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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Recreational Water Week, May 23–29, 2011 (Box)

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
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No summary available

2. Estimated Burden of Acute Otitis Externa — United States, 2003–2007

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This article reports the annual number of healthcare visits and costs due to swimmer's ear (also called acute otitis externa). An estimated 2.4 million U.S. healthcare visits result in a diagnosis of swimmer's ear each year, costing nearly $0.5 billion annually. Swimmer's ear occurs in all age groups (particularly kids 5–14 years old), peaks in summer months, and is more common in warm, humid environments. Although swimmer's ear is typically a mild illness, it is a frequently diagnosed condition responsible for a substantial healthcare burden. People can help protect themselves from swimmer's ear by taking a few easy steps. Swimmer's ear can be prevented by keeping water out of the ear and drying ears thoroughly after swimming. People with recurring swimmer's ear should talk to their doctors about whether to use alcohol-based ear drops as a preventive measure. Pool operators can help prevent exposure to germs in treated recreational water venues, such as pools and waterparks, by maintaining proper chlorine and pH levels. Disseminating effective prevention messages could potentially reduce the national impact of swimmer's ear.

3. Reasons for Not Seeking Eye Care Among Adults Aged ≥40 Years with Moderate-to-Severe Visual Impairment — 21 States, 2006–2009

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
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In a state-based survey, many people with visual impairment reported not seeking eye care because of the cost, lack of health insurance, or the perception that they did not need care. People ages 40 to 64 were most likely to cite cost or lack of insurance as a barrier to eye care. People ages 65 and older, the age group with highest prevalence of moderate to severe visual impairment, were most likely to say they did not need eye care. Residents of Massachusetts, which has the smallest proportion of uninsured people, were least likely to cite cost or lack of health insurance as a barrier to eye care. The findings provide policy makers with information that will enable them to target populations at high risk. It's important to make sure people ages 40 and older with risk of any age-related eye disease or chronic disease that affects the eyes, such as diabetes, get regular comprehensive eye exams, because many serious eye diseases can be detected before symptoms appear and treated to reduce visual impairment. Raising awareness of vision health among primary care physicians and older Americans should be a public health priority.

4. Arthritis as a Potential Barrier to Physical Activity Among Obese Adults — United States, 2007 and 2009

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
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Arthritis and obesity are both common chronic conditions and frequently occur together creating a potential barrier to physical activity. Using data from 2007 and 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the prevalence of arthritis among obese U.S. adults was 36 percent. Obese adults with arthritis were 44 percent more likely to be physically inactive compared with obese adults without arthritis. In every state, the prevalence of physical inactivity among adults with obesity was at least 5 percentage points higher (range=5 percent to 16 percent) among those with arthritis than those without arthritis. Low impact activities such as walking, swimming and biking, are appropriate for obese adults with arthritis and can result in both weight and pain reduction. Evidence based physical activity arthritis programs are offered in many communities.

5. Ten Noteworthy Public Health Achievements — United States, 2001–2010

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This report assesses advances in public health during the first 10 years of the 21st century that illustrate the powerful impact core public health tools can have when applied effectively. Among the many ways that public health has made a positive difference in the life, health and safety of all Americans, ten great achievements have been particularly impactful in the past decade. Strides in reducing vaccine-preventable diseases, prevention and control of infectious diseases, tobacco control, improvements in maternal and infant health, increasing motor vehicle safety, cardiovascular disease prevention, protection of workers, cancer prevention, childhood lead poisoning prevention, and improved public health preparedness and response stand out. During the 20th century, life expectancy at birth among U.S. residents increased by 62 percent, and unprecedented improvements in population health status were observed at every stage of life. Additional gains have occurred in the past decade, thanks in part to great achievements in public health in many areas.

 

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