All Articles Tagged "public health"
(Wall Street Journal) — The threat of losing your home is stressful enough to make you ill, it stands to reason. Now two economists have measured just how unhealthy the foreclosure crisis has been in some of the hardest-hit areas of the U.S. New research by Janet Currie of Princeton University and Erdal Tekin of Georgia State University shows a direct correlation between foreclosure rates and the health of residents in Arizona, California, Florida and New Jersey. The economists concluded in a paper published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research that an increase of 100 foreclosures corresponded to a 7.2% rise in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for hypertension, and an 8.1% increase for diabetes, among people aged 20 to 49. Each rise of 100 foreclosures was also associated with 12% more visits related to anxiety in the same age category. And the same rise in foreclosures was associated with 39% more visits for suicide attempts among the same group, though this still represents a small number of patients, the researchers say.
(New York Times) — Two studies released yesterday add to the growing body of evidence that taking a daily pill containing one or two AIDS drugs can keep an uninfected person from catching HIV. The studies were the first to show protection in heterosexuals; the only earlier one with similarly encouraging results involved gay men. As it becomes clearer that antiretroviral drugantiretroviral drug
s can not only treat the disease but prevent it, pressure is likely to increase on donors to find more money to supply the drugs in African nations ravaged by HIV and on pharmaceutical manufacturers to either sell them cheaply worldwide or release their patents to companies that can.
(Wall Street Journal) — Canadian tourist Doris Roberts blithely smoked a cigarette as she relaxed at a table under cloudy skies in Times Square on Monday, flicking ashes and scorn at the city’s new law prohibiting smoking in pedestrian plazas, as well as in parks and at beaches. ”It’s ridiculous,” said Ms. Roberts, 47 years old, of Montreal. “We’re outside—we should be able to smoke.” Ninety days after Mayor Michael Bloombergsigned into law this most recent expansion of the city’s smoking ban, it became illegal on Monday to smoke in the city’s 1,700 parks and on its 14 miles of beaches. Smoking is now also prohibited along the city’s boardwalks, marinas and pedestrian plazas, such as Times Square. Parks Department officials are authorized to enforce the law and may issue fines of $50 per violation. But city officials say they’re hopeful the new ban will be self-enforcing, with most people stubbing out their butts when alerted by passersby or city officials.
(The Grio) — Banning menthol cigarettes could save 600,000 premature deaths by 2050, according to new data released today in the American Journal of Public Health. A third of those deaths are among African-Americans, who predominately smoke cigarettes with menthol flavoring. ”Tobacco is not an equal-opportunity killer, and the link between menthol smoking and African Americans cannot be overemphasized, nor can it be overlooked,” said Dr. David Abrams, senior author of the study and executive director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the American Legacy Foundation.
(NewsOne) – Children as young as 11-years-old can now pick up or order free condoms from the Philadelphia Public Health Department through a program called Take Control Philly. A recent survey of sixth-graders in West Philly showed that 25 percent of the 11-year-olds had already had sex. The Take Control Philly program strives to prevent STD’s and unplanned pregnancy.
(Businessweek) — When Sandra Tembo walks to the Mbare vegetable market in Harare, Zimbabwe, she passes a billboard: “Your future is brighter without a sugar daddy,” it says. Tembo, a 20-year-old dressmaking student, says she’s sure her friends “realize the risk” that comes with sugar-daddy relationships, which are common in sub-Saharan Africa and involve girls who have sex with older men in exchange for gifts and cash. “But they say being broke all the time also has its dangers, as you could starve.” Along with prostitution and promiscuity, sugar-daddy arrangements are fueling the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Older men have a far higher prevalence of HIV than their younger cohorts. In Zimbabwe, for example, less than 5 percent of 15- to-19-year-old men test positive for HIV, while that number soars to about 30 percent for 30-to-34-year-olds, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development. Now the World Bank is proposing to pay girls as a way to keep them in school and prevent AIDS.
(New York Times) — Michelle Obama, who has planted a vegetable garden, swiveled a hula hoop, done yoga poses, lobbied Congress and crisscrossed the United States to promote the virtues of healthy eating and exercise, wants to take her campaign to reduce childhood obesity to a bigger audience: the global one. During a wide-ranging luncheon interview with reporters, Mrs. Obama said she intended to spend part of the coming year shaping a more international message, with a possible focus on issues of maternal and child health. She expects to talk about fighting obesity when she travels with President Obama overseas, she said. “What I find internationally, and Barack says the same thing, is whenever he meets with a world leader, one of the first things they ask him about is the garden, because the issue of obesity is becoming an international issue,” Mrs. Obama said, adding that “many first ladies have begun to think about how they’re going to deal with this issue.” The interview kicked off a two-day media blitz by Mrs. Obama for the first anniversary of her healthy eating and exercise campaign, “Let’s Move!” She will appear Wednesday on “The Today Show” and “Live with Regis and Kelly,” deliver a speech in Atlanta and introduce a public service announcement that, she said, has the potential to reach more than 200 million viewers.
(Huffington Post) — Last week, the Federal Reserve chairman gave a stern warning to Congress not to play politics with an impending vote to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. ”It’s not something you want to play around with — the United States would be forced into a position of defaulting on its debt,” Mr. Ben Bernanke said at the National Press Club. “And the implications of that for our financial system, for our fiscal policy, for our economy would be catastrophic.” On February 7, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I’m wondering where is our Ben Bernanke. The tenor of fiscal debate on Capitol Hill is not only worrying investors, but also the millions of ordinary Americans who rely on government assistance to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, medicine in the cabinet, and help coping with job loss or disabilities. For lawmakers, potential market instabilities garner attention, but what about the catastrophic effects of deep health and human service cuts, stalled or threatened health care reforms, and neglected Social Security Administration, Medicare, and Medicaid systems upon which tens of millions of vulnerable Americans depend?
(Wall Street Journal) — Attention Times Square denizens and those out for a stroll in Central Park: It will soon be time to put out your smokes — forever. The New York City Council is slated Wednesday afternoon to approve a ban on smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas like Times Square. The legislation marks the most ambitious expansion of the city’s antismoking laws since Mayor Michael Bloomberg convinced the city lawmakers to approve a ban on smoking in indoor workplaces and park playgrounds in 2003.
(Wall Street Journal) — Now hiring: two city inspectors capable of smelling bedbugs. Must walk on four legs. New York City is moving forward with a plan to purchase bedbug-sniffing dogs for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. According to a request for information issued Monday, the city is looking for two male dogs trained to sniff out live bedbugs and their eggs. Most of the funding for the dogs will come from the departments existing enforcement budget, according to an HPD spokesman. The dogs will be deployed citywide and “used to compliment and enhance our existing code enforcement activities,” the spokesman explained.