Category Archives: Military

Nov 1 2011
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APHA: New Research Highlights

A number of breaking research studies were released at the APHA Annual Meeting. Here is a round-up of some of the new research highlights:

Sons of Deployed Military More Likely to Engage in Physical Fights, Gang Violence

Teen boys with at least one parent in the military are at increased risk of engaging in physical fights at school, carrying a weapon and joining a gang, according to a study from researchers at University of Washington’s School of Public Health, which looked at data from the 2008 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey of more than 10,000 adolescents in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades of public schools. The study also found that girls in 8th grade with at least one parent in the military were at twice the risk of carrying a weapon. In 2010, 1.98 million United States children had at least one parent serving in the military.

Immigrants’ Health Worsens the Longer they Reside in the U.S.

Minority immigrants are at higher risk of experiencing poor health outcomes the longer they stay in the U.S., according to an analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data between 2007 and 2008, by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Those who have lived in the U.S. for 20 years have a 98 percent greater chance of being obese and 68 percent greater odds of having hypertension compared with those in the country for less than 10 years.

Construction Workers at Significant Risk of Injury, Premature Death

Nearly all construction workers will experience one or more work-related injuries or illnesses over a lifetime plus a greater risk of premature death, according to research from the Center for Construction Research and Training. The study also found that a Hispanic construction worker has a 20 percent higher likelihood of dying from a work-related injury.

Beverage Companies Extensively Market Sugary Beverages to Youth

Researchers from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity released a new study at APHA today, which found that beverage companies extensively market sugary drinks to youths, with a significant focus on minority youth. Companies are beginning to shift dollars from traditional media to online, interactive, and rewards-based marketing designed to appeal to youth.

Oct 5 2011
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Public Health News Roundup: October 5

Post-deployment Mental Health Checks May Overlook Problems in Some Returning Soldiers

Mental health assessments given to all soldiers after deployment may miss many cases of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The standard assessments are not anonymous, but when researchers had returning soldiers complete the assessments anonymously, a larger number of soldiers met the criteria for depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder and a higher number reported suicidal thoughts. Read more on military health.

Drunk Driving Decreases, Still a Problem

A new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drunk driving incidents peaked in 2006, and decreased nearly one-third through 2010. However, the latest data shows that drunk drivers got behind the wheel about 112 million times in 2010, resulting in about 300,000 incidents a day. A different report found that distracted driving (driving while texting or talking on the phone) resulted in half a million injuries.

Latest Update on Listeria Outbreak

The death toll from an outbreak of listeria linked to tainted cantaloupes has risen to 18, and at least 100 people in 20 states have become ill from the bacteria, according to the CDC. The agency says that even though the cantaloupes implicated in the outbreak were recalled Sept. 14, more cases can still emerge because the bacteria has a long lag time between diagnosis and laboratory confirmation and because it can take up to two months from eating contaminated food to develop the infection. Read more on the latest outbreaks and infectious diseases.

Sep 22 2011
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Public Health News Roundup: September 22

Traffic Pollution May Boost Heart Attack Risk

Exposure to pollution caused by motor vehicle traffic may boost the risk of a heart attack in people already at risk, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal.

CDC Proposes New Guidelines for Organ Transplantation

CDC is proposing new guidelines for organ transplants to help protect patients receiving transplants from infections. Major changes from the last update in 1994 would include hepatitis B and C screening in addition to the current HIV screening of donors, and a revised set of donor risk factors that can give clinicians a more thorough picture about possible risks associated with donors? organs.

Shorter Pediatric Visits May Be Sufficient

A new study in the journal Pediatrics finds that parents like longer visits, but that shorter visits may be sufficient for the appropriate examinations and discussion. The study authors found that when time was limited, pediatricians were more likely to cover traditional topics, such as breastfeeding and immunization, and then widen the discussion as time allowed. Development assessment was conducted half the time in shorter visits, and 70 percent of the time in longer visits.

VA Telephone Service Helps Family Members Encourage Veterans to Seek Medical Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a telephone service, Coaching into Care, to provide assistance to family members and friends trying to encourage a veteran to seek health care and mental support. The program offers unlimited, free coaching. Callers can reach the program at 1-888-823-7458, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and can find more information online.

Aug 1 2011
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Public Health News Roundup: August 1

Equal Access to Insurance Doesn’t Guarantee Similar Breast Cancer Treatment for Black, White Women

A new study in the journal Cancer that looked at Black and White women in the military, found that despite having equal access to health care through military health insurance, black women with breast cancer were less likely than white women to receive certain aggressive treatments. Cultural decisions to forego very aggressive treatments may be one reason for the disparity, according to the researchers.

Gene Variant May Predispose Some Blacks to Asthma

Variations in a particular gene may account for the high risk of asthma in African Americans according to a new study in the journal Nature Genetics.

FDA Seeking Public Comment on IOM Device Report

The Food and Drug Administration has opened a public comment period on a recent Institute of Medicine report that sharply criticized the FDA’s approval process for some lower-risk medical devices, according to a news announcement. The IOM report recommended that the current approval process be scrapped and a new one developed. The FDA says some of the suggestions the IOM report are already underway.

"Lab on a Chip" Detects HIV, Syphilis in the Field

The first field trial for a “lab on a chip” a rapid, cheap HIV test accurately detected both HIV and syphilis among a Rwandan population, researchers reported in Nature Medicine. This kind of test could offer a faster, cheaper and easier way to detect infectious diseases, according to the report.

Jun 23 2011
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Public Health News Roundup: June 23

Blame Fries, Chips, Soda and Red Meat for U.S. Obesity Epidemic

The New England Journal of Medicine has some compelling though hardly surprising data about the obesity epidemic in the U.S. A study by Harvard researchers finds that the crisis is fueled by too little exercise and over-consumption of certain foods including sweetened beverages, potato chips and French fries.

Driving While Buzzed: No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe Behind the Wheel

A new study published in the journal Addiction suggests that there is no such thing as a safe BAC, and that driving after consuming even a small amount of alcohol — just one beer, for instance — is associated with incapacitating injury and death.

Smoking During Pregnancy Could Increase Heart Risks for Kids Later On

Mothers who smoked in pregnancy are more likely to have children with lower levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol, according to a new study in the European Heart Journal. The lower levels may increase the risk of having a heart attack later in life.

Federal Agency Launches Survey on Health Risks Tied to Water at Military Base

The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) is sending a health survey to more than 300,000 people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune or Camp Pendleton in California before 1986. (Camp Pendleton was chosen for comparison purposes.) The agency is investigating diseases that may be associated with chemical exposures related to water at Camp Lejeune, a Marine base camp. The survey was mandated by Congress, and results are expected in early 2014.