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Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of Oct. 30, 2023


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of Oct. 30, 2023–Nov. 3, 2023.

The New York Times (11/2, Jewett) reports, “The number of high school students who reported using e-cigarettes fell to 10% in the spring of this year from 14% last year, according to the results of an annual survey released on Thursday by federal health agencies.” However, “vaping rose slightly among middle school students, to 4.6% this year from 3.3% in 2022.” Meanwhile, “the use of traditional cigarettes among high school students remained at a record low of less than 2%.”

The AP (11/2, Stobbe, Perrone) reports the survey also found “nearly 90% of the students who vape used flavored products, with fruit and candy flavors topping the list.” Over the past “three years, federal and state laws and regulations have banned nearly all teen-preferred flavors from small, cartridge-based e-cigarettes, like Juul.” However, “the FDA has still struggled to regulate the sprawling vaping landscape, which now includes hundreds of brands sold in flavors like gummy bear and watermelon.”

The Hill (11/2, Weixel) reports the results are from the CDC’s National Youth Tobacco Survey. Overall, “540,000 fewer high school students said they use tobacco products, dropping from 2.51 million in 2022 to 1.97 million in 2023, according to” the survey.

The Washington Post (11/1, McGinley) reports, “An additional 5 million Americans who smoke or used to smoke should undergo annual screenings for lung cancer...according to an updated guideline the American Cancer Society.”

CNN (11/1, Howard) reports, “Previously, the” ACS “recommended annual lung cancer screening for adults ages 55 to 74 with at least a 30 pack-year smoking history who either currently smoke or quit smoking less than 15 years ago.” However, the organization now “says how long ago you quit smoking should no longer be a factor in whether you get screened for lung cancer.” In the “updated guideline, the CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the” ACS “recommends annual lung cancer screening for current or past smokers, ages 50 to 80, with at least a 20 pack-year smoking history.”

STAT (11/1, Chen, Subscription Publication) reports, “One of the main reasons the ACS wanted to strike the years-since-quit requirement from their guidelines was that many former smokers are still at a high risk for lung cancer regardless of when they quit smoking.”

The AP (11/1, Stobbe) reports, “The U.S. infant mortality rate rose 3% last year – the largest increase in two decades, according to” a CDC report. The data indicated that “white and Native American infants, infant boys and babies born at 37 weeks or earlier had significant death rate increases.”

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Bloomberg (11/1, LaPara, Subscription Publication) reports, “Deaths related to maternal complications of pregnancy, the fifth-leading cause of infant mortality, were 9% higher in 2022 than the year before.” The data indicated that “deaths related to sepsis...rose 14%.” Meanwhile, “other leading causes of death were consistent with prior years, the report said, including congenital malformations, short gestation and low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome and accidents.”

NBC News (11/1, Bendix) reports, “The last year-to-year increase was from 2001 to 2002, when the rate similarly rose by 3%.”

HealthLeaders Media (10/30, Wicklund) reports, “The Health and Human Services Department has released a proposed rule that would establish three specific ‘disincentives’ for health care [professionals] found by the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to have knowingly and unreasonably interfered with the access, exchange, or use of electronic health information except as required by law or covered by regulatory exception.” Those “found by the OIG to have violated the rule can be fined as much as $1 million per violation.”

EHR Intelligence (10/30, Nelson) reports, “The proposed rule complements OIG’s rule that established information blocking penalties for the other actors identified by Congress (health IT developers of certified health IT or other entities offering certified health IT, health information exchanges, and health information networks).”

Reuters (10/27, Dey, Misra) reported that the FDA “on Friday warned consumers to not purchase or use certain eye drops from several brands, including CVS Health Corp and Cardinal Health, as they may cause eye infection and in some cases possible vision loss.” In total, “the agency recommended against the usage of 26 over-the-counter eye drop products mainly used to treat symptoms of dry eyes and provide relief against eye irritation.” But “as of now, it has not received any ‘adverse event reports’ of eye infection associated with these products, the agency said.”

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