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CDC: Severe Flu Season To Come, Vaccine Is Less Effective.

DC is reminding clinicians of the benefits of influenza antiviral medications and urging continued influenza vaccination of unvaccinated patients this influenza season.

Summary

Influenza activity is currently low in the United States as a whole, but is increasing in some parts of the country. This season, influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been reported most frequently and have been detected in almost all states.

During past seasons when influenza A (H3N2) viruses have predominated, higher overall and age-specific hospitalization rates and more mortality have been observed, especially among older people, very young children, and persons with certain chronic medical conditions compared with seasons during which influenza A (H1N1) or influenza B viruses have predominated.

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Adult cigarette smoking rate overall hits all-time low

The cigarette smoking rate among adults in the U.S. dropped from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 17.8 percent in 2013, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

That is the lowest prevalence of adult smoking since the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) began keeping such records in 1965. The report also shows the number of cigarette smokers dropped from 45.1 million in 2005 to 42.1 million in 2013, despite the increasing population in the U.S.

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Sexsomnia

Sexsomnia

The inclusion of a new sleep disorder in the DSM-5 might raise awareness of the underreported diagnosis and help physicians better identify the condition.

Sexsomnia can present in different forms but is generally described as engaging in sexual activity while asleep.

Sexsomnia can involve varying degrees of sexual activity while unconscious, including masturbation, fondling, groping, and intercourse. Patients often are unaware they have the condition, and signs of the disorder frequently are reported by a partner, roommate, or spouse.

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Teens Prescribed Sleep Medicines Are Much More Likely To Abuse Them

Study Finds Teens Prescribed Sleep Medicines Much More Likely To Abuse Them.

According to the study, published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, teens prescribed sleep and anti-anxiety drugs may be up to 12 times more likely to abuse them compared to teens who have never received these prescriptions.

http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/adb-adb0000026.pdf

The number of anti-anxiety and sleep medications prescribed to teens has risen over the past decade, research shows. According to a 2011 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 3 percent of adolescents in the U.S. abuse these drugs.

“This is a wake-up call to the medical community as far as the risks involved in prescribing these medications to young people,” lead researcher Carol J. Boyd, professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, said in a news release. “When taken as prescribed, these drugs are effective and not dangerous. The problem is when adolescents use too many of them or mix them with other substances, especially alcohol.”

These medications can not only impair driving, the researchers noted, but they also can prove fatal when mixed with other substances. Abusing anti-anxiety and sleep drugs may also increase the chance of overdose, substance abuse disorders and criminal activity, according to the news release.

In their research, the study authors surveyed more than 2,700 middle and high school students online from the Detroit area twice annually from 2009 to 2012.

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The Great American Smokeout

The Great American Smokeout

The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet about 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — a bit under 1 in every 5 adults. As of 2012, there were also 13.4 million cigar smokers in the US, and 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.

 

See our quitting resources and information.

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November is COPD Awareness Month

Let us be aware of this deadly COPD!!!

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an umbrella term for a lung disease that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or a combination of both. These conditions make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs, and they cannot be fully reversed.  Overtime, the symptoms patients experience—shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, and sometimes excessive mucous production —usually worsen.

But there is hope.  Pulmonary rehabilitation and medicines can help individuals with COPD manage their symptoms, and may improve quality of life.

Most people develop COPD by smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoke.  A small group of people are genetically predisposed to COPD through the deficiency of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin.

The most effective strategy to prevent COPD is to quit smoking.  Quitting smoking is also important for those who must manage COPD.

COPD sometimes is misdiagnosed as asthma or another health problem.  A breathing test called spirometry is necessary to determine if a person has COPD.

Did You Know?

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

  • COPD is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. (And the World Health Organization, predicts by 2030, it will also be the third-leading cause of death worldwide.)
  • COPD kills more than 120,000 Americans each year.
  • That’s one death every 4 minutes
  • More than 12 million people are diagnosed with COPD
  • An additional 12 million likely have COPD and don’t know it

Learn More Through the New COPD Guide and the ATS Patient Information Series

http://patients.thoracic.org/?p=2399

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22.9% of high school students reported current use of a tobacco product in 2013

Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2013

René A. Arrazola, MPH1, Linda J. Neff, PhD1, Sara M. Kennedy, MPH2, Enver Holder-Hayes, MPH3, Christopher D. Jones, PhD1 (Author affiliations at end of text)

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, and nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood (1,2). Among U.S. youths, cigarette smoking has declined in recent years; however, the use of some other tobacco products has increased (3), and nearly half of tobacco users use two or more tobacco products (4). CDC analyzed data from the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey* to determine the prevalence of ever (at least once) and current (at least 1 day in the past 30 days) use of one or more of 10 tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes [e-cigarettes], pipes, snus, bidis, kreteks, and dissolvable tobacco) among U.S. middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students. In 2013, 22.9% of high school students reported current use of any tobacco product, and 12.6% reported current use of two or more tobacco products; current use of combustible products (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bidis, kreteks, and/or hookahs) was substantially greater (20.7%) than use of other types of tobacco. Also, 46.0% of high school students reported having ever tried a tobacco product, and 31.4% reported ever trying two or more tobacco products. Among middle school students, 3.1% reported current use of cigars, and 2.9% reported current use of cigarettes, with non-Hispanic black students more than twice as likely to report current use of cigars than cigarettes. Monitoring the prevalence of the use of all available tobacco products, including new and emerging products, is critical to support effective population-based interventions to prevent and reduce tobacco use among youths as part of comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs.

The National Youth Tobacco Survey is a cross-sectional, school-based, self-administered, pencil-and-paper questionnaire administered to U.S. middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students. Information is collected on tobacco control outcome indicators to monitor the impact of comprehensive tobacco control policies and programs (5) and regulatory authorities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (6). A three-stage cluster sampling procedure was used to generate a nationally representative sample of students in grades 6–12. Of 250 schools selected for the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 187 (74.8%) participated, with a sample of 18,406 (90.7%) among 20,301 eligible students; the overall response rate was 67.8%. Participants were asked about ever and current use of cigarettes, cigars (defined as cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars), smokeless tobacco (defined as chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip), pipes, bidis, kreteks, hookah, snus, dissolvable tobacco, and e-cigarettes. Ever use was defined as ever trying a product, and current use was defined as using a product on 1 or more days during the past 30 days. For both ever use and current use, any tobacco use was defined as reporting the use of one or more tobacco products; use of two or more tobacco products was defined as reporting the use of two or more tobacco products in the specified time, current (in the past 30 days) or ever. Combustible tobacco was defined as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bidis, kreteks, and/or hookahs. Noncombustible tobacco was defined as smokeless tobacco, snus, and/or dissolvable tobacco. A separate category was created for e-cigarette use. Data were adjusted for nonresponse and weighted to provide national prevalence estimates with 95% confidence intervals; statistically significant (p<0.05) differences between population subgroups were assessed using a t-test. Estimates for ever and current use are presented for each type of product, for any tobacco use, and for the use of two or more tobacco products by selected demographics for each school level (middle and high).

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Bronchial Thermoplasty reduces asthma attacks

Bronchial Thermoplasty reduces asthma attacks

At one-year (compared to sham), patients with severe asthma who were treated with BT experienced:

  • Fewer asthma attacks

    32%
    decrease in severe asthma attacks
  • Fewer ER visits

    84%
    reduction in emergency room visits for respiratory-related symptoms
  • Fewer absences

    66%
    fewer days lost from work, school and daily activities due to asthma.

 

BT in subjects with severe asthma improves asthma-specific quality of life with a reduction in severe exacerbations and healthcare use in the posttreatment period.

Reductions in asthma attacks and ER visits were shown to extend through a 5-year follow-up period.

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Medicare Proposes Paying for Lung Cancer Screenings for Older Longtime Smokers

Medicare Proposes Paying

for Lung Cancer Screenings

for Older Longtime Smokers

(NY Times) WASHINGTON — Medicare will cover annual screenings for lung cancer for older Americans with long histories of heavy smoking, the federal government said Monday in a proposal that would cover an estimated four million people, many of whom are at greatest risk for the disease.

Monday’s draft decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would extend coverage for CT scans to Medicare beneficiaries who smoked at least a pack a day for 30 years or the equivalent, even if they quit as long as 15 years ago. Scans would cost recipients nothing; the coverage would apply to beneficiaries through age 74.

The proposal follows a more sweeping recommendation last year by an influential government health panel that such smokers ages 55 to 80 get annual screenings, a policy shift that experts said had the potential to save 20,000 lives a year. That recommendation focused on current and former smokers at highest risk, a population of about 10 million Americans.

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Sleep Apnea Screening $149

Sleep Apnea Screening $149

Sleep Apnea Screening $149

Screening for colon cancer can cost up to $3000

Screening for breast cancer can cost up to $1000

Screening for cervical cancer can cost up to $500

We charge only $149 for screening for sleep apnea using Home Sleep Test.

Knowing sleep apnea can increase the chance of:

High blood pressure

Heart attack

Congestive heart failure

Irregular heart beats

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