News in Brief: Week of Jan. 27-31

January 29, 2014 04:09 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

USPSTF Issues Draft Guidance on Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) have released a four-part draft recommendation statement(www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org) on screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm that takes into account gender, age and smoking status.

For men ages 65-75 who have ever smoked, the task force recommends one-time screening for the condition using ultrasonography. For men in that age group who have never smoked, the USPSTF calls for clinicians to selectively offer screening based on the balance of benefits and harms in each individual patient as determined by evidence relevant to the patient's medical history, family history, other risk factors and personal values. Overall, said the task force, the net benefit of screening all men in this group is small.

The current evidence is insufficient to assess the harms and benefits of screening in women ages 65-75 who have ever smoked, said USPSTF members. Therefore, they were unable to make any recommendation regarding screening in these women. For women who have never smoked, however, task force members recommended against routine screening, regardless of age.

New CDC Website Addresses Infections in Long-term Care Facilities

As many as 3 million infections occur every year in long-term care settings across the country. To help prevent infections in settings such as nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, the CDC has launched a website(www.cdc.gov) that offers users a host of resources.

Content is organized into sections written for specific audiences, such as clinical staff, infection prevention coordinators and facility residents. In addition, access to a new infection tracking system dubbed the National Healthcare Safety Network(www.cdc.gov) is available from the website's home page.

A Jan. 23 blog(blogs.cdc.gov) written by CDC epidemiologist Nimalie Stone, M.D., has more information about the new site.

New Resources Aim to Curb Teen Substance Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has developed new substance abuse treatment resources(www.nih.gov) to help parents, physicians and other health care professionals identify teens at risk and to treat those who already are struggling with drug abuse.

Young people need help in this area, according to results of the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health(www.samhsa.gov) that indicate just 10 percent of adolescents between ages 12 and 17 who need substance abuse services receive them.

The announcement about the new resources was timed to coincide with National Drug Facts Week(drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov), which is being observed this year from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2.


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