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Clinical Notes: U.S. Workers Short on Shuteye

MedPageToday, 2012

Data from the National Health Interview Survey in 2010 indicate that some 41 million American workers -- 30% of the labor force -- get no more than 6 hours of sleep nightly, the CDC reported.
Although short sleep duration was more common among workers on night (44%) or rotating shifts (32%), 29% of individuals who regularly worked day shifts also reported 6 hours or less on average, according to the lead article in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report ( MMWR ).
Besides night and rotating shifts, other factors associated with higher-than-average short sleep duration included black race, high school-level education (but not less), widowed or divorced status, working more than 40 hours a week, and holding more than one job.
Three members of a Maryland family died earlier this year when they were struck simultaneously with seasonal flu and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, according to another MMWR report.
The first died unexpectedly at home; the other two went to the hospital with severe respiratory symptoms and died there.
Three other family members also developed flu infections, leading two to be hospitalized, but they did not have MRSA infections or pneumonia, the report said.
The authors said the episode should serve as a reminder about the importance of flu vaccinations, and of empiric MRSA antibiotic treatment when co-infection is suspected.
Two drugs for restoring muscle function in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) showed promising results in separate studies last week.
An agent that boosts production of utrophin -- a muscle protein that may compensate for insufficient production of dystrophin, which is defective in DMD -- is about to start clinical testing in the U.K., according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which is helping to sponsor the trial.
An earlier version developed by BioMarin Pharmaceuticals failed to produce adequate blood vessels, the association said, but it has now been reformulated and is being developed by a different company, Summit of Oxford, U.K.
Also, results from an early clinical trial of a drug called eteplirsen that forces expression of dystrophin despite mutations in its gene were reported at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting.