Category: Living Well Written by Amber Bogins
Today, on National HIV Testing Day, the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University launched its annual update of AIDSVu, including new interactive online maps that show the latest HIV prevalence data for 20 U.S. cities by ZIP code or census tract. AIDSVu also includes new city snapshots displaying HIV prevalence alongside various social determinants of health – such as poverty, lack of health insurance, and educational attainment.
AIDSVu -- the most detailed publicly available view of HIV prevalence in the United States -- is a compilation of interactive online maps that display HIV prevalence data at the national, state and local levels and by different demographics, including age, race and sex. The maps pinpoint areas of the country where the rates of people living with an HIV diagnosis are the highest, including urban centers and in the Northeast and the South, visualizing where the needs for prevention, testing and treatment services are the most urgent.
"Our National HIV/AIDS Strategy calls for reducing new HIV infections by intensifying our efforts in HIV prevention where the epidemic is most concentrated. AIDSVu provides a roadmap to identifying those high-prevalence areas of the HIV epidemic and showing where the local testing resources are located," said Patrick S. Sullivan, PhD, DVM, Professor of Epidemiology at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, and the principal researcher for AIDSVu. "The addition of new city data means that AIDSVu now displays data from 20 U.S. cities. This expanded city information is critical because most HIV diagnoses in the United States occur in cities."
The free, interactive online tool's new data and features include:
• National maps displaying 2010 data at the state-and county-level, the most recent national HIV prevalence data available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
• Interactive maps of HIV prevalence data by census tract for Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
• New ZIP code level maps for five U.S. cities – Memphis, Orlando, San Diego, Tampa and Virginia Beach; and updated ZIP code maps for Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles County, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan, and Washington, D.C.
• HIV prevalence maps alongside social determinants of health – poverty, lack of health insurance, median household income, educational attainment and income inequality – in side-by-side map views for 20 cities, in addition to the existing state views.
AIDSVu maps illustrate the geographic variations in the HIV epidemic across the United States:
• The national map shows significantly higher rates of people living with HIV in the Northeast and the South than in much of the rest of the country. AIDSVu's city maps demonstrate that, in many cities, there is a pattern of heavily impacted urban cores with relatively lower impact in areas further from city centers.
• The data on AIDSVu's maps can be viewed by race/ethnicity. AIDSVu shows that HIV disproportionately affects black and Hispanic/Latino Americans, and that these disparities exist in both major metropolitan areas and rural areas.
• AIDSVu also provides downloadable and printable resources – including slide sets of the various map views available on the site – to help those who work in HIV prevention and treatment educate others about the U.S. epidemic.
AIDSVu and National HIV Testing Day:
• This year's update of AIDSVu is being launched in conjunction with National HIV Testing Day. Currently, more than one million Americans are living with HIV, and an estimated one in five people with HIV do not know their status.
• Information about HIV prevalence at the local level – as shown on AIDSVu – can help individuals understand the impact of HIV in their communities and the importance of getting tested. The AIDSVu testing locator helps users find a place in their community to get tested for HIV.
The state- and county-level data displayed on AIDSVu were obtained from the CDC and compiled by researchers at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Data on HIV prevalence at the ZIP code and census tract data were provided directly by state, county and city health departments, depending on the entity responsible for HIV surveillance, and were also compiled by Rollins researchers. The project is guided by an Advisory Committee and a Technical Advisory Group with representatives from federal agencies, state health departments and non-governmental organizations working in HIV prevention, care and research. Financial support for AIDSVu was provided to Emory University by Gilead Sciences, Inc.
About the Rollins School of Public Health
The Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) is part of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The school houses six academic departments, 20 multidisciplinary centers – including an NIH-supported Center for AIDS Research – and over 160 full-time doctoral-level faculty members.
Source: AIDSVu (www.aidsvu.org). Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health.
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 10:57
Influenza infection increases likelihood of bacterial pneumonia 100-fold, U-Michigan-led study finds
Category: Living Well Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
ANN ARBOR — It’s been known for more than two centuries that pneumonia cases increase during flu epidemics.
But population-level epidemiological studies looking at seasonal patterns of influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia incidence have revealed either a modest association or have failed to identify any signature of interaction between the two.
These seemingly inconsistent observations at the personal and population scales have puzzled public health officials. Now a team of University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues have used a novel approach that they say resolves the dichotomy and shows that influenza infection increases susceptibility to pneumococcus, the most common bacterial cause of pneumonia, by about 100-fold.
An accurate characterization of the influenza-pneumococcal interaction can lead to more effective clinical care and public health measures, including influenza pandemic preparedness, according to the authors.
"The results concerning the nature of the interaction between influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia were unequivocal in our study," said U-M population ecologist and epidemiologist Pejman Rohani, senior author of a paper scheduled for online publication in Science Translational Medicine on June 26. "Simply put, our analyses identified a short-lived but significant — about 100-fold — increase in the risk of pneumococcal pneumonia following influenza infection."
Rohani and his colleagues created a computer model of pneumococcal pneumonia transmission that analyzed various hypotheses about the potential effects of a prior influenza infection. By challenging the model with hard data from epidemiological reports — weekly records of influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations in Illinois between 1989 and 2009 — they were able to rank the likelihood of each hypothesis.
The clear winner was the susceptibility impact hypothesis, which proposed that individuals infected with influenza are more susceptible to pneumococcal pneumonia. The increased susceptibility to pneumonia lasts for up to a week after infection by influenza.
The researchers also looked at the fraction of pneumonia cases that could be attributed to interaction with influenza. They found that during the peak of flu season, interaction with the influenza virus accounted for up to 40 percent of pneumococcal cases. But on an annualized basis, the fraction was between 2 percent and 10 percent of cases, a relatively subtle signature that could help explain why previous epidemiological analyses failed to detect the connection, Rohani and his colleagues concluded.
"We infer modest population-level impacts arising from strong processes at the level of the individual, thereby resolving the dichotomy in seemingly inconsistent observations across scales," they wrote.
Rohani said the results suggest that the best way to reduce the incidence of bacterial pneumonia is to encourage the public to receive both pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. Globally, pneumonia causes more deaths than any other infectious disease. In 2009, 1.1 million people in the United States were hospitalized with pneumonia, and more than 50,000 people died from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1918, at least 24 percent of those killed during the Spanish influenza pandemic showed signs of a bacterial pneumonia infection.
In the United States, the most common bacterial cause of pneumonia is pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumonia), and the most common viral causes are influenza, parainfluenza, and respiratory syncytial viruses, according to CDC.
Rohani is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, a professor of complex systems and a professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health. The first author of the Science Translational Medicine paper is Sourya Shrestha, a postdoctoral fellow in Rohani’s laboratory.
The other authors are Betsy Foxman of the U-M School of Public Health, Daniel M. Weinberger of the Yale University School of Public Health and the National Institutes of Health, Claudia Steiner of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Cecile Viboud of the National Institutes of Health.
Funding was provided by the Vaccine Modeling Initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Fogarty International Center and the National Institutes of Health.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 12:01
Category: Living Well Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) is hosting a free health workshop in Detroit from July 10 to August 14 to help individuals with diabetes improve their health and manage their symptoms. The Diabetes Personal Action Toward Health (Diabetes PATH) class will meet on Wednesdays from 10:00am to 12:30pm at Whole Foods Market Detroit, located at 115 Mack Ave.
The Diabetes PATH workshop provides information and skills to adults with type 2 diabetes so they are better equipped to face the daily challenges of living with their condition. Workshops are conducted by two trained leaders (one or both of whom have diabetes themselves) who hold informal, small group discussions and provide easy-to-understand course materials. Facilitators discuss ways to deal with symptoms of diabetes, cope with fatigue and pain, eat healthy and plan meals, use medications wisely, monitor blood sugar, work with your physician, and benefit from physical activity. Participants also learn about self-help tools that can enhance daily activities. They are encouraged to practice the skills they learn by making weekly action plans and helping each other reach the goals they set.
The Diabetes PATH program is appropriate for people who are newly diagnosed as well as those who have been living with type 2 diabetes for years and their caregivers. It has been proven in studies to reduce symptoms and physician visits as well as increase self-management abilities and communication with doctors.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 10:29
Category: Living Well Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Back pain is one of the most common health issues in the United States, with up to 80 percent of the population suffering the condition at some point in one’s life.
“But this exceedingly high number is just the beginning of the problem, because multiple studies indicate that roughly 70 percent of back surgeries fail,” says Jesse Cannone, a back-pain expert and author of “The 7-Day Back Pain Cure,” (www.losethebackpain.com). “It’s so common that there’s a name for it – failed back surgery syndrome, or FBSS.”
One recent study monitored 1,450 patients in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database; half of those on disability endured back surgery, half did not. After two years, only 26 percent of those who had surgery returned to work. Additionally, 41 percent of those who had surgery saw a drastic increase in painkiller use.
“The success rate for the most common treatments is pathetically low, so it’s no surprise people often struggle years or decades with back pain, with few ever finding lasting relief,” Cannone says. “The majority of back surgeries are not only ineffective, but most could have been completely avoided.”
He reviews seven common mistakes made by back-pain
• Continuing a treatment that doesn’t work: One of Cannone’s clients experienced 70 treatments with a chiropractor, resulting in no relief. “Here’s a general rule to follow,” he says. “If you see no improvement after going through a three-month period of treatment, consider making a change.”
• Failing to solve the problem the first time: Take pain seriously the first time. Cannone’s own mother suffered a significant bout of back pain, which subsided after a few days. But two years later it came back, and the second time was so debilitating she couldn’t work. “If she had taken the first bout more seriously, she probably would have prevented the second, more debilitating bout.”
• Thinking you’re too healthy or fit to have back pain: Staying in shape is always a good idea, but it does not make you invulnerable. People who train their body can be more prone to back pain because they often push their body’s limits, says Cannone, who has been a personal fitness trainer since 1998.
• Treating only the symptoms: Cortisone shots, anti-inflammatory drugs, ultrasound and electrical stimulation only address pain symptoms. “You may get rid of the pain, but the problem causing the pain will persist if not addressed,” he says. “If you want lasting relief, you must address the underlying causes, and it’s never just one.”
• Not understanding that back pain is a process: In most cases, back pain, neck pain and sciatica take weeks, months or even years to develop; the problem may exist for quite a while
before the sufferer notices it, except for rare one-time trauma
incidents like automobile accidents. Most people sit for hours at a time, yet the body
was developed for diverse movements throughout the day. “Think of a car with steering out of alignment; eventually, tires will wear down unevenly
and there will be a blow out,” Cannone says. “The same is true with your body.”
Just as the damage was a process, recovery is the same and can be time-intensive.
• Believing there are no more options left: Not only does back pain hurt and prove physically debilitating; it also tries the morale and determination of the patient. A sufferer can run the gamut of treatments. But, often, it takes a cocktail of treatments that address all of the underlying causes. “Remember, you can’t really treat the root of pain until you know what’s causing it,” Cannone says. “In so many cases, this is precisely the problem.”
• Failing to take control: Doctors and other specialists are ultimately limited to what they know and what they’re used to. If you have a debilitating back problem, it should be among your top priorities to learn all you can about it, and how to fix it. Get a second, third and fourth opinion if treatment isn’t working; try out alternative therapies, and consider a healthy mix of treatment. Most
importantly, take control; it’s your back, your body and only you can heal it, with help from others.
“I may be critical of how most handle back pain, but that’s because I’ve proven to patients that there are flaws in the traditional approaches as well as more effective alternatives,” Cannone says. “I also feel that I’m offering a hopeful message because of my high success rate in
helping to cure the back pain from my clients.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 12:17
- 'Windshield' tours promote understanding of the roots of infant mortality
- Extended primary care office hours might help keep kids out of the emergency department
- Hospital, doctor shopping isn’t easy for patients looking to compare prices of health care services
- Ringing the Bell on the Nation’s Fat Fight
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!
- Detroit Begins A New Chapter as Detroit Bankruptcy is Allowed to Proceed (1)
- Joyce Hayes Giles retires after 35 years with DTE (2)
- Sarah Palin accuses Obama of Libya ‘shuck and jive’ (1)
- Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy, pension cuts (2)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network among lowest priced health plans on Michigan’s ACA health insurance marketplace (1)