Research

Category archives for Research

According to a new, first-of-its-kind survey of the nation’s public health workforce, 38 percent of workers are planning to leave their current positions before the next decade. On its face, that’s a deeply worrisome number. But Brian Castrucci is an optimist — “where there is change, there is opportunity,” he says.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released the first nationally representative estimates of electronic cigarette use among U.S. adults, finding that more than 12 percent had ever tried the aerosol nicotine products in 2014. So, as is the unfortunate case with many emerging and potential public health threats, it seems like e-cigarette use is outpacing the ability of regulatory bodies to protect the public’s health and educate consumers about possible risks.

More good news from the Affordable Care Act: Since it became the law of the land, uninsurance disparities between white, black and Hispanic residents have narrowed significantly.

Flame retardants aren’t just found in your furniture. It’s likely you also have detectable amounts of the chemical in your body too, which is pretty worrisome considering the growing amount of research connecting flame retardants to serious health risks. Researchers have linked to the chemicals to reproductive health problems, adverse neurobehavioral development in kids, and endocrine and thyroid disruption. And so the question arises: Do the risks of today’s flame retardants outweigh the benefits?

Americans with lower incomes and educational attainment often live shorter, sicker lives than their wealthier, more educated counterparts. Contributors to these disparities can include access to care, hazardous living conditions, nutrition in early childhood, and personal behaviors. But what about workplace conditions? Do certain groups of people get sorted into jobs that exacerbate inequalities in life expectancy?

Anyone who’s lived in a big, dense city is familiar with the sight of bicycle messengers weaving their way in between metro buses and taxi cabs, down side streets and around packed crosswalks, pedaling at impressive speeds and often with remarkable agility. Surprisingly, however, there’s little data on these workers, even though it seems they’d be particularly susceptible to injuries on the job.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers it one of five neglected parasitic infections in need of targeted public health action. And while it’s still considered rare in the U.S., it seems residents of Texas may be at greater risk than scientists previously thought.

In the U.S., the gap in life expectancy by income is getting wider. To be even clearer: Life expectancy for people with higher incomes has gone up over time, while life expectancy for people earning lower incomes has actually declined.

For years, scientists have described climate change as a slowly emerging public health crisis. But for many, it’s difficult to imagine how a complex planetary phenomenon can impact personal well-being beyond the obvious effects of natural disasters, which climatologists say will happen more frequently and intensely as the world warms. That disconnect is what piqued my interest in a new study on old infrastructure, heavy rainfalls and spikes in human illness.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Former employees at the Blue Bell ice cream plant in Texas report dangerous work conditions; federal health researchers announce new study of oil field workers; Democrats propose new labor rights legislation; and North Dakota legislators announce efforts to hold big oil companies responsible for worker deaths.