Archive for the ‘diseases and conditions’ Category

Human blood metabolite timetable indicates internal body time

August 31, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
A convenient way to estimate internal body time (BT) is essential for chronotherapy and time-restricted feeding, both of which use body-time information to maximize potency and minimize toxicity during drug administration and feeding, respectively. Previously, we proposed a molecular timetable based on circadian-oscillating substances in multiple mouse organs or blood to estimate internal body time from samples taken at only a few time points. Here we applied this molecular-timetable concept to estimate and evaluate internal body time in humans. We constructed a 1.5-d reference timetable of oscillating metabolites in human blood samples with 2-h sampling frequency while simultaneously controlling for the confounding effects of activity level, light, temperature, sleep, and food intake. By using this metabolite timetable as a reference, we accurately determined internal body time within 3 h from just two anti-phase blood samples. Our minimally invasive, molecular-timetable method with human blood enables highly optimized and personalized medicine.


Educational differences in chronic conditions and their role in the educational differences in overall mortality

August 30, 2012 Comments off

Educational differences in chronic conditions and their role in the educational differences in overall mortality
Source: Demographic Research

Demographers use different models to decompose the prevalence of given health conditions. This article discusses how these models can help us understand the ways in which these conditions affect overall mortality. In particular, this framework can be used to understand the role that any given condition plays in producing differences in overall mortality across populations. The empirical analysis in this study focuses on chronic conditions as factors behind elderly US citizens’ differences in overall mortality across educational levels. The analysis of differences by education level shows that while the prevalence differences of chronic conditions is mostly the outcome of incidence differences, regarding overall mortality differences, the role of chronic conditions is equally channelled through incidence and excess mortality differences.

Challenges for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the United States

August 29, 2012 Comments off

Challenges for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the United States
Source: PLoS Medicine

Summary Points
+ Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with anti-retroviral (ARV) medications is partially efficacious for preventing HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexuals.
As PrEP becomes available and prescribed for use among MSM a better understanding of willingness to use PrEP and avoidance of condom use are needed so that behavioral programs and counseling may be enhanced for maximum benefit.
+ Targeted messaging will be needed about ARV prophylaxis for various at risk populations, but the general message should be that condoms continue to be the most effective way to prevent HIV transmission through sex and that PrEP is an additional biomedical intervention.
+ As new effective biomedical intervention methods, such as PrEP, become available language about “protected” and “unprotected” sex, which used to exclusively mean condom use, will need to adapt.

From the American Academy of Pediatrics: Circumcision Policy Statement

August 29, 2012 Comments off

From the American Academy of Pediatrics: Circumcision Policy Statement
Source: Pediatrics

Male circumcision is a common procedure, generally performed during the newborn period in the United States. In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) formed a multidisciplinary task force of AAP members and other stakeholders to evaluate the recent evidence on male circumcision and update the Academy’s 1999 recommendations in this area. Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it. Specific benefits identified included prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed this statement.

Tattoo-Associated Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Skin Infections — Multiple States, 2011–2012

August 28, 2012 Comments off

Tattoo-Associated Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Skin Infections — Multiple States, 2011–2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Permanent tattoos have become increasingly common, with 21% of adults in the United States reporting having at least one tattoo (1). On rare occasions, outbreaks of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) skin infections have been reported after tattooing (2,3). In January 2012, public health officials in New York received reports of Mycobacterium chelonae skin infections in 14 New York residents who received tattoos during September–December 2011. All infections were associated with use of the same nationally distributed, prediluted gray ink manufactured by company A. CDC disseminated an Epi-X public health alert to identify additional tattoo-associated NTM skin infections; previously identified cases were reported from three states (Washington, Iowa, and Colorado). Public health investigations by CDC, state and local health departments, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found NTM contamination in tattoo inks used in two of five identified clusters. All infected persons were exposed to one of four different brands of ink. NTM contamination of inks can occur during the manufacturing process as a result of using contaminated ingredients or poor manufacturing practices, or when inks are diluted with nonsterile water by tattoo artists. No specific FDA regulatory requirement explicitly provides that tattoo inks must be sterile. However, CDC recommends that ink manufacturers ensure ink is sterile and that tattoo artists avoid contamination of ink through dilution with nonsterile water. Consumers also should be aware of the health risks associated with getting an intradermal tattoo.

Treatment Strategies for Women With Coronary Artery Disease

August 24, 2012 Comments off

Treatment Strategies for Women With Coronary Artery Disease (PDF)
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Objectives. Although coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, treatment studies to date have primarily enrolled men and may not reflect the benefits and risks that women experience. Our systematic review of the medical literature assessed the comparative effectiveness of major treatment options for CAD specifically in women. The comparisons were (1) percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) versus fibrinolysis/supportive pharmacologic therapy in ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), (2) early invasive versus initial conservative management in non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) or unstable angina, and (3) PCI versus coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) versus optimal medical therapy in stable or unstable angina. The endpoints assessed were clinical outcomes, modifiers of effectiveness by demographic and clinical factors, and safety outcomes.

From a limited number of studies reporting results for women separately from the total study population, our findings confirm current practice and evidence for care in one of the three areas evaluated. For women with STEMI, we found that an invasive approach with immediate PCI is superior to fibrinolysis for reducing cardiovascular events, which is similar to findings in previous meta-analyses combining results for both women and men. For women with NSTEMI or unstable angina, evidence suggested that an early invasive approach reduces cardiovascular events; however, it was not statistically significant. Previous meta-analyses of studies comparing early invasive with initial conservative strategies on a combined population of men and women showed a significant benefit of early invasive therapy. We also found that the few trials reporting sex-specific data on revascularization compared with optimal medical therapy for stable angina showed a greater benefit with revascularization for women, while the men in the study fared equally well with either treatment. In contrast, previous meta-analyses that combined results for men and women found similar outcomes for either treatment.

Body Mass Index, Playing Position, Race, and the Cardiovascular Mortality of Retired Professional Football Players

August 24, 2012 Comments off

Body Mass Index, Playing Position, Race, and the Cardiovascular Mortality of Retired Professional Football Players
Source: American Journal of Cardiology

Concern exists about cardiovascular disease (CVD) in professional football players. We examined whether playing position and size influence CVD mortality in 3,439 National Football League players with ≥5 pension-credited playing seasons from 1959 to 1988. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) compared player mortality through 2007 to the United States population of men stratified by age, race, and calendar year. Cox proportional hazards models evaluated associations of playing-time body mass index (BMI), race, and position with CVD mortality. Overall player mortality was significantly decreased (SMR 0.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.48 to 0.59) as was mortality from cancer (SMR 0.58, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.72), and CVD (SMR 0.68, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.81). CVD mortality was increased for defensive linemen (SMR 1.42, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.92) but not for offensive linemen (SMR 0.70, 95% CI 0.45 to 1.05). Defensive linemen’s cardiomyopathy mortality was also increased (SMR 5.34, 95% CI 2.30 to 10.5). Internal analyses found that CVD mortality was increased for players of nonwhite race (hazard ratio 1.69, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.51). After adjusting for age, race, and calendar year, CVD mortality was increased for those with a playing-time BMI ≥30 kg/m2 (hazard ratio 2.02, 95% CI 1.06 to 3.85) and for defensive linemen compared to offensive linemen (hazard ratio 2.07, 95% CI 1.24 to 3.46). In conclusion, National Football League players from the 1959 through 1988 seasons had decreased overall mortality but those with a playing-time BMI ≥30 kg/m2 had 2 times the risk of CVD mortality compared to other players and African-American players and defensive linemen had higher CVD mortality compared to other players even after adjusting for playing-time BMI.

Practice-Based Interventions Addressing Concomitant Depression and Chronic Medical Conditions in the Primary Care Setting

August 20, 2012 Comments off

Practice-Based Interventions Addressing Concomitant Depression and Chronic Medical Conditions in the Primary Care Setting (PDF)

Source:  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Objectives: For adults with concomitant depression and chronic medical conditions seen in the primary care setting, to assess the effectiveness of practice-based interventions for improving mental health or medical outcomes.
Data Sources: We searched MEDLINE ® , Embase, the Cochrane Library, CINAHL ® , and PsycINFO ® from inception to December 2011. We identified additional studies from reference lists and technical experts.
Review Methods: Two people independently selected, extracted data from, and rated the quality of relevant trials and systematic reviews. We conducted quantitative analyses for outcomes when feasible and reported all results by medical condition when possible. Two reviewers graded the strength of evidence (SOE) using established criteria.
Results: We included 24 published articles reporting data from 12 studies (9 randomized controlled trials and 3 preplanned subgroup analyses from a tenth trial). Sample sizes ranged from 55 to 1,001, and study duration ranged from 6 to 60 months. Eleven studies were conducted in the United States (1 in Puerto Rico) and 1 in Scotland. All studies characterized their respective intervention as a form of collaborative care compared with usual or enhanced usual care, and generally involved a care manager with physician supervision; we found no studies describing other types of practice-based interventions. Settings of care for included studies, although rarely characterized, included both open and closed systems. All studies specified depression as the targeted mental health condition. Medical conditions included arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, and one or more conditions. Our meta-analyses found that intervention recipients achieved greater improvement than controls in depression symptoms, response, remission, and depression-free days (moderate SOE); satisfaction with care (moderate SOE); and mental and physical quality of life (moderate SOE). Few data were available on outcomes for chronic medical conditions, except for diabetes; only one trial used a medical outcome as the primary outcome. Diabetic patients receiving collaborative care exhibited no difference in diabetes control as compared with control groups (change in HbA1c: weighted mean difference 0.13, 95% CI, -0.22 to 0.48 at 6 months; 0.24, 95% CI, -0.14 to 0.62 at 12 months; low SOE).
Conclusions: Collaborative care interventions improved outcomes for depression and quality of life in primary care patients with multiple different medical conditions. Few data were available on medical outcomes, except for HbA1c in diabetes, which showed no difference between treatment and usual care. Future studies should be designed to target a broader range of medical conditions, or clusters of conditions, and should compare variations of practice-based interventions in head-to-head trials.

Recommendations for the Identification of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Persons Born During 1945–1965

August 18, 2012 Comments off

Recommendations for the Identification of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Persons Born During 1945–1965
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Many of the 2.7–3.9 million persons living with HCV infection are unaware they are infected and do not receive care (e.g., education, counseling, and medical monitoring) and treatment. CDC estimates that although persons born during 1945–1965 comprise an estimated 27% of the population, they account for approximately three fourths of all HCV infections in the United States, 73% of HCV-associated mortality, and are at greatest risk for hepatocellular carcinoma and other HCV-related liver disease. With the advent of new therapies that can halt disease progression and provide a virologic cure (i.e., sustained viral clearance following completion of treatment) in most persons, targeted testing and linkage to care for infected persons in this birth cohort is expected to reduce HCV-related morbidity and mortality. CDC is augmenting previous recommendations for HCV testing (CDC. Recommendations for prevention and control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and HCV-related chronic disease. MMWR 1998;47[No. RR–19]) to recommend one-time testing without prior ascertainment of HCV risk for persons born during 1945–1965, a population with a disproportionately high prevalence of HCV infection and related disease. Persons identified as having HCV infection should receive a brief screening for alcohol use and intervention as clinically indicated, followed by referral to appropriate care for HCV infection and related conditions. These recommendations do not replace previous guidelines for HCV testing that are based on known risk factors and clinical indications. Rather, they define an additional target population for testing: persons born during 1945–1965. CDC developed these recommendations with the assistance of a work group representing diverse expertise and perspectives. The recommendations are informed by the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) framework, an approach that provides guidance and tools to define the research questions, conduct the systematic review, assess the overall quality of the evidence, and determine strength of the recommendations. This report is intended to serve as a resource for health-care professionals, public health officials, and organizations involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of prevention and clinical services. These recommendations will be reviewed every 5 years and updated to include advances in the published evidence.

Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Pra ctices (ACIP) — United States, 2012–13 Influenza Season

August 16, 2012 Comments off

Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) — United States, 2012–13 Influenza Season

Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

In 2010, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) first recommended annual influenza vaccination for all persons aged ≥6 months in the United States (1). Annual influenza vaccination of all persons aged ≥6 months continues to be recommended. This document 1) describes influenza vaccine virus strains included in the U.S. seasonal influenza vaccine for 2012–13; 2) provides guidance for the use of influenza vaccines during the 2012–13 season, including an updated vaccination schedule for children aged 6 months through 8 years and a description of available vaccine products and indications; 3) discusses febrile seizures associated with administration of influenza and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate (PCV-13) vaccines; 4) provides vaccination recommendations for persons with a history of egg allergy; and 5) discusses the development of quadrivalent influenza vaccines for use in future influenza seasons. Information regarding issues related to influenza vaccination that are not addressed in this update is available in CDC’s Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010 and associated updates (1,2).

Food: Latest Report shows EU Controls ensure our food is safe

August 16, 2012 Comments off

Food: Latest Report shows EU Controls ensure our food is safe

Source:  European Commission
A European Commission report published today shows that thanks to the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) many food safety risks have been averted or mitigated and safety controls ensure our food is safe. RASFF plays a key role in ensuring safety from “farm to fork”, by triggering a rapid reaction when a food safety risk is detected. All members of the RASFF system1 are swiftly informed of serious risks found in food or feed so that together they can react to food safety threats in a coordinated way to protect the health of EU citizens.
John Dalli, Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, said: “European consumers enjoy the highest food safety standards in the world. The EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed is a key tool as it allows risks to be identified and removed from the European market. RASFF reinforces the confidence of our consumers in our food and feed safety system. In 2011, we dealt with a number of important crises such as the effects of the Fukushima nuclear incident, the dioxin and the E. coli crisis. The EU managed to tackle them and the lessons we all learnt will no doubt guide us to do even better in the future.”

See: FAQ: Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) – role and achievements

Prevalence of Uncontrolled Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease: United States, 1999–2010

August 15, 2012 Comments off

Prevalence of Uncontrolled Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease: United States, 1999–2010

Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

  • In 2009–2010, about 47% of adults had at least one of three risk factors for cardiovascular disease—uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled high levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol, or current smoking.
  • Men were more likely than women to have at least one of the three cardiovascular disease risk factors.
  • From 1999–2000 through 2009–2010, a decrease was observed in the percentage of non-Hispanic white and Mexican-American adults who had at least one of the three risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, this decrease was not found among non-Hispanic black adults.
  • The prevalence of uncontrolled high blood pressure and of uncontrolled high LDL cholesterol declined between 1999–2000 and 2009–2010, but no significant change occurred in the percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes.

Weight Status Among Adolescents in States That Govern Competitive Food Nutrition Content

August 14, 2012 Comments off

Weight Status Among Adolescents in States That Govern Competitive Food Nutrition Content
Source: Pediatrics


To determine if state laws regulating nutrition content of foods and beverages sold outside of federal school meal programs (“competitive foods”) are associated with lower adolescent weight gain.


The Westlaw legal database identified state competitive food laws that were scored by using the Classification of Laws Associated with School Students criteria. States were classified as having strong, weak, or no competitive food laws in 2003 and 2006 based on law strength and comprehensiveness. Objective height and weight data were obtained from 6300 students in 40 states in fifth and eighth grade (2004 and 2007, respectively) within the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class. General linear models estimated the association between baseline state laws (2003) and within-student changes in BMI, overweight status, and obesity status. Fixed-effect models estimated the association between law changes during follow-up (2003–2006) and within-student changes in BMI and weight status.


Students exposed to strong laws at baseline gained, on average, 0.25 fewer BMI units (95% confidence interval: −0.54, 0.03) and were less likely to remain overweight or obese over time than students in states with no laws. Students also gained fewer BMI units if exposed to consistently strong laws throughout follow-up (β = −0.44, 95% confidence interval: −0.71, −0.18). Conversely, students exposed to weaker laws in 2006 than 2003 had similar BMI gain as those not exposed in either year.


Laws that regulate competitive food nutrition content may reduce adolescent BMI change if they are comprehensive, contain strong language, and are enacted across grade levels.

CDC — 2011 State Obesity Map Now Available

August 14, 2012 Comments off

2011 State Obesity Map Now Available

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In 2011, rates of adult obesity remain high, with state estimates ranging from 20.7 percent in Colorado to 34.9 percent in Mississippi. No state had a prevalence of adult obesity less than 20 percent, and 12 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of 30 percent or more. The South had the highest prevalence of adult obesity (29.5 percent), followed by the Midwest (29 percent), the Northeast (25.3 percent) and the West (24.3 percent).

Design and dementia: A case of garments designed to prevent undressing

August 14, 2012 Comments off

Design and dementia: A case of garments designed to prevent undressing

Source: Dementia

This article focuses on garments used in care environments. We investigate a patient overall, developed for the care of people with severe memory problems, severe learning difficulties and brain injuries. The aim of the use of a patient overall is to prevent undressing in socially inappropriate situations and/or to stop the user from removing an incontinence pad. This article is based on interviews of designers of medical textiles and patients and family carers in Finland. Both designers and patients found patient overalls to be infantilizing and stigmatizing for the user but accepted the basic functions of the product. We report results of a design project aimed at designing a new type of garment that takes into account the technical requirements but provides a more dignified look and opportunities for activity. We discuss the ethical issues concerning the use of this kind of product in the care of people with dementia.

Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?

August 13, 2012 Comments off

Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute

Expectations are high that transition in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen will bring about more freedom, justice, and economic opportunities. However, experiences from other world regions show that countries in transition are at high risk of entering conflicts, which often come at large economic, social and political costs. In order to identify options on how conflict may be prevented in Arab transition countries, this paper assesses the key global drivers of conflicts based on a dataset from 1960 to 2010 and improved cross-country regression techniques. Results show that unlike in other studies where per capita incomes, inequality, and poor governance, among other factors, emerge as the major determinants of conflict, food security at macro- and micro-levels emerges as the main cause of conflicts in the Arab world. This “Arab exceptionalism in conflict” suggests that improving food security is not only important for improving the lives of rural and urban people; it is also likely to be the key for a peaceful transition.

Interim Guidance for Clinicians Considering the Use of Preexposure Prophylaxis for the Prevention of HIV Infection in Heterosexually Active Adults

August 12, 2012 Comments off

Interim Guidance for Clinicians Considering the Use of Preexposure Prophylaxis for the Prevention of HIV Infection in Heterosexually Active Adults
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

In the United States, an estimated 48,100 new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections occurred in 2009 (1). Of these, 27% were in heterosexual men and women who did not inject drugs, and 64% were in men who have sex with men (MSM), including 3% in MSM who inject drugs. In January 2011, following publication of evidence of safety and efficacy of daily oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg (TDF)/emtricitabine 200 mg (FTC) (Truvada, Gilead Sciences) as antiretroviral preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk for HIV acquisition among MSM in the iPrEx trial, CDC issued interim guidance to make available information and important initial cautions on the use of PrEP in this population. Those recommendations remain valid for MSM, including MSM who also have sex with women (2). Since January 2011, data from studies of PrEP among heterosexual men and women have become available, and on July 16, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a label indication for reduction of risk for sexual acquisition of HIV infection among adults, including both heterosexuals and MSM.* This interim guidance includes consideration of the new information and addresses pregnancy and safety issues for heterosexually active adults at very high risk for sexual HIV acquisition that were not discussed in the previous interim guidance for the use of PrEP in MSM.

Being Normal Weight but Feeling Overweight in Adolescence May Affect Weight Development into Young Adulthood—An 11-Year Followup: The HUNT Study, Norway

August 10, 2012 Comments off

Being Normal Weight but Feeling Overweight in Adolescence May Affect Weight Development into Young Adulthood—An 11-Year Followup: The HUNT Study, Norway
Source: Journal of Obesity

To explore if self-perceived overweight in normal weight adolescents influence their weight development into young adulthood and if so, whether physical activity moderates this association.

A longitudinal study of 1196 normal weight adolescents (13–19 yrs) who were followed up as young adults (24–30 yrs) in the HUNT study. Lifestyle and health issues were assessed employing questionnaires, and standardized anthropometric measurements were taken. Chi square calculations and regression analyses were performed to investigate the associations between self-perceived overweight and change in BMI or waist circumference (WC) adjusted for age, age squared, sex, and other relevant cofactors.

Adolescents, defined as being normal weight, but who perceived themselves as overweight had a larger weight gain into young adulthood than adolescents who perceived themselves as normal weight (difference in BMI: 0.66 units [CI95%: 0.1, 1.2] and in WC: 3.46 cm [CI95%: 1.8, 5.1]). Level of physical activity was not found to moderate this association.

This study reveals that self-perceived overweight during adolescence may affect development of weight from adolescence into young adulthood. This highlights the importance of also focusing on body image in public health interventions against obesity, favouring a “healthy” body weight taking into account natural differences in body shapes.

See: Feeling Fat May Make You Fat, Study Suggests (Science Daily)

Evidence of Rabies Virus Exposure among Humans in the Peruvian Amazon

August 8, 2012 Comments off

Evidence of Rabies Virus Exposure among Humans in the Peruvian Amazon

Source:  American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

In May of 2010, two communities (Truenococha and Santa Marta) reported to be at risk of vampire bat depredation were surveyed in the Province Datem del Marañón in the Loreto Department of Perú. Risk factors for bat exposure included age less than or equal to 25 years and owning animals that had been bitten by bats. Rabies virus neutralizing antibodies (rVNAs) were detected in 11% (7 of 63) of human sera tested. Rabies virus ribonucleoprotein (RNP) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies were detected in the sera of three individuals, two of whom were also seropositive for rVNA. Rabies virus RNP IgM antibodies were detected in one respondent with no evidence of rVNA or RNP IgG antibodies. Because one respondent with positive rVNA results reported prior vaccination and 86% (six of seven) of rVNA-positive respondents reported being bitten by bats, these data suggest nonfatal exposure of persons to rabies virus, which is likely associated with vampire bat depredation.

Food safety guides for groups most vulnerable to foodborne illness now available

August 6, 2012 Comments off

Food safety guides for groups most vulnerable to foodborne illness now available
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have partnered to create six booklets with food safety advice for populations that are most susceptible to foodborne illness. The booklets in this “at-risk series” are tailored to help older adults, transplant recipients, pregnant women, and people with cancer, diabetes or HIV/AIDS reduce their risk for foodborne illness.

“These booklets are a much needed resource for consumers who are at increased risk of getting sick from food,” said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. “The clear, understandable information in these booklets will help at-risk individuals feel confident about the safety of foods they prepare and eat. The booklets are also helpful to physicians and other health care providers for educating their at-risk patients about foodborne illnesses.”

Each of the booklets contains 24 pages of practical guidance on how to prevent foodborne illness. The information is presented in easy-to-read charts, illustrated how-tos, and straightforward descriptions of why each group is at higher risk for foodborne illness and symptoms that may mean trouble. The booklets contain three tear-out cards with quick-reference tips for grocery shopping, cooking to the right temperature, and eating at restaurants for times when taking along the entire booklet would be impractical.

“Everyone from farmers to food manufacturers to food preparers in the home has a role in food safety,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor. “It is important that consumers, particularly those who are at higher risk of foodborne illness, have information they can use to do their part in preventing illness by properly selecting and preparing foods.”

While booklets on five of these topics were previously produced in 2006, the two agencies this year created a sixth booklet for pregnant women, who are at particular risk for the illness listeriosis. The six new booklets list food safety resources, such as, that have been made available since the earlier copies were printed. They also include revised safe cooking temperatures for meat and poultry: 145 °F for whole cuts of meat, followed by a three-minute rest time; 160 °F for ground meats; and 165 °F for all poultry and leftovers.


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