HEALTH

CDC director: Get traditional flu vaccine and H1N1 vaccine next season

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA Should consumers later this year be more concerned about getting a vaccine shot for the novel H1N1 strain, should one be developed in time, in place of maybe the seasonal influenza vaccine?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the answer is both — consumers should at least get the seasonal vaccine that’s being produced currently, as well as the novel H1N1 strain that was officially raised to pandemic status earlier this week, should one be available.

“We are continuing to expect to be administering the seasonal influenza vaccine and making sure people get it,” Anne Schuchat, CDC’s director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters in a press briefing Thursday. “Seasonal influenza can be a bad thing. About 36,000 people die from that every year, and it’s disproportionately a problem in the elderly and the vaccines that are available can really reduce illness as well as some of the complications,” she said.

The importance around inoculating the population against seasonal flu is in the danger of strain mutation, she said. “Seasonal H1N1 virus that we’ve had this past year is resistant to Tamiflu. And we really don’t want this novel H1N1 virus to become resistant to Tamiflu as well so there can be some benefit from trying to reduce these other infections even in the circumstance of a novel strain,” she advised. “I think it’s really premature for us to make any definitive conclusions about the seasonal influenza vaccine, but based on what I know today, I’m not expecting us to change our recommendations about that.”

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American Dietetic Association survey: Healthcare system should focus on nutrition

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Nearly 96% of primary care physicians believe the nation’s healthcare system should place more emphasis on nutrition to treat and manage chronic disease, according to a new survey.

Based on the 400 physicians surveyed, primary care physicians were almost unanimous in their belief that nutrition is a key role in chronic disease.

“Nutrition is more than just eating a healthy diet; for patients with chronic disease nutrition acts as therapy to help them heal faster, respond better to medical care and control their disease,” said Jane V. White, PhD, LDN, RD, FADA, with the department of Family Medicine at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, who partnered with the American Dietetic Association on the survey.

Nearly half of all adults in the United States have at least one chronic disease and survey showed that physicians believed two-in-three of their adult patients who have chronic disease would benefit from nutrition services. Nevertheless, 80% of physicians admit they refrain from addressing nutrition more frequently as part of chronic disease prevention and management due to the lack of direct reimbursement for nutrition services.

As the focus on healthcare reform and preventative care becomes more concentrated, physicians are pushing for governmental action.

“Registered dietitians and doctors have long known the intrinsic value of nutrition services for their patients,” said registered dietitian Martin Yadrick, MS, MBA, RD, FADA, previous president of the ADA. “It is now important for lawmakers to recognize the benefits as well and include them as covered benefits in health care reform.”

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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Stayhealthy presents wireless body-fat analyzer; final product to be HealthVault-friendly

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLEVUE, Wash. Following a two-year clinical study at the University of Southern California, Stayhealthy on Thursday introduced their next generation body composition analysis technology at Microsoft’s Connected Health Conference.

The technology accurately measures body composition in various forms depending on the need – from a home use individual device that will retail for less than $100 to a commercial grade device for physicians, fitness and nutrition professionals.

The devices will be able to upload the data directly into Microsoft HealthVault. “Stayhealthy’s body composition analysis is an example of inexpensive and innovative technology that connects with HealthVault to really make a difference in improving healthcare,” stated David Cerino, general manager of the Consumer Health Solutions Group at Microsoft. “Through our cooperative efforts, we are creating technology that brings together the power of the web, server-based processing and medical grade devices to deliver a revolutionary means of helping people better understand and measure their weight-related health risks.”

“At a time when our nation faces a healthcare crisis driven by excess weight and obesity, we are excited to introduce the Stayhealthy Body

Composition Analysis technology,” stated John Collins, CEO of Stayhealthy. “By providing this technology we hope to help millions of people track their body compositions and make positive adjustments as necessary.”

Stayhealthy’s Body Composition Analysis technology incorporates two elements – a physical data collection device that utilizes bio-impedance technology, and a proprietary server-based algorithm that analyzes the data collected at the device and provides a precise body composition reading via the Internet back to the user’s computer.

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