Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 06/24/2019  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Maine Legislature Adjourns Sine Die; Major Bills Pass in the Waning Hours
•  Vaccine Law Opponents Seek "People's Veto"
•  Ronan New Head of MHA Board
•  MaineCare Enrollment Far Below Expectations
•  This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
•  Suicide Rates Increase Among US Teens
•  MMA Legislative Calls Finished for the Session
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  Quality Counts: Rapid Induction Starting in the ED (RISE) Training, ECHO Program
•  2019 Governor Mills Response to the Opioid Summit - July 15th
•  ACU Annual Conference is taking place in Washington, DC from July 28th-31st
•  2019 Mary Cushman, MD Award Nominations Due by July 31
•  Maine Independent Clinical Information Service 2019 Presentations
•  Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI) Training Program - October 9
•  Physician
•  Nurse Practitioner
•  Family Medicine Specialist or an Internist
•  Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine)
•  BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician
•  Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health


This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA

Click through for a brief update on recent public health issues, provided by the American Medical Association's electronic publication, Morning Rounds. [This article is updated weekly.]


Researchers studying “eye microbiome” that may impact eye diseases

Newsweek (6/21, Leger) reported researchers are exploring the role of bacteria in a number of different eye diseases. The article added that just as researchers are learning more about the impact of microbes in the gut and on the skin, research into the eye microbiome might also yield insights affecting the treatment of eye diseases.

“Sober bars” cater to growing number of people who want to abstain from alcohol

The NPR (6/23, Fulton, Aubrey) “Shots” blog reports on the growth of “sober bars” that serve nonalcoholic drinks to cater to a growing number of people who want to abstain from alcohol completely or temporarily. The article highlights the “sober curious” or “sober sometimes” movement that started as a challenge on social media for people to see how long they can abstain, but which has grown into something bigger.

Deaths from cardiovascular disease not decreasing as fast recently as they were before 2011

In a greater than 2,900-word article, the Wall Street Journal (6/21, McKay, Subscription Publication) reported that deaths from cardiovascular disease decreased more than 70% in the six decades preceding 2011, but have only decreased 4% since then, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The latest data suggest that cardiovascular disease will remain the leading cause of death in the U.S. ahead of cancer, contrary to previous predictions that cancer would overtake cardiovascular disease by 2020.

Cannabidiol appears to have potential as an antibiotic, study indicates Newsweek (6/23, Gander) reports researchers found that cannabidiol “killed all the strains of bacteria they tested in a lab, including some which are highly resistant to existing antibiotics,” meaning the chemical found in cannabis could have potential as an antibiotic. The findings were presented at ASM Microbe 2019.

U.S. suicide rate continues to climb, CDC data indicate

Bloomberg (6/20, Koons) reports, “U.S. suicide rates are at the highest level since World War II, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” and the problem is becoming “worse: The U.S. suicide rate increased on average by about 1% a year from 2000 through 2006 and by 2% a year from 2006 through 2016.”

CNN (6/20, Howard) reports the U.S. suicide rate “continues to climb, with a rate in 2017 that was 33% higher than in 1999,” research indicates. During that period, “suicide rates among people 15 to 64 increased significantly...rising from 10.5 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 14 per 100,000 in 2017, the most recent year with available data.” The findings were “published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics” on June 20.

Researchers develop AI to listen for audible warning signs of heart attack

USA Today (6/20, Brown) reports researchers “found that around half of people experiencing a heart attack made sounds known as agonal breathing,” and the researchers also “developed an early stage artificial-intelligence tool that could be baked into smart speakers or smartphones to listen out for warning signs.” The group from the University of Washington published their findings in NPJ Digital Medicine.

This flu season was the longest in a decade, CDC says

TIME (6/20, Ducharme) reports, “The 2018-2019 flu season may not have been as severe as the one that came before it, was the longest in a decade, lasting 21 weeks,” a recap from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. The agency said the season was “moderate,” based on the overall number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Researchers use “DNA microscopy” to see inside cells

The New York Times (6/20, Sheikh) reports researchers have developed a new way to see inside cells called DNA microscopy. The technology “uses simple chemical reactions essentially to map a cell’s interior, highlighting the contents and indicating exactly where everything can be found.” The findings were published in the journal Cell.

Teen sexting tied to increased odds of certain types of risky behavior, study indicates

Reuters (6/20, Rapaport) reports, “While teen sexting is linked to increased odds of certain types of risky behavior, a new analysis of research to date on the impact of sexually explicit content on adolescent health also suggests there’s a lot” that is still unknown, researchers concluded after examining “data from 23 sexting studies with more than 41,000 participants.” The findings were published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

Research links toxic dust from September 11 to prostate cancer in responders

The Wall Street Journal (6/20, West, Subscription Publication) reports research indicates men exposed to toxic dust after the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001, may have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Responders who had cancer displayed signs of inflammation activated in the prostate following exposure. The findings were published in Molecular Cancer Research.