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MMWR
Synopsis for October 20, 2000

MMWR articles are embargoed until 4 p.m. E.S.T. Thursdays.

  1. Childhood Asthma Hospitalizations — King County, Washington, 1987–1998
  2. Self-Reported Concern About Food Security — Eight States, 1996–1998
  3. Hospital-Based Policies for Prevention of Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease — United States, 1999
 

MMWR
Synopsis for October 20, 2000

Childhood Asthma Hospitalizations — King County, Washington, 1987–1998

Asthma hospitalization rates can vary dramatically even within a county.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
David Solet

CDC, Seattle-King County Health Department
(206) 296–2782 Alternate:
Dave Mannino, M.D., [CDC]
404–639–2543
 

Researchers from the local health department in Seattle-King County, Washington analyzed 12 years of data on asthma hospitalizations among children 1-17 years old in the county. They found an increase in the asthma hospitalization rate, from 170 to 200 per 100,000 population, despite a 27% decrease in overall hospitalizations, among children in this age group over this time period. They also determined that asthma hospitalization rates among children from poorer areas of the county, determined using ZIP code of residence, were up to 3 times higher than those rates from wealthier areas of the county. Results from this study have been used to mobilize community support and target asthma interventions in Seattle-King County, including the development of a coalition between the American Lung Association of Washington, the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health, and other organizations.

 

Self-Reported Concern About Food Security — Eight States, 1996–1998

About 4%–6% of U.S. adults, in 8 states, reported not having enough food for themselves or their families during a 30-day period for the years 1996-1998.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Kelly Evenson, Ph.D., M.S.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
(919) 966–1967
Alternate:
Verna Lamar-Welch, Ph.D., M.P.H., [CDC]
770–488–2424
 

The consequences of food insecurity—not having access at all times to enough safe, nutritious food for an active healthy lifestyle—can negatively affect health and behavioral development. Data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a national telephone survey of adults, were examined for eight states that collected food insecurity data. Approximately 4%–6% of adults reported not having enough food for themselves or their family during the previous month. Food insecurity was also related to reduced intake of fruits and vegetables, lower self-reported general health, and a higher number of days with physical or mental health described as "not good". Food insecurity was higher among women; younger respondents; unmarried, divorced or separated persons; non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics; respondents with more children; and persons having lower socioeconomic status.

 

Hospital-Based Policies for Prevention of Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease — United States, 1999 

A survey in 8 states shows that one-third of hospitals still do not have prevention policies aimed at reducing mother-to-child transmission of group B streptococcus (GBS).

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Terri Hyde, M.D.

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639–2215
 

GBS is the leading cause of life-threatening infections in newborns. Although hospital policies for the GBS prevention have been associated with less GBS disease in newborns, no increase in policy adoption occurred between 1997 and 1999. The current study did show that hospitals that do have policies have put measures in place to improve compliance, such as using standing orders for preventive antibiotics upon admission during labor for at-risk mothers. A systemwide approach to prevention efforts may partly explain why the incidence of GBS disease has continued to decline from 1997 to 1999, but further disease reductions may still be possible if more hospitals adopt policies for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of this infection. Additional information on GBS is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/groupbstrep_g.htm.


 

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