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Age patterns of racial/ethnic/nativity differences in disability and physical functioning in the United States

September 21, 2014 Comments off

Age patterns of racial/ethnic/nativity differences in disability and physical functioning in the United States
Source: Demographic Research

Background: Rapid population aging and increasing racial/ethnic and immigrant/native diversity make a broad documentation of U.S. health patterns during both mid- and late life particularly important.

Objective: We aim to better understand age- and gender-specific racial/ethnic and nativity differences in physical functioning and disability among adults aged 50 and above.

Methods: We aggregate 14 years of data from the National Health Interview Survey and calculate age- and gender-specific proportions of physical functioning and two types of disability for each population subgroup.

Results: Middle-aged foreign-born individuals in nearly every subgroup exhibit lower proportions of functional limitations and disability than U.S.-born whites. This pattern of immigrant advantage is generally reversed in later life. Moreover, most U.S.-born minority groups have significantly higher levels of functional limitations and disability than U.S.-born whites in both mid- and late life.

Conclusions: Higher levels of functional limitations and disability among U.S.-born minority groups and immigrant populations in older adulthood pose serious challenges for health providers and policymakers in a rapidly diversifying and aging population.

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Cost of Vision Problems to Reach $717 Billion by 2050

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Cost of Vision Problems to Reach $717 Billion by 2050
Source: Prevent Blindness

As the U.S. population ages, the number of those with eye disease and vision problems will continue to spiral upward. A new report released by Prevent Blindness, “The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” predicts more than $384 billion in 2032 and $717 billion in 2050 in nominal costs related to eye disease and vision problems.

Screening Youth for Suicide Risk in Medical Settings: Time to Ask Questions

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Screening Youth for Suicide Risk in Medical Settings: Time to Ask Questions (PDF)
Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

This paper focuses on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Research Prioritization Task Force’s Aspirational Goal 2 (screening for suicide risk) as it pertains specifically to children, adolescents, and young adults. Two assumptions are forwarded: (1) strategies for screening youth for suicide risk need to be tailored developmentally; and (2) we must use instruments that were created and tested specifically for suicide risk detection and developed specifically for youth. Recommendations for shifting the current paradigm include universal suicide screening for youth in medical settings with validated instruments.

Report to Congress on the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program Published

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Report to Congress on the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program Published
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Family & Youth Services Bureau)

The Family & Youth Services Bureau is pleased to announce the release of the Report to Congress on the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

The report documents FYSB’s commitment to the national goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020. For 40 years, the Bureau has worked closely with its non-profit partners across the country to make sure young people have somewhere to turn when their homes no longer offer safety or support.

In FY 2012 and 2013:

  • Each Street Outreach Program grantee got an average of 151 youth off the streets and into shelter for at least one night.
  • Each Basic Center Program grantee provided emergency care and counseling to an average of 114 youth.
  • Each Transitional Living Program grantee provided intensive, long-term support to an average of 18 transition-aged young people.
  • The National Runaway Safeline handled an average of more than 263 calls a day from youth, parents, and allies.

Introduction to A Theory of the Allocation of Time by Gary Becker

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Introduction to A Theory of the Allocation of Time by Gary Becker (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

Gary Becker’s classic study, A Theory of the Allocation of Time, laid the analytical foundations for the study of household production and the allocation of time within the household. The analytical framework of household production theory developed in this paper remained a pillar of his later work on the economics of the family and the economics of nonmarket activities more generally. Becker provided a formal model of households producing outputs like food, children, and housing that bundled goods and time. Becker’s great contribution was to apply the model to interpret a broad array of empirical phenomena. Becker’s framework allowed for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of consumer choice, and interpretation of income and substitution effects. Its continuing relevance in empirical economics is a testimony to its power.

Work and Health Insurance for 50- to 64-Year Olds

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Work and Health Insurance for 50- to 64-Year Olds
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

Work is a critical gateway to health insurance. Nearly two-thirds of 50- to 64-year olds had employer-sponsored health insurance in 2012 . But working is not a guarantee of employer-sponsored health insurance. Part-time workers and the self-employed are much less likely than full-time workers to have insurance through their employment. Getting coverage as a dependent on a family member’s employer plan plays an important role for some workers and nonworkers. Health reform offers new coverage options to workers and others who do not have access to coverage through work.

This Fact Sheet discusses the prevalence of employer coverage among 50- to 64-year-olds overall and by work status as of 2012, and new options for coverage.

Fiction or Not? Fifty Shades is Associated with Health Risks in Adolescent and Young Adult Females

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Fiction or Not? Fifty Shades is Associated with Health Risks in Adolescent and Young Adult Females
Source: Journal of Women’s Health

Background:
No prior study has empirically characterized the association between health risks and reading popular fiction depicting violence against women. Fifty Shades—a blockbuster fiction series—depicts pervasive violence against women, perpetuating a broader social narrative that normalizes these types of risks and behaviors in women’s lives. The present study characterized the association between health risks in women who read and did not read Fifty Shades; while our cross-sectional study design precluded causal determinations, an empirical representation of the health risks in women consuming the problematic messages in Fifty Shades is made.

Methods:
Females ages 18 to 24 (n=715), who were enrolled in a large Midwestern university, completed a cross-sectional online survey about their health behaviors and Fifty Shades’ readership. The analysis included 655 females (219 who read at least the first Fifty Shades novel and 436 who did not read any part of Fifty Shades). Age- and race-adjusted multivariable models characterized Fifty Shades’ readers and nonreaders on intimate partner violence victimization (experiencing physical, sexual and psychological abuse, including cyber-abuse, at some point during their lifetime); binge drinking (consuming five or more alcoholic beverages on six or more days in the last month); sexual practices (having five or more intercourse partners and/or one or more anal sex partner during their lifetime); and using diet aids or fasting for 24 or more hours at some point during their lifetime.

Results:
One-third of subjects read Fifty Shades (18.6%, or 122/655, read all three novels, and 14.8%, or 97/655, read at least the first novel but not all three). In age- and race-adjusted models, compared with nonreaders, females who read at least the first novel (but not all three) were more likely than nonreaders to have had, during their lifetime, a partner who shouted, yelled, or swore at them (relative risk [RR]=1.25) and who delivered unwanted calls/text messages (RR=1.34); they were also more likely to report fasting (RR=1.80) and using diet aids (RR=1.77) at some point during their lifetime. Compared with nonreaders, females who read all three novels were more likely to report binge drinking in the last month (RR=1.65) and to report using diet aids (RR=1.65) and having five or more intercourse partners during their lifetime (RR=1.63).

Conclusions:
Problematic depictions of violence against women in popular culture—such as in film, novels, music, or pornography—create a broader social narrative that normalizes these risks and behaviors in women’s lives. Our study showed strong correlations between health risks in women’s lives—including violence victimization—and consumption of Fifty Shades, a fiction series that portrays violence against women. While our cross-sectional study cannot determine temporality, the order of the relationship may be inconsequential; for example, if women experienced adverse health behaviors first (e.g., disordered eating), reading Fifty Shades might reaffirm those experiences and potentially aggravate related trauma. Likewise, if women read Fifty Shades before experiencing the health behaviors assessed in our study, it is possible that the book influenced the onset of these behaviors by creating an underlying context for the behaviors.

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