Feb 3 2012
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Public Health News Roundup: February 3

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World Cancer Day

Tomorrow, February 4, is World Cancer Day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention joins organizations around the world to promote ways to reduce the burden of cancer. Each year globally, 12.7 million people learn they have cancer, and 7.6 million people die from the disease. In the U.S., cancer is the second leading cause of death, exceeded only by heart disease. Cancer kills more than half a million Americans every year.

Around the world, more people die from cancer than from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. The World Health Organization projects that without immediate action, the global number of deaths from cancer will increase by nearly 80% by 2030, with most occurring in low- and middle-income countries. At the United Nations Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases in September 2011, leaders from more than 120 countries declared non-communicable diseases, including cancer, a global priority and committed to taking action to address them. Read more on cancer and global health.

CDC: Too Few Americans Adults Get Needed Vaccinations

About 45,000 Americans die each year from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccines, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released yesterday. According to the report, in 2010 there was only a small increase in the immunization rate for just three vaccines: Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough); HPV and shingles. Get more updates on vaccine news.

More than Half of Hookah Tobacco Websites Don’t Include the Word Tobacco

A growing number of businesses now promote hookah tobacco smoking on the Internet, but less than 1 percent included a tobacco-related warning about the practice on the first page of their websites, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study also found that, while cigarette-related web pages are often required to verify users’ ages, none of the hookah tobacco web pages required any type of age verification.

“Hookah tobacco smoking is growing in popularity in the United States, but many people are unaware of the health risks. It’s believed that one session of smoking tobacco through a hookah can deliver about 50 to 100 times the smoke volume, 40 times the tar and twice the nicotine usually delivered by a single cigarette,” says lead author Brian Primack, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Hookah smoking has been linked to serious diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease, and people should be aware of these risks,” says Primack. The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute. Get the latest news in tobacco policy, prevention and cessation efforts.

Tags: Public health, Cancer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health, News roundups, Tobacco, Vaccines