MMWR News Synopsis for February 22, 2018

Urban-Rural County and State Differences in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease — United States, 2015

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Deaths and Medicare hospitalization from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are significantly higher among people in rural counties than in more urban ones. Additional efforts are needed to reduce COPD risk factors and overcome barriers to early diagnosis and the appropriate treatment and management of COPD in rural areas. In 2015, rural U.S. residents with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experienced a higher incidence of death and Medicare hospitalizations than urban residents. Rural populations may face a greater burden of COPD due to a higher prevalence of smoking, increased exposure to secondhand smoke, and less access to smoking cessation programs compared to people living in more urban areas. Rural residents are also more likely to be uninsured and have lower socioeconomic status, which may lead to lower access to early diagnosis and treatment.

HIV Diagnoses Among Persons Aged 13–29 Years — United States, 2010‒2014

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A new analysis provides a clearer picture of the remarkable escalations in HIV diagnosis rates among adolescents as age increases between 13-21 years. Between 2010 and 2014, there were large differences in diagnosis rates among adolescents and young adults as age increased (between 13 and 21 years). An analysis of data from the National HIV Surveillance System revealed large differences in HIV diagnosis rates per 100,000 between adolescents ages 13-15 years (0.7); 16-17 years (4.5); and 18-19 years (16.5). The analysis also found that while diagnosis rates were higher among young adults than adolescents, they were less variable among age groups: 20-21 years (28.6 per 100,000); 22-23 years (34.0); 24-25 years (33.8); 26-27 years (31.3); and 28-29 years (28.7). The findings demonstrate the importance of targeting primary prevention efforts to people younger than 18 years and continuing through the period of elevated risk in the mid-20s.

Prevalence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — United States, 2014

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disease. The National ALS Registry continues to describe the epidemiology of ALS in the United States.ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease. Familial ALS, a hereditary form of the disease, accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of cases; the remaining sporadic cases have no clearly defined etiology. A total of 15,927 people were identified as having definite ALS across three national databases (Medicare, Veterans Health Administration, and Veterans Benefits Administration) and through web portal registration for 2014. The estimated prevalence rate for 2014 was 5.0 per 100,000 population. Compared with the previous report, the estimated prevalence rate remains unchanged from 2013. ALS remains more prevalent in whites, men, and people ages ≥60 years. Additional years of data are needed to estimate national prevalence trends.

Prevalence of Self-Reported Hypertension and Antihypertensive Medication Use Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years – United States, 2011-2015

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Hypertension remains a significant public-health burden. There is a need to improve hypertension awareness and management through public-health and health-system interventions. This report presents trends in self-reported hypertension prevalence and treatment among U.S. states and the District of Columbia during 2011–2015. Overall, the prevalence of hypertension as well as the use of antihypertensive medication among people with self-reported hypertension decreased slightly among U.S. adults. However, significant differences were observed by age, sex, race/ethnicity, level of education, and state of residence. This report provides the most current state-level data to support partners in the development and implementation of hypertension prevention and management initiatives within their populations and communities. As a major risk for heart disease and stroke, hypertension continues to be a high-burden condition with opportunities for improved prevention and management. Aggressive public-health actions are needed.

Advice and Action to Reduce Dietary Sodium Among Adults With and Without Hypertension—Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2015

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Patients tend to act on advice from health professionals to reduce sodium intake, yet about half of study participants with hypertension and even fewer participants without hypertension receive such advice.dium. A state-based telephone survey finds that U.S. adults tend to reduce their sodium intake when they receive clinical advice to do so. The findings highlight an additional opportunity for hypertension prevention programs designed to reduce sodium intake.

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Page last reviewed: February 22, 2018