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Annual Review of Public Health

Sally C Moyce, Marc Schenker
In 2015, approximately 244 million people were transnational migrants, approximately half of whom were workers, often engaged in jobs that are hazardous to their health. They work for less pay, for longer hours, and in worse conditions than do nonmigrants and are often subject to human rights violations, abuse, human trafficking, and violence. Worldwide, immigrant workers have higher rates of adverse occupational exposures and working conditions, which lead to poor health outcomes, workplace injuries, and occupational fatalities...
January 24, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Nadia Chait, Sherry Glied
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 placed a substantial emphasis on public health and prevention. Subsequent research on its effects reveals some notable successes and some missteps and offers important lessons for future legislators. The ACA's Prevention and Public Health Fund, intended to give public health budgetary flexibility, provided crucial funding for public health services during the Great Recession but proved highly vulnerable to subsequent budget cuts. Several programs that aimed to increase strategic thinking and planning around public health at the state level have proven to be more enduring, suggesting that the convening authority of the federal government can be a powerful tool for progress, especially when buttressed by some funding...
January 24, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Jonathon P Leider, Beth Resnick, David Bishai, F Douglas Scutchfield
The United States has a complex governmental public health system. Agencies at the federal, state, and local levels all contribute to the protection and promotion of the population's health. Whether the modern public health system is well situated to deliver essential public health services, however, is an open question. In some part, its readiness relates to how agencies are funded and to what ends. A mix of Federalism, home rule, and happenstance has contributed to a siloed funding system in the United States, whereby health agencies are given particular dollars for particular tasks...
January 18, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Amani M Nuru-Jeter, Elizabeth K Michaels, Marilyn D Thomas, Alexis N Reeves, Roland J Thorpe, Thomas A LaVeist
An abundance of research has documented health inequalities by race and socioeconomic position (SEP) in the United States. However, conceptual and methodological challenges complicate the interpretation of study findings, thereby limiting progress in understanding health inequalities and in achieving health equity. Fundamental to these challenges is a lack of clarity about what race is and the implications of that ambiguity for scientific inquiry. Additionally, there is wide variability in how SEP is conceptualized and measured, resulting in a lack of comparability across studies and significant misclassification of risk...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Partha Deb, Edward C Norton
Health care expenditures and use are challenging to model because these dependent variables typically have distributions that are skewed with a large mass at zero. In this article, we describe estimation and interpretation of the effects of a natural experiment using two classes of nonlinear statistical models: one for health care expenditures and the other for counts of health care use. We extend prior analyses to test the effect of the ACA's young adult expansion on three different outcomes: total health care expenditures, office-based visits, and emergency department visits...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Elizabeth M Martin, Rebecca C Fry
DNA methylation is the most well studied of the epigenetic regulators in relation to environmental exposures. To date, numerous studies have detailed the manner by which DNA methylation is influenced by the environment, resulting in altered global and gene-specific DNA methylation. These studies have focused on prenatal, early-life, and adult exposure scenarios. The present review summarizes currently available literature that demonstrates a relationship between DNA methylation and environmental exposures. It includes studies on aflatoxin B1, air pollution, arsenic, bisphenol A, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, persistent organic pollutants, tobacco smoke, and nutritional factors...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Coady Wing, Kosali Simon, Ricardo A Bello-Gomez
The difference in difference (DID) design is a quasi-experimental research design that researchers often use to study causal relationships in public health settings where randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are infeasible or unethical. However, causal inference poses many challenges in DID designs. In this article, we review key features of DID designs with an emphasis on public health policy research. Contemporary researchers should take an active approach to the design of DID studies, seeking to construct comparison groups, sensitivity analyses, and robustness checks that help validate the method's assumptions...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Emily E Tanner-Smith, Sean Grant
Meta-analysis is a prominent method for estimating the effects of public health interventions, yet these interventions are often complex in ways that pose challenges to using conventional meta-analytic methods. This article discusses meta-analytic techniques that can be used in research syntheses on the effects of complex public health interventions. We first introduce the use of complexity frameworks to conceptualize public health interventions. We then present a menu of meta-analytic procedures for addressing various sources of complexity when answering questions about the effects of public health interventions in research syntheses...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Robert A Hiatt, Julia Green Brody
In the United States, breast cancer is the most common invasive malignancy and the second most common cause of death from cancer in women. Reproductive factors, estrogen, and progesterone have major causal roles, but concerns about other potential causes in the external environment continue to drive research inquiries and stimulate calls for action at the policy level. The environment is defined as anything that is not genetic and includes social, built, and chemical toxicant aspects. This review covers the scope of known and suspected environmental factors that have been associated with breast cancer and illustrates how epidemiology, toxicology, and mechanistic studies work together to create the full picture of environmental effects on this malignancy...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Michelle C Kondo, Elena Andreyeva, Eugenia C South, John M MacDonald, Charles C Branas
Violence is a widespread problem that affects the physical, mental, and social health of individuals and communities. Violence comes with an immense economic cost to its victims and society at large. Although violence interventions have traditionally targeted individuals, changes to the built environment in places where violence occurs show promise as practical, sustainable, and high-impact preventive measures. This review examines studies that use quasi-experimental or experimental designs to compare violence outcomes for treatment and control groups before and after a change is implemented in the built environment...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Margaret A Handley, Courtney R Lyles, Charles McCulloch, Adithya Cattamanchi
Interventional researchers face many design challenges when assessing intervention implementation in real-world settings. Intervention implementation requires holding fast on internal validity needs while incorporating external validity considerations (such as uptake by diverse subpopulations, acceptability, cost, and sustainability). Quasi-experimental designs (QEDs) are increasingly employed to achieve a balance between internal and external validity. Although these designs are often referred to and summarized in terms of logistical benefits, there is still uncertainty about (a) selecting from among various QEDs and (b) developing strategies to strengthen the internal and external validity of QEDs...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Rachel C Shelton, Brittany Rhoades Cooper, Shannon Wiltsey Stirman
There is strong interest in implementation science to address the gap between research and practice in public health. Research on the sustainability of evidence-based interventions has been growing rapidly. Sustainability has been defined as the continued use of program components at sufficient intensity for the sustained achievement of desirable program goals and population outcomes. This understudied area has been identified as one of the most significant translational research problems. Adding to this challenge is uncertainty regarding the extent to which intervention adaptation and evolution are necessary to address the needs of populations that differ from those in which interventions were originally tested or implemented...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Emma Peterson, Susan Busch
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 changed the landscape of mental health and substance use disorder coverage in the United States. The MHPAEA's comprehensiveness compared with past parity laws, including its extension of parity to plan management strategies, the so-called nonquantitative treatment limitations (NQTL), led to significant improvements in mental health care coverage. In this article, we review the history of this landmark legislation and its recent expansions to new populations, describe past research on the effects of this and other mental health/substance use disorder parity laws, and describe some directions for future research, including NQTL compliance issues, effects of parity on individuals with severe mental illness, and measurement of benefits other than mental health care use...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Melissa Tracy, Magdalena Cerdá, Katherine M Keyes
Agent-based modeling is a computational approach in which agents with a specified set of characteristics interact with each other and with their environment according to predefined rules. We review key areas in public health where agent-based modeling has been adopted, including both communicable and noncommunicable disease, health behaviors, and social epidemiology. Wealso describe the main strengths and limitations of this approach for questions with public health relevance. Finally, we describe both methodologic and substantive future directions that we believe will enhance the value of agent-based modeling for public health...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Anna Zajacova, Elizabeth M Lawrence
Adults with higher educational attainment live healthier and longer lives compared with their less educated peers. The disparities are large and widening. We posit that understanding the educational and macrolevel contexts in which this association occurs is key to reducing health disparities and improving population health. In this article, we briefly review and critically assess the current state of research on the relationship between education and health in the United States. We then outline three directions for further research: We extend the conceptualization of education beyond attainment and demonstrate the centrality of the schooling process to health; we highlight the dual role of education as a driver of opportunity but also as a reproducer of inequality; and we explain the central role of specific historical sociopolitical contexts in which the education-health association is embedded...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
J G Cedeño-Laurent, A Williams, P MacNaughton, X Cao, E Eitland, J Spengler, J Allen
Civilizational challenges have questioned the status quo of energy and material consumption by humans. From the built environment perspective, a response to these challenges was the creation of green buildings. Although the revolutionary capacity of the green building movement has elevated the expectations of new commercial construction, its rate of implementation has secluded the majority of the population from its benefits. Beyond reductions in energy usage and increases in market value, the main strength of green buildings may be the procurement of healthier building environments...
January 12, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
David B Abrams, Allison M Glasser, Jennifer L Pearson, Andrea C Villanti, Lauren K Collins, Raymond S Niaura
Inhalation of the toxic smoke produced by combusting tobacco products, primarily cigarettes, is the overwhelming cause of tobacco-related disease and death in the United States and globally. A diverse class of alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS) has recently been developed that do not combust tobacco and are substantially less harmful than cigarettes. ANDS have the potential to disrupt the 120-year dominance of the cigarette and challenge the field on how the tobacco pandemic could be reversed if nicotine is decoupled from lethal inhaled smoke...
January 11, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Lawrence W Green, Jonathan E Fielding, Ross C Brownson
Two contrasting reviews (authored by Abrams et al. and Glanz & Bareham) in this volume have reached opposing conclusions on the effects of electronic cigarettes in a debate that is dividing the scientific and professional communities that have devoted careers to controlling the manufacture, advertising, sale, and use of combustible cigarettes. The research on the types, degree, and extent of harm from e-cigarettes is far from complete and, together with trends in teenage smoking and vaping, has raised new questions and prospects about the potential benefits that the new electronic products offer smokers of combustible cigarettes in quitting or at least cutting back on the known risks associated with the traditional forms of smoking...
January 11, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Stanton A Glantz, David W Bareham
Since e-cigarettes appeared in the mid-2000s, some practitioners, researchers, and policy makers have embraced them as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes and an effective way to stop smoking. While e-cigarettes deliver lower levels of carcinogens than do conventional cigarettes, they still expose users to high levels of ultrafine particles and other toxins that may substantially increase cardiovascular and noncancer lung disease risks, which account for more than half of all smoking-caused deaths, at rates similar to conventional cigarettes...
January 11, 2018: Annual Review of Public Health
Colin W Binns, Mi Kyung Lee, Andy H Lee
Dietary supplements are a global business worth more than $100 billion annually. These supplements are taken by up to 50% of adults and perhaps one-third of children in economically advanced economies. Definitions of dietary supplements differ from country to country, and regulation is generally lax and often seems to be directed more toward promoting commerce than protecting public health. Supplements may directly cause toxic reactions or may interact with other supplements or pharmaceuticals. Some supplements are found to have been contaminated with heavy metals, and others do not contain the expected quantities of active ingredients...
December 22, 2017: Annual Review of Public Health
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