Public Health News Roundup: September 6
NFL Gives $30 Million to NIH for Brain Injury Research
A $30-million unrestricted gift to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health from the National Football League (NFL) will go toward research to help both athletes and the general population. While the exact nature of the research has not yet been decided, it could include studies on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, concussions and the causes of late-life neurodegenerative disorders—all areas of importance to NFL players, coaches and owners. This is the founding donation to a new Sports and Health Research Program, a program of the National Institutes of Health. “We hope this grant will help accelerate the medical community’s pursuit of pioneering research to enhance the health of athletes past, present and future,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “This research will extend beyond the NFL playing field and benefit athletes at all levels and others, including members of our military.” Read more on injury prevention.
New Million Hearts Campaign to Improve High Blood Pressure
The new “Team Up. Pressure Down” initiative from the Million Hearts Campaign health education program will help Americans improve their blood pressure by arming pharmacists with educational videos, a blood pressure control journal and wallet card to track medication use. The public health collaboration includes U.S. pharmacists and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “This valuable Million Hearts initiative will prevent heart attacks and strokes by bringing pharmacists into the care team to help patients control their blood pressure,” said Surgeon General, Regina M. Benjamin, MD. “Pharmacists are able to talk to patients and families about using medication to manage, high blood pressure, and they can also help patients address barriers to taking their medication.” Read more on heart health. Read more on heart health.
Use of Effective HIV Treatment Up in the U.S.
Use of the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) treatment for HIV was up across the United States from 2000 through 2008, according to a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health appearing in the September 4 edition of Annals of Internal Medicine. The study of more than 45,000 HIV-infected participants also found them to be less infectious and have healthier immune systems. “This is good news for the HIV epidemic in the U.S., but there is room for improvement,” said Keri N. Althoff, PhD, MPH, the study’s author and an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology. “We need to continue to focus on linking HIV-infected adults into care and effective treatment, not only for the individual’s health, but to reduce the likelihood of transmission to others.” Read more on HIV.