Jun 21 2012

Public Health News Roundup: June 21

HUD, HHS Launch Smoke-Free Housing Tools

The U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as health advocate groups have launched tool kits to help private owners of federally assisted multifamily housing and public housing authorities adopt smoke-free policies.

The owner’s toolkit includes a guide to implementing no-smoking policies, a sample resident survey and frequently asked questions sheet. The residents’ kit includes a going smoke-free guide, a home smoke-free pledge kit, and additional education materials about second-hand smoke. Read more on tobacco.

Hospital Stays Increase for Kids with Hypertension

Hospitalizations for children with high blood pressure increased between 1996 and 2006, according to a study in the journal Hypertension. Researchers reached their conclusions based on discharge records from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Kids’ Inpatient Database from 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2006.

Findings include:

  • Pediatric hypertension-related hospitalizations in the United States nearly doubled, from 12,661 in 1997 to 24,602 in 2006.
  • Charges for inpatient care for hypertensive children increased by 50 percent, to about $3.1 billion.
  • The average length of stay for children with hypertension was double that of children with other illnesses, eight days compared to four days.

The researchers say the increased hypertensions hospitalizations may be linked to the rise in childhood obesity, and that children hospitalized with hypertension were more likely to be older than 9 years, male and African-American. Read more on children's health.

Tags: Housing, News roundups, Pediatrics, Tobacco