February 17, 2011 20:30
Wider implementation of policies is needed to save lives and reduce the health impact of harmful alcohol drinking, says a new report by WHO. Harmful use of alcohol results in the death of 2.5 million people annually, causes illness and injury to many more, and increasingly affects younger generations and drinkers in developing countries.
Alcohol use is the third leading risk factor for poor health globally. A wide variety of alcohol-related problems can have devastating impacts on individuals and their families and can seriously affect community life. The harmful use of alcohol is one of the four most common modifi able and preventable risk factors for major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). There is also emerging evidence that the harmful use of alcohol contributes to the health burden caused by communicable diseases such as, for example, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
Related WHO Web pages
- Management of Substance Abuse (currently featuring Global status report on alcohol and health 2o11 (3 March 2011)
- Rethinking Drinking provides research-based information about how your drinking habits can affect your health. Learn to recognize the signs of alcohol problems and ways to cut back or quit drinking. Interactive tools can also help you calculate the calories and alcohol content of drinks. (US National Institutes of Health)
Child Trends is a non-profit, non-partisan research center, and is the “nation’s only independent research and policy center focused exclusively on improving outcomes for children.”
Research topics include “Child Poverty,” “Fatherhood & Parenting,” “Youth Development,” and “Health.” In each section, the research focus on that topic is explained in a brief introduction, followed by resources that include research briefs, executive summaries and full reports, fact sheets, and a publications archive of materials over three years old.
A feature that visitors shouldn’t miss is “What Works/LINKS,” which can be accessed via the left side menu. The data in this section is about “programs that work -or don’t- to enhance children’s development”. There are effectiveness charts, “Lifecourse Interventions that Work,” and a continually updated database on programs that work (or don’t).
Visitors who are “Program Providers” in policy, education, or the media will find the “Information for…” heading on the left side of the homepage useful for fulfilling their specific needs.
ACP’s High-Value, Cost-Conscious Care initiative, announced in April 2010, is a broad program that connects two important priorities for the College: helping our physicians to provide the best possible care to their patients, and simultaneously reducing unnecessary costs to the health care system. The initiative includes clinical, public policy, and educational components.
ACP launched the clinical component of the initiative with the publication of “High-Value, Cost-Conscious Health Care: Concepts for Clinicians to Evaluate the Benefits, Harms, and Costs of Medical Interventions” in the February 1, 2011, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. In the paper, ACP explains the purpose of the initiative: to help physicians and patients understand the benefits, harms, and costs of an intervention and whether it provides good value, and to slow the unsustainable rate of health care costs while preserving high-value, high-quality care….
ACP’s High-Value, Cost-Conscious Care initiative continues the College’s position formulated in our 2009 policy paper “Controlling Health Care Costs While Promoting the Best Possible Health Outcomes.” In January 2011, ACP released “How Can Our Nation Conserve and Distribute Health Care Resources Effectively and Efficiently?” In the paper, ACP makes the case that there is an urgent need for the country to have a discussion on how to conserve and allocate limited resources in a uniquely American way that puts the principal responsibility on patients and physicians making informed choices based on evidence.
The next edition of ACP’s Medical Self-Assessment Program (MKSAP) will have a focus on optimal diagnostic and treatment strategies, based upon considerations of value, effectiveness, and avoidance of overuse and misuse.
Additional components of the initiative include patient education materials and possibly curricula for medical students and residents.