MMWR News Synopsis for November 6, 2014
Premature Death Among Children with Epilepsy — South Carolina 2000–2011
CDC Media Relations
If more providers knew about the complex medical needs of children with epilepsy, these providers could then assess these needs and provide appropriate care or referral to specialty care or community supports to improve outcomes in their patients with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a group of disorders involving recurring seizures of different types, causes, and severity. Epilepsy affects about 450,000 children in the U.S. In a large population-based study from South Carolina with 12 years of follow-up, children with epilepsy were at significantly higher risk of death than children without epilepsy. This higher risk was associated with co-occurring conditions such as birth defects, heart disease, and unintentional injuries. Health care providers should frequently monitor children with epilepsy, especially those with co-occurring conditions, to provide appropriate treatment and to reduce the risk of premature death. Health care providers, social service providers, advocacy groups, and others interested in improving outcomes for children with epilepsy can work together to coordinate medical and community-based care to prevent complications associated with epilepsy.
Arthritis Among Veterans — United States, 2011–2013
CDC Media Relations
Arthritis is very common among veterans. Among both men and women, arthritis is more common among veterans than non-veterans. Access to affordable physical activity and self-management education classes proven to reduce the adverse effects of arthritis (e.g., pain, depression) and its comorbidities (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, obesity) can improve veterans’ quality of life. About one in three veterans (35%) have arthritis. Among veterans, arthritis was common across all socio-demographic groups including men (35%) and women (31%), young (18-44 years; 13%) and middle-aged (45-64 years; 36%) adults, and all ethnic/racial groups. Among both men and women, arthritis is more common among veterans than non-veterans overall and by most categories of age and race/ethnicity. Arthritis was common among veterans across all 50 states and DC, representing about 1 in 6 adults with arthritis. Fortunately, there are multiple inexpensive proven strategies that are available to veterans in their communities that can help them manage their arthritis. These include evidence-based physical activity and self-management interventions that have been shown to improve function, and reduce pain, depression, and disability among adults with arthritis.
Trends in Pneumonia Hospitalizations and Emergency Department Visits of Children Aged <2 Years Associated with Introduction of 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine — Tennessee, 1998–2012
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have resulted in major declines in pneumonia hospitalizations in young children. Pneumonia hospitalizations in young children in Tennessee are at a historically low level, having declined over 70% from years prior to 2000. A pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was first introduced into the infant immunization program in the U.S. in 2000. In 2010, an expanded version (PCV13) was substituted, which protects children against 13 types of the pneumococcal bacteria that is a major cause of childhood pneumonia. PCV7 was associated with a 43% decline in pneumonia hospitalizations in US children aged <2 years by 2009. Using hospital discharge data in Tennessee, researchers found that PCV13 was associated with a further 27% decline in pneumonia hospitalizations in children aged <2 years by 2012.
Notes from the Field
Severe Environmental Contamination and Elevated Blood Lead Levels Among Children — Zambia, 2014