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Only about 8 percent of high school students get enough sleep on an average school night, a large new study online in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds.
A new study that looked at the effect of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to determine the effect on various birth outcomes found that the overall effects were only moderate.
Severe depression is life threatening, so it is worth every effort you make and every resource it may take to get depression under control and make life more manageable.
Lifestyle May Not Prevent Alzheimer's trumpets a headline in Time magazine. The article goes on to describe a carefully conducted review of decades of evidence examining the hypothesis that exercise, social relationships, diet or vitamins can ward off Alzheimer's disease. The study concludes that there is not sufficient evidence to be able to recommend that the public take any of these actions to prevent or delay the disease.
If popular culture provides clues to social trends then all signs point to an American public captivated by red velvet, carrot, lemon, and raspberry. Fabric, fruits and vegetables? No cakes whether of the cup variety or fancy full-size versions.
The old joke about psychological therapists is they are among the biggest consumers of therapy themselves. Lately, I have been noticing more and more how a significant portion of the people we meet wearing white lab coats have a very personal connection to the medical work they do. For them it is not a job, a meal ticket, or just putting their years of training into practice, it is a mission connected to something in their past, something in their own body, or the health of a loved one.
Jessie has written about her perspective as the patient in an extremely stressful situation. I can add a different one: that of the husband of my seriously ill wife.
I have much experience with serious illness. And so I am a connoisseur of fatigue: the sleepless edginess of post-radiation fatigue; the heavy constancy of cardiac fatigue; the blur and blues of chemotherapy-related fatigue.
Vending machines in public schools influence the diets of school children and can affect overall dietary intake and health, depending on what foods they contain.
A collection of patient voices from around the web. This week's roundup includes: Red Maxwell, founder of the online diabetes community juvenation.org, D-Mom Leighann Calentine, patient empowerment advocate Trisha Torrey, and WarmSocks from "infinity-itis".
I've been following evidence-based medicine for many years and I've been appalled by the way it is playing out. We have pay-for-performance that does not understand that the reliability we are after is not in reliably (read blindly) applying a guideline to a patient population, but rather reliably considering how the evidence applies to the individual in a health care interaction. We have guidelines that are based on expert opinion, often influenced by drug company funding, or based on bad science. And we have a news media that seems unable to present medical findings in a balanced and understandable way.
Outdoor exercise and physical activity increase the risk for heat-related injuries, including dangerous heat stroke. Heat injuries are on the rise for all age groups, and football-playing boys are among the most vulnerable.
A new evidence review suggests that memory drills and similar brain-boosting activities are not any better than simple conversations at improving memory in older adults.
Dr. Sloan's piece 'A Fighting Spirit Won't Save Your Life', that recently ran in The Opinion Pages of the New York Times, calls into question our belief that we can affect our health through optimism and positive thinking.
The rapid changeover from traditional mammography'pictures taken with film'to the new digital imaging technology poses a thorny dilemma for women, especially those over 65. The scientific evidence suggests that digital mammography does not improve the detection of breast cancer in older women.
I had breakfast this morning with my friend, Dave Garcia. Dave is a pit boss on the graveyard shift at the Belagio Hotel in Las Vegas. He is also a 52-year-old chronic lymphocytic leukemia survivor. Today he was to see his oncologist and get his latest blood test results. Would his white blood count be in the normal range? As you can imagine, Dave was on pins and needles.
In a study of more than 16,000 older adults, fatigue, cardiac conditions, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and psychiatric problems were more prevalent among those living in public housing.
It's all the little things that make caring for yourself or the one's you love with an illness that much more challenging. People with diabetes, MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis share their experiences in this patient blog roundup.
Bob Stewart, who will turn 99 this May, began taking supplements in 2000, when he was in his late 80s. The retired podiatrist is also a strong believer in keeping active. He takes exercise classes at least three times a week and participates in numerous community activities, including a local men's chorus.
Only one in 10 respondents to a national survey could estimate how many calories they should consume in a day. Seventy-nine percent make few or no attempts to pay attention to the balance between the calories they consume and expend in a day.
These and other piquant findings from the online 2011 Food and Health Survey fielded by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) struck home last week as I smacked up against my own ignorance about a healthy diet and the difficulty of changing lifelong eating habits.
I have been musing about why, despite our fascination with gadgets and timesaving devices, so few of us use the apps and tools that have been developed to help us take care of ourselves.
The WSJ Health Journal looks at the pros and cons of taking a multivitamin.
The experiences and emotions brought on by having an illness or disability can be complex and sometimes unexpected. In this blog roundup, three patients share theirs.
After seeing the NBC Nightly News last night, a physician urged me to write about what he saw: a story about a "simple blood test that could save women's lives." Readers - and maybe especially TV viewers - beware whenever you hear a story about "a simple blood test."
There are a few things a man should think about seriously before rolling up his sleeve for the supposedly "simple" blood test. 'But here, prostate cancer screening is hawked in the same setting as the modern-day carnies pitching their slice-'em-and-dice-'em devices and inventions you only see at the state fair - "only at this price today!"
The relationship between economic development and population health has been long documented the health of a nation's economy does impact the health of its individuals. In this case, the connection between one's financial health (foreclosure rates in particular) and one's physical/emotional health is looked at specifically.
There is excitement in the air about how mobile phones are the breakthrough technology for changing health behavior. Last Saturday, I was convinced this must be true. In two short hours, I...
The perception from many consumers (based on my personal experience) seems to be that products are inferior if they contain non-drug ingredients. By this measure, drug products are problematic...
Few breast cancer news items irk some women I know more than those linking alcohol consumption to the disease.
Bob Stewart, who will turn 99 this May, began taking supplements in 2000, when he was in his late 80s. The retired podiatrist is also a strong believer in keeping active. He takes exercise classes at least three times a week and participates in numerous community activities, including a local men's chorus.
With New Years resolutions still fresh, weight loss is all over the news, and many Americans' minds are firmly resolved to lose weight. However, their bodies and fast food restaurants may be equally determined that they fail.
The task of changing our routine behaviors and habits ' even those that may be important for our health ' can seem overwhelming. No wonder: habits become habits because they give us something we think we need. Maybe they make us feel better or they bring comfort, familiarity or convenience to our lives. We also worry that we won't be successful. It turns out, the key to lasting behavior change is taking small steps.
We often give a chilly reception to the idea of going "cold turkey" when it comes to anything that has to do with changing behaviors and habits, even those that may be important for our health.
I propose that people stop wearing headphones when they are out in public...More serious than harming your hearing...it appears that earphone use in public can actually endanger your life.
A new report from the U.S. surgeon general's office estimates 3,800 kids light their first cigarette every day and tobacco companies spend more than $1 million an hour marketing and promoting tobacco products.
Getting kids to eat well and exercise can be a tough sell. Are so-called "fat-shaming" books and exhibits the answer?
Employee wellness programs can't work if employees don't participate. So, what's the motivation? Incentives or mandatory participation?
A few days ago, the room around me started spinning. I wished I were Jack Kerouac , so it wouldn't matter if my thoughts were clear but that I tapped them out. Rat tat tat. Or Frank Sinatra with a cold. You'd want to know either of those guys, in detail. Up-close, loud, even breathing on you. You'd hire 'em. Because even when they're down, they're good. Handsome. Cool, slick, unforgettable. Illness doesn't capture or define them.
"If you believe this is a massive national problem, you have to deal with it in a systems way," says, Dan Glickman, chair of an Institute of Medicine panel/report, "Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention
Increasingly, children are losing their baby teeth not due to the budding of their permanent teeth but to the ravages of early decay and cavities. For some parents, this is a result of a lack of understanding about the importance of oral health, even at an early age.
"Who should be responsible for the health of Americans?" "What's the best way to break society's bad habits?" Questions like these poured in following New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent proposal to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.
Fitness maven Jeanette Jenkins recently tweeted that to see big results you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. In other words, making change happen, inevitably leads to emotional or physical discomfort. If you are serious about change you must be willing to endure a lot of discomfort.
Along with the invention of smart phones, an entire medical mobile application (app) industry has cropped up, promising patients enhanced connectivity, health data collection, and overall care quality at lower costs...For all the hype about robo-grannies, aging in place technologies, and how high tech solutions will reduce healthcare costs, the reality is that these hopes are unlikely to be achieved with the baby boomer generation.
A few weeks ago, I spoke at the Connecting Healthcare + Social Media conference in New York about what we patients want from health social media. Michelle McNickle, New Media Producer for Healthcare IT News
wrote the following piece summarizing my talk and the '6 things patients want from social media.'
Many of us have vivid memories of tying a thread to a loose tooth and wiggling it back and forth with our tongue all the time hoping for a profitable visit from the Tooth Fairy. Facebook is full of school and family photos of kids with cute, gap-toothed smiles. But increasingly, children are losing their baby teeth not due to the budding of their permanent teeth but to the ravages of early decay and cavities. There are a number of reasons kids and adults don't make it to the dentist regularly. For some parents, it's a lack of understanding about the importance of oral health, even at an early age.
The online migration of health information services and technologies (IT) has been a popular focus for IT investors and developers recently. But we have not been as captivated by their efforts as we have been by those of, oh, Facebook, say. Or Lady Gaga's fan site. Or eBay. In fact, most of us are reluctant to make use of the thousands of helpful health IT tools launched to help us get healthier, take care of ourselves and make good use of our health care.
I'??ve come to believe that seriously sick people are often subject to some very interesting comments from well-intentioned non-sick people.
People acting as caregivers for family members with cardiovascular disease may inadvertently increase their own risk for heart disease by neglecting their own health, according to a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Adults who include at least 150 minutes of physical activity in their routines each week live longer than those who don’t, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The company a teen keeps can influence how much time they spend either in front of a screen or participating in healthy physical activity, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Vitamins, herbs and other dietary supplements are sold as natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals and many people turn to them in an attempt to improve their health.
Healthy eating, activity, and safety habits help us live for as long and as well as we can.
One of my blog readers recently told us about why most of those self-tracking health apps may not in fact be particularly useful: "Fundamentally, sick people are the LEAST likely to be self-quantifiers. We, in fact, relish the thought of NOT obsessing about our health, to take it for granted like we do, say, gravity."
According to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, urban residents who drive to work gain more weight than those who do not commute by car.
Depression is a common condition, especially in people with chronic illnesses. Here’s how to recognize if you need help.
Pain can have a major impact on your day-to-day life. Here’s insight into different types of pain and how they are treated.
Should you take vitamins or supplements for good health? Here are some facts.
Maintaining healthy habits can be tough. Here are some trusted resources with advice on exercise, nutrition, and managing chronic conditions.
Want to change something about your health behavior? Here's some advice.
Sometimes it can be easier to live well with help from others. Here are some helpful sites to connect with organizations and people who understand what you’re going through.
A systematic review published today in The Cochrane Library finds that in well-nourished adults current evidence does not support selenium for preventing heart disease.
An increasing number of people die from unintentional home injury, in large part due to accidental drug overdose, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Being overweight or obese significantly reduces health-related quality of life in boys, but not girls, when compared to normal weight peers, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
While participating in social activities and organizations promotes health, having personal ties with friends is even better, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Patients’ ability to make genuinely informed choices about undergoing disease screening increases when the risk information that they receive is related to their own personal risk, rather than average risks, according to the results of a Cochrane systematic review.
Improving housing can improve health, particularly when interventions are targeted at those in the poorest health, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.
State laws that require minimum levels of fruits and vegetables in school meals may give a small boost to the amount of these foods in adolescents' diets, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Recent health behavior research news stories: Friendships Are Good for Our Health | Obesity Lowers Quality of Life in Boys | Health Centers Have High Satisfaction Rates | Diabetes + Depression Increases Risk of Death
Academic performance is linked to risky health behaviors in children and teens, reports a new review in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Prebiotic supplements in infant formula may help to prevent eczema, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.
Depressed teenagers are more likely to have serious problems during their twenties, including ongoing mental illness and excessive drinking, finds a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Although most overweight adults agree that health insurance benefits designed to promote weight loss are a good idea, they don’t want to pay extra for them, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
When the report called "Tracking for Health"
was released last month, media headlines announced: “Over Two-Thirds Track Health Indicators!”
Surprisingly, very few headlines ran the real news from the report: “Only 21% Use Technology to Self-Track!”
Yet as of last autumn, more than 500 tech companies are busy developing The Next Big Thing in self-tracking tools.
African Americans who believe their church is responsible for promoting health in their members and the community are also more willing to attend church-based health fairs, according to a new study in Health Promotion Practice.
People admitted to a hospital ICU with alcohol withdrawal were more likely to be readmitted or die within a year if they had a co-existing mental health condition, finds a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Establishing smoke-free policies for public housing would help protect residents, visitors and employees from the harmful effects of smoking and result in significant cost savings, reports a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Brought to you by CFAH’s Health Behavior News Service: Depressed teens have rocky twenties | Gym benefits, yes. Extra costs, no thanks | Church goers look to ministry for health advice | Just say no to smoking in public housing
Smoking prevention in schools reduces the number of young people who will later become smokers, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.
People who signed up for a workplace wellness center but then used it infrequently experienced declines in their mental quality-of-life, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
What I’ve learned since my heart attack is that, until you or somebody you care about are personally affected by a life-altering diagnosis, it’s almost impossible to really get what being sick every day actually means…
Adolescents are just as likely to consume too many calories at Subway as at McDonald’s, a new study in Journal of Adolescent Health finds, despite the fact that they think Subway offers healthier food.
Menu labeling has made more people aware of how many calories are in restaurant meals and has some people reducing their intake, according to new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The availability of sugar-sweetened or diet soda in schools does not appear to be related to students’ overall consumption, except for African-American students, who drink more soda when it’s available at school, finds a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Teens in a relationship that involves dating violence are likely to be both a victim and perpetrator, as opposed to being just one or the other, finds a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Most teens have unsupervised access to their prescription drugs at home, including drugs with potential for abuse, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Teens don’t necessarily follow in their parents’ footsteps when it comes to physical activity, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
The more an older man walks, the better his physical and mental health and his quality of life are likely to be, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
Teenage victims of cyberbullying, defined as the use of the internet or cell phones to send hurtful and harassing messages, are more likely to develop symptoms of depression, substance abuse and internet addiction, reports a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
On a recent trip to Lincoln, NE, I visited Lincoln Industries, a company that makes chrome trims for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. I was curious about the firm’s award-winning wellness program, especially since more employers are penalizing workers by making them pay more for their health insurance if they fail to meet certain health goals.
Nicotine replacement therapy and other licensed drugs can help people quit smoking, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library
Probiotic supplements have the potential to prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotics, according to a new review in The Cochrane Library
Most sexually active teens don’t get information about sexual health from their health care providers, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
The age at which many children in the U.S. take their first sip of alcohol is surprisingly young, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Labeling foods and beverages as less healthy and taxing them motivates people to make healthier choices, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Public health campaigns that stigmatize obese people by using negative images or text do not motivate them to lose weight any more than more neutral campaigns, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
A new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine
finds that schools with more robust federal wellness programs offer healthier foods and beverages, including foods offered in vending machines, school stores and a la carte sales.
Obesity and its related health problems impacts far more people with a disability than previously reported, according to new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Women who are frequently encouraged by their significant others to lose weight are more likely to resort to unhealthy measures to do so, according to new research in the American Journal of Health Promotion
Workplace efforts to encourage employees to increase physical activity are most effective when they incorporate tools such as pedometers and related electronic health information, finds a new review in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
It can be hard to find the right words to say to someone who has received a devastating diagnosis. Here are some suggestions from people who have been through it.
Why is it that survivors of other devastating personal traumas – fires, floods, tornadoes – rarely use celebratory hero language? Mostly, they speak of themselves as lucky…
There is no high quality evidence that antioxidant supplements help to increase a woman’s chances of having a baby, according to the results of a new Cochrane review.
Teenagers who have been seriously injured in a fight show a reduction in intelligence and cognitive ability, according to a large study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
A survey of older rural adults found a high degree of medical skepticism, the belief that one knows and can control their own health better than a medical professional can, reports a recent study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
The word "survivor" is a huge hot button for my older son, Nate, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) at the age of not-quite-three-years-old. The biggest regret I have from his illness is that we were so focused on saving his life and getting him physically healthy that we didn't think to bring therapy into the process for him in a full way...
Children who live in smart growth neighborhoods, designed to improve walkability, get 46 percent more moderate or vigorous physical activity than those who live in conventional neighborhoods, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
You may have seen the story the other day about a paper pointing to an association – not proof of cause – between heavy coffee consumption and higher death rates in people younger than 55. At last check, there were more than 170 stories about this study that turned up on a simple web search. But there was a point that didn’t make it into most stories...
Seeing oneself as overweight or obese may be an important, independent predictor of suicidal thoughts, especially in young girls, reports a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
This week in health news: For teens, fighting is bad for the brain | Skeptical elderly turn to home remedies | Bedwetting treatments offer help | Green light for eating and drinking during labor
College students who exercise with friends are less likely to report feeling stressed, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
Short bursts of less than 10 minutes of higher-intensity physical activity reduce the risk of obesity, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
Higher education, rather than income, protects women in disadvantaged neighborhoods from obesity, finds a new study in American Journal of Health Promotion
Binge eating is a problem affecting both men and women however, obese men who binge are more likely than their female counterparts to have elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry
In this weeks health news: Group exercise alleviates college stress | Maintain your weight in a matter of minutes | Education may be the key to fighting obesity | Men who binge at risk for cardiovascular disease.
People with asthma who engaged in appropriate exercise programs had improved cardiovascular fitness and an overall improved quality of life, finds a new review in The Cochrane Library
A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
finds that bisexual teens may be at risk for suicide even into young adulthood.
The ways parents or caregivers interact with children around mealtimes can have unintended consequences, according to a new report in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Weight loss mobile applications may work well as basic tracking devices, but need to do more to help dieters, according to a new report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
In this week's health news: Patient-doctor relationship affects diabetes care | Women in Appalachia at risk for late stage breast cancer | People with asthma need not fear exercise | Treating depression helps some smokers quit...
A survey of stores in a predominantly black, low income area of Philadelphia found that nearly 80 percent received low ratings for the availability of healthy food, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Students who used false IDs more often were at increased risk for alcohol use disorder, according to a new longitudinal study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Websites targeting veterans fail to provide information about the risks of tobacco products despite high rates of smoking in the military, finds a new report in the American Journal of Health Promotion
A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
finds that the lifestyle of veterans both pre- and post-deployment influences their post-deployment wellness.
Failing to address the presence of other smokers at home limits the effectiveness of workplace smoking restrictions, finds a new study in American Journal of Health Promotion.
Millions of dollars are spent on dietary research, but are we any closer to understanding what a truly healthy diet consists of? A few new studies are turning long-held recommendations on their heads.
Late bedtimes during the school year, especially in younger teens, predicted a lower cumulative grade point average and more emotional distress by college age, finds a new article in Journal of Adolescent Health
What would you think if your doctor handed you a prescription that recommended filing your tax returns or applying for food stamps instead of the usual medicines for high blood pressure or diabetes...
Male adolescents who participate in organized sports are more likely to be prescribed opioid medications and misuse them than male teens that don’t play sports, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Final scores, rankings and rivalries aren't the only fall football traditions getting news coverage this season. Rates, effects and what to do about concussions are in the spotlight too.
At Home/Chez Soi, a Canadian program for the mentally ill, is built on the concept that providing housing is the first order of business. An approach that reinforces the truism that good health is more than swallowing the latest wonder drug.
Most popular smartphone apps do not include evidence-based practices known to help smokers quit, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
More and more employers are offering workplace wellness programs-but do they work?
Quick tips for integrating healthy habits into your work day
Teens that have had a parent or sibling on military deployment were more likely to have suicidal thoughts or be depressed than teens without military connections, finds a new study in The Journal of Adolescent Health
During my recent visit to Canada, I had a chance to meet obesity expert and medical director of Canada's Bariatric Medicine Institute, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. What he had to say was somewhat surprising...
Three key patient engagement themes emerged from this year's 'Diabetes + Innovation 2013' conference in Washington, D.C., organized by Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School...
Disorders related to the abuse of alcohol contribute significantly to the burden of disease in the U.S., finds a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
It isn't breaking news that exercising and eating a healthy diet can help improve your overall health and fitness, but that doesn't make it any easier for most of us to follow suit. These resources from CFAH's 'Be a Prepared Patient' can help...
Coast-to-coast, stress is the norm for most Americans: 55 percent of people feel stressed in everyday life, and far more women feel the stress than men do. It will take a village to help manage stress, including but not limited to our doctors.
Young people who mix alcohol with a caffeinated energy drink drank more heavily and reported more negative consequences of drinking than those who just drank alcohol, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Is your company one of the many that are now offering "wellness programs"? Our latest Be a Prepared Patient article, Staying Well at Work, looks at a few of these programs in action and offers tips for maintaining a healthy work/life balance...
Many clinicians are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable with addressing the use of e-cigarettes with their young patients, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
The poor and minorities tend to suffer from poor sleep and chronic disease more often, but sleep does not appear to be a root cause of disease disparity, finds a new study in Ethnicity & Disease
Teens with a history of concussions are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression as teens who have never had a concussion, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Regular use of fluoride toothpaste containing triclosan, an antibacterial agent, reduces plaque, gingivitis and slightly reduces tooth decay compared to regular fluoride toothpaste, finds a new review in The Cochrane Library
Lately, the public's faith in the safety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs has been making me uneasy. Why do so many of us continue to purchase pills that are not effective in causing weight loss, swallow syrups that promise to cure diabetes, and fiddle with our medication-taking regimens?...
Schools in wealthier areas are more likely to have a physical education (PE) teacher on staff than are schools in poorer areas, but students in both wealthy and less affluent areas are not getting enough physical activity, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
When we talk about a consistently clear pattern of news stories that exaggerate or emphasize benefits while minimizing or ignoring harms, we are talking about stories exactly like this one...
Older women who spend a majority of their day sitting or lying down are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, cancer and death, finds a new study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
finds that rural residents have experienced smaller gains in life expectancy than their urban counterparts and the gap continues to grow.
Relevant research and conventional wisdom alike suggest that, despite their irresistible perennial tug on our collective conscience, New Year's resolutions generally have about the staying power of Champagne bubbles. In contrast, the science of sustainable behavior change tips convincingly toward "don't go until ready."
A new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior
finds that teaching people about smoking cessation—even those without a medical background—can motivate them to encourage their friends, family and acquaintances to stop smoking.
People who identify as homosexual have several health disparities relative to their heterosexual peers, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Some African-Americans rate their health as good, despite being overweight or having high blood pressure, finds a new study in Ethnicity and Disease
For people seeking a natural treatment for the common cold, some preparations containing the plant Echinacea work better than nothing, yet “evidence is weak,” finds a new report from The Cochrane Library
Depression affects nearly one in ten Americans yet many people often go untreated. In fact, a recent study found that 70 percent of people surveyed with symptoms of depression received no treatment of any kind. Here's advice on how to get help...
Most days, I have learned to function pretty well. But take a few unexpected health challenges, no matter how minor they may seem to others, arriving at the same time and piled onto an already-full plate and you have an explosion of overwhelm that looms larger than the average healthy person could even imagine. I've become a non-compliant patient...
The Prepared Patient Blog published over two hundred articles in 2013 about what it takes for people to get the most from health care and how the system can be improved to make it feasible for us to do so. Here's a recap of what engagement looks like to us – whether we are sick or well, whether we are caregivers or loved ones: Engagement is not easy and we can't do it alone. Patient engagement is not the same as compliance. It is not a cost-cutting strategy, and it is not one-size-fits-all.
Is it our job alone to look after our health? Or do employers, insurers, for-profit companies and the government also share some responsibility to keep us healthy? One person's nanny state is another's public health salvation. There is no shortage of examples of opposing perspectives...
Parents can help motivate kids to be more physically active, but the influence may not result in an improvement in their children’s weight, finds a new evidence review in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
A new parent’s health literacy can affect their ability to follow recommendations to protect infants from injury, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Expanded smoking cessation benefits offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should give more people the opportunity to quit, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Children in military families who relocate have an increased odds of suffering mental health problems, finds a large new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Racial and sexual minorities, women, and obese people may face more health risks because of their disproportionate exposure to discrimination, according to a new report in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior
The hockey-stick growth of "wearable technology" seen at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show begs the question: Will people pay out-of-pocket for gadgets that help them measure their steps, track their sleep, quantify their calories, record their heart rate and feedback their mood? A caveat emptor to investors seeing short-term dollar signs in the digital health sector...
Teens and young adults who are exposed to marketing materials for tobacco products, such as coupons and websites, were far more likely to begin smoking or to be current smokers than those not exposed, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
My patient, Mary, was a 28-year-old woman who had completed chemotherapy for stage II breast cancer. After discussing surveillance, frequency of follow-up and ASCO guidelines, I recommended against further testing or imaging. Mary was well aware of the evidence, but she had different plans...
Black adults who reported feeling more financial strain also rated their health more poorly than those with less financial strain, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior
A new study in American Journal of Health Behavior
finds significant differences in tobacco use when analyzed by specific Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity.
A recent conference at Harvard Medical School brought together scores of physicians who want to live healthfully themselves and to work as partners with their patients to help them do the same. I've attended many medical meetings but never one as much fun or as health promoting for participants as this one...
The word "management" raises images of organizational charts and neat project timelines. This bears no relationship to my experience of trying to live a full, rich life with serious chronic disease. My image of having a serious chronic disease is of a cowboy riding a rodeo bull. You call that management? No. But it gives you a pretty good idea of what it feels like to have a serious chronic disease. This is our experience...
I've long been a skeptic when it comes to disclosing information about how doctors practice medicine, how hospitals treat patients and what both doctors and hospitals charge for their services. But I'm dropping my skepticism about disclosing calories in food. We've been conditioned to think of some foods as healthier than others. Only labels will reveal the truth...
Dedicated to promoting behavioral medicine research and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and populations, Society of Behavioral Medicine created this award to recognize an individual who has made a pivotal contribution to research, practice or policy in the field of health engagement.
One in every five older Americans takes medications that work against each other. And some interactions between prescription drugs and supplements can pose dangerous health risks. So what must we do to make sure that we benefit from the drugs we take?
How a person defines their own socioeconomic standing (SES) within their community can help predict their risk of cardiovascular disease, but only among Whites, not Blacks, finds a recent study in Ethnicity and Disease
Are insurance companies making more decisions about the health care you receive? I received a letter from Aetna, my Medicare supplement insurance carrier, advertising a pitch for getting "started on a healthier lifestyle." "Because of your health history, we think you might benefit from joining our program," the letter read. Annoyed, I called the insurer...
If something is medically useless, does it still have value if it gives the patient (and perhaps the clinician as well) some peace of mind? To many patients, this is no small thing. Unfortunately, it's also often abetted by consumer marketing that plays up the peace-of-mind aspect of certain tests while remaining silent about the limited benefit, the possible risk and the clinical complexity that may be part of the larger picture...
A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
finds that, on average, a morbidly obese employee costs an employer over $4,000 more per year in health care and related costs than an employee who is of normal weight.
Having a good social support system may help prevent the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in patients with heart disease, finds a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion
Poorer people of all ages are less likely than wealthier ones to follow recommended strategies for weight loss, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Families with young children are purchasing fewer high calorie drinks and processed foods, which may be a factor in declining rates of childhood obesity, finds a new report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Few smokers who try e-cigarettes have made the permanent switch from regular tobacco cigarettes, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Adults tend to engage in less leisure-time physical activity after changes in both lifestyle and physical status, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Sending smokers individualized text messages was found to be twice as effective at helping them quit smoking than simply providing self-help materials, according to a new study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Media-fueled flip-flops and research breakthroughs on lifestyle and health behaviors are wearing down my usual patience with the provisional nature of science. Even simple dietary recommendations like lower fat/salt recommendations have become complicated as old truisms are overturned by new evidence. So I'm asking: To whom should I turn for meaningful guidance about modifying my risk for illness and boosting my health?
A new study in the American Journal of Health Behavior
finds that women are more likely than men to use tobacco products after experiencing severe psychological distress.
I'm impressed by how much we struggle with seemingly simple health decisions when faced with sorting through too much information. Every week we view diverse arrays of products with health, convenience and cosmetic claims competing for our attention. Think yogurt, Gatorade, running shoes, breakfast cereal...Given the ubiquity of such products and the swirl of marketing and science- or non-science-based information surrounding each, I'm wondering three things...
Socioeconomic adversity during childhood increases the likelihood of both depression and higher body mass index (BMI) in early adolescence, which can worsen and lead to illness for young adults, according to a new report in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Adolescents who play team sports in grades 8 through 12 have less stress and better mental health as young adults, finds new research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health
What is patient engagement and what does it take to accomplish? With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CFAH set out to explore this concept as it was viewed by various diverse stakeholders. Our interviews with 35 key health care stakeholders lead to an impressive unity of opinion...
Children with a greater number of healthy food outlets near their homes had a reduced likelihood of being overweight or obese, finds an Australian study published in American Journal of Health Promotion
"When I think of patient engagement, I think of a partnership where people work together to figure out what the patient wants and how to support the process. Engagement is the knowledge base, working through the decisions and helping people to become full partners in their health outcomes." – June Simmons, MSW — Founding President and CEO, Partners in Care Foundation, San Fernando, CA
"Employers have an opportunity to reduce barriers and support engagement because they sponsor health plans and can provide access to information, tools, technologies, incentives, and more. Employers have more ability to influence engagement than they often believe they have." – Michael Vittoria, Vice President, Corporate Benefits, MaineHealth, Portland, ME
"Since patients don't live in a vacuum, we must also involve the community in which patients live, work, and play. Community resources must be readily available to meet the needs of the population they serve. Also, as we begin to have patients and families engaged in their care and talk to peers and extended family members, they begin to model engagement to others. We are looking for 'engaged communities.'" - Jean Moody-Williams - Group Director, CMS Quality Improvement Group, Baltimore, MD
As I sat on a New York subway one sizzler of a day, an ad for an ice cream cone grabbed my attention. After a closer read, I realized the ad was not touting ice cream but the Center for Advanced Digestive Care, a part of New York Presbyterian, one of the city's most prestigious hospitals and well known for its TV ads designed to cultivate brand recognition. The ice cream cone was an effective attention-grabber. So was the message…
A new study in General Hospital Psychiatry
finds evidence of a relationship between anxiety disorders and the prevalence and incidence of ulcer over a 10-year period in a sample of U.S. adults.
"Most health plans view engagement as important and want to support it. But they recognize that they are only one (relatively weak) factor in supporting patient/consumer engagement... Their customers want their insurance premiums going to medical care, not a bunch of mailings about things they already know they should do..." – Arthur Southam, MD – Executive Vice President of Health Plan Operations, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Oakland, CA
Counseling techniques used to help young people with drinking problems may be of limited benefit, suggests a new review in The Cochrane Library
Financial hardship, or feeling that one can’t make ends meet, may be more predictive of health risk behaviors than actual income levels for people with low-incomes, finds a recent study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
"Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it," Lily Tomlin once quipped. So it's no surprise, then, that one-half of the people in the U.S. have had a major stressful event or experience in the last year. And health tops the list...
Women and men with diabetes who are trying to lose weight are not meeting the recommended amounts of physical activity for weight loss, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
"At the end of the day, there is a growing recognition that we need people to take better care of themselves. Too much money is being spent on the consequences of unhealthy choices and on health care. We don't think that patient engagement is just the flavor of the week. The concept of how we can take more responsibility for our health and health care is not going away." – Janice Prochaska, PhD, President and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems in South Kingstown, RI
Finding good health care and making the most of it is critical for each of us. Yet all too often, reliable, unbiased information is hard to find and understand. On the redesigned Be a Prepared Patient website, we have collected trusted resources and tips to help people navigate their way through health and health care decisions and experiences...
Relatively few teens say they have engaged in sexting, but those who do may put themselves at sexual risk, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Approximately 32 million U.S. children have at least one chronic health condition, which can negatively affect their chances of receiving a high school diploma or its equivalent by age 21, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Colorectal cancer, or CRC, is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. State public health programs could screen nearly eight times as many individuals and prevent nearly twice as many CRC cases by using fecal immunochemical testing, or FIT, instead of colonoscopies, finds a new study in Health Services Research
Young sexual minority women, including those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), were found to have higher elevated odds of adverse health conditions than heterosexual young women. They also have lower odds of receiving a physical or dental examination, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Spending less than one hour a day preparing food at home is associated with eating more fast food and spending more money eating out, finds new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
. Not having time available may be one of the most significant barriers to achieving a healthy diet.
I was reluctant to attend. I didn't have leukemia and am not a "touchy-feely" person, which was my perception of a support group. However, I dragged my IV pole of medications and went to this meeting where I met my first fellow myeloma patient named Jim – finally, someone who had the same disease as me. So to this day, whenever I meet with one or a group of myeloma patients, I make the following plea...
Children and adolescents who ate foods high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and processed foods appear to experience more depression and low moods, suggests a new systematic research review in the American Journal of Public Health
More than 40 percent of U.S. Internet users use online search engines to seek guidance on weight loss and physical activity. A new study in the American Journal of Public Health
finds that high-quality weight loss information often appears after the first page of search engine results.
I was once someone who never felt that I'd be normal again. But recovery is made up of small steps that lead us to a successful life – these steps toward wellness matter, because being active versus passive about your recovery greatly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome...
A wide divide exists between public schools' written wellness policies and their actual day-to-day practices, finds a new study in Health Promotion Practice
New options from Domino's, McDonald's and Pepsi are putting consumers' food choices to the test. Do we really want nacho-chips-flavored Mountain Dew? Probably not. But health advocates will have to step up their game to compete against these marketing powerhouses...
The way medical doctors initially assess, treat and refer racial and ethnic minority patients may contribute to known disparities in their use of mental health services, according to a new study in Health Services Research
A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion
finds that U.S. military culture perpetuates the notion that using tobacco provides stress relief. Previous studies of tobacco use for stress relief among soldiers have produced no evidence supporting the theory.
A new systematic review in the American Journal of Health Promotion
finds that providing public parks and walking and biking trails is the most cost-effective strategy to increase physical activity among large populations in urban areas.