May 8, 2012
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on a rise in Minnesota. From 2010 to 2011, there was an 8% increase in bacterial-related cases. Chlamydia, for example, has more than doubled from its dip seen in 1996. This data—from Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) 2011 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Statistics Report—includes information on Minnesota’s most commonly reported communicable infections: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and chancroid.
This newly released data shows disparities between race and sex; for example, Chlamydia rates increased 20% in one year for the American Indian population. Differences in geographic regions (metro areas versus rural MN) also exist: the City of Minneapolis has the highest rates of Chlamydia in the state. There has also been resurgence in syphilis since its last stable point in 2002; men who have sex with men are the most impacted.
Physicians and laboratories are mandated to report these infections to MDH, and the Partner Services Program helps collect the information. The Partner Services Program ensures sexual partners of untreated cases also get service, and that data on positive cases is sent for surveillance reporting. The State does not require MDH to gather data on other communicable STIs (e.g. HPV).
An improved Minnesotan surveillance program or increased screening and reporting requirements may have influenced these rates. In addition, this year MDH used 2010 Census data as reference points for population incidence rates; this may explain the differences seen between the beginning of the decade—which used 2000 as a reference—and 2011. Even so, Minnesota has consistently been a gold standard for passing pro-public health policies. These statistics are alarming; why are we seeing an increase in preventative diseases? In fact, underreporting is an issue because asymptomatic and treated cases are not reported to MDH, and this surveillance report does not include people from federal and private prisons.
With these statistics, where should we target interventions and prioritize our resources?
To access the information, visit: http://goo.gl/CaqqH. MDH’s STI website includes some great graphs, charts, and an archived webinar with detailed slides.
April 4, 2012
On April 2, 2012, students from the University of Minnesota (UMN) were given the chance to present research they have been working on, bridging their training with producing and presenting original work. School of Public Health Student Research Day includes Master’s thesis and other projects students may have worked on throughout their career. Research Day also gives students the opportunity to develop and present a formal poster. Check-out some of the amazing work our Maternal and Child Health students are involved with! To see more UMN MCH Master’s Projects, visit our website: http://www.epi.umn.edu/mch/index.php/Page/View/Masters-Projects-Links
Findings show high rate of dental sealants but low rate of treatment care among Minnesota’s low SES 3rd graders MaiSee Moua
Healthy Teen Initiative: A Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project in Ramsey County, MN Charla Jones
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Youth with Juvenile Arthritis: Are Youth Using CAM, But Not Talking about It? Elisabeth Seburg
Assessment of Prenatal Care Knowledge and Utilization by Resettled African Refugee Women in Utah Jessica Lowe
The influence of adolescent feelings of hopelessness and lack of self-worth on trying for pregnancy and future pregnancy feelings Annie Fedorowicz
January 17, 2012
Concussions are a form of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, and are on the rise in Minnesotan children. Symptoms can range from mild (e.g. headaches) to severe (e.g. mood changes, blurry vision, slowness in acting) and may not appear until days or weeks after an injury.
The Star Tribune reports that from 2000 to 2008, the number of children treated for concussions in Minnesota hospitals had increased by 75%. Although most of the injuries were in adolescent boys (ages 15-19), the number of concussions in younger children has sharply increased. Football, hockey, and soccer are the top 3 sports most treated for concussions. These research results come from Minnesota Department of Health Injury and Violence Department epidemiologist, Dr. Leslie Seymour.
An issue to consider with rate changes is whether the actual number of concussions has risen, or the number of children getting treatment has risen. A law (MN Chapter 90) enacted at the start of the school year aims to improve awareness among coaches, parents, and players. Information will reflect the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines and ‘Heads Up’ training.
Dr. Seymour recently received a federal grant to explore the effect of Minnesota’s and various states’ concussion laws. Other possible explanations may be an increase in organized sports involvement or more violent, stronger competition. What are your thoughts on this rise in concussions? Are there any other explanations? What about kids’ participation in extreme sports? Are there disparities between populations?