All Articles Tagged "CDC"

“Women Are Starting To Take Control:” CDC Reports Fewer New Cases Of HIV In Black Women

December 19th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

From The Grio

The number of black women newly infected with HIV in 2010 is 21 percent lower than it was in 2008, according to data released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The data suggests that [black] women are starting to take control,” says Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS. “They are realizing that this is a threat to their families and their lives.”

There is no clear cause and effect, Fenton says, and a variety of reasons could explain this recent decline. However, over the last five years, the CDC says it’s increased its HIV prevention efforts in the black community, including partnering with organizations to increase HIV testing and treatment.

“And we’re seeing that women are engaging the health care system more and taking up some of those prevention messages,” Fenton says.

Read more at The Grio

Study: The South And The Midwest Have The Country’s Most Obese People, With Mississippi At Number 1

August 13th, 2012 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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While downing a bag of Tostitos tortilla chips and salsa, I saw the numbers came in for states with the highest obesity rates and…I continued eating. But cut me some slack, I’m eating grapes now. Anywho, all in all, Mississippi came out on top with the highest proportion of obese adults at 34.9 percent and Colorado had the least with a 20.7 percentage rate. This isn’t the first time the state has been put on the spot for its obesity rates, as it has claimed this title in the previous six years. If that wasn’t enough, it seems that that southern and Midwestern states took up most of the high obesity list, with 26 of the 30 states with the highest rates coming from both parts of the country. For instance, the top 10 states for obesity, to name a few, included Louisiana, Alabama, Michigan, Indiana, South Carolina, and even Texas and Kentucky tying for the tenth spot.

On top of that, while those with higher income were more likely to be obese, to be specific, women of lower income were more likely to be obese than women with a higher income, according to the CDC.

On the lower end of the spectrum, states with the lowest rates of obesity included (aside from Colorado), Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey, and D.C. The study was done by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and was actually conducted over the phone. Jeffrey Lavi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health had this to say about the good news and the bad news that comes from the findings:

“The good news is that we have a growing body of evidence and approaches that we know can help reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase physical activity based on making healthier choices easier for Americans. The bad news is we’re not investing anywhere near what we need to in order to bend the obesity curve and see the returns in terms of health and savings.”

According to the CDC, and from the Daily Mail, “the latest report on obesity-related medical bills, from 2011, found that in 2006 costs totaled $147 billion, the majority of which was spent treating diseases such as diabetes.”

Of course, this test was based around the whole body mass index calculations, which damn near make everyone out to be obese. But I think we all know when we’re teetering above having some extra curves on our frame and being unhealthy, even if we don’t want to admit it. Hopefully this study will push more people all over, not just in the most obese states, to do more in the way of eating healthier and making better decisions. That way the next time a study like this takes place, the rates for every state on the list will be a whole lot lower. Check out more of the findings and where your state stands at the Center for Disease Control‘s website.

A few of the most obese states:

1. Mississippi 34.9

2. Louisiana 33.4

3. West Virinia 32.4

4. Alabama 32.0

5. Michigan 31.3

6. Oklahoma 31.1

7. Arkansas 30.9

8. Indiana (tie) 30.8

8. South Carolina 30.8

10. Kentucky (tie) 30.4

10. Texas 30.4

And a few of the least obese states:

1. Colorado 20.7

2. Hawaii 21.8

3. Massachusetts 22.7

4. New Jersey (tie) 23.7

4. District of Columbia 23.7

5. California 23.8

6. Utah 24.4

7. New York (tie) 24.5

7. Connecticut 24.5

7. Nevada 24.5

They’re Learning: Sexual Activity Among Black Teens On The Decline

July 25th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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For once, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting some positive news on black teens and sexual activity. According to report author Laura Kann, there has been a “dramatic” decline in sexual activity among black teens and the number of those sexually active teens who are not using condoms.

Specifically, in the CDC’s overall report on teen sexual activity, the percentage of black teens who reported ever having sex fell from 82 percent in 1991 to 60 percent in 2011. The number with four or more sex partners also declined to 25 percent from 43 percent, and black teens also have a higher rate of condom use at 65 percent, compared to the overall average of 60 percent for teens across all races.

Though many see these results as confirmation of the effectiveness of safe-sex efforts in the black community, Kahn says the reason for the decline isn’t clear.

“This tells us what kids do, but not why,” she said.

Other generic findings, which come from about 15,000 students in grades 9 through 12 from both public and private schools who took the CDC’s annual National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, were:

  • The
    percentages of students who’ve had sex have remained fairly stable over the last 20 years for Hispanic students (49 percent in 2011) and whites (44 percent in 2011).
  • Overall, 47 percent of all teens surveyed said they’d ever had sex, down from 54 percent in 1991. The rate has barely changed since 2001.
  • About one-third of students said they’d had sex within the past three months, and 15 percent said they’d had sex with four or more partners.
  • The percentage of sexually active teens who use condoms grew from 46 percent in 1991 to 60 percent in 2011, although the number hasn’t changed much in recent years.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

What do you think accounts for the decrease in sexual activity among black teens?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for madamenoire.com. Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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Does Premarital Cohabitation Predict Divorce?

March 30th, 2012 - By MN Editor
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From Yourtango.com

Is moving in together before marriage a good idea?

The Centers for Disease Control just released a study that examines data from first marriages for men and women ages 15 to 44. The data was collected from 2006 to 2010 by the National Survey of Family Growth with 22,682 respondents. The Associated Press promptly released a story with the headline, “Move In Before Marriage No Longer Predicts Divorce.” But, that’s not exactly what the study shows.

Instead, the study underlined what previous studies have also shown. The study proved that moving in together before marriage might or it might not predict divorce. The differentiating factor is whether or not you moved in with an expectation of a long-term commitment similar to marriage.

For the full story, visit Yourtango.com.

 

More on Madame Noire!

Living Together Before Marriage Doesn’t Affect Odds of Divorce

March 22nd, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Today about 60 percent of couples live together before they get married for the first time, as the idea that you better make sure you can actually stand the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with has caught on like wildfire. For the remaining 40 percent, religious reasons or fear that living together before marriage will somehow doom their union causes them to maintain separate quarters. But a new study shows that couples who live together before walking down the aisle have no greater chance of their marriage lasting 15 years than couples who don’t.

Wendy Manning, co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, isn’t shocked. “It’s becoming so common, it’s not surprising it no longer negatively affects marital stability,” she said.

Overall, from interviews of men and women ages 15 to 44 during the years 2006 to 2010, the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly half of first marriages break up within 20 years. There was about a 60 percent likelihood a marriage would survive 15 years if the couple either hadn’t lived together before the wedding or were engaged while they shacked up. But if no firm marriage commitment was made before the move in, the likelihood the marriage would last 15 years fell to 53 percent.

Casey Copen, lead author of the study, said lax attitudes about commitment, lower education levels, or family histories that made these couples more pessimistic about marriage could explain the drop in marriage survival. That basically adds up to a lack of communication about expectations and goals for the relationship and family unit.

The CDC also found a few other interesting statistics on marriage and relationships in general:

  • The percentage of young women currently living with a male partner grew from 3 percent in 1982 to 11 percent recently.
  • Women and men with bachelor’s degrees were more likely to delay marriage but also more likely to eventually get married and stay married for at least 20 years.
  • At 20 years, nearly 70 percent of Asian women were still in their first marriage, compared to 54 percent of white women, 53 percent of Hispanic women and 37 percent of black women.
  • For men, 62 percent of Hispanics were still in their first marriage at 20 years, compared to 54 percent of whites and 53 percent of blacks. (There were no statistics for Asian men.)

Where do you stand on cohabitation before marriage? Do you think it’s a good or a bad idea?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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HIV Rates Among Black Women in Some US Cities Now Rivals African Countries

March 9th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Rates of HIV among black women in Baltimore, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, NC, Washington, DC, Newark, and New York City have been found to be five times higher than previous CDC estimates, and the rate of infection is now equal to some African countries.

The latest data comes from the ISIS (Women’s HIV Seroincidence) Study which analyzes at-risk women in these six urban areas of the United States, which have some of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS. A total of 2,099 women ages 18 to 44 who had never had a positive HIV test were included in the study; 88 percent were black and 12 percent Latina. At the time of enrollment, researchers found that 32 women were infected with HIV but were unaware of their status.

Within one year of joining the study, 0.24 percent of the women tested positive for the disease. According to ABC, this number compares to HIV rates found in the general population of many sub-Saharan African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (0.28 percent) and Kenya (0.53 percent).

Dr. Carlos Del Rio, principal investigator for the Atlanta area of the study and professor of medicine and infectious disease at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said “this epidemic is the face of the forgotten people.”

“This disease is alive and well in this country,” he added.

Dr. Del Rio said the “hot spots” for the disease are some of the most impoverished parts of the United States, which is bad from a social standpoint, but the centralization gives healthcare advocates specific targets for intervention efforts. According to Dr. Sally Hodder, lead author of the study and professor of medicine at New Jersey Medical School in Newark:

“Slightly more than 40 percent of the women did not know the HIV status of their last sexual partner. And more than 40 percent of our participants had an annual household income of $10,000 or less.”

Given that information, and the fact that after one-year of follow-up, 10 of the women included in the study died of causes unrelated to HIV, Dr. Del Rio said prevention efforts have to take a multi-pronged approach.

“We can’t just say, ‘Here’s some information on AIDS and here are some condoms. We’re talking about structural interventions that are needed. We need better access to medical care and screenings, substance abuse treatment, education, and job availability for these areas of the country.

“This is going to need some bold leadership and out-of-the-box thinking,” he added. “I do think it really can be stopped, though. It’s not beyond hope and I honestly don’t think it wouldn’t even take that long to eradicate the disease, it just needs a lot of imagination.”

Do you think there’s hope in the fight against HIV among black women? What do you think should be done?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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Two Sex Partners is Too Many When it Comes to Organ Donation

December 8th, 2011 - By Brande Victorian
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With the donor pool as slim as it is, and the waiting list as long as it is, I’m surprised that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would propose such a limiting provision in its new set of health guidelines.

Under the proposed policy, people who’ve had sex with two or more people in the past year will be placed in a high-risk donor category, noting the increased potential for spreading HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Have things gotten that bad?

Let’s be honest, if this policy is enforced, it would severely limit the number of low-risk donors in the matching system, and transplant experts recognize this too.

“With the new guidelines, every college student in America will be high-risk,” Dr. Harry Dorn-Arias, a transplant surgeon at the University of Virginia, told msnbc.com. “Right now, it’s probably a prostitute or a guy with a needle in his arm. Next time, it will be just a young guy.”

The policy could also have an adverse effect on patient’s willingness to be transplanted, said Tracy Giacoma, transplant administrator at the University of Kansas Hospital. “It’s probably going to triple what we consider high risk at this point. It may scare patients off from taking these organs. More patients may die because they don’t take these organs.”

Obviously, the CDC says it’s first priority is safety, and that patients should know whether they are receiving an organ with elevated risk, but better screening methods to determine individual risk would be much better than blanketing everyone who’s had more than two partners in a year as high-risk.

Do you think the CDC’s proposed policy is too restrictive? Would you take an organ from someone who was labeled high-risk because they had more than two sexual partners in a year?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.


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STDs: New Report Shows the Stakes are Higher for Black Women

November 21st, 2011 - By Brande Victorian
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I don’t know about you, but pretty much any time I hear a new stat on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), I have the urge to run out and get tested. I could have literally just left the doctor’s office with the OK after a battery of tests and still feel the need to make sure I’m actually clean as a whistle.

The stigma, the thought of having to explain a sexually transmitted disease to a new partner, and the effect of an STD on my overall health weigh on my mind too heavily to do otherwise. And the idea that somewhere down the line a disease could prevent me from having children is a fear that shakes me when I think about possibly contracting an STD.

A new report from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention shows that black people have the worst rates of STDs overall—even despite the recent drop in the spread of syphilis.

  • Rates of Chlamydia among African-Americans are about 1,383 per 100,000, compared with 467 per 100,000 among Hispanics and 166 per 100,000 for whites.
  • Rates of gonorrhea for whites are 26 per 100,000. Among Hispanics, rates are about three times that at 63 per 100,000, and among African Americans, the rates are 512 per 100,000.
  • Rates of syphilis have fallen to 2.4 per 100,000 for whites, 5.9 per 100,000 Hispanics, and 20 per 100,000 for African Americans.

I think people tend to look at STDs the way I used to look at cancer. I know how prevalent cancer is, but because I never knew anyone personally affected by it until a few months ago, it was just an abstract concept. We hear about the rates of STDs and HIV in our community so much, but I think we don’t quite understand what those numbers mean. If we’ve gotten off the hook before with a disease scare, we’re probably even more likely to think it can’t happen to us or that there aren’t really as many infected people as there truly are.

But numbers don’t lie, and people in the African-American community are the most impacted by STDs of all groups.

Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, says the cause of the disparity is not racial. He told the press recently: “It’s not because someone is black or Hispanic or white that results in the differences that we see in STDs. It’s really what these represent in terms of differences in health insurance coverage, employment status, in ability to access preventive services or curative services. These are all factors which are going to have a huge impact on communities as well as individuals who are vulnerable to acquiring STDs or not getting them diagnosed early.”

Sick by Association: The Dangers of Second-Hand Smoke

July 12th, 2011 - By Toya Sharee
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I never understood what it meant to smell like cigarette smoke until I spent my first night away from home at college for undergrad.  As I hung my clothes in the campus provided chifferobe, I noticed that everything from my favorite denim jacket to the duffel bag I carried it in smelled like I had been hanging in a back alley pool hall.  Now I understood why past boyfriends had always suspected that I had been in a bar all night or why classmates in high school would always assume I had a lighter. I never could smell it until I actually moved out of my house.  The problem is that I didn’t even smoke, but I did live in a house with parents who had smoked all of my life.

When and How Often Should You Get a Mammogram?

July 5th, 2011 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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How old should you be when you start getting mammograms, ladies?
For a while now, many people, including the American Cancer Society, said that women should be getting a mammogram screening starting at the age of 40, and should be doing so every one to two years. Then in 2009, a government panel reported that women wouldn’t need to start getting mammograms until the age of 50. Script totally flipped. The recommended age has gone up and down over the years at a confusing rate, and while some say waiting until you reach 50 is a good look, with breast cancer being the first and most common cancer (according to the CDC), the exact age is really up in the air to many.

But now, a new study, published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says that women should be getting mammograms them when they personally feel is best. It’s up to you now ladies! Especially since screening too much can incur big costs, and exposure to radiation more than necessary isn’t the best idea. However, researchers say that while going off of your own preferences, you should still be taking into consideration your family health history in regards to breast cancer, your age (the older you are, the more you should try and get tested), and especially, the weight of your breast. The more tissue in a heavier breast, the more likely it seems that women get breast cancer.

While they say it should be up to the woman how often she should go in for screenings based on her own personal medical history and more, it is still recommended by the researchers of this study that women get their first screening at most at the age of 40 to figure out the density of their breasts. That way, a screening plan can be set up based on the size of your chest, whether that means coming in once a year, every two years or more.

This study was based around women age 40 and up, but the younger you are when you start checking your breast the better, and if necessary, you can move on to a mammogram. It’s all the more important if your family has a history of breast cancer. And if your chest is a lot larger and heavier than most, and you feel lumps, it might not hurt to get started a little earlier. So if you’re rocking some heavy D cups and onward, get the groping. Breast self-exams are always recommended, and if you feel something irregular (outside from the large lumps usually found in breasts), you should definitely go get screened before the big 4-0. But as this study pretty much states, to each their own. But be aware for your health’s sake…

When do you think women should start getting mammograms? And how often?

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