The Morning Report provides a quick look at today’s medical news, research and features.
|Not Enough Youths Getting HPV Vaccine|
|More U.S. adolescents are receiving vaccines against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical and other types of cancer but vaccination rates for the infection remain too low, federal health officials said on Thursday.
In 2013, 37.6 percent of girls ages 13-17 got the recommended three doses of the vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
That was up from 33.4 percent in 2012 but far short of the CDC’s goal of an 80 percent vaccination rate, data showed. ”It’s frustrating to report almost the same HPV vaccination coverage levels among girls for another year,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
The percentage of boys receiving all three doses of the vaccine more than doubled, increasing to 13.9 percent in 2013 from 6.8 percent in 2012, according to data from the CDC’s National Immunization Survey of teens. Though the CDC recommends the HPV vaccine for all 11-year-old and 12-year-old boys and girls, the 2013 study found that doctors had not recommended it to one third of girls and more than half of boys. (Reuters)
|Risk of Early Death for Children Who Lose Parent|
|Children and teens who lose a parent might face an increased risk of an early death in adulthood, a new study suggests. People who were children or teens when a parent died had a 50 percent greater risk of death during the study period than those who had not experienced the death of a parent, according to the report.
Researchers analyzed data on children born in Denmark, Finland and Sweden between 1968 and 2008. Nearly 190,000 children were between 6 months and 18 years when one of their parents died. During a follow-up period ranging from one to 40 years, almost 40,000 of those people died.
The increased risk of early death persisted into early adulthood, no matter how old a child was when a parent died. The researchers also found that the increased risk of death was higher among children whose parents died from unnatural causes rather than natural causes (84 percent vs. 33 percent). The risk of death was highest among children of parents who committed suicide. The study findings were published in the July 22 issue of the journal PLoS Medicine. (HealthDay)
|10 Million Americans Gained Health Coverage This Year|
|About 10.3 million Americans gained health coverage this year, primarily as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to a study by the federal government and Harvard University, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The estimate of newly insured adults – the largest to date – is the first published in a major medical journal and authored by some federal health researchers.
The federal government had previously reported that about 8 million people bought private health plans on the state and federal exchanges and 6.6 million additional people enrolled in Medicaid since last October. But it has not estimated how many of those had been previously uninsured. ”This study also reaffirms that expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act is important for coverage, as well as a good deal for states,” according to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
The study found that the number of uninsured adults fell by a little over 5 percent nationally, from 21 percent in September 2013 to 16.3 percent in April 2014, with the most significant declines in the 26 states that expanded Medicaid under the health law. (More at Physicians News)