Public Health News Roundup: February 22
Women, especially younger ones, are more likely than men to have a heart attack that isn't accompanied by chest pain or discomfort, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The lack of symptoms can result in delayed medical care and differences in treatment that may help explain why women in the study were also more likely to die of their heart attacks, according to the researchers. Younger women with no chest pain were almost 20 percent more likely to die than men. According to the study, instead of chest pain, some people having a heart attack may instead have unexplained shortness of breath, or pain in other areas, such as the jaw, neck, arms, back and stomach. Read more on heart health.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has unveiled a crash test dummy that simulates a ten year old. The dummy will be used to evaluate the growing number of child safety and booster seats for children weighing more than 65 pounds.
According to NHTSA, the new dummy’s debut follows more stringent child safety seat recommendations issued by the agency last year that encourages parents and caregivers to keep children in a car seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the height and weight specifications of the seat. The agency’s updated child seat guidance also recommends that children ride in a booster seat until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt properly, which is typically when the child is somewhere between 8-12 years old and about 4 feet 9 inches tall. Read more on transportation safety.
A new, easy-to-read website on drug abuse designed for adults with a low reading literacy level (eighth grade or below) has been posted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The site provides plain language information on drug abuse prevention and treatment and is also a resource for adult literacy educators. Features include a simple design, audio accompaniment for most text, large text size and animated videos that explain how drugs affect the brain.
"Drug abuse and addiction affects people of all reading levels, yet there are no websites with drug abuse information created specifically for adults with limited literacy," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "We hope this new site will inform a large segment of our population who may not have otherwise received potentially life-saving information." Read more on health literacy.