Public Health News Roundup: September 7
CDC: Vaccination of U.S. Kids Remains High
The 2011 National Immunization Survey (NIS) shows that vaccination rates for preventable diseases remain high for U.S. children aged 19-35 months. Coverage is at least 90 percent for many of the routine vaccines, with less than 1 percent having received no vaccinations. High immunization coverage is necessary to protect against serious outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more on vaccines.
IOM Report: U.S. Healthcare is Too Complex and Costly
A new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concludes that the U.S. healthcare system is too complex and costly to sustain itself. The report, Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America, recommends focusing on improvements in three major areas— the rising complexity of modern health care, unsustainable cost increases and outcomes below the system’s potential—while also utilizing new technologies and techniques whenever possible. Read more on access to healthcare.
‘Cool’ Kids More Likely to Smoke
A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that popular high school students are more likely to smoke cigarettes than are their non-popular peers. Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) and University of Texas looked 1,950 9th and 10th graders in seven Southern California high schools. The findings line up with previous USC studies. “That we’re still seeing this association more than 10 years later, despite marginal declines in smoking, suggests that popularity is a strong predictor of smoking behavior,” said Thomas W. Valente, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Valente was lead author on the study and has researched the topic extensively. Read more on tobacco.