Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 09/09/2019  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  MMA Holds Successful Annual Session in Bar Harbor
•  MMA Membership Approves Resolutions on Immunizations, Plastic Waste
•  Vaping Illness Cases Rise; Now Five Deaths
•  This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
•  PMP Password Policy Change; New SAMHS Director Attends Annual Session
•  Maine CDC to Hold Rulemaking on Death With Dignity
•  MMA Legislative Calls Finished for the Session
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  MICIS Individual Academic Detailing Sessions on Opioid Topics
•  2019 Clinical & Legal Opioid Update: Tuesday, Sept 10th at the Augusta Civic Center
•  MICIS: 2019 Clinical & Legal Opioid Update - Fall Dates Scheduled
•  VA Maine Healthcare System to Host Community Mental Health Summit on MAT September 11th
•  Qualidigm Rapid Induction Starting in the ED (RISE) Training
•  Obesity Medicine: There is no 'one size fits all' - Monthly Lecture Series Beginning September 18th
•  Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI) Training Program - October 9
•  Celebrate 65 Years of MMA Executive Leadership on Oct. 26. Tickets Available Now
•  MMA partners with the Maine Suicide Prevention Program and the Maine CDC/Sweetser to offer training for clinicians.
•  Physician
•  Nurse Practitioner
•  Full-time, Part-time and Leadership Opportunities for Physicians
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
•  BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician
•  Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital seeks a BC/BE General Surgeon
•  Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
•  Physician Director of Primary Care
•  Family Medicine Specialist or an Internist
•  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.]



Firefighters’ work at World Trade Center site after 9/11 may be associated with long-term higher risk of developing heart problems, research suggests

The AP (9/6, Marchione) reported, “Firefighters who arrived early or spent more time at the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 attacks seem to have a modestly higher risk of developing heart problems than those who came later or stayed less,” researchers concluded after tracking “the health of 9,796 male firefighters through 2017 – 16 years after the collapse of the twin towers exposed many to a cloud of thick dust and particles from fires that burned for days.”

The NBC News (9/6, Winter, Miller) website reported the findings “‘suggest a significant association’ between greater exposure at the World Trade Center and a higher risk of long-term cardiovascular disease.” In addition, the “study points out that the cardiovascular care is not currently covered by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, meaning 9/11 firefighters receive no compensation for cardiovascular diseases from the fund.” The particular “cardiovascular risks that appear to be linked to Ground Zero exposure include heart attack, stroke, unstable angina, coronary artery surgery and angioplasty.” The findings were published in JAMA Network Open.

CDC warns Americans on hazards of contact with chickens

Newsweek (9/6, Jensen) reported that in a “recent advisory,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned “Americans of the hazards of contact with chickens, including the risk of catching salmonella.” The advisory also warned “owners not to ‘kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.’” So far this year, “the CDC has recorded 1,003 cases of salmonella across the U.S., including two deaths.” The CDC recommends “always washing your hands with soap and water after touching backyard poultry, not letting chickens inside the house and setting aside a separate pair of shoes to wear while taking care of backyard birds.”

HHS OIG: Migrant children separated at U.S. border suffered mental trauma, PTSD

USA Today (9/4, Gomez) reports a report released by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contents that “migrant children who were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border under the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy suffered a wide range of mental trauma, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.” Moreover, “the children, many of whom had already endured extreme mental and physical trauma in their home countries, were hit with a second round of distress when they were separated by U.S. officials, according to the report.” Meanwhile, “immigration advocates and mental health experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, warned about the long-term damage to those children from being separated from their parents and placed in prison-like conditions for prolonged periods of time.”

The AP (9/4, Long, Mendoza, Burke) reports the report was “based on interviews with about 100 mental health clinicians who had regular interactions with children but did not directly address the quality of the care the children did receive.” Meanwhile, “a second report Wednesday by the watchdog found that thousands of childcare workers were given direct access to migrant children before completing required background and fingerprint checks.” The OIG “said the longer children were in custody, the more their mental health deteriorated, and it recommended minimizing that time” and “suggested creating better mental health care options and hiring more trained staff.”

Researchers examine how early-life environmental exposures may affect blood pressure in children

Reuters (9/4, Rapaport) reports that children “who grow up in warmer climates and in walkable neighborhoods may have lower blood pressure than those who live where it’s cooler and people drive everywhere,” researchers concluded after examining “data on 1,277 mother-child pairs from the U.K., France, Spain, Lithuania, Norway, and Greece to see how exposures to outdoor factors like air pollution and weather, chemicals like pesticides and metals, and lifestyle factors like diet and exercise impacted blood pressure in kids age 6 to 11 years old.” The findings were published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

People living in U.S. counties with highest rates of poverty may be more likely to die from heart failure than those from more affluent areas, research suggests

Reuters (9/4, Carroll) reports, “People living in U.S. counties with the highest rates of poverty are more likely to die from heart failure than those from more affluent areas,” researchers concluded after “examining data from more than 3,000 U.S. counties.” The study revealed that “for each percentage-point increase in poverty, heart failure mortality increased by 5.2 deaths per 100,000 county residents.” Following adjustment “for other factors that could contribute to heart failure outcomes,” the study found that “about two-thirds of the effect of poverty on heart failure mortality was explained by rates of diabetes and obesity, researchers noted.” The findings were published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Growing number of U.S. communities testing kids as young as 11 for illicit drug use

Kaiser Health News (9/4, Ungar) reports that a “growing number of communities across America that are testing kids as young as 11 for illicit drug use.” Across the U.S., “a federal government survey shows nearly 38 percent of school districts had such policies in 2016, up from a quarter of districts a decade earlier.”

Study suggests stamina may trump strength in improving metabolic health

The New York Times (9/4, Reynolds) reports that a new study “of the molecular effects of different aspects of fitness” suggests that “stamina may trump strength for improving metabolic health.” Researchers studied “records from the performance testing of 580 young Finnish men called up for military training,” then divided the men into two groups, the first based on aerobic capacity and the second based on strength testing. Researchers “then checked the men’s blood for metabolites and, finally, compared metabolic readouts between the men in the top third and bottom third of the two groups.” Overall, they found that “there were few differences over all in the metabolite profiles of the strongest men and those who were relatively weak. ... These results...suggest that aerobic capacity affects metabolism substantially more than muscular strength does, says Dr. Urho Kujala,” who led the study. The results were published in JAMA Network Open.

Veterans with PTSD who improve with treatment may also lower risk of developing T2D, study indicates

Reuters (9/4, Rapaport) reports, “Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who improve with treatment may also lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes [T2D],” researchers concluded after examining “medical records for 1,598 veterans who received treatment for PTSD and had regular assessments to rate their symptom severity.” The findings were published online in JAMA Psychiatry.