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MMWR News Synopsis for August 11, 2016


Cardiovascular Health Status by Occupational Group — 21 States, 2013

CDC Media Relations

Research suggests significant differences in cardiovascular (CV) health among occupational groups in the United States, and the differences remain after adjustments for sociodemographic characteristics. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S. and accounts for an estimated $120 billion in lost productivity each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined the association between occupation and cardiovascular health among workers using the American Heart Association’s seven key health factors and behaviors as metrics. Lower risks for poor CV outcomes are associated with the “ideal” status for at least six of these seven CV health metrics (CHM). Transportation and material- moving workers along with community and social services workers are most likely to meet two or fewer CHM. This research suggests occupation is an important factor to consider in CV research, and workplace CV disease interventions may be needed.


Incidence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome — 28 States, 1999–2013

CDC Media Relations

Primary prevention efforts are vital in curbing neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Healthcare providers have a key role in reducing inappropriate prescribing and dispensing of opioids. Early identification and treatment of pregnant women or women of child-bearing age with substance use disorders could improve maternal and infant outcomes. The CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and using Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs ( can be used to track prescribing and dispensing of controlled prescription drugs. NAS is a postnatal withdrawal syndrome that occurs shortly after birth primarily among opioid-exposed infants. Symptoms in newborns include tremors, increased muscle tone, high-pitched crying, seizures, and feeding difficulties. We examined state NAS incidence trends using all-payer hospital inpatient delivery discharges compiled in the State Inpatient Databases of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project during 1999–2013. We found the overall NAS incidence increased 300% from 1.5 to 6.0 per 1,000 hospital births. Substantial variations in NAS incidence occurred by state: 25 of 28 states in our study had statistically significant increases. In 2013, more than 8,000 newborns were identified as having NAS compared with 2,000 newborns in 2009.

Evaluating the Impact of National Public Health Department Accreditation ― United States, 2016

Teddi Nicolaus, Communications Manager
703-778-4549, ext. 118

The national, voluntary public health accreditation program launched by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) is bringing far-reaching benefits to health departments and the communities they serve. Surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago found that health departments accredited for one year are reporting stimulated quality and performance improvement opportunities, improved ability to identify strengths and weaknesses, stimulated greater accountability, and improved management processes used by health departments’ leadership. Launched in 2011 with support from CDC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the impact continues to grow. As of May 2016, 134 health departments and one integrated local health department system have achieved PHAB accreditation. Accredited health departments now serve nearly 167 million persons —more than half the US population.

Outbreak of Plague — Nyimba District, Zambia, March–May 2015

Dr. Nyambe Sinyange
Ministry of Health

Delayed plague recognition in a malaria-prevalent area might have resulted in delayed treatment and poorer outcomes. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing might improve detection of plague in settings with limited microbiologic capacity. Efforts should be made to increase awareness of plague symptoms among clinicians and frontline health workers to improve early case recognition and treatment. During a plague outbreak in the eastern province of Zambia during March–May 2015, 21 patients with illnesses clinically compatible with plague were identified; three died. Six patients tested positive for Y. pestis by reverse transcription-PCR; none of 11 blood and two lymph specimens tested for Y. pestis by culture was positive. Thirteen of 21 suspected plague patients also tested positive for malaria.

Notes from the Field

  • Shigellosis Outbreak Among Homeless Persons — Oregon, 2015–2016


  • Age-Adjusted Death Rates for Males Aged 15–44 Years, by the Five Leading Causes of Death — United States, 1999 and 2014