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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

MMWR News Synopsis for January 26, 2012

  1. Cancer Screening — United States, 2010
  2. Gang Homicides — Five U.S. Cities, 2003–2008
  3. Nodding Syndrome — South Sudan, 2011

There is no MMWR telebriefing scheduled for January 26, 2012.

1. Cancer Screening — United States, 2010

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Screening can find breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers at an early stage when treatment is more effective. These data show that not all Americans are getting the recommended cancer screenings for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers and that disparities continue to persist for certain populations.  In 2010, breast cancer screening rates were 72.4 percent, below the Healthy People 2020 target of 81 percent; cervical cancer screening was 83 percent, below the target of 93 percent; and colorectal cancer screening was 58.6 percent, below the target of 70.5 percent.  Screening rates for all three cancers were significantly lower among Asians compared to other groups.  Hispanics were less likely to be screened for cervical and colorectal cancer when compared to non-Hispanics.  Considerably lower breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening use was reported by those without any usual source of healthcare or health insurance. This study reinforces the need to identify and track cancer screening disparities and increase the use of cancer screening tests among Asians, Hispanics, and adults who lack health insurance or a usual source of health care.  Additionally, the report provides guidance for the development of programs to increase the use of screening tests in order to meet Healthy People 2020 targets and simultaneously reduce cancer morbidity and mortality.

2. Gang Homicides — Five U.S. Cities, 2003–2008

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Gang homicides are often the end result of conflict that is preventable. This CDC study explores the role of drugs, drive-by shootings, and other crimes in gang homicide. The study found homicides often occur in public and involve firearms, but are less likely to involve drugs or other crimes than generally believed by the public. Gang homicides frequently involve youth as victims and are often retaliatory reactions to gang conflict. This report is the first to compare gang homicides with other types of homicides using city-level data from CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). This report analyzed 2003-2008 data from large cities in 17 states, and found five cities had the highest levels of gang homicides ―  Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Long Beach, Calif., Oakland, Calif., and Newark, N.J.

3. Nodding Syndrome — South Sudan, 2011

Division of News & Electronic Media           
(404) 639-3286

Nodding Syndrome is a newly recognized neurologic condition with seizure manifestations affecting many young children in some of the world’s poorest nations. Over the last three years, CDC has responded to requests for assistance from the Ministries of Health in Uganda and South Sudan to help investigate a mysterious disease affecting children, commonly referred to as Nodding Syndrome. Nodding Syndrome is possibly a new seizure disorder that leaves children with progressively worsening head nodding, along with development of other seizure types, cognitive decline, and malnutrition. This study shows that the Nodding Syndrome observed in South Sudan appears to be the same clinical entity as previously described in Uganda. The next steps in the investigation are to explore possible connections of Nodding Syndrome to the parasite that causes river blindness, as well as the possible role of malnutrition and its impact on Nodding Syndrome. CDC is committed to assisting the governments and people of Uganda and South Sudan in discovering the cause of the syndrome, for as long as it takes.


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