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Latest News Around the Web

Hot Weather Mortality Risk May Increase For Some Patients With Severe Mental Illnesses.

Medscape (6/7, Brauser) reports, “Patients with psychosis, dementia, or substance misuse may be at an increased mortality risk during hot weather,” according to a 22,562-patientstudy published in the June issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry. The study “of adult patients in England showed that for those with severe mental illness, the risk for death increased by almost 5% per 1° C increase in temperature above 18° C.” Notably, “the greatest mortality risk found in this study was for those who were younger than 65 years, those specifically diagnosed with drug or alcohol misuse, and those taking antipsychotics.”

NIMH: One In Four Americans May Experience A Mental Health Disorder In A Given Year.

The Grand Forks (ND) Herald /Forum Communications (6/4, Frank) reported, “One in four adults, or almost 60 million Americans, experiences a mental health disorder in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.” In addition, “one in 17 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).” The piece added, “Diagnosis is based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association.”

Related Links:

— “Many struggle to claim lives in face of depression, anxiety,”Tracy Frank , Grand Forks Herald, June 04, 2012.

Vermont Lacks State-Operated Psychiatric Beds.

Bloomberg News (6/5, Moroney) reports, “Hurricane Irene wiped out the last state-operated psychiatric beds in Vermont nine months ago. Since then, private-hospital emergency rooms have been backed up with mentally ill patients — some handcuffed to ER beds for as long as two days.” Each month, “dozens of people are turned away…without being admitted, and calls to Burlington police about mental-health issues increased 32 percent over the prior year.”

In the Washington Post (6/5) “Wonkblog,” Sarah Kliff discusses the Bloomberg News piece, adding that such “changes aren’t unique to Vermont. During the recession, 3,144 psychiatric beds were eliminated across the country in 2009.”

Related Links:

— “Sleeping in Vermont Dumpster Shows Psychiatric Cuts’ Cost,”Tom Moroney, Bloomberg News, June 04, 2012.

Groups Hope To Forestall Dating Violence By Addressing Middle-Schoolers.

The New York Times (6/4, A12, Hoffman, Subscription Publication) reports that in light of a recent government report that found that “nearly one in 10 high-school students said they had been physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend,” the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and federal lawmakers [are] trying to forestall dating violence by addressing even younger students: middle schoolers. The goal is to educate them about relationships before they start dating in earnest, even though research shows that some seventh graders have already experienced physical and emotional harm while dating.” Last fall, “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave grants to middle-school programs” to start middle-school intervention programs.

Related Links:

— “A Warning to Teenagers Before They Start Dating,”Jan Hoffman, The New York Times, June 03, 2012.

Premature Birth Associated With Certain Psychiatric Disorders.

Reuters (6/2, Kelland) reported that according to a study published June 1 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, babies born before 32 weeks’ gestation may be more likely to develop severe psychiatric issues, including depression, bipolar disorder or psychosis. For infants born between 32 and 36 weeks, there was a lesser yet noticeably increased risk for psychiatric problems.

Specifically, “compared to babies born at full term, which is 37 to 42 weeks of gestation, babies who were born at less than 32 weeks were seven times more likely to be hospitalized with bipolar disorder as adults,” the CNN (6/2, Wade) “The Chart” blog reported. “They were three times more likely to be hospitalized for depression and more than twice as likely for psychosis,” investigators found. To arrive at this conclusion, “scientists analyzed data from the medical records of more than 1.3 million people born in Sweden, focusing on people older than age 16 who were admitted to a hospital for a psychiatric disorder.” They then cross-checked the data to see which individuals had been born prematurely.

MedPage Today (6/2, Neale) reported, “The researchers noted that the relationship between preterm birth and impaired neurodevelopment is biologically plausible. ‘Functional magnetic resonance studies in young adults who were born very preterm have documented neuroanatomical alterations in brain networks that have also been found to be disrupted in psychiatric populations, including frontostriatal, frontoparietal, occipital, temporal, and fronto-parieto-cerebellar,’ they wrote.” Also covering the story were BBC News (6/1, Gallagher) and the UK’s Telegraph (6/3, Donnelly).

While this isn’t necessarily psychiatry, I think it deserves notice.

Related Links:

— “Premature babies have higher psychiatric risk,”Kate Kelland , Reuters, June 01, 2012.

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