Mar 8 2013
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Public Health News Roundup: March 8

CPR Education in High-Risk Neighborhoods Could Save More Lives
Targeting CPR education in high-risk neighborhoods could increase the number of bystanders giving CPR and decrease deaths from cardiac arrest according to a new American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement published in Circulation.

Survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest vary widely in the United States, from 0.2 percent in Detroit, Mich., to 16 percent in Seattle, Wash. The variance is due in part to whether a bystander does CPR, according to the AHA. For every 30 bystanders who do, one life is saved, However, AHA research finds that bystanders provide CPR only 40 percent of the time — and rates vary widely by location.

The new statement calls for communities to determine which neighborhoods have a high incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and low rates of bystander CPR by using geographic information systems (GIS) that map the latitude and longitude of each cardiac arrest and then focus public education efforts in the high-risk neighborhoods. Read more on heart health.

CDC Issues Travel Notice On Virus That Killed Eight
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice about potential infections from a deadly virus that has sickened 14 people and killed eight.

Most of the infections have occurred in the Middle East. However, a recent analysis of three people with confirmed infections in the UK suggests the virus can pass from person to person rather than from animal to humans.

The virus, called a coronavirus, is related to the virus that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which first emerged in Asia in 2003. No cases of the new virus have been reported in the United States so far. The CDC recommends that U.S. travelers to countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula monitor their health and see a doctor right away if they develop fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath and be sure to tell their doctor about their recent travels. Read more on infectious disease.

Nearly One in Four Women with Breast Cancer Suffers from PTSD
A study by researchers at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, has found that nearly one in four women newly diagnosed with breast cancer reported symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder shortly after diagnosis, with an increased risk among black and Asian women. The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers interviewed over 1,000 women and found that during the first two to three months after diagnosis, nearly a quarter of the women met the criteria for PTSD, although the symptoms declined over the next three months. Younger women were more likely to develop symptoms of PTSD, and data suggest Asian and black women are at a more than 50 percent higher risk than white women.”

The research team believes that these findings may apply to patients with other cancer diagnoses as well. Read more about cancer.

Tags: Public health, News roundups