In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Ms. Julia Brennan, Mr. Caleb Wiedeman, and Drs. John R. Dunn and Timothy F. Jones of Tennessee Department of Health and Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University compared data from the Tennessee NAS public health surveillance system (TNSS) with hospital discharge data system (HDDS) information and estimated the true number of infants with NAS using capture-recapture methods. NAS data on cases of NAS among Tennessee infants from TNSS and HDDS was obtained from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2016. Cases of NAS identified in TNSS were matched to cases identified in HDDS. Results indicated that 4070 infants with NAS were reported to TNSS and 5321 infants with NAS were identified in HDDS during the study period. The total estimated number of infants with NAS during the study period was estimated to be 7855, which was 93 percent more than in TNSS and 48 percent more than in HDDS. Drugs used for the medication-assisted treatment of substance use disorder were the most commonly reported substances associated with. The authors concluded that TNSS underestimated the total burden of NAS based on the capture-recapture estimate. Moreover, case-based public health surveillance is important for monitoring the burden of and risk factors for NAS and helping guide public health interventions.
Public Health Reports (PHR) is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. The journal is peer-reviewed and publishes original research, reviews, and commentaries in the areas of public health practice and methodology, original research, public health law, and teaching at schools and programs of public health schools and teaching. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. PHR’s mission is to facilitate the movement of science into public health practice and policy to positively affect the health and wellness of the American public.
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