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Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

E-cigarette Ads are Reaching Middle and High School Students

Friday, January 8th, 2016

About 7 in 10 middle and high school students – more than 18 million young people – see e-cigarette advertising in stores, online, in newspapers and magazines, or on television and in movies, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report. E-cigarette ads use many of the same themes – independence, rebellion and sex – used to sell cigarettes and other conventional tobacco products. Advertising of tobacco products has been shown to cause youth to start using those products. The unrestricted marketing of e-cigarettes and dramatic increases in their use by youth could reverse decades of progress in preventing tobacco use among youth. Efforts by states, communities, and others could reduce this exposure.

CDC E-cigarette Ads and Youth:

The Relationship of Nearsightedness found in U.S. Children and Electronic Devices

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Adapted from article in Health Day (MedlinePlus):

In the article, More Computer Time May Be Causing Nearsightedness in U.S. Kids, the time allotted to electronic devices may be causing nearsightedness in children across the United States. Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, has doubled in the last 50 years according to ophthalmologists. Dr. David Hunter, chief of ophthalmology at Boston Children’s Hospital explains, “Nearsightedness is when your eyes are capable of focusing up close but not far away. It generally happens when the eye grows too long, and the best focus point no longer aligns well with the area at the back of the eye called the retina.” Experts suspect the increase in Myopia rates found in children is because of the ongoing trend of many focusing on something near their eyes in artificial light and the lack of time spent outdoors in natural light. For more information, the article can be found here:


The Importance of Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Treatment

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Adapted from article in Health Day (MedlinePlus):

In the article, Early Treatment Improves Heart Attack Outcomes, Study Finds, by Mary Elizabeth Dallas, the period to restore blood flow once a heart attack occurs is crucial to recovery and offsets long-term damage. Therefore, those who are alert to heart attack symptoms, often have better outcomes. The timeframe from heart attack symptoms to treatment is called “door-to-balloon” time.

The procedure to restore blood flow to the heart using a stent is called percutaneous coronary intervention. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association both state, “Treatment should be received in 90 minutes or less.”

In the study, 2,056 patient hospital records were examined and the results were published online Dec. 28 in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions. The report found that patients who were treated longer than the recommend time frame of 90 minutes were less likely to have blood flood fully restored. Medical experts conclude that initial stages of door-to-balloon time and heart attack symptoms is crucial. For more information, the article can be found:

Reminder: Toy Safety for Children

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Adapted from article in Health Day (MedlinePlus):

In the article, Make Toy Safety a Top Concern by Robert Preidt, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 252,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries last year. The commission reported that seventy percent of those children were 12 or younger. In an effort to reduce those numbers, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend parents to choose toy with caution and pay close attention to safety guidelines. For more information, the article can be found here:


CDC Vital Signs: Daily Pill Can Prevent HIV

Friday, December 4th, 2015

A new CDC Vital Signs report published today estimates that 25 percent of sexually active gay and bisexual adult men, nearly 20 percent of adults who inject drugs, and less than 1 percent of heterosexually active adults are at substantial risk for HIV infection and should be counseled about PrEP, a daily pill for HIV prevention.

PrEP for HIV prevention was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012. When taken daily, it can reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV by more than 90 percent. Daily PrEP can also reduce the risk of HIV infection among people who inject drugs by more than 70 percent. However, according to recent studies, some primary health care providers have never heard of PrEP. Increasing awareness of PrEP and counseling for those at substantial risk for HIV infection is critical to realizing the full prevention potential of PrEP.

While PrEP can fill a critical gap in America’s prevention efforts, all available HIV prevention strategies must be used to have the greatest impact on the epidemic. These include treatment to suppress the virus among people living with HIV; correct and consistent use of condoms; reducing risk behaviors; and ensuring people who inject drugs have access to sterile injection equipment from a reliable source. [CDC]

CDC Vital Signs: Daily Pill Can Prevent HIV –

U.S. Male and Female Drinking Patterns are Becoming More Alike

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) along with the National Institutes of Health  (NIH) has reported that male and female drinking habits are becoming similar in the United States. Researchers have concluded that in the U.S. and the rest of the world, men have been known to drink more than women. Experts worry about the national trend because women are more likely to suffer alcohol-related health effects, including liver inflammation, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and cancer.

For more information please visit:

Home Health Agency Ratings Get Medicare’s Star Treatment

Friday, November 27th, 2015

The federal government released on Thursday a new five-star rating system for home health agencies, hoping to bring clarity to a fast-growing but fragmented corner of the medical industry where it’s often difficult to distinguish good from bad.

Medicare applied the new quality measure to more than 9,000 agencies based on how quickly visits began and how often patients improved while under their care. Nearly half received average scores, with the government sparingly doling out top and bottom ratings. Read more about the ratings and rating system:

5 Facts About Deductibles from

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Factoring in out-of-pocket costs has always been part of buying health insurance, but for the first time now there are a lot of resources to help you better understand your choices at HealthCare. gov. These include new features that allow you to see your total estimated out-of-pocket costs, to search health plans by your preferred provider and to see if your prescription drugs are covered. Read more about how to calculate and prepare for out-of-pocket costs when making your health insurance decisions:

Federal Plain Language Report Card

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Each year, the Center for Plain Language evaluates how well federal agencies comply with the Plain Writing Act of 2010. In 2015 the Center graded each department in two categories:

  • Compliance – Does the Department fulfill the administrative requirements of the Plain Writing Act of 2010?
  • Writing & Information Design – Do writing samples consistently demonstrate plain writing principles (for example, clear style and organization and effective visual elements) to make documents easier to read and understand?

To see the full report card, please visit:

Choose More than 50 Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Explore more than 50 tips to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes! This tip sheet (PDF) from NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases helps African Americans at risk for type 2 diabetes find ways to move more, make healthy food choices, and track their progress with making lifestyle changes to lower their risk. This publication has been reviewed by NDEP for plain language principles, and received the 2013 Second Place ReadsEasy Publication Award from Health Literacy Innovations

Choose More than 50 Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: (PDF)