AJPH December 2014 highlights

Date: Dec 18 2014

EMBARGOED AJPH Research: Generous unemployment benefits, education level and smoking, ‘water jets’ in schools

In this month’s release, find new embargoed research about the effect of generous unemployment benefits; education level and smoking cessation; and ‘water jets’’ impact on student water intake in schools.

EMBARGOED UNTIL December 18, 2014, 4 p.m. (EST)

CONTACT: For copies of articles or full table of contents of an issue, call Kimberly Short, 202-777-2511, or email her.

American Journal of Public Health highlights:

1.More generous unemployment benefits may reduce poor health risk for unemployed men

2.Smokers with lower education levels consistently show lower smoking cessation rates

3.Introduction of ‘water jets’ in schools increased student water consumption three-fold

EDITOR’S NOTE: An advance copy of the paper, “Mental Illness, Mass Shootings and the Politics of American Firearms,” by Jonathan Metzl and Kenneth T. MacLeish, can be made available to reporters and is no longer under embargo. All other research is EMBARGOED until Dec. 18, 2014, at 4 p.m. EST.

More generous state unemployment benefits may protect the health of unemployed men
Men who lose their job in states that provide generous unemployment benefits are at a lower risk of poorer health according to new research from the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers linked state-mandated unemployment insurance benefit generosity to longitudinal data on employment status and self-reported health from the 1984-2009 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for 12,855 heads of household between the ages of 18 and 65.

Results indicated that while there is an increased risk of reporting poor health for men who experience job loss, men who lost their job in states and years with comparatively more generous unemployment benefits had a statistically lower likelihood of reporting poor health. The researchers found no impact of unemployment benefit programs for women or the employed.  

“On the basis of the effect of joblessness on health and the estimated effect of benefits on unemployed males we estimate that a 63 percent increase in the maximum unemployment benefits a worker is entitled to receive every year in the state of residence offsets the impact of unemployment on health among men,” the researchers further explain.

[“Health effects of unemployment benefit program generosity.” Contact: Jonathan Cylus, London School of Economics and Political Science, London.]

Smokers with lower education levels consistently show lower smoking cessation rates
Smokers with lower levels of education have lower cessation rates than smokers with higher levels of education and this difference has remained essentially constant over the past 20 years, according to new research from the American Journal of Public Health.

The study analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey, administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. Together, the two surveys contain data from more than 315,000 smokers, collected between 1991 and 2011. Self-respondents 25 years and older comprised the sample.

Analysis of the data over a period accounting for more than 20 years found that smokers of lower education levels have shown a continued lower cessation rate than those of higher education levels. This difference has persisted over this period of time in spite of the many smoking cessation interventions that were implemented over this period.

“One possible explanation is that the persistent difference in cessation rate reflects the marked difference in smoking prevalence between the groups. Smokers with lower education are more likely to live in neighborhoods or homes where tobacco is more accessible and acceptable compared with smokers with higher education,” the authors suggest.

[“Comparison of smoking cessation between education groups: Findings from 2 U.S. national surveys over 2 decades. Contact: Shu-Hong Zhu, PhD, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego.]

Introduction of ‘water jets’ in schools increased student water consumption three-fold
New research from the American Journal of Public Health found that installing water jets, or drinking water dispensers, into New York City schools showed a three-fold increase in student water consumption.

Researchers observed nine New York City public elementary, middle or high schools scheduled to receive water jets in 2010 alongside 10 New York City schools of comparable grade levels that did not receive water jets. The schools were evaluated and selected to ensure similar school characteristics between schools receiving the water jets and those that did not. The study captured data about water consumption through cafeteria observations, student surveys and interviews with cafeteria managers. Data was collected prior to the water jet intervention, 3.5 months following installation and 10 months following the intervention.

Results indicated that compared to student baseline water intake and that of comparison schools, students at schools with the water jets nearly tripled their water intake at lunchtime. The results continued into the second school-year of implementation. Eighty percent of students in schools with water jets noticed them when installed into the cafeteria, 65 percent of those who noticed used them and half of those who noticed them indicated that they consumed more water. While implementation of the water jets did appear to decrease milk consumption slightly during initiation, the effect appeared to subside after one year.

“One potential difficulty in considering expansion is the electrical infrastructure required for water jets. In a school system as old as New York City’s, that could be a challenge. However, New York City has made it a goal to put water jets in more than 1,000 public schools, and as of mid-2014 more than 800 schools have had the machines installed,” the study’s authors explain.

[“A water availability intervention in New York City Public schools: Influence on youths’ water and milk behaviors.” Contact: Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH, New York University School of Medicine, New York.]

Find a full list of research papers to be published online on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4 p.m. EST below:

  • Neighborhood SES and Social Housing on Health Outcomes in Children- Crowding as a Possible Factor
  • Martens et al. respond 
  • Expanding Access to Smoking Cessation a Matter of Social Justice
  • From Patchwork to Package: Implementing Foundational Capabilities for State and Local Health Departments
  • Second Generation Antipsychotics and Tardive Syndromes in Affective Illness: A Public Health Problem with Neuropsychiatric Consequences 
  • Prescription drug insurance coverage and patient health outcomes: A systematic review
  • Adolescent and adult experiences of being surveyed about violence and abuse: a systematic review of harms, benefits and regrets.
  • Diabetes and Hypertension Prevalence in Homeless Adults in the U.S.: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  • 'A Picture Says a Thousand Words: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Cigarette Health Warning Labels in Australia, Canada, The United Kingdom and the USA
  • Socioeconomic disparities in Sleep Duration among Veterans of the US Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Acknowledging the role of stigma and medical mistrust in engagement in routine health care among a community sample of Black men who have sex with men
  • Shape Up Somerville: Reducing parent BMIs through a child-targeted, community-based environmental change intervention
  • Which anti-tobacco ads are recalled by smokers and which lead to smoking cessation?: results from the California Smokers Cohort
  • The National Prevention Strategy: Leveraging Multiple Sectors to Improve Population Health 
  • Public Health, Science And Policy Debate: Being Right is Not Enough 
  • System for Rapid Assessment of Pneumonia and Influenza-Related Mortality — Ohio, 2009-2010
  • Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms
  • Tobacco Industry Use of Personal Responsibility Rhetoric in Public Relations and Litigation: Freedom of Choice or Freedom to Blame?
  • Labor Unions: A Public Health Institution 
  • Anemia in Puerto Rico
  • Lavinia Dock (1858 - 1956): Picketing, Parading, and Protesting
  • Alfred Yankauer (1913-200): Advocate for Public Health and Social Justice
  • Peter Bourne's Drug Policy and the Perils of a Public Health Ethic, 1976-1978
  • Public Health in the Vilna Ghetto as a form of Jewish Resistance
  • Awareness of hepatitis C virus infection among persons who inject drugs in San Diego
  • Association of Campus Tobacco Policies with Secondhand Smoke Exposure, Intention to Smoke on Campus, and Attitudes about Outdoor Smoking Restrictions
  • Psychological Well-being during the Great Recession: Changes in Mental Healthcare Utilization in an Occupational Cohort
  • Do generous unemployment benefit programs improve health?
  • More money, fewer lives: the cost-effectiveness of welfare reform in the United States
  • The impact of local immigration enforcement policies on the health of immigrant Hispanics/Latinos in the USA
  • Diverging trends in the incidence of occupational and non-occupational injury in Ontario 2004-2011
  • Work Safety Culture of Youth Farmworkers in North Carolina: A Pilot Study
  • Incarcerated Youths' Perspectives on Protective and Risk Factors for Juvenile Offending—A Qualitative Analysis
  • Health outcomes for HIV-infected persons released from the NYC jail system with a transitional care-coordination plan.
  • A Water Availability Intervention in NYC Public Schools: Influence on Youth Water and Milk Behaviors
  • Store Impulse Marketing Strategies and Body Mass Index
  • Persistent Difference in Smoking Cessation between Education Groups: Findings from Two U.S. National Surveys over Two Decades
  • Tobacco-, alcohol-, and drug-attributable deaths and their contribution to mortality disparities in a cohort of homeless adults in Boston
  • Randomized Trial of Two Dissemination Strategies for a Skin Cancer Prevention Program in Aquatic Settings
  • An evaluation of two-dose varicella vaccination coverage in the absence of a school requirement among New York City (NYC) public schools
  • Asian American Women in California: A Pooled Analysis of Predictors for Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening
  • Cross-sectional and longitudinal effects of racism on the mental health of urban African Americans

The articles above will be published online Dec. 18, 2014, at 4 p.m. (ET) by the American Journal of Public Health under “First Look.” “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.

Complimentary online access to the Journal is available to credentialed members of the media. Address inquiries to Kimberly Short at APHA, 202-777-2511, or email her. A single print issue of the Journal is available for $35 from the Journal’s Subscriptions department. If you are not a member of the press, a member of APHA or a subscriber, online single issue access is $30 and online single article access is $22 at www.ajph.org or for direct customer service, call 202-777-2516, or email.

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The American Journal of Public Health is the monthly journal of the American Public Health Association. APHA champions the health of all people and all communities by strengthening the profession of public health, sharing the latest research and information, promoting best practices and advocating for public health issues and policies grounded in research. More information is available at www.apha.org.