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New Report Highlights LGBT Older Adults’ Needs, Identifies Policy Opportunities

Public Health • • Sexual HealthNov 16 11

The National Academy on an Aging Society and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) today released the first-ever issue of the acclaimed Public Policy & Aging Report (PPAR) on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) aging, highlighting gaps in policy and research on LGBT older adults, and current and future solutions to address the needs of LGBT elders.

“Given the voluminous gerontological literature that has built up over the past half-century, it is hard to imagine that any set of aging populations has been largely ignored or under-investigated. Yet, LGBT older adults have remained nearly invisible to the community of advocates, researchers, practitioners, administrators, and politicians who associate themselves with the modern aging enterprise,” said PPAR Editor Robert Hudson, PhD, chair of the Department of Social Policy at the Boston University School of Social Work. “This issue of Public Policy & Aging Report takes a step toward filling that void.”

LGBT older adults make up a significant share of America’s 65+ population, and their numbers are expected to double in size over the next several decades, reaching more than 3 million by 2030.  An increase in numbers signals a growing need to ensure that the policies designed to protect our nation’s elders take into account the needs of LGBT older adults.

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More Americans than not want health law repeal: poll

Public HealthNov 16 11

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to review President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms, more Americans want to it repealed than want to keep it, a poll released on Wednesday shows.

A Gallup survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults found that 47 percent favor the repeal of healthcare reform, versus 42 percent who want the law kept in place. Eleven percent had no opinion.

But the survey also showed that 50 percent of Americans believe the federal government has a responsibility to make sure everyone has health coverage, compared with 46 percent who do not.

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Alarming pattern of antibiotic use in the southeastern United States

InfectionsNov 16 11

New research suggests a pattern of outpatient antibiotic overuse in parts of the United States—particularly in the Southeast—a problem that could accelerate the rate at which these powerful drugs are rendered useless, according to Extending the Cure, a project of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy.

These findings come out just as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) kicked off an annual effort to reduce overuse of antibiotics called “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work.” The campaign, which lasts throughout the week, urges Americans to use antibiotics wisely. The CDC estimates that $1.1 billion is spent annually on unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for adult upper respiratory infections alone. These prescriptions also speed the development of resistance to important antibiotic therapies.

Also, on Monday of this week, Extending the Cure introduced a new tool that allows non-experts to track changes in antibiotic effectiveness over time. The new Drug Resistance Index (DRI) is similar in concept to the Consumer Price Index and is described in a paper in the British Medical Journal Open.

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