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Dozens of rural hospitals, driven by an uncertainty in funding linked to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, are shutting down maternity units or closing entirely, leaving pregnant women with longer distances to travel for obstetric care. University of Minnesota School of Public Health associate professor Katy Kozhimannil, who has studied the issue, said birth centers, mainly staffed by nurse-midwives, can face similar funding challenges and may find it difficult to open if a hospital with an obstetrics unit is not close.
Politico Magazine (10/2017)
The average per-pregnancy price for brand-name prepackaged progestin, taken to prevent preterm birth, was $10,917, compared with $206 for the compounded form of the drug called 17P, according to a report in JAMA Internal Medicine. The preterm birth rates for two versions of the drug were comparable.
Early detection and advances in treatment contributed to a 39% drop in breast cancer mortality from 1989 through 2015, resulting in 322,600 saved lives, according to an American Cancer Society report. The study, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, also found that breast cancer mortality was 39% higher among black women compared to white women in 2015, an improvement from 44% in 2011.
Youths whose mothers took multivitamins during pregnancy were nearly 50% less likely to develop autism spectrum disorders, compared with those whose mothers didn’t, researchers reported in The BMJ. The findings, based on data involving 273,107 mother-child pairs in Sweden, also showed reduced odds of ASD with intellectual disability among those whose mothers used multivitamins with or without additional folic acid, iron or both during pregnancy, compared with those whose mothers didn’t receive any supplementation.
A study in Neurology found high blood pressure in the 40s was associated with an up to 73% increased risk of having dementia later in life among women, but not men. The findings, based on records for 5,646 patients of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care system, did not show an increased risk of dementia among individuals who had high blood pressure in their 30s.
CDC researchers reported that 69.5% of 1,789 measles cases in the US reported between 2001 and 2015 were among unvaccinated patients. The findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association also showed the highest measles incidence per million among infants ages 6 months to 11 months and those ages 12 months to 15 months.
The FDA warned parents and caregivers to never place babies on sleep positioners, also known as anti-roll supports or nests, which may cause suffocation while the baby is sleeping. Parents and caregivers should also ensure that infants always sleep on their backs on bare surfaces without pillows, blankets, comforters, quilts and sheets, according to the FDA.