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Food fortification spurred by military purchases

Food fortification with vitamins and minerals is one of the most effective methods to improve health and prevent nutritional deficiencies. It is greatly responsible for the virtual eradication of disease such as goiter, rickets, beriberi, and pellagra in the United States. New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that developing nations could implement successful food fortification programs by requiring fortified foods for their military personnel. The conclusions are based on a detailed review of the history of food fortification programs in the U.S., which is published in the January 22, 2003, edition of the journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

19.2 Million U.S. Adults Have Chronic Kidney Disease

Eleven percent of the U.S. adult population has varying stages of chronic kidney disease, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers concluded that chronic kidney disease warrants improved detection and classification using standardized criteria to improve patient outcomes. Their research is published in the January 2003 issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Amputation, Reconstructive Surgery Have Same Outcomes for Severe Leg Injuries

Patients with severe leg injuries often face a difficult choice of whether to have multiple operations to repair their damaged limb or undergo amputation. With advances in medical technology, limb reconstruction has replaced amputation as the primary treatment at many trauma centers. But a new study finds that patients have similar outcomes regardless of the treatment. The study, coordinated by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was conducted at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and seven other trauma centers across the country. It found that while patients who undergo reconstructive surgery have a higher risk of complications, additional surgeries, and hospitalizations, they fared about the same as those patients who have a leg amputated. After two years, both groups had similarly high levels of disability and psychological distress, and only about half of the people in each group were able to return to work.

Satellite Could Help Predict Hantaviral Transmission Risk

Researchers report that satellite imagery could be used to determine areas at high-risk for exposure to Sin Nombre virus (SNV), a rodent-born disease that causes the often fatal hantaviral pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in humans. According to the researchers, satellite imaging detects the distinct environmental conditions that may serve as a refuge for the disease-carrying deer mice. Higher populations of infected deer mice increase the risk of HPS to humans.

Environmental Enrichment Reverses Learning Impairments from Lead Poisoning

Environmental enrichment that stimulates brain activity can reverse the long-term learning deficits caused by lead poisoning, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It has long been known that lead poisoning in children affects their cognitive and behavioral development. Despite significant efforts to reduce lead contamination in homes, childhood lead poisoning remains a major public health problem with an estimated 34 million housing units in the United States containing lead paint. The Hopkins study is the first to demonstrate that the long-term deficits in cognitive function caused by lead can be reversed and offers a basis for the treatment of childhood lead intoxication.

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