Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Cigarette smoking prevalence in US counties: 1996-2012

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Cigarette smoking prevalence in US counties: 1996-2012
Source: Population Health Metrics

Background
Cigarette smoking is a leading risk factor for morbidity and premature mortality in the United States, yet information about smoking prevalence and trends is not routinely available below the state level, impeding local-level action.

Methods
We used data on 4.7 million adults age 18 and older from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) from 1996 to 2012. We derived cigarette smoking status from self-reported data in the BRFSS and applied validated small area estimation methods to generate estimates of current total cigarette smoking prevalence and current daily cigarette smoking prevalence for 3,127 counties and county equivalents annually from 1996 to 2012. We applied a novel method to correct for bias resulting from the exclusion of the wireless-only population in the BRFSS prior to 2011.

Results
Total cigarette smoking prevalence varies dramatically between counties, even within states, ranging…

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March 29, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solitary Confinement and Risk of Self-Harm Among Jail Inmates

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Solitary Confinement and Risk of Self-Harm Among Jail Inmates (PDF)
Source: American Journal of Public Health

Objectives.
We sought to better understand acts of self-harm among inmates in correctional institutions.

Methods.
We analyzed data from medical records on 244 699 incarcerations in the New York City jail system from January 1, 2010, through January 31, 2013.

Results.
In 1303 (0.05%) of these incarcerations, 2182 acts of self-harm were committed, (103 potentially fatal and 7 fatal). Although only 7.3% of admissions included any solitary confinement, 53.3% of acts of self-harm and 45.0% of acts of potentially fatal self-harm occurred within this group. After we controlled for gender, age, race/ethnicity, serious mental illness, and length of stay, we found self-harm to be associated significantly with being in solitary confinement at least once, serious mental illness, being aged 18 years or younger, and being Latino or White, regardless of gender.

Conclusions.
These self-harm…

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March 29, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Crime and Mental Wellbeing

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Crime and Mental Wellbeing (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

We provide empirical evidence of crime’s impact on the mental wellbeing of both victims and non-victims. We differentiate between the direct impact to victims and the indirect impact to society due to the fear of crime. The results show a decrease in mental wellbeing after violent crime victimization and that the violent crime rate has a negative impact on mental wellbeing of non-victims. Property crime victimization and property crime rates show no such comparable impact. Finally, we estimate that society-wide compensation due to increasing the crime rate by one victim is about 80 times more than the direct impact on the victim.

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March 29, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where’s HIV in the United States?

GIS Use in Public Health & Healthcare

Screen shot 2014-03-27 at 4.38.00 PM

AIDSVu is an interactive online map illustrating the prevalence of HIV in the United States. The state- and county-level data on AIDSVu come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national HIV surveillance database, which is comprised of HIV surveillance reports from state and local health departments. ZIP code and census tract data come directly from state, county and city health departments, depending on which entity is responsible for HIV surveillance in a particular geographic area.

Uses can search through HIV prevalence data by race/ethnicity, sex and age, and see how HIV prevalence is related to various social determinants of health, such as educational attainment and poverty.

As one can see, HIV prevalence in the United States is concentrated in the South highlighting one of the many health disparities in the North-South divide in the United States.

Check out the map here.

Juhi Mawla, Intern, gis@vertices.com 

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March 29, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

[Educational Resource] Science Literacy Resources

This resource is a bit off topic. It is an educational resource basically for junior high and high school teachers. However, I find it fascinating on how it shows the interrelationship among science and mathematical concepts. Here’s a few that are health/medical related

Here’s a sample Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 6.03.42 AM

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March 29, 2014 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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