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Concept: United States House of Representatives


It is widely reported that partisanship in the United States Congress is at an historic high. Given that individuals are persuaded to follow party lines while having the opportunity and incentives to collaborate with members of the opposite party, our goal is to measure the extent to which legislators tend to form ideological relationships with members of the opposite party. We quantify the level of cooperation, or lack thereof, between Democrat and Republican Party members in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949-2012. We define a network of over 5 million pairs of representatives, and compare the mutual agreement rates on legislative decisions between two distinct types of pairs: those from the same party and those formed of members from different parties. We find that despite short-term fluctuations, partisanship or non-cooperation in the U.S. Congress has been increasing exponentially for over 60 years with no sign of abating or reversing. Yet, a group of representatives continue to cooperate across party lines despite growing partisanship.

Concepts: United States, President of the United States, United States Constitution, Washington, D.C., Democratic Party, United States House of Representatives, United States Senate, Franklin D. Roosevelt


Extrapolation from studies in the 1980s suggests that smoking causes 25% of deaths among women and men 35 to 69 years of age in the United States. Nationally representative measurements of the current risks of smoking and the benefits of cessation at various ages are unavailable.

Concepts: United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Wine, Barbecue, Nationalism, United States House of Representatives


In May 2015, the 21st Century Cures Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, with the goal of promoting the development and speeding the approval of new drugs and devices.(1) Championed by the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and device industries, the bill was approved unanimously (51 to 0) in committee and continues to be debated. If enacted into law, some of its provisions could have a profound effect on what is known about the safety and efficacy of medical products, as well as which ones become available for use. Some aspects of the bill could indeed enhance the development of . . .

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, United States, United States Congress, Pharmaceutical drug, 21st century, Democratic Party, United States House of Representatives


In February 2015, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Burr (R-NC), along with Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), unveiled the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act (Patient CARE Act).(1) Although its terms remain sketchy, the proposal deserves serious attention. The Budget Resolutions passed by each House of Congress in late March, though nonbinding, assume enactment of some version of the proposal, and Hatch and Upton chair the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, respectively, two of Congress’s most powerful health committees. The Patient CARE Act would repeal the insurance reforms of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) . . .

Concepts: Patient, United States Congress, United States House of Representatives, United States Senate, Legislatures, Senate, United States Senate Committee on Finance, Orrin Hatch


Current physical activity guidelines recommend that adults participate weekly in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity equivalent aerobic physical activity to achieve substantial health benefits. We used a nationally representative sample of data of US adults to estimate the percentage of deaths attributable to levels of physical activity that were inadequate to meet the aerobic guideline.

Concepts: Sample, Health insurance, United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Race, Nationalism, United States House of Representatives


Is social media a valid indicator of political behavior? There is considerable debate about the validity of data extracted from social media for studying offline behavior. To address this issue, we show that there is a statistically significant association between tweets that mention a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and his or her subsequent electoral performance. We demonstrate this result with an analysis of 542,969 tweets mentioning candidates selected from a random sample of 3,570,054,618, as well as Federal Election Commission data from 795 competitive races in the 2010 and 2012 U.S. congressional elections. This finding persists even when controlling for incumbency, district partisanship, media coverage of the race, time, and demographic variables such as the district’s racial and gender composition. Our findings show that reliable data about political behavior can be extracted from social media.

Concepts: United States, Sociology, Race, Elections, Election, United States House of Representatives, Preselection, Representative democracy


We assessed gun ownership rates in 2013 across the USA and the association between exposure to a social gun culture and gun ownership. We used data from a nationally representative sample of 4000 US adults, from 50 states and District of Columbia, aged >18 years to assess gun ownership and social gun culture performed in October 2013. State-level firearm policy information was obtained from the Brady Law Center and Injury Prevention and Control Center. One-third of Americans reported owning a gun, ranging from 5.2% in Delaware to 61.7% in Alaska. Gun ownership was 2.25-times greater among those reporting social gun culture (PR=2.25, 95% CI 2.02 to 2.52) than those who did not. In conclusion, we found strong association between social gun culture and gun ownership. Gun cultures may need to be considered for public health strategies that aim to change gun ownership in the USA.

Concepts: United States, Sociology, U.S. state, Firearm, United States House of Representatives, Gun, Gun politics in the United States, Gun Control Act of 1968


As bisexual individuals in the United States (U.S.) face significant health disparities, researchers have posited that these differences may be fueled, at least in part, by negative attitudes, prejudice, stigma, and discrimination toward bisexual individuals from heterosexual and gay/lesbian individuals. Previous studies of individual and social attitudes toward bisexual men and women have been conducted almost exclusively with convenience samples, with limited generalizability to the broader U.S.

Concepts: United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Race, Photography, Humid subtropical climate, Nationalism, United States House of Representatives


The United States��� experience with the Ebola virus in 2014 provides a window into US public health politics. First, the United States provided a case study in the role of suasion and executive action in the management of public health in a fragmented multi-level system. The variable capacity of different parts of the United States to respond to Ebola on the level of hospitals or state governments, and their different approaches, show the limitations of federal influence, the importance of knowledge and executive energy, and the diversity of both powerful actors and sources of power. Second, the politics of Ebola in the United States is a case study in the politics of partisan blame attribution. The outbreak struck in the run-up to an election that was likely to be good for the Republican party, and the election dominated interest in and opinions of Ebola in both the media and public opinion. Democratic voters and media downplayed Ebola while Republican voters and media focused on the outbreak. The media was a key conduit for this strategic politicization, as shown in the quantity, timing and framing of news about Ebola. Neither fragmentation nor partisanship appears to be going away, so understanding the politics of public health crises will remain important.

Concepts: United States, President of the United States, California, Louisiana, Political philosophy, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, United States House of Representatives


It is unknown whether older adults in the United States would be willing to take a test predictive of future Alzheimer’s disease, or whether testing would change behavior. Using a nationally representative sample, we explored who would take a free and definitive test predictive of Alzheimer’s disease, and examined how using such a test may impact advance care planning.

Concepts: Sample size, United States, Future, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Forecasting, Nationalism, United States House of Representatives