AJPH News Release
EMBARGOED UNTIL Aug. 18, 2011, 4 PM (ET)
CONTACT: For copies of articles or full table of contents of issue, call Patricia Warin, 202-777-2511, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The articles below will be published online Aug. 18, 2011, at 4 p.m. (ET) by the American Journal of Public Health under “First Look” at http://www.ajph.org/first_look.shmtl, and they are currently scheduled to appear in the October 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, www.apha.org, and is available at www.ajph.org.
American Journal of Public Health Highlights:
· Tobacco companies’ marketing strategies promote the reinforcement of smoking and drinking
· Healthy lifestyle choices extend lives
· Gaps in dental care coverage among retirees may lead to their delaying or stopping use of dental care
Tobacco companies’ marketing strategies promote the reinforcement of smoking and drinking
A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health finds that tobacco companies performed extensive research on smokers’ alcohol-related behaviors, and pursued a wide variety of marketing strategies to capitalize on those behaviors.
The study’s authors investigated tobacco companies’ knowledge about concurrent use of tobacco and alcohol, their marketing strategies linking cigarettes with alcohol and the benefits tobacco companies sought from these marketing schemes. After performing systematic searches on previously secret tobacco industry documents, they summarized the themes and contexts of relevant search results. They found that tobacco company research confirmed the association between alcohol use and tobacco use. Researchers identified three main types of marketing strategies that tobacco companies used to link cigarettes with alcohol, including: joint sponsorship, joint promotion, and cigarette promotions featuring alcohol or alcohol paraphernalia.
The study's authors suggest, "Tobacco control efforts should prioritize venues and settings where alcohol use is frequent, such as bars and nightclubs.” They conclude, “New efforts to break linkages between tobacco use and alcohol use are needed.”
[From: "Reinforcement of Smoking and Drinking: Tobacco Marketing Strategies Linked with Alcohol in the United States." Contact: Pamela Ling, MD, MPH, University of California, San Francisco, email@example.com.]
Healthy lifestyle choices extend lives
A new study from the American Journal of Public Health reports that low-risk lifestyle factors, such as a healthy diet, exert a powerful and beneficial effect on mortality.
Researchers examined the relationship between four lifestyle behaviors — never smoked, healthy diet, adequate physical activity, and moderate alcohol consumption — and all-cause mortality in a national sample of people in the United States. They used public data files for 2006 follow-up of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III Mortality Study. In addition, study staff performed in-person interviews. Of the four behaviors, 47.5 percent of participants had never smoked, 51 percent were moderate drinkers, 39.3 percent showed evidence of a healthy diet and 40.2 percent showed evidence of adequate physical activity. They found all four low-risk behaviors to be significantly associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality.
“Our results add to the evidence base regarding the favorable effect of healthy living on mortality and reinforce objectives articulated in Healthy People 2010 as well as goals for 2020 developed by the American Heart Association. The estimates of mortality that can be postponed underscore the need for improving the overall level of healthy living in the United States,” said the study’s authors.
[From: “Low-Risk Lifestyle Behaviors and All-Cause Mortality: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III Mortality Study.” Contact: Earl Ford, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga., firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Gaps in dental care coverage among retirees may lead to their delaying or stopping use of dental care
Retirees may be at risk for sporadic dental care or even stopping use due to dental coverage transitions and status of insurance, reports a new study released today in the American Journal of Public Health.
Researchers examined dental care utilization transition dynamics in the context of changing dental coverage status among a population around the age of retirement. They used data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to assess the characteristics of persons aged 51 years and older based on whether they had maintained or changed their dental care use status between the 2004 and 2006 waves of HRS. They were particularly concerned with discovering how changes in dental coverage and changes in retirement status affected the relative likelihood of having irregular dental care utilization patterns. The sample consisted of 16,345 individuals interviewed in both the 2004 and 2006 HRS, representing 74,047,165 members of the community-based population who were aged 51 years and older at the time of the 2004 interview. They found that Americans aged 51 years and older who lost dental coverage between the 2004 and 2006 survey periods were more likely to stop dental care use between periods, than those without coverage in both periods. Those who gained coverage were more likely to start dental care use between periods, than those without coverage in both periods.
The study’s authors said, “Although we were only able to look at a short time horizon with the HRS data and therefore do not know the longer-term use patterns of those who lose coverage around retirement age, even short-term lapses in preventive coverage can result in more invasive and costly procedures in the future. For retirees on fixed incomes, the high cost of dental procedures could have important financial consequences, and the delay of care could lead to worse overall health status and affect more than only dental costs.”
[From: “The Influence of Changes in Dental Care Coverage on Dental Care Utilization Among Retirees and Near-Retirees in the United States, 2004—2006.” Contact: Richard Manski, DDS, MBA, PhD, University of Maryland Dental School, Baltimore, Md., email@example.com.]