Steady Increase in Melanoma In Older Adults Interview with:
Dawn Holman, MPH

Behavioral Scientist Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
CDC What is the background for this study?

Response: Melanoma is the third most common type of skin cancer and the most deadly. Each year in the United States, over 70,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma, and more than 9,000 die from the disease. Melanoma is often caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds.

Previous reports have shown a steady increase in melanoma incidence rates over time, specifically among non-Hispanic whites. The purpose of this study was to determine if this trend differs across age groups.  

Melanoma CDC/ Carl Washington, M.D., Emory Univ. School of Medicine; Mona Saraiya, MD, MPH

This image depicts the gross appearance of a cutaneous pigmented lesion, which had been diagnosed as superficial spreading malignant melanoma (SSMM). Note the roughened edges of this mole, its heterogeneous, mottled, multicolored appearance, as well as its multi-textural composition, which are all characteristics that should evoke suspicions about its classification.
SSMM makes up 60 – 70% of clinical subtypes of melanoma, can appear at any site on the body, displays a radial growth pattern, and histopathologically, is found to reveal a more pagetoid, i.e., melanocytes spreading upward into epidermal layer, and less elastotic cytoarchitecture. Solar elastosis is characterized by a degeneration of the skin’s elastic and collagen fibers, giving it a sagging, wrinkled appearance.
– diagnosed most frequently between the ages of 30-50 years
– Most common on trunk in men and legs in women
– Brown-black macule that becomes a patch, and eventually takes on the appearance of a nodule
– 1/3rd arise from pre-existing nevus
– Regression common

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Majority of Middle and High School Students Do Not Get Enough Sleep on School Nights Interview with:
“He isn't sleeping, he is mad. When we don't get our way pouting always works (okay.. It's worth a try at least!) #kids #dad #father #family #funny #like #parenting #photooftheday #instaphoto #instacute” by dadblunders is licensed under CC BY 2.0Anne G. Wheaton, Ph.D.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Population Health
Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch
Atlanta, GA  30341-3717 What is the background for this study?

Response: Insufficient sleep among children and adolescents is associated with an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and attention and behavior problems.

In previous reports, CDC had found that, nationwide, approximately two thirds of U.S. high school students report sleeping <8 hours per night on school nights. CDC conducted this study to provide state-level estimates of short sleep duration on school nights among middle school and high school students using age-specific recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). AASM has recommended that children aged 6–12 years should regularly sleep 9–12 hours per 24 hours and teenagers aged 13–18 years should sleep 8–10 hours per 24 hours for optimal health.

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Better Data Allows IFSAC and CDC To Identify Sources of Food Poisoning Interview with:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

NIAID image of salmonella invading an immune cell

LaTonia Richardson, PhD, Statistician
Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch

Response: The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) was created in 2011 by three federal agencies—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS)—to improve coordination of federal food safety analytic efforts and address cross-cutting priorities for food safety data collection, analysis, and use.  The current focus of IFSAC’s activities is foodborne illness source attribution, defined as the process of estimating the most common food sources responsible for specific foodborne illnesses. For more information on IFSAC, visit

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Frequent Exertion and Frequent Standing at Work Varies By Industry and Occupation Group Interview with:
Taylor M. Shockey, MPH

Title 42 Fellow
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies
NIOSH What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Research has linked repeated exposure to occupational ergonomic hazards, such as frequent exertion and frequent standing, to injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers.

To determine the industry and occupation groups that have the highest prevalence rates of frequent exertion at work and frequent standing at work, NIOSH researchers analyzed 2015 National Health Interview Survey data. The results showed large differences among the groups with the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry group having the highest prevalence of frequent exertion and standing at work (70.9%) and the construction and extraction occupation group having the highest prevalence of frequent exertion and standing at work (76.9%). These differences indicate a need for targeted interventions to reduce workplace exposure.

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Prevalence of Severe Obesity Drops for First Time Among All Age, Sex and Race/Ethnic Groups Interview with:
Liping Pan, MD, MPH
Epidemiology & Surveillance Team
Obesity Prevention and Control Branch
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
CDC What is the background for this study?

Response: Children with severe obesity face significant health and social challenges. Children with obesity and severe obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance, and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.

These lifelong health risks associated with severe obesity during early childhood indicate the importance of preventing and identifying severe obesity. Childhood obesity disproportionately affects children living in low-income families. However, no recent trends on severe obesity in this population have been reported.
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Breast Cancer Survival Remains Lower For Black Women Interview with:
“Family Weekend 2014-Breast Cancer Walk” by Nazareth College is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Dr. Jacqueline Miller, MD
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
CDC What efforts have proven successful in reducing racial disparities like these?

Response: While some racial disparities will exist due to differences in tumor types, improving early diagnosis and providing specific treatment based on tumor characteristics in a timely fashion would result in reducing breast cancer disparities.

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Disparities in Ovarian Cancer Survival in the United States Interview with:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC image

Site of Ovarian Cancer CDC image

Dr. Sherri Stewart, PhD
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
CDC What do women most need to know about ovarian cancer detection and treatment?

Response: There is no effective test to detect ovarian cancer at an early stage where treatment is most likely to be effective.  Many women mistakenly believe that the Pap test can detect ovarian cancer, but it does not. The Pap test is recommended only for the detection of cervical cancer.

 Recognizing early symptoms of ovarian cancer and seeking timely care may help lead to detection of the cancer at an earlier stage, where treatment is likely to be more effective.  Symptoms – such  as abdominal and back pain, feeling full quickly after eating, and frequent urination – are often present among women with ovarian cancer.  Women should talk with their doctors if they experience any of these symptoms for 2 weeks or longer and the symptoms persist or worsen.

If a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she should seek treatment from a gynecologic oncologist, a physician specially trained to treat ovarian cancer.  Ovarian cancer patients who have been treated by gynecologic oncologists have been shown to survive longer than those treated by other physicians.           Continue reading

Black Men and Women Continue To Have Lower Colon Cancer Survival Rates Interview with:

“Large Colon Cancer Arising in Adenoma” by Ed Uthman is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Large Colon Cancer Arising in Adenoma” by Ed Uthman

Dr. Arica White PhD MPH
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
CDC What is the likelihood of reaching the 80% CRC screening rate goal by next year?

Response: As of 2016, 67% of adults age 50-75 years reported being up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening. The 80% by 2018 initiative represented an aspirational goal that public health, non-profit, and community-based organizations will continue to strive for regardless of the outcome in 2018.

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Vast Majority of Adults Do Not Consume Enough Fruit and Vegetables Interview with:

Seung Hee Lee-Kwan, PhD Epidemiologist, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Seung Hee Lee-Kwan

Seung Hee Lee-Kwan, PhD
Epidemiologist, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Seung Hee Lee-Kwan has a PhD in International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her previous work focused community-based interventions that aimed to promote healthy eating. Dr. Lee-Kwan’s current work at CDC is on fruits and vegetable surveillance, and research of health behaviors and environmental factors associated with obesity. What is the background for this study?

Response: The purpose of the study was to update a 2013 report that estimated how many people in each state are meeting fruit and vegetable intake recommendations with the latest data from 2015. These estimates looked at the percent of adults meeting the intake recommendations by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and income-to-poverty ratio for the 50 states and District of Columbia (DC).

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Less Than Half of Health Care Workers Receive Tdap Vaccine Interview with:
“Syringe and Vaccine” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Alissa C. O’Halloran, MSPH
Immunization Services Division
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta GA 30329 What is the background for this study?

Response: Outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough) can occur in healthcare settings. Vaccinating healthcare personnel (HCP) may be helpful in protecting HCP from pertussis and potentially limiting spread to others in healthcare settings.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends a single dose of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine for all adults, including pregnant women during each pregnancy, to protect themselves and reduce the risk for transmitting pertussis to infants too young to be vaccinated. To assure high Tdap coverage and disease prevention among HCP, patients, and others, ACIP recommends that healthcare employers provide Tdap vaccination to HCP and use approaches that maximize vaccination rates.

In this study, we assessed Tdap vaccination coverage among healthcare personnel  by occupation, industry, demographics, access-to-care characteristics, and by the 21 states in the study.

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