Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 11/25/2019  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  MMA Legislative Calls Will Start Again in January; Organizational Meeting 12/10 at 6 p.m., MMA HQ
•  Former Oregon Health System CEO to Lead Northern Light EMMC
•  Highlights of CMS' 2020 Physician Fee Schedule and QPP Proposed Rule
•  This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
•  Physician Files Constitutional Challenge to Certificate of Need
•  Safe Sleep Research Project - Provider Survey to improve recommendations for parents
• 2020 Open Enrollment Ends on December 15
•  From The Alzheimer's Association: Making a Plan of Care for Patients with Cognitive Decline and Dementia
•  Maine Legislature's List of Bill Titles for 2020 Session: Initial Approval List
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  MMA partners with the Maine Suicide Prevention Program and the Maine CDC/Sweetser to offer training for clinicians.
•  10th Annual Maine Patient Safety Academy - March 30, 2020
•  Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital seeks a BC/BE General Surgeon
•  Family Medicine Physician
•  Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
•  BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician
•  Physician Director of Primary Care
•  Full-time, Part-time and Leadership Opportunities for Physicians
•  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.]


Sleeping too little may increase osteoporosis risk in post-menopausal women, researchers say

The New York Times (11/20, Bakalar) reports, “Sleeping too little may increase the risk for osteoporosis” in post-menopausal women, research indicated. In a study involving bone scans, investigators “compared 1,080 women who slept less than five hours with 4,025 who slept the recommended seven hours.” The scans revealed that “women who slept less than five hours had significantly lower bone mineral density and higher odds of osteoporosis at the hip, spine and total body.” The findings were published online in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Increase in underage vaping said to overshadow drop in traditional smoking among youths

The AP (11/21, Perrone) reports that “the smoking rate among U.S. high schoolers took its biggest hit ever this year, federal figures show, falling to a new low,” but “the milestone was relegated to a lone figure at the bottom of a government press release and went unremarked by anti-tobacco groups that have spent decades working to stamp out youth smoking.” The AP calls this “a new era in the tobacco wars – one in which the alarming rise of underage vaping has almost completely overshadowed a parallel drop in traditional smoking.” The piece says that “the pivotal question of whether electronic cigarettes are inadvertently helping to wipe out smoking among young people has become a polarizing topic: embraced by some experts, dismissed by others.” The AP cites Tuesday’s announcement by the American Medical Association, which “called for a ‘total ban’ on all e-cigarettes and vaping products.”

Canadian teenager who used e-cigarettes develops near-fatal lung condition that resembles “popcorn lung”

The Washington Post (11/21, Shammas) reports, “A Canadian teenager who used e-cigarettes developed a near-fatal lung condition that does not resemble the vaping-related illnesses that have swept the United States,” as physicians “say the 17-year-old boy’s case looks more like ‘popcorn lung,’ an injury once seen in factory workers who breathed in a chemical used to create a butter flavor.” The teen’s case was reported Wednesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Reuters (11/21, Steenhuysen) reports, “Although the case shares similarities with the more than 2,000 cases of vaping-related illnesses in the United States, the injury is different. Instead of damaged air sacs in the lungs, the teen had damaged airways, which his doctors believe were caused by chemical injury.”

Early menopause may increase cardiovascular disease risk, study suggests

The New York Times (11/21, Bakalar) reports, “Early menopause, before age 40, may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.” Researchers used a British health database and “studied records of 144,260 postmenopausal women,” finding that “over all, compared with women who reached menopause after 40, those who reached menopause earlier either naturally or by surgery were at significantly increased risk for a first cardiovascular disease diagnosis.” The study was published in JAMA.

U.S. data on intended home births show more than 60 percent of pregnancies had risk factors

Reuters (11/21, Crist) reports, “Experts recommend that home birth only be considered for low-risk pregnancies, but that’s often not what happens in the U.S., where no formal guidelines exist, researchers say.” The piece says that “U.S. data on intended home births from 2016 through 2018 show that more than 60% of the pregnancies had risk factors that could lead to complications and possibly maternal or infant death,” and “these risk factors, such as high maternal age or previous cesarean delivery, would trigger automatic advice against planning a home delivery in many other countries.” The study was published online in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

CDC: Diabetes rate among Latinos exceeds that among whites

The Miami Herald (11/21, Veciana-Suarez) reports that “the incidence rate of [type 2] diabetes for 17 percent, compared to 8 percent for” non-Hispanic whites, according to the CDC. One study, the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos “found that, among all Hispanic/Latino groups, the prevalence of diabetes also varied among individual Latino groups, with a high of 18.3 percent for those of Mexican descent and a low of 10.2 percent for those of South American descent.” Cuban Americans “fell in the middle, at 13.4 percent.” The article adds that if “you’re a Latino adult, your chance of developing the chronic disease is more than 50 percent in your lifetime.”

Air pollution may kill around 200,000 Americans each year even when pollution levels are below EPA’s guidelines, study suggests

Newsweek (11/21, McCall) reports a study published in JAMA Network Open suggests that “air pollution kills around 200,000 Americans each year even when pollution levels remain below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current guidelines.” The researchers conducted “a decade-long cohort study monitoring the health of more than 45 million--predominantly male, predominantly white--veterans. Over the 10 years, 36.4 percent of the veterans (1,647,071) died of various causes, including several linked to air pollution.” The researchers then used a model to analyze this information and “estimate the total number of deaths that may be caused by exposure to PM2.5.”