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Archive for the ‘diseases and conditions’ Category

Sources of Increasing Differential Mortality Among the Aged by Socioeconomic Status

July 16, 2015 Comments off

Sources of Increasing Differential Mortality Among the Aged by Socioeconomic Status
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

This paper uses data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to explore the extent and causes of widening differences in life expectancy by socioeconomic status (SES) for older persons. We construct alternative measures of SES using educational attainment and average (career) earnings in the prime working ages of 41-50. We also use information on causes of death, health status and various behavioral indicators (smoking, drinking, and obesity) that are believed to be predictors of premature death in an effort to explain the causes of the growing disparities in life expectancy between people of high and low SES.

The paper finds that:

  • There is strong statistical evidence in the HRS of a growing inequality of mortality risk by SES among more recent birth cohorts compared with cohorts born before 1930.
  • Both educational attainment and career earnings as constructed from Social Security records are equally useful indicators of SES, although the distinction in mortality risk by education is greatest for those with and without a college degree.
  • There has been a significant decline in the risk of dying from cancer or heart conditions for older Americans in the top half of the income distribution, but we find no such reduction of mortality risk in the bottom half of the distribution.
  • The inclusion of the behavioral variables and health status result in substantial improvement in the predictions of mortality, but they do not identify the sources of the increase in differential mortality.

Legal Responses to Health Emergencies

July 15, 2015 Comments off

Legal Responses to Health Emergencies
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report contains discussions of the regulations addressing health emergencies in 25 jurisdictions, including countries from six continents, the European Union, and the World Health Organization. All surveys included in this report review government structures tasked with delivering public health protection, relevant legislative frameworks for addressing health emergencies, and the powers of government institutions in times of health crises and their ability to mitigate the consequences of such crises. Analyses of the regulation of such issues as disease surveillance and notification systems are also provided.

Improving the Assessment of SNAP Targeting Using Administrative Records

July 9, 2015 Comments off

Improving the Assessment of SNAP Targeting Using Administrative Records
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

SNAP provides food and nutrition benefits to low-income households based on a formula that adjusts for monthly need. This study assesses how well SNAP is targeted to low-income households by estimating benefit receipt by household income relative to poverty for the period 2008 to 2012.

Legal Responses to Health Emergencies

July 8, 2015 Comments off

Legal Responses to Health Emergencies
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report contains discussions of the regulations addressing health emergencies in 25 jurisdictions, including countries from six continents, the European Union, and the World Health Organization. All surveys included in this report review government structures tasked with delivering public health protection, relevant legislative frameworks for addressing health emergencies, and the powers of government institutions in times of health crises and their ability to mitigate the consequences of such crises. Analyses of the regulation of such issues as disease surveillance and notification systems are also provided.

Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action (2015)

July 6, 2015 Comments off

Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action (2015)
Source: Institute of Medicine

For most Americans, staying “mentally sharp” as they age is a very high priority. Declines in memory and decision-making abilities may trigger fears of Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases. However, cognitive aging is a natural process that can have both positive and negative effects on cognitive function in older adults – effects that vary widely among individuals. At this point in time, when the older population is rapidly growing in the United States and across the globe, it is important to examine what is known about cognitive aging and to identify and promote actions that individuals, organizations, communities, and society can take to help older adults maintain and improve their cognitive health.

Cognitive Aging assesses the public health dimensions of cognitive aging with an emphasis on definitions and terminology, epidemiology and surveillance, prevention and intervention, education of health professionals, and public awareness and education. This report makes specific recommendations for individuals to reduce the risks of cognitive decline with aging. Aging is inevitable, but there are actions that can be taken by individuals, families, communities, and society that may help to prevent or ameliorate the impact of aging on the brain, understand more about its impact, and help older adults live more fully and independent lives. Cognitive aging is not just an individual or a family or a health care system challenge. It is an issue that affects the fabric of society and requires actions by many and varied stakeholders. Cognitive Aging offers clear steps that individuals, families, communities, health care providers and systems, financial organizations, community groups, public health agencies, and others can take to promote cognitive health and to help older adults live fuller and more independent lives. Ultimately, this report calls for a societal commitment to cognitive aging as a public health issue that requires prompt action across many sectors.

International Food Security Assessment, 2015-25

July 1, 2015 Comments off

International Food Security Assessment, 2015-25
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

The number of food-insecure people in the 76 low- and middle-income countries included in this report is projected to fall 9 percent, from 521 million in 2014 to 475 million in 2015. Over the longer term, the food security situation is projected to deteriorate as the share of population that is food insecure moves from 13.4 percent in 2015 to 15.1 percent in 2025.

Epidemiology of Ciguatera in Florida

July 1, 2015 Comments off

Epidemiology of Ciguatera in Florida
Source: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Ciguatera is the most commonly reported marine food-borne illness worldwide. Because there is a biological plausibility that ciguatera may be impacted by long-term climate variability and Florida is on the northern border of the geographic distribution of ciguatera, it is important to update our understanding of its epidemiology in Florida. We performed an analysis of 291 reports in Florida from 2000 to 2011 and an e-mail survey of 5,352 recreational fishers to estimate incidence and underreporting and identify high risk demographic groups, fish types, and catch locations. Incidence was 5.6 per 100,000 adjusted for underreporting. Hispanics had the highest incidence rate (relative risk [RR] = 3.4) and were more likely to eat barracuda than non-Hispanics. The most common catch locations for ciguatera-causing fish were the Bahamas and Florida Keys. Cases caused by fish from northern Florida were infrequent. These results indicate that ciguatera incidence is higher than estimated from public health reports alone. There is little evidence that incidence or geographic range has increased because of increased seawater temperatures since earlier studies.

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