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National and State Cost Savings Associated With Prohibiting Smoking in Subsidized and Public Housing in the United States

January 3, 2015 Comments off

National and State Cost Savings Associated With Prohibiting Smoking in Subsidized and Public Housing in the United States
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
Despite progress in implementing smoke-free laws in indoor public places and workplaces, millions of Americans remain exposed to secondhand smoke at home. The nation’s 80 million multiunit housing residents, including the nearly 7 million who live in subsidized or public housing, are especially susceptible to secondhand smoke infiltration between units.

Methods
We calculated national and state costs that could have been averted in 2012 if smoking were prohibited in all US subsidized housing, including public housing: 1) secondhand smoke-related direct health care, 2) renovation of smoking-permitted units; and 3) smoking-attributable fires. Annual cost savings were calculated by using residency estimates from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and cost data reported elsewhere. Data were adjusted for inflation and variations in state costs. National and state estimates (excluding Alaska and the District of Columbia) were calculated by cost type.

Results
Prohibiting smoking in subsidized housing would yield annual cost savings of $496.82 million (range, $258.96–$843.50 million), including $310.48 million ($154.14–$552.34 million) in secondhand smoke-related health care, $133.77 million ($75.24–$209.01 million) in renovation expenses, and $52.57 million ($29.57–$82.15 million) in smoking-attributable fire losses. By state, cost savings ranged from $0.58 million ($0.31–$0.94 million) in Wyoming to $124.68 million ($63.45–$216.71 million) in New York. Prohibiting smoking in public housing alone would yield cost savings of $152.91 million ($79.81–$259.28 million); by state, total cost savings ranged from $0.13 million ($0.07–$0.22 million) in Wyoming to $57.77 million ($29.41–$100.36 million) in New York.

Conclusion
Prohibiting smoking in all US subsidized housing, including public housing, would protect health and could generate substantial societal cost savings.

Prevalence of Alcohol Dependence Among US Adult Drinkers, 2009–2011

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Prevalence of Alcohol Dependence Among US Adult Drinkers, 2009–2011
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for 88,000 deaths annually and cost the United States $223.5 billion in 2006. It is often assumed that most excessive drinkers are alcohol dependent. However, few studies have examined the prevalence of alcohol dependence among excessive drinkers. The objective of this study was to update prior estimates of the prevalence of alcohol dependence among US adult drinkers.

Methods
Data were analyzed from the 138,100 adults who responded to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009, 2010, or 2011. Drinking patterns (ie, past-year drinking, excessive drinking, and binge drinking) were assessed by sociodemographic characteristics and alcohol dependence (assessed through self-reported survey responses and defined as meeting ≥3 of 7 criteria for dependence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition).

Results
Excessive drinking, binge drinking, and alcohol dependence were most common among men and those aged 18 to 24. Binge drinking was most common among those with annual family incomes of $75,000 or more, whereas alcohol dependence was most common among those with annual family incomes of less than $25,000. The prevalence of alcohol dependence was 10.2% among excessive drinkers, 10.5% among binge drinkers, and 1.3% among non-binge drinkers. A positive relationship was found between alcohol dependence and binge drinking frequency.

Conclusion
Most excessive drinkers (90%) did not meet the criteria for alcohol dependence. A comprehensive approach to reducing excessive drinking that emphasizes evidence-based policy strategies and clinical preventive services could have an impact on reducing excessive drinking in addition to focusing on the implementation of addiction treatment services.

Personal and Parental Weight Misperception and Self-Reported Attempted Weight Loss in US Children and Adolescents, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2008 and 2009–2010

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Personal and Parental Weight Misperception and Self-Reported Attempted Weight Loss in US Children and Adolescents, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2008 and 2009–2010
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
The objective of our study was to describe perceptions of child weight status among US children, adolescents, and their parents and to examine the extent to which accurate personal and parental perception of weight status is associated with self-reported attempted weight loss.

Methods
Our study sample comprised 2,613 participants aged 8 to 15 years in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the 2 most recent consecutive cycles (2007–2008 and 2009–2010). Categories of weight perception were developed by comparing measured to perceived weight status. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to examine the association between weight misperception and self-reported attempted weight loss.

Results
Among children and adolescents, 27.3% underestimated and 2.8% overestimated their weight status. Among parents, 25.2% underestimated and 1.1% overestimated their child’s weight status. Logistic regression analyses showed that the odds of self-reported attempted weight loss was 9.5 times as high (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.8–23.6) among healthy-weight children and adolescents who overestimated their weight status as among those who perceived their weight status accurately; the odds of self-reported attempted weight loss were 3.9 (95% CI, 2.4–6.4) and 2.9 (95% CI, 1.8–4.6) times as high among overweight and obese children and adolescents, respectively, who accurately perceived their weight status than among those who underestimated their weight status. Parental misperception of weight was not significantly associated with self-reported attempted weight loss among children and adolescents who were overweight or obese.

Conclusion
Efforts to prevent childhood obesity should incorporate education for both children and parents regarding the proper identification and interpretation of actual weight status. Interventions for appropriate weight loss can target children directly because one of the major driving forces to lose weight comes from the child’s perception of his or her weight status.

The Contributions of Selected Diseases to Disparities in Death Rates and Years of Life Lost for Racial/Ethnic Minorities in the United States, 1999–2010

September 11, 2014 Comments off

The Contributions of Selected Diseases to Disparities in Death Rates and Years of Life Lost for Racial/Ethnic Minorities in the United States, 1999–2010
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
Differences in risk for death from diseases and other causes among racial/ethnic groups likely contributed to the limited improvement in the state of health in the United States in the last few decades. The objective of this study was to identify causes of death that are the largest contributors to health disparities among racial/ethnic groups.

Methods
Using data from WONDER system, we measured the relative (age-adjusted mortality ratio [AAMR]) and absolute (difference in years of life lost [dYLL]) differences in mortality risk between the non-Hispanic white population and the black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander populations for the 25 leading causes of death.

Results
Many causes contributed to disparities between non-Hispanic whites and blacks, led by assault (AAMR, 7.56; dYLL, 4.5 million). Malignant neoplasms were the second largest absolute contributor (dYLL, 3.8 million) to black–white disparities; we also found substantial relative and absolute differences for several cardiovascular diseases. Only assault, diabetes, and diseases of the liver contributed substantially to disparities between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics (AAMR ≥ 1.65; dYLL ≥ 325,000). Many causes of death, led by assault (AAMR, 3.25; dYLL, 98,000), contributed to disparities between non-Hispanic whites and American Indians/Alaska Natives; Asian/Pacific Islanders did not have a higher risk than non-Hispanic whites for death from any disease.

Conclusion
Assault was a substantial contributor to disparities in mortality among non-Asian racial/ethnic minority populations. Research and intervention resources need to target diseases (such as diabetes and diseases of the liver) that affect certain racial/ethnic populations.

Hypertension Among US Adults by Disability Status and Type, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001–2010

September 10, 2014 Comments off

Hypertension Among US Adults by Disability Status and Type, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001–2010
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

The prevalence of hypertension among people with disabilities is not well understood. We combined data from the 2001–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to obtain estimates of hypertension prevalence by disability status and type (cognitive, hearing, vision, or mobility limitation) and assess the association between disability and hypertension. Overall, 34% of adults with disabilities had hypertension compared with 27% of adults without disabilities; adults with mobility limitations were more likely to have hypertension than adults without disabilities (adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.23; 95% confidence interval: 1.16–1.32). Our results suggest that adults living with disabilities are an important subpopulation to include in hypertension reporting and intervention efforts.

Use of Sunscreen and Indoor Tanning Devices Among a Nationally Representative Sample of High School Students, 2001–2011

August 24, 2014 Comments off

Use of Sunscreen and Indoor Tanning Devices Among a Nationally Representative Sample of High School Students, 2001–2011
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to engaging in poor skin-protection behaviors. The objective of this study was to examine use of sunscreen and indoor tanning devices among a nationally representative sample of high school students during a 10-year period (2001–2011) using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. The percentage of youth who reported using sunscreen declined from 67.7% in 2001 to 56.1% in 2011. The prevalence of using indoor tanning devices was highest among white females: 37.4% in 2009 and 29.3% in 2011. These findings indicate the need for prevention efforts aimed at adolescents to reduce risks for skin cancer.

Information–Seeking Among Chronic Disease Prevention Staff in State Health Departments: Use of Academic Journals

August 21, 2014 Comments off

Information–Seeking Among Chronic Disease Prevention Staff in State Health Departments: Use of Academic Journals
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Use of scientific evidence aids in ensuring that public health interventions have the best possible health and economic return on investment. We describe use of academic journals by state health department chronic disease prevention staff to find public health evidence. We surveyed more than 900 state health department staff from all states and the District of Columbia. Participants identified top journals or barriers to journal use. We used descriptive statistics to examine individual and aggregate state health department responses. On average, 45.7% of staff per state health department use journals. Common barriers to use included lack of time, lack of access, and expense. Strategies for increasing journal use are provided.

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