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CDC: HPV vax rates still low among U.S. teens

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — Increases in vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus are trailing increases in rates for two other vaccines recommended for teens and preteens, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday.

Coverage rates for the other two vaccines — Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; and MenACWY, which protects against meningococcal meningitis — are continuing to increase, but vaccination rates for HPV vaccine remain low, the study found.

“More U.S. teens are being protected against these serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases,” stated Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “However, the HPV results are very concerning. Our progress is stagnating, and if we don’t make major changes, far too many girls in this generation will remain vulnerable to cervical cancer later in life.”



About 6 million people become infected with HPV each year, and the CDC reported that every year, about 12,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. The CDC recommends HPV vaccine for girls ages 11 to 12 years to protect against the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, and also recommends teenage girls who have not yet been vaccinated with HPV vaccine complete the vaccination series. HPV vaccines are given in three doses (as shots) over six months. To ensure the highest level of protection, girls must complete all three shots.

According to the CDC "NIS-Teen" survey, coverage for the three routine teen vaccines was 49% for one dose of HPV vaccine, 63% for MenACWY and 69% for Tdap vaccine. Hispanics had higher coverage for one dose of MenACWY and HPV, but third-dose HPV coverage lagged for blacks and Hispanics compared with whites.  Girls living in poverty also were less likely to complete the entire HPV series.

Continued improvements in MenACWY and Tdap remain important, the CDC stated. “This one-time dose of Tdap can prevent pertussis infection,” Schuchat said. “Also, preteens and teens who get vaccinated with MenACWY are protecting themselves from an infection that can lead to lifelong disability — or, in some cases, death in 48 hours or less.”

Families who may need help paying for vaccines should ask their healthcare providers about the Vaccines for Children program, which provides vaccines at no cost to uninsured children younger than 19 years, the CDC noted. For help in finding a local healthcare provider who participates in the program, parents can call 800-CDC-INFO or go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

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Obesity rate in the United States to rise by more than 65%

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030, according to a new study published in The Lancet.

The research, part of a four-part series published in the journal this week, projected that the number of obese adults in the country would jump from 99 million in 2008 to 164 million by 2030, a 65.6% increase. What’s more, the U.S. obesity rate will rise from 32% to about 50% for men, and from 35% to a range between 45% and 52% for women.

Meanwhile, the researchers also said that the rate of obesity in the United Kingdom also will see a dramatic rise, increasing from 15 million to 26 million.

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Levels of certain enzyme lower in those with Type 2 diabetes, study finds

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — An enzyme found in the mitochondria of cells decreased in the skeletal muscle of those with Type 2 diabetes, according to researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center.

The study sought to understand how decreased levels of enzyme Sirt3 might influence the metabolism of cells, particularly how it could affect insulin action in cells. According to the study, Sirt3 levels in the skeletal muscle of those with Type 2 diabetes decreases by at least 50%, compared with those without Type 2 diabetes, researchers said. This may indicate why insulin resistance develops, which is one of the indicators of Type 2 diabetes.

“Ours is perhaps the first study to understand what is going wrong in the mitochondria of those with diabetes,” said senior author C. Ronald Kahn, head of the Joslin section on integrative physiology and metabolism and the Mary K. Iacocca professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Many studies have shown that the mitochondria don’t work well in those with diabetes. This points to a cause of why they don’t work well.”

The mitochondria of cells, known as the "powerhouse," converts energy into usable forms. Kahn said the study showed that when Sirt3 levels are low, as they are in the case of diabetes, the mitochondria of the cells are not as efficient in energy metabolism as they should be. The study also indicated that drug makers may want to develop drugs that boost Sirt3 enzyme levels, which potentially could help fight the disease. 

“Agents which increase Sirt3 activity could, therefore, potentially reverse at least some of the adverse effects of Type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote in the paper, which was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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