Public Health Post

The Public's Health: Can We Reverse Course on Health? | Public Health Post

The United States lags in health indicators behind all our high-income peer countries. Most well-informed readers know this and know that we have lower life expectancy and higher mortality on multiple causes than do, for example, Italy, Greece, France, or Norway. It is worth noting that our health measures were not always this poor compared to other countries; as recently as the mid-1980s we were roughly in the middle of the pack in high income countries and we have slowly fallen behind. Other countries have passed us, both high-income nations and other not so usual suspects like Chile, Cuba, and Singapore.
So the bad news is that we have fallen behind. The good news, perhaps, is that if we fell behind on health in such a short period of time, we can reverse course and catch up in the next few short decades.

The Public's Health: What Kills Our Kids? | Public Health Post

One of the greatest triumphs in health over the past century has been the dramatic decrease in childhood mortality. And yet, children still die, and that suggests that we should be looking carefully at what kills our children, and asking what we can do about it. 

The Public's Health: The Health of the Poorest 50 Percent | Public Health Post

No relationship is more clearly established in population health science than the one between income and health. Those among us who are fortunate enough to have higher income live longer, healthier lives. By way of example, those born in 1960 who are in the lowest income quintile, can expect to live till age 76; those in the highest income quintile can expect to live till age 89. Money buys access to the resources that create a healthier life, from safe neighborhoods to walk in, to clean air to breathe, to time off to care for sick children, to nutritious food to eat. We write about this today, not because it is news, but because, quite simply, the United States is on the brink of creating a class of permanent health have-nots, shaped by entrenched class divides and ever increasing income disparity.

The Public's Health: Creating Health is Like Winning at Soccer | Public Health Post

As the 2018 World Cup moves toward its finale, it's clear that soccer is the global sport, with an estimated 500 million people playing regularly, or about 5% of the world’s population. The game is simple: eleven players on one side try to get the ball into the net on the other side. Of the eleven players, only the goalie can use her hands to keep the ball from getting into the net.

Those who are not used to soccer may, reasonably enough, see the goalie as the key to winning. After all the goalie is the last defense, standing between the ball and the net, and in theory a spectacular goalie can stop every shot that comes her way.

The Public's Health: The Census and Public Health | Public Health Post

The US Constitution mandates that every resident be counted at least every ten years. As the 2020 census approaches, the Trump administration’s decision to meddle with how to perform this head count by adding a question about citizenship to the census has already been criticized by the Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory committee and has become the target of lawsuits.

The Public's Health: Guns and Suicide | Public Health Post

Suicide is one of the very few causes of death that have remained stubbornly steady over nearly the past century. A recent CDC report showed that suicide rates have risen about 30% in the United States since 1999. This report revealed an increase among all sexes, racial/ethnic groups, and all ages; in 2016 there were nearly 45,000 suicides in the US. With the recent increase adding fuel to our concern, suicide is now the tenth leading cause of death in the country.  

The Public's Health: Violence is a Public Health Issue | Public Health Post

Nearly 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States every minute. One in three women and one in four men are victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. Nearly 18,000 people died from homicide in the US last year, with more than two-thirds of those due to firearms.

The Public's Health: Healthy Homes | Public Health Post

Sixteen million American children live in poverty, putting them at risk for delayed development, disease, and poor educational outcomes. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a pro-work, federal tool that has reduced or eliminated poverty for 13.2 million children. Cash transfer programs like EITC improve maternal and infant health.