Access to medical care declines, report says
A report recently released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that the ability of adults to obtain basic health care services in the United States has declined in nearly every state over the past decade, especially among those without insurance.
For Oklahoma, the report shows that the share of adults in the state with unmet medical needs due to cost increased by 8.8 percentage points from 2000 to 2010, to 21.7 percent. In 2010, an estimated 478,000 adults had an unmet medical need due to cost. Uninsured adults were 36. 0 percentage points more likely than insured adults to have an unmet need due to cost in 2010.
The share of adults in the state who had a routine checkup decreased by 12.4 percentage points from 2000 to 2010, to 52.1 percent. Uninsured adults were 32.0 percentage points less likely than insured adults to have had a routine checkup in 2010.
The share of adults in the state who had a dental visit decreased 7.9 percentage points from 2000 to 2010, to 53.9 percent. Uninsured adults were 30.5 percentage points less likely than insured adults to have had a dental visit in 2010.
Research on eye disease aims to help diabetics
Scientists now have a clearer idea of the importance of a particular protein in normal eye function.
Research from scientists at the Dean McGee Eye Institute and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation could help improve understanding and treatment of vision-impairing diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.
The project focused on the role a protein called caveolin-1 plays in eye disease.
Project leader Michael Elliott said that by removing the gene that makes the protein, they were able to examine mice that lacked the specific protein. What they found surprised them.
“We thought the protein might have a direct effect on the retina, but instead, it seems to regulate the environment in which the retina lives,” said Elliott. “The right environment is vital for proper function, so caveolin-1 might be a useful therapeutic for repairing some diseases that involve eye structure.”
Ocular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration could be affected by the discovery, he said.
Project touts benefits of drinking one percent milk
The Oklahoma Nutrition Information and Education project, Buy for Less, Hiland Dairy and area public schools are asking families to start a healthy family tradition by choosing one percent milk for use at home.
Families with children attending elementary and middle schools at Mid-Del, Millwood, Oklahoma City and Putnam City Schools will receive an informational flier featuring Oklahoma professional basketball player Kendrick Perkins that dispels some of the myths about one percent milk.
Buy for Less and Hiland Dairy provided a coupon to encourage families to choose one percent or nonfat milk.
“According to recent statistics, more than a third of Oklahoma's youth are overweight or obese, a risk that grows as children reach adulthood,” Robert John, project director for the ONIE project, said.
“Fortunately, a small dietary change, like choosing 1 percent or nonfatmilk, can make a large difference in one's health.”
Public meeting set on homelessness grant
The federal Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness grant will be available for public comment Friday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in Conference Room C, 1200 NE 13 in Oklahoma City.
Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness are programs that provide community-based outreach, mental health, substance abuse, case management and other support services to adults who have a mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders, and who are homeless.
Written and oral comments will be accepted at the public hearing.
For more information, or for a copy of the draft, call Jacki Millspaugh at 522-3863. Additional written comments may be submitted through May 22 to ODMHSAS, P.O. Box 53277, Oklahoma City, OK 73152, Attn: Jacki Millspaugh.
From Staff Reports