Archive for the 'Health & Disability' Category

Opoid Use and Labor Force Participation

US Map Opoids and LFP

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Alan Krueger has a paper in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity on opoid use and labor force participation and it got quite a bit of press coverage as well. And, luckily for us, the data are also available:

Where have all the workers gone? An inquiry into the decline of the U.S. labor force participation rate
Alan Kruger | Brooking Papers on Economic Activity
Fall 2017
This paper is part of the Fall 2017 edition of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, the leading conference series and journal in economics for timely, cutting-edge research about real-world policy issues.

Paper | Data | Slides [Krueger] | Slides [Katz, discussant] | Slides [Notowidigdo, discussant]

Additional Coverage
How the opioid epidemic has affected the U.S. labor force, county-by-county
Fred Dews | Brookings Now
September 7, 2017

The Opioid Crisis Is Taking a Toll on the American Labor Force
Eric Levitz | New York Magazine
Sep 7, 2017

The stunning prevalence of painkiller use among unemployed men
Danielle Paquette | WonkBlog: Washington Post
Sep 7, 2017

Drugs Are Why 1 in 5 Men Drop Out of the Labor Market
Sy Mukherjee | Fortune
Sep 7, 2017

One in Five Men Leave Workforce due to Opioid Epidemic, so Drugs – not Immigrants – are Stealing Jobs
John Haltiwanger | Newsweek
Sep 7, 2017

Missing Data

No not the ‘9’ code in data, but data that no longer exist.

The FiveThirtyEight blog has a nice post on data on drug use that no longer exists.

Data On Drug Use Is Disappearing Just When We Need It Most
Kathryn Casteel | FiveThirtyEight blog
June 29, 2017

The main source researchers use to determine patterns of drug use is the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and it doesn’t track very well with heroin mortality statistics. But, it is the best data researchers have:

Several other sources that researchers once relied on are no longer being updated or have become more difficult to access. The lack of data means researchers, policymakers and public health workers are facing the worst U.S. drug epidemic in a generation without essential information about the nature of the problem or its scale.

The rest of the post describes some data sources that no longer exist, which were useful indicators of heroin use:

Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program [ADAM].
Estimates of expenditures on heroin

Expenditures on illicit drug use are nicely summarized in this article:

Cocaine’s fall and marijuana’s rise: questions and insights based on new estimates of consumption and expenditures in US drug markets
Caulkins, J., B. Kilmer, P. Reuter, G. Midgette | Addiction
May 2015

And, not mentioned at all in the FiveThirtyEight post are patterns of drug usage from wastewater analysis – sewage epidemioloogy:

Real-Time Wasterwater Analysis Shows What Drugs are being Used Where
Douglas Main | Popular Science
June 11, 2014

Health Care, Hepatitis C and Prisons

Anna Maria Barry-Jester has a piece in FiveThirtyEight examining the rate of hepatitis C & treatment in prisons by state.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has guidelines for treating prisoners that include providing the new drugs. But the vast majority of U.S. prisoners are held in state facilities; about 1.4 million people are in state prisons, compared with about 191,000 in federal prisons.

Advancing research into Alzheimer’s disease

A new post by Richard Hodes on the Inside NIA blog discusses the increase in public interest and funding in recent years, which allowed the NIA to approve 26 concept proposals for funding opportunities.

We expect to have a record number of new FOAs coming out over the next few months. The FOAs that will result from these concept proposals involve every NIA division; in a number of cases, two or more divisions will be co-sponsoring an FOA. The list of concepts is available online. Please take a look and start to think about the kinds of projects or studies you might propose.

We anticipate releasing the first group of these FOAs in the next four to six weeks. Others will follow over the next two to three months. We’ll be writing about each group in this blog, as well as announcing them in other venues.

Read Preparing for a possible future: Advancing research into Alzheimer’s disease

Mapping the Spread of Obesity

Nathan Yau at Flowing Data has an interactive graphic showing the growth of obesity rates by state, year (since 1985) and gender.

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.

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.

Mentally Ill and in Prison

Ana Swanson of Wonkblog examines the “shocking number of mentally ill Americans…in prison instead of treatment“:

According to a report by the Treatment Advocacy Center…American prisons and jails housed an estimated 356,268 inmates with several mental illness in 2012—on par with the population of Anchorage, Alaska, or Trenton, New Jersey. That figure is more than 10 times the number of mentally ill patients in state psychiatric hospitals in the same year—about 35,000 people.

Education and Health

The Connector, the NIH OBSSR’s blog, has a couple of posts examining the links between education and health. The first one, Contextualizing the link between education and health, discusses the results of a partnership between the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies which resulted in two workshops and a special issue of Social Science and Medicine, “Educational Attainment and Adult Health: Contextualizing Causality“.

In the second post, Compulsory schooling and health: What the evidence says, Lauren Fordyce looks at the impact of compulsory education on health outcomes.