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Entries in Public Health (54)

Saturday
Apr122014

NH DHHS - As Part of Achieving Million Hearts Initiative, DHHS Receives Grant from  ASTHO

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Service

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services, in partnership with the

University of New Hampshire, Institute of Health Policy and Practice,

applied for and was one of nine states to receive a grant from the

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to

participate in the Million Hearts Learning Collaborative. Through this

initiative, ASTHO supports states in utilizing a Quality Improvement (QI)

process to collaborate with clinical, community, and public health partners

to implement best practices and proven policies that identify, control, and

improve rates of high blood pressure with the aim of achieving the Million

Hearts goal.



Other partners include Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock–Keene,

Lamprey Health Clinic–Nashua, and the Manchester Community Health Center.

For this proposal, New Hampshire focused its blood pressure control

initiatives around developing and using patient registries and to look at

opportunities to engage patients in managing their condition. NH used the

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock model that showed demonstrated

results in BP control



“This is a tremendous opportunity for us and our partnering healthcare

organizations,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS.

“High blood pressure is sort of a precursor to future problems, it is all

too common, and there are simple steps we should all take to help keep our

blood pressure under control, including eating a healthy diet, exercising,

and limiting salt intake.”



Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in New Hampshire and

stroke is the fifth leading cause. The Million Hearts™ is a national

initiative launched in September 2011 to prevent one million heart attacks

and strokes over the next five years. The Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are

the co-leaders of Million Hearts™ within the U.S. Department of Health and

Human Services, working alongside other federal agencies including the

National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and

Quality, and the Food and Drug Administration. The American Heart

Association is one of many key private-sector partners.



Million Hearts brings together a wide range of heart disease and stroke

prevention program policies and activities to raise awareness among health

care providers, private-sector organizations, policymakers, and consumers

about what can be done to prevent heart disease and stroke and help

Americans live longer, healthier, and more productive lives.



Americans can take steps to help achieve the Million Hearts™ goal by taking

steps towards a healthier life. These include:

Maintain a normal weight

Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days

Limit alcohol intake

Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables

Avoid tobacco and

Reduce salt

Know your ABCS:

8 Aspirin – talk to a healthcare provider about whether you should

take aspirin

8 Blood Pressure – have your blood pressure checked, talk to a

healthcare provider re: how often

8 Cholesterol – have your cholesterol levels checked

8 Smoking Cessation



For more information about the Million Hearts initiative, visit

www.millionhearts.hhs.gov  To contact the Heart Disease and Stroke

Prevention Program at DHHS call 1-800-852-3345. For more information about

quitting smoking, eating healthier, and exercising more, visit the DHHS

website at www.dhhs.nh.gov  or the CDC website at www.cdc.gov

Friday
Apr112014

NH DHHS - Eat Well to Be Healthy: New Data on Fruits and Vegetables Consumption

Concord, NH – We have all heard since childhood the admonishment to “eat

your fruits and vegetables,” but apparently the message still is not

getting through. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention (CDC) entitled “State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables

2013” doesn’t paint a very healthy picture for New Hampshire, or the

nation.


On average in the U.S., adults consume 1.6 servings of vegetables per day

but the recommendation is for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables

per day. In New Hampshire, the average adult consumes at least 1.8 servings

per day, which is on the high end for the country. A diet rich in fruits

and vegetables helps reduce the risk of cancer and chronic diseases. Fruits

and vegetables also provide essential nutrients and vitamins, fiber, and

other substances important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are

naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.


“As more is learned about nutrition and its effect on our overall health

the more important the consumption of fruits and vegetables becomes as part

of a healthy diet,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “I am pleased

to see that our State is on the high end of fruits and vegetables

consumption, but we can and should do better for ourselves and our families

and New Hampshire.”


According to the report, in 2013 30.3% of adults and 36.8% of adolescents

in New Hampshire reported eating fruits less than once a day, and 17.6% of

adults and 31.8% of adolescents reported eating vegetables less than once a

day. However, New Hampshire has fewer healthier food retailers compared

with the national average.


DHHS has been working with the NH Kids Count Coalition so that children and

their families can access affordable, nutritious food, including fresh

fruits and vegetables in their local communities. A great goal is for

adults to support local farmers markets and other access points for fresh

fruits and vegetables. It is not only good for your health but for the

local economy as well. To see a list of more than 70 farmers markets in New

Hampshire, visit the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture Markets and

Food; the list should be updated shortly for 2014.

http://agriculture.nh.gov/publications-forms/documents/farmers-markets-directory.pdf



This data brief on fruits and vegetables consumption is one of the topics

DHHS is focusing on in recognition of National Public Health Week, April

7–11 (#nphw #nhphw). To learn more, visit the DHHS website at

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/index.htm. For more information on NPHW

visit www.nphw.org

Thursday
Apr102014

NH DHHS Releases Data Brief on Diabetes during Pregnancy in New Hampshire

Concord, NH – Most women with gestational diabetes know that taking steps

to manage the disease during pregnancy is critical for the health of both

mother and child. What many women don’t realize is that those steps need to

continue even after the baby is born. A report on the impact of diabetes

during pregnancy in New Hampshire is now available and points to an

increasing public health problem in the State.



Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that is diagnosed for the

first time during pregnancy, usually during the second trimester, and is

the most common type of diabetes (90%) among pregnant women. Gestational

diabetes affects about 7% of all U.S. pregnancies or about 200,000

pregnancies each year. In New Hampshire, the rate of reported maternal

diabetes per 1,000 live births increased significantly from about 3.4% in

2001 to 5.7% in 2010.



“Women who have had gestational diabetes are not only at increased risk of

health problems during their pregnancy but they are also at increased risk

of developing diabetes in the future,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of

Public Health at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

“Children of mothers with gestational diabetes are also at risk of health

problems around the time of delivery such as miscarriage, birth defects,

being born too large or too small, or having breathing problems or glucose

or iron deficiency. Later in life the children are at increased risk of

obesity and diabetes themselves. But there are steps women can take to

lessen their risk and keep themselves and their children healthy.”



Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35% to 60% chance of

developing diabetes in the next 10–20 years. Women with a history of

gestational diabetes should be screened for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after

the baby is born and at least every 3 years after that. It is important for

women to reach and maintain a healthy weight, preferably before becoming

pregnant, and maintain a healthy weight by making healthy food choices and

being active for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Breastfeeding also

helps protect against childhood obesity, which is a risk factor for type 2

diabetes. For mom, breastfeeding can also promote an earlier return to a

pre-pregnancy weight. Gestational diabetes also occurs more frequently

among women with a family history of diabetes, overweight and obesity, and

from Hispanic/Latina, African-American, American Indian, Asian, Pacific

Island, or Alaska Native background.



This data brief on gestational diabetes is one of the topics DHHS is

focusing on in recognition of National Public Health Week, April 7–11

(#nphw #nhphw). To read the data brief, go to

www.dhhs.nh.gov/DPHS/cdpc/diabetes/publications.htm . For more information

on NPHW visit www.nphw.org

Wednesday
Feb122014

NH DHHS - Department of Health Recognizes National American Heart Month to Promote Heart Disease Awareness

Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), Heart Disease and Stroke

Prevention Program is recognizing February as American Heart Month. Heart

disease can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and death. It is

the leading cause of death for both men and women across the country and

the second leading cause of death in New Hampshire.



One of the main risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1

in 3 U.S. adults have high blood pressure, which increases the risk for

heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure also costs the nation $47.5

billion annually in direct medical expenses and $3.5 billion each year in

lost productivity. Both men and women can lower their risk of high blood

pressure and heart disease by leading a healthy lifestyle.



“When it comes to lowering one’s risk for high blood pressure and heart

disease,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS, “it is

so important for men and women to understand their risk and take more steps

toward prevention.” “According to the CDC, only about 47% of people with

high blood pressure have it under control. There is much we can do to

improve our health and decrease our chances for heart disease, and it’s

time we all take a step toward better health.”



Take these steps toward a healthier life and a healthier heart:

Maintain a normal weight

Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days

Limit alcohol intake

Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables

Avoid tobacco and

Reduce salt

Know your ABCS:

Aspirin – talk to a healthcare provider about whether you should

take aspirin

Blood Pressure – have your blood pressure checked, talk to a

healthcare provider re: how often

Cholesterol – have your cholesterol levels checked

Smoking Cessation and

Take control of your heart health by following your doctor’s

instructions for medications and treatment.



For more information about heart disease, visit the American Heart

Association at www.heart.org, the Million Hearts Campaign at

www.millionhearts.hhs.gov, and the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/heartdisease and the NH Heart Disease

Stroke Prevention Program at http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/dphs/cdpc/hdsp.htm

Tuesday
Jan072014

NH DHHS - Tobacco Sales to Youth In NH Dips in 2013

Concord – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS) is announcing a decrease in

tobacco sales to youth in New Hampshire in 2013. According to recent

compliance checks, tobacco sales to youth in NH dropped to 11.2% in 2013,

down from 13.2% in 2012. Three hundred and twelve tobacco retailers were

surveyed as part of the SYNAR compliance check program. SYNAR is a

federally mandated effort to reduce tobacco sales to youth.



“We have been working very closely with our partners at the Division of

Liquor Enforcement (DLE), DHHS’ Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, and

our Regional Public Health Networks to educate retailers about the health

risks for youth who use tobacco,” said BDAS Director Joe Harding. “The

drop in tobacco sales to youth is certainly a step in the right direction

and shows our education efforts are helping.”



Data from the NH Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) demonstrated that youth

tobacco use dramatically increases their use of other substances. The

results of 22,000 student surveyed in the 2007 YRBS revealed that 27 out of

28 high school students who smoked also reported drinking. The results of

the checks are well under the federal SYNAR requirement of 20%, and would

seem to indicate an increased vigilance among tobacco retailers in NH.



“We know that tobacco use among our youth causes both immediate and

long-term damage,” said NH Public Health Director Dr. Jose Montero. “While

this year’s survey shows we are making progress in reducing access to

tobacco use among our youth, we need to do more. The younger youth are

when they start using tobacco, the more likely they will become addicted.”



BDAS partners with DHHS’ Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) and the

DLE to conduct and report on the results of the compliance checks. In

addition, DLE has been contracted by the US Food and Drug Administration to

conduct additional tobacco retailer compliance checks.



BDAS, DPHS, and DLE plan to increase efforts to lower the number of sales

to youth, building on the gains from this year. These efforts will include

increased coordination with local law enforcement and other educational

efforts.