Health Beat: Arkansas ranks 8th in protecting kids from tobacco

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 93 views 

Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Health Beat,” a round-up of health-related topics.

NEW YORK REIT PURCHASES ARKANSAS SURGICAL HOSPITAL PROPERTY IN NORTH LITTLE ROCK: Broadstone Net Lease (BNL), a private real estate investment trust (REIT), announced the acquisition Tuesday (Dec. 8) of the leased property occupied by the Arkansas Surgical Hospital (ASH) in North Little Rock. The short-term acute care surgical hospital that specializes in joint replacement and spinal procedures was previously owned by a contingent of 14 practicing physicians.

Constructed in 2005 and expanded in 2008, the 125,909 square foot facility houses 11 operating rooms. Rochester, N.Y.-based Broadstone completed the real estate deal through an “UPREIT,” or Umbrella Partnership REIT), which provides a tax-deferred exit strategy for owners of real estate who would otherwise recognize a significant taxable gain in a cash sale of a highly appreciated property with a low tax basis. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the closing initiated a new 15-year lease, with four 5-year renewal options, and annual rent increases of 2.5%.

ARKANSAS RANKS 8TH IN PROTECTING KIDS FROM TOBACCO: Arkansas ranks 8th in the country in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a national report released Tuesday (Dec. 8) by a coalition of public health organizations. Arkansas is spending $17.4 million this year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, which is 47.4% of the $36.7 million recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In contrast, tobacco companies spend an estimated $119 million to market their products in Arkansas each year. That means tobacco companies spend $7 to promote tobacco use for every $1 Arkansas spends to prevent it. The giant gap is undermining efforts to save lives and health care dollars by reducing tobacco use, the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the U.S., the report warns. The full report and state-specific information can be found here.

UAMS BECOMES HOME TO CANCER IMAGING ARCHIVE FOR NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE: UAMS has become home to The Cancer Imaging Archive of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) with the transfer of more than 40 terabytes of data from the archive’s former home at Washington University in St. Louis. The archive moved to UAMS on Oct. 1 with Fred Prior, Ph.D., when he left his previous position at Washington University to chair the newly established Department of Biomedical Informatics in the UAMS College of Medicine. Biomedical informatics uses computers rather than traditional laboratories to extract knowledge from large sets of data. The department develops computational tools to assess and manage medical and public health information for patient care and research programs. Research using the archive has produced about 250 academic papers in recent years.

CDC: HALF WHO NEED CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING MEDICATIONS NOT TAKING THEM – More than a third of American adults are eligible to take cholesterol-lowering medications under the current guidelines or were already taking them – but nearly half of them are not, according to a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers published in the current issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Blacks and Mexican Americans are less likely than whites to be taking cholesterol-lowering medications.

Data from 2007 through 2014 show a decline in the number of Americans with high blood levels of cholesterol. There also has been a recent increase in the use of cholesterol-lowering medications. But a high blood level of LDL cholesterol – also known as “bad” cholesterol – remains a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke in the U.S.