|ACPM Headlines 1/23/15|
In this Issue
Policy and Practice
Research and Reports
1. STUDY FINDS LACK OF EXERCISE TO BE MORE DEADLY THAN OBESITY
Lack of exercise may be responsible for twice as many deaths as obesity, according to a study showing the benefits of as little as 20 minutes of brisk walking a day. The study, published in the January 14 edition of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, contributes to a growing body of evidence indicating that substantial health benefits may be achieved by fairly small increases in physical activity.
Scientists led by epidemiologist Ulf Ekelundat the University of Cambridge used the most recent available data on deaths in Europe to show 337,000 of 9.2 million fatalities over a 12-year period were attributable to obesity. The researchers said about double that number could be explained by physical inactivity. They estimate that exercise equivalent to a 20-minute brisk walk each day—burning 90 to 110 calories—reduces the risk of premature death by as much as 30 percent when compared with no exercise. The impact was greatest among normal weight individuals, but those with higher body mass index also saw a benefit.
study published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA),
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Programs and Health Outcomes in a Rural
found that sustained, community-wide programs targeting cardiovascular risk
factors and behavior changes improved the health of the population in Franklin
County, Maine, a low-income rural community. The study showed reductions in the
county’s hospitalization and mortality rates over 40 years, as compared with
the rest of the state. The interventions consisted of programs targeting
hypertension, cholesterol, and smoking, as well as diet and physical
3. ACPM CHANGING FROM FACEBOOK PAGE TO FACEBOOK GROUP
ACPM is moving from a Facebook Page to a Facebook Group. We believe this will be a better way for us to interact with our members, respond to questions and share relevant information. Please join our group today!
Global Advances in Health and Medicine (GAHM) announced the "re-launch” of its journal and digital communications platform this month under newly appointed, interdisciplinary editorial leadership. As a membership benefit and to expand visibility of the journal, GAHM is offering a one-year complimentary digital subscription to ACPM members, which can be initiated through the following ACPM/GAHM landing page: http://www.gahmj.com/r/ACPM. Once registered, ACPM members will have full access to the digital journal and website content.
GAHM’s mission is to improve health and well-being through whole-person, whole-systems care and healing. Peer-reviewed, indexed original research studies will remain the core strength of the journal, with the addition of new features such as columns on policy developments, practitioner viewpoints, patient stories, and news from the global community. GAHM’s website has been redesigned as a continuously-published source for content from the field, including blogs, a global news service and an enhanced multimedia experience, delivering timely and useful perspective on the worldwide heath care community.
5. FDA APPROVES DEVICE TO TREAT OBESITY
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has voted to approve a device targeting the nerve pathway that signals the brain when the stomach is full or empty. This is the first device approved by the FDA since 2007 for obesity treatment. The device, manufactured by EnteroMedics, includes a rechargeable electrical pulse generator, wire leads and electrodes implanted surgically into the abdomen and works by sending electrical pulses to the vagus nerve there. It’s now an approved treatment for obese adults with at least one obesity-related condition and no prior success with a weight-loss program.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) reports that progress has been made in the effort to eliminate infections that commonly threaten hospital patients, but additional work is needed to continue to improve patient safety.
CDC’s annual National and State Healthcare-associated Infection Progress Report showed a 46% decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections between 2008 and 2013. Additionally, the report notes a 19% decrease in surgical site infections between 2008 and 2013, an 8% decrease in MRSA bloodstream infections, and a 10% decrease in hospital-onset C. difficile infections between 2011 and 2013. Not all indicators were positive, however, as CDC reported a 6% increase in catheter associated urinary tract infections between 2009 and 2013.
Despite the overall progress, the report states that the nation did not reach the 2013 goals as set by the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued new guidance allowing Medicare Part B coverage of a second dose of pneumococcal vaccine. The move was intended to align Medicare coverage policy with recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); however, Medicare regulations require one year between doses, while the ACIP recommendations state that if PCV13 is given first, PPSV23 should be given 6–12 months later.
Additional information about pneumococcal vaccine coverage may be found on the official Medicare webpage.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2013 drug overdose mortality data shows a 6% increase in all drug poisoning deaths with heroin leading the way, as deaths involving heroin were up 39%. Deaths involving cocaine increased 12% from 2012 to 2013, while deaths involving opioid analgesics increased by only 1%.
This is the third year in a row that the mortality rate associated with heroin has increased. CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH stated, "Most people who use heroin in the U.S. today used prescription opioids first. Reducing inappropriate prescribing will prevent overdose from prescription opioids and heroin.”
9. PRIMARY CARE HRA TOOL LACKS PATIENTS’ SUPPORT AND INCREASES VISIT TIMES
Two Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded studies have found that use of a health risk assessment tool in the primary care setting may be able to identify behavioral and psychological health risks, lead to improved counseling and behavioral change, and be implemented in routine care. However, the studies also found that patients were generally unwilling to discuss their risk factors, and counseling by clinicians would require an additional 28 minutes per patient visit as well as additional staff time.
Both studies, Frequency and Prioritization of Patient Health Risks From a Structured Health Risk Assessment and Adoption, Reach, Implementation, and Maintenance of a Behavioral and Mental Health Assessment in Primary Care, appeared in the November/December 2014 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.
10. REPORT PROFILES BUSINESS CASE FOR HEALTHY COMMUNITY DESIGN
Health Resources in Action has released "The Business Case for Healthy Development and Health Impact Assessments,” a report for businesses on the importance of healthy community design. Published in conjunction with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the report highlights case studies of communities across the country that have incorporated such design elements into their business and urban planning initiatives. The authors focus on the use of health impact assessments (HIAs) as an important tool for creating healthy communities; emphasizing their rigor and objectivity in evaluating the impact of physical, social, economic, and ecological policies on health while discussing findings from HIAs conducted in Massachusetts and Arizona.
11. "MEDICARE AT 50 – ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION”
The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has published a two-part series, "Medicare at 50—Origins and Evolution,” which tells the story of Medicare’s inception, reviews its impact on coverage and care, and discusses the key changes in the program since it was created 50 years ago. The series was authored by The Commonwealth Fund’s David Blumenthal, MD, and Stuart Guterman and Karen Davis of the Johns Hopkins University Lipitz Center for Integrated Healthcare.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released two publications of potential interest to the preventive medicine communities:
13. FOUNDATION SEEKS NOMINEES FOR CANCER PREVENTION LAURELS AWARDS
The Prevent Cancer Foundation is seeking nominations for its 2015 Cancer Prevention Laurels. Nominees must have demonstrated significant contributions to the field of cancer prevention and early detection through national leadership, developing innovative programs, or effective advocacy. If interested, submit a brief letter describing your nominee’s qualifications and short biographical sketch to Prevent Cancer Foundation by Monday, January 26th.
The Thought Leaders in Population Health Webinar Series presents its latest installment, "How Health Information Exchanges Are Supporting Population Health Management,” scheduled for Thursday, January 29, 2015, 12:00 – 1:30 pm EST.
This session will examine Health Information Exchanges’ (HIEs) support for population health management and coordinated care efforts for lessons learned, and utilize panelists’ national perspectives to explore the range of additional potential. Panelists will discuss the development and transformation of HIEs both in the private and public sectors, and address different approaches taken by HIEs to integrate disparate IT systems. The webinar will also review current issues associated with sustainability, privacy and security and data integrity.
Other educational events of interest to the preventive medicine community can be found at ACPM’s online community calendar.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has announced a webinar on innovative ways to teach biostatistics and epidemiology in clinically relevant scenarios and as the foundation for population health perspectives. The webinar will feature curriculum models used at Harvard Medical School and Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans to improve medical students’ training in population sciences. Medical faculty, public health professionals, curriculum deans, and learners are invited to participate in this webinar and will have the opportunity to submit questions during an extended Q&A session after the presentations.
NASA is looking for a highly skilled physician to serve as Medical Director for Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. This position is responsible for planning and managing activities that assure maintenance of the health of the workforce. Applications are due January 30, 2015.