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MMWR
Synopsis for September 7, 2001

MMWR articles are embargoed until 4 p.m., EST, Thursdays.

  1. State-Specific Trends in High Blood Cholesterol Awareness Among Persons Screened - United States, 1991-1999
  2. Prevalence of Healthy Lifestyle Characteristics - Michigan, 1998 and 2000
  3. Outbreak of Powassan Encephalitis - Maine and Vermont, 1999-2001

Synopsis for September 7, 2001

State-Specific Trends in High Blood Cholesterol Awareness Among Persons Screened - United States, 1991-1999

Current recommendations suggest that all adults aged 20 years or older should have their cholesterol checked at least every five years.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Kurt Greenlund, Ph.D.

CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
(770) 488-8266
 

A new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that among people screened for blood cholesterol the awareness of high blood cholesterol (HBC) has been increasing. The study, State-Specific Trends in High Blood Cholesterol Awareness Among Persons Screened United States, 1991-1999, which analyzes data collected from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systems from 1991 through 1999, found that the proportion of screened persons who were told that they had HBC increased by nearly three percentage points from 25.7% in 1991 to 28.6% in 1999. State-specific data shows that HBC awareness among persons screened increased in the District of Columbia and 38 states. Trends by gender, race/ethnicity, and age indicate an increase in HBC awareness among all demographic groups from 1991 to 1999. Persons should discuss with their healthcare providers methods for lowering high cholesterol levels and for maintaining optimal blood cholesterol levels.

 

Prevalence of Healthy Lifestyle Characteristics - Michigan, 1998 and 2000

Adopting and maintaining policies that promote Healthy Lifestyle Characteristics can result in reducing major chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, that have been linked to risk factor behaviors such as tobacco use, poor diet, excessive weight, and physical inactivity.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Matthew J. Reeves, Ph.D., BVSc

Michigan Department of Community Health
(517) 353-8623,
Ext. 130

Kurt Greenlund, Ph.D.

CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
(770) 488-8266
 

A new study shows that a very small number of Michigan residents practice healthy lifestyles that include maintaining healthy weight, healthy eating, exercise, and not smoking. The study, Prevalence of Healthy Lifestyle Characteristics Michigan, 1998 and 2000, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Michigan State University, and the Michigan Department of Community Health, found that the prevalence of engaging in all four healthy lifestyle characteristic (HLC) healthy weight, adequate fruit and vegetable consumption, regular leisure time activity, and not smoking was only 3% among Michigan residents. In Michigan, the prevalence of engaging in all HLCs was lower among men (1.6%) than among women (4.5%), and higher among college graduates (4.9%) than those with a high school education or less (1.2%). Because the prevalence of all four HLCs was very low overall and among all demographic groups, more attention is needed to improve and promote healthy lifestyle practices in Michigan.

 

Outbreak of Powassan Encephalitis - Maine and Vermont, 1999-2001

There needs to be an increased awareness in the medical and public health communities and the general public regarding the risk of Powassan virus infection, especially in the northeastern United States.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Steven R. Hinten, DVM, MPH

CDC, National Center for Infectious Disease
(970) 221-6400
 

Powassan (POW) virus, a North American tick-borne flavivirus related to the Eastern Hemisphere's tick-borne encephalitis viruses, was first isolated from a patient with encephalitis in 1958. During 1958-1998, 27 human POW encephalitis cases were reported from Canada and the northeastern United States. During September 1999-July 2001, four Maine and Vermont residents with encephalitis were found to be infected with POW virus. These persons were tested for other arbovirus infections found in the northeast, after initial testing for West Nile virus (WNV) infection was negative. Findings from clinical and environmental investigations underscore the need for personal protective measures to prevent tick bites and continued encephalitis surveillance. Because there is no vaccine or specific therapy for POW encephalitis, the best means of prevention is protection from tick bite. This includes use of insect repellants, wearing light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants tucked into socks or boots, avoidance or clearing of bushy areas, and tick removal before they attach or as soon after attachment as possible. Checking family pets can also prevent ticks from entering the home. The true frequency of POW encephalitis may be greater than previously suspected.

 


 

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