MMWR News Synopsis for July 12, 2108

Subjective Cognitive Decline Among Adults Aged ≥45 Years — United States, 2015–2016

CDC Media Relations

Self-reported cognitive decline can be one of the earliest noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Adults with confusion or memory loss are encouraged to discuss their symptoms with a health care provider. Self-reported cognitive decline affects 1 in 9 U.S. adults 45 years of age and older according to data from the 2015 and 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. More than half of those affected report difficulty performing everyday activities including cooking, cleaning, or taking medications to manage chronic conditions.

Hypertension Among Youths — United States, 2001–2016

CDC Media Relations

Using the new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Clinical Practice Guideline, many more young people age 12-19 years are now classified as having hypertension. Youth who have cardiovascular disease risk factors such as hypertension and obesity are more likely to have these risk factors as adults, putting them at greater risk for heart disease and stroke. A CDC study examined the impact of the new 2017 AAP Clinical Practice Guideline on hypertension prevalence among youth in the United States. Using the new guideline, an additional 2.6 percent of U.S. youths age 12-19 years – about 800,000 people – are now reclassified as having hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension was highest among those with severe obesity. Despite a decade and a half long downward trend in hypertension among youth, too many still have hypertension and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Non-pharmacological interventions are especially important in this age group. Ensuring that young people eat a healthy diet and get enough physical activity is essential to reducing risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease and preventing a lifetime of risk.

Occupational Mercury Exposure at a Fluorescent Lamp Recycling Facility — Wisconsin, 2017

Jennifer Miller
Communications Specialist

Recycling fluorescent lamps decreases the amount of dangerous mercury released into the environment. However, workers need to be protected during the recycling process with appropriate engineering and safety measures. Workers were exposed to mercury at a fluorescent light recycling facility in Wisconsin in 2017. An investigation of environmental contamination found elevated mercury levels among 5 of 7 workers and clinical signs of mercury toxicity in two. These levels were likely high due to the inadequate use of personal protective equipment and high mercury levels in the facility’s inside air. Fluorescent lamps are important in reducing energy consumption, and recycling will continue to be an important method for reducing the release of mercury into the environment. Therefore, employers should implement necessary control technology, monitor exposures to mercury at their facilities, and provide recommended training and protective equipment to their workers to prevent adverse health effects from chronic mercury exposure.

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Page last reviewed: July 12, 2018