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PulseBeats

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000120
Department: PulseBeats
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News You Can UseDiabetes Stats 2014; Global Nursing Retirement; Fish in Pregnancy/Breastfeeding; Children and Cholesterol

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NATIONAL DIABETES STATISTICS REPORT 2014

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Diabetes Translation at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recently released its 2014 “Estimates of Diabetes and Its Burden in the United States.” The report, based on 2009-2012 data, provides the most up-to-date scientific data on diabetes and its burden in America. A quick overview reveals 29.1 million people (9.3% of the population) have diabetes. Twenty-one million have been diagnosed while 8.1 million are undiagnosed. Slightly more men than women (> age 20) have diabetes (15.5 vs. 13.4 million). Diabetes is more prevalent in Blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives than other races.

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Based on fasting glucose or A1C levels, 86 million American adults have prediabetes (37% of adults aged 20 years or older; 51% for age 65 or older). However, the percentage of adults with prediabetes is similar for Whites (35%), Blacks (39%), and Hispanics (38%).

Information on co-existing conditions and complications also is included in the report, along with a breakdown of estimated direct and indirect costs totaling $245 billion.

Download this significant report along with printable infographics and pdfs at http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/statsreport14.htm Accessed 7/22/2014.

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GLOBAL NURSING RETIREMENT?

By 2020 more than one billion people in the world will be over age 60—including nurses. According to the International Council of Nurses' (ICN) International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing: “Industrialized countries will experience a large exodus of nurses from their workforce as nurses retire... This trend, if left unaddressed, is set to deepen the current shortage of employed nurses... It will also have a knock-on effect on developing countries, where aggressive international recruitment efforts may drain the supply of nurses....”

In many countries with forced retirement policies at 60 or 65, the shortage could be more severe. The ICN states: “Older nurses are a rich human resource pool. In many countries, they represent the fastest growing segment of the nursing workforce. Their premature or forced exit and/or reduction in working hours means loss of much-needed and experienced nurses. When they retire, their knowledge, wisdom, and clinical expertise are lost, as is their contribution to training and mentoring the next generation of nurses. Tailoring employment strategies to this group is important to their retention.”

More experienced nurses are more likely to extend their work life when they have:

  • Supportive and flexible work arrangements and practices.
  • An organizational culture that promotes participation in decision-making and autonomy over practice.
  • Work recognition, encouragement, and positive feedback from supervisors.
  • Ergonomically friendly, safe, and effective work environments.
  • Access to professional development activities that target the needs of experienced nurses.

The ICN is a federation of 129 national nurses' associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses for nurses, ICN is the international voice of nursing and works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally. http://www.icn.ch/images/stories/documents/publications/fact_sheets/2a_FS-Ageing_Workforce.pdf Accessed 7/22/2014.

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FISH IN PREGNANCY, BREASTFEEDING

Emerging science affirms the benefits of fish low in mercury for pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, breastfeeding women, and young children. “The nutrients in fish can have a positive impact on growth and development as well as on general health,” states Stephen Ostroff, M.D., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) acting chief scientist in “Quantitative Assessment of the Net Effects of Fetal Neurodevelopment from Eating Commercial Fish (As Measured by IQ and also by Early Age Verbal Development.)” The report reveals pregnant women eat far less fish than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends—at least 8 ounces and up to 12 ounces (2-3 servings) per week of a variety of fish that are lower in mercury to support fetal growth and development.

Fish to be avoided are those associated with high mercury levels: tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel. In addition, the report recommends limiting consumption of white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces a week.

Good choices are fish lower in mercury such as shrimp, pollock, salmon, canned light tuna, tilapia, catfish and cod. —http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm397929.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery Accessed 7/17/2014.

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CHILDREN AND CHOLESTEROL CHECKS

Cholesterol levels of young Americans are not being checked, even though rising obesity rates are contributing to higher cholesterol levels among this age group. Less than 4% of U.S. children had their cholesterol levels checked between 1995 and 2010. This is a concern, given problematic cholesterol levels among youth could translate into heart disease in adulthood.

Several organizations have been screening the situation since 2007, including the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association. These organizations recommend children be screened for cholesterol starting at age 9.

Dr. Samuel Vinci of Boston Children's Hospital and his colleagues studied cholesterol-screening data collected by the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 1995 to 2010. Only 3.4% of children had been screened for cholesterol during these years. Abnormal blood cholesterol readings are thought to occur in roughly a fifth of American children and adolescents.—Journal of the American Medical Association News Release, May 3, 2014.

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GAPS IN CHILD WELL-BEING

“In almost every region of the U.S., African American, Latino, and Native American children face far greater barriers to their future success than their White and Asian counterparts,” states the Annie E. Casey Foundation that aims to improve the life of all children in its “Race for Results” report. African American children's poverty, poor housing, and lack of access to education pose a national crisis. By 2018, the majority of U.S. children will be of non-White ethnicity.

The report used 12 indicators and a composite score to determine a child's chance at future success, including whether children were born at normal birth weight, if they were enrolled in preschool by ages 3 to 5, whether they lived with an adult with at least a high school diploma, and their proficiency at reading and math during elementary and middle school.

Only 18% of African American 4th graders in U.S.-born families and 7% in immigrant families scored at or above “proficient” in reading. Asian and Pacific Islander children had the highest overall index score, followed by White children. African American, American Indian, and Latino teens are least likely to graduate from high school on time compared to their White and Asian peers.

At the national level, no one racial group has all children meeting all milestones. But given this information, the breakdown of racial demographics can influence future policy decisions. —http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/01/us-usa-race-youth-idUSBREA3016S20140401 Accessed 7/10/2014.

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NO NURSES IN HEAVEN

As healthcare workers, we have dedicated our gifts and talents to caring for the sick and disabled. Our nursing service is a calling or ministry, with God equipping us to care for his children. As Christians, we have joy and confidence in knowing we are doing our work for God.

Yet, even with the blessing of serving God, we yearn for a time without sickness, disease, and death. Our yearning is fulfilled in heaven as described in Revelation 21:4, “Jesus will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

In addition to seeing Jesus face-to-face and loved ones who have gone before me, I am excited to go to a place where there are no hospitals, no clinics, and no nurses! Hallelujah! Our services will no longer be needed. This is the good news of the gospel for our patients, their families, and all healthcare workers. Someday, there will come a time when healthy bodies, minds, and souls will live for eternity without the fear of disease, the heartbreak of disability, nor the slow deterioration of aging (1 Corinthians 15:52-55).

We do not know what God has planned for us; however, we do know we can anticipate an eternity without the need for nurses! Used by permission of Carrie Dameron. See more from Carrie's blog at the NCF Nurse Blog http://ncfnurses.wordpress.com/

—PulseBeats compiled by Cathy Walker, JCN Associate Editor

© 2014 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship