AJPH News Release
EMBARGOED UNTIL January 13, 2010, 4 PM (ET)
CONTACT: For copies of articles or full table of contents of issue, call APHA Communications at 202-777-2511 or email us.
The articles below will be published online January 13, 2010, at 4 p.m. (ET) by the American Journal of Public Health under “First Look,” and they are currently scheduled to appear in the March 2011 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.
American Journal of Public Health Highlights:
- Arizona’s secondhand smoke-related hospital admissions down after statewide smoking ban
- TB’s vast spread in sub-Saharan Africa compounded by mining activity
- Homeless adults in New York City have similar health risks as low-income adults
Arizona’s secondhand smoke-related hospital admissions down after statewide smoking ban
In a new study from the American Journal of Public Health, researchers found that significant reductions in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction, angina, stroke, and asthma occurred after the enactment of Arizona’s statewide smoking ban.
Researchers examined the impact of Arizona’s May 2007 comprehensive statewide smoking ban on hospital admissions for diagnoses for which there is evidence of a causal relationship with secondhand smoke exposure, including acute myocardial infarction, angina, stroke and asthma. They compared monthly hospital admissions from January 2004 until May 2008 for these primary diagnoses with four other diagnoses not associated with secondhand smoking — appendicitis, kidney stones, acute cholecystitis and ulcers — for Arizona counties with preexisting county or municipal smoking bans and counties with no previous ban. They found statistically significant reductions in hospital admissions for the primary diagnoses (acute myocardial infarction, angina, stroke and asthma) in counties with no previous bans compared with what was seen in counties with previous bans.
The study’s authors stated, “If one considers the fact that only about 40 percent of the U.S. population is presently covered by a comprehensive smoke-free law, and the need for effective and cost-saving options in health care, comprehensive smoking bans should be considered by any governmental agency, employer or other organization seeking to advocate or implement policies that improve health and reduce health care costs.”
[From: “Hospital Admissions for Acute Myocardial Infarction, Angina, Stroke, and Asthma After Implementation of Arizona’s Comprehensive Statewide Smoking Ban.” Contact: Patricia Herman, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.].
TB’s vast spread in sub-Saharan Africa compounded by mining activity
A new study from the American Journal of Public Health reports that mining is a significant determinant of countrywide variation in tuberculosis among sub-Saharan African nations.
Researchers evaluated the contribution that mining activity has on TB incidence, prevalence and mortality, in addition to rates of TB among people living with HIV, with control for economic, health system and population confounders. They discovered that mining production was associated with higher population TB incidence rates, after adjustments were made for economic and population controls. Similar results were seen for TB prevalence and mortality. Independent of HIV, there were significant associations between mining production and TB incidence in countries with high HIV prevalence.
The study’s authors conclude, “Our findings suggest that mining profoundly affects not only the health of miners but also the dynamics of TB incidence in sub-Saharan African nations. … As shown by the population risk of mining, improved public health and health care conditions for miners may be necessary not only for the miners themselves, but for controlling TB more generally among sub-Saharan African populations.”
[From: “Mining and Risk of Tuberculosis in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Contact: David Stuckler, PhD, MPH, University of Oxford and Christ Church, Oxford, UK].
Homeless adults in New York City have similar health risks as low-income adults
Adults who use family homeless shelters and low-income adults experience comparable health risks, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers also found that children who have been homeless appear to have slightly higher risk on some health measures.
Researchers compared estimated population-based health outcomes for New York City homes families who used homeless shelters with city residents overall and those in low-income neighborhoods. They did so by matching a New York City family shelter user registry to various citywide health registries (2001-2003). They found that rates of disease and mortality among adults who used homeless family shelters were mostly similar to those of adults in low-income neighborhoods; however, rates were elevated compared with the general population.
The article concludes, “Efforts to improve the health of the homeless population should thus be centered on community-based prevention in low-income neighborhoods to improve the health and well-being of high-risk individuals. Targeted interventions should increase efforts to link families at risk for homelessness with substance-use treatment, lead poisoning prevention services, and primary care in the community, and should renew and enforce those linkages in shelter so families remain connected with health care providers as they exit shelter and return to permanent housing in the community.”
[From: “A Population-Based Assessment of the Health of Homeless Families in New York City, 2001-2003.” Contact: Press Contact: Susan Craig, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, N.Y.].