Tag archives for research

Every year in the U.S., more than 32,000 people die due to gun-related violence, suicide and accidents. That number includes the deaths of seven children and teens every day. So it’s not surprising that health care providers — those who witness the tragic results of gun violence — are often vocal proponents of gun safety reform. But when it comes to the intimate patient-provider relationship, do people want to discuss gun safety with their doctors?

In a new national survey, about one in every four U.S. workers rates their workplace as just “fair” or “poor” in providing a healthy working environment. And employees in low-paying jobs typically report worse working conditions than those in higher-paying jobs — in fact, nearly half of workers in low-paying jobs say they face “potentially dangerous” conditions on the job.

Mining is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, with more than 600 workers dying in fatal workplace incidents between 2004 and the beginning of July. And many more miners die long after they’ve left the mines from occupational illnesses such as black lung disease, while others live with the debilitating aftermath of workplace injuries. Today, researchers know a great deal about the health risks miners face on the job, but some pretty big gaps remain.

Dr. Jodi Sherman wants to expand the medical profession’s understanding of patient safety far beyond the exam room and hospital bed. For Sherman, the oft-heard medical mantra of “first do no harm” should also push the health care system to do more to reduce its harmful air emissions and their impact on people’s health.

Low wages certainly impact a person’s health, from where people live to what they eat to how often they can visit a doctor. And low and stagnant wages certainly contribute to poverty, which is a known risk factor for poor health and premature mortality. But should low wages be considered an occupational health hazard?

A couple months ago, we reported on a study that found raising the minimum wage to $15 could have prevented thousands of premature deaths in New York City alone. Now comes more science on the life-saving benefits of higher wages — this one found that just a modest increase in the minimum wage could have saved the lives of hundreds of babies. It’s yet another reminder that the movement for a living wage is also a movement toward a healthier nation for all.

In 2014, more than 28,000 people in the U.S. died from an opioid overdose. That same year, more Americans died from drug overdoses than during any other year on record, with the escalating numbers fueled by opioid abuse. Solutions to the problem are as complex as the epidemic itself, however a recent study pointed to one tool that can make a significant difference: prescription drug monitoring programs.

In the first large-scale study of its kind, researchers report that sexual trauma is indeed a risk factor for suicide among military veterans and are calling on veteran health providers to continue including such trauma in suicide prevention strategies.

Everything’s bigger in Texas — including the number of Texans without health insurance. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of uninsured Texas residents has dropped by 30 percent. That means the Texas uninsured rate has hit its lowest point in nearly two decades.

Hardly a day goes by lately without another story on companies like Uber and their model of classifying workers as independent contractors while treating them more like traditional employees and sidestepping traditional employer responsibilities. It’s a model that has serious implications for workers’ rights and wages. However, there’s another form of employment that may be even more damaging to hard-fought labor standards: subcontracting.