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As ethnic and racial disparities in childhood obesity widen, there is a growing need for physicians to be more active in reducing such discrepancies and preventing obesity, a new study says.
The study's lead author encourages pediatricians and family physicians to measure children's and adolescents' body mass index at every checkup, and to discuss concerns about nutrition and weight with parents. Doctors also should advocate for local, state and national policies that aim to reduce obesity among this age group, the authors said.
The report, published online Aug. 16 in Pediatrics, found that although obesity rates have started declining for some adolescents, rates continue to increase among some ethnic and racial groups.
"We've known there are disparities in obesity, but we didn't realize that as some groups improve, those disparities are getting larger. ... We expect the difference will be even greater in the future. This is a real call to action," said lead author Kristine Ma ...
Americans' confidence in being able to buy and access health care hasn't changed much in the last year, but their opinion of the national health reform law has fluctuated, mostly among Republicans and independents.
Overall, 45% of those surveyed in the August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll opposed the health law. That's 10 percentage points higher than those who said they opposed the law in July. Correspondingly, support for the law dipped to 43%, down from half of those surveyed in July.
The dip in popularity was driven in part by Republicans, who were much more likely than Democrats to have a negative view of the health reform law. Among those surveyed, 77% of Republicans opposed the law and 68% of Democrats favored it. Independents were divided, with 48% opposing the law and 41% favoring it.
Republicans and independents may be responding to the increasingly partisan atmosphere in the months before the November elections, said Claudia Deane, associate director for public opinio ...
Measuring urine protein in blacks who have chronic kidney disease related to high blood pressure might help physicians slow the disease progression in some patients, a new study says.
The research, published in the Sept. 2 New England Journal of Medicine, found that lowering blood pressure below recommended goals delayed end-stage renal disease in blacks with a baseline urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio greater than 0.22. No benefit of aggressively decreasing blood pressure was seen in patients whose protein-to-creatinine ratio was 0.22 or less. Elevated levels of protein in urine indicate greater kidney damage.
"Here's a group of patients where it's worth the extra effort to put them on additional medication to get their blood pressure lower," said lead study author Lawrence J. Appel, MD, MPH, professor of medicine, epidemiology and international health at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland.
"Kidney disease is a common problem, and it's particularly pre ...