Causes Of Death In The United States
Data from the National Center for Health Statistics are based on information from all death certificates filed in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2016. Causes of death classified by the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision are ranked according to the number of deaths assigned to rankable causes. Statistics are based on the underlying cause of death. In 2016, the 10 leading causes of death were, in rank order: Diseases of heart; Malignant neoplasms; Accidents (unintentional injuries); Chronic lower respiratory diseases; Cerebrovascular diseases; Alzheimer’s disease; Diabetes mellitus; Influenza and pneumonia; Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis; and Intentional self-harm (suicide). They accounted for 74% of all deaths occurring in the United States. It is of special interest to reflect on the extent to which these conditions stem from human behavior and lifestyle choices rather than from infections or any other external causative agents.
Application Of A Tool To Identify Undiagnosed Hypertension — United States, 2016
Approximately 11 million U.S. adults with a usual source of health care have undiagnosed hypertension, placing them at increased risk for cardiovascular events. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CDC developed the Million Hearts Hypertension Prevalence Estimator Tool, which allows health care delivery organizations to predict their patient population’s hypertension prevalence based on demographic and comorbidity characteristics. Organizations can use this tool to compare predicted prevalence with their observed prevalence to identify potential underdiagnosed hypertension. This study applied the tool using medical billing data alone and in combination with clinical data collected among 8.92 million patients from 25 organizations participating in the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) national learning collaborative to calculate and compare predicted and observed adult hypertension prevalence.
HEALTH TECHNOLOGY CORNER
Tumbling Microbots For Future Health Treatments
Microbots are tiny automated machines programmed to perform specific tasks. They are so tiny—as small as a cell—that they can be injected into the body to do tasks, such as clearing out plaque from arteries, performing tissue biopsies, or delivering targeted treatment to tumors. Because of their size and precision, these microbots could provide less-invasive treatments than a typical surgery or deliver medication in a much more targeted way than a pill. According to an article in the July/August 2018 issue of the journal American Scientist, researchers have been working on developing these tiny robots for three decades, but recent advancements in engineering have led to a surge in research. Animal testing has shown positive results. Microbots have been propelled by hydrogen microbubbles in live mice to treat gastric bacterial infections. For application in humans, challenges involve enabling microbots to move through wet areas and traverse through air pockets in the stomach, intestines, and lungs. Early studies show potential for a tumbling motion to make it possible to navigate such difficult terrains.
Using Shark Skin Patterns To Halt The Spread Of Infections
Efforts to combat the spread of infections, especially in health care settings, mostly involve the use of antibacterial cleaning agents and antibiotic drugs. Another possible strategy is the use of coatings that are antibacterial (inactivating bacteria) or antifouling (preventing the build-up of bacteria) on surfaces such as doorknobs. As reported on May 23, 2018 in the journal ACS Applied Material Interfaces, such a coating was developed with a structure inspired by shark skin. Bacterial attachment is reduced by 70% on the micropatterned, photocatalytic coating, compared with smooth films of the same composition. Most of the bacteria that do settle on the coating are inactivated when the coating is exposed to ultraviolet light. Because the coatings are imprinted onto a flexible substrate, it should be possible to use them in practical applications.
More Articles from TRENDS July - August 2018
TECHNOLOGY’S IMPACT ON THE HEALTH WORKFORCE
Direct-to-consumer genotyping commercial services and CRISPR increase the necessity of having an adequate supply of competent health care practitioners. Read More
PRESIDENT’S CORNER—ASAHP MEMBER FOCUS
Barbara Jacobsmeyer, President of Inpatient Hospitals at Encompass Health, is featured in this issue of TRENDS. Read More
SOCIAL SECURITY AND PAYING FOR HEALTH CARE
If Social Security is the principal source of retirement income, it may not be enough to pay for health care. Read More
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT DEVELOPMENTS
- Cost And Consequences Of Complying With Hospital Regulatory Requirements
- Individual Insurance Performance In 2018
- Final Rule Issued On Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance Coverage Read More
DEVELOPMENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
- Democrats Introduce Plan In Congress To Reauthorize The Higher Education Act (HEA)
- U.S. Department Of Education Proposes New Set Of Higher Education Regulations
AVAILABLE RESOURCES ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONICALLY
- Matching Patients And Their Records
- Reasonable Patient Care Under Uncertainty
- Patient-Centered Medical Homes And Accountable Care Organizations Read More
21ST CENTURY CURES ACT, CANCER MOONSHOT, AND PRECISION MEDICINE
Congressional testimony by NIH Director Francis S. Collins highlights advances that have been made in the implementation of this key piece of legislation. Read More
GENDER BIAS IN HOW PROFESSIONALS ARE SPOKEN ABOUT
A study reports evidence of gender bias and how it affects women in high-status fields, such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Read More