The Health News USA January 24 2018

  • A recent study suggests that after steadily climbing for two decades, the proportion of U.S. children with autism may be leveling off. Researchers reported in JAMA that as of two thousand sixteen, approximately 2.8% of U.S. children from 3 to 17 years old had autism spectrum disorders (ASD). While that’s up slightly from about 2.2% in 2014, the difference is too small to rule out the possibility that it was due to chance. Autism is more common in boys, and the current study findings offered fresh evidence of this: 3.6% of boys had this diagnosis, compared with 1.3% of girls.
  • Two of Boston’s premier hospitals on Monday received a combined $100 million gift from a telecommunications executive and his wife that they hope will revolutionize innovation and patient care. Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital each will get $50 million of the gift from Rob and Karen Hale. Boston Children’s will name their yet-to-be-built 11-story clinical building in honor of the Hales. The building is designed to transform the way children facing complex conditions are treated.
  • Experts say that a government shutdown will have far-reaching effects for public health, including the nation’s response to the current, difficult flu season. It will also disrupt some federally supported health services.  In all, the Department of Health and Human Services will send home — or furlough — about half of its employees, or nearly 41,000 people, according to an HHS shutdown contingency plan that was recently released.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 24th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-autism-trend/little-change-in-proportion-of-u-s-kids-with-autism-idUSKBN1FB2WO

A recent study suggests that after steadily climbing for two decades, the proportion of U.S. children with autism may be leveling off. Researchers reported in JAMA that as of two thousand sixteen, approximately two point eight percent of U.S. children from three to seventeen years old had autism spectrum disorders (or ASD). While that’s up slightly from about two point two percent in two thousand fourteen, the difference is too small to rule out the possibility that it was due to chance.

Over the three-year study period, about two point four percent of children and teens had ASD, a collection of diagnoses that can include Asperger’s syndrome, autism and other developmental disorders that impact communication and behavior. That’s higher than previously thought, although the current study mirrors other recent research suggesting autism rates may have hit a plateau, said senior author Doctor Wei Bao, a public health researcher at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Three years just isn’t long enough to confirm whether autism rates are leveling off, and more time is needed to verify this trend.
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Autism is more common in boys, and the current study findings offered fresh evidence of this: three point six percent of boys had this diagnosis, compared with one point three percent of girls. The study also found differences based on race: one point eight percent of Hispanic children had autism, compared with two point eight percent of white kids and two point five percent of black youth. Lower diagnosis rates for Hispanic children and for girls might be partly explained by cultural biases, and not necessarily a lower risk of autism for these children.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/philanthropists-donate-100-million-boston-hospitals-52528415

Two of Boston’s premier hospitals on Monday received a combined one hundred million dollar gift from a telecommunications executive and his wife that they hope will revolutionize innovation and patient care. Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital each will get fifty million dollars of the gift from Rob and Karen Hale.

The Hales serve on the Children’s Hospital board of trustees and have chaired numerous fundraising events for Brigham and Women’s. Karen Hale serves on Brigham and Women’s Cancer Research and Care advisory board while Rob Hale, the Chief Executive Officer of Quincy-based Granite Telecommunications, serves on the steering Committee for Boston Children’s Dream, Dare, Deliver campaign. Both hospitals are naming buildings after the Hales.

The Hale Building for Transformative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s is one of the most technologically sophisticated patient care and research facilities in the country.

Boston Children’s will name their yet-to-be-built eleven-story clinical building in honor of the Hales. The building is designed to transform the way children facing complex conditions are treated.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/01/22/government-shutdown-how-could-affect-your-health/1053570001/

Experts say that a government shutdown will have far-reaching effects for public health, including the nation’s response to the current, difficult flu season. It will also disrupt some federally supported health services.  In all, the Department of Health and Human Services will send home — or furlough — about half of its employees, or nearly forty one thousand people, according to an HHS shutdown contingency plan that was recently released.
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According to the HHS plan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will suspend its flu-tracking program. Without the CDC’s updates, doctors could have a harder time diagnosing and treating patients quickly. Although states will still track flu cases, “they won’t be able to call CDC to verify samples or seek their expertise,” said Thomas Frieden, who was the director of the agency during the two thousand thirteen government shutdown.
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Beyond the flu, the CDC will provide only “minimal support” to programs that investigate infectious-disease outbreaks. The Atlanta-based agency’s ability to test suspicious pathogens and maintain its twenty four-hour emergency operations center will be “significantly reduced,” according to the plan.
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Medicare beneficiaries will be largely unaffected by a shutdown, especially if it is short. Patients will continue to receive their insurance coverage, and Medicare will continue to process reimbursement payments to medical providers. But those checks could be delayed if the shutdown is prolonged.

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