CDC: African-Americans, Hispanics experience severe arthritis compared with whites
ATLANTA Arthritis causes more pain and limitations for African-Americans and Hispanics than for whites, according to a study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
African-Americans were 17% less likely to report having arthritis than whites, and Hispanics were 46% less likely to report the condition than whites, the study said. However, African-Americans and Hispanics with arthritis were almost twice as likely to report severe joint pain and work limitations attributed to their arthritis when compared with whites, the study added.
The study, “Difference in the Prevalence and Impact of Arthritis among Racial/Ethnic Groups,” was published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
The reason for the racial and ethnic differences, while unknown, may result from a lack of access to health care, language barriers and cultural differences, the report suggested.
“We must address these stark differences in arthritis impact by using what we know,” stated Jennifer Hootman, an epidemiologist for the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and co-author of the report. “We can educate those with arthritis about increasing physical activity and self-management and reducing obesity, especially those in groups bearing a disproportionate burden from arthritis.”
The data, collected from the CDC National Health Interview Survey, are the first to estimate the national prevalence of arthritis and assess its impact among smaller racial and ethnic groups that are usually grouped together when reporting health statistics.
Survey: Supermarket shoppers see no signs of economic recovery
NEW YORK A new nationwide study conducted on behalf of the Private Label Manufacturers Association found that more than 8-out-of-10 supermarket shoppers see no improvement in the economy, and 40% actually believe things have gotten worse, suggesting there is no immediate recovery in the offing.
As consumers continue to cope, the study affirms, the appeal of store brand products is stronger than ever as shoppers continue to shop for value.
When asked how they think the economy will impact their supermarket shopping habits, more than two-thirds said they will take advantage of discounts by buying larger sizes or quantities for items they regularly purchase; two-thirds will look for more coupons and promotions on national brands; and about a third plan to change the stores or types of stores where they do their primary grocery shopping, the survey found.
When asked how important economic conditions were in deciding to buy a supermarket store brand, four in ten responded “very important.” A solid majority of consumers — more than 60% — affirmed they plan on buying more private label as they attempt to stretch their food dollars. Some 57% said they buy private label products frequently, a figure that has been increasing — it was under 55% a year ago, PLMA noted.
And some 43% reported they recently have forsaken a familiar national brand for a private label counterpart, a marked increase since the June 2009 when only 35% said they had done so.
The findings are based on a poll of nearly 800 main household grocery shoppers conducted in February 2010 by GfK Custom Research North America for PLMA. The full report, entitled “Recession, Recovery and Store Brands: What Consumers Are Saying Now,” is available for download at http://cli.gs/PLMAGfKRpt.
CHPA urges nationwide e-tracking for all cough-cold medicines with PSE
WASHINGTON The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday called on Congress to amend and strengthen the federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act by requiring nationwide electronic tracking for all over-the-counter sales of cold-and-allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine.
The proclamation came as the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control held a hearing Tuesday morning on “The Status of Meth: Oregon’s Experience Making Pseudoephedrine Prescription Only.”
“E-tracking is the only solution that will immediately block illegal sales and prevent criminals from buying illegal amounts of PSE to manufacture methamphetamine,” the CHPA stated. CHPA president Linda Suydam committed on behalf of industry to fund a national system and work with the retail community to expand the National Precursor Log Exchange system currently being implemented in eight states that have passed e-tracking legislation.
The NPLEx e-tracking system works in real time to stop individuals from exceeding package limits when purchasing PSE-containing medicines. Using sales records that retailers are already required to keep and which are only made available to law enforcement, NPLEx works across state lines and provides law enforcement with an effective tool to stop methamphetamine production.
“We are asking Congress to significantly improve the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act by leveraging cutting-edge technology to block illegal pseudoephedrine sales nationwide,” Suydam stated. “Electronic tracking offers the best solution to reducing methamphetamine labs without imposing a costly and unnecessary prescription mandate. Our goal is to stop illegal pseudoephedrine sales while maintaining important over-the-counter access to the 15 million consumers who rely on these medicines each year.”
Ten states have already adopted laws requiring retailers to use an e-tracking system to track PSE sales, CHPA noted, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Washington. Attorneys general from Alabama, Kansas and Washington submitted letters to the caucus noting their support for electronic tracking and urged consideration of e-tracking at the federal level.
CHPA is funding NPLEx in eight of these states to help retailers to comply with these new laws.
Only two states, Oregon and Mississippi, instead have elected to make PSE medicines available by prescription only. Suydam told the caucus that, “when contrasted with electronic tracking, prescription mandates simply fall short. A prescription mandate would be more expensive to consumers, sales limits from [the Combat Meth Act] would no longer apply, and there would be no system for real-time blocking of illegal prescription sales within states or across state lines.”
Suydam also challenged the effectiveness of Oregon’s prescription-only law, noting that most of Oregon’s lab reductions occurred prior to the state’s prescription mandate and that states across the West achieved similar results without such a burdensome restriction. “The industry supports federal legislation requiring nationwide tracking, and we are asking that the current paper system be modernized to provide a system that will work seamlessly and more effectively across all states,” said Suydam. “E-tracking systems like NPLEx are the most effective tool we have to systematically address methamphetamine production in this country. A multi-state approach to electronic pseudoephedrine sales tracking offers more benefits for law enforcement and consumers than a prescription mandate, but without the substantial and unnecessary costs of a prescription approach.”