MMWR- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
MMWR news synopsis for November 11, 2016
Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2005–2015
Despite progress in reducing the proportion of adults who smoke cigarettes, 36.5 million U.S. adults still smoke and significant disparities persist. During 2005–2015, the prevalence of current cigarette smoking among U.S. adults declined from 20.9% to 15.1%, including a 1.7 absolute percentage point reduction during 2014-2015 alone. However, there are marked disparities in smoking prevalence. Cigarette smoking prevalence was higher among adults who are male, younger, American Indian/Alaska Native, have less education, live below the federal poverty level, live in the South or Midwest, are insured through Medicaid or are uninsured, have a disability/limitation, are LGB, or have serious psychological distress. Proven population-based interventions, including tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws, hard-hitting anti-tobacco mass media campaigns, and barrier-free access to tobacco cessation counseling and medications, are critical to reducing cigarette smoking and smoking-related disease and death among U.S. adults, particularly among subpopulations with the highest smoking prevalence.
Incidence of Zika Virus Disease by Age and Sex — Puerto Rico, November 1, 2015–September 8, 2016
Among all laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Puerto Rico, 62% were in females. It is possible that male-to-female sexual transmission is a contributing factor to this skewing of the burden of disease toward women, but the relative contribution of sexual transmission of Zika virus to rates of Zika virus disease is only beginning to be explored. The findings from this analysis of the age and sex distribution of Zika virus disease in Puerto Rico are consistent with patterns observed in other countries. Among all adult age groups, more women than men had laboratory evidence of Zika virus disease. A larger burden of Zika virus disease among women than men might be explained by more exposure to Aedesmosquitoes in the home, more severe symptoms among women in certain age groups, difference in health-care seeking behavior, reporting biases by health care workers, and male-to-female sexual transmission.
Epilepsy Among Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans — United States, 2002–2015
Because Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with epilepsy have a higher risk of death, it’s critical to ensure that they have access to appropriate VA clinical and community health and social service providers and to programs that help them manage their physical and mental health. In the first study examining mortality in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with epilepsy, researchers from the Veterans Administration (VA) and CDC found that these veterans had a two-and-a-half times higher risk of death than veterans without epilepsy, even after accounting for other conditions (e.g., cancer, heart disease). This higher risk of death might be associated with poorly controlled seizures, high-risk behaviors, or social isolation. Because of this higher risk, it’s critical to ensure that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with epilepsy have access to appropriate VA clinical and community health and social service providers and to programs that help them manage their physical and mental health