Feb 28 2012

Public Health News Roundup: February 28

Hearing Loss May Be a Risk Factor for Falls

Hearing loss may be a risk factor for falls, according to a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers, including Frank Lin, MD, PHD, of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, looked at data from the National Health Examination Survey and found that for about 2,000 participants ages 40 to 69, those with a 25-decibel (mild) hearing loss were nearly three times more likely than those without hearing loss to have a history of falling. The researchers found that for every additional 10-decibels of hearing loss, the chances of falling rose by 1.4 fold.

And research published earlier this month by Dr. Lin found that although an estimated 26.7 million Americans age 50 and older have hearing loss, only about one in seven uses a hearing aid. Read more on the health of older adults.

Pediatrics Update: Sports Injury Prevention, HPV and Active Video Games

The current issue of Pediatrics looks at three important issues:

  • A revised policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends prevention of baseball and softball throwing injuries by instructing kids on proper throwing mechanics, training and conditioning, and encouraging kids to stop playing and seek treatment when signs of overuse injuries arise.
  • A second revised policy statement on HPV Vaccine Recommendations recommends use of the HPV vaccine in both males and females at 11 to 12 years of age.
  • Children who were given active video games were not more physically active than those given inactive games, according to a new study in Pediatrics. Providing explicit instructions to use the active games did seem to lead to increased physical activity, however.

Read more children's health news.

New Flu Virus Discovered in Guatemalan Bats

A new influenza A virus discovered in fruit bats in Guatemala doesn't appear to pose a current threat to humans, but should be studied as a potential source for human influenza, according to a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Catch up on this year's flu news.

HUD Releases Charges on Discrimination Against Home Buyers With Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that it is charging Bank of America with discriminating against home buyers with disabilities. HUD alleges that Bank of America imposed unnecessary and burdensome requirements on borrowers who relied on disability income to qualify for their home loans and required some disabled borrowers to provide physician statements to qualify for home mortgage loans. Read more on disability.


Tags: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Disability, Flu, Housing, News roundups, Older Adults, Pediatrics, Physical activity, Public and Community Health, Safety, Sexual Health