Seventy percent of Americans now support Roe v. Wade decision, according to Wall Street Journal/NBC poll; the American Medical Association announces $10 million allocation to fund training of future physicians; and what health issues did President Barack Obama address in his inauguration speech Monday? These stories and more top public health news for Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.
Washington Post — Cat bite puts woman in the hospital with a serious infection
With sleepy eyes and a comically kinked tail, Sammy does not look like a dangerous character. But Sammy put me in the hospital. For four days. As I lay in that bed, hour after hour, hooked up to an intravenous cocktail of antibiotics, I had plenty of time to rue the stupidity that put me there. Sammy bit me. Although I didn’t take it seriously at the time, a bite from a small cat can be a big problem, thanks to the nature of the bite itself and the kinds of bacteria carried by cats and people. For some people, in fact, it can be deadly. “A cat bite is nothing to trivialize,” said Nancy Peterson, cat programs manager at the Humane Society of the United States. Up to 50 percent of cat bites become infected, said Princy N. Kumar, head of the infectious-diseases division at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
ABC News — Childhood ADHD diagnoses increased 25 percent from 2001 to 2011
The rates of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis have increased by nearly 25% over the past decade, researchers found. From 2001 to 2010, the rate of ADHD diagnosis increased from 2.5% to 3.1%, according to Darios Getahun, MD, PhD, of Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Group in Pasadena, and colleagues. Increases were significant among whites, blacks, and Hispanics, but did not change significantly among Asians, Pacific Islanders, and other racial groups over the 10-year period, Getahun and colleagues reported online in JAMA Pediatrics.
Politico — Poll: Record support on Roe v. Wade
Forty years after the Supreme Court legalized abortion in its Roe v. Wade decision, seven out of 10 Americans support the groundbreaking rulings, according to a poll released Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found only 24 percent of Americans would overturn the decision, which legalized abortion throughout the United States. The 70 percent level of support for the ruling is the highest since the poll began tracking it in 1989. Similarly, the 54 percent of Americans who believe abortion should be legal most or all of the time is a record high. Only 9 percent of Americans believe abortion should always be illegal, but 35 percent believe the only exceptions should be to save the life of the mother or in case of rape or incest. Alternatively, the poll could contain some good news for opponents of abortion rights: Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe there are some circumstances where abortion should be illegal.
Kaiser Health News — AMA offers $10 million to fund med school innovations
Memo to medical schools: If you have new ideas on how to train doctors, the American Medical Association may have some cash for you. The AMA says it will provide $10 million over the next five years to fund eight to 12 “bold, innovative projects.” “Rapid changes in health care require a transformation in the way we train future physicians,” AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus said in a statement. “The AMA is deeply committed to redesigning undergraduate medical education to prepare the medical students of today for the health care of tomorrow.”
MedPage Today — Obama highlights health issues in inaugural speech
Healthcare received a couple of direct mentions from President Obama in his inauguration speech Monday, but he stood up for entitlement programs amid ongoing calls for changes. “The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us,” Obama said roughly halfway through his 18-minute speech. “They do not make us a nation of takers. They free us to take the risks that make this country great.” He later said the country “must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick.”