Oct 15 2012

Public Health News Roundup: October 15

$5M in HUD Grants to Improve Communities, Housing
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is giving nearly $5 million in grants to 17 communities. The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants will go toward improving distressed neighborhoods—both public and HUD-assisted housing—with grantees collaborating with local stakeholders. “While many of these grantees have already collaborated to get to this stage, this funding enables them to take their initial discussions further to plan out strategies to build stronger, more sustainable communities that will address distressed housing, failing schools, rampant crime, and all that plagues the nation’s poor neighborhoods,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative represents the next generation in a movement toward revitalizing entire neighborhoods to improve the lives of the residents who live there.” Read more on housing.

Study: HPV Vaccine Does Not Increase Girls’ Sexual Activity
A new study in the journal Pediatrics shows receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination does not make girls more likely to become pregnant or contract sexually transmitted diseases. The concern over either is one of the main arguments of groups who believe the vaccination will make girls more likely to be sexually active, according to Reuters. "Some parents have expressed it as a concern," said Saad Omer, an Emory University researcher who worked on the study. "Parents can be reassured at least based on the evidence that young girls who receive HPV vaccines did not show increased signs (of) clinical outcomes of sexual activity.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends girls and boys ages 11-12 be vaccinated. Read more on vaccines.

Even Regular Sitters Who Exercise at Greater Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease
Even people who exercise regularly are risk of diabetes and heart disease if they sit too regularly—double the risk of those who do not, according to a new study in the journal Diabetologia. Researchers compared the results of nearly 800,000 people, demonstrating that even those who meet the recommended daily activity level put themselves at greater risk by sitting for prolonged periods. "Our study also showed that the most consistent associations were between sitting and diabetes," said Emma Wilmot, MD, a research fellow in the Diabetes Research Group at the University of Leicester. "This is an important message because people with risk factors for diabetes, such as the obese, those of South Asian ethnic origin or those with a family history of diabetes, may be able to help reduce their future risk of diabetes by limiting the time spent sitting." Read more on obesity.

Tags: Housing, News roundups, Obesity, Public and Community Health, Vaccines