AJN takes a look back at some of the health care achievements (and disappointments) of 2017.


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* Overall death rates from cancer have steadily declined from 1990 to 2014, according to the 2017 progress report by the American Association for Cancer Research.




* Obese and overweight adults are at increased risk for 14 types of cancer.


* Health disparities in cancer care persist, and those with Medicaid or no insurance are more likely to die from their disease.


Source: American Association for Cancer Research. AACR cancer progress report 2017: harnessing research discoveries to save lives. Philadelphia; 2017 Sep 13. http://www.cancerprogressreport.org/Pages/default.aspx.


Infectious Diseases



* According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic prescribing in outpatient settings decreased 5% from 2001 to 2014.




* A 2017 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts concluded that U.S. data on antibiotic use are insufficient and recommended that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalize its proposal requiring mandatory hospital reporting of antibiotic use to the National Healthcare Safety Network.


* In California, the outbreak of hepatitis A continued to worsen among the homeless and illicit drug users living in areas with limited sanitation. Governor Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency on the outbreak in October.


Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic use in the United States, 2017: progress and opportunities. Atlanta; 2017. http://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/stewardship-report/pdf/stewardship-report.pdf; Pew Charitable Trusts. Trends in U.S. antibiotic use. Philadelphia; 2017 Mar 22. http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/assets/2017/03/antibiotic_resistance_annual_rep; California Department of Public Health, Immunization Branch. Hepatitis A outbreak in California: CDPH weekly update as of November 10, 2017. 2017. http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/Hepatitis-A-Outbreak.


Maternal and Child Health




* According to a report published in the American Journal of Public Health, the national abortion rate fell by 25% between 2008 and 2014.




* The decline in abortion was not uniform across all population groups.


* U.S women are more likely to die from childbirth or pregnancy-related causes than women in other developed countries.


Sources: Jones RK, Jerman J. Am J Public Health 2017;107(12):1904-9; Martin N, Montagne R. U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world. NPR 2017 May 12. https://www.npr.org/2017/05/12/528098789/u-s-has-the-worst-rate-of-maternal-deat.


Nursing Profession




* The World Health Organization appointed Elizabeth Iro, an RN and Cook Islands' Secretary of Health, as its chief nursing officer in October.




* Recent reports indicate that the looming shortage of nurses will hinder hospitals' ability to meet future demands.


Sources: World Health Organization. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros appoints Cook Islands' Elizabeth Iro as WHO's Chief Nursing Officer [press release]. 2017 Oct 12. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/chief-nursing-officer/en; Mincer J. Short on staff: nursing crisis strains U.S. hospitals. Reuters 2017 Oct 20. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-nursing/short-on-staff-nursing.





* An August update of State of Obesity data shows that the U.S. adult obesity rate may be leveling off.




* The National Center for Health Statistics reported an obesity prevalence of 40% for U.S. adults and 19% for youth.


Sources: State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America. Adult obesity in the United States. 2017. http://www.stateofobesity.org/adult-obesity; Prevalence of obesity among adults and youth: United States, 2015-2016. NCHS Data Brief 2017(288):1-8.


Sexually Transmitted Diseases




* In April, the CDC issued a call to action to reduce the rising numbers of syphilis cases.




* The highest number of cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis ever reported in the United States occurred in 2016, though these represent only about one-tenth of the estimated 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases annually.


Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC call to action: let's work together to stem the tide of rising syphilis in the United States. Atlanta; 2017 Apr. http://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/SyphilisCalltoActionApril2017.pdf; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reported STDs in the United States, 2016. Atlanta; 2017 Sep. CDC fact sheet; http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/factsheets/STD-Trends-508.pdf.