AJPH May 2017 Highlights

Date: May 18 2017

AJPH Research: Firearm laws and fatal police shootings, walking in airports, foodborne outbreaks in correctional facilities

CONTACT: For copies of articles, contact David Fouse, 202-777-2501.

American Journal of Public Health research highlights:

Stricter state-level firearm legislation associated with fewer fatal police shootings 

Researchers examined whether stricter firearm legislation is associated with rates of fatal police shootings. They evaluated the effect of state-level firearm legislation on rates of fatal police shootings from Jan. 1, 2015, through Oct. 31, 2016, measuring state-level variation in firearm laws using legislative scorecards from the Brady Center and an online database of fatal police shootings maintained by The Guardian.

Results found state-level firearm legislation was significantly associated with lower rates of fatal police shootings. Controlling for sociodemographic factors, states in the top quartile of legislative strength had a 51 percent lower incidence rate than did states in the lowest quartile. Laws aimed at strengthening background checks, promoting safe storage and reducing gun trafficking were associated with fewer fatal police shootings.

“Legislative restrictions on firearms are associated with reductions in fatal police shootings,” the authors concluded. “Although further research is necessary to determine causality and potential mechanisms, firearm legislation is a potential policy solution for reducing fatal police shootings in the United States.”

[“Firearm Legislation and Fatal Police Shootings in the United States.” Contact: Aaron J. Kivisto, University of Indianapolis, School of Psychological Sciences, Indianapolis, Indiana].

Airport travelers more likely to walk to gate than take shuttle or train in response to cues

Researchers tested the effectiveness of a point-of-decision intervention to prompt walking, versus motorized transport, in a large metropolitan airport. They installed point-of-decision prompt signage at four locations in the airport transportation mall at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at the connecting corridor between airport concourses. Six ceiling-mounted infrared sensors counted travelers entering and exiting the study location. They collected traveler counts from June 2013-May 2016 and used a model that incorporated weekly walking variation to estimate the intervention effect on walking.

Results found an 11 percent to 16.7 percent relative increase in walking where 580 to 810 more travelers per day chose to walk. Through May 2016, travelers completed 390,000 additional walking trips.

“The Walk to Fly study demonstrated a significant and sustained increase in the number of airport travelers choosing to walk,” wrote the authors. “Providing signage about options to walk in busy locations where reasonable walking options are available may improve population levels of physical activity and therefore improve public health.”

[“Increasing Walking in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: The Walk to Fly Study.” Contact: Janet E. Fulton, PhD, Physical Activity and Health Branch, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia].

Incarcerated persons suffer more outbreak-associated foodborne illnesses

Researchers present the first update on the epidemiology of U.S. foodborne correctional institution outbreaks in 20 years in a new study in the American Journal of Public Health. They analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System to describe correctional institution outbreaks from 1998-2014 and compare them with other foodborne outbreaks.

Results found 200 foodborne outbreaks in correctional institutions were reported, resulting in 20,625 illnesses, 204 hospitalizations and five deaths. Median number of outbreak-associated illnesses per 100,000 population per year was 45 compared with seven for other outbreaks. These outbreaks accounted for 6 percent of outbreak-associated foodborne illnesses. Thirty-seven states reported at least one outbreak in a correctional institution. Clostridium perfringens was the most frequently reported single etiology. The most frequently reported contributing factor was food remaining at room temperature.

“Incarcerated persons suffer a disproportionate number of outbreak-associated foodborne illnesses,” concluded the authors,” the authors wrote. “Better food safety oversight and regulation in correctional food services could decrease outbreaks.”

[“Foodborne Disease Outbreaks in Correctional Institutions — United States, 1998–2014.” Contact: Mariel A. Marlow, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia]. Find a full list of AJPH research papers published online below: 
  • Evaluating public health interventions: 6. Ratios or differences? Let the data tell us
  • Racial/ethnic disparities at the end of an HIV epidemic: Persons who inject drugs in New York City, 2011-2015
  • Firearm-Related Laws in All 50 States, 1991-2016
  • Could the Affordable Care Act increase disparities in breastfeeding? The case of Maine
  • Soft drink consumption among young adolescents aged 12-15 years in 53 low- and middle-income countries
  • Zika cases increased after the Ecuador earthquake
  • Fe en Acción: Promoting physical activity among churchgoing Latinass
  • Trends in school-related victimization of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth - Massachusetts, 1995-2015/li>
  • Shelter-Based Opioid Treatment: Increasing Access to Addiction Treatment in a Family Shelter
  • Violence against Women and Household Ownership of Radios, Computers, and Phones in 20 Countries
  • On the Origins of the Electronic Cigarette: BAT's Project Ariel (1962-1967)
  • Increasing Walking in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: The Walk to Fly Study
  • Use of a Digital Health Application for Influenza Surveillance in China
  • Contextualizing the Social Determinants of Health: Disparities in Disability by Educational Attainment across US States
  • Firearm Legislation and Fatal Police Shootings in the United States
  • Dissecting the complexities of the relationship between police officer-civilian race/ethnicity dyads and less-than-lethal use-of-force
  • Foodborne Disease Outbreaks in Correctional Institutions ? United States, 1998-2014
  • A Public Health Perspective on 21st Century Risk Assessment
  • State Variation in Minimum Stocking Requirements for Retailers Participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • An approach to assess the burden of work-related injury, disease, and distress

The articles above were published online May 18, 2017, at 4 p.m. EDT 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 145 year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Visit www.apha.org