Healthy Communities- December 6, 2013


2013 National Health Security Preparedness Index.
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 20 development partners, has released the 2013 National Health Security Preparedness Index.  The Index is based upon the creation of a “set of objective, national indicators that can be universally applied to facilitate the high-level assessment of progress in achieving health preparedness capabilities while driving continuous quality improvement.”  Among its goals is to “strengthen preparedness efforts at all levels; raise awareness of next generation trends that may allow more effective response to emerging threats;support evidence-informed decisions; and empower guidance on how to build resilience.”

Reports and Articles
Improved Blood Pressure Control through a Large-Scale Hypertension Program
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects 67 million U.S. adults and is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. One in three American adults has high blood pressure. Only about half of these individuals have their blood pressure under control even though effective treatments have been available for more than 50 years.
Although many strategies exist to improve the quality of interventions to increase blood pressure control, researchers have yet to describe any successful, large-scale programs that achieve this objective over an extended period of time.

Can public health cure an ailing health care system?
December 3, 2013
Only 10 percent of preventable deaths in the U.S. are due to inadequate medical care and 30 percent are due to our genetics. The remaining 60 percent reflect our behaviors, our social circumstances, and our environmental exposures.
It’s this 60 percent that we can improve through public health. And the Affordable Care Act (ACA) recognizes and supports such an approach—here in Philadelphia and across the country.

International Study Finds Heart Disease Similar in Men, Women
Science News: December 3, 2013
An analysis of data from an international multicenter study of coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) reveals that men and women with mild coronary artery disease and similar cardiovascular risk profiles share similar prognoses. Results of the study were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Junk Food, Poor Oral Health Increase Risk of Premature Heart Disease
Science Daily: December 2, 2013
The association between poor oral health and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should make the reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks, an important health policy target, say experts writing in theJournal of the Royal Society of Medicine

Sugary Drinks Tied to Endometrial Cancer Risk

The New York Times: December 2, 2013
A new study has found that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with an increased risk for endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women.Previous research has found an association between sugary drinks and Type 2 diabetes, but this is the first to find the same association with a specific type of endometrial cancer.
In 1986, 23,039 women, mean age 62, completed detailed questionnaires on lifestyle, medical history and diet. The group has been followed annually since then for cancer incidence. Through 2010, there were 506 Type 1 endometrial cancers and 89 Type 2, a more serious form of the disease.
The study, published online in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that all sugars increased the risk for Type 1 endometrial cancer, but sugar-sweetened drinks had the greatest effect. After controlling for other factors, those in the highest one-fifth for sweet drink consumption had a 74 percent higher risk than those in the lowest one-fifth.


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