Public Health News Roundup: April 25
CDC: Long-term Measles Vaccines Program Will Save Millions from Disease
Two decades ago, in 1994, the United States launched the Vaccines for Children program (VFC) as a direct response to rising cases of measles cases across the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now estimates that vaccinations will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born in the twenty years since the VFC program was launched. "Thanks to the VFC program, children in our country are no longer at significant risk from diseases that once killed thousands each year,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, in a release. “Current outbreaks of measles in the U.S. serve as a reminder that these diseases are only a plane ride away. Borders can’t stop measles, but vaccination can.” A reported 129 people in the United States have been diagnosed with measles in 13 outbreaks so far this year. Read more on vaccines.
FDA Approves DNA Test to Improve Early HPV Detection, Assess Later Cancer Risk
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a DNA test to help women age 25 and older, along with their physician, determine whether they need additional diagnostic testing for cervical cancer. The test can also help assess the patient’s risk of developing cervical cancer later in life. The new HPV test detects DNA from 14 high-risk HPV types. Women who test positive for HPV 16 of HPV 18 would then be advised to undergo a colposcopy, while women who tested positive for 12 other high-risk HPV types would be advised to undergo a Pap test to determine whether a colposcopy was needed. While the FDA previously approved the cobas HPV Test in 2011, this new approval expands the use of the test, allowing it to be either a co-test or to be used as a primary cervical cancer screening testing. Read more on cancer.
Study: Drinking More Coffee Linked to Reduced Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Drinking more coffee may be tied to a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a new study in the journal Diabetologia. In a study of 123,000 adults over four years, researchers determined that the participants who increased their coffee intake by more than one cup saw a reduction in risk, while those who drank less saw an increase. "It looks like there is a dose-response relationship between increasing coffee consumption and a lower risk of diabetes," said lead researcher Frank Hu, MD, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, according to HealthDay. "Basically, the more coffee, the lower the risk of diabetes. People who drink three to five cups of coffee a day enjoyed a significant reduction in type 2 diabetes risk." Researchers noted that while the study determined a correlation it did not determine causation, so further study is needed to explain the link. Read more on diabetes.