Health and Human Services: CDC awards more than $49 million to strengthen state and local health departments
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today awarded $49 million in grants, partly supported by the Affordable Care Act, to all 50 states. The grants strengthen state, local and territorial health departments’ capacity to perform critical epidemiology and laboratory work, detect and prevent healthcare-associated infections and support immunization programs. This is double the spending for the same programs in 2010.

The New York Times: Autism risk for siblings higher than expected
Parents who have a child with autism have about a 1 in 5 chance of having a second child with autism, a far greater risk than previously believed, new research shows.

The Washington Post: Home health aides are in demand as hospitals, nursing homes try to trim rolls
The demand for home health workers mirrors national trends and is fueled in part by stepped-up efforts to keep seniors and the disabled out of nursing homes. The growth is likely to pick up in coming years as the new federal health law tries to reduce hospital readmissions and expands programs such as Money Follows the Person, which encourages Medicaid recipients to receive care at home.

LA Times: Healthy obese people may live as long as their slimmer counterparts
Using a new grading tool that takes health issues into account in addition to body mass index, it may be possible for healthy obese people to have the same lifespan as normal-weight people.
The findings were released Monday in a study in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

USA Today: Hospice lobbyists battle over Medicare payment system
For-profit hospice organizations have spent more than $1million this year lobbying to prevent Medicare from reducing payments to try to curb the soaring cost of hospice care.

The Science Blog: Oral care for babies may prevent future cavities
A recent University of Illinois study confirms the presence of bacteria associated with early childhood caries (ECC) in infant saliva. “By the time a child reaches kindergarten, 40 percent have dental cavities,” said Kelly Swanson, lead researcher.