Health Highlights: Sept. 19, 2007

  • Children with leukemia and brain cancer were most likely to be hospitalized, at 10,100 and 6,100 hospitalizations, respectively.
  • Other leading causes of hospitalization included: bone and connective tissue cancer (3,200), Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (1,700), kidney cancer (1,400), and Hodgkin's disease (900). Children requiring maintenance chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer accounted for about 53,000 hospital stays.
  • Children ages 1 to 4 accounted for more than 26 percent of pediatric cancer hospitalizations, followed by children: ages 10 to 14 (25 percent); ages 5 to 9 (22 percent): and ages 15 to 17 (19 percent). The death rate for children with cancer in hospitals was 0.9 percent.
  • Hospital costs for children with cancer totaled $1.7 billion.

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Many Hispanics Lack Guidance on Helping Kids with ADHD

About one-third (36 percent) of Hispanic parents in the United States wouldn't know where to seek help for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), compared with 22 percent of non-Hispanic parents, according to a national survey released Wednesday by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

The survey also found that Hispanic parents see greater barriers to ADHD treatment, including social stigma and health system obstacles.

Other findings from the survey:

  • Many Hispanic parents (59 percent) reported that they have not received information about ADHD in the language of their preference.
  • A large number of Hispanic parents said that not having information (54 percent), the cost of treatment (54 percent), and not wanting their child to take medication (53 percent) are major factors in preventing children with ADHD from getting treatment.
  • About a third (30 percent) of Hispanic parents said they would worry a great deal about their child being discriminated against because of ADHD.

The survey was released to mark National Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Day.

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U.S. Grocery Industry Calls For Tighter Food Import Controls

The U.S. grocery industry wants the federal government to increase regulation of imported food products in order to calm consumer concerns after a series of high-profile incidents, including drug-laced farmed fish and tainted pet food.

Under a Grocery Manufacturers Association proposal, the Food and Drug Administration would oversee a program to ensure that imported foods meet U.S. safety and quality standards and Congress would give the FDA enough funding to do the job, the Associated Press reported.

The association also wants to establish a system to expedite processing of imports that have been pre-cleared by the FDA. This would be achieved, in part, by having companies share in confidence test results and other data about those imports with the FDA.

This would enable the FDA to devote more resources to imports from sources deemed to be at high risk, the association said. Currently, the FDA inspects less than one percent of all food imports, the AP reported.

The proposal was welcomed by lawmakers and consumer groups who say that the FDA is unable to adequately monitor food imports.

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FDA Recalls Defibrillators

A Class I recall for MRL/Welch Allyn AED 20 Automatic External Defibrillators has been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A Class I recall, the most serious type, involves situations where there's a reasonable probability that the use of a product will cause serious injury or death.

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