Public Health News Roundup: October 11
Survey: Most Americans Would Seek Treatment for Depression
Today is National Depression Screening Day, and a new survey shows that 72 percent of Americans would seek treatment for depression if they started showing symptoms. The number is slightly higher if the person also knows someone receiving treatment for depression. "These findings tell us that our efforts to reduce stigma and increase the public's knowledge of depression through events like National Depression Screening Day are having an effect," said Douglas Jacobs, MD, founder of Screening for Mental Health Inc. "The goal of the program is to educate people on the symptoms of depression, assess their risk for mood and anxiety disorders and connect those in need with local treatment services," said Jacobs, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Read more on mental health.
Study: Rate of Strokes is Up for Younger Americans
Risk factors such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are likely contributing to a dramatic rise in strokes in younger Americans, according to a new study in the journal Neurology. From 1993 to 2005, the rate of strokes for people below the age of 55 nearly doubled. The rate was higher for black Americans than for white Americans. Lead researcher Brett Kissela, of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, said in addition to an increase in risk factors, the improved ability to detect strokes was also a contributor to the rising rates. Read more on access to health care.
Blood Test Could Help Detect Early Mesothelioma
A blood test to detect the protein fibulin-3 may help doctors diagnose and treat mesothelioma much earlier than was previously possible, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Harvey Pass, MD, a professor of thoracic oncology at NYU Langone Medical Center, said fibulin-3 was present in much higher concentrations in patients with mesothelioma. The cancer—which is often the result of asbestos exposure—can take year to develop, making it especially difficult to diagnose. Read more on cancer.