment, family costs directly related to the family member’s alcoholism fell from an average of $832 per month to an average of $178 per month.

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September 27, 2012

A Virus That Zaps Zits?

California researchers report in the Sept. 25 online edition of the journal mBio that they have taken a step in that direction, with the discovery that a harmless virus that lives on your skin seeks out and destroys the bacteria that can cause acne.

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September 26, 2012,

Social Determinants of Health

Health starts in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. We know that taking care of ourselves by eating well and staying active, not smoking, getting the recommended immunizations and screening tests, and seeing a doctor when we are sick all influence our health. Our health is also determined in part by access to social and economic opportunities; the resources and supports available in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities; the quality of our schooling; the safety of our workplaces; the cleanliness of our water, food, and air; and the nature of our social interactions and relationships. The conditions in which we live explain in part why some Americans are healthier than others and why Americans more generally are not as healthy as they could be.

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September 26, 2012

U.S. Antibiotic Prescribing Rates Highest in South: Study

Older people living in the South tend to use more antibiotics than their counterparts living elsewhere in the United States, a new study shows.  These high rates are not tied to any differences in disease patterns, researchers found, suggesting that antibiotics may, in fact, be over prescribed in Southern states. Antibiotics overuse is linked to risk of drug resistance, and the proliferation of so-called superbugs.

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September 26, 2012

Special Populations & Co-occurring Disorders

Special populations are groups who face particular risks from drinking alcohol based on personal characteristics such as age or gender.  Special populations also include certain ethnic and racial minorities who can experience more negative consequences of illness generally, and who may share certain drinking patterns.

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September 26, 2012

Alcohol Use Disorders

Alcohol use disorders are medical conditions that doctors can diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm. In the United States, about 18 million people have an alcohol use disorder, classified as either alcohol dependence—perhaps better known as alcoholism—or alcohol abuse.

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September 26, 2012
Health care law ensures consumers get clear, consistent information about health coverage
Because of the health care law, millions of Americans will have access to standardized, easy-to-understand information about health plan benefits and coverage.  Insurance companies and employers are now required to provide consumers in the private health insurance market with a brief summary of what a health insurance policy or employer plan covers, called a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC). Additionally, consumers will have access to a Uniform Glossary that defines insurance and medical terms in standard, consumer-friendly terms.

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September 26, 2012

The Affordable Care Act: Increasing Transparency, Protecting Consumers

The Affordable Care Act includes new patient protections that give you greater control over the care you receive, as well as new resources to make the health care system more transparent and competitive. These developments will help ensure that you have the information to make smart decisions and assure you that you are receiving a better value for your health care dollars.

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September 26, 2012

Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and Uniform Glossary

As of September 23, 2012 or soon after, health insurance issuers and group health plans are required to provide you with an easy-to-understand summary about a health plan’s benefits and coverage. The new regulation is designed to help you better understand and evaluate your health insurance choices.

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September 24, 2012

Poor Sleep May Make High Blood Pressure Worse

Insomnia is nobody’s friend, but new research indicates that those with high blood pressure who struggle to get enough sound sleep are twice as likely to have a resistant case of hypertension as those who sleep well.

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September 24, 2012

Health Tip: Improve Air Quality at Home

If the air inside your home is stagnant and doesn’t get replaced very often, the indoor pollution that results could worsen symptoms of allergies, asthma, or other chronic lung problems.

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September 24, 2012

Health Tip: Worried About Lead Exposure?

Lead — a highly toxic metal — may lurk in your home, your workplace or at your child’s school.  A prime source of exposure is lead-based paint, which was banned for use in U.S. housing in 1978. But buildings constructed before that year may still contain lead.

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September 24, 2012

If You Fall

Whether you’re at home or somewhere else, a sudden fall can be startling and upsetting. If you do fall, stay as calm as possible. Take several deep breaths to try to relax.

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September 24, 2012

Food and Water Needs: Preparing for a Disaster or Emergency

Follow these steps to make sure you and your family have enough safe food and water (for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc.) available in the event of a disaster or emergency.

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September 24, 2012

Trader Joe’s Voluntarily Recalls Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter Because of Possible Health Risk

Out of the utmost caution and care for our customers, Trader Joe’s is voluntarily recalling its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter because of potential contamination with Salmonella.   At this time, no confirmed illnesses directly linked to this product have been reported to Trader Joe’s.

 

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September 24, 2012

Kasel Associated Industries Recalls Boots & Barkley American Beef Bully sticks Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

Kasel Associated Industries of Denver, CO is voluntarily recalling its BOOTS & BARKLEY 6 COUNT 5 INCH AMERICAN BEEF BULLY STICKS product because it may be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can sicken animals that eat these products and humans are at risk for salmonella poisoning from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the pet products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

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September 21, 2012

Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator

Find a child car seat inspection station nearest you. Certified technicians will inspect your child car seat, in most cases, free of charge – and show you how to correctly install and use it.

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September 21, 2012

Secondhand Smoke (SHS) Facts

Most exposure to secondhand smoke occurs in homes and workplaces. Secondhand smoke exposure also continues to occur in public places such as restaurants, bars, and casinos and in private vehicles.

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September 21, 2012

Where You Live May Boost Your Sense of Well-Being

When families were given vouchers to move from impoverished neighborhoods to ones that were less poor, the adults in those families experienced lasting improvements in mental health and well-being, new research says.

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September 21, 2012

Suicide Now Kills More Americans Than Car Crashes: Study

More Americans now commit suicide than die in car crashes, making suicide the leading cause of injury deaths, according to a new study.  In addition, over the last 10 years, while the number of deaths from car crashes has declined, deaths from poisoning and falls increased significantly, the researchers report.

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September 21, 2012

Initial Guidance to States on Exchanges

This guidance document is the first in a series of documents that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intends to publish over the next three years to provide information to States and the Territories seeking to establish a Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange) under Section 1311(b) of the Affordable Care Act.

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September 21, 2012

Health Reform 2.0: Governors Pushing Back on Medicaid Expansion

The Obama administration snatched victory in the battle over health reform when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the president’s controversial health law earlier this year.  But the fight is far from over.

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September 21, 2012

Obese Kids May Have Dulled Taste Buds

Obese children have less sensitive taste buds than normal-weight children, according to a new study.  This diminished ability to distinguish all five types of taste — bitter, sweet, salty, sour and savory — may lead them to eat larger amounts of food in order to get the same taste sensation as normal-weight children, the German researchers suggested.

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September 21, 2012

The More They Burn, the Better They Learn

Physical activity is essential to a healthy lifestyle, and it can be especially important in helping kids do better in school. U.S. Health and Human Services studies show that regular physical activity for kids and teens improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, and increases self-esteem.

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September 21, 2012

Crack the Code for Health

Find out what you can do to help protect yourself and others from getting sick.

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September 21, 2012

You’re Invited: Join the White House Fall Garden Tour

This fall, the White House will once again open its gardens and grounds to visitors from across the country continuing First Lady Michelle Obama’s commitment to opening up the White House.

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September 20, 2012

Senators ask Surgeon General to Study Link Between Sugary Drinks and Obesity

U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, Ron Wyden and Richard Blumenthal wrote a letter to the U.S. Surgeon General, the Honorable Regina Benjamin, on September 12, 2012. The senators requested additional research on the impact of sugary beverages on obesity in the United States. Lautenberg states that soda consumption and obesity have both increased in the United States in the past few decades. In addition, public health officials recommend limited consumption of soda and sugary beverages. Lautenberg initially “filed an amendment to the Farm Bill requiring a study, but it was not included in the bill approved in the Senate.”

Read More HERE and HERE

September 20, 2012

FDA Looks for Answers on Arsenic in Rice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors hundreds of foods and beverages that make up the average American diet. The agency looks for substances that could be harmful to consumers, including industrial chemicals, heavy metals, pesticide residues and radiation contamination.

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September 20, 2012

Take Steps to Protect Yourself from Relationship Violence 

Relationship violence can start slowly and be hard to recognize at first.  For example, when people first start dating, it’s common to want to spend a lot of time together. It may be hard to tell if you are spending less time with other people just for now, or if your partner is trying to control your time.

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September 20, 2012

About The Buzz: Eating Late Is Making You Fat!

Eating most of your calories in the evening will make you gain weight because you don’t have time to burn them off before going to bed.

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September 20, 2012

Childhood Trauma Linked to Later Stroke Risk

Children who are emotionally neglected, or do not have their emotional needs met, may be at greater risk for stroke as adults, according to a new study.  The research, published online Sept. 19 in the journal Neurology, concluded that people who had a moderately high level of emotional neglect as children had a nearly three times greater risk for stroke than those who had moderately low levels of this type of neglect.

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September 20, 2012

Early Menopause May Double Heart Disease Risk, Study Says

Women who experience early menopause may face double the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a new study.  This increased risk is true across different ethnic backgrounds and is independent of traditional heart disease and stroke risk factors, the researchers said.

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September 20, 2012

Cooking-Oil Combo May Improve Blood Pressure

Reinforcing the role nutrition plays in heart health, new research suggests that cooking with a combination of sesame oil and rice bran oil can lower mild to moderately high blood pressure.

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September 20, 2012

What Is the DASH Eating Plan?

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a flexible and balanced eating plan. DASH was one of three eating plans that were compared in research studies sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The goal of this research was to study the effects of diet on high blood pressure. The results showed that the DASH eating plan lowers blood pressure.

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September 19, 2012

First Ultrasound to Spot Cancer in Dense Breasts Approved

The first ultrasound device to help doctors detect potential tumors in women with dense breast tissue has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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September 19, 2012

Self-Harm Associated With Premature Death in Study

People who self-harm are three times more likely to die prematurely than those in the general population, often because of poor health, a new study finds.  Researchers followed 30,000 people in the United Kingdom who were treated at emergency departments for self-injury or self-poisoning between 2000 and 2007. About 6 percent (more than 1,800) died during the median six-year follow-up.

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September 19, 2012

Report: 39 States on Pace for Obesity Rates Above 50%

If current trends continue, more than half the adults in 39 states could be obese by 2030, not just overweight, a new report says.  And 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60 percent, while all 50 states would have rates above 44 percent, according to the report, released Tuesday by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

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September 19, 2012

The Benefits of Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

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September 18, 2012

U.S. Senate Adopts National Falls Day Resolution

September 22, 2012 will now be designated National Falls Prevention Awareness Day to raise awareness and encourage the prevention of falls among older adults, according to Senate Resolution 553. Reasons given for the Resolution include the following falls related statistics: one out of every three older U.S. adults falls every year, and falls are the leading cause of injury, death and hospital admissions for older adults.

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September 18, 2012

New York City Board of Health Today Voted to Enact the Administration’s Proposal To Limit Size of Sugary Beverages Sold in Food Service Establishments

According to a press release issued by New York City Government, the New York City Board of Health passed the Administration’s proposal to limit the size of sugary beverages sold in food service establishments to 16 ounces. This regulation was adopted to combat the growing obesity epidemic that causes 6,000 New Yorkers to die each year. Sugary beverages with more than 25 calories per every eight ounces must be 16 ounces or less. The new regulation, which was adopted on September 13, 2012, will go into effect on March 12, 2013. Establishments, which include movie theaters, concessions, delis, and restaurants, have six months to comply with the regulation.

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September 18, 2012

Cancer Overtakes Heart Disease as Top Cause of Death Among U.S. Hispanics

Cancer is now the leading cause of death among U.S. Hispanics, a new report reveals.  While death rates for both cancer and heart disease have declined among the Hispanic population in the United States, cancer has edged out heart disease as the number one cause of death, according to the report published online Sept. 17 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Heart disease remains the top cause of death among non-Hispanic whites and blacks in America.

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September 18, 2012

Reduce Salt and Sodium in Your Diet

A key to healthy eating is choosing foods lower in salt and sodium. Most Americans consume more salt than they need. The current recommendation is to consume less than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams[mg] ) of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day.

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September 18, 2012

Reducing Access to Sugar-sweetened Beverages Among Youth

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars in the diet of U.S. youth.1 Consuming these beverages increases the intake of calories—a factor potentially contributing to obesity among youth nationwide.

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September 18, 2012

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet:  Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation.

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September 18, 2012

Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Hispanic Heritage Month

“Beginning September 15, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, recognizing the Latino community’s many contributions to our nation. At the same time, Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to renew our commitment to promote health and wellness in the Latino community.  Good health is fundamental to opportunity. The healthier we are, the more freedom we have to pursue our dreams and contribute to our families, our workplaces and communities.”

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September 18, 2012

Food and Water Needs: Preparing for a Disaster or Emergency

Follow these steps to make sure you and your family have enough safe food and water (for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc.) available in the event of a disaster or emergency.

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September 18, 2012

‘Doctor Shopping’ Tied to Fatal Prescription Drug Overdoses

People who visit multiple doctors and pharmacies to get medications are at greater risk of dying from a prescription drug overdose, according to a new study.  Drug-monitoring programs might help identify patients who engage in what’s known as “doctor shopping” or “pharmacy shopping,” the researchers said.

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September 18, 2012

“Mini” stroke can cause major disability, may warrant clot-busters

A transient ischemic attack , TIA or a “mini stroke,” can lead to serious disability, but is frequently deemed by doctors too mild to treat, according to a study in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

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September 18, 2012

Shoppers Who Read Food Labels Are Thinner, Study Says

People — particularly women — who read food labels while they grocery shop are thinner than people who don’t, a new study finds. Women who checked nutritional labels weighed what amounted to nearly 9 pounds less than those who didn’t.

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September 18, 2012

Focus on Preventing Falls

Each year, one in every three adults ages 65 or older falls and 2 million are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. And the risk of falling increases with each decade of life. The long-term consequences of fall injuries, such as hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can impact the health and independence of older adults. Thankfully, falls are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, many falls can be prevented. Everyone can take actions to protect the older adults they care about.

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September 17, 2012

Prevention of the Flu

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. There are additional steps you can take to keep yourself and your family healthy this flu season.

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September 17, 2012

Nutrient Information for Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Some of these nutrients may also be found in other foods. Eating a balanced diet and making other lifestyle changes are key to maintaining your body’s good health.

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September 17, 2012

Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.

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September 17, 2012

What People Recovering from Alcoholism Need to Know About Osteoporosis

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), nearly 17.6 million Americans—or 1 in 12 adults—abuse alcohol or are alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease characterized by a dependency on alcohol. Because alcohol affects almost every organ in the body, chronic heavy drinking is associated with many serious health problems, including pancreatitis, liver disease, heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

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September 17, 2012

Bacterial Vaginosis – CDC Fact Sheet

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the name of a condition in women where the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of certain bacteria.  It is sometimes accompanied by discharge, odor, pain, itching, or burning.

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September 17, 2012

Obesity Hits Rural Areas Harder Than Cities

Rural areas of the United States are affected by the obesity epidemic even more than urban centers, a new study finds.Researchers at the University of Florida said that nearly 40 percent of rural adults were obese (having a body mass index of 30 or higher) compared to 33 percent of people living in urban areas.

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September 17, 2012

Go4Life

Go4Life, an exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH, is designed to help you fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life. Motivating older adults to become physically active for the first time, return to exercise after a break in their routines, or build more exercise and physical activity into weekly routines are the essential elements of Go4Life. Go4Life offers exercises, motivational tips, and free resources to help you get ready, start exercising, and keep going. The Go4Life campaign includes an evidence-based exercise guide in both English and Spanish, an exercise video, an interactive website, and a national outreach campaign.

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September 17, 2012

STRESS…At Work

The nature of work is changing at whirlwind speed. Perhaps now more than ever before, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers and, in turn, to the health organizations. Through its research program in job stress and through educational materials such as this booklet, NIOSH is committed to providing organizations with knowledge to reduce this threat.

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September 14, 2012

Health Tip: Use a Stability Ball

A stability ball is an oversized, flexible ball that you can use to strengthen core muscles and get a good workout.

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September 14, 2012

Mammography’s Benefits Outweigh Harms for Older Women: Study

For women between the ages of 50 and 70, the benefits of getting a mammogram every two years outweigh the potential harms, a new European study indicates.  “Breast screening in ages 50 to 69 confers a large reduction in risk of dying of breast cancer,” said study leader Stephen Duffy, a professor of cancer screening at Queen Mary, University of London.

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September 14, 2012

Gestational Diabetes, Poverty Linked to ADHD

Gestational diabetes and a lower socioeconomic status are the latest environmental factors to be associated with an increased risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to new research.

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September 14, 2012

Almost Half of U.S. Adults Have Gum Disease

Gum disease affects nearly half of American adults aged 30 and older, a new study finds.  The study was published Aug. 30 in the Journal of Dental Research.

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September 14, 2012

Men More Prone to Depression After Stroke: Study

Although depression affects about one-third of all stroke victims, male stroke survivors are more likely to become depressed than females, a small new study suggests.  The gap may be due to men putting extra stock into the notion that they will enjoy good health, one of the researchers explained.

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September 14, 2012

Health Tip: What’s a Heart-Healthy Diet?

A heart-healthy diet focuses on plenty of healthy, high-fiber foods while avoiding foods that are high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol.

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September 14, 2012

‘Mini-Strokes’ May Be More Damaging Than Thought

Many people who have “mini-strokes” struggle with serious, lingering disabilities, even though the condition typically is considered too mild to treat, Canadian researchers report.  The findings suggest that it might be time to rethink that “hands-off” approach, they added.

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September 13, 2012

U.S. Expands SIDS Prevention Effort

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is ramping up efforts to reduce the risk of sleep-related sudden infant deaths, the agency announced Wednesday.

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September 13, 2012

Supportive Spouse May Extend Cancer Survival

Married patients with locally advanced lung cancer survive longer after treatment than single patients, a small new study finds.  This improved survival is linked to having a supportive spouse, the University of Maryland researchers said.

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September 13, 2012

Veterans in rural areas to get expanded access to health care

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric K. Shinseki today announced a joint effort to expand health care delivery to veterans living in rural areas.  The agreement between the two agencies promotes collaboration between VA facilities and private hospitals and clinics, and is supported by $983,100 in grants to improve access and coordination of care through telehealth and health information exchanges in rural areas.

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September 13, 2012

Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

September is National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month! Gynecologic cancers are cancers that start in a woman’s reproductive organs.

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September 13, 2012

Health Tip: Keep Your Teeth Healthier

Seniors are at greater risk of dental problems as they age, so oral hygiene becomes more important for healthier teeth and gums.

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September 13, 2012

More Water in Schools, More Healthy Food Retail in Underserved Areas are Discussed in New Publication

Researchers have found that increasing water access in schools and healthier food retail venues in underserved areas are parts of the solution to improve the food and beverage offered in the places where children and families live, work, play, and learn.

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September 13, 2012

HHS HealthBeat – Seeing the alcohol ads

Many magazines have large youth audiences. And a researcher says many alcohol ads in those magazines are violating industry standards.

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September 12, 2012

Reducing Cancer Among Women of Color

Disparities in prevention, early treatment, and final outcomes exist across the spectrum of cancer types and are often amplified in women’s health when we look at breast cancer and gynecologic cancers—primarily cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer. With over 300,000 new cases combined and 68,000 deaths annually, the impact that these cancers have on the United States cannot be overstated.

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September 12, 2012

West Nile Virus and Preventing Mosquito Bites

Many people who are bitten by an infected mosquito won’t get sick—many others aren’t as lucky. Since 1999, more than 30,000 people in the United States have been reported as getting sick with West Nile virus. Occasionally, an infected person may develop more severe disease such as “West Nile encephalitis,” “West Nile meningitis” or “West Nile meningoencephalitis.”

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September 12, 2012

National Cholesterol Education Month

Too much cholesterol in the blood is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke—leading causes of death in the United States. One way to prevent these diseases is to detect cholesterol and treat it when it is found. And yet, most adults with high cholesterol don’t have their condition under control.

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September 12, 2012

U.S. Panel Rejects Ovarian Cancer Screens for Low-Risk Women

A leading U.S. government panel has recommended against ovarian cancer screening for women who are not at high risk for the disease.

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September 12, 2012

Privacy & Security Training Games

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Office of the Chief Privacy Officer (OCPO) has released its first web-based security training module, CyberSecure: Your Medical Practice.

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September 12, 2012

National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action

A Report of the U.S. Surgeon General and of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.

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September 11, 2012

Health care law saved an estimated $2.1 billion for consumers

The health care law – the Affordable Care Act – has saved consumers an estimated $2.1 billion on health insurance premiums according to a new report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services.  For the first time ever, new rate review rules in the health care law prevent insurance companies in all states from raising rates with no accountability or transparency.  To date, rate review has helped save an estimated $1 billion for Americans.  Additionally, the law’s Medical Loss Ratio (or 80/20) rule is helping deliver rebates worth $1.1 billion to nearly 13 million consumers.

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September 11, 2012

Outbreak Notice Sarcocystosis in Malaysia

CDC has received reports from GeoSentinel1 of four cases of sarcocystosis that have been associated with 2012 summer travel to Tioman Island in Malaysia. Last year, 33 travelers returning from Tioman Island were similarly diagnosed with sarcocystosis.

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September 11, 2012

National Association of States United for Aging and Disability

“This administration believes that every American, no matter their age or disability, should have the choice to live an independent, meaningful life in their own community. Thanks to your work, more seniors and people with disabilities have that opportunity today than ever before.”

Read Entire Speech…

September 11, 2012

HHS HealthBeat – Who should be gluten-free

Researchers say many people who should avoid gluten don’t – and they wonder why others do. Those who should avoid gluten have celiac disease, so the protein – found in wheat, rye and barley products – triggers an allergic reaction.

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September 11, 2012

AltaMed Meaningful Using Dental Electronic Health Record for Care Coordination

In recognition of September’s National Health Information Technology (IT) Week, HRSA’s Health IT website is highlighting the AltaMed community health center’s integration of the electronic health record (EHR) with an electronic dental record (EDR) to improve care coordination within its primary care centered home model of care. By demonstrating meaningful use of the EHR technology, AltaMed became eligible for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ EHR Incentive Program in 2011.

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September 6, 2012

CDC: Million Hearts Launches New Educational Program to Improve Americans’ Blood Pressure Control

Customers at drugstores around the nation can get help to improve blood pressure control, through a collaboration among pharmacists, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other partners. The program, “Team Up. Pressure Down.,” includes educational videos, a blood pressure control journal, and wallet card to track medication use.

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September 5, 2012

CDC Hurricane Health & Safety Tip

Be prepared for hurricanes and other disasters. Have at least a 3 day supply of nonperishable food and clean drinking water for each household member, including pets.

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September 5, 2012

Advancing Excellence in Health Care

AHRQ, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is dedicated to improving the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. It is 1 of 12 agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Working with the public and private sectors, AHRQ builds the knowledge base for what works—and does not work—in health and health care and translates this knowledge into everyday practice and policymaking.

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September 5, 2012

Statement on National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September marks the start of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time for us to encourage America’s children to develop healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

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September 5, 2012

High blood pressure is out of control for too many Americans

The majority of people with high blood pressure are being treated with medicine and have seen a doctor at least twice in the past year, yet their condition is still not under control, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Millions more are either aware they have high blood pressure but aren’t getting treated with medicine or don’t even know they have it, the report says.

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September 5, 2012

Helping You Avoid Return Trips to the Hospital

If you or a loved one has ever been in the hospital for a serious condition, the last thing you want is a fast return trip.

But that’s what happens to 1 in 5 patients covered by Medicare, the health insurance program for people 65 and older, a major study Exit Disclaimer found. Hospital readmissions within 30 days are costly for Medicare and for patients. These readmissions total about $17 billion each year. Being readmitted to the hospital can also slow down a patient’s ability to recover or cause new problems.

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September 4, 2012

H3N2v Update: New Cases Reported, Limited Person-to-Person Transmission Detected

Today, 52 additional cases of H3N2v are being reported, bringing the total number of such infections since July 2012 in the United States to 276 across 10 states. Investigations into H3N2v cases indicate that the main risk factor for infection is exposure to pigs, mostly in fair settings; however, CDC also is reporting three instances of likely human-to-human spread of this virus during the current outbreaks. Found in pigs in 2010 and first detected in humans in July 2011, this H3N2 variant virus appears to be more transmissible from pigs to people than other variant viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with states to respond to this evolving situation and continues to monitor the situation closely.

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September 4, 2012

CDC Reports More Cases, Hospitalizations and Nation’s First H3N2v-Associated Death

Today, CDC is reporting 12 additional cases of H3N2 variant virus (H3N2v) infection, as well as the first H3N2v-associated death, which was reported by the state of Ohio. The death occurred in an older adult with multiple underlying health conditions who reportedly had direct exposure to pigs in a fair setting. While limited person-to-person spread of this virus has been detected and likely continues to occur sporadically, no sustained community transmission has been found. CDC is monitoring this situation and working with states to respond to these evolving outbreaks. The agency continues to urge people at high risk from serious flu complications to stay away from pigs and pig arenas at fairs this summer.

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September 4, 2012

FEMA Kicks Off Ninth Annual National Preparedness Month

As the remnants of Hurricane Isaac continue to impact portions of the country, FEMA kicked off the ninth annual National Preparedness Month, which occurs every September.

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September 4, 2012

HHS HealthBeat – A bit better walking

Research indicates more Americans are walking. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also indicates we have miles to go. The review of national survey data found about 62 percent of adults walked at least once for 10 minutes or more in the previous week in 2010.

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September 4, 2012

HHS HealthBeat – Women, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis

Obesity is bad in lots of ways – among them, it raises the risk of diabetes and heart disease. And Mayo Clinic researchers have linked obesity with rheumatoid arthritis.

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September 4, 2012

Health Tip: On the Go With Diabetes

Crossing time zones while adjusting your insulin doses can be tricky. Discussing your travel plans with your doctor can make the trip easier.

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August 30, 2012

New Blood Thinner Effient No Better Than Plavix at Preventing Heart Trouble: Study
The newer blood thinner Effient is no more effective than the widely used Plavix in preventing death, heart attacks or strokes, new research finds.  Nor is Effient (prasugrel) any safer than Plavix (clopidogrel) when it comes to bleeding complications in patients with acute coronary syndrome who have not had revascularization procedures such as bypass surgery or stenting.

August 30, 2012

Final Recommendation Statement: Screening for Chronic Kidney Disease

The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of routine screening for chronic kidney disease in asymptomatic adults.

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August 30, 2012

HHS HealthBeat -Noticeably less sleep

You might not notice, but not getting enough sleep might make you worse at noticing things.

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August 30, 2012

HHS HealthBeat-Noticeably less sleep

You might not notice, but not getting enough sleep might make you worse at noticing things.

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August 27, 2012

HHS announces next steps to promote use of electronic health records and health information exchange

Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the next steps in the Obama administration’s work to help doctors and hospitals use electronic health records.

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August 27, 2012

Diabetes Report Card 2012

This report is required under the Catalyst to Better Diabetes Care Act of 2009, which is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 10407 of Public Law 111-148, hereafter called the Affordable Care Act). The act states that the report card should be published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every 2 years and include data about diabetes and prediabetes, preventive care practices, risk factors, quality of care, diabetes outcomes, and, to the extent possible, trend and state data.

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August 27, 2012

HHS HealthBeat – Lower high blood pressure

If a parent had high blood pressure, you can have a higher risk. And researchers say that being physically inactive piles more risk onto that. But the researchers say being even moderately active cuts into the higher risk.

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August 27, 2012

HHS HealthBeat – The signs of bullying

If you’re worried that someone is bullying or being bullied, look for changes in their behavior. Let’s talk about the bullies. If a child is aggressive, is overly competitive and aware of popularity, or isn’t taking responsibility for their actions, they might be bullying others. Being bullied has warning signs, too.

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August 21, 2012

HHS HealthBeat – Actively controlling inflammation

Physical activity seems to rein in proteins that indicate inflammation, which is good, because sustained higher levels of those proteins indicate a higher risk of heart disease. And a study finds that people who exercised regularly had lower levels of the blood markers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6.

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August 20, 2012

Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium Infections Linked to Cantaloupe

CDC is collaborating with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections. Joint investigation efforts indicate that cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana is a likely source of this outbreak.  As a result of the initial investigations by the state health departments in Indiana and Kentucky, a farm in southwestern Indiana has contacted its distributors, which reach outside Indiana into other states, and is withdrawing its cantaloupe from the market place.The farm has agreed to cease distributing cantaloupes for the rest of the growing season.

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August 20, 2012

2012 West Nile virus update

Thus far in 2012, 43 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 693 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 26 deaths, have been reported to CDC. Of these, 406 (59%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 287 (41%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.

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August 20, 2012

Tanimura & Antle Voluntarily Recalls Single Lot of Romaine Lettuce Because of Possible Health Risk

Tanimura & Antle Inc. is voluntarily recalling a single lot of romaine lettuce because it may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria (E. Coli O157:H7).  The affected product is limited to Tanimura & Antle Field Fresh Wrapped Single Head Romaine. This product is packed in a plastic bag with the UPC number 0-27918-20314-9 and may have a Best Buy date of “08 19 12”

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August 20, 2012

Fall risk may rise after cataract surgery

Contrary to some past research, a new study finds that elderly adults who have cataract surgery could face an increased risk of falls and fractures in the next year – at least if they have only one eye done.

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August 20, 2012

Infections among homeless could fuel wider epidemics: study

Homeless people across the world have dramatically higher rates of infection with tuberculosis (TB), HIV and hepatitis C and could fuel community epidemics that cost governments dear, a study showed on Monday.

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August 20, 2012

HHS HealthBeat – Diabetes and death

More people have diabetes now than ever before. People with diabetes often have other health risk factors, like obesity and high blood pressure. But data from the National Health Interview Survey shows that death rates are declining in both men and women with diabetes.

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August 20, 2012

SAMHSA awards up to $4.6 million in youth suicide prevention grants to tribes through South Dakota

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced that four tribes in South Dakota were being awarded a combined total of up to $4.6 million over the course of the next three years to promote suicide prevention efforts in their communities.  Secretary Sebelius announced the awards during her visit to South Dakota today.

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August 20, 2012

CDC Hurricane Health & Safety Tip

During hurricane recovery, many people use alternate power sources such as generators and grills. Always use portable generators, camp stoves, and grills outside. Keep them away from windows, doors, and vents to prevent deadly CO poisoning.

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August 20, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Oral Health Home Page Update

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has selected oral health as one of the 12 Leading Health Indicators (LHIs) for Healthy People 2020. An HHS Webinar titled Who’s Leading the Leading Health Indicators will be held on Monday, August 20 at Noon, EDT.

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August 20, 2012

Did You Know

CDC recently revised its gonorrhea treatment guidelines because the oral antibiotic cefixime is becoming less effective in treating this sexually transmitted disease.

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August 17, 2012

Peer pressure and parents

Teens face peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol. Have a cigarette, it’s just one. Want a beer? Influences on what teens do often comes from their friends, but parents have big roles. Researchers interviewed high school freshmen and sophomores, asking them about their substance use, their friends – and their parents’ discipline behaviors and knowledge of their social lives.

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August 17, 2012

CDC Expanded Hepatitis C Testing Recommendations

CDC now recommends that all U.S. baby boomers get a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus. Data show that 1 in 30 baby boomers has been infected with hepatitis C and this population is five times more likely than other adult Americans to be infected with the virus. In addition, more than 15,000 Americans, most of them baby boomers, die of hepatitis C-related illness each year. CDC has put together a digital press kit full of helpful resources for your readers, viewers, and listeners. This kit includes key messages, charts, related links, and quotes from CDC hepatitis C experts.

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August 17, 2012

Small Business Vendor Outreach Event

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business  Utilization is hosting a Vendor Outreach Session for HUBZone and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses Only.

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August 17, 2012

U.S. kids downing more diet drinks

The number of U.S. children who drink sugar-free beverages has doubled in the past decade, a new study finds – though the health implications of the trend, if any, are unclear.

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August 17, 2012

Three Kids Dead From Codeine After Surgery: FDA

Following the deaths of three children and the near death of a fourth, U.S. health officials are warning about the risks of giving the pain reliever codeine to certain children following surgery.

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August 17, 2012

High BPA Levels Seen in People With Narrowed Arteries: Study

For the first time, researchers have uncovered evidence that a chemical found in a wide range of everyday plastic products may be tied to the risk for arterial narrowing, and thereby heart disease, among those found to have elevated levels of the chemical in their urine.

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August 17, 2012

A Few Hours of Weekly Exercise May Help Women’s Bones

Engaging in more than two hours of physical activity per week appears to help pre-menopausal women maintain healthy bones, new research suggests.

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August 17, 2012

Worrying About Weight

Researchers in Norway used data from nearly 12-hundred teenagers, both male and female, gathered from 1995 to 1997. All were normal weight at the time, but were asked if they considered themselves very fat, chubby, about the same as others, thin or very thin. The same group was contacted again 11 years later when they were 24-30 years of age. Half of the participants still had normal weights, but among those who were overweight, the researchers found significant differences.

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August 16, 2012

AHRQ Offers HCUP Training Webinars – August 29 and September 12

AHRQ is hosting a two-part webinar series on the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) databases, product, and tools.

 Read More…

August 16, 2012

Immunization Update 2012 Webcast – Thursday, August 16

Attention: Thursday, August 16, Immunization Update 2012 webcast. Two offerings of this webcast will air: 9:00-11:30 am EST AND 12:00-2:30 pm EST.

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August 16, 2012

HHS awards $68 million in grants for HIV/AIDS care for women, infants, children and youth

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the release of more than $68 million to ensure that women, infants, children, and youth living with HIV/AIDS receive comprehensive primary HIV medical care and support services.

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August 15, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Conversations with Parents: Provider Resources Update

Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents are updated regularly to reflect the most current information available about vaccines, vaccine safety, and vaccine-preventable diseases. CDC recently reviewed and updated (when necessary) the Understanding Vaccines and Vaccine Safety series of fact sheets.

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August 15, 2012

Health Information Technology and Quality Webinar  – “Telehealth Resources for Safety Net Providers” on Friday, August 17, 2012 — 2:00 pm EDT

Telehealth technology can be a valuable addition to a wide variety of care settings — from critical access hospitals and rural health clinics to ambulatory and primary care settings. Presented by HRSA’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT), this webinar will provide an overview of the HRSA activities and programs available to improve health care delivery, education and health information services to meet the needs of the underserved.

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August 15, 2012

Have You Heard? Facts from the Field

Have You Heard? Facts From The Field is a feature from the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support to provide CDC and the field with facts and news from state, tribal, local and territorial public health agencies. We invite you to read and share this information broadly.

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August 15, 2012

Supplements to Clinician/Group CAHPS® Endorsed by NQF

As part of a set of disparities and cultural competence measures, the National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed measures from two Clinician/Group CAHPS supplemental item sets: the CAHPS Cultural Competence Item Set, and the CAHPS Item Set for Addressing Health Literacy. CAHPS surveys ask consumers and patients to report on and evaluate their experiences with health care. The measures, “have undergone a rigorous evaluation by a panel of experts in cultural competency, disparities measurement, research and medicine, and public and community health, and will help the health care community better measure, understand, and eliminate disparities across the care spectrum,” said Dennis Andrulis, co-chair of NQF’s Healthcare Disparities and Cultural Competency Steering Committee.

 Read More…

August 15, 2012

New Fact Sheet: Model Aquatic Health Code

Download and print the new fact sheet, “The Model Aquatic Health Code: Making Swimming Healthy and Safe,”.

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August 15, 2012

Join the Stop Bullying Video Challenge
Join the Stop Bullying Video Challenge to help prevent and end bullying in schools and communities.

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August 15, 2012

“High-Impact HIV Prevention.”- Webcast

CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds, “High-Impact HIV Prevention.” This session will be available via live webcast from CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday, August 21 at 1 p.m.

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August 15, 2012

Twitter, and Mobile Technology, Take Off at AIDS 2012

When theXIX International AIDS Conference drew to a close, #AIDS2012 had been tweeted 85,608 times over the course of the six-day conference – a ten-fold increase over AIDS 2010. With free WiFi available throughout the convention center, the increasing role of new media in health communications, and conference delegates making ample use of smartphones and tablet computers, Twitter took off.

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August 14, 2012

Screening for Hearing Loss in Older Adults

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued today its final recommendation statement on screening for hearing loss in older adults.

Read More…

August 14, 2012

Health Tip: Possible Signs of an Ear Infection

Ear infections are common in babies and young toddlers, who may not always be able to verbalize that something’s wrong.

Read More…

August 14, 2012

Study Questions Guidelines on Radiation for Older Breast Cancer Patients

Giving radiation treatment to older women with early-stage breast cancer who have undergone a lumpectomy could lower their risk of needing a mastectomy later on, new research shows.

Read More…

August 14, 2012

Junk Food Laws in Schools May Mean Healthier Kids: Study

States with strong laws about what foods can be sold at school outside breakfast and lunch programs appear to have more students who stay at healthier weights, new research suggests.

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August 14, 2012

Mississippi most obese state, Colorado slimmest: study

Among U.S. states, Mississippi has the highest proportion of obese adults at 34.9 percent, and Colorado has the lowest, according to a survey released on Monday.

Read More…

August 14, 2012

Hospital patients often sent home with pending tests

More than one-third of hospital patients have at least one test result pending or otherwise not reviewed by the time they’re discharged, according to a new Australian study.

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August 14, 2012

(CDC) What’s New on the Malaria Site

What’s New on the Malaria Site for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

Read More…

August 14, 2012

Health Information Technology and Quality Webinar– “Telehealth Resources for Safety Net Providers” on Friday, August 17, 2:00 PM ET

Telehealth technology can be a valuable addition to a wide variety of care settings — from critical access hospitals and rural health clinics to ambulatory and primary care settings. Presented by HRSA’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT), this webinar will provide an overview of the HRSA activities and programs available to improve health care delivery, education and health information services to meet the needs of the underserved.

Read More…

August 14, 2012

AHRQ Annual Highlights, 2011

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is committed to helping the Nation improve our health care system. To fulfill its mission, AHRQ conducts and supports a wide range of health services research. This report presents key findings from AHRQ’s research portfolio during Fiscal Year 2011.

Read More…

August 14, 2012

CDC 2011 State Obesity Map Now Available

The 2011 CDC map detailing adult obesity prevalence for all U.S. states based on Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data is now available.

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August 14, 2012

CDC Safe Healthcare Blog: The unexpected infection preventionist

Today, on CDC’s Safe Healthcare Blog, Ann Marie Pettis, Director of Infection Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York talks about how she was drawn to protecting patients from infections that can occur in healthcare.

Read More…

August 14, 2012

Treating High Cholesterol Podcast

This audio program features current news and information from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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August 13, 2012

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) conducts several workshops throughout the year. These workshops provide extended knowledge about MEPS data, practical information about usage of MEPS public use data files and an opportunity to construct analytic files with the assistance of AHRQ staff.

Read More…

August 13, 2012

Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science – Public Reporting as a Quality Improvement Strategy

In 2004, AHRQ launched a collection of evidence reports, Closing the Quality Gap: A Critical Analysis of Quality Improvement Strategies, to bring data to bear on quality improvement opportunities. These reports summarized the evidence on quality improvement strategies related to chronic conditions, practice areas, and cross-cutting priorities.

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August 13, 2012

Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science – The Patient-Centered Medical Home

In 2004, AHRQ launched a collection of evidence reports, Closing the Quality Gap: A Critical Analysis of Quality Improvement Strategies, to bring data to bear on quality improvement opportunities. These reports summarized the evidence on quality improvement strategies related to chronic conditions, practice areas, and cross-cutting priorities.

Read More…

August 13, 2012

Recurrent Nephrolithiasis in Adults: Comparative Effectiveness of Preventive Medical Strategies

The information in this report is intended to help health care decisionmakers—patients and clinicians, health system leaders, and policymakers, among others—make well-informed
decisions and thereby improve the quality of health care services. This report is not intended to be a substitute for the application of clinical judgment. Anyone who makes decisions concerning the provision of clinical care should consider this report in the same way as any medical reference and in conjunction with all other pertinent information, i.e., in the context of available resources and circumstances presented by individual patients.

Read More…

August 10, 2012

Statins’ Heart Benefits Outweigh Diabetes Risk: Study

The cardiac benefits of statins outweigh any increased chances for developing diabetes, even among those who run the highest risk of developing the blood sugar disease, Harvard researchers report.

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August 10, 2012

Evaluation of Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests for Influenza A (H3N2)v Virus and Updated Case Count

Previous reports have described cases of influenza A (H3N2) variant (H3N2v) virus* infection with the influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 M gene detected in the United States during July 2011–July 2012 (1–3). This report provides 1) an update on the number of reported cases of H3N2v infections from July 12 to August 9, 2012, in the United States, 2) an updated results interpretation for the CDC Flu Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) Dx Panel for A(H3N2)v for public health laboratories, and 3) an evaluation of rapid influenza diagnostic tests for the detection of H3N2v viruses.

Read More…

August 10, 2012

Conversations from AIDS 2012

In the final of my series of conversations from AIDS 2012, I had an opportunity to sit down with Ms. Tiffany West, Chief of the Strategic Information Bureau in the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration at the District of Columbia Department of Health.

Read More…

August 10, 2012

Celebrating Public Housing Primary Care Health Centers

The Anthony L. Jordan Health Center in Rochester, NY, which is one of the first 5 FQHC in the nation, began its health programs in 1902 in the basement of a local settlement house.  They recently celebrated National Health Center Week by offering healthy snacks and raffles to win back-to-school backpacks at each of their comprehensive health centers.  Their Brown Square Health Center also assembled a health fair with local health and human services partners and offered free health screenings to patients throughout the day. They will also begin a series of grand openings, celebrating their newly created medical and dental suites in three local public housing facilities. Jordan Health Center will host grand opening events to celebrate these new services on August 17 at Andrews Terrace, September 14  at Kennedy Tower, and October 19 at Glenwood Garden. The founders, Dr. Anthony L. Jordan and Dr. Kenneth Woodward, tried to remove barriers to care. They believed that patients must receive care with dignity and respect regardless of race, gender or economic status. Through the years, the doctor’s “house call” slowly disappeared from healthcare. Jordan’s basic medical/dental suites are bringing healthcare back to these homes.

Find out more about the Anthony L. Jordan Health Center

August 10, 2012

CDC Announces Injury Control Research Centers Notice of Awards: Injury Center News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) is pleased to announce the award of seven Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs).

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August 10, 2012

Celebrating Community Health Centers

This week, we join our colleagues across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in celebrating the work of the HHS-supported community health centers during National Health Center Week. The centers provide preventive and primary care services to more than 20 million Americans every year and are important partners in implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

Read More…

August 9, 2012

CDC: Gradual drop in youth tobacco use continues, but significant problem areas remain

Tobacco use among American middle school and high school students showed a slow decline from 2000 to 2011, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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August 9, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Oral Health Home Page Update

CDC reminds dental practitioners of the safe injection practices in dentistry that are critical for patient safety.

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August 9, 2012

NCHHSTP Newsroom: CDC Updates Gonorrhea Treatment Guidelines

Facing the threat of untreatable gonorrhea, today CDC published updated recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), no longer recommending the oral antibiotic cefixime as a first-line treatment option for gonorrhea in the United States.

Read More…

August 9, 2012

NCHHSTP Newsroom: CDC Issues Guidance on Use of Medication to Prevent HIV Infection Among Heterosexually-Active Adults

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released interim guidance for the use of medication to prevent HIV infection among heterosexually-active women and men.

Read More…

August 9, 2012

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health Disparity & Health Equity Conference, September 24 & 25, 2012

The Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health Disparity & Health Equity Conference is bringing together NHPI leaders, community stakeholders, advocates, policy makers, philanthropic leaders, researchers, and students from across the continent, Hawai‘i, the US Associated Pacific Islands and other Pacific Island Nations. Together we will present and examine new and innovative concepts, methods, and research findings on health disparities that impact the NHPI community. This conference will highlight the importance of robust health and healthcare data for evaluating the status of understudied and underserved populations. Attendees will receive a summary of key findings from the Pacific Islander Health Study, a representative survey on the health and healthcare utilization of Pacific Islander adults and adolescents. This is a great opportunity to network, share research, and learn from the community.

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August 9, 2012

Reducing Oral Health Disparities in the United States, Webinar on August 20, 2012 

Oral health is essential to overall health. Oral diseases, which range from cavities to oral cancer, cause pain and disability for millions of Americans each year. Oral diseases may be prevented by increasing access to regular dental care.

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August 9, 2012

Conversations from AIDS 2012: Ron Valdiserri and Gina Brown on Women’s HIV Research

During the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012 Exit Disclaimer) last month, I had an opportunity to catch up with Dr. Gina Brown, Coordinator of Women and Girls and Microbicides Research at the NIH’s Office of AIDS Research.

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August 9, 2012

Secretary Sebelius Approves Indicators for Monitoring HHS-Funded HIV Services

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius recently approved the use of seven common core indicators for monitoring HHS-funded HIV prevention, treatment, and care services. What are these indicators and what are the next steps in this effort?

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August 9, 2012

Extension of Expiration Date for the AHRQ Funding Opportunity Announcements in Health Information Technology

This Notice extends the expiration date for two AHRQ Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA’s).

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August 9, 2012

HCUP Projections

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) has posted a new report that uses longitudinal HCUP data to project national estimates on health care priorities.

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August 9, 2012

HCUP Method Series Reports

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) has posted a new report on methodological issues concerning administrative databases.

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August 8, 2012

Cholesterol Levels Getting Better for U.S. Kids: CDC

Cholesterol levels among U.S. kids have improved in recent decades, but almost one in 10 still has high total cholesterol, which endangers their heart health, U.S. health officials report in a new study.

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August 8, 2012

Health Resources and Services Administration – Health Information Technology and Quality Webinar-“Telehealth Resources for Safety Net Providers” , Friday, August 17, 2:00 PM ET

Telehealth technology can be a valuable addition to a wide variety of care settings — from critical access hospitals and rural health clinics to ambulatory and primary care settings. Presented by HRSA’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT), this webinar will provide an overview of the HRSA activities and programs available to improve health care delivery, education and health information services to meet the needs of the underserved.

Read More…

Friday, August 17, 2:00 PM ET

August 8, 2012

Cincinnati Beacon Community Partnership

“Thanks to the efforts that we’ve undertaken in the last few years, electronic health record adoption rates that had been flat are now growing rapidly. Today, more than 3,300 of the nation’s hospitals are in the process of adopting electronic health records. And electronic health record use among doctors has tripled.”

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August 8, 2012

CDC Releases Demographic Analysis of HIV Treatment Cascade at AIDS 2012

At the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012 Exit Disclaimer) last week, CDC released important information that helps us look more closely at the HIV treatment cascade. Their national analysis is the first to examine the proportion of persons engaged in the stages of HIV care by race/ethnicity, gender, age, and risk factor. This information helps us determine where and how to focus our efforts to make necessary improvements at each stage of the cascade. (Last month, we shared a blog post about the HIV treatment cascade describing what it is and why it is important an important tool to support our work to achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.)

Read More…

August 8, 2012

Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Community Health Center Week

There are 8,500 health center sites across the country, treating more than 20 million people each year. They are the cornerstones of stronger communities.  They also boost local economies, adding more than 25,000 jobs in the last three years.  This year, as we celebrate Community Health Center Week and its theme of “Powering Healthier Communities,” we keep in mind that for 45 years, community health centers have served individuals and families whether they have private insurance, insurance through a public program like CHIP or Medicaid, or no insurance at all.

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August 8, 2012

Preventing Chronic Disease

Have you seen the recently published articles in Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD)? Below you will find links to all manuscripts published in July 2012. Please visit our site at www.cdc.gov/pcd, where you will find other downloadable articles and information on PCD.

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August 8, 2012

The Cloud: Using Web-Based Tools for Collaboration

A typical day in the life of many AIDS.gov team members involves writing, editing, and sharing documents — blog posts, training materials, conference materials, reports, videos, and more. Multiple team members working across cities and time zones contribute to and review each document, so having quick, effective, and easy ways to share documents is key. Below, we highlight tools we use to help streamline our communication and document collaboration.

Read More…

August 7, 2012
Six in 10 adults now get physically active by walking

Sixty-two percent of adults say they walked for at least once for 10 minutes or more in the previous week in 2010, compared to 56 percent in 2005, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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August 7, 2012

Obama administration issues new rules to cut red tape for doctors and hospitals, saving up to $9 billion

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today the release of a new rule that will cut red tape for doctors, hospitals, and health plans. In combination with a previously issued regulation, the rule will save up to $9 billion over the next ten years. The regulation adopts operating rules for making health care claim payments electronically and describing adjustments to claim payments.

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August 7, 2012

Medicare prescription drug premiums to remain steady for third straight year

Average basic premiums for Medicare prescription drug plans are projected to remain constant in 2013, Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius announced today.  The average 2013 monthly premium for basic prescription drug coverage is expected to be $30. Average premiums for 2012 were projected to be $30 and ultimately averaged $29.67. At the same time, since the law was enacted, seniors and people with disabilities have saved $3.9 billion on prescription drugs as the Affordable Care Act began closing the “donut hole” coverage gap.

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August 7, 2012
Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit

There had been efforts in the past to confront bullying. At the Department of Health and Human Services, our Health Resources and Services Administration launched an educational campaign that reached young people everywhere from elementary and middle schools to Boys and Girls Clubs and 4-H clubs. The Department of Justice conducted outreach through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and fought to protect bullied students’ civil rights in the courtroom.

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August 7, 2012
Increasing Access to Affordable, Cost Effective, High Quality Care

For more than 45 years, community health centers have delivered comprehensive, high-quality preventive and primary health care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. During that time, community health centers have become the essential primary care medical home for millions of Americans, including some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations.

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August 7, 2012
Gamification: How Can We Work It?

During Eric Hackathorn’s recent webinar on ‘Game On! How Gamification Can Work in Government’, it was stated that “recent studies show that 70% of Americans play video or computer games. The numbers are expected to rise with mobile apps and other emerging technology. ” This statement was followed by the question, “ how can government tap into this surge?

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August 6, 2012
After the cancer

Getting through the treatment may not be the end of the story for teenagers or young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. A study says many of them have chronic medical problems that may not be related to cancer but may be related to lifestyle.

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August 6, 2012

Treatment Options for Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women

If you’re a woman and you’ve been experiencing pain in the area between your hips and below your belly button for at least three months, you may have a condition known as chronic pelvic pain.

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August 6, 2012

CDC Hurricane Health & Safety Tip

There are often many hazards in a hurricane-damaged home. Learn how to stay safe when it’s time to return home.

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August 6, 2012

CDC Registry (IIS): CPT[TM] Codes Mapped to CVX Codes Update

A new CPT code was added to the CPT to CVX mapping table. The code, 90644 (Meningococcal conjugate vaccine, serogroups C & Y and Hemophilus influenza B vaccine (Hib-MenCY), 4 dose schedule, when administered to children 2-15 months of age, for intramuscular use) maps to CVX code 148.

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August, 6, 2012

CDC Reports Cases 18-29 of H3N2v Virus Infection; Continues to Recommend Interim Precautions When Interacting with Pigs

The CDC reported an additional 12 cases of human infection with influenza A (H3N2) variant virus (or “H3N2v virus”).

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August 6, 2012

New for 2012: Virtual Conferene Pilot for the 2012 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media

Participate online in the 2012 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing,

and Media, August 7 – 9, 2012

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August 3, 2012

Did You Know  

About 61 million US adults are at high risk for serious vision loss, but only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months.

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August 3, 2012

Omega-3’s and inflammation

Inflammation is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Research at Ohio State University showed that omega-3’s may reduce proteins that cause inflammation. Participants, either overweight or obese, were given supplements in different doses. Some got placebos. Both higher and lower omega-3 doses helped reduce inflammation.

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August 3, 2012

CDC What’s New on the Influenza Site

There are new updates on the CDC Influenza Site.

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August 3, 2012

Health Benefits for Soldiers Returning from Combat Zones

Veterans who served in combat operations after 1998 are eligible for an extended period of eligibility for VA health care for cost free medical care for any condition related to your service in the Iraq/Afghanistan theatre.

Read More…

August 3, 2012

White House Releases National HIV/AIDS Strategy Progress Update

This week the White House released an update on federal efforts to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2011 and 2012. The report provides an overview of the progress made on the implementation of the Strategy and an update on new activities taking place at the federal level.

Read More…

August 2, 2012

Drop in cigarette consumption offset by increases in other forms of smoked tobacco

Sharp  increases in total adult consumption of pipe tobacco (used for roll-your-own  cigarettes) and cigarette-like cigars since 2008 have offset declines in total  cigarette consumption, according  to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Although total  cigarette consumption continued an 11-year downward trend with a 2.5 percent  decline from 2010 to 2011, dramatic increases in use of non-cigarette smoked tobacco  products have slowed the long decline in overall consumption of smoked tobacco  products.

Read More…

August 2, 2012

DASH the high blood pressure

Pushing down high blood pressure can reduce the risk of quite a number of conditions that kill people, such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. And obesity raises the risk of high blood pressure. So it makes sense to control your weight.

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August 2, 2012
West Nile virus disease cases up this year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to take steps to prevent West Nile virus infections.  Outbreaks of West Nile virus disease occur each summer in the United States.  This year, some areas of the country are experiencing earlier and greater activity.

Read More…

July 31, 2012

Screening for Coronary Heart Disease With Electrocardiography

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued today its final recommendation statement on screening for coronary heart disease with electrocardiography. To view the recommendation and the evidence on which it is based, please click here. A fact sheet that explains the final recommendation statement in plain language is also available on this Web page. The final recommendation can also be found in the July 31 online issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Read More…

July 31, 2012

Health care law gives women control over their care, offers free preventive services to 47 million women

Forty-seven million women are getting greater control over their health care and access to eight new prevention-related health care services without paying more out of their own pocket beginning Aug. 1, 2012, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.

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July 31, 2012

The Seven Pillars: A Different Approach to Medical Liability

Seven Pillars is a new process developed by a Chicago hospital system to prevent and deal with medical errors.  It’s based on full disclosure and taking responsibility, and is designed to reduce medical malpractice lawsuits.  And AHRQ now is testing it in other hospitals.

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June 5th, 2012

HHS harnesses the power of health data to improve health

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the Institute of Medicine (IoM) and other members of the Health Data Consortium, are co-hosting the third annual “Datapalooza” focusing on innovative applications and services that harness the power of open data from HHS and other sources to help improve health and health care.

Read More

 

March 22, 2012 –

Senate Stabenow-Boozman Health Centers Dear Colleague

Contact your U.S. Senators to ask them to co-sign the Health Centers Dear Colleague Letter; deadline to sign is THIS Friday!

We need you to contact your U.S. Senators TODAY to ask them to sign onto the Stabenow-Boozman Health Centers Dear Colleague Letters in support of health center funding. Follow the instructions below to contact your Senators TODAY!

Take action NOW:

CALL both of your U.S. Senators directly using the toll-free NACHC Advocacy Hotline at 1-866-456-3949 to ask for their support as Co-Signers.

Ask your Senators to: Sign onto the Stabenow-Boozman Health Centers Dear Colleague Letter. This is a general support letter for Health Centers program funding.To sign on, Democrat Senators may contact Alex Sheff in Sen. Stabenow’s office at 202-224-4822 and Republican Senators can contact Jack Sisson in Sen. Boozman’s office at 202-224-4843.

Senators must sign onto the Health Centers Dear Colleague Letter by close of business THIS Friday, March 23!

ALSO Click here now to send a message to your Senators through the Grassroots Action Center.

>>Check to see if either or both of your U.S. Senators have already signed on to the Dear Colleague Letters.

We need you and every health center advocate to deliver the message about the importance of Senators signing onto the Stabenow-Boozman Health Centers Dear Colleague Letters. Please contact your Senators TODAY to ask for their support. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact us at grassroots@nachc.com.

Background Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR) have authored a “Dear Colleague” letter to convey support for health centers that will be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  In the House, Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) have authored a Dear Colleague letter supporting health centers that will be sent to the House Appropriations Committee; the deadline to sign onto the House letter has passed. Senators must sign onto the Health Centers Dear Colleague Letter by close of business THIS Friday, March 23! These Dear Colleague letters are an important tool for Members of the House and Senate to publicly demonstrate their support for health centers.

Additional Information Funding health centers at $3.1 billion in FY2013 would provide a $300 million increase for the Health Centers Program, above the FY2012 programmatic level of $2.8 billion.  In FY2012, health centers’ discretionary appropriations were funded at $1.6 billion and health centers also received $1.2 billion in mandatory funding from the health centers’ Trust Fund (established in the Affordable Care Act), for total programmatic funding of $2.8 billion.

For FY2013, health centers are requesting a total programmatic funding of $3.1 billion, including $2.8 billion in base discretionary funds.  The $300 million increase of mandatory funds would both expand services at existing health centers and open new health centers. For more information visit the Health Centers on the Hill blog on the NACHC website or contact us directly with questions at grassroots@nachc.com.

February 14, 2012 –

The rebate drug product data file [ZIP] contains the active drugs that have been reported by participating drug manufacturers as of the most recent rebate reporting period under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.  All drugs are identified by National Drug Code (NDC), unit type, units per package size, product name, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval date, the date the drug entered the market, plus indicators to show whether the drug is an innovator or non-innovator drug; whether it is available by prescription or over-the-counter (OTC); the FDA therapeutic equivalency code; and the Drug Efficacy Study Implementation (DESI) rating and termination date, if applicable.  (Note: Only active drugs and drugs with a termination date on or after the last processed quarter are included in the file). For your convenience, we are also providing you the record specification and definitions for the drug product data file [PDF]

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(Source: Medicaid.gov)

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