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Concept: United States Census Bureau


Caramel color is added to many widely-consumed beverages as a colorant. Consumers of these beverages can be exposed to 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), a potential carcinogen formed during its manufacture. California’s Proposition 65 law requires that beverages containing 4-MEI concentrations corresponding to exposures that pose excess cancer risks > 1 case per 100,000 exposed persons (29 μg 4-MEI/day) carry warning labels. Using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, we assessed 4-MEI concentrations in 12 beverages purchased in California and a geographically distant metropolitan area (New York) in which warning labels are not required. In addition, we characterized beverage consumption by age and race/ethnicity (using weighted means calculated from logistic regressions) and assessed 4-MEI exposure and resulting cancer risks and US population cancer burdens attributable to beverage consumption. Data on beverage consumption were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, dose-response data for 4-MEI were obtained from the California Environmental Protection Agency Office of Environmental Health Hazards Assessment, and data on population characteristics were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau. Of the 12 beverages, Malta Goya had the highest 4-MEI concentration (915.8 to 963.3μg/L), lifetime average daily dose (LADD - 8.04x10-3 mg/kgBW-day), lifetime excess cancer risk (1.93x10-4) and burden (5,011 cancer cases in the U.S. population over 70 years); Coca-Cola had the lowest value of each (4-MEI: 9.5 to 11.7μg/L; LADD: 1.01x10-4 mg/kgBW-day; risk: 1.92x10-6; and burden: 76 cases). 4-MEI concentrations varied considerably by soda and state/area of purchase, but were generally consistent across lots of the same beverage purchased in the same state/area. Routine consumption of certain beverages can result in 4-MEI exposures > 29 μg/day. State regulatory standards appear to have been effective in reducing exposure to carcinogens in some beverages. Federal regulation of 4-MEI in caramel color may be appropriate.

Concepts: Risk, United States, Coffee, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Risk assessment, Drink, Soft drink, United States Census Bureau


Anticoagulant rodenticide (AR) poisoning has emerged as a significant concern for conservation and management of non-target wildlife. The purpose for these toxicants is to suppress pest populations in agricultural or urban settings. The potential of direct and indirect exposures and illicit use of ARs on public and community forest lands have recently raised concern for fishers (Martes pennanti), a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act in the Pacific states. In an investigation of threats to fisher population persistence in the two isolated California populations, we investigate the magnitude of this previously undocumented threat to fishers, we tested 58 carcasses for the presence and quantification of ARs, conducted spatial analysis of exposed fishers in an effort to identify potential point sources of AR, and identified fishers that died directly due to AR poisoning. We found 46 of 58 (79%) fishers exposed to an AR with 96% of those individuals having been exposed to one or more second-generation AR compounds. No spatial clustering of AR exposure was detected and the spatial distribution of exposure suggests that AR contamination is widespread within the fisher’s range in California, which encompasses mostly public forest and park lands Additionally, we diagnosed four fisher deaths, including a lactating female, that were directly attributed to AR toxicosis and documented the first neonatal or milk transfer of an AR to an altricial fisher kit. These ARs, which some are acutely toxic, pose both a direct mortality or fitness risk to fishers, and a significant indirect risk to these isolated populations. Future research should be directed towards investigating risks to prey populations fishers are dependent on, exposure in other rare forest carnivores, and potential AR point sources such as illegal marijuana cultivation in the range of fishers on California public lands.

Concepts: Demography, Population, Endangered species, Mustelidae, Carnivore, Endangered Species Act, United States Census Bureau


We estimated rates of “absolute income mobility”-the fraction of children who earn more than their parents-by combining data from U.S. Census and Current Population Survey cross sections with panel data from de-identified tax records. We found that rates of absolute mobility have fallen from approximately 90% for children born in 1940 to 50% for children born in the 1980s. Increasing GDP growth rates alone cannot restore absolute mobility to the rates experienced by children born in the 1940s. However, distributing current GDP growth more equally across income groups as in the 1940 birth cohort would reverse more than 70% of the decline in mobility. These results imply that reviving the “American dream” of high rates of absolute mobility would require economic growth that is shared more broadly across the income distribution.

Concepts: Economics, Gross domestic product, Economic inequality, Economic growth, Welfare economics, United States Census Bureau, 1940, Uneconomic growth


The launch of the Affordable Care Act was accompanied by major insurance information campaigns by government, nonprofit, political, news media, and private-sector organizations, but it is not clear to what extent these efforts were associated with insurance gains. Using county-level data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and broadcast television airings data from the Wesleyan Media Project, we examined the relationship between insurance advertisements and county-level health insurance changes between 2013 and 2014, adjusting for other media and county- and state-level characteristics. We found that counties exposed to higher volumes of local insurance advertisements during the first open enrollment period experienced larger reductions in their uninsurance rates than other counties. State-sponsored advertisements had the strongest relationship with declines in uninsurance, and this relationship was driven by increases in Medicaid enrollment. These results support the importance of strategic investment in advertising to increase uptake of health insurance but suggest that not all types of advertisements will have the same effect on the public.

Concepts: Health care, Health insurance, Advertising, Mass media, United States Census, United States Census Bureau, Census, American Community Survey


OBJECTIVES: To provide updated estimates of Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia prevalence in the United States from 2010 through 2050. METHODS: Probabilities of AD dementia incidence were calculated from a longitudinal, population-based study including substantial numbers of both black and white participants. Incidence probabilities for single year of age, race, and level of education were calculated using weighted logistic regression and AD dementia diagnosis from 2,577 detailed clinical evaluations of 1,913 people obtained from stratified random samples of previously disease-free individuals in a population of 10,800. These were combined with US mortality, education, and new US Census Bureau estimates of current and future population to estimate current and future numbers of people with AD dementia in the United States. RESULTS: We estimated that in 2010, there were 4.7 million individuals aged 65 years or older with AD dementia (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.0-5.5). Of these, 0.7 million (95% CI = 0.4-0.9) were between 65 and 74 years, 2.3 million were between 75 and 84 years (95% CI = 1.7-2.9), and 1.8 million were 85 years or older (95% CI = 1.4-2.2). The total number of people with AD dementia in 2050 is projected to be 13.8 million, with 7.0 million aged 85 years or older. CONCLUSION: The number of people in the United States with AD dementia will increase dramatically in the next 40 years unless preventive measures are developed.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Statistics, Population, United States, Dementia, Midwestern United States, United States Census, United States Census Bureau


While the number of reported tuberculosis (TB) cases in the United States has declined over the past two decades, TB morbidity among foreign-born persons has remained persistently elevated. A recent unexpected decline in reported TB cases among foreign-born persons beginning in 2007 provided an opportunity to examine contributing factors and inform future TB control strategies. We investigated the relative influence of three factors on the decline: 1) changes in the size of the foreign-born population through immigration and emigration, 2) changes in distribution of country of origin among foreign-born persons, and 3) changes in the TB case rates among foreign-born subpopulations. Using data from the U.S. National Tuberculosis Surveillance System and the American Community Survey, we examined TB case counts, TB case rates, and population estimates, stratified by years since U.S. entry and country of origin. Regression modeling was used to assess statistically significant changes in trend. Among foreign-born recent entrants (<3 years since U.S. entry), we found a 39.5% decline (-1,013 cases) beginning in 2007 (P<0.05 compared to 2000-2007) and ending in 2011 (P<0.05 compared to 2011-2014). Among recent entrants from Mexico, 80.7% of the decline was attributable to a decrease in population, while the declines among recent entrants from the Philippines, India, Vietnam, and China were almost exclusively (95.5%-100%) the result of decreases in TB case rates. Among foreign-born non-recent entrants (≥3 years since U.S. entry), we found an 8.9% decline (-443 cases) that resulted entirely (100%) from a decrease in the TB case rate. Both recent and non-recent entrants contributed to the decline in TB cases; factors contributing to the decline among recent entrants varied by country of origin. Strategies that impact both recent and non-recent entrants (e.g., investment in overseas TB control) as well as those that focus on non-recent entrants (e.g., expanded targeted testing of high-risk subgroups among non-recent entrants) will be necessary to achieve further declines in TB morbidity among foreign-born persons.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Statistics, United States, Tuberculosis, Immigration, Philippines, English language, United States Census Bureau


In evaluating research investments, it is important to establish whether the expertise gained by researchers in conducting their projects propagates into the broader economy. For eight universities, it was possible to combine data from the UMETRICS project, which provided administrative records on graduate students supported by funded research, with data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The analysis covers 2010-2012 earnings and placement outcomes of people receiving doctorates in 2009-2011. Almost 40% of supported doctorate recipients, both federally and nonfederally funded, entered industry and, when they did, they disproportionately got jobs at large and high-wage establishments in high-tech and professional service industries. Although Ph.D. recipients spread nationally, there was also geographic clustering in employment near the universities that trained and employed the researchers. We also show large differences across fields in placement outcomes.

Concepts: University, Academic degree, Postgraduate education, Professor, Doctorate, United States Census, United States Census Bureau, Census


Knowledge of the cancer burden is important for informing and advocating cancer prevention and control. Mortality data are readily available for states and counties, but not for congressional districts, from which representatives are elected and which may be more influential in compelling legislation and policy. The authors calculated average annual cancer death rates during 2002 to 2011 for each of the 435 congressional districts using mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics and population estimates from the US Census Bureau. Age-standardized death rates were mapped for all sites combined and separately for cancers of the lung and bronchus, colorectum, breast, and prostate by race/ethnicity and sex. Overall cancer death rates vary by almost 2-fold and are generally lowest in Mountain states and highest in Appalachia and areas of the South. The distribution is similar for lung and colorectal cancers, with the lowest rates consistently noted in districts in Utah. However, for breast and prostate cancers, while the highest rates are again scattered throughout the South, the geographic pattern is less clear and the lowest rates are in Hawaii and southern Texas and Florida. Within-state heterogeneity is limited, particularly for men, with the exceptions of Texas, Georgia, and Florida. Patterns also vary by race/ethnicity. For example, the highest prostate cancer death rates are in the West and north central United States among non-Hispanic whites, but in the deep South among African Americans. Hispanics have the lowest rates except for colorectal cancer in Wyoming, eastern Colorado, and northern New Mexico. These data can facilitate cancer control and stimulate conversation about the relationship between cancer and policies that influence access to health care and the prevalence of behavioral and environmental risk factors. CA Cancer J Clin 2015. © 2015 American Cancer Society.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Metastasis, United States, Prostate cancer, Colorectal cancer, Southern United States, United States Census Bureau


The US National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measures cognitive competences in reading and mathematics of US students (last 2012 survey N = 50,000). The long-term development based on results from 1971 to 2012 allows a prediction of future cognitive trends. For predicting US averages also demographic trends have to be considered. The largest groups' (White) average of 1978/80 was set at M = 100 and SD = 15 and was used as a benchmark. Based on two past NAEP development periods for 17-year-old students, 1978/80 to 2012 (more optimistic) and 1992 to 2012 (more pessimistic), and demographic projections from the US Census Bureau, cognitive trends until 2060 for the entire age cohort and ethnic groups were estimated. Estimated population averages for 2060 are 103 (optimistic) or 102 (pessimistic). The average rise per decade is dec = 0.76 or 0.45 IQ points. White-Black and White-Hispanic gaps are declining by half, Asian-White gaps treble. The catch-up of minorities (their faster ability growth) contributes around 2 IQ to the general rise of 3 IQ; however, their larger demographic increase reduces the general rise at about the similar amount (-1.4 IQ). Because minorities with faster ability growth also rise in their population proportion the interactive term is positive (around 1 IQ). Consequences for economic and societal development are discussed.

Concepts: Demography, Population, Prediction, Future, Educational psychology, United States Census, United States Census Bureau, National Assessment of Educational Progress


Evidence has shown that quality skilled care during labor and delivery is essential to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes. Unfortunately, analyses of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data show that there are a substantial number of women around the world that not only do not have access to skilled care but also deliver alone with no one present (NOP). Among the 80 countries with data, we found the practice of delivering with NOP was concentrated in West and Central Africa and parts of East Africa. Across these countries, the prevalence of giving birth with NOP was higher among women who were poor, older, of higher parity, living in rural areas, and uneducated than among their counterparts. As women increased use of antenatal care services, the proportion giving birth with NOP declined. Using census data for each country from the US Census Bureau’s International Database and data on prevalence of delivering with NOP from the DHS among countries with surveys from 2005 onwards (n = 59), we estimated the number of women who gave birth alone in each country, as well as each country’s contribution to the total burden. Our analysis indicates that between 2005 and 2015, an estimated 2.2 million women, who had given birth in the 3 years preceding each country survey, delivered with NOP. Nigeria, alone, accounted for 44% (nearly 1 million) of these deliveries. As countries work on reducing inequalities in access to health care, wealth, education, and family planning, concurrent efforts to change community norms that condone and facilitate the practice of women giving birth alone must also be implemented. Programmatic experience from Sokoto State in northern Nigeria suggests that the practice can be reduced markedly through grassroots community advocacy and education, even in poor and low-resource areas. It is time for leaders to act now to eradicate the practice of giving birth alone-one of many important steps needed to ensure no mother or newborn dies of a preventable death.

Concepts: Health care, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Population, Obstetrics, United States Census, United States Census Bureau, Census