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For Immediate Release
Contact: For copies of articles, call APHA Communications at  202-777-2511 or email us.

News from April 2009 American Journal of Public Health

AJPH News Release


EMBARGOED UNTIL January 15, 2009, 4 PM (ET)


CONTACT:  For copies of articles, call Patricia Warin, 202-777-2511, or e-mail


The articles below will be published online January 15, 2009, at 4 p.m. (ET) by the American Journal of Public Health under “First Look” at, and they are currently scheduled to appear in the April 2009 print issue of the Journal. “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. The American Journal of Public Health is published by the American Public Health Association,, and is available at To stay up to date on the latest in public health research, sign up for new Journal content e-mail alerts at>ck=nck.


American Journal of Public Health Highlights:


  • Community-level racial segregation may be associated with increased violent injury
  • Access to health care among U.S. prisoners is inadequate
  • Acculturation of Latinos influences sun-safe behaviors


Community-level racial segregation may be associated with increased violence injury

A new study finds that higher levels of racial segregation are associated with increased odds of violent injury among whites and non-whites.


Researchers investigated whether within-county racial segregation was associated with increased odds of violent verses non-violent injury, beyond individual risk. They did so by analyzing data on 75,310 patients admitted with an injury to Pennsylvania hospitals from 1997 to 1999. Results were adjusted for individual and county-level factors. Researchers found the association was strongest for non-whites.    


“Distinguishing the relative contributions of individual-level race, community-level racial segregation and their interaction is crucial to understanding the underlying etiology of violence and to identifying effective interventions,” the study’s authors stated. “Through social influence operating at the individual and community levels, race may be a marker that signals varying degrees of access to social, economic and political resources for individuals and the communities they inhabit; the availability of these resources in turn influences the risk of violence.”


[From: “The Association between County-Level Injury Rates and Racial Segregation Revisited: A Multilevel Analysis.” Contact: Anthony Fabio, Center for Injury Research and Control, Pittsburg, Pa.,].   



Access to health care among U.S. prisoners is inadequate


Many inmates suffer from chronic illnesses, but do not receive adequate access to care and treatment.


In a new study, researchers sought to determine the prevalence of select chronic diseases, access to health services and pre- and post-incarceration psychiatric treatment among the U.S. inmate population. They used data from the 2002 Survey of Inmates in Local Jails and the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities to analyze disease prevalence and clinical measures of access to health care for inmates. Among inmates, 38.5 percent in federal prisons, 42.8 percent in state prisons, and 38.7 percent in local jails suffered a chronic medical condition. Yet among these inmates with a persistent medical problem, 13.9 percent of federal inmates, 20.1 percent of state inmates, and 68.4 percent of local jail inmates had received no medical examination since incarceration.   


“Improved management of chronic conditions in prisons and jails may have important implications for community health and in reducing health care disparities, because the vast majority of inmates are eventually released,” said the study’s authors.  


[From: “The Health and Health Care of U.S. Prisoners: A Nationwide Survey” Contact: Andrew Wilper, MD, MPH, Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Boise, Idaho,]   


Acculturation of Latinos influences sun-safe behaviors


A new study finds that sun safety behaviors may be negatively influenced among Latinos after acculturation in the United States.


Researchers analyzed data from 496 Latino respondents to the 2005 Health National Information Trends Survey. The average age of the sample was 41.3 years. Researchers discovered that acculturation was negatively associated with use of shade and protective clothing and positively associated with sunscreen use.


“Acculturation has a largely adverse effect on Latinos’ skin cancer-risk-related behaviors. Appropriate interventions with this population could improve engagement in sun safety as well as knowledge about skin cancer signs and symptoms and could result in decreased rates of advanced melanoma,” claimed the study’s authors.   


[From: “Acculturation and Sun-Safe Behaviors Among U.S. Latinos: Findings from the 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey” Contact: Valentina A. Andreeva, PhD, Institute for Prevention Research, University of Southern California,].    

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The American Journal of Public Health is the monthly journal of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the oldest organization of public health professionals in the world. APHA is a leading publisher of books and periodicals promoting sound scientific standards, action programs and public policy to enhance health. More information is available at


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