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Free event offers health screenings, Braves tickets

Free event offers health screenings, Braves tickets

ATLANTA – 11Alive news reporter Jerry Carnes, a prostate cancer survivor, will be among the honored guests at the free Home Run for Health event in Atlanta on Saturday. Carnes will be joined by former Braves player Pete Smith, the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders and Freddie the Falcon to encourage men to come out for free health screenings. The screenings include blood pressure and BMI checks, as well as those for prostate cancer. Everyone who receives a screening will receive two free tickets to a Braves game.  

Men are encouraged to bring their children, baseball gloves and ball to enter to win the Biggest Game of Catch, which will begin at 10:15 a.m. The last father-and-son or father-and-daughter team standing will win a Braves season ticket package for 2013. Drawings will be held for other great prizes, like a signed Chipper Jones bat.

Atlanta research coalition gets $31 million grant

Atlanta research coalition gets $31 million grant

ATLANTA -- An Atlanta research partnership responsible for the South's first human hand transplant has secured a new $31 million federal grant to continue a coalition launched five years ago.

The Clinical & Translational Science Institute is a partnership led by Emory University. It also includes other major health care and research players like Georgia Tech, Morehouse School of Medicine, Grady Health System and the VA Medical Center.

The alliance was formed to connect a range of researchers, technology developers and medical professionals who actually treat people. The idea is to help research from clinical and laboratory settings translate into better outcomes for patients.

12 states have very high obesity rates

12 states have very high obesity rates

ATLANTA -- A new government survey shows 12 states now have very high obesity rates.

Overall, more than a third of adults are obese, but rates vary by state. The latest figures are based on a 2011 telephone survey that asked adults their height and weight. For the first time, households with only cell phones were included.

State rates remained about the same, although states with very high rates went from nine to 12.

At least 30 percent of adults are obese in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

Colorado was lowest, at just under 21 percent; Mississippi was highest at nearly 36 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the figures Monday.

Fulton County Health Services Promotes Adult Immunizations

Fulton County Health Services Promotes Adult Immunizations

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Immunizations are not just for children.  Adults also need to be current with their vaccinations.  In recognition of National Immunization Month, Fulton County Health Services is promoting adult immunizations.  Immunizations are important so that adults may protect themselves and those they are in close contact with from serious diseases and illnesses. 

The need for adult immunizations is determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, high-risk conditions, type and locations of travel, and previous immunizations. Throughout an adult’s life, immunizations are needed to maintain protection against diseases and illnesses such as the flu, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and shingles.  Adults should talk to their health care provider about needed vaccines.

CDC says graphic anti-smoking ads work

CDC says graphic anti-smoking ads work

ATLANTA -- The federal government says its graphic ad campaign showing diseased smokers has been such a success that it is planning another round next year to nudge more Americans to kick the habit.

The ads, which ran for 12 weeks in spring and early summer, aimed to get 500,000 people to try to quit and 50,000 to kick the habit long-term.

"The initial results suggest the impact will be even greater than that," says Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which spearheaded the $54 million campaign.

The ads showed real Americans talking about how smoking caused their paralysis, lung removal and amputations.

Frieden says it's the first time the U.S. government has paid for anti-smoking ads, although some media ran them free.

CDC: Whooping cough cases may be most in 5 decades

CDC: Whooping cough cases may be most in 5 decades

ATLANTA -- Health officials say the nation is on track to have the worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades.

Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported so far -- more than twice the number seen at this point last year. At this pace, the number of whooping cough cases will surpass every year since 1959.

"There is a lot of this out there, and there may be more coming to place near you," Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Wisconsin and Washington state each have reported more than 3,000 cases, and high numbers have been seen in a number of other states, including New York, Minnesota, Kansas and Arizona.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial disease. It leads to severe coughing that causes children to make a distinctive whooping sound as they gasp for breath. In rare cases it can be fatal, and nine children have died so far this year.

CDC: Methadone deaths may have peaked

CDC: Methadone deaths may have peaked

ATLANTA -- Health officials say methadone is involved in nearly one-third of deaths from prescription painkillers. But overdose deaths from methadone appear to have peaked.

Methadone is known mainly for treating heroin addictions but it is also prescribed for pain. Health officials say most of the overdose deaths are people who take it for pain - not heroin addicts.

New federal data shows the number and rate of methadone-related deaths have fallen since 2007.

Experts believe doctors are more cautious today about prescribing methadone for pain because of federal warnings and state prescription monitoring programs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the study Tuesday.