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  Press Summaries

MMWR
May 7, 1999

MMWR articles are embargoed until 4 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday.


MMWR Synopsis
  1. Impact of Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Conditions on the Health-Care System United States, 1997
  2. Mental Retardation Following Diagnosis of a Metabolic Disorder Among Children Aged 3-10 Years Atlanta, Georgia, 1991-1994
  3. Patients' Reports of Counseling on Mammography Screening by Health-Care Providers North Carolina, 1997
  4. Assessment of Public Health Computer Readiness for 2000 United States, 1999

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Synopsis May 7, 1999

Impact of Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Conditions on the Health-Care System United States, 1997
Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions have a large impact on the nation's health-care system.

PRESS CONTACT:
Chad Helmick, M.D.
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
(770) 488-5432
Arthritis accounted for 744,000 hospital discharges and about 4 million hospital days of care in 1997. Arthritis accounted for about 44 million ambulatory care visits to physicians' offices, hospital outpatient departments, and emergency departments in 1997. Arthritis accounted for 372,000 discharges from home health care in 1996, with an average length of service of over 88 days. Interventions to prevent arthritis from occurring, to provide early diagnosis and appropriate management, and to reduce complications and disability can help reduce the impact of arthritis on the health-care system and on society as a whole. The "National Arthritis Action Plan A Public Health Strategy" describes ways the public health and health-care systems can work together to achieve this goal.

  Mental Retardation Following Diagnosis of a Metabolic Disorder Among Children Aged 3-10 Years Atlanta, Georgia, 1991-1994
Newborn screening is highly effective in reducing the burden of mental retardation associated with metabolic disorders.
PRESS CONTACT:
Marshalyn Yeargin- Allsopp, M.D.
CDC, National Center for Environmental Health
(770) 488-7365
Even with treatment, some metabolic disorders (physical and chemical processes related to growth) may result in serious neurodevelopmental problems. Treatment of each metabolic disorder is different and individualized, and the severity of each disorder, even with treatment, also varies. Assuming that a child with at least 1 of 6 untreated metabolic disorders will develop mental retardation, an estimated 148 children born to residents of metropolitan Atlanta from 1981-1991 would have been expected to be affected. However, only two children were identified as having mental retardation due to one of these disorders. Currently, the United States does not have a mechanism for surveillance of the developmental status of children who screen positive for, and are subsequently diagnosed with, metabolic disorders.

  Patients' Reports of Counseling on Mammography Screening by Health-Care Providers North Carolina, 1997
Health-care providers are missing opportunities to discuss mammography screening with their clients, particularly low-income and uninsured clients.
PRESS CONTACT:
Elizabeth Conlisk, Ph.D.
North Carolina Division of Community Health
(919) 715-3130
Providers and their patients need to be aware of the availability of free or low-cost screening through the CDC National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and Medicare and Medicaid programs. One of the most commonly reported reasons for not having had a mammogram is lack of physician recommendation. In this 1997 survey of 1,209 North Carolina women, 40 years of age or older, who had a routine physical in the past 2 years, approximately one-fourth did not recall a health-care provider discussing mammography. This percentage did not differ by race. However, the percentage of women who reported a discussion about mammography declined with the level of education and health-care coverage.

  Assessment of Public Health Computer Readiness for 2000 United States, 1999
State public health agencies are addressing Y2K issues.
PRESS CONTACT:

Division of Media Relations
CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639-3286
A survey conducted by CDC of state health departments indicates substantial Y2K readiness. The 29 states which responded to the survey represent 75% of the U.S. population. In late 1998 and early 1999, these public health agencies were 92% complete with Y2K assessments and were 77% compliant in 10 functional areas listed in the survey. Data was not available for some functional areas in some states (12%). All state health agencies that are not already compliant expect to do so during 1999. Most states (83%) have, or are developing, a contingency plan to be prepared for potential Y2K problems. CDC will conduct a follow-up survey in June 1999.

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