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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] How Medicaid affects adult health — Study: Health insurance helps lower-income Americans avoid depression, diabetes, major financial shocks | Full Text Reports…

How Medicaid affects adult health — Study: Health insurance helps lower-income Americans avoid depression, diabetes, major financial shocks | Full Text Reports….

 

From the 10 January 2014 Full Text Report

 

January 10, 2014

How Medicaid affects adult health — Study: Health insurance helps lower-income Americans avoid depression, diabetes, major financial shocks
Source: New England Journal of Medicine (via MIT)

Enrollment in Medicaid helps lower-income Americans overcome depression, get proper treatment for diabetes, and avoid catastrophic medical bills, but does not appear to reduce the prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, according to a new study with a unique approach to analyzing one of America’s major health-insurance programs.

The study, a randomized evaluation comparing health outcomes among more than 12,000 people in Oregon, employs the same research approach as a clinical trial, but applies it in a way that provides a window into the health outcomes of poor Americans who have been given the opportunity to get health insurance.

“What we found was that Medicaid significantly increased the probability of being diagnosed with diabetes, and being on diabetes medication,” says Amy Finkelstein, the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT and, along with Katherine Baicker of Harvard University’s School of Public Health, the principal investigator for the study. “We find decreases in rates of depression, and we continue to find reduced financial hardship. However, we were unable to detect a decline in the incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.”

 

 

 

 

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January 20, 2014 Posted by | health care | , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] Unintended Pregnancy in the United States | Full Text Reports…

From the 2013 Guttmacher Institute Web site

• Most American families want two children. To achieve this, the average woman spends about five years pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant, and three decades—more than three-quarters of her reproductive life—trying to avoid an unintended pregnancy.[1]

• Most individuals and couples want to plan the timing and spacing of their childbearing and to avoid unintended pregnancies, for a range of social and economic reasons. In addition, unintended pregnancy has a public health impact: Births resulting from unintended or closely spaced pregnancies are associated with adverse maternal and child health outcomes, such as delayed prenatal care, premature birth and negative physical and mental health effects for children. [2,3,4]

• For these reasons, reducing the unintended pregnancy rate is a national public health goal. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 campaign aims to reduce unintended pregnancy by 10%, from 49% of pregnancies to 44% of pregnancies, over the next 10 years.[5]

• Currently, about half (51%) of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the United States each year (3.4 million) are unintended (see box).[6]

• In 2008, there were 54 unintended pregnancies for every 1,000 women aged 15–44. In other words, about 5% of reproductive-age women have an unintended pregnancy each year.[6]

• By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and three in 10 will have had an abortion.[7].

• The U.S. unintended pregnancy rate is significantly higher than the rate in many other developed countries.[8]

Incidence of Unintended Pregnancy (State)

• At least 37% of pregnancies in every U.S. state are unintended. In 31 states and the District of Columbia, more than half of pregnancies are unintended (see map).[9]

• Rates of unintended pregnancy are generally highest in the South and Southwest, and in states with large urban populations.[9]

• States with the highest unintended pregnancy rates in 2008 were Delaware (70 per 1,000 women aged 15–44), California (66), Mississippi (66), Louisiana (63), Florida (62), New York (62), Hawaii (61), Georgia (60) and New Jersey (60).

• The lowest unintended pregnancy rates in 2008 were found in New Hampshire (31 per 1,000 women aged 15–44), Wisconsin (35), Maine (36), and Vermont (37). [9]

Read the entire article here

 

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January 20, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dental Care Coverage and Use: Modeling Limitations and Opportunities | Full Text Reports…

Dental Care Coverage and Use: Modeling Limitations and Opportunities | Full Text Reports….

Source: American Journal of Public Health

Objectives.
We examined why older US adults without dental care coverage and use would have lower use rates if offered coverage than do those who currently have coverage.

Methods.
We used data from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study to estimate a multinomial logistic model to analyze the influence of personal characteristics in the grouping of older US adults into those with and those without dental care coverage and dental care use.

Results.
Compared with persons with no coverage and no dental care use, users of dental care with coverage were more likely to be younger, female, wealthier, college graduates, married, in excellent or very good health, and not missing all their permanent teeth.

Conclusions.
Providing dental care coverage to uninsured older US adults without use will not necessarily result in use rates similar to those with prior coverage and use. We have offered a model using modifiable factors that may help policy planners facilitate programs to increase dental care coverage uptake and use.

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January 20, 2014 Posted by | health care | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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