For much of 2014, the Ebola outbreak in Sub-Saharan Africa dominated headlines as the virus spread and eventually made its way to the United States and Europe. Unfortunately, while the world focused on graphic images of people dying from Ebola on the street, little attention was paid to other infectious diseases that continue to plague much of the developing world.
As media coverage of the Ebola outbreak slowly started to decline, however, news of a new strain of drug-resistant malaria started to catch the public’s attention. Drug-resistance is a silent but serious threat to public health. And, if drug-resistant malaria were to spread from its current location in Myanmar to the nearby nations of India and China, it could easily become the world’s next big global health emergency.
More generally, every year millions of people die from malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDs – aptly named neglected diseases. This fact invites the following questions: What efforts to combat these neglected diseases are working? Where is help still needed? And, what initiatives are actually making a difference?
A new Global Health Impact index, supported by a collaboration of university-based researchers and civil society organizations around the world, helps provide answers to these questions. The index evaluates the global health impact of particular drugs. This information can be used to increase awareness about particular diseases, and create national and international demand for drugs to treat these diseases.
A drug’s global health impact is determined by compiling information about: (1) the need for the drug; (2) access to the drug; and (3) effectiveness of the drug. In this way, the Global Health Impact index makes it possible to estimate the impact of each drug in each country, as well as the global impact of particular drugs on specific diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
1 percent of Americans with the highest health care expenses accounted for nearly 22 percent of the nation’s total health care expenditures [news release]
From the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
AHRQ Stats: Per-Person Health Care Expenses
Among the U.S. noninstitutionalized population in 2013, the 1 percent of Americans with the highest health care expenses accounted for nearly 22 percent of the nation’s total health care expenditures. Members of that group had annual average expenses of $95,200. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #480: Differentials in the Concentration of Health Expenditures across Population Subgroups in the U.S., 2013.)
From the 7 March 2016 Brookings report
This Tuesday, March 8, marks the first International Women’s Day since world leaders agreed last September to launch the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. A more rounded conception of gender equality marks one of the SDGs’ most important improvements compared to their predecessor Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Two SDG targets help to illustrate the broadening geopolitical recognition of the challenges. They also help to underscore how much progress is still required.
A renewed target: Protecting mothers’ lives
The SDGs are also carrying forward the previous MDG priority of maternal health. Target 3.1 aims as follows: “By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.” Formally this falls under Goal 3 for health and wellbeing, but it certainly represents a gender equality objective too. Part of that is by definition; mothers are female. Part of it is driven by the need to overcome gender bias; male decision-makers at all levels might overlook key health issues with which they have no direct personal experience.
A new target: Eliminating child marriage
The inclusion of SDG target 5.3 adds one of the most important new priorities to the global policy agenda: to “eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage, and female genital mutilation.”
Unemployment and Depression Among Emerging Adults in 12 States, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2010 [Report]
The high rate of unemployment among emerging adults (aged 18 to 25 years) is a public health concern. The risk of depression is higher among the unemployed than among the employed, but little is known about the relationship between unemployment and mental health among emerging adults. This secondary data analysis assessed the relationship between unemployment and depression among emerging adults.
Data from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were analyzed.
Almost 12% of emerging adults were depressed (PHQ-8 ≥10) and about 23% were unemployed. Significantly more unemployed than employed emerging adults were classified with depression. In the final model, the odds of depression were about 3 times higher for unemployed than employed emerging adults.
The relationship between unemployment and depression is significant among emerging adults. With high rates of unemployment for this age group, this population may benefit from employment- and mental-health–focused interventions.
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the nation’s premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. Established in 1984 with 15 states, BRFSS now collects data in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories. BRFSS completes more than 400,000 adult interviews each year, making it the largest continuously conducted health survey system in the world.
By collecting behavioral health risk data at the state and local level, BRFSS has become a powerful tool for targeting and building health promotion activities. As a result, BRFSS users have increasingly demanded more data and asked for more questions on the survey.
Finding and using health statistics has become requisite for a number of careers in the past several decades. It’s also a worthwhile skill for anyone navigating the increasingly complex world of health care and medicine. This free online course from the U.S. National Library of Medicine is divided into three related parts: About Health Statistics, Finding Health Statistics, and Supporting Material. Selecting any of these tabs opens to a table of contents. From there, readers can follow the course page by page. For instance, About Health Statistics begins by reviewing the importance of health stats, moves on to their uses, and then speaks about sources for the gathering of statistics, such as population surveys and registers of diseases.
Copyright © 2013 Internet Scout Research Group – http://scout.wisc.edu
The CDC recently released an interesting map depicting the most “distinctive” cause of death in each state from 2001 through 2010. These causes of death are not the most common – that would be cancer or heart disease in every state – but rather unusual causes of death that are disproportionately common in each state.
Because these aren’t the most common cause of death, in some states just a few dozen people are dying of each condition. For example, the number of deaths range “from 15,000 deaths from HIV in Florida to 679 deaths from tuberculosis in Texas to 22 deaths from syphilis in Louisiana.”
Maps like this one can be helpful in elucidating unique health conditions or social issues in each state. We all know that as a country we are overweight; pointing out the number one killer (heart disease) on a map on seeks to reinforce what is already known. The “distinctive cause” of death points to other issues – like people in coal-mining states being disproportionately likely to die from pneumoconiosis (black lung).
For the physicians out there – the authors of the study noted the importance of categorizing causes of death accurately on death certificates. “It would not take many systematic miscodes involving an unusual cause of death for it to appear on this type of map,” they write.
You can also visit this article on Slate about fun with maps that go viral, which clearly shows how manipulating data can give you some interesting results.
This 2014 issue of Nature (in collaboration with Scientific American) is free to read by all.
Tailoring cancer treatment to individual and evolving tumours is the way of the future, but scientists are still hashing out the details
Effective treatment of cancer requires getting the drugs precisely to the target. Enter the nanoparticle
- Comparative Biology
A subterranean species that seems to be cancer-proof is providing promising clues on how we might prevent the disease in humans
- Developing World
Much of the world is ill-equipped to cope with its rising cancer burden and are pushing prevention and screening
Carcinogens are all around us, so scientists are broadening their ideas of environmental risk
Despite a huge amount of funding and research, regional and individual differences in cancer trends make it a hard disease to wipe out
Grouping patients according to their molecular profile can make for better and faster drug approval decisions
The torrents of data flowing out of cancer research and treatment are yielding fresh insight into the disease
Genomics can provide powerful tools against cancer — but only once clinical information can be made broadly available
Even as cancer therapies improve, basic questions about drug resistance, tumour spread and the role of normal tissue remain unanswered
[Report] Callous and Cruel: Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons | Full Text Reports…
From the Human Rights Watch report summary
Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and PrisonsThis 127-page report details incidents in which correctional staff have deluged prisoners with painful chemical sprays, shocked them with powerful electric stun weapons, and strapped them for days in restraining chairs or beds. Staff have broken prisoners’ jaws, noses, ribs; left them with lacerations requiring stitches, second-degree burns, deep bruises, and damaged internal organs. In some cases, the force used has led to their death.READ THE REPORT
[Report] County-Level Variation in Prevalence of Multiple Chronic Conditions Among Medicare Beneficiaries, 2012
The map illustrates the geographic variation across counties and shows that counties with the highest prevalence of Medicare beneficiaries with 6 or more chronic conditions are located predominantly in southern states (eg, Texas, Florida, Kentucky) and northeastern states (eg, New York, Pennsylvania). Counties with the lowest prevalence are found mostly in western states (eg, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming). [A text description of this figure is also available.]
Preventing chronic conditions and controlling costs associated with the care for people with chronic conditions are public health and health care priorities. The number of chronic conditions increase with age: more than two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries 65 years or older have 2 or more chronic conditions, and more than 15% have 6 or more (1,2). People with multiple chronic conditions use more health care services than people who do not have them, and they account for a disproportionate share of health care spending (2,3). The prevalence of multiple chronic conditions varies substantially by state (4); more granular geographic information on multiple chronic conditions can provide a better understanding of the burden of chronic conditions and the implications for local public health programs and resources. The objective of this geographic information system (GIS) analysis was to describe county-level prevalence patterns of Medicare beneficiaries with 6 or more chronic conditions.
Navigate This Article
CDC has released the updated Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) online tool that produces public health profiles for all 3,143 counties in the United States. Each profile includes key indicators of health outcomes, which describes the population health status of a county and factors that have the potential to influence health outcomes, such as health care access and quality, health behaviors, social factors, and the physical environment.
Each profile includes key indicators of health outcomes, which describes the population health status of a county and factors that have the potential to influence health outcomes, such as health care access and quality, health behaviors, social factors, and the physical environment.
The re-designed online application includes updated peer county groups, health status indicators, a summary comparison page, and U.S. Census tract data and indicators for sub-populations (age groups, sex, and race/ethnicity) to identify potential health disparities. In this new version of CHSI, all indicators are benchmarked against those of peer counties, the median of all U.S. counties, and Healthy People 2020 targets. Organizations conducting community health assessments can use CHSI data to:
- Assess community health status and identify disparities;
- Promote a shared understanding of the wide range of factors that can influence health; and
- Mobilize multi-sector partnerships to work together to improve population health.
(another table on accident risks at the above link)
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for nearly 600,000 fatalities in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Influenza and pneumonia ranked ninth in 2010, accounting for some 50,000 fatalities. However, pandemic influenza viruses have the potential to be far more deadly. An estimated 675,000 Americans died during the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, the deadliest and most infectious known influenza strain to date.
DEATH RATES FROM MAJOR CAUSES IN THE UNITED STATES, 2010-2011
Health Statistics Resources (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
Worried about what to worry about? Accidents should move higher up your list.
Worldwide, road injuries kill more people than AIDS. Falls kill nearly three times as many people as braincancer. Drowning claims more lives than mothers dying in childbirth. Both fire and poisonings have many times more fatal victims than natural disasters. In 2013, the combined death toll from all unintentional injuries was 3.5 million people. Only heart disease and stroke were greater killers.
These findings, published late last year in the British medical journal The Lancet, are from the “Global Burden of Disease” study, an international collaboration led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which tracks the annual toll of 240 causes of death for men and women in 20 age groups across 188 countries. The study isn’t mere morbid fascination. Look beneath the top-level results and you also see huge variations among countries that are economic peers. This is actually encouraging news: It means that some countries have figured out a much better way to curb accidental deaths — and that other countries might be able to follow suit.
From the 30 January 2015 post by Nicole Hassoun and Priya Bhimani at Impact Ethics
From the January 2015 NCHS Data Brief (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Key findings Data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey
- In 2010, adults aged 85 and over accounted for only 2% of the U.S. population but 9% of hospital discharges.
- From 2000 through 2010, the rate of hospitalizations for adults aged 85 and over declined from 605 to 553 hospitalizations per 1,000 population, a 9% decrease.
- The rate of fractures and other injuries was higher for adults aged 85 and over (51 per 1,000 population) than for adults aged 65–74 (9 per 1,000 population) and 75–84 (23 per 1,000 population).
- Adults aged 85 and over were less likely than those aged 65–74 and 75–84 to be discharged home and more likely to die in the hospital.
From 2000 through 2010, the number of adults aged 85 and over in the United States rose 31%, from 4.2 million to 5.5 million, and in 2010, this age group represented almost 14% of the population aged 65 and over (1). It is estimated that by 2050, more than 21% of adults over age 65 will be aged 85 and over (2). Given this increase, adults aged 85 and over are likely to account for an increasing share of hospital utilization and costs in the coming years (3). This report describes hospitalizations for adults aged 85 and over with comparisons to adults aged 65–74 and 75–84.
- In 2000, adults aged 85 and over accounted for only 2% of the U.S. population but 8% of hospital discharges. In 2010, adults aged 85 and over still accounted for 2% of the U.S. population but accounted for 9% of hospital discharges (Figure 1).
NOTE: Population is the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population.
SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Hospital Discharge Survey, 2000–2010.
- In 2000 and 2010, adults aged 85 and over accounted for 12% and 14%, respectively, of those aged 65 and over. However, adults aged 85 and over accounted for more than 20% of hospital discharges for those aged 65 and over for both years.
- Adults aged 85 and over accounted for a disproportionate share of the total days of care, 10% in 2000 and 11% in 2010.
Figure 2. Hospitalizations, by age: United States, 2000–2010
1Rate of hospitalization exceeds the rate for younger age groups for every year from 2000 through 2010 (p < 0.05).
SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Hospital Discharge Survey, 2000–2010.
- From 2000 through 2010, the hospitalization rate for adults aged 85 and over remained significantly higher than the rates for adults under age 65, aged 65–74, and aged 75–84.
- In 2010, the hospitalization rate for adults aged 85 and over (553 per 1,000 population) was more than five times higher than the rate for adults under 65 (80 per 1,000 population).
- In 2010, congestive heart failure (43 per 1,000 population) was the most frequent first-listed diagnosis for adults aged 85 and over, but in 2000 and 2005, pneumonia (51 and 52 per 1,000 population, respectively) was the most common first-listed diagnosis for adults aged 85 and over (Table).
- Hospitalization rates for congestive heart failure, pneumonia, stroke, and hip fracture decreased from 2000 through 2010 for adults aged 85 and over, and the rates for urinary tract infections and septicemia increased from 2000 through 2010.
Table. Common causes of hospitalization for adults aged 85 and over: United States, 2010 First-listed diagnosis 2000 2005 2010 Percent change1 (2000 to 2010) Rate of hospitalization per 1,000 population Congestive heart failure 48 47 43 –9.5 Pneumonia 51 52 34 –32.8 Urinary tract infection 19 24 30 +55.9 Septicemia 15 18 28 +84.8 Stroke 37 27 28 –25.0 Hip fracture 28 23 21 –25.4
1Percent change for each diagnosis is significant from 2000 through 2010 (p < 0.05).
NOTE: First-listed diagnosis is considered to be the main cause or reason for the hospitalization. The diagnoses were chosen because they were the top six first-listed diagnoses in 2010.
SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Hospital Discharge Survey, 2000–2010.
- The rate of all injuries for adults aged 85 and over (51 per 1,000 population) was higher than the rates for adults aged 65–74 and 75–84 (9 and 23 per 1,000 population, respectively) (Figure 3).
- The rate of hip fractures for adults aged 85 and over (21 per 1,000 population) was higher than the rates for adults aged 65–74 and 75–84 (2 and 8 per 1,000 population, respectively).
- The rate of other fractures for adults aged 85 and over (18 per 1,000 population) was higher than the rates for adults aged 65–74 and 75–84 (4 and 10 per 1,000 population, respectively).
- The rate of other injuries for adults aged 85 and over (12 per 1,000 population) was higher than the rates for adults aged 65–74 and 75–84 (3 and 6 per 1,000 population, respectively).
Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce – Great site to learn and keep updated about issues afffecting all
Keeps you informed about news in public health, upcoming meetings, and new public health online resources
Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations and health sciences libraries. This comprehensive collection of online public health resources includes the following topic pages. Each has links to news items; links to relevant agencies, associations, and subtopics; literature and reports; data tools and statistics; grants and funding; education and training; conferences and meetings; jobs and careers; and more
Main Topic pages include material on
- Health Promotion and Health Education -news and resources
- Health Data Tools and Statistics- links to international, national, state, county and local data resources
- Grants and Funding
- Education and Training -many free and online
- Conferences and Meetings
- Finding People – directories of people and organizations in public health.
- Discussion and E-mail Lists
- Jobs and Careers
From Health-related Millennium Development Goals – Summary of Status and Trends:
With one year to go until the 2015 target date for achieving the MDGs, substantial progress can be reported on many health-related goals. The global target of halving the proportion of people without access to improved sources of drinking water was met in 2010, with remarkable progress also having been made in reducing child mortality, improving nutrition, and combating HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
Between 1990 and 2012, mortality in children under 5 years of age declined by 47%, from an estimated rate of 90 deaths per 1000 live births to 48 deaths per 1000 live births. This translates into 17 000 fewer children dying every day in 2012 than in 1990. The risk of a child dying before their fifth birthday is still highest in the WHO African Region (95 per 1000 live births) – eight times higher than that in the WHO European Region (12 per 1000 live births). There are, however, signs of progress in the region as the pace of decline in the under-five mortality rate has accelerated over time; increasing from 0.6% per year between 1990 and 1995 to 4.2% per year between 2005 and 2012. The global rate of decline during the same two periods was 1.2% per year and 3.8% per year, respectively.
Nevertheless, nearly 18 000 children worldwide died every day in 2012, and the global speed of decline in mortality rate remains insufficient to reach the target of a two-thirds reduction in the 1990 levels of mortality by the year 2015.
+ Direct link to document (PDF; 2.4 MB)
Two tables from the report
Most common prescription drugs among adults are those for cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol
About half of all Americans reported taking one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days during 2007-2010, and 1 in 10 took five or more, according to Health, United States, 2013, the government’s annual, comprehensive report on the nation’s health.
This is the 37th annual report prepared for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The report includes a compilation of health data from state and federal health agencies and the private sector.
This year’s report includes a special section on prescription drugs. Key findings include:
- About half of all Americans in 2007-2010 reported taking one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days. Use increased with age; 1 in 4 children took one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days compared to 9 in 10 adults aged 65 and over.
- Cardiovascular agents (used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease) and cholesterol-lowering drugs were two of the most commonly used classes of prescription drugs among adults aged 18-64 years and 65 and over in 2007-2010. Nearly 18 percent (17.7) of adults aged 18-64 took at least one cardiovascular agent in the past 30 days.
- The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs among those aged 18-64 has increased more than six-fold since 1988-1994, due in part to the introduction and acceptance of statin drugs to lower cholesterol.
- Other commonly used prescription drugs among adults aged 18-64 years were analgesics to relieve pain and antidepressants.
- The prescribing of antibiotics during medical visits for cold symptoms declined 39 percent between 1995-1996 and 2009-2010.
- Among adults aged 65 and over, 70.2 percent took at least one cardiovascular agent and 46.7 percent took a cholesterol-lowering drug in the past 30 days in 2007-2010. The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs in this age group has increased more than seven-fold since 1988-1994.
- Other commonly used prescription drugs among those aged 65 and older included analgesics, blood thinners and diabetes medications.
- In 2012, adults aged 18-64 years who were uninsured for all or part of the past year were more than four times as likely to report not getting needed prescription drugs due to cost as adults who were insured for the whole year (22.4 percent compared to 5.0 percent).
- The use of antidepressants among adults aged 18 and over increased more than four-fold, from 2.4 percent to 10.8 percent between 1988-1994 and 2007-2010.
- Drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics among those aged 15 and over more than tripled in the past decade, from 1.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 1999-2000 to 6.6 in 2009-2010.
- The annual growth in spending on retail prescription drugs slowed from 14.7 percent in 2001 to 2.9 percent in 2011.
Health, United States, 2013 features 135 tables on key health measures through 2012 from a number of sources within the federal government and in the private sector. The tables cover a range of topics, including birth rates and reproductive health, life expectancy and leading causes of death, health risk behaviors, health care utilization, and insurance coverage and health expenditures.
The full report is available at www.cdc.gov/nchs
Men who have been incarcerated and released are more than twice as likely to die prematurely as those who have not been imprisoned, according to a new study published by Georgia State University criminologist William Alex Pridemore.
Former prisoners are more likely to die early from infectious and respiratory diseases, drug overdoses and homicides. Causes of this “mortality penalty” include increased exposure to diseases like TB and HIV, the prolonged stress of the prison environment, the disruption of important social bonds and, upon release, the struggle to reintegrate into society and employment.
“We know that stress can weaken immune systems,” Pridemore said. “And in a very unpleasant twist of events, at the precise moment when these men are most vulnerable to a compromised immune system due to stress – that is, when they are incarcerated – they are most exposed to a host of communicable diseases whose rates are much higher in the prison population.”
Pridemore’s empirical analysis of the Izhevsk (Russia) Family Study, was published online this month in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Titled “The Mortality Penalty of Incarceration: Evidence from a Population-based Case-control Study of Working Age Males,” it is among the first sociological studies to look at the short- and long-term impacts of incarceration on the mortality of prisoners after their release.
More than 2.5 million people are incarcerated in the United States – 95 percent of whom will eventually be released. Incarceration rates in the United States and Russia, at 730 and 519 per 100,000 residents, are among the highest in the world.
MEDIA CONTACTJennifer French Giarratano
“Earlier research looked at the collateral consequences of mass imprisonment that started in the 1970s, when the U.S. went on an incarceration binge. Most focused on incarceration’s limits on job prospects and earnings, marriages and its impact on communities,” he said. “Now research is turning to its impact on health.
“Ironically, prisons provide an opportunity to screen and treat a population that may be unlikely or unable to take advantage of community-based health care,” he continued. “Prisons should work with inmates, prior to their release, and provide health screenings and treatment and help them plan for their short-term and long-term health care needs. This investment will benefit not only the individual health of current and former prisoners, but also taxpayers and the broader community by way of improved population health.
Pridemore’s findings are timely given the recent release of the National Research Council’s report, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States, which has politicians and the public reconsidering mass incarceration.
“Careful research shows that many of the consequences of contact with the penal system – especially the mortality penalty of incarceration – go well beyond what we consider just punishment,” he said.
William Alex Pridemore is a Distinguished University Professor in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. His research focuses on the social structure and violence and the sociology of health.
From the 12 May 2014 article at Pew State and Consumer Initiatives
The mortality rate in Massachusetts declined substantially in the four years after the state enacted a law in 2006 mandating universal health care coverage, providing the model for the Affordable Care Act.
In a study released last week, Harvard School of Public Health professors Benjamin Sommers, Sharon Long and Katherine Baicker conclude that “health reform in Massachusetts was associated with a significant decrease in all-cause mortality.”
A portion of the chart
The authors caution that their conclusions, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, may not apply to all states, and other studies have shown little correlation between having insurance and living longer. Nevertheless, the Harvard study adds to a growing body of evidence that having health insurance increases a person’s life expectancy.
Good points about the limits of observational studies and how NNT (number needed to treat) is a good indicator of the efficacy of an intervention. Also good point of how a good preventive diet can often trump medications/surgery.
Well worth the 18 minutes of viewing.
From the Web site
Published on Sep 29, 2012
Dr. Newman is the Director of Clinical Research in the Emergency Department at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and an Iraq war veteran. In addition to being widely published in medical journals he has written health care articles for the New York Times and is the author of Hippocrates’ Shadow: Secrets From the House of Medicine. For the past ten years he has concentrated his work in medical evidence translation and appraisal. He is also the editor-in-chief for two online publications, TheNNT.com, a resource for health care evidence summaries, and SMART-EM, a monthly audio review. He lives in New York City with his wife and teaches at both Mount Sinai School of Medicine and at Columbia University.
PISCATAWAY, NJ – It’s no secret that drinking and driving can be a deadly mix. But the role of alcohol in U.S. traffic deaths may be substantially underreported on death certificates, according to a study in the March issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Between 1999 and 2009, more than 450,000 Americans were killed in a traffic crashes. But in cases where alcohol was involved, death certificates frequently failed to list alcohol as a cause of death.
Why does that matter? One big reason is that injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans younger than 45, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it’s important to have a clear idea of alcohol’s role in those deaths, explained Ralph Hingson, Sc.D., of the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
“We need to have a handle on what’s contributing to the leading cause of death among young people,” Hingson said. What’s more, he noted, researchers need reliable data to study the effects of policies aimed at reducing alcohol-related deaths.
“You want to know how big the problem is, and if we can track it,” Hingson said. “Is it going up, or going down? And what policy measures are working?”
For the new study, I-Jen Castle, Ph.D., and a team led by Hingson focused on traffic deaths because, of all types of accidental fatalities, that’s where researchers have the best data. This is partly because many U.S. states—about half right now—require that fatally injured drivers be tested for blood alcohol levels, and nationwide about 70% of those drivers are tested.
Hingson’s team used a database maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, called the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)—which contains the blood alcohol levels of Americans killed in traffic crashes. They compared that information with deaths certificate data from all U.S. states.
Overall, they found, death certificates greatly underreported the role of alcohol in traffic deaths between 1999 and 2009: Just over 3 percent listed alcohol as a contributing cause. But based on the FARS figures, 21 percent of those deaths were legally drunk.
The picture varied widely from state to state. In some states—such as Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Jersey—alcohol was rarely listed on death certificates. Certain other states did much better, including Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota. It’s not fully clear why alcohol is so often left off of death certificates. One reason could be the time it takes to get blood-alcohol test results back. Coroners or medical examiners usually have to file a death certificate within three to five days, Hingson’s team notes, but toxicology results might take longer than that.
The reasons for the wide variation among states aren’t known either. But Hingson said that’s an important question. “Some states have been pretty successful,” he noted. “What are they doing right?”
It doesn’t seem to be only a matter of passing laws: States that mandate alcohol testing for deceased drivers did not always do better when it came to reporting alcohol as a contributor on death certificates.
Whatever the reasons, Hingson said, the role of alcohol in injury deaths may be seriously underestimated on death certificates. And the situation is likely worse with other types of accidental deaths, such as falls, drug poisoning/overdoses, and drowning, for which there is no mandatory blood alcohol testing or other reporting systems.
Hingson said he thinks testing should be done in those cases as well.
[Press release] Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2012 | Full Text Reports…
This report presents detailed tables from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the civilian noninstitutionalized adult population, classified by sex, age, race and Hispanic origin, education, current employment status, family income, poverty status, health insurance coverage, marital status, and place and region of residence. Estimates (frequencies and percentages) are presented for selected chronic conditions and mental health characteristics, functional limitations, health status, health behaviors, health care access and utilization, and human immunodeficiency virus testing. Percentages and percent distributions are presented in both age-adjusted and unadjusted versions.
[Report] Adult illicit drug users are far more likely to seriously consider suicide | Full Text Reports…
From the 16 January SAMSHA news release ( US Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration)
Adults using illicit drugs are far more likely to seriously consider suicide than the general adult population according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The report finds that 3.9 percent of the nation’s adult population aged 18 or older had serious thoughts about suicide in the past year, but that the rate among adult illicit drug users was 9.4 percent.
According to SAMHSA’s report, the percentage of adults who had serious thoughts of suicide varied by the type of illicit substance used. For example, while 9.6 percent of adults who had used marijuana in the past year had serious thoughts of suicide during that period, the level was 20.9 percent for adults who had used sedatives non-medically in the past year.
“Suicide takes a devastating toll on individuals, families and communities across our nation,” said Dr. Peter Delany, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. “We must reach out to all segments of our community to provide them with the support and treatment they need so that we can help prevent more needless deaths and shattered lives.”
Those in crisis or who know someone they believe may be at immediate risk of attempting suicide are urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline network, funded by SAMHSA, provides immediate free and confidential, round-the-clock crisis counseling to anyone in need throughout the country, every day of the year.
This report, “1 in 11 Past Year Illicit Drug Users Had Serious Thoughts of Suicide,” is based on the findings of SAMHSA’s 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report. The NSDUH report is based on a scientifically conducted annual survey of approximately 70,000 people throughout the country, aged 12 and older. Because of its statistical power, it is a primary source of statistical information on the scope and nature of many substance abuse and mental health issues affecting the nation.
The complete survey findings are available on the SAMHSA web site at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/spotlight/spot129-suicide-thoughts-drug-use-2014.pdf
For more information about SAMHSA visit: http://www.samhsa.gov/.
The  Prevention Status Reports (PSRs) highlight—for all 50 states and the District of Columbia—the status of public health policies and practices designed to prevent or reduce important public health problems.
Related Reports and Analyses
The Guide to Community Preventive Services
A compilation of the evidence-based findings of the Community Preventive Services Task Force showing what works to improve health
County Health Rankings
A collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute examining the health and well-being of people living in nearly every county in the United States
America’s Health Rankings
An annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by state basis published jointly by the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association, and Partnership for Prevention
Trust for America’s Health
Data on key health indicators and other indicators for each state and the District of Columbia
Healthy People 2020
Science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans
CDC Vital Signs
Recent data and calls to action for important public health issues
Ever been scared or made uncomfortable about threats to your health? And solutions that seemed too good to be true?
Here’s a book for just about everyone that can help one understand the statistics behind health information. And how to spot misinformation easily.
From the intro
Every day we are faced with news stories, ads, and public service announcements that describe health threats and suggest ways we can protect ourselves. It’s impossible to watch television, open a magazine, read a newspaper, or go online without being bombarded by messages about the dangers we face.
Many of the messages are intended to be scary, warning us that we are surrounded by danger and hinting that everything we do or neglect to do brings us one step closer to cancer, heart disease, and death. Other messages are intended to be full of hope, reassuring us that technological miracles and breakthrough drugs can save us all. And many messages do both: they use fear to make us feel vulnerable and then provide some hope by telling us what we can do (or buy) to lower our risk. In addition, as you may suspect, a great many of these messages are wildly exaggerated: many of the risks we hear about are really not so big, and the benefits of many of the miraculous breakthroughs are often pretty small.
As a result, we are often left misinformed and confused. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The goal of this book is to help you better understand health information by teaching you about the numbers behind the messages—the medical statistics on which the claims are based. The book will also familiarize you with risk charts, which are designed to help you put your health concerns in perspective. By learning to understand the numbers and knowing what questions to ask, you’ll be able to see through the hype and find the credible information—if any—that remains.
Don’t worry: this is not a math book (only a few simple calculations are required). Instead, this is a book that will teach you what numbers to look for in health messages and how to tell when the medical statistics don’t support the message. This book will help you develop the basic skills you need to become a better consumer of health messages, and these skills will foster better communication between you and your doctor.
From the book (pages 130-132)
CREDIBLE SOURCES OF HEALTH STATISTICS
Sources Created Primarily for Consumers BMJ (British Medical Journal) Best Treatments
Medical publishing division of the British Medical Association (no commercial ads allowed). Rates the science supporting the use of operations, tests, and treatments for a variety of conditions. In the United States and Canada, available only with a Consumer Reportssubscription.
Center for Medical Consumers
Independent, nonprofit organization. Offers a skeptical take on health claims and recent health news. Free.
Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs* www.consumerreports.org/health/bestbuy-drugs.htm
Independent, nonprofit organization. Compares the benefits, side effects, and costs of different prescription drugs for the same problem, based on information from the Drug Effectiveness Review Project (see listing on page 131). Free.
Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making*
Independent, nonprofit organization. Offers decision aids that describe the treatment options and outcomes for various conditions in order to promote patient involvement in decision making. DVDs must be purchased at http://www.healthdialog.com/hd/Core/CollaborativeCare/videolibrary.htm.
* Two of us (Drs. Schwartz and Woloshin) are on the advisory board for Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs (unpaid positions). We have been paid consultants reviewing materials for the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making.
Informed Health Online
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, an independent, nonprofit organization established by German health care reform legislation. Describes the science supporting the use of operations, tests, and treatments for a variety of conditions. Free.
Ottawa Health Research Institute Patient Decision Aids
Academic affiliate of the University of Ottawa. Provides a comprehensive inventory of decision aids (plus a rating of their quality), and tells patients how to get them. Some are free.
Sources Created Primarily for Physicians and Policy Makers Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
U.S. federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services. Summarizes all the available data about treatments for specific conditions (look for EPC Evidence Reports). Free.
International, independent, nonprofit organization of researchers. Summarizes all the available data about treatments for specific conditions (look for Cochrane Reviews). Abstracts free, full reports by subscription.
Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP)
Collaboration of public and private organizations developed by Oregon Health and Science University. Provides comparative data on the benefit, side effects, and costs of different prescription drugs for the same problem (source for Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs). Free.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
Independent, nonprofit British organization that advises the British National Health Service. Summarizes all the available data about treatments for specific conditions (look for NICE Guidance). Free.
Physician Data Query (PDQ)—National Cancer Institute
U.S. federal government (part of the National Cancer Institute). Summa- rizes all the available data about cancer prognosis and treatments (look for Cancer Information Summaries). Free.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
U.S. federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, which reviews and approves new and generic drugs. To look up individual drugs, go to http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/drugsatfda/index.cfm. After you choose a drug from the index, the Drug Details page appears. If you click Approval History, you may be able to access a Review and then a Medical Review. TheMedical Review contains all the relevant randomized trials submitted to the FDA for approval. From the Drug Details page, you can also access Label Information, when it is available (the package insert that comes with prescription drugs and summarizes excerpts of the review documents). Warning: This site can be challenging. The review documents can be hundreds of pages, and there may be multiple entries for the same drug (because it is used for multiple purposes). Free.
US Preventive Services Task Force
Independent panel of experts sponsored by AHRQ. Summarizes the available data about preventive services. After you choose a topic, you’ll see the relevant recommendations; at the bottom of the list, you can click Best- Evidence Systematic Review under Supporting Documents. Free.
- From My Bookshelf to Yours. 2013 (bookaddictgurl.wordpress.com)
- NCBI Educational Resources (bettyblazetech.wordpress.com)
- eBooks added Dec. 2013 (wulibraries.typepad.com)
The Association of Health Care Journalists offers a wide range of resources – many of which are available exclusively to members.
AHCJ publications include our newsletter, HealthBeat, as well as several guides to covering specific aspects of health and health care.
Members share ideas and ask questions of fellow members on the AHCJ electronic mailing list. Tip sheets are prepared for our conferences and workshops, often offering sources and information about covering specific stories.
Contest entries are from the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, recognizing the best health reporting in print, broadcast and online media. We have links to past winners and information culled from questionnaires submitted with the entries about how each story was researched and written.
We include links to some recent reports and studies of interest to our membership, as well as links to Web sites relevant to health care.
Members and other journalists write articles specifically for AHCJ about how they have reported a story, issues that our members are likely to cover and other important topics.
- AHCJ Articles
- Tip Sheets
- Health Data
- Covering Health blog
- Global Health Coverage
- AHCJ Reporting Guides
- AHCJ Publications
- Electronic Discussion List
- Contest Entries
- Latest Reports/Studies
- Health-related Newsletters
- Freelancer’s Corner
- Advanced Search
- Journalists Doubt Obama Administration’s Dedication to Transparency (pogoblog.typepad.com)
- Charles Ornstein: Six Questions About HealthCare.gov’s Future (guernicamag.com)
- There Once was a Responsible Journalist (find links at the bottom) (scottbest.wordpress.com)
- Donor Dilemma receives national recognition (andrewcconte.wordpress.com)
[Magazine article] Long-Term Disease Database Proves the Value of Vaccines | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network
To find out when whooping cough started making a comeback in Ohio, or how often measles kills in America, we turn to historical records. But those records aren’t very useful when they’re squirreled away in a distant office basement. The same goes for when they are embedded in a report—you can only look at them in the same way you might admire a painting, but you cannot drop the data into a spreadsheet and hunt for statistical significance. If you are only looking at a couple years’ worth of information that formatting dilemma is not such a big deal. You can scour the data and manually punch it into your analysis. It only becomes a huge problem when you are looking at hundreds or thousands of data points.
Such is the problem that public health experts at University of Pittsburgh encountered when they were exploring old medical data and developing models that predict future outbreaks. “We found ourselves going back and pulling out historical datasets repeatedly. We kept doing it over and over and finally got to the point where we thought it would be not only a service to ourselves but everybody if all the data was made digital and open access,” says Donald Burke, the dean of Pittsburgh’s graduate school of public health.
Four years ago, buoyed by funds from the National Institutes of Health and the Gates Foundation, they started the process of digitalizing 125 years worth of medical records. The endeavor was dubbed Project Tycho, named for the Danish nobleman Tycho Brahe who made the voluminous astronomical observations that Kepler later tapped to develop the laws of planetary motion. (But no pressure, right?)
The online, open-access resource now features accounts of 47 diseases between 1888 and today. It includes data from the weekly Nationally Notifiable Disease Surveillance reports for the United States, standardized in such a way that the data can be immediately analyzed.
In the research world, that’s a big accomplishment. Making this data usable takes more than casually monitoring a scanner while sipping coffee. The data has to be made uniform, a tedious process of manual input with unenviable tasks like removing periods, dashes and other inconsistencies while identifying data gaps.
Pittsburgh researchers also gave their new data trove a test drive to illustrate what could be done with the data. They mined Tycho for information on eight common diseases detailed in the records—polio, measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis A, diphtheria and pertussis. Looking at available records before and after vaccines were discovered for those diseases, they estimated that 103 million cases of those contagious diseases have been prevented since 1924, (assuming the reductions were all attributable to vaccination programs). Their findings are published in this week’sNew England Journal of Medicine. The data also points to what can happen when communities become too lax about vaccinations (among other factors). They quantified the resurgence in recent years of pertussis throughout the country, particularly in the Midwest to Northwest and in the Northeast and also ongoing cases of mumps. “Reported rates of vaccine refusal or delay are increasing,” the authors write. “Failure to vaccinate is believed to have contributed to the reemergence of pertussis, including the large 2012 epidemic.”
When vaccines work well, sometimes “people no longer fear the disease and they undervalue the vaccine and in some ways that is what is going on right now,” says Burke, pointing to the discredited vaccine-autism link which prompted some parents to turn away from childhood vaccines. With this newly available data collection, more can be done than simply looking at where the disease is happening—or not happening. Researchers can begin looking for drivers of disease and identifying patterns about the burden of disease by say, climate or socioeconomic-status.
Flip through some of the data yourself here after it becomes searchable to the public on November 28.
[One has to register to view data, for institution I just entered private citizen and my registration was accepted. The database interface is very user friendly!]
- Vaccines work. Period. (sciencebasedmedicine.org)
- Researchers develop massive database to help fight deadly diseases… (medicalxpress.com)
- A rebuke to the antivaccine movement: A hundred million cases of disease prevented and millions of lives saved by vaccines [Respectful Insolence] (scienceblogs.com)
- Childhood vaccines prevent disease but risks remain (triblive.com)
- FDA scientist discusses recent pertussis vaccine study (theglobaldispatch.com)
- Trove of Public Health Data Unlocked by Pitt Researchers to Help Fight Deadly Contagious Diseases (medindia.net)
- Anti-Vaxxers Take Note: Vaccines Have Prevented 100 Million Serious Childhood Diseases In U.S. Since 1888 (reason.com)
- Katie Couric promotes dangerous fear mongering with show on the HPV vaccine (richarddawkins.net)
The release and publication of Project Tycho™ data has been featured in an article of the New York Times online and print version of Thursday November 28th entitled “The Vaccination Effect: 100 Million Cases of Contagious Disease Prevented”. It emphasizes that the large amount of data digitized by the project provides an invaluable resource for science and policy and the importance of vaccination programs in the United States.
Through a collaboration with the Open Government Initiative, Project Tycho™ data have been listed on HealthData.gov as new open access resource for governmental data. In addition on the listing, HealthData.gov has agreed to host Project Tycho™ level 1 and level 2 data that can each be downloaded from this site as a one CSV file with a single click. Comments on this release have been made in the HealthData.gov blog.
After four years of data digitization and processing, the Project Tycho™ Web site provites open access to newly digitized and integrated data from the entire 125 years history of United States weekly nationally notifiable disease surveillance data since 1888. These data can now be used by scientists, decision makers, investors, and the general public for any purpose. The Project Tycho™ aim is to advance the availability and use of public health data for science and decision making in public health, leading to better programs and more efficient control of diseases. Read full press release.
Three levels of data have been made available: Level 1 data include data that have been standardized for specific analyses, Level 2 datainclude standardized data that can be used immediately for analysis, and Level 3 data are raw data that cannot be used for analysis without extensive data management. See the video tutoral.
November 28, 2013 |A Project Tycho™ study estimates that 100 million cases of contagious diseases have been prevented by vaccination programs in the United States since 1924
In a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled “Contagious diseases in the United States from 1888 to the present,” aProject Tycho™ study estimates that over 100 million cases have been prevented in the U.S. since 1924 by vaccination programs against polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Vaccination programs against these diseases have been in place for decades but epidemics continue to occur. Despite the availability of a pertussis vaccine since the 1920s, the largest pertussis epidemic in the U.S. since 1959 occurred last year. This study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and all data used for this study have been released through the online Project Tycho™ data system as level 1 data.
“Historical records are a precious yet undervalued resource. As Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said, we live forward but understand backward,” explained Dr. Burke, senior author on the paper. “By ‘rescuing’ these historical disease data and combining them into a single, open-access, computable system, we can now better understand the devastating impact of epidemic diseases, and the remarkable value of vaccines in preventing illness and death.” See an interview with the authors and an animation on the analysis.
Data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2009–2010
- In 2009–2010, a total of 19.6 million emergency department (ED) visits in the United States were made by persons aged 65 and over. The visit rate for this age group was 511 per 1,000 persons and increased with age.
- The percentage of ED visits made by nursing home residents, patients arriving by ambulance, and patients admitted to the hospital increased with age.
- Twenty-nine percent of ED visits by persons aged 65 and over were related to injury, and the percentage was higher among those aged 85 and over than among those aged 65–74 or 75–84.
- The percentage of ED visits caused by falls increased with age.
From 2000–2010, the number of persons in the United States aged 65 and over rose 15%, from 35.0 million to 40.3 million, and in 2010 this age group represented 13% of the population (1). It is estimated that by 2030, nearly one in five persons will be aged 65 and over (2). Given their growing proportion of the population, older individuals will comprise an increasing share of emergency department (ED) patients in the coming years. This is important because of the ED’s role in treating acute illness and injury in older adults and providing a pathway to these patients for hospital admission (3,4). This report describes ED visits made by individuals aged 65 and over and compares age groups 65–74, 75–84, and 85 and over.
From the Web page at County Health Rankings and Roadmaps **
Results from my zip code (of 43611)
For more detailed information at the state and county levels, click on learn more within the images or go to the home page
Also, check out their Tools and Resources page
**The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
- Top 15 wealthiest ZIP codes in Greater Philadelphia (bizjournals.com)
- Risk-based cancer screening, open data ideas win more time with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (medcitynews.com)
- University of Wisconsin Partners with Survey Analytics to Track Flu Activity Through Crowdsourcing Smartphone App (virtual-strategy.com)
Less than half say they will use the state or federal exchangesby Frank Newport and Kyley McGeeney
PRINCETON, NJ — Nearly two in three uninsured Americans say they will get insurance by Jan. 1, 2014, rather than pay a fine as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while one in four say they will pay the fine. Less than half of the uninsured say they plan on getting health insurance specifically through a federal or state health insurance exchange.
Gallup asked a nationally representative sample of 5,099 Americans between Sept. 17-26 about their awareness of several pending ACA provisions and their anticipated healthcare choices in the months ahead. The ACA requires that most Americans get insurance by Jan. 1, 2014, or pay a fine, and advocates of the ACA are urging the uninsured to take advantage of new federal and state health exchanges to obtain health insurance.
Overall, 83% of Americans are aware that most Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay a fine beginning January 2014. This awareness drops to 68% among those who are uninsured, and is at 69% among the vital group of 18- to 29-year-olds who are the most likely of any age group to be uninsured.
Although the uninsured’s awareness of the individual mandate component of the ACA remains below the national average, it is up by 12 percentage points from a June 20-24 survey, when 56% of uninsured Americans said they were aware of it.
Familiarity With Exchanges Is Low
One of the primary components of the ACA is the creation of government-run health insurance exchanges. These exchanges are essentially websites in each state that provide a central clearinghouse where individuals can review and then purchase health insurance. Consumers can also find out if they qualify, based on their income, for government subsidies of their health insurance premiums. These exchanges are a major part of the ACA and have been heavily featured in ACA promotion.
At this juncture, relatively few Americans — 37% — are familiar with the health exchanges, even though these insurance marketplaces officially open for business on Oct. 1. Familiarity with the exchanges is even lower among the crucial group of Americans who do not have health insurance. In fact, half of the uninsured say they are “not at all familiar” with the exchanges.
And young adults aged 18 to 29 are also less familiar with the exchanges than those who are older.
This low level of familiarity with the exchanges may help explain the finding that less than half of the uninsured say they will get health insurance for 2014 specifically through a state or federal health insurance exchange.
Overall, 66% of the uninsured who plan on getting health insurance rather than pay a fine say they will get insurance through an exchange, leaving the rest who apparently are unsure about how they will get their insurance, or who will seek insurance perhaps through their employer, through Medicare or Medicaid, or buy a plan on their own outside of an exchange.
Although less than half of the uninsured say they plan on buying health insurance for 2014 through a federal or state exchange, this percentage may well rise in the months ahead for two reasons. First, almost-two thirds of the uninsured say they are more likely to get health insurance rather than pay a fine if they don’t, indicating a demand for insurance that will need to be fulfilled in some fashion over the next three months. Second, current familiarity with the health exchanges among the uninsured is low, and as awareness increases, willingness to use the exchanges may rise as well.Survey Methods
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 17-26, 2013, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 5,099 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.
For results based on the total sample of 4,427 adults with health insurance, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.]
For results based on the total sample of 651 adults without health insurance, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points.]
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cell phone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cell phones numbers are selected using random digit dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, cellphone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more details on Gallup’s polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.
- Poll: 71 Percent of Uninsured ‘Unfamiliar’ with Federal Health Insurance Exchange (rinf.com)
- New Gallup Poll Reveals Americans Would Rather Pay Fine Than Enroll In ObamaCare (downtrend.com)
- Gallup: At Least 25% of Uninsured Americans Say They Will Stay That Way (joemiller.us)
- Confused about Obamacare > Americans still not familiar with health-insurance exchanges. (newsreview.com)
- Most Americans, Including those Without Health Insurance, are Unprepared to use the New Health Insurance Exchanges (sacbee.com)
- 25% plan to not buy insurance, pay fine… (breitbart.com)
- The People Who Need Obamacare Most Don’t Know How To Get It (huffingtonpost.com)
- Gallup: Number of Americans Who Will Refuse To Join Obamacare And Instead Pay Individual Mandate Fine Jumps To 34%, Up 9 Points Since Last Month… (libertycrier.com)
[Reblog] With CDC Seasonal Flu Data Unavailable, An Electronic Medical Record Offers a Glimpse of Early Activity Levels
As Washington remains deadlocked on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the US government’s shutdown has resulted in the furlough of nearly 70% of the Centers for Disease Control‘s (CDC’s) workforce. CDC Director Tom Frieden recently shared his thoughts in a tweet. We agree whole-heartedly. Although it’s all too easy to take the CDC staff for granted, they are the frontline sentinels (and the gold standard) for monitoring disease outbreaks. Their ramp-down could have serious public health consequences.
We are particularly concerned about the apparent temporary discontinuation of the CDC’s flu surveillance program, which normally provides weekly reports on flu activity. Although flu season typically begins in late fall, outbreaks have occurred earlier in previous years. In 2009, flu cases started accumulating in late summer/early fall. And given the potential for unique variants, such as the swine or avian flu, every season is unpredictable, making the need for regular CDC flu reports essential. We therefore hope to see the CDC restored to full capacity as soon as possible.
In the meantime, we would like to help by sharing data we have on communicable diseases, starting with the flu.
Because the athenahealth database is built on a single-instance, cloud-based architecture, we have the ability to report data in real time. As we have described in earlier posts, the physicians we serve are dispersed around the country with good statistical representation across practice types and sizes.
To get a read on influenza vaccination rates so far this season, we looked at more than two million patients who visited a primary care provider between August 1 and September 28, 2013 (Figure 1). We did not include data on vaccinations provided at retail clinics, schools or workplaces.
This year’s rates are trending in parallel to rates over the last four years, and slightly below those of the 2012-2013 season. However, immunizations accelerate when the CDC, and consequently the media, announce disease outbreaks and mount public awareness campaigns.
As for the government shutdown, nearly everyone hopes for a quick end. Should the standoff drag on, detection of the flu (or other diseases) may be delayed, in theory endangering the public. Fortunately, we currently see no evidence of an early influenza outbreak. But recent history shows that the flu can begin spreading at any time, and once it does begin, it spreads very quickly, as shown in Figure 2.
We believe that our data provides a reliable view of seasonal flu trends. Last year, wewrote about the 2012-2013 flu season and found that patterns in our patient population (consisting of a large proportion of patients receiving immunizations in primary care settings) closely mirrored CDC trends. With that in mind, we believe that sharing our 2013-2014 data would be valuable to the health care community.
Whether our nation’s politicians can come to an agreement tomorrow or next month, we will continue to deliver reports that monitor population health and look ahead to contributing any information we can. If you have any suggestions or comments – on the flu or other diseases where up-to-date data would be valuable – please leave a comment here or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The flu season has started – but CDC isn’t tracking it (medicalstaffingnetwork.wordpress.com)
- Government shutdown hampers flu tracking (fresnobee.com)
- Top 5 Flu Season Fallacies (resqscan.wordpress.com)
- With 2/3 Of CDC Furloughed, There’s No One To Study The Flu (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
- Flu Season: How the Shutdown Could — Literally! — Make You Sick (dailyfinance.com)
New Resource from the NLM: Subject Guides (Health Statistics, Library Statistics, Conference Proceedings)
This new resource is available at:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/services/Subject_Guides/subjectguidesonselectedtopics/index.htmNew Resource from the NLM: Subject Guides
The NLM Reference and Web Services Section, Public Services Division, compiled a select set of subject guides. These guides can serve as research starting points for health professionals, researchers, librarians, students, and others. Each guide lists a variety of resources, many of which are Internet accessible and free. These subject guides consist of many resources but should not be considered completely comprehensive.
Released guides cover Health Statistics, Library Statistics, and Conference Proceedings. Two additional guides will be available in late fall covering Drug Information and Genetics/Genomics.
The topics for these Subject Guides are drawn from the most frequently asked questions the Reference and Web Services staff encounters in e-mails and onsite. The staff plans to update the guides, reviewing them as needed to maintain their links and content. We hope you find the Subject Guides useful, and we welcome your comments or suggestions.
- Health Statistics (Listed here, just some of the information at the site)
- Scope –
- The Health Statistics and Numerical Data subject guide includes some of the major sources of health and general statistics in the United States and a brief list of international resources.
- Selected Resources sections consist of a small number of resources chosen from the great number available. Resources include print and online publications, databases, datasets, online tools, and Websites. The majority are from U.S. Government agencies.
- Websites and Portals
- General selected resources
- Specific health conditions and concerns
- Special populations
- Scope –
- New Resources from the NLM: Subject Guides (thlibrary.wordpress.com)
- Subject Guides on Selected Topics | National Library of Medicine (drweb.typepad.com)
- How to access journal articles [Repost with additional link] (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
New Report: Call for President Obama Urged to ‘Remove Public Veil of Ignorance’ Around State of US Health
In a call to action on the sorry comparative state of U.S. health, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health are urging President Obama to “remove the public veil of ignorance” and confront a pressing question: Why is America at the bottom? The report, published in the journal Science, appeals to the President to mobilize government to create a National Commission on the Health of Americans. The researchers underscore the importance of this effort in order for the country to begin reversing the decline in the comparative status of U.S. health, which has been four decades in the making.
This is not a challenge that can be left to private groups, no matter how well meaning. Drs. Ronald Bayer and Amy Fairchild, both Professors of Sociomedical Sciences, argue, “The health status of Americans is a social problem that demands social solutions.” More is at stake than the U.S. healthcare system, which fails to provide needed care to millions of Americans. “There is a need for bold public policies that move beyond individual behavior to address the fundamental causes of disease,” Bayer and Fairchild conclude.
A January 2013 report by the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) and Institute of Medicine (IOM) ranks the United States last among peer nations in health status and compares it unfavorably to 17 peer countries at almost every stage of the life course. The report, titled “U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health,” emphasizes that socioeconomic causes are the drivers of these outcomes and details the categories in which the U.S. has the worst or next-to-worst results:
- The U.S. has higher rates of adverse birth outcomes, heart disease, injuries from motor vehicle accidents and violence, sexually acquired diseases, and chronic lung disease.
- Americans lose more years of life to alcohol and other drugs.
- The U.S. has the highest rate of infant mortality among high-income countries.
- The U.S. has the second highest incidence of AIDS and ischemic heart disease,
- For decades, the U.S. has experienced the highest rates of obesity in children and adults as well as diabetes from age 20 and up.
I am all for decriminalizing illegal drug use. However, I am very concerned about substance abuse, especially among folks whose brains are still developing (and this goes on until age 25 or so).
On an average day, 881,684 teenagers aged 12 to 17 smoked cigarettes, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The report also says that on average day 646,707 adolescents smoked marijuana and 457,672 drank alcohol.To provide some perspective, the number of adolescents using marijuana on an average day could almost fill the Indianapolis Speedway (seating capacity 250,000 seats) two and a half times.“This data about adolescents sheds new light on how deeply substance use pervades the lives of many young people and their families,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “While other studies indicate that significant progress has been made in lowering the levels of some forms of substance use among adolescents in the past decade, this report shows that far too many young people are still at risk.”The report, which highlights the substance abuse behavior and addiction treatment activities that occur among adolescents on an average day, draws on a variety of SAMHSA data sets.The report also sheds light on how many adolescents aged 12 to 17 used illegal substances for the first time. On an average day:
- 7,639 drank alcohol for the first time;
- 4,594 used an illicit drug for the first time;
- 4,000 adolescents used marijuana for the first time;
- 3,701 smoked cigarettes for the first time; and
- 2,151 misused prescription pain relievers for the first time.
Using data from SAMHSA Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), the report also analyzes how many adolescents aged 12 to 17 were receiving treatment for a substance abuse problem during an average day. These numbers included:
- Over 71,000 in outpatient treatment,
- More than 9,302 in non-hospital residential treatment, and
- Over 1,258 in hospital inpatient treatment.
In terms of hospital emergency department visits involving adolescents aged 12 to 17, on an average day marijuana is involved in 165 visits, alcohol is involved in 187 visits and misuse of prescription or nonprescription pain relievers is implicated in 74 visits.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service that people – including adolescents and their family members — can contact when facing substance abuse and mental health issues. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information in print on substance abuse and mental health issues. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the online treatment locators at http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/.
The complete report contains many other facts about the scope and nature of adolescent substance abuse, treatment and treatment admissions patterns and is available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2K13/CBHSQ128/sr128-typical-day-adolescents-2013.pdf. It was drawn from analyses of SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Treatment Episode Data Set, and National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, and Drug Abuse Warning Network.
- Substance Use by Adolescents On an Average Day Is Alarming (abbeyswalk.wordpress.com)
- Stimulant-Related Emergency Department Visits Rise 300 Percent among Younger Adults (samhsa.gov)
- Hundreds of Thousands of Teens Use Pot, Alcohol Each Day: Report (news.health.com)
- Marijuana use by kids probs (medfield02052.wordpress.com)
- Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug – Related Emergency Department Visits (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Bump Seen in Substance Abuse Treatment During Pregnancy (nlm.nih.gov)
- Does Adolescent Drug Use Affect You As An Adult (narcononarrowheadreviews.wordpress.com)
- Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers May Raise the Risk of Turning to Heroin Use (samhsa.gov)
- Fact: Teen Pot Use Dropped Amid Rise of Medical Marijuana (sfgate.com)
- Shocking! (addictionandrecoverynews.wordpress.com)
By Sy Mukherjee on July 17, 2013
In the summer of 2012, the mosquito-borne West Nile virus made a surprising comeback in America. In Dallas, the most affected region, 400 people contracted the disease and 19 of them died. That came as a shock to public health officials, since West Nile virus was thought to be in such precipitous decline that it was practically eradicated.
Now, a little detective work has led epidemiologists to the reason for its resurgence: warmer winters and wetter springs. In other words, the consequences of global climate change are fueling West Nile. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Health officials expect the number of people contracting other infectious diseases to rise right alongside global temperatures.
The diseases that are propagated by climate change tend to come in fungal, algal, tick-borne, and mosquito-borne forms. For instance, dengue fever — which causes a high fever, painful head and body aches, and rashes — will likely continue infecting Americans in hot and humid climates, as well as regions that are close to warming oceans:
- First West Nile case of the year in MA (wwlp.com)
With more and more families opting out of vaccinating their kids, one of the most sacred of public health goals, the concept of herd immunity, is being threatened.
A recent piece in Scientific American featured tantalizing graphics — on view above — illustrating this scary trend. According to this analysis, the vaccination rates in some states — Oregon, West Virginia and Colorado, for instance, are shockingly low. So low, in fact, that they’ve dropped below the “herd immunity” levels (or what is thought to be the safe threshold) for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis).
So what’s the deal with herd immunity? According to the CDC, a population has reached herd immunity when a sufficient proportion is immune to a particular infectious disease. Immune population members get that protection either by being vaccinated or by having a prior infection.
- What Is Herd Immunity? (scientificamerican.com)
- Making Sense of “those” Measles Outbreaks (this-little-light-of-mine.org)
- Despite the Science, Marin Vaccination Opt-Outs Increase (blogs.kqed.org)
- Pneumonia vaccine for children also protects older adults (upi.com)
- Measles Goddess’ Wrath Hits Victoria (luckylosing.com)
- IH warns of whooping cough ‘surge’ in West Kootenay (revelstoketimesreview.com)
- Racing Towards Death- Do You Want To? (scitablescience.wordpress.com)
- Tony Abbott wrong on child immunisation rates (abc.net.au)
- I’ll admit it: Wakefield’s research has been replicated over and over again (thepoxesblog.wordpress.com)
The wellness emphasis in the Affordable Care Act is built around the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2009 call to action about chronic disease: The Power to Prevent, the Call to Control. On the summary page we learn some shocking statistics:
“Chronic diseases cause 7 in 10 deaths each year in the United States.”
“About 133 million Americans—nearly 1 in 2 adults—live with at least one chronic illness.”
“More than 75% of health care costs are due to chronic conditions.”
Shocking, that is, in how misleading or even false they are. Take the statement that “chronic diseases cause 7 in 10 deaths,” for example. We have to die of something. Would it be better to die of accidents? Suicides and homicides? Mercury poisoning? Infectious diseases? As compared to the alternatives, it is much easier to make the argument that the first statistic is a good thing rather than a bad thing.
The second statistic is a head-scratcher. Only 223 million Americans were old enough to drink in 2009, meaning that 60% of adults, not “nearly 1 in 2 adults,” live with at least one chronic illness — if their language is to be taken literally. Our suspicion is that their “133-million Americans” figure includes children, and the CDC meant to say “133-millon Americans, including nearly 1 in 2 adults, live with at least one chronic illness.” Sloppy wording is not uncommon at the CDC, as elsewhere they say almost 1 in 5 youth has a BMI > the 95th percentile, which of course is mathematically impossible.
More importantly, the second statistic begs the question, how are they defining “chronic disease” so broadly that half of us have at least one? Are they counting back pain? Tooth decay? Dandruff? Ring around the collar?
- [Repost] Putting Chronic Disease on the Map: Building GIS Capacity in State and Local Health Departments (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Sick! Epidemic of Chronic Diseases (infographicsking.wordpress.com)
- BMI May Not Be The Best Measure of Body Weight (medindia.net)
- The Facts about Chronic Disease in America [Infographic] (loupdargent.info)
[Repost] Putting Chronic Disease on the Map: Building GIS Capacity in State and Local Health Departments
It is good to see these efforts to survey and prevent chronic diseases. As stated at the US Administration on Aging Web site…Older Americans are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases and conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease, as well as by disabilities that result from injuries such as falls. More than one-third of adults 65 or older fall each year.
Techniques based on geographic information systems (GIS) have been widely adopted and applied in the fields of infectious disease and environmental epidemiology; their use in chronic disease programs is relatively new. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention is collaborating with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and the University of Michigan to provide health departments with capacity to integrate GIS into daily operations, which support priorities for surveillance and prevention of chronic diseases. So far, 19 state and 7 local health departments participated in this project. On the basis of these participants’ experiences, we describe our training strategy and identify high-impact GIS skills that can be mastered and applied over a short time in support of chronic disease surveillance. We also describe the web-based resources in the Chronic Disease GIS Exchange that were produced on the basis of this training and are available to anyone interested in GIS and chronic disease (www.cdc.gov/DHDSP/maps/GISX). GIS offers diverse sets of tools that promise increased productivity for chronic disease staff of state and local health departments.
- Rate of Chronic Disease Increasing Exponentially. (zedie.wordpress.com)
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- Are You Prepared for the Challenges that Come with Longevity? (bargaineering.com)
Guest blog by Matt Hawkins, Policy and Public Affairs Assistant at the International Longevity Centre-UK
Discussion at an International Longevity Centre-UK, (ILC-UK) event held on Monday, Longevity, health and public policy, revealed that only just short of a third of the UK population will reach retirement “healthy”. Gains in life expectancy have outstripped gains in healthy life expectancy, meaning that potentially over two thirds of people in the UK could find that they are living their retirement years in ill-health.
As a think-tank dedicated to addressing the impacts of our ageing society across generations and throughout the life-course, these findings are of particular concern to ILC-UK. If people are reaching older age in ill-health then this is going to significantly decrease their capacity to remain in work and significantly increase their care needs.
Monday’s event sought to identify the obstacles we face in promoting a healthier older population and…
View original post 408 more words
Living in a high-poverty area often means a lifetime of struggle with underperforming public schools, limited job opportunities, higher crime rates, and poor nutrition, health care and housing — all of which can add up to a shorter, sicker retirement.
Americans who live in the South can expect to live fewer healthy years past 65 than those who live in other parts of the country, according to a new report from the CDC. Health disparities among seniors in their final years align closely with profound geographical differences in poverty. The region where more than 30 percent of people live in high-poverty areas — dubbed the “poverty belt” by The Atlantic’s Richard Florida, falls right over the states with the lowest healthy life expectancies. As inequality in the U.S. climbs steadily, this public health crisis may only expand.
- This Infographic Proves That Republican Policies Kill People (IMAGE) (addictinginfo.org)
- CDC: Retirement Shorter, Sicker In Southern States (atlanta.cbslocal.com)
- Golden years shorter, sicker in Southern states (kfwbam.com)
- South lags in state-by-state study of life expectancy for seniors (cbsnews.com)
- Healthy Life Expectancies at Age 65 Highest in Hawaii, Lowest in Mississippi (cdc.gov)
- Mind The Gap: Mapping Life Expectancy By Subway Stop (fastcoexist.com)
- Life Expectancy Gap Between Black And White Populations Affected By Heart Disease And Homicide (hngn.com)
2013 World Drug Report notes stability in use of traditional drugs and points to alarming rise in new psychoactive substances
Emerging drug problems
Marketed as ‘legal highs’ and ‘designer drugs’, NPS [New PsychoActive Substances]
are proliferating at an unprecedented rate and posing unforeseen public health challenges. Mr. Fedotov urged concerted action to prevent the manufacture, trafficking and abuse of these substances.
The number of NPS reported by Member States to UNODC rose from 166 at the end of 2009 to 251 by mid-2012, an increase of more than 50 per cent. For the first time, the number of NPS exceeded the total number of substances under international control (234). Since new harmful substances have been emerging with unfailing regularity on the drug scene, the international drug control system is now challenged by the speed and creativity of the NPS phenomenon.
This is an alarming drug problem – but the drugs are legal. Sold openly, including via the internet, NPS, which have not been tested for safety, can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs. Street names, such as “spice”, “meow-meow” and “bath salts” mislead young people into believing that they are indulging in low-risk fun. Given the almost infinite scope to alter the chemical structure of NPS, new formulations are outpacing efforts to impose international control. While law enforcement lags behind, criminals have been quick to tap into this lucrative market. The adverse effects and addictive potential of most of these uncontrolled substances are at best poorly understood.
In response to the proliferation of NPS, UNODC has launched an early warning system which will allow the global community to monitor the emergence and take appropriate actions.”
- Prohibitionists Say the Drugs They Banned Are Safer Than the Ones They Didn’t (reason.com)
- UN says Africa consuming more cocaine (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) 2013 (dailyaltreport.wordpress.com)
- UK legal high market is EU’s largest (bbc.co.uk)
- 2013 UN World Drug Report: Alarming Rise in New Drugs (kawther.info)
- Lure, Variety of Designer Drugs is Alarming, U.N. Agency Says (nlm.nih.gov)
- Mushrooming legal highs leave drug control system floundering, UN warns (guardian.co.uk)
- The Motherboard Guide to New Psychoactive Substances (motherboard.vice.com)
- Rise of designer drugs “alarming” from public health standpoint (medcitynews.com)
At a special high-level event of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today launched in Vienna the 2013 World Drug Report. The special high-level event marks the first step on the road to the 2014 high-level review by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action which will be followed, in 2016, by the UN General Assembly Special Session on the issue.
While drug challenges are emerging from new psychoactive substances (NPS), the 2013 World Drug Report (WDR) is pointing to stability in the use of traditional drugs. The WDR will be a key measuring stick in the lead up to the 2016 Review.
From the Web site
The WomanStats Project is the most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women in the world. The Project facilitates understanding the linkage between the situation of women and the security of nation-states. We comb the extant literature and conduct expert interviews to find qualitative and quantitative information on over 310 indicators of women’s status in 174 countries. Our Databaseexpands daily, and access to it is free of charge.
The Project began in 2001, and today includes six principal investigators at five universities, as well as a team of up to twenty graduate and undergraduate data extractors. Please learn more by clicking First Time Users and watching our Video Tutorials. Or visit our Blog, where we discuss what we are finding, view our Maps, or read our Researchreports.
First Time Users
Welcome to the WomanStats Database, the world’s most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women.
The best way to acquaint yourself with the database and how to use it is to watch our Video Tutorials for beginners. The first video tutorial explains how to create a free account. The second teaches how to use the codebook and retrieve data from the View screen. The third covers reports, downloads, and maps. The fourth introduces you to other aspects of our web presence, such as our blog and social media.
New Database Reveals Thousands of Hospital Violation Reports New Database Reveals Thousands of Hospital Violation Reports
Hospitals make mistakes, sometimes deadly mistakes. A patient may get the wrong medication or even undergo surgery intended for another person. When errors like these are reported, state and federal officials inspect the hospital in question and file a detailed report.
Now, for the first time, this vital information on the quality and safety of the nation’s hospitals has been made available to the public online.
A new website, www.hospitalinspections.org, includes detailed reports of hospital violations dating back to January 2011, searchable by city, state, name of the hospital and key word. Previously, these reports were filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), and released only through a Freedom of Information Act request, an arduous, time-consuming process. Even then, the reports were provided in paper format only, making them cumbersome to analyze.
Release of this critical electronic information by CMS is the result of years of advocacy by the Association of Health Care Journalists, with funding from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. The new database makes full inspection reports for acute care hospitals and rural critical access hospitals instantly available to journalists and consumers interested in the quality of their local hospitals.
The database also reveals national trends in hospital errors. For example, key word searches yield the incidence of certain violations across all hospitals. A search on the word “abuse,” for example, yields 862 violations at 204 hospitals since 2011. …
- Series on N.C. hospitals wins national award (charlotteobserver.com)
- Medical execs dispute hospital study (krqe.com)
- Govt. To Publish Data On What Drug & Device Makers Pay To Individual Doctors & Hospitals (consumerist.com)
- Time Magazine Study Reveals Hospitals Hiking up Medical Bills (counselheal.com)
The first set of national prevalence data on intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual violence (SV), and stalking victimization by sexual orientation was released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study found that lesbians and gay men reported IPV and SV over their lifetimes at levels equal to or higher than those of heterosexuals; with sexual orientation based on respondents’ identification at the time of the survey.
The survey also found that bisexual women (61.1 percent) report a higher prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner compared to both lesbian (43.8 percent) and heterosexual women (35 percent). Of the bisexual women who experienced IPV, approximately 90 percent reported having only male perpetrators, while two -thirds of lesbians reported having only female perpetrators of IPV.
The data presented in this report do not indicate whether violence occurs more often in same-sex or opposite sex couples. Rather, the data show the prevalence of lifetime victimization of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking of respondents who self-identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual at the time of the survey and describe violence experienced with both same-sex and opposite-sex partners. …
Other key findings include:
- The majority of women who reported experiencing sexual violence, regardless of their sexual orientation, reported that they were victimized by male perpetrators.
- Nearly half of female bisexual victims (48.2 percent) and more than one-quarter of female heterosexual victims (28.3 percent) experienced their first rape between the ages of 11 and 17 years.
CDC will work to create resources to bring attention to these issues within lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.
For more information about NISVS, including study details, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/index.html.
To watch webinars that discuss the NISVS 2010 Summary findings, please visit PreventConnect, a national online project dedicated to the primary prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence.
- CDC Releases First National Study On Rape And Domestic Violence Based On Sexual Orientation (queerty.com)
- Bisexual Women at Especially High Risk of Sexual Violence, CDC Says (nlm.nih.gov)
- LGB People Experience Domestic Violence at Same Rate as Heterosexuals (advocate.com)
- Domestic violence, rape an issue for gays (vitals.nbcnews.com)
- Bisexual Women Twice As Likely To Be Abused And/Or Raped, Study Says (thoughtcatalog.com)
I’ve added this to the blog because of the infographs which highlight “the racial/ethnic disparities in accessing abortion care, income disparities, how women pay for abortions..”
Always thought that abortion decisions were largely based on economic factors. These infographics, which seem to be factual, confirm this. If the print is tiny (and I do apologize) please go to the source..Planned Parenthood Drops the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life Labels.
Comments are welcome that address the statistics and facts presented in these infographs.
Other civil and respectful comments are welcome as well.
***From the about page of the Guttmacher Institute: Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Worldwide through Research, Policy Analysis, and Education
Four decades after its creation, the Guttmacher Institute continues to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights through an interrelated program of research, policy analysis and public education designed to generate new ideas, encourage enlightened public debate and promote sound policy and program development. The Institute’s overarching goal is to ensure the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health for all people worldwide.
The Institute produces a wide range of resources on topics pertaining to sexual and reproductive health, including Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health,International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Guttmacher Policy Review. In 2009, Guttmacher was designated an official Collaborating Center for Reproductive Health by the World Health Organization and its regional office, the Pan American Health Organization.
Abortion Research Package -includes results from a new public opinion survey, a slideshow on how opinion differs among various demographic groups, a discussion of the legal issues and a summary of religious groups’ positions.
On January 11, 2013, this report was posted as an MMWR Early Release on the MMWR website (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr)
In the United States, annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months (1). Each season since 2004–05, CDC has estimated the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine to prevent influenza-associated, medically attended acute respiratory infection (ARI).
This season, early data from 1,155 children and adults with ARI enrolled during December 3, 2012–January 2, 2013 were used to estimate the overall effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine for preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infection associated with medically attended ARI.
After adjustment for study site, but not for other factors, the estimated vaccine effectiveness (VE) was 62% (95% confidence intervals [CIs] = 51%–71%). This interim estimate indicates moderate effectiveness, and is similar to a summary VE estimate from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trial data (2); final estimates likely will differ slightly.
As of January 11, 2013, 24 states and New York City were reporting high levels of influenza-like illness, 16 states were reporting moderate levels, five states were reporting low levels, and one state was reporting minimal levels (3). CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices routinely recommend that annual influenza vaccination efforts continue as long as influenza viruses are circulating (1). Persons aged ≥6 months who have not yet been vaccinated this season should be vaccinated.
However, these early VE estimates underscore that some vaccinated persons will become infected with influenza; therefore, antiviral medications should be used as recommended for treatment in patients, regardless of vaccination status. In addition, these results highlight the importance of continued efforts to develop more effective vaccines……
- Flu season worsens, 29 children die (msnbc.msn.com)
- CDC: Manufacturers making more flu vaccine (upi.com)
- Will The Flu Shot Protect Me From This Year’s Flu? (alternativendhealth.wordpress.com)
- 2012-13 Seasonal Influenza – an update! (bio230fall2010.wordpress.com)
- FDA approves new flu vaccine (kmov.com)
- Flu vaccine halves risk of infection this year, Canadian study shows (vancouversun.com)