AJPH January 2017 highlights

Date: Jan 19 2017

AJPH Research: Minimum wage, maternity leave, food insecurity

CONTACT: For copies of articles or full table of contents of an issue, contact Mandi Yohn, 202-777-2509.

American Journal of Public Health research highlights:

Increase in minimum wage reduces teen birth rates

Researchers investigated the effect of minimum wage laws on adolescent birth rates in the United States. They analyzed vital statistics data measured at the state level from 2003 to 2014 and used models that provided estimates of the effect of minimum wage on adolescent birth rates.

Results showed that a $1 increase in minimum wage reduces adolescent birth rates by about 2 percent. The effects were driven by non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adolescents; there were no significant effects on birth rates for black teens. Researchers concluded that nationwide, increasing minimum wages by $1 would likely result in roughly 5,000 fewer adolescent births annually.

[“The Effect of Minimum Wages on Adolescent Fertility: A Nationwide Analysis.” Contact: Lindsey Bullinger, MPA, Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Bloomington, Indiana.]

No change in maternity leave rates over 22 years

Researchers determined the number and type of U.S. workers taking maternity or paternity leave. They created a method for measuring parental leave from 1994 to 2015 by using the Current Population Survey, which interviews about 60,000 randomly selected households monthly.

Results showed that for the average month from 1994 to 2015, 273,000 women and 13,000 men were on maternity or paternity leave. Maternity leave showed no trend over 22 years. Paternity leave increased by a factor of three, but started from a small base. No national impact on maternity or paternity leave was observed after implementation of state laws that provided paid leave. About half of employees on maternity or paternity leave during 2015 received paid time off. Although the U.S. economy has expanded dramatically since 1994, researchers concluded that this improvement does not appear to have translated into more women taking maternity leave.

[“Divergent Trends in US Maternity and Paternity Leave, 1994–2015.” Contact: Jay L. Zagorsky, PhD, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.]

High prevalence of food insecurity, cardiovascular-related health outcomes among rural American Indians

Researchers examined food insecurity and cardiovascular disease-related health outcomes among American Indians in rural Oklahoma. They surveyed a cross-sectional sample of 513 American Indian adults to assess food insecurity domains – such as food quality and quantity – and obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

Results showed that among American Indians surveyed, 56 percent reported inadequate food quantity and 62 percent reported inadequate food quality. The prevalence of diabetes, obesity and hypertension was higher among participants with inadequate food quantity than those with adequate food quantity, and higher among those with inadequate food quality than those with adequate food quality. Researchers urge tribal, federal and state policymakers, as well as businesses and nonprofit organizations, to collaboratively take aggressive action to address food insecurity and its underlying causes in order to improve health.

[“Food Insecurity and Chronic Diseases Among American Indians in Rural Oklahoma: The THRIVE Study.” Contact: Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, DrPH, MPH, University of Oklahoma College of Public Health, Tulsa, Oklahoma.]

Find a full list of AJPH research papers published online on Jan. 19, 2017, at 4 p.m. EST below:

  • The Effect of Minimum Wages on Adolescent Fertility: A Nationwide Analysis
  • Divergent Trends in US Maternity and Paternity Leave, 1994–2015
  • Food Insecurity and Chronic Diseases Among American Indians in Rural Oklahoma: The THRIVE Study
  • Civil Legal Services and Medical-Legal Partnerships Needed by the Homeless Population: A National Survey
  • Quantifying Disparities in Urban Firearm Violence by Race and Place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A Cartographic Study
  • Practice-Based Evidence in Community Guide Systematic Reviews
  • Suicide Deaths With Opioid Poisoning in the United States: 1999–2014
  • Multilevel Prevention Trial of Alcohol Use Among American Indian and White High School Students in the Cherokee Nation
  • A Community-Based Randomized Trial of Hepatitis B Screening Among High-Risk Vietnamese Americans
  • Cardiometabolic Mortality by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation and Eligibility in the United States

The articles above were published online Jan. 19, 2017, at 4 p.m. EST by AJPH 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. AJPH is published by the American Public Health Association, and is available at www.ajph.org.

Complimentary online access to the Journal is available to credentialed members of the media. Address inquiries to Mandi Yohn at APHA, 202-777-2509, 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. For direct customer service, call 202-777-2516, or email us.

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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. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a 140-plus year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Visit www.apha.org