HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report – Expectant Mom’s Flu Shot Protects 2
When a pregnant woman gets vaccinated for the flu, the protection extends to her baby too, new research confirms.
Babies 6 months and younger whose mothers had a flu vaccine during pregnancy were 70 percent less likely to have lab-confirmed flu than babies born to mothers who didn’t have the immunization while pregnant. In addition, the babies born to mothers immunized during pregnancy had an 80 percent reduction in flu-related hospitalizations, the study found.

USA Today – Social service shortfalls hinder health, boost medical spending
States that spend more money on social services and public health programs relative to medical care have much healthier residents than states that don’t, a study out today by a prominent public health researcher found.
The study comes as the Obama administration prepares to fund its own research to support the idea that higher social service spending can improve health and lower health care costs. Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a long-awaited rule that will pave the way for more doctors and hospitals to work closely with social services providers to keep people healthier, such as with home visits or help with housing.

The Associated Press via The New York Times – FDA Effort Aims to Curb Smoking in LGBT Community
The Food and Drug Administration’s latest anti-smoking campaign takes aim at young adults in the LGBT community, who officials say are nearly twice as likely to use tobacco as their peers.
The $35.7 million effort targets the estimated 40 percent of 2 million LGBT young adults in the U.S. who occasionally smoke. Dubbed “This Free Life,” the campaign will begin running print, digital and outdoor advertising in 12 markets this week. The ads use the slogan “Freedom to be, Tobacco-Free,” and are aimed at adults ages 18 to 24.

Kaiser Health News – Opioid Epidemic Fueling Hospitalizations, Hospital Costs
Every day, headlines detail the casualties of the nation’s surge in heroin and prescription painkiller abuse: the funerals, the broken families and the patients cycling in and out of treatment. Now, a new study sheds light on another repercussion — how this public health problem is adding to the nation’s ballooning health care costs and who’s shouldering that burden.
The research comes as policymakers grapple with how to curb the increased abuse of these drugs, known as opioids. State legislators in New York, Connecticut, Alaska and Pennsylvania have tried to take action by adding new resources to boost prevention and treatment. In addition, President Barack Obama laid out strategies last month intended to improve how the health system deals with addiction.