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These stories were released by CFAH’s Health Behavior News Service between 4/2/13 and 4/16/13. We provide high-quality reports on new scientific studies that can help you make good choices about your health and the health of your family.

Depressed teens have rocky twenties…

Depression does more than rob teens of fully enjoying their youth. It may set them up for further difficulties as they move on to young adulthood, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

“Our research shows that depressed adolescents are more likely to suffer from numerous problems over the first ten years of adulthood. These include ongoing difficulties with mental illness, alcohol abuse, poor physical health, and inadequate social support networks,” said senior author Ian Colman, Ph.D., of the department of epidemiology and community medicine at the University of Ottawa. He and his team suggest possible interventions to help depressed teens, including teaching them how to make friends for more social support.

Gym benefits, yes. Extra costs, no thanks…

How would you like so-called wellness benefits, promotions and discounts for things like gym memberships to be part of your medical insurance? Most people say these would be useful features but are unwilling to pay extra as far as their premiums are concerned in order to get them. According to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, many insurance companies are reluctant to offer such benefits due to the uncertain payoff. Says Paul Fishman of the Group Health Research Institute, “We know that obesity raises health care costs, but what we haven’t shown convincingly over time is the causal effect that providing the benefit to wellness and preventive programs got people to use the benefit, then change their behavior and then save insurers money.”

Church goers look to ministry for health advice…

African-American churchgoers could benefit from well-organized health ministries, says a new study in Health Promotion Practice. In fact, people surveyed for the study expressed a strong belief that the church should play a role in promoting health messages. “If appropriate technical support can be developed for church health ministries, this could be a valuable new resource for reaching African Americans with accurate and authoritative health information,” said Thomas A. LaVeist, Ph.D., director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Just say no to smoking in public housing…

Despite numerous public health warnings against smoking, most public housing developments are reluctant to go completely smoke-free. Why? “Smoke-free prevalence in U.S. subsidized housing remains low. That’s because some multi-unit housing operators have concerns about vacancy, the legality of such polices and increased staff time for enforcement. But the experiences of multi-unit operators with smoke-free policies suggest these misconceptions are unfounded,” says Brian A. King, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking and Health, lead author of the study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study finds that banning smoking in subsidized housing would result in fewer smoking-related health risks and money saved in renovations, fire damage and health care costs.

More Blog Posts by Health Behavior News Service

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The Health Behavior News Service (HBNS), a division of the Center for Advancing Health, brings you the latest health behavior and patient engagement research from selected peer-reviewed journals. HBNS original stories summarize research findings including “Key Points” and are disseminated for free to the press and the public around the world.

Tags for this article:
Minority Health and Health Disparities   Lifestyle and Prevention   Mental Health   Promote your Health  

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