Health Matters for Women - January 2023

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January 2023 

New from CDC Authors

Substance Use Among Persons with Syphilis During Pregnancy — Arizona and Georgia, 2018–2021

Substance use prevalence has increased among women with syphilis; however, its association with congenital syphilis is less clear. During 2018–2021, the prevalence of substance use among persons with syphilis during pregnancy in Arizona and Georgia was nearly twice as high among those with a congenital syphilis pregnancy outcome (48.1%) as among those without this outcome (24.6%).

Alcohol Use, Screening, and Brief Intervention Among Pregnant Persons — 24 U.S. Jurisdictions, 2017 and 2019

Alcohol screening and brief intervention is an evidence-based tool to reduce alcohol consumption in adults, including pregnant persons. In 2017 and 2019, during their most recent health care visit, 80% of pregnant persons reported being asked about their alcohol use; only 16% of those with past 30-day alcohol consumption were advised by a health care provider to quit or reduce their alcohol use. 

Mpox Cases Among Cisgender Women and Pregnant Persons — United States, May 11–November 7, 2022

Data from the ongoing monkeypox (mpox) outbreak on cases in cisgender women and in pregnancy are limited. Among 769 mpox cases reported among U.S. cisgender women, Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino women were disproportionately affected.

Cervical Cancer Awareness

The HPV test and the Pap test are screening tests that can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early. Women can lower their risk for cervical cancer by getting screened regularly, starting at age 21.

High HIV and Syphilis Prevalence Among Female Sex Workers and Sexually Exploited Adolescents in Nimule Town at the Border of South Sudan and Uganda

HIV prevalence among the general population in South Sudan is estimated at 2.9% and in the town of Nimule it is estimated at 7.5%. However, there is limited data describing the HIV epidemic among female sex workers and sexually exploited adolescents (FSW/SEA) in the country. This study was conducted using a respondent-driven sampling among FSW/SEA aged ≥15 years in January-February 2017 who sold or exchanged sex in the last six months in Nimule.

Maternal and Neonatal Risk-Appropriate Care: Gaps, Strategies, and Areas for Further research

Risk-appropriate care is a strategy to improve perinatal health outcomes by providing care to pregnant persons and infants in facilities with the personnel and services capable of meeting their health needs. The authors summarize current studies describing provision of risk-appropriate care in the United States, identify gaps in research, and highlight ongoing and proposed activities to address research gaps and support state health officials and clinicians.

Broadly Neutralizing Antibody-Mediated Protection Against SHIV Infection Among Macaques with Vaginal Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) increase mucosal HIV infection risk and have the potential to reduce preexposure prophylaxis efficacy. Clinical trials of a broadly neutralizing antibody (bNAb) provided proof-of-concept that passive immunization against HIV can be efficacious in people. The authors sought to evaluate preclinically the protective efficacy of passive bNAb immunization against simian-human immunodeficiency virus infection in the context of concurrent vaginal STIs.

Human Milk _expression_ in First Year Postpartum Among Persons with Low Incomes

Expressing milk (i.e., human milk) is common in the United States, but practices are unknown among families in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This study of a WIC population explores the practice of and reasons for expressing milk in the first year postpartum.

Pregnant Women's Experiences During and After Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, Puerto Rico, 2018

Exposure to natural disasters during and after pregnancy may increase adverse mental health outcomes. Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017. This study's objectives were to understand hurricane-related experiences, maternal health concerns, and the impact of hurricane experiences on postpartum depressive symptoms (PDS).

Adverse Maternal Experiences and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

The objective of this study is to propose a measure for adverse maternal experiences (AMEs) and examine if AMEs are independently associated with delivery of a neonatal abstinence syndrome diagnosed infant.

Survey of Healthcare Providers' Testing Practices for Vulvovaginal Candidiasis and Treatment Outcomes-United States, 2021

Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is a common infection, and high-quality studies report that misdiagnosis is frequent, with diagnostic testing needed to distinguish it from other causes of vaginitis and avoid inappropriate empiric treatment. The authors evaluated healthcare providers' self-reported testing practices for VVC and treatment outcomes as part of a nationwide online survey in order to identify potential opportunities for improving VVC testing and treatment in the United States.

New from CDC Authors: COVID-19 Impact on Women

Adverse Maternal, Fetal, and Newborn Outcomes Among Pregnant Women with SARS-CoV-2 Infection: An Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis

Despite a growing body of research on the risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy, there is continued controversy given heterogeneity in the quality and design of published studies. The authors screened ongoing studies in their sequential, prospective meta-analysis. They pooled individual participant data to estimate the absolute and relative risk of adverse outcomes among pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared with confirmed negative pregnancies.


(NEW) Question of the Month:

What is the primary cause of cervical cancer?

  1. Certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV)
  2. Irregular menstrual cycles
  3. Eating too much sugar

Federal Agencies
Select Announcements, Statements, Reports, and Events from Federal Agencies

Acting Director Allison Randall of the Office on Violence Against Women Delivers Remarks at 2023 Strengthening Sovereign Responses to Sex Trafficking in Indian Country and Alaska - The United States Department of Justice

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline - Health Resources & Services Administration

Health Observances, February 2023

International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month
National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
American Heart Month
2/3 National Wear Red Day
2/27 – 3/5 National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

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The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC/ATSDR or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC/ATSDR is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

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