Tag Archives: public health

Science Debate 2012: Vaccination and Public Health

The leading U.S. science and engineering organizations developed a list of 14 science policy questions facing the U.S. in 2012. You can read these questions–and the Presidential candidates’ answers–at ScienceDebate.org.

For each of the Science Debate 2012 questions, we’re going to provide you a selection of the authoritative and unbiased resources of the National Academies to help inform your response to the candidates’ answers. Today, we’re looking at this ScienceDebate question on Vaccinations and Public Health:

Vaccination campaigns against preventable diseases such as measles, polio and whooping cough depend on widespread participation to be effective, but in some communities vaccination rates have fallen off sharply. What actions would you support to enforce vaccinations in the interest of public health, and in what circumstances should exemptions be allowed?

How would you respond? Download these reports for free at NAP.edu or purchase a print copy to read.

 

Adverse Effects of Vaccines

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Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality892 pages | Hardcover | Price: $71.95In 1900, for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, 100 would die before their first birthday, often due to infectious diseases. Today, vaccines exist for many viral and bacterial diseases. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, passed in 1986, was… [more]
Immunization Safety Review

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Immunization Safety Review: Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autism102 pages | Paperback | Price: $25.20Immunization is widely regarded as one of the most effective and beneficial tools for protecting the public’s health. In the United States, immunization programs have resulted in the eradication of smallpox, the elimination of polio, and the control and near… [more]
Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan

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Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan368 pages | Paperback | Price: $51.30Vaccination is a fundamental component of preventive medicine and public health. The use of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases has resulted in dramatic decreases in disease, disability, and death in the United States and around the world. The current… [more]
Ranking Vaccines

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Ranking Vaccines: A Prioritization Framework: Phase I: Demonstration of Concept and a Software Blueprint170 pages | Paperback | Price: $54.00As a number of diseases emerge or reemerge thus stimulating new vaccine development opportunities to help prevent those diseases, it can be especially difficult for decision makers to know where to invest their limited resources. Therefore, it is increasingly… [more]
For the Public's Health

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For the Public’s Health: Revitalizing Law and Policy to Meet New Challenges140 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to examine three topics in relation to public health: measurement, the law, and funding. IOM prepared a three book series-one book on each topic-that contain actionable recommendations… [more]

Take 5: Top Books on Health and Medicine

Got health professionals on your holiday shopping list? Take five and check out our top gift ideas. NAP books and merchandise make thoughtful gifts for thinking people.

Relieving Pain in America
Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and ResearchChronic pain affects at least 116 million American adults–more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. It costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity. Pain is a uniquely individual…

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The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People
The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better UnderstandingAt a time when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals–often referred to under the umbrella acronym LGBT–are becoming more visible in society and more socially acknowledged, clinicians and researchers are faced with incomplete information about..

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The Future of Nursing
The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing HealthThe Future of Nursing explores how nurses’ roles, responsibilities, and education should change significantly to meet the increased demand for care that will be created by health care reform and to advance improvements in America’s increasingly…

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For the Public's Health
For the Public’s Health: The Role of Measurement in Action and AccountabilityDespite having the costliest medical care delivery system in the world, Americans are not particularly healthy. Recent international comparisons show that life expectancy in the U.S. ranks 49th among all nations, and infant mortality rates are higher in the…

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Accounting for Health and Health Care
Accounting for Health and Health Care: Approaches to Measuring the Sources and Costs of Their ImprovementIt has become trite to observe that increases in health care costs have become unsustainable. How best for policy to address these increases, however, depends in part on the degree to which they represent increases in the real quantity of medical services as..

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New Report States Smoking and Obesity Shrink U.S. Lifespans

A new report released Tuesday says that the nation’s history of heavy smoking is a major reason why lifespans in the U.S. fall short of those in many other high-income nations, and evidence suggests that current obesity levels also play a substantial part. According to Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries, three to five decades ago smoking was much more widespread in the U.S. than in Europe or Japan, and the health consequences are still playing out in today’s mortality rates. Smoking appears to be responsible for a good deal of the differences in life expectancy, especially for women. Obesity’s contribution to lagging life expectancies in the U.S. also appears to be significant. It may account for a fifth to a third of the shortfall in longevity in the U.S. compared to other nations. And if the obesity trend in the U.S. continues, it may offset the longevity improvements expected from reductions in smoking.

The Institute of Medicine has published a number of books that address the problem of smoking in our nation. The most recent, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence addresses health effects of secondhand smoke. This book assesses the relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and acute coronary events. It also surveys critical epidemiological studies on the effects of smoking bans and evidence of links between secondhand smoke exposure and cardiovascular events.

The health and well-being of children in the United States are threatened by the ever-increasing number and percentage who are overweight and obese—now at one in four children. Childhood and adolescent obesity has increased dramatically in just three decades. Obese children and adolescents are more likely to have hypertension, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes when they are young, and they also are more likely to be obese when they are adults. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity serves as a tool for local government officials and those who work in partnership with them to help in tackling the prevention of childhood obesity in their jurisdictions.

These books and others from the Institute of Medicine provide information, recommendations, and analysis to assist decision-makers.

Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries

Over the last 25 years, life expectancy at age 50 in the U.S. has been rising, but at a slower pace than in many other high-income countries, such as Japan and Australia. This difference is particularly notable given that the U.S. spends more on health care…
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Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence

Data suggest that exposure to secondhand smoke can result in heart disease in nonsmoking adults. Recently, progress has been made in reducing involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke through legislation banning smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and other…
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Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity

The prevalence of childhood obesity is so high in the United States that it may reduce the life expectancy of today’s generation of children. While parents and other adult caregivers play a fundamental role in teaching children about healthy behaviors, even…
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Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations

The health and economic costs of tobacco use in military and veteran populations are high. In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) make recommendations on how to…
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Ending the Tobacco Problem Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation

The nation has made tremendous progress in reducing tobacco use during the past 40 years. Despite extensive knowledge about successful interventions, however, approximately one-quarter of American adults still smoke. Tobacco-related illnesses and death place a…
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Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making

To battle the obesity epidemic in America, health care professionals and policymakers need relevant, useful data on the effectiveness of obesity prevention policies and programs. Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention identifies a new…
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Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?

The remarkable increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and youth in the United States over a relatively short timespan represents one of the defining public health challenges of the 21st century. The country is beginning to recognize childhood…
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Living in a Food Desert: How Lack of Access to Healthy Foods Can Affect Public Health

Need to run to the grocery store? For some of us, this is relatively easy because we probably live fairly close to one. For others, a trip to a grocery store represents a significant transportation challenge. In the United States, “food deserts”, neighborhoods and communities that have limited access to affordable and nutritious foods, tend to be located in urban and rural low-income neighborhoods. People who live in these areas are less likely to have access to supermarkets or grocery stores that provide healthy choices for food. With limited or no access to food retailers or supermarkets that stock fresh produce, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and other healthy foods, these populations may be more likely to suffer from high rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

The Public Health Effect of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary discusses the public health effects—including the prevalence of obesity and the incidence of chronic diseases—of food deserts. This book offers insight on the extent of food deserts, their impact on individual behaviors and health outcomes in various populations, and effective ways to increase the availability of fruits and vegetables and to improve the food environment.

One serious health consequence of living in food deserts is, ironically, obesity. Without ready access to nutritious foods, people living in food deserts often have diets that are high in calories but low in nutritional value. To address this particular public health concern, the Institute of Medicine has published a number of reports that examine how we can roll back the obesity epidemic in the United States.

Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making examines obesity as a societal problem that affects whole populations, like those living in food deserts. This book features a practical, action-oriented framework to support the use of evidence in decision-making about obesity prevention policies and programs and sets a course for the development of new and relevant research.

The books mentioned above and others from the Institute of Medicine provide information and guidance for decision-makers to respond to the challenges of food deserts and their impact on our society.

The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts

The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary

In the United States, people living in low-income neighborhoods frequently do not have access to affordable healthy food venues, such as supermarkets. Instead, those living in “food deserts” must rely on convenience stores and small neighborhood stores that…

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Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention

Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making

To battle the obesity epidemic in America, health care professionals and policymakers need relevant, useful data on the effectiveness of obesity prevention policies and programs. Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention identifies a new…

Details

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity

The prevalence of childhood obesity is so high in the United States that it may reduce the life expectancy of today’s generation of children. While parents and other adult caregivers play a fundamental role in teaching children about healthy behaviors, even…

Details

Community Perspectives on Obesity Prevention in Children

Community Perspectives on Obesity Prevention in Children: Workshop Summaries

As the public health threat of childhood obesity has become clear, the issue has become the focus of local, state, and national initiatives. Many of these efforts are centered on the community environment in recognition of the role of environmental factors in…

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Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas

Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas: Workshop Summary

Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas summarizes the information gathered at a workshop held February 5-6, 2009, in Austin, Texas. At this workshop, committee members met with Texas lawmakers, public officials, and community leaders to exchange ideas…

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Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity

Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?

The remarkable increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and youth in the United States over a relatively short timespan represents one of the defining public health challenges of the 21st century. The country is beginning to recognize childhood…

Details

Perspectives from United Kingdom and United States Policy Makers on Obesity Prevention

Perspectives from United Kingdom and United States Policy Makers on Obesity Prevention: Workshop Summary

Both the United Kingdom and the United States are grappling with nationwide epidemics of obesity. Obesity contributes to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers, among other diseases. Although many people are aware of obesity’s causes and…

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Joint U.S.-Mexico Workshop on Preventing Obesity in Children and Youth of Mexican Origin

Joint U.S.-Mexico Workshop on Preventing Obesity in Children and Youth of Mexican Origin: Summary

The Joint U.S.-Mexico Workshop on Preventing Obesity in Children and Youth of Mexican Origin was initiated by a desire to share experiences regarding the problem of obesity in children…

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DNA Testing: From the Doctor’s Office to the Drugstore

The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, identified the genes that make up human DNA. Major advances in genomic technologies in the early 21st century have helped to increase dramatically the number of genes identified as playing a role in a variety of common disorders. Genetic or genomic testing can be used to guide medical decision-making and treatment, ranging from personalized drug therapy to assessing an individual’s risk of developing common chronic diseases.

New reports from the Institute of Medicine discuss various possibilities for the future and potential issues that could arise from our ever-expanding knowledge of our genetic makeup. The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies: Workshop Summary explores the concept of value in regards to genomics and genetics and how that concept affects the ways decisions are made about using tests and technologies. This book brings together diverse perspectives on the value of genetic testing and discusses its use in clinical practice.

Advances in our understanding of genomics, combined with significant reductions in the cost of genetic tests, have spawned new business models in which companies market genetic tests and personalized genetic profiles directly to consumers. For example, it is now possible to purchase a home DNA paternity test at many pharmacies in the United States. Special DNA test kits allow anyone to trace their ancestry. Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Summary of a Workshop discusses the scientific and ethical foundations for commercial genetic testing, personal and social issues, research and medical issues, and the impact on health care and public health.

These books and others from the Institute of Medicine explore the possibilities and directions for the future for both researchers and private industry.

The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies

The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies: Workshop Summary

Knowing one’s genetic disposition to a variety of diseases, including common chronic diseases, can benefit both the individual and society at large. The IOM’s Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health held a workshop on March 22, 2010, to…
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Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Summary of a Workshop

Today, scores of companies, primarily in the United States and Europe, are offering whole genome scanning services directly to the public. The proliferation of these companies and the services they offer demonstrate a public appetite for this information and…
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Establishing Precompetitive Collaborations to Stimulate Genomics-Driven Drug Development

Establishing Precompetitive Collaborations to Stimulate Genomics-Driven Drug Development: Workshop Summary

Despite the many basic research discoveries in genetics, relatively few gene-based treatments, drugs, or preventative measures have been developed. One way to bridge this gap may be for industry, academia, and government to develop partnerships that share…
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Systems for Research and Evaluation for Translating Genome-Based Discoveries for Health

Systems for Research and Evaluation for Translating Genome-Based Discoveries for Health: Workshop Summary

With the advent of genome-wide association studies, numerous associations between specific gene loci and complex diseases have been identified–for breast cancer, coronary artery disease, and asthma, for example. This rapidly advancing field of genomics has…
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Innovations in Service Delivery in the Age of Genomics

Innovations in Service Delivery in the Age of Genomics: Workshop Summary

New discoveries in genomics–that is, the study of the entire human genome–are changing how we diagnose and treat diseases. As the trend shifts from genetic testing largely being undertaken for rare genetic disorders to, increasingly, individuals being…
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Diffusion and Use of Genomic Innovations in Health and Medicine

Diffusion and Use of Genomic Innovations in Health and Medicine: Workshop Summary

Until fairly recently, genetic information was used primarily in the diagnosis of relatively rare genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s Disease, but a transformation in the use of genetic and genomic information is underway. While…
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Take 5: Top 5 Books on Public Health and Nutrition

The scientists on your list may not always be the easiest people to shop for during the holidays. It should come as no surprise that we have recommendations. Take five and finish your holiday shopping with our most-recommended books for the health professional in your life.

Women's Health Research Women’s Health Research: Progress, Pitfalls, and Promise
Even though slightly over half of the U.S. population is female, medical research historically has neglected the health needs of women. However, over the past two decades, there have been major changes in government support of women’s health research…
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Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and PossibilitiesMental health and substance use disorders among children, youth, and young adults are major threats to the health and well-being of younger populations which often carryover into adulthood. The costs of treatment…
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Retooling for an Aging America Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce
As the first of the nation’s 78 million baby boomers begin reaching age 65 in 2011, they will face a health care workforce that is too small and woefully unprepared to meet their specific health needs. Retooling for an Aging America calls for…
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Preventing Childhood Obesity Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance
Children’s health has made tremendous strides over the past century. In general, life expectancy has increased by more than thirty years since 1900 and much of this improvement is due to the reduction of infant and early childhood mortality. Given this…
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Assessing Changing Food Consumption Patterns Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient RequirementsWidely regarded as the classic reference work for the nutrition, dietetic, and allied health professions since its introduction in 1943, Recommended Dietary Allowances has been the accepted source in nutrient allowances for healthy people. Responding to the expansion of scientific … Details

Two New Books: Public Health Emergencies and Gulf War Veterans

There were two new publications this week, so we thought we’d give them both the featured publication treatment. If you’re looking for more books, we have plenty. Check our topics page for more in health and medicine and many other topics.

The Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise: Innovative Strategies to Enhance Products from Discovery Through Approval: Workshop Summary (prepublication)

During public health emergencies such as pandemic influenza outbreaks or terrorist attacks, effective vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and other medical countermeasures are essential to protecting national security and peoples’ well-being. The Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE–a partnership among federal, state, and local governments; industry; and academia–is at the forefront of the effort to develop and manufacture these countermeasures. However, despite the PHEMCE’s many successes, there are still serious challenges to overcome. Government-funded medical research is not always focused on countermeasures for the most serious potential threats, and it is difficult to engage pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop and manufacture medical countermeasures that have a limited commercial market.

At the request of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the IOM held a workshop February 22-24, 2010, to address challenges facing the PHEMCE. Workshop participants discussed federal policies and procedures affecting the research, development, and approval of medical countermeasures and explored opportunities to improve the process and protect Americans’ safety and health.



Gulf War and Health: Volume 8: Update of Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War (prepublication)

For the United States, the1991 Persian Gulf War was a brief and successful military operation with few injuries and deaths. However, soon after returning from duty, a large number of veterans began reporting health problems they believed were associated with their service in the Gulf. At the request of Congress, the IOM is conducting an ongoing review of the evidence to determine veterans’ long-term health problems and what might be causing those problems. The fourth volume in the series, released in 2006, summarizes the long-term health problems seen in Gulf War veterans. In 2008, the IOM began an update to look at existing health problems and identify possible new ones, considering evidence collected since the initial summary.

In this report, the IOM determines that Gulf War service causes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and that service is associated with multisymptom illness; gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome; alcohol and other substance abuse; and anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders. To ensure that our veterans receive the best possible care, now and in the future, the government should continue to monitor their health and conduct research to identify the best treatments to assist Gulf War veterans still suffering from persistent, unexplained illnesses.

New This Week: Health Literacy, Energy Efficiency, Biological Threats

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the publications new this week to nap.edu. Many of our publications have PDFs that you can download for free, but look in the “Download Free” section of each book’s main page for a free PDF of the executive summary if you’d like a sample of the book before you buy it or download.

Featured Publication

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States (prepublication)


America’s economy and lifestyles have been shaped by the low prices and availability of energy. In the last decade, however, the prices of oil, natural gas, and coal have increased dramatically, leaving consumers and the industrial and service sectors looking for ways to reduce energy use. To achieve greater energy efficiency, we need technology, more informed consumers and producers, and investments in more energy-efficient industrial processes, businesses, residences, and transportation.

As part of the America’s Energy Future project, Realistic Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States examines the potential for reducing energy demand through improving efficiency by using existing technologies, technologies developed but not yet utilized widely, and prospective technologies. The book evaluates technologies based on their estimated times to initial commercial deployment, and provides an analysis of costs, barriers, and research needs. This quantitative characterization of technologies will guide policy makers toward planning the future of energy use in America. This book will also have much to offer to industry leaders, investors, environmentalists, and others looking for a practical diagnosis of energy efficiency possibilities.

All New Publications This Week

Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan (prepublication)

Measures of Health Literacy: Workshop Summary (final)

BioWatch and Public Health Surveillance: Evaluating Systems for the Early Detection of Biological Threats: Abbreviated Version: Summary (prepublication)

Addressing the Threat of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: A Realistic Assessment of the Challenge: Workshop Summary (final)

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity (final)