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Concept: State

421

Several states have expanded Medicaid eligibility for adults in the past decade, and the Affordable Care Act allows states to expand Medicaid dramatically in 2014. Yet the effect of such changes on adults' health remains unclear. We examined whether Medicaid expansions were associated with changes in mortality and other health-related measures.

Concepts: Health care, U.S. state, Medicaid, State, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

301

Public trust in immunization is an increasingly important global health issue. Losses in confidence in vaccines and immunization programmes can lead to vaccine reluctance and refusal, risking disease outbreaks and challenging immunization goals in high- and low-income settings. National and international immunization stakeholders have called for better monitoring of vaccine confidence to identify emerging concerns before they evolve into vaccine confidence crises.

Concepts: Immune system, Public health, Vaccine, Vaccination, Tuberculosis, Mercury, State

167

Two primary objectives when caring for older adults are to slow the decline to a worsened frailty state and to prevent disability. Telemedicine may be one method of improving care in this population. We conducted a secondary analysis of the Tele-ERA study to evaluate the effect of home telemonitoring in reducing the rate of deterioration into a frailty state and death in older adults with comorbid health problems.

Concepts: Health care, Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Effect, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Pharmaceutical industry, State

66

IMPORTANCE Over 30 000 people die annually in the United States from injuries caused by firearms. Although most firearm laws are enacted by states, whether the laws are associated with rates of firearm deaths is uncertain. OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether more firearm laws in a state are associated with fewer firearm fatalities. DESIGN Using an ecological and cross-sectional method, we retrospectively analyzed all firearm-related deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System from 2007 through 2010. We used state-level firearm legislation across 5 categories of laws to create a “legislative strength score,” and measured the association of the score with state mortality rates using a clustered Poisson regression. States were divided into quartiles based on their score. SETTING Fifty US states. PARTICIPANTS Populations of all US states. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The outcome measures were state-level firearm-related fatalities per 100 000 individuals per year overall, for suicide, and for homicide. In various models, we controlled for age, sex, race/ethnicity, poverty, unemployment, college education, population density, nonfirearm violence-related deaths, and household firearm ownership. RESULTS Over the 4-year study period, there were 121 084 firearm fatalities. The average state-based firearm fatality rates varied from a high of 17.9 (Louisiana) to a low of 2.9 (Hawaii) per 100 000 individuals per year. Annual firearm legislative strength scores ranged from 0 (Utah) to 24 (Massachusetts) of 28 possible points. States in the highest quartile of legislative strength (scores of ≥9) had a lower overall firearm fatality rate than those in the lowest quartile (scores of ≤2) (absolute rate difference, 6.64 deaths/100 000/y; age-adjusted incident rate ratio [IRR], 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37-0.92). Compared with the quartile of states with the fewest laws, the quartile with the most laws had a lower firearm suicide rate (absolute rate difference, 6.25 deaths/100 000/y; IRR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.48-0.83) and a lower firearm homicide rate (absolute rate difference, 0.40 deaths/100 000/y; IRR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.38-0.95). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE A higher number of firearm laws in a state are associated with a lower rate of firearm fatalities in the state, overall and for suicides and homicides individually. As our study could not determine cause-and-effect relationships, further studies are necessary to define the nature of this association.

Concepts: Demography, United States, United States Congress, U.S. state, State, Suicide, Common law, Legislature

48

The effects of marijuana use on workplace safety are of concern for public health and workplace safety professionals. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws legalizing marijuana at the state level for recreational and/or medical purposes. Employers and safety professionals in states where marijuana use is legal have expressed concerns about potential increases in occupational injuries, such as on-the-job motor vehicle crashes, related to employee impairment. Data published in 2017 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) showed that more than one in eight adult state residents aged ≥18 years currently used marijuana in 2014 (13.6%) and 2015 (13.4%) (1). To examine current marijuana use by working adults and the industries and occupations in which they are employed, CDPHE analyzed data from the state’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) regarding current marijuana use (at least 1 day during the preceding 30 days) among 10,169 persons who responded to the current marijuana use question. During 2014 and 2015, 14.6% of these 10,169 Colorado workers reported current marijuana use, with the highest reported prevalence among workers in the Accommodation and Food Services industry (30.1%) and Food Preparation and Serving (32.2%) occupations. Understanding the industries and occupations of adults with reported marijuana use can help direct and maximize impact of public health messaging and potential safety interventions for adults.

Concepts: Epidemiology, U.S. state, Law, Employment, State, Occupational safety and health, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Colorado

41

Major policy uncertainty continues to surround the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at both the state and federal levels. We assessed changes in health care use and self-reported health after three years of the ACA’s coverage expansion, using survey data collected from low-income adults through the end of 2016 in three states: Kentucky, which expanded Medicaid; Arkansas, which expanded private insurance to low-income adults using the federal Marketplace; and Texas, which did not expand coverage. We used a difference-in-differences model with a control group and an instrumental variables model to provide individual-level estimates of the effects of gaining insurance. By the end of 2016 the uninsurance rate in the two expansion states had dropped by more than 20 percentage points relative to the nonexpansion state. For uninsured people gaining coverage, this change was associated with a 41-percentage-point increase in having a usual source of care, a $337 reduction in annual out-of-pocket spending, significant increases in preventive health visits and glucose testing, and a 23-percentage-point increase in “excellent” self-reported health. Among adults with chronic conditions, we found improvements in affordability of care, regular care for those conditions, medication adherence, and self-reported health.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Health insurance, Health, U.S. state, Health science, State, Massachusetts

33

Indoor tanning is a known risk factor for skin cancer and is especially dangerous for adolescents. Some states have passed indoor tanning bans for minors, but business compliance with the bans is not well understood. Thus far, studies have assessed ban compliance in one or two states at a time. This study aimed to assess compliance with indoor tanning bans for minors and knowledge of dangers and benefits of tanning among indoor tanning businesses. Female research assistants posing as minors telephoned a convenience sample of 412 businesses in 14 states with tanning bans for minors under age 17 or 18. We evaluated differences in compliance by census region and years since ban was implemented and differences in reported dangers and benefits by compliance. Most (80.1%) businesses told the “minor” caller she could not use the tanning facilities. Businesses in the south and in states with more recent bans were less compliant. Among those (n = 368) that completed the full interview, 52.2% identified burning and 20.1% mentioned skin cancer as potential dangers. However, 21.7% said dangers were no worse than the sun and 10.3% denied any dangers. Stated benefits included vitamin D (27.7%), social/cosmetic (27.2%), and treats skin diseases (26.4%), with only 4.9% reporting no benefits. While most businesses followed the indoor tanning ban when a minor called, one-fifth did not. Many stated inaccurate health claims. Additional enforcement or education might increase compliance with indoor tanning bans and action is needed to prevent businesses from stating false health information.

Concepts: U.S. state, Knowledge, State, Ban

32

In the past, constitutional principle gave the government broad authority to regulate tobacco or pharmaceutical advertising. The state’s power to safeguard the public health was strong, and companies' freedom to plug their products was weak. But the Supreme Court has changed course. Whereas it once did not view “commercial” speech as the kind of speech the First Amendment protects, it now gives businesses nearly the same rights to market their goods as it does individuals to speak their minds. And as the Court has broadened corporate freedom to advertise, it has narrowed governmental power to preserve the public’s health. Whereas . . .

Concepts: United States, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Constitution, Government, State, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Buckley v. Valeo

31

Workers in various industries and occupations are at risk for work-related asthma* (1). Data from the 2006-2007 adult Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Asthma Call-back Survey (ACBS), an in-depth asthma survey conducted with respondents who report an asthma diagnosis, from 33 states indicated that up to 48% of adult current asthma might be related to work and could therefore potentially be prevented (2). Identification of the industries and occupations with increased prevalence of asthma might inform work-related asthma intervention and prevention efforts. To assess the industry-specific and occupation-specific proportions of adults with current asthma by state, CDC analyzed data from the 2013 BRFSS industry and occupation module, collected from 21 states for participants aged ≥18 years who, at the time of the survey interview, were employed or had been out of work for <12 months. Among these respondents, 7.7% had current asthma; based on the Asthma Call-back Survey results, this finding means as many as 2.7 million U.S. workers might have asthma caused by or exacerbated by workplace conditions. State-specific variations in the prevalence of current asthma by industry and occupation were observed. By state, current asthma prevalence was highest among workers in the information industry (18.0%) in Massachusetts and in health care support occupations (21.5%) in Michigan. Analysis of BRFSS industry and occupation and optional asthma modules can be used to identify industries and occupations to assess for asthma among workers, identify workplace exposures, and guide the design and evaluation of effective work-related asthma prevention and education programs (1).

Concepts: Asthma, Employment, State, Adult, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Industry

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Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a postnatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, increased threefold from 2000 to 2009. Since 2009, opioid pain reliever prescriptions and complications increased markedly throughout the United States. Understanding recent changes in NAS and its geographic variability would inform state and local governments in targeting public health responses.

Concepts: United States, U.S. state, Opioid, Heroin, Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine, State, Barack Obama