domingo, 31 de marzo de 2013

CDC e-HAP FYI Updates: New On-line Rapid HIV Testing Course

CDC e-HAP FYI Updates: New On-line Rapid HIV Testing Course

The CDC's new on-line “Rapid HIV Testing Training Course” will offer an opportunity for HIV Prevention Providers working in non-clinical settings to gain knowledge and skills on administering rapid HIV testing. Rapid HIV Testing will allow providers greater reach into places where HIV testing has not been available.
The on-line course has four modules:
  1. Overview and Introduction to Rapid HIV Testing
  2. Safe Work Practices and Specimen Collection for Rapid HIV Testing
  3. Quality Assurance and Quality Control in a Rapid HIV Testing Environment
  4. HIV Prevention Counseling and Providing Rapid HIV Test Results
The Rapid Testing Training course can be accessed at the HIP eLearning Center Website by visiting and selecting “Rapid HIV Testing - Online” in the interventions and courses dropdown menu. Once participants enter their login or create a new login, they will complete the PIF and enter the course.
The modules will take approximately 5 hours to complete, if completed in one setting. Participants may also start the online course, save their completed portion and return to complete the remaining portion of the course.
All materials in the course are based on CDC guidelines, protocols and established best practices related to rapid HIV testing, as seen in clinical and non-clinical settings. Content contained in the modules include Basic Programmatic components of an HIV testing program such as how to set up an acceptable work area for conducting HIV rapid testing; collecting test specimens by finger-stick and oral swab; and QA related to test interpretation. The on line course will be available for participants April 1, 2013.
For additional questions contact:
Dwayne Banks at or 404 639-3873
Chezia Carraway at or 404 639-8057

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

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

Womens Health E-Newsletter Banner
March 2013

Health Matters for Women

New from CDC

HIV Among Women
Updated fact sheet.
STDs and Travel
Travelers who have casual sex are at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Prevent STDs when you travel overseas.
Public Health Grand Rounds Video: Reducing Teen Pregnancy in the United States
Prevention of teen pregnancy requires broad-based efforts including evidence-based sexual health education, support for parents in talking with their children about pregnancy prevention and other aspects of sexual and reproductive health, and ready access to effective and affordable contraception for teens who are sexually active. The Beyond the Data: Reducing Teen Pregnancy in the U.S. video provides key points about teen pregnancy prevention.
Impact of an Innovative Approach to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV — Malawi, July 2011–September 2012
Using data collected through routine program supervision, this report is the first to summarize Malawi's experience implementing Option B+ under the direction of the MOH and supported by the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. In Malawi, the number of pregnant and breastfeeding women started on ART per quarter increased by 748%, from 1,257 in the second quarter of 2011 (before Option B+ implementation) to 10,663 in the third quarter of 2012 (1 year after implementation).
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2013
Understand your risk of HIV infection, get educated about how HIV is spread, get tested to find out your status, and get treated if you are living with HIV.
Understanding Evidence – Violence Prevention
Understanding Evidence is a new, interactive web resource that supports public health practitioners in making evidence-informed decisions around violence prevention. This free, online resource offers practitioners and others working to prevent violence important knowledge and resources for using evidence in their decision making processes.
Clinical Guidelines for Occupational Lifting in Pregnancy: Evidence Summary and Provisional Recommendations
Available in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, available online March 1, 2013.
10 Tips for Planning a Healthy and Safe Wedding
Enjoy your wedding day by making healthy choices now to help you look and feel good. Create good habits to last for a lifetime.
Eligibility and Enrollment in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) — 27 States and New York City, 2007–2008
The results of this analysis indicate that, although WIC covered most eligible women overall and in many states during 2007–2008, an estimated 662,800 eligible women were not enrolled in WIC in the 27 states examined. The proportion of eligible women who were enrolled in WIC varied widely by state.
Prevention and Control of Meningococcal Disease: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
Includes two sections on Safety of Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Pregnancy, and Vaccinating during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding.
Mobile Device Use While Driving — United States and Seven European Countries, 2011
In the United States, few differences by sex were observed. A significantly larger percentage of both men and women aged 25–44 years reported talking on a cell phone while driving compared with those aged 55–64 years, and a significantly larger percentage of men and women aged 18–34 years reported that they had read or sent text or e-mail messages while driving compared with those aged 45–64 years.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Caitlin's Story
March is deep vein thrombosis (DVT) awareness month. About 300,000 to 600,000 people are newly affected by DVT each year in the United States. Read about one woman's experience with DVT.
Self-directed and STD-focused SAS Instruction
CDC’s Division of STD Prevention announces the release of the Self-directed and STD-focused SAS Instruction (SASSI). This series of 10-module online training modules teaches users how to use SAS software to analyze STD data.
Staying Healthy on a Cruise
Don’t risk spoiling your cruise vacation with an unexpected illness. Follow these tips for a safe and healthy cruise vacation.
April is STD Awareness Month - Make a Difference
April is STD Awareness Month, an opportunity for individuals, doctors, and community-based organizations to address ways to prevent some of the nearly 20 million new sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) that occur in the United States each year.
HIV Infection Among Heterosexuals at Increased Risk — United States, 2010
Overall, 25.8% of participants had never been tested for HIV until the NHBS survey. Given the high HIV prevalence in this sample, additional research should be conducted to identify culturally appropriate interventions that overcome barriers to HIV testing and increase linkage to care for heterosexuals with low SES in urban areas with high prevalence of AIDS.


Thumbnail imageQuickStats: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Disease Death Rates* Among Women Aged 25–54 Years, by Race and Age Group — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2000–2010
Thumbnail imageFIGURE 3. Weighted percentage of adults aged 18–64 years who reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving at least once and read or sent text or e-mail messages while driving at least once in the past 30 days,* by sex and age group — United States, HealthStyles, 2011
Thumbnail imageQuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged ≥18 Years Who Often Felt Worried, Nervous, or Anxious,* by Sex and Age Group — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2010–2011

From Other U.S. Federal Agencies

Remarks by the President and Vice President at Signing of the Violence Against Women Act (White House)
A Comprehensive Approach for Community-Based Programs to Address Intimate Partner Violence and Perinatal Depression (HRSA)
HHMI Grantee Implementation Evaluation: Addressing Domestic Violence in Hispanic Healthy Relationship Programs (ACF)
Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010 (DOJ)
SAMHSA Accepting Applications - Targeted Capacity Expansion Grants for Providing Substance Abuse Treatment to Minority Women at High Risk for HIV/AIDS (TCE-HIV: Minority Women grants)
Vice President Biden and Attorney General Holder Announce Grants to Help Reduce Domestic Violence Homicides

National, State and Local

Recommendations for Weight Gain During Pregnancy – Resources and Materials (IOM, Kellogg)
Ensuring the Health Care Needs of Women: A Checklist for Health Exchanges (Kaiser Family Foundation)
Event to Mark Launch of Stanford Center on Gender Health Differences
abcd™ + Y-Me™
Draft Research Plan: Screening for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia (USPSTF)
NYC Announces New Campaign to Further Reduce Teen Pregnancy


Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis of Population-Based Data from 12 Countries
Daily-use HIV Prevention Approaches Prove Ineffective among Women in NIH Study
CDC Podcasts
Listen to the latest podcasts on women’s health.
CDC E-Cards
Send women’s health e-cards. — HIV Policy & Programs. Research. New Media. — HIV Policy & Programs. Research. New Media.

CDC Launches Hepatitis Testing Day Event Page

Hepatitis Testing Day May 19Preparations for the second annual observance of Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19th are underway and you can play a major role in making testing day a success. As called for in the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, Hepatitis Testing Day is a day for people at risk for viral hepatitis to be tested, and for health care providers to educate patients about chronic viral hepatitis and testing.
To support Hepatitis Testing Day activities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently launched a new Hepatitis Testing Day Event page on the website of the National Prevention Information Network (CDC NPIN). The page allows visitors to search for Hepatitis Testing Day events taking place near them throughout the month of May, which is also Hepatitis Awareness Month.
To make the new Hepatitis Testing Day event page useful to everyone across the U.S., CDC needs your support. If you are hosting an event, you can help by going to the Hepatitis Testing Day Event page and registering your event today (or as soon as your event details are available). If you know of others who are organizing events for Hepatitis Testing Day, please encourage them to register their events as well.
“We encourage everyone that are planning events on this day to post them on this website so we can provide ample dissemination and demonstrate solidarity with other events across the nation,” stated Mr. Gilberto Ramirez, Public Health Advisor in CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis.

Did You Know? - March 29, 2013

Did You Know?
March 29, 2013
CDC STD content syndication graphic

Please share this email with others interested in improving public health practice through evidence-based strategies. A library of "Did You Know?" information is available online.

CDC study: recommended vaccines for young children do not increase risk of autism

CDC study: recommended vaccines for young children do not increase risk of autism

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC study: recommended vaccines for young children do not increase risk of autism

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CDC study: recommended vaccines for young children do not increase risk of autism
A new study has found no link between the number of vaccines given to children on one day or in the first 2 years of life and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study, published online in the Journal of Pediatrics , March 29, 2013, can help allay parent concerns about perceptions that the current vaccine schedule advocates too many vaccines too soon in a child’s life. The study further strengthens the conclusion of a 2004 comprehensive review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that there is no relationship between certain vaccine types and autism. For more information on vaccine safety and autism, see

College Health Update

College Health Update


College Health Update

New on the MedlinePlus College Health page:
03/28/2013 10:02 AM EDT

Source: HealthDay - Video
03/22/2013 09:00 AM EDT

Second study found similar connection with other drugs
HealthDay news image

Source: HealthDay

Incidence, Prevalence, and Cost of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States

New Links on MedlinePlus


New Links on MedlinePlus

03/28/2013 09:24 PM EDT

Source: National Center for Health Statistics - PDF
Related MedlinePlus Page: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Regular marijuana use by teens continues to be a concern | National Institute on Drug Abuse

Regular marijuana use by teens continues to be a concern | National Institute on Drug Abuse

NIDA’s 2012 Monitoring the Future survey shows rates stable or down for most drugs
December 19, 2012
Continued high use of marijuana by the nation's eighth, 10th and 12th graders combined with a drop in perceptions of its potential harms was revealed in this year's Monitoring the Future survey, an annual survey of eighth, 10th, and 12th–graders conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan. The survey was carried out in classrooms around the country earlier this year, under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Audiocast of the 2012 Monitoring the Future Results
The 2012 survey shows that 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoke marijuana daily, up from 5.1 percent five years ago. Nearly 23 percent say they smoked it in the month prior to the survey, and just over 36 percent say they smoked within the previous year. For 10th graders, 3.5 percent said they use marijuana daily, with 17 percent reporting past month use and 28 percent reporting use in the past year. The use escalates after eighth grade, when only 1.1 percent reported daily use, and 6.5 percent reported past month use. More than 11 percent of eighth graders said they used marijuana in the past year.
The Monitoring the Future survey also showed that teens' perception of marijuana's harmfulness is down, which can signal future increases in use. Only 41.7 percent of eighth graders see occasional use of marijuana as harmful; 66.9 percent see regular use as harmful. Both rates are at the lowest since the survey began tracking risk perception for this age group in 1991. As teens get older, their perception of risk diminishes. Only 20.6 percent of 12th graders see occasional use as harmful (the lowest since 1983), and 44.1 percent see regular use as harmful, the lowest since 1979.
A 38–year NIH–funded study, published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that people who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38—an average of eight points for those who met criteria for cannabis dependence. Those who used marijuana heavily before age 18 (when the brain is still developing) showed impaired mental abilities even after they quit taking the drug. These findings are consistent with other studies showing a link between prolonged marijuana use and cognitive or neural impairment.
"We are increasingly concerned that regular or daily use of marijuana is robbing many young people of their potential to achieve and excel in school or other aspects of life," said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, alters the ability of the hippocampus, a brain area related to learning and memory, to communicate effectively with other brain regions. In addition, we know from recent research that marijuana use that begins during adolescence can lower IQ and impair other measures of mental function into adulthood."
Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person's existing problems worse. In one study, heavy marijuana abusers reported that the drug impaired several important measures of well–being and life achievement, including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.
"We should also point out that marijuana use that begins in adolescence increases the risk they will become addicted to the drug," said Volkow. "The risk of addiction goes from about 1 in 11 overall to about 1 in 6 for those who start using in their teens, and even higher among daily smokers."
Use of other illicit drugs among teens continued a steady modest decline. For example, past year illicit drug use (excluding marijuana) was at its lowest level for all three grades at 5.5 percent for eighth graders, 10.8 percent for 10th graders, and 17 percent for 12th graders. Among the most promising trends, the past year use of Ecstasy among seniors was at 3.8 percent, down from 5.3 percent last year.
"Each new generation of young people deserves the chance to achieve its full potential, unencumbered by the obstacles placed in the way by drug use," said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy. "These long–term declines in youth drug use in America are proof that positive social change is possible. But now more than ever we need parents and other adult influencers to step up and have direct conversations with young people about the importance of making healthy decisions. Their futures depend on it."
The survey also looks at abuse of drugs that are easily available to teens because they are generally legal, sometimes for adults only (tobacco and alcohol), for other purposes (over–the–counter or prescribed medications; inhalants), or because they are new drugs that have not yet been banned. Most of the top drugs or drug classes abused by 12th graders are legally accessible, and therefore easily available to teens.
For the first time, the survey this year measured teen use of the much publicized emerging family of drugs known as "bath salts," containing an amphetamine–like stimulant that is often sold in drug paraphernalia stores. The data showed a relative low use among 12th graders at 1.3 percent. In addition, the survey measured use of the hallucinogenic herb Salvia, finding that past year use dropped among 10th and 12th graders, down to 4.4 percent for 12th graders from last year's 5.9 percent.
Abuse of synthetic marijuana (also known as K–2 or Spice) stayed stable in 2012 at just over 11 percent for past year use among 12th graders. While many of the ingredients in Spice have been banned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, manufacturers attempt to evade these legal restrictions by substituting different chemicals in their mixtures. Another drug type - inhalants - continues a downward trend. As one of the drugs most commonly used by younger students, the survey showed a past year use rate of 6.2 percent among eighth graders, a significant drop in the last five years when the 2007 survey showed a rate of 8.3 percent.
The data shows a mixed report regarding prescription drug abuse. Twelfth graders reported non–medical use of the opioid painkiller Vicodin at a past year rate of 7.5 percent. Since the survey started measuring its use in 2002, rates hovered near 10 percent until 2010, when the survey started reporting a modest decline. However, past year abuse of the stimulant Adderall, often prescribed to treat ADHD, has increased over the past few years to 7.6 percent among high school seniors, up from 5.4 percent in 2009. Accompanying this increased use is a decrease in the perceived harm associated with using the drug, which dropped nearly 6 percent in the past year—only 35 percent of 12th graders believe that using Adderall occasionally is risky. The survey continues to show that most teens who abused prescription medications were getting them from family members and friends.
The survey also measured abuse of over–the–counter cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan-5.6 percent of high school seniors abused them in the past year, a rate that has held relatively steady over the past five years.
The 2012 results also showed a continued steady decline in alcohol use, with reported use at its lowest since the survey began measuring rates. More than 29 percent of eighth graders said they have used alcohol in their lifetime, down from 33.1 percent last year, and significantly lower that peak rate of 55.8 percent in 1994. For 10th graders, 54 percent of teens reported lifetime use of alcohol, down from its peak of 72 percent in 1997. Binge drinking rates (five or more drinks in a row in the previous two weeks) have been slowly declining for eighth graders, at 5.1 percent, down from 6.4 percent in 2011, and 13.3 percent at their peak in 1996.
Cigarette smoking continues at its lowest levels among eighth, 10th and 12th graders, with dramatic long–term improvement. Significant declines were seen in lifetime use among eighth graders, down to 15.5 percent from last year's 18.4 percent, compared to nearly 50 percent at its peak in 1996. Significant declines were also seen in 10th grade lifetime use of cigarettes, down to 27.7 percent from 30.4 percent in 2011. Peak rates for 10th graders were seen in 1996 at 61.2 percent. For some indicators, including past month use in all three grades, cigarette smoking remains lower than marijuana use, a phenomenon that began a few years ago.
The survey also measures several other kinds of tobacco delivery products. For example, past year use of small cigars was reported at nearly 20 percent for 12th graders, with an 18.3 percent rate for hookah water pipes.
"We are very encouraged by the marked declines in tobacco use among youth. However, the documented use of non–cigarette tobacco products continues to be a concern," said Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H., assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Preventing addiction includes helping kids be tobacco free so they can enjoy a fighting chance for health."
Overall, 45,449 students from 395 public and private schools participated in this year's Monitoring the Future survey. Since 1975, the survey has measured drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes in 12th–graders nationwide. Eighth and 10th graders were added to the survey in 1991. Survey participants generally report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past year, and past month. Questions are also asked about daily cigarette and marijuana use. NIDA has provided funding for the survey since its inception by a team of investigators at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, led by Dr. Lloyd Johnston. Additional information on the MTF Survey, as well as comments from Dr. Volkow, can be found at
MTF is one of three major surveys sponsored by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services that provide data on substance use among youth. The others are the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The MTF website is: http://monitoringthefuture.orgExternal link, please review our disclaimer.. Follow Monitoring the Future 2012 news on Twitter at @NIDANewsExternal link, please review our disclaimer., or join the conversation by using: #MTF2012. Additional survey results can be found at or Information on all of the surveyed drugs can be found on NIDA's Web site:
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is the primary source of statistical information on substance use in the U.S. population 12 years of age and older. More information is available at:
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey, part of HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, is a school–based survey that collects data from students in grades 9–12. The survey includes questions on a wide variety of health–related risk behaviors, including substance abuse. More information is available at

NIDA Press Office
About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA's new DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or fax or email requests to 240-645-0227 or Online ordering is available at NIDA's media guide can be found at, and its new easy-to-read website can be found at
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit
NIH. . .Turning Discovery Into Health

How do beta blocker drugs affect exercise?

How do beta blocker drugs affect exercise?

How do beta blocker drugs affect exercise?
  • Updated:Mar 27,2013
Mature Woman Reading Medication BottleBeta blockers are a type of cardiac medication prescribed after a heart attack or to treat abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and other conditions. They slow down your heartbeat, and that raises a common question about them: Do they affect your ability to exercise?

The answer can vary a great deal, depending on the severity of your condition, so checking with your healthcare provider is vital. It’s also important to understand how these drugs affect your heart.

Beta Blocker Basics
Beta blockers relieve stress on your heart by slowing the heartbeat. This decreases the force with which the heart muscle contracts and reduces blood vessel contraction in the heart, brain and throughout the body. They are prescribed under several common brand names, including Propranolol (Inderal), Metoprolol (Lopressor), Atenolol (Tenormin) Acebutolol (Sectral), Bisoprolol (Zebeta) and Nadolol (Corgard).

Beta blockers may be used to treat abnormal heart rhythms and to prevent abnormally fast heart rates called tachycardia, or irregular rhythms like atrial fibrillation. Since they reduce the demand of the heart muscle for oxygen, they may be useful in treating angina, or chest pain, which occurs when the oxygen demand of the heart exceeds the supply. Beta blockers improve survival after a heart attack and also are used to treat high blood pressure and other heart conditions.

Beta Blockers and Physical ActivityInterestingly, beta blockers and exercise have some similar effects on your body.

“Your blood pressure and heart rate are similarly changed by exercise and beta blockers,” said Gerald Fletcher, M.D., a cardiology professor at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. “When you become exercise-trained your heart slows and your blood pressure lowers.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can take beta blockers in lieu of exercise. Exercise has many other benefits and is important to maintain your health. Read how physical activity improves the quality of life.

Concerns About Exercising While on Beta Blockers
“It’s important to remember that your heart rate is being slowed, and to adjust accordingly if before you took these drugs you monitored your exercise using heart rate,” said Dr. Fletcher, who is also a volunteer with the American Heart Association.

“Don’t overdo it trying to get your heart rate up to previous levels,” he said.

There are a couple of ways to monitor your exercise intensity.
  1. If you have been using a target heart rate to get to the right intensity, Dr. Fletcher recommends a brief exercise stress test with your healthcare provider to determine your new target heart rate. This test is important because beta blockers affect everyone differently, so there is no other way accurate way to calculate your target rate without it.
  2. The second way to monitor your intensity is simpler: making sure you’re not too exhausted.
“Exercise hard – to the point of being tired – but not excessively hard,” Dr. Fletcher said. “If you reach a point where it is hard to talk, that is probably too much.”

I’m still worried, what do I do?It is important to know you are taking these medications for a specific reason. But if you are still concerned, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she may prescribe a newer beta blocker or another medication that has less of an effect on heart rate.

Learn more:

CDC - Seasonal Influenza (Flu) - Study Shows Flu Vaccination Prevents Hospitalizations in Older Adults

CDC - Seasonal Influenza (Flu) - Study Shows Flu Vaccination Prevents Hospitalizations in Older Adults

Study Shows Flu Vaccination Prevents Hospitalizations in Older Adults

March 7, 2013 -- A new study conducted by researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in collaboration with CDC has found that flu vaccination reduced the risk of flu-related hospitalization by 71.4% among adults of all ages and by 76.8% in study participants 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season.
“This study is reassuring in light of recent reports that flu vaccination can be less effective in older adults,” said Dr. Keipp Talbot, lead author of the study and a Vanderbilt medical researcher.
The study, entitled “Effectiveness of influenza vaccine for preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations in adults, 2011-2012 influenza season,” was published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on February 28, 2013. It is available for online viewing or downloadExternal Web Site Icon.
It’s estimated that more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized each year from flu-related illness. Older adults, specifically those 65 years of age and older, typically account for 60% of these flu-related hospitalizations each year and about 90% of flu-related deaths.
“This study shows that the flu vaccine can offer significant protection against serious illness resulting in hospitalization for adults of all ages,” said Talbot.
“Studies such as this one are very important because they help us better understand the benefits of flu vaccine, particularly in older adults,” said Dr. Mark Thompson, a CDC flu expert and a co-author of the study. “Although flu vaccination can vary in how well it works, it’s still the best tool we have against the flu, and this study shows just how important the flu vaccine can be in preventing severe illness in older adults.”
According to the study’s authors, the results of the study also provide additional evidence for increasing vaccination rates in adults 50 years of age and older. “Given current flu vaccination rates in older adults, we think that increasing flu vaccination rates in this age group could prevent more than one-third of the total flu-related hospitalizations that occur each year in the United States,” said Dr. Talbot.
With few exceptions, CDC and the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend yearly flu vaccination for all people 6 months of age and older in the United States. A yearly flu vaccination is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. In addition to vaccination, CDC recommends that older adults seek medical treatment right away if they do develop flu like symptoms, regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated against the flu.
“Older adults often delay seeking medical treatment, but this can lead to complications that can become serious,” said Dr. Thompson. “People often aren’t aware that there are drugs called “antivirals” that can treat the flu if you do become sick with the flu.”
Antiviral drugs are prescription medications that can shorten the time of illness and lessen symptoms, but they work best when started as soon as possible after symptoms develop.
In addition to vaccination and seeking early medical treatment when sick, CDC also reminds everyone to take everyday preventative actions to reduce the risk of getting sick from the flu or spreading it to others. Examples of everyday preventive actions include: staying away from others who are or may be sick, staying home when you are sick (except to seek medical care), covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and washing your hands with soap and water frequently.
For more flu related information, visit CDC’s flu website.

CDC - Seasonal Influenza (Flu) - Q & A: Flublok Seasonal Influenza Vaccination

CDC - Seasonal Influenza (Flu) - Q & A: Flublok Seasonal Influenza Vaccination

Flublok Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Vaccination

Questions & Answers
On January 16, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its approval of Flublok, an influenza vaccine made by Protein Sciences Corporation, for the prevention of seasonal influenza in people 18 through 49 years of age. This vaccine will be available for the 2013-2014 influenza season.

What is Flublok?

Flublok® is a trivalent influenza vaccine that has been FDA approved for use in adults ages 18 to 49 years.

How does this vaccine differ from the other approved flu vaccines?

Unlike the production method for currently available seasonal influenza vaccines, Flublok does not use the influenza virus or chicken eggs in its manufacturing process. However, it does use a manufacturing process similar to that used to make vaccines that have been approved by the FDA for the prevention of other diseases.
Flublok has a shorter shelf life, with an expiration period of 16 weeks from the production date, as compared to currently available inactivated influenza vaccines which carry an expiration date of June 30. Health care providers should check the expiration date before administering Flublok.

What are the possible benefits of Flublok vaccine?

Flublok’s manufacturing process has the potential for faster startup of vaccine manufacturing, which can be useful in the event of a pandemic or vaccine supply shortage, mainly because it is not dependent on an egg supply or limited by the selection of strains that are adapted for growth in eggs.

Who can receive Flublok vaccine?

Flublok is approved for use in people 18 through 49 years of age.

Who should not receive Flublok vaccine?

Those who are not within the FDA-approved age range and people with known severe allergic reactions to any component of the vaccine should not receive Flublok.

Is this vaccine safe?

Clinical studies demonstrate that Flublok is safe and effective for use in people 18 years through 49 years of age. Flublok meets FDA’s standards for safe and suitable influenza vaccines.

Are there any side effects that could occur?

The most common side effects reported after receipt of FluBlok were similar to those reported for other flu shots produced in eggs, including pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches.
For more information, visit: Web Site Icon.

March 2013: Health Snapshot - Hispanic Adolescents in the United States - The Office of Adolescent Health

March 2013: Health Snapshot - Hispanic Adolescents in the United States - The Office of Adolescent Health

March 2013: Health Snapshot - Hispanic Adolescents in the United States

Our nation’s adolescents are becoming increasingly diverse, and this trend will continue in the decades to come. Today, more than one in five youth between the ages of 10 and 19 in the United States is Hispanic.1 By 2020, that figure will rise to approximately one in four and, by 2040, nearly one in three adolescents will be Hispanic.2 The Office of Adolescent Health, in collaboration with the Office of Minority Health, offers a snapshot of how Hispanic adolescents are faring on a range of critical health indicators.
Did You Know? Hispanics in the U.S. trace their origins to 20 Spanish-speaking countries.3 More than 80 percent of Hispanic youth under the age of 18 were born in the United States. Most have at least one immigrant parent.4 Providing Hispanics (including Hispanic adolescents) with culturally and linguistically appropriate health services may lead to improved quality of care and more positive health outcomes.5

Hispanic adolescents in the U.S...

  • Increasingly have health care coverage. In 1998, almost one in three Hispanic adolescents ages 12 to 17 lacked health insurance; in 2011, that figure was fewer than one in five.6 Still, in 2011, Hispanic adolescents were more than twice as likely as white or black youth not to have health insurance, and were also less likely to have a “usual place of health care."7

  • What Works! Visit to find out whether adolescents qualify for no-cost or low-cost health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can also find information specific to your state here, or by calling 1-877-Kids-Now (1-877-543-7669). Beginning October 1, 2013, persons who are seeking health insurance can find out more about their health insurance options and eligibility in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Learn more about the Marketplace.

  • Increasingly delay becoming a parent. Teen pregnancy is linked to negative outcomes for teen parents and their child(ren).8,9,10 Hispanic adolescents continue to be the teens most likely to have a baby, but a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that, between 2010 and 2011, the birth rate for all teens fell 8%, and the Hispanic teen birth rate fell a full 11%.11

  • What Works! Check out programs in OAH’s database of evidence-based programs that are proven to reduce the risk of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Also, OAH’s Talking with Teens has strategies for parents and other caring adults on talking to adolescents about tough issues, including sex.

  • Earn degrees at higher rates than ever before. Greater educational attainment can improve individual earning power and promote positive health behaviors, which contribute to positive health outcomes.12 Though drop-out issues persist, U.S. Department of Education data show Hispanic youth are completing high school, enrolling in higher education, and earning degrees at higher rates than ever before.13 Between 2010 and 2011, the percent of Hispanic youth completing high school increased from 73 to 76%14 and, between 2007 and 2010, the Hispanic high school dropout rate decreased by more than 6%.15

  • What Works! For strategies proven to work in preventing dropout and encouraging high school completion, check out 17 interventions identified by the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse.
Still, Hispanic adolescents continue to struggle with disparities related to mental health, substance abuse, and physical activity. Specifically, they:
  • Struggle with high rates of mental health and substance abuse issues. Two national surveys reveal that many Hispanic teens struggle with mental health16 and substance abuse issues.17 Hispanic male and female adolescents were more likely to feel depressed than their black and white peers, and a higher percentage of female Hispanic teens felt suicidal. Hispanic teens were also more likely to have ever tried smoking, to drink alcohol (and to start at a younger age); to drive with someone who had been drinking; and to try cocaine, inhalants, and ecstasy.18

  • What Works! The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration maintains a National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices proven to help youth achieve or maintain positive mental health, and stop or avoid substance abuse. The database includes a number of programs that have been found effective for Hispanic adolescents. Many health insurance plans, now cover alcohol and drug use assessments, as well as depression screening for adolescents under the Affordable Care Act.

  • Face challenges to maintaining a healthy weight. Rates of obesity are higher for Hispanic adolescents than for black and white U.S. adolescents.19 Hispanic parents cite a greater number of barriers to their children’s physical activity than do white parents.20 Also, Hispanic high school students are more likely than their white peers to spend three or more hours a day watching TV, and are less likely than their white or black peers to be part of an organized sports team.21

    What Works!
    Salud America!, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children, has 20 reports by grantees that detail their experiences tackling Hispanic obesity issues, including accounts of menu labeling and physical education policies. Let’s Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to combat childhood obesity, proposes 5 steps for success that parents, youth, schools, and others can take to promote healthier outcomes for young people. Also, many insurance plans now cover height, weight, and body mass index assessments, as well as obesity screening and counseling for adolescents.

1 Child Trends analysis of US. Census Bureau. (2012). Population Projections: 2012 National Population Projections. Available here.
2 Ibid.
3 Landale, N. S., & Oropesa, R. S. (2007). Hispanic families: Stability and change. Annual Review of Sociology, 33, 381-405.
4 Fry, R., & Passel, J.S. (2009). Latino children: A majority are U.S.-born offspring of immigrants. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.
5 University of Massachusetts Medical School, Office of Community Programs. (2004). Physician Toolkit and Curriculum: Resources to Implement Cross-Cultural Clinical Practice Guidelines For Medicaid Practitioners. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health. Available here.
6 Child Trends’ original analysis of National Health Interview Survey data.
7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Summary health statistics for U.S. children: National Health Interview Survey, 2011. Vital and Health Statistics Reports 10(254): Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Available here.
8 Hofferth, S. L., Reid, Reid, L., & Mott, F.L. (2001). The effects of early childbearing on schooling over time. Family Planning Perspectives, 33(6), 259-267.
9 Brien, M. J., & Willis, R. J. (2008). Costs and consequences for the fathers. In S. D. Hoffman, & R. A. Maynard (Eds.), Kids having kids: Economic costs & social consequences of teen pregnancy (2nd ed., pp.119-160). Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press.
10 Manlove, J. T. Humen, T., Mincieli, E. L., & Moore, K. (2008). Outcomes for children of teen mothers from kindergarten through adolescence. In S. D. Hoffman, & R. A. Maynard (Eds.), Kids having kids: Economic costs & social consequences of teen pregnancy (2nd ed., pp. 119-160). Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press.
11 Hamilton, B. E., Martin, J. A., & Ventura, S. J. (2012). Births: Preliminary Data for 2011. National Vital Statistics Reports, 61(5).
12 Freudenberg, N. & Ruglis J. (2007). Reframing school dropout as a public health issue. Preventing Chronic Disease, 4(4):A107. Available here.
13 Aud, S., Hussar, W., Johnson, F., Kena, G., Roth, E., Manning, E., Wang, X., and Zhang, J. (2012). The Condition of Education 2012 (NCES 2012-045). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC. Available here.
14 Fry, R. & Lopez, M.H. (2012). Hispanic student enrollments reach new highs in 2011: Now largest minority group on 4 year college campuses. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center. Appendix B
15 See Aud, et al, 2012.
16 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 61(4).
17 Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E. (2012). Monitoring the Future, national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2011. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, the University of Michigan.
18 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance-United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 61(4).
19 Fryer, C.D., Carroll, M. D., & Ogden, C. L. (2012). Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents: United States, trends 1963-1965 through 2009-2010. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. P.6, Table 2
20 Nyberg, K., Ramirez, A., & Gallion, K. (2011). Physical activity, overweight and obesity among Latino youth. Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
21 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance-Unites States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 61(4).
Last updated: March 27, 2013

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Springtime Allergies More Severe, Last Longer Now, Experts Say: MedlinePlus

Springtime Allergies More Severe, Last Longer Now, Experts Say: MedlinePlus

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Springtime Allergies More Severe, Last Longer Now, Experts Say

Here are tips to stifle your sniffles, sneezes
 (*this news item will not be available after 06/26/2013)
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THURSDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- In much of the United States, there's little evidence of spring yet, unless you have seasonal allergies.
Folks with spring allergies are likely already experiencing sneezing, watery eyes and fatigue because of tree pollen, experts say.
The northern part of the country typically has high tree pollen levels in March, April and May, although this year's colder winter may have delayed the process in some areas, said Dr. Kevin McGrath, a spokesman for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Southern states start a bit earlier, and can have high tree pollen counts beginning in January, he said.
People with allergies, sometimes called hay fever, may notice more severe symptoms because of higher pollen counts, and allergy seasons may last longer, McGrath said.
"We've seen record pollen counts for trees and ragweed [the most common fall allergy trigger] for the past few years, and the seasons may be a bit longer -- about six to seven more days in the Midwest and a few more days in the Northeast," said McGrath. "These changes are definitely linked to higher levels of carbon dioxide."
Although he said these changes were likely because of climate change, there isn't definitive evidence to prove the link, he noted.
The delay in tree pollens this spring means that people with allergies may experience a "stacking" effect, said McGrath. Normally, different trees have peak pollen levels at different times. This year, there may be significant overlap, which may mean a tough few weeks for people with multiple tree allergies.
Dr. David Lang, section head of allergy and immunology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said it can be difficult to know if your symptoms are due to a cold or an allergy. If you have a fever, it's a cold or flu and not allergies, Lang said. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days, it's allergies rather than a cold, he added. And if you feel worse outside, but better when you come inside, you're probably experiencing allergies.
If you have symptoms year-round, you probably have indoor allergies as well, he said. Common indoor allergens are dust mites and pets, he said.
Symptoms of seasonal allergies include sneezing and an itchy feeling, sometimes in the ears or on the roof of the mouth, Lang said. A big symptom that people often don't attribute to allergies is fatigue, McGrath added.
"Allergies interfere with restful REM sleep, so someone with allergies can sleep eight, nine or even 10 hours and wake up feeling tired, sore and achy. Allergies can really wear people down and decrease their quality of life," said McGrath.
Both experts agreed that many people can be helped by avoiding pollens that trigger their allergies, and from using over-the-counter antihistamines. They also recommended beginning medications before symptoms begin. This gives you a "priming effect," said McGrath, and helps keep your allergies from worsening throughout the season.
Of the three aspects of allergy management -- avoidance, medication and immunotherapy -- avoidance is probably the most important, said Lang. So, during pollen season, he recommends closing your windows and keeping your air conditioners running to filter the air. "If you keep your windows open, your indoor environment is just like the outdoors," noted Lang.
This advice holds true for your car too. Close car windows, and keep the convertible top up.
Also, exercise early or late in the day when pollen counts are lower.
"One thing people overlook is their hair," McGrath said. "The static from your hair attracts pollens and molds. At night, when you lay down, those pollens and molds are released onto your pillowcases. If you can, it's a good idea to wash your hair at night. Otherwise, run a damp cloth over your hair before you get into bed."
If avoidance or over-the-counter antihistamines don't help, doctors can prescribe nasal steroid sprays or nasal antihistamines, Lang said. McGrath advised not using over-the-counter decongestants as they can cause rebound stuffiness.
Both experts said that immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, can help people with more severe allergies. But this treatment takes dedication. It requires at least weekly visits for six to12 months, followed by a monthly shot for as long as three to five years.
McGrath said that people shouldn't suffer through their allergies, as effective treatments are available.
SOURCES: David Lang, M.D., section head, allergy and immunology, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio; Kevin McGrath, M.D., spokesman, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Arlington Heights, Ill.

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