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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Self-Reported Increased Confusion or Memory Loss and Associated Difficulties Among Adults Aged ≥60 Years — 21 States, 20110

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A person experiencing cognitive decline, including the gradual loss of the ability to think, reason, and remember, can face considerable challenges.  In 2011, nearly 13 percent of Americans aged 60 years or older reported confusion or memory loss happening more often or getting worse over the past 12 months. Of these individuals, one-third reported that confusion or memory loss interfered with their work, social activities, or ability to do household chores.  Despite these challenges, only 35 percent of these individuals reported discussing their symptoms with a health care provider. Conversations with health care providers about symptoms and possible causes of cognitive decline enables individuals and their family members to better anticipate needs and plan for the future. When causes for cognitive decline are diagnosed early and accurately, opportunities exist to treat potentially reversible causes, or if not reversible, time to initiate financial planning, develop advance directives, enroll in clinical trials and anticipate care needs.

2. Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment, and Control of Hypertension — United States, 2003–2010

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Racial/ethnic disparities exist in hypertension, or high blood pressure, awareness, treatment, and control.  In 2003-2010, Mexican-Americans had lower awareness and treatment of hypertension compared to non-Hispanic Blacks and Whites.  Non-Hispanic Blacks had greater hypertension awareness and treatment compared with Mexican-Americans or Whites for all stages of hypertension, while  hypertension control was greater for Whites.  Improving blood pressure monitoring and access to appropriate treatment, while addressing health-care coverage barriers, are necessary for improving hypertension treatment and control.  Additionally, a multi-factorial approach including culturally appropriate community and individual support, along with optimal medical treatment, is crucial to effectively achieve blood pressure control among these populations. Focusing on reducing barriers to access of health-care, providing appropriate resources to assist patients in reaching their blood pressure goals, and establishing an effective patient tracking system for providers are important for improving blood pressure management and control, and achieving heart-healthy lives for all Americans.

3. Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines: Interim Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2013

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Annual influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months of age and older is recommended. Four new influenza vaccine products will be available alongside previously approved products for the 2013-2014 influenza season, These new products are acceptable alternatives to other licensed products when used within their licensed indications.  For persons for whom more than one type of vaccine is appropriate and available, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) does not express a preference for use of any particular product over another. This report summarizes recommendations for the use of influenza vaccines approved ACIP on February 21, 2013. 

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