Public Health News Roundup: December 4
CDC: This could be a Bad Flu Year
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, told reporters yesterday that 2012 is the earliest regular flu season in a decade, “and while flu is always unpredictable, the early nature of the cases as well as the specific strains we're seeing suggest that this could be a bad flu year.” Read more on flu.
“Hiding” Cigarettes in Stores May Reduce Youth Smoking
A new study published in Pediatrics finds, using an interactive, virtual convenience store, that teens were less likely to try to buy tobacco products when they were hidden from view.
In the study, researchers asked more than 1,200 teens ages 13 to 17 to “shop” in a virtual store, using several store scenarios. Compared to teens who shopped in stores with openly visible tobacco products, those who shopped in stores where tobacco products were hidden were less aware that the products were for sale and were significantly less likely to try to purchase tobacco products.
The researchers say the study bolsters support for policies that would ban the display of tobacco products at the point of sale. Read more on tobacco.
Heart Healthy Diet May Help Protect People with Heart Disease
People with cardiovascular disease may get protection against future heart attacks and strokes by eating a heart healthy diet, according to a new study in the journal Circulation.
For the study, 31,546 adults (average age 66.5) with cardiovascular disease or end organ damage were asked how often they consumed milk, vegetables, fruits, grains, fish, meat and poultry in the past 12 months and were also asked about lifestyle choices such as alcohol consumption, smoking and exercise. Total scores were determined by daily fruits, vegetables, grains and milk consumed and the ratio of fish to meats consumed. During a follow-up of nearly five years, participants experienced 5,190 cardiovascular events.
Researchers found those who ate a heart-healthy diet had a:
- 35 percent reduction in risk for cardiovascular death;
- 14 percent reduction in risk for new heart attacks;
- 28 percent reduction in risk for congestive heart failure; and
- 19 percent reduction in risk for stroke.
Read more on heart health.