Monthly Archive for February, 2013

The Sister Study: Breast Cancer

The Sister Study
From 2004 to 2009, more than 50,000 women across the US and Puerto Rico, who were between ages 35–74 and whose sister had breast cancer, joined this landmark research effort to find causes of breast cancer. Because of their shared environment, genes, and experiences, studying sisters provides a greater chance of identifying risk factors that may help us find ways to prevent breast cancer.

The Sister Study is currently tracking the health of women in the cohort. Participants complete health updates each year, as well as detailed questionnaires about health and experiences every two-to-three years. Research in the Sister Study focuses on causes of breast cancer and other health issues in women, as well as on factors that influence quality of life and outcomes after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Data Access
Access to the data is not completely open, but there is a process for access. Click on the above link for instructions.

Underestimating Alcohol Consumption

How is alcohol consumption affected if we account for under-reporting? A hypothetical scenario
Sadie Boniface, Nicola Shelton | European Journal of Public Health
February 26, 2013
These researchers compared reported alcohol consumption from survey data with published reports of alcohol sales and determined there is under-reporting of alcohol consumption in England, which is comparable to other studies.

This was mostly posted as an impetus to others to think of additional ways to get at this under-reporting problem. And, luckily the time period does not include the Olympics, which might have involved lots of tourists.

Research on Black First Names

The first paper is by former PSC post-doc, Trevon Logan, which shows that blacks had distinctive names in the early 20th Century – that this is not new. He and his co-authors used historical census data as well as data from death certificates. The second paper explores whether searches involving ‘black’ names results in different ads being displayed via a Google search. Interestingly, one of the black names is ‘Trevon.’ Likewise, one of the female black names is ‘Latanya’ which is the author’s first name. The final paper is probably a familiar paper to most – does having a black name make a difference in interview call backs.

Distinctively Black Names in the American Past
Lisa Cook, Trevon Logan, and John Parman | NBER (Working paper 18802)
February 2013

Discrimination in Online Ad Delivery
Latanya Sweeney | Harvard University [working paper posted on arcxiv.org]
January 2013

Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination
Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan | NBER (working paper 9873)
July 2003

Update on Sequestration Cuts for Statistical Agencies

Sequestration Cuts’ Impact on Statistical Agencies
Steve Pierson | The Census Project Blog
February 19, 2014

This is up-to-date information on selected statistical agencies, primarily the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, at the end of the post are links to impacts on NIH and NSF.

Blast from the Past

Sunday’s Washington Post had an article on the divergent amounts spent on the elderly versus children. This was the theme of Sam Preston’s 1984 PAA Presidential address:

Feds spend $7 on elderly for every $1 on kids
Ezra Klein | Washington Post (WonkBlog)
February 15, 2013
The bulk of this article is based on a report from the Urban Institute.

Kids’ Share 2012: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children Through 2011
Julia Isaacs, et.al. | The Urban Institute

Children and the Elderly: Divergent Paths for America’s Dependents
Sam Preston | Demography
November 1984

MEDLINE, PubMed, and PMC (PubMed Central): How are they different?

Fact sheet from National Library of Medicine about the differences of these database.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/dif_med_pub.html