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October 10, 2002, Issue No. 73

AHRQ News and Numbers

Among people with heart disease, those age 65 and older were more likely than those age 18-64 to report that they had their blood pressure checked in the last year (98.6 percent vs. 92.9 percent). Similarly, the older group was also more likely than the younger group to have had a routine checkup in the past 12 months (89.2 percent vs. 75.3 percent). [Source: AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Medical Care and Treatment for Chronic Conditions, 2000.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ announces new domestic violence program assessment tool for hospitals
  2. Study finds more intensive screening doesn't lead to fewer prostate cancer deaths
  3. AHRQ's Acting Director addresses congressional briefing on saving health care dollars
  4. Updated list of CERTs publications
  5. A Matter of Trust: Causes, Consequences, and Cures Symposium
  6. Highlights from the most recent edition of our monthly newsletter
  7. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  Health Insurance Premiums Rose More Than 30 Percent Between 1996 and 2000

AHRQ Announces New Domestic Violence Program Assessment Tool for Hospitals

AHRQ announced on October 9 the availability of a new evaluation instrument that hospitals can use to assess the quality and effectiveness of their domestic violence programs. Hospitals can use this instrument to assess how well hospital-based programs provide training for health care professionals in recognizing domestic violence, patient screening to determine their risk of domestic violence and future injury, and intervention, including medical treatment and victim advocacy services and followup. The tool asks 38 questions and provides guidance to hospitals in assessing the performance of their programs. An estimated 73,000 hospitalizations and 1,500 deaths among women are attributed to domestic violence each year. Select to access the AHRQ press release and to download the evaluation tool.

2.  Study Finds More Intensive Screening Doesn't Lead to Fewer Prostate Cancer Deaths

Important new findings from an AHRQ study published in the October 5 British Medical Journal indicate that men ages 65 to 79 in the Seattle area, where intensive screening for prostate cancer and treatment with radical prostatectomy and external beam radiotherapy was common between 1987 and 1990, were no less likely to die of prostate cancer after 11 years than men in Connecticut, who received less intensive screening and treatment. The study is titled "Natural Experiment Examining Impact of Aggressive Screening and Treatment on Prostate Cancer Mortality in Two Fixed Cohorts from Seattle Area and Connecticut."

3.  AHRQ's Acting Director Addresses Congressional Briefing on Saving Health Care Dollars

AHRQ Acting Director Carolyn Clancy, M.D., joined Princeton's Uwe Reinhardt, Ph.D., Project HOPE's Gail Wilensky, Ph.D., and Virginia Commonwealth University's Robert Hurley, Ph.D., at an October 1 congressional briefing to discuss possible solutions to rising health care costs.

4.  Updated List of CERTs Publications

AHRQ's Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics have updated their list of peer-reviewed publications. CERTs is a national initiative to increase awareness of the benefits and risks of new, existing, or combined uses of therapeutics through education and research. Select to access the updated list of CERTs publications.

5.  A Matter of Trust: Causes, Consequences, and Cures Symposium

The Harvard School of Public Health and AHRQ are sponsoring a symposium on "A Matter of Trust: Causes, Consequences, and Cures" on November 13-15 in Boston.

6.  Highlights from the Most Recent Edition of our Monthly Newsletter

The new issue of Research Activities is in the mail. The key articles are:

  1. Poor health literacy may contribute to excess diabetes-related complications among disadvantaged groups.
  2. Changing the process for administering drugs and fluids during surgery could improve anesthesia care.
  3. Pneumonia and influenza vaccination rates continue to be suboptimal among elderly inner city residents.
  4. Researchers identify practices to prevent problems arising from health care.
  5. AHRQ research is focusing on ways to improve health care for people with disabilities.

Select for these articles and others.

7.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Unfortunately, some of you may not be able to access the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems. If you are having problems, you should ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.

Hupert N, Mushlin AI, Callahan MA. Modeling the public health response to bioterrorism: using discrete event simulation to design antibiotic distribution centers. Med Decis Making 2002;22(Suppl):S17-25. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

O'Malley AS, Lawrence W, Liang W, et al. Feasibility of mobile cancer screening and prevention. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2002 Aug; 13(3):298-317. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Thompson LA, Goodman DC, Little GA. Is more neonatal intensive care always better? Insights from a cross-national comparison of reproductive care. Pediatrics 2002 Jun; 109(6):1036-43. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Birkmeyer NJ, Weinstein JN, Tosteson ANA, et al. Design of the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT). Spine 2002 June 15; 27(12):1361-72. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Owens DK, Sanders GD, Heidenreich PA, et al. Effect of risk stratification on cost-effectiveness of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Am Heart J 2002 Sep;144(3):440-8. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions regarding the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

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Current as of October 2002


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