Archive for the 'Population Health & Health Disparities' Category

Twitter and Public Health

The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences blog highlighted research by Ann Marie White and Melanie Funchess on the use of “Twitter data to prevent violence and suicide through community-based helping networks.”

Their recent BSSR talk, “To tweet or not to tweet: Community-based participatory research approaches to advance wellness and violence prevention via social media,” highlighted their progress in developing community-based helping networks that take advantage of social media tools to improve public health in their neighborhoods.

Changing Causes of Death in Poor Countries

The World Bank has a new interactive chart showing how the leading causes of death are changing worldwide:

From The DataBlog:

Worldwide, the leading causes of death are changing, and they vary between rich and poor countries. In low-income countries, deaths from communicable diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS have fallen, while deaths from non-communicable diseases such as stroke and diabetes are on the rise.

How We Die in Michigan

Julie Mack of MLive.com put together mortality statistics from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and found some interesting trends.

A century ago, in 1914, 13 percent of people died from heart disease and 6 percent from cancer. That’s an era when contagious disease and infection killed many people at a much younger age.

In 1964, a half-century ago, after the introduction of antibiotics, heart disease and cancer together accounted for 55 percent of Michigan deaths.

In recent years, heart disease has been declining as a cause of death, while cancer has been on the increase.

Remember: Causes of death are a zero-sum situation. Since everybody dies, if one cause goes down, another must increase.

See also: Michigan’s top 10 causes of death.

NIA Has Updated It’s Strategic Directions

Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging, wrote in the Inside NIA bog about their updated version of the NIA’s Strategic Directions, Aging Well in the 21st Century.

NIA’s previous strategic approach was published in 2007. Since then, we have made a number of important revisions. Most critically, we have organized our approach into three “functional” areas:

  • Understanding the Dynamics of the Aging Process
  • Improving the Health, Well-Being, and Independence of Adults as they Age
  • Supporting the Research Enterprise

Read the full post.

Lifetime Risk of HIV Diagnosis in U.S.

The CDC released a new Fact Sheet showing the lifetime risk of HIV diagnosis in the United States.

From the press release:

CDC researchers used diagnoses and death rates from 2009-2013 to project the lifetime risk of HIV diagnosis in the United States by sex, race and ethnicity, state, and HIV risk group, assuming diagnoses rates remain constant. Overall, the lifetime risk of HIV diagnosis in the U.S. is now 1 in 99, an improvement from a previous analysis using 2004-2005 data that reported overall risk at 1 in 78.

Playing with Mortality Visualizations

Nathan Yau of Flowing Data has been doing some interesting (and beautiful) visualizations of when and how people die. First was Years You Have Left to Live, Probably. Next was Causes of Death. And today he posted How You Will Die.

Mortality of Middle Aged White Men

Philip Cohen, writing for the Family Inequality blog, has some concerns about the Case and Deaton paper showing that the mortality rate for middle-aged white men is rising: “My concern is that changes in the age and sex composition of the population studied could account for a non-trivial amount of the trends they report.”

Life Expectancy of U.S. Children

Josh Barro of The Upshot examines the rising life expectancy in the United States:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, life expectancy at birth in the United States was 78.8 years in 2013 — 76.4 years for men, 81.2 years for women. But I have good news. Those statistics don’t mean what you probably think they mean.

In fact, an American child born in 2013 will most likely live six or more years longer than those averages: boys into their early 80s, girls into their late 80s.

2013 Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance data

The Census Bureau has release a new selection of data products on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage. These reflect the redesigned income questions included in a portion of the 2014 survey sample for the 2013 estimates. The new products include:

H/T: Data Detectives

10 Years After Katrina

Here is a round-up of some of the reporting on New Orleans 10 years after Katrina:

From FiveThirtyEight:

The Pew Research Center: Remembering Katrina: Wide Racial Divide over Government’s Response

Wonkblog: What happened when Brad Pitt and his architects came to rebuild New Orleans