According to recently reported national rates, autism is on the rise again, which may be a reflection of better screening and diagnosis; following the conclusion of the three day hearings, comments on the Supreme Court health care case; and added incentive to get up and move, as new study reports too much sitting increases the risk of death. These top stories and more rounding up the public health news for Friday, March 30, 2012.

The Associated Press – Autism rates up; screening, better diagnosis cited
Autism cases are on the rise again, largely due to wider screening and better diagnosis, federal health officials said Thursday. The rate of U.S. cases of autism and related disorders rose to about 1 in 88 children. The previous estimate was 1 in 110.

CBS News – Biden confident top court will uphold law
Vice President Joe Biden expressed confidence the Supreme Court would uphold President Obama’s signature health care law when it decides on the constitutionality of the landmark legislation later this year.

Chicago Tribune – For government lawyer Verrilli, tough week on healthcare case
Although his arguments in support of the healthcare law in the Supreme Court are over, and the nine justices will cast their initial votes in secret Friday, the public grilling of Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon.

Reuters – Electronic health records means fewer tests: study
Doctors order fewer lab tests when they have access to a patient’s electronic medical records, according to a new study, but the efficiency may be confined to state-of-the-art records exchanges for now.

The Washington Post – Sit at your peril
Sit, sit, sit. It’s what a lot of us do all day long. We work in cubicles (I do). We watch TV. We read. We stare at computer screens. We stare at computer screens. Did I mention that we stare at computer screens? It’s not news that all this rump-resting is bad for your health, of course. But a big new study out of Australia puts some better numbers on how too much sitting increases the risk of death.