Insurance coverage of unintended pregnancies resulting in live-born infants--Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, 1996.
In the United States during 1994, approximately 49% of all pregnancies, excluding miscarriages, were unintended. Unintended pregnancy can result in adverse health outcomes that affect the mother, infant, and family. Little is known about the distribution of unintended pregnancy with respect to the payment source for health care. In the absence of data for periconceptional payment source for health care, prenatal-care payment source is used as a surrogate. To develop recommendations to reduce unintended pregnancy, CDC analyzed insurance coverage-specific prevalences of live-born infants from unintended pregnancies among women aged 20-34 years using data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (PRAMS) for 1996 (the most recent year for which data are available). This report summarizes the results of this analysis, which indicates that the highest rates of unintended pregnancy occurred among women covered by Medicaid, with lower rates among women covered by health-maintenance organizations (HMOs) or private insurance. (+info)
Efficacy of Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccines and persistence of disease in disadvantaged populations. The Haemophilus Influenzae Study Group.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines among children aged 2 to 18 months and to determine risk factors for invasive Hib disease during a period of declining incidence (1991-1994). METHODS: A prospective population-based case-control study was conducted in a multistate US population of 15.5 million. A laboratory-based active surveillance system was used for case detection. RESULTS: In a multivariate analysis, having a single-parent mother (odds ratio [OR] = 4.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2, 14.8) and household crowding (OR = 3.5, 95% CI = 1.03, 11.7) were risk factors for Hib disease independent of vaccination status. After adjustment for these risk factors, the protective efficacy of 2 or more Hib vaccine doses was 86% (95% CI = 16%, 98%). Among undervaccinated subjects, living with a smoker (P = .02) and several indicators of lower socioeconomic status were risk factors for Hib disease. CONCLUSIONS: Hib disease still occurs at low levels in the United States, predominantly in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Low immunization coverage may facilitate continuing transmission of Hib. Special efforts to achieve complete and timely immunization in disadvantaged populations are needed. (+info)
Rising tide of cardiovascular disease in American Indians. The Strong Heart Study.
BACKGROUND: Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) used to be rare among American Indians, Indian Health Service data suggest that CVD mortality rates vary greatly among American Indian communities and appear to be increasing. The Strong Heart Study was initiated to investigate CVD and its risk factors in American Indians in 13 communities in Arizona, Oklahoma, and South/North Dakota. METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 4549 participants (1846 men and 2703 women 45 to 74 years old) who were seen at the baseline (1989 to 1991) examination were subjected to surveillance (average 4.2 years, 1991 to 1995), and 88% of those remaining alive underwent a second examination (1993 to 1995). The medical records of all participants were exhaustively reviewed to ascertain nonfatal cardiovascular events that occurred since the baseline examination or to definitively determine cause of death. CVD morbidity and mortality rates were higher in men than in women and were similar in the 3 geographic areas. Coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence rates among American Indian men and women were almost 2-fold higher than those in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Significant independent predictors of CVD in women were diabetes, age, obesity (inverse), LDL cholesterol, albuminuria, triglycerides, and hypertension. In men, diabetes, age, LDL cholesterol, albuminuria, and hypertension were independent predictors of CVD. CONCLUSIONS: At present, CHD rates in American Indians exceed rates in other US populations and may more often be fatal. Unlike other ethnic groups, American Indians appear to have an increasing incidence of CHD, possibly related to the high prevalence of diabetes. In the general US population, the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes may reverse the decline in CVD death rates. Therefore, aggressive programs to control diabetes and its risk factors are needed. (+info)
Estimating the proportion of homes with functioning smoke alarms: a comparison of telephone survey and household survey results.
OBJECTIVES: This study determined the proportion of homes with functioning smoke alarms in a low-income area experiencing a high rate of residential fire-related injuries. METHODS: An on-site survey of households was conducted to confirm the results of a telephone survey. RESULTS: In the telephone survey, 71% of households reported having functioning smoke alarms. In the household survey, 66% of households reported having functioning alarms; however, when the alarms were tested, the percentage dropped to 49%. CONCLUSIONS: Telephone surveys may overestimate the presence of functioning smoke alarms in some populations. Thus, the use of telephone surveys to establish baseline measures could significantly affect the evaluation of smoke-alarm giveaway programs. (+info)
Use of the Semmes-Weinstein monofilament in the strong heart study. Risk factors for clinical neuropathy.
OBJECTIVE: We used the Semmes-Weinstein 5.07 monofilament to assess the prevalence of foot insensitivity and its relationship to potential risk factors. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: There were 3,638 American Indian participants from Arizona, North and South Dakota, and Oklahoma who attended a study clinic on two occasions: baseline and follow-up, 4 years later. Oral glucose tolerance tests were performed at the visits for those who had not previously been diagnosed as having diabetes. A total of 2,051 participants were diagnosed with diabetes before the study or at the subsequent study visits. At the follow-up visit, participants were tested for their ability to sense the 5.07 (10 g) monofilament at 10 sites of the foot. The prevalence of foot insensitivity was ascertained, and its relation to characteristics of participants was assessed in both univariate and logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Diabetic participants had a much higher prevalence of foot insensitivity (defined as greater than or equal to five incorrect responses) than nondiabetic participants (14 vs. 5%, respectively). However, marked foot insensitivity was uncommon within the first few years of diagnosis of diabetes. Among the diabetic participants, those diagnosed before study entry had the highest prevalence of foot insensitivity. The prevalence of foot insensitivity was highest in the Arizona Indians (22 vs. 9% in the Dakotas and 8% in Oklahoma). In a logistic regression analysis, foot insensitivity was significantly and independently related to center (Arizona versus others), age, duration of diabetes, and height. CONCLUSIONS: Marked foot insensitivity is prevalent in the diabetic American Indian population, especially in Indians in Arizona; however, this insensitivity is apparently uncommon for several years after the diagnosis of diabetes. The data show that Indians with diabetes are particularly vulnerable to the risk of foot ulceration and that the diagnostic screening of diabetes may lead to better prevention of sensory neuropathy and subsequent foot ulceration. (+info)
Glycemic control in diabetic American Indians. Longitudinal data from the Strong Heart Study.
OBJECTIVE: To describe glycemic control and identify correlates of elevated HbA1c levels in diabetic American Indians participating in the Strong Heart Study, which is a longitudinal study of cardiovascular disease in American Indians in Arizona, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and North Dakota. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This analysis is based on data from the baseline (1989-1992) and first follow-up (1994-1995) examinations of the Strong Heart Study. The 1,581 diabetic participants included in this analysis were aged 45-74 years at baseline, were diagnosed with diabetes before and at baseline, and had their HbA1c levels measured at follow-up. HbA1c was used as the index of glycemic control. Characteristics that may affect glycemic control were evaluated for cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships by analysis of covariance and multiple regression. RESULTS: There was no significant difference between median HbA1c at baseline (8.4%) and at follow-up (8.5%). Sex, age (inversely), and insulin and oral hypoglycemic agent therapy were significantly related to HbA1c levels in both the cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Current smoking, prior use of alcohol, and duration of diabetes were significant only for the cross-sectional data. Baseline HbA1c significantly and positively predicted HbA1c levels at follow-up. Comparison of HbA1c by therapy type shows that insulin therapy produced a significant decrease in HbA1c between the baseline and follow-up examinations. CONCLUSIONS: Glycemic control was poor among diabetic American Indians participating in the Strong Heart Study. Women, patients taking insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents, and younger individuals had the worst control of all the participants. Baseline HbA1c, and weight loss predicted worsening of control, whereas insulin therapy predicted improvement in control. Additional therapies and/or approaches are needed to improve glycemic control in this population. (+info)
Assessment of QT interval and QT dispersion for prediction of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in American Indians: The Strong Heart Study.
BACKGROUND: Both a prolonged QT interval and increased QT interval dispersion (QTD) have been proposed as surface ECG markers of vulnerability to ventricular arrhythmias and potential predictors of mortality. METHODS AND RESULTS: The predictive values of QT prolongation and QTD were assessed in 1839 participants in the Strong Heart Study, a prospective study of cardiovascular disease in American Indians. ECGs were acquired at 250 Hz; QT intervals were measured by computer in all 12 leads and corrected for heart rate (QTc) by use of Bazett's formula. QTD was calculated as the difference between the maximum and minimum QTc. After a mean follow-up of 3.7+/-0.9 years, there were 188 deaths from all causes, including 55 cardiovascular deaths. In univariate Cox analyses, prolonged QTc and increased QTD were significant predictors of all-cause mortality (chi(2)=53.0, P<0.0001; chi(2)=11.3, P=0.0008) and cardiovascular mortality (chi(2)=14.7, P=0.0001; chi(2)=26.5, P<0.0001). In multivariate Cox regression analyses controlling for risk factors, QTc remained a strong predictor of all-cause mortality (chi(2)=16.5, P<0.0001) and a weaker predictor of cardiovascular mortality (chi(2)=5.8, P=0.016); QTD remained a significant predictor of cardiovascular mortality only (chi(2)=12.5, P=0.0004). CONCLUSIONS: These findings support the value of computerized measurements of QTc and QTD in noninvasive risk stratification and suggest that these surface ECG variables may reflect different underlying abnormalities of ventricular repolarization. (+info)
The changing landscape of health care financing and delivery: how are rural communities and providers responding?
Rural communities have not kept pace with the recent dramatic changes in health care financing and organization. However, the Medicare provisions in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 will require rural providers to participate in the new systems. Case studies revealed the degree of readiness for change in six rural communities and charted their progress along a continuum, as reflected in three sets of activities: the development of networking; the creation of new strategies for managing patient care; and the adoption of new methods for contracting with health insurers. Some communities had constructed highly integrated systems, whereas others were just beginning to change their billing practices; a few were signing contracts for capitated care, in contrast to those that were resisting discounts in current fee structures. These six rural areas still have considerable ground to cover before their health care organization and financing reach the levels achieved by urban communities. (+info)