Category Archives: Disability

Jan 18 2012
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Public Health News Roundup: January 18

New Studies Find Obesity Rate Holding Steady

Two new studies released yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that in 2009 and 2010, about one in three adults and one in six kids and teens were obese. The rates, reported by researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics represent no change from 2007 and 2008 figures and only a slight increase among specific demographics over rates from the late 1990s and early 2000s. Read more obesity news.

NIH to Fund Four Centers on Child and Teen Learning Disabilities

The National Institutes of Health is providing funding for four centers in different parts of the U.S. to conduct research on the causes and treatment of learning disabilities in children and adolescents. Read more on disability.

DOT Provides $40 Million in Funding to Help Improve Conditions at National Parks, Forests and Refuges

The Department of Transportation is allocating $40 million to help provide safe, convenient access for visitors to national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, and modernize aging transportation infrastructure. Projects range from redesigning and widening the Nauset Bicycle Trail at Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts to purchasing new buses to transport visitors between Sausalito and the Muir Woods National Monument in California. Read more on transportation and health.

Dec 30 2011
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Public Health News Roundup: December 30

Build-A-Bear Announces Teddy Bear Recall

National retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop has announced a nationwide recall of “Colorful Hearts Teddy” stuffed toy bears sold between April and December 2011. The company says the bears were made using a substandard fabric that can cause the fabric around the bears’ eyes to tear, and for the eyes to fall out, posing a choking hazard. Nearly 300,000 bears were sold. Read more safety stories.

Federal Nursing Home Comparison Tool to Include Resident Data

Nursing Home Compare, a federal comparison tool to help potential residents and their families compare quality and amenities at nursing homes, will add resident reviews to the site in April 2012. Read more on the health of older adults.

GAO Report: Students with Disabilities Face Barriers Taking Postsecondary Exams

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that people with disabilities often face barriers getting the legally mandated accommodations they need when taking postsecondary exams such as GREs required for many graduate school programs and LSATs needed to apply to most law schools. Members of Congress have already sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for an investigation. Get the latest news impacting the health of people with disabilities.

Los Angeles Vote Will Consider Requiring Condoms in Adult Films

A proposed ballot measure that would require actors in pornographic movies to wear condoms while filming in the city of Los Angeles has qualified for the June ballot, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. The measure is intended to help prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS among people involved in the adult film industry. Read up on sexual health.

Dec 7 2011
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Public Health News Roundup: December 7

Rise in Knee Replacements among U.S. Older Adults

A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that an increase in knee replacements among older adults is tied to a rise in average body mass index (BMI) rates. Read more on obesity.

Teens Follow Parents’ Example When It Comes to Driving Under the Influence

A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that 16- and 17-year-olds living with parents who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol are far more likely to drive under the influence than adolescents whose parents do not. Read up on substance abuse news.

HRSA Report on Children with Special Health Needs Finds Significant Disparities

The Health Resources Services Administration has published the first-ever report to compare the health and well-being of children with special health care needs to those children without. The report finds that 14 to 19 percent of children in the U.S. have a special health care need. Key findings show that kids with special health needs are:

  • more likely than other children to have consistent insurance, but the insurance is less likely to meet their needs, and they are less likely to receive care that meets criteria for having a medical home;
  • less likely to be engaged in school, more likely to repeat a grade and miss more than two weeks of school due to illness;
  • more likely to be overweight or obese;
  • more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke at home.

Get more information on health disparities.

Sep 20 2011
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Public Health News Roundup: September 20

U.S. and WHO Agreement to Help Prevent Global Public Health Risks

The United States and the World Health Organization have signed a memorandum of understanding to help developing nations strengthen their capabilities to support the International Health Regulations. The regulations are an international agreement that requires WHO member countries to prevent and respond to public health risks that have the potential to cross borders and threaten people around the world.

HHS Task Force Releases Recommendations on Health Text Messaging

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services task force released recommendations yesterday on using text messaging to convey health information. The recommendations include development of HHS-sponsored health text message libraries, creating partnerships to develop and disseminate health text messages, and integration of health text messaging with other HHS health information technology priorities such as electronic health records, cloud computing and health games.

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Aug 5 2011
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Public Health News Roundup: August 5

Deal on Debt Ceiling Could Force Steep Cuts to Health Care Funding

An overview from Kaiser Health News explains the health spending cuts that could be triggered by the recent Congressional vote on the debt ceiling.

Eating Healthy Is Expensive

A new study by researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health and published in the journal Health Affairs found that increasing consumption of potassium, one of the nutrients recommended by the federal government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans, ups food costs per year by close to $400. Increasing consumption of foods with added fat and sugar, according to the study, results in lowered food costs.

The Challenge of Post-Disaster Cleanup in an Eco-Friendly World

States cleaning up from floods and other disasters must be mindful of the environment, and restrictions that protect it, when cleaning up the mess, according to an article in the New York Times.

Labor Department Announces Project to Help Increase Employment of People with Disabilities

The Department of Labor has announced about $1.6 million in funding for an initiative called “Add Us In,” designed to increase employment of people with disabilities, according to a news release. The initiative focuses on increasing companies' ability to employ individuals with disabilities, particularly businesses owned and operated by African-Americans; Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders; Latinos; members of federally recognized tribes and Native Americans; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; and women. Applications will be accepted until September 2.

Jul 27 2011
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Recommended Reading: Assuring Health Equity for Minority Persons with Disabilities

In observance of the 21st anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released a new report, Assuring Health Equity for Minority Persons with Disabilities.

The report makes five recommendations for improving the health of minorities with physical disabilities:

  • Raise awareness about minorities with disabilities
  • Recognize disability as a fundamental component of cultural competency
  • Require competency for all health care providers and professionals
  • Improve research and practice on disabilities in minority populations
  • Strengthen the health care workforce to ensure high quality care for people with disabilities

Jun 10 2011
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Public Health News Roundup: June 10

Bean Sprouts, Again, Focus of German E.Coli Inquiry

Reuters is reporting that bean sprouts are again the suspected culprit in the e.coli outbreak in Germany that has killed at least thirty people. The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s disease prevention and control agency, plans to issue an update later today.

Version of Swine Flu Showing Resistance to Commonly Used Drugs

A version of swine flu detected in Australia and Asia is showing some resistance to two drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, that are commonly used to treat the virus. Researchers said more than 30 percent of H1N1 swine flu infection samples from northern Australia and more than 10 percent collected in Singapore had somewhat reduced sensitivity to the two drugs. Resistance so far hasn’t been seen to Peramavir, a drug still being tested.

NIH: New Drug Target May Help Smoking Cessation without Weight Gain

Some current smoking cessation drugs have been linked to weight gain, a reason some people don’t take the drugs. But a new study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, has discovered a brain mechanism that could be targeted for new medications designed to help people quit smoking without gaining weight.

Twenty-Five Years Later, Children Who Went to Pre-School Have Better Lives

A new study in the journal Science finds that children who went through preschool have health insurance, higher incomes, higher education levels, a higher socioeconomic status and are less likely to use drugs or commit crimes than children who did not attend preschool.

Nearly 1 In 7 People On Earth Is Disabled, Survey Finds

More than 1 billion people in the world are living with some sort of disability, according to a new international survey. That's about 15 percent of the world's population, or nearly one of every 7 people.