Director’s Blog In spite of new treatments, more treatments, and more people getting treatment for mental illness, the suicide rate has not decreased in America. The most recent statistics from the CDC report over 36,000 suicides annually, nearly 100 per day in this country. That is twice the rate of homicide and even higher than the number of traffic fatalities—two major causes of death that have, in contrast to suicide, dropped considerably in recent years.

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Importance Adverse perinatal circumstances have been associated with increased risk for autism in offspring. Women exposed to childhood abuse experience more adverse perinatal circumstances than women unexposed, but whether maternal abuse is associated with autism in offspring is unknown. Objectives To determine whether maternal exposure to childhood abuse is associated with risk for autism in offspring and whether possible increased risk is accounted for by a higher prevalence of adverse perinatal circumstances among abused women, including toxemia, low birth weight, gestational diabetes, previous induced abortion, intimate partner abuse, pregnancy length shorter than 37 weeks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use, and alcohol use and smoking during pregnancy.

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Director’s Blog One of the most influential trials in cardiology over the past 25 years was the GISSI 1 study, which demonstrated the beneficial effects of administering a medication called streptokinase after a heart attack. 2 GISSI involved more than 11, 000 patients in 176 coronary care units over 17 months. Its total cost was less than $500, 000.

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Abstract: Objective: The study aimed to assess psychiatric morbidity in stable chronic respiratory disorders and to examine the pattern of psychiatric illness in specific respiratory disorders in Northern India.Methods: All consecutive patients with stable chronic respiratory illnesses who attended the respiratory disease clinic were recruited in the study. Their healthy attendants were interviewed as a control group.

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Director’s Blog Every year the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) updates its Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research , identifying progress and new opportunities across the range of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research. Each year this task gets more difficult. In 2012, the speed of progress was so rapid that each draft of the Plan was out of date by the time the IACC reviewed it.

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Director’s Blog Let’s start with some good news. Over the past few decades in the United States, we have seen dramatic reductions in mortality due to coronary artery disease (an over 60 percent reduction, with 1.1 millions deaths averted each year), AIDS (a 40 percent reduction, with over 30,000 deaths averted each year), and stroke (a 30 percent reduction, with over 20,000 deaths averted each year). Indeed, last month AIDS was declared a chronic disease, recognizing that a young person who becomes infected with HIV will likely survive for decades and die of other causes

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Director’s Blog In a commentary just published on innovation in health care, Narayan and colleagues describe the need for integrated solutions to mental health care. 1 Moving beyond “magic bullets” and the magical thinking of a single intervention for a complex problem, they recommend a comprehensive model that includes early detection, better access to care, monitoring, and patient-reported outcomes. None of this would be particularly innovative, except that Narayan and his colleagues all work for a pharmaceutical company.

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