Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
U.S. Plans Overhaul of Government-Funded Child Care Centers
Improved safety standards may be on the way at the nation's
500,000 federally funded child care centers, according to a new
proposal released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and
According to the
Associated Press, about 1.6 million U.S. children attend
these types of facilities, paid for by government vouchers supplied
to families. Yet health and safety requirements for such centers
can vary greatly because they are overseen by rules set by each
That means that "too many children remain in settings that do
not meet minimum standards of health and safety," Health and Human
Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.
She said the proposed new rules set by the federal government
would "ensure that providers take necessary basic steps to shield
children from an avoidable tragedy."
Among the proposed changes, according to the
Two Health Care Workers Made Ill by SARS-Like Virus
An emerging, SARS-like virus that has sickened 40 people in the
Middle East and Europe since September has now caused illness in
two health care workers who were caring for infected patients,
health officials report.
Two health care staffers caring for a patient in Saudi Arabia
have been sickened with the coronavirus, the first such recorded
case of transmission from patient to health care worker, the
Associated Pressreported. Person-to-person transmission has
been suspected before, the news agency said.
Coronaviruses include SARS, the infection that caused a
widespread global outbreak in 2003. The new coronavirus appears to
have a high fatality rate, with 20 deaths recorded among the 40
Women in Their 40s Still Getting Mammograms
Many women in their 40s are not following updated guidelines on
mammograms that recommend waiting until after the age of 50 to
start getting routine breast cancer screenings, new research
"Patients -- and likely their providers -- appear hesitant to change their behavior, even in light of evidence that routine screening in younger women carries substantial risk of false positives and unnecessary further imaging and biopsies," study author Dr. Lauren Block, a clinical fellow in the division of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a statement, the UPIreported Wednesday.
"Women have been bombarded with the message 'mammograms save lives,' so they want them no matter what," Block added.
In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force looked at
studies that suggested giving routine mammograms to women under 50
often ended in overdiagnosis and overtreatment, and decided to
change course with its guidelines. Now, the task force recommends
that women between the ages of 50 and 74 should get a mammogram
every two years, while those aged 40 to 49 without a family history
of breast cancer should weigh the option of getting a mammogram
with their doctor.
However, after analyzing mammogram use data on more than 480,000
women that was culled from state health department records, Block
and her colleagues found there was almost no change in the number
of women in their 40s who got mammograms before and after the
guidelines were changed, going from 53 percent before 2009 to 52
percent in 2010. Among women over 50, that percentage dropped from
65 percent to 62 percent in the same period.
The study was published online May 15 in the
Journal of General Internal Medicine.
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