October 2019 Highlights

Date: Oct 17 2019

CONTACT: Arnice Cottom, 202-777-3913

American Journal of Public Health December issue research highlights:

Banning rapid-fire devices can reduce mass shootings and fatalities

Banning devices that allow guns to fire multiple rounds can reduce both the risk of mass shootings and the number of people killed, a study in AJPH’s December issue finds.

Researchers analyzed U.S. state data between 1990 and 2017 on mass shootings, defined as involving six or more gun victims. They also examined state records on whether a state had a ban on rapid-fire gun devices. They identified 69 mass shootings, during which 64% of shooters used a gun with a large-capacity magazine. On average, 11 people were killed by a shooter using a weapon with a rapid-fire magazine, while seven were killed by a shooter using another type of firearm.

States allowing high-capacity magazines had more than double the mass shootings than states that had bans on the devices, the study found. And the annual number of related deaths was more than three times higher in states allowing rapid-fire magazines.

In general, states without a large-capacity magazine ban had significantly more mass shootings and more deaths than states that banned those types of firearms, the study concluded. The researchers said mass shooters opt for guns with large-capacity magazines because the weapons fire repeatedly without having to be reloaded, resulting in more casualties in less time. Banning these weapons would likely save lives, they said.

[Author contact: Louis Klarevas, PhD, research professor with the Teachers College at Columbia University]

Right-to-carry laws associated with increased firearm workplace shootings

Allowing people to carry firearms in the workplace threatens worker safety, a study in AJPH’s December issue finds.

Researchers examined 1992-2017 records from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on workplace homicides. They found that overall, states with a right-to-carry gun law have a 28% higher rate of workplace homicides. Also, the 25 states that passed laws allowing firearms to be carried at work within the time period had a 24% increase in workplace homicides.

Workplace shootings are primarily interpersonal crimes, the researchers say, such as between a worker and a former worker, a customer and an employee, or someone an employee knows.

Lawmakers need to prioritize worker safety when considering policies allowing people to carry guns in the workplace, the study said.

[Author Contact: Mitchell Doucette, PhD, assistant professor in the health science department at Eastern Connecticut State University. “Right-to-Carry Laws and Firearm Workplace Homicides: A Longitudinal Analysis (1992-2017).”]

Rural teens more likely than urban teens to have unintended pregnancies

Teens and young women in rural areas of the U.S. are more likely to have unintended pregnancies than their more urban counterparts, according to new research in AJPH’s December issue, and their pregnancies are more likely to end in births.

Researchers examined records from the National Survey of Family Growth between 2002 and 2017, focusing on first pregnancies of teens and women ages 15 to 24. Over 9,000 women took part in the survey.

Among women ages 20 to 24, researchers found that nearly three-quarters of women in rural communities had unintended first pregnancies that resulted in a live birth, compared to about half of those in urban areas. The abortion rate was 27% for urban women and 13% for rural women. Rates were similar for teens.

In addition, 60% of rural black and Hispanic teens continued their unintended pregnancy until birth, researchers found. By comparison, about half of rural white teens continued their unintended pregnancy to birth.

“Compared with adolescents in big cities and suburbs, a larger proportion of rural first pregnancies were unintended and ended in live birth,” the researchers say.

The researchers concluded that the disparities between rural and urban pregnancy outcomes are not only due to socio-demographic factors. Failure to offer family planning services and education in rural regions likely accounts for much of the disparity, they said.

[Author contact: April Sutton, PhD, assistant professor in sociology at the University of California, San Diego. “Rural-Urban Disparities in Pregnancy Intentions, Births, and Abortions Among US Adolescents and Young Women, 1995-2017.”]

U.S. immigration policies and arrests causing stress to Hispanics

More restrictive U.S. immigration policies and increased arrest rates are causing stress and anxiety for Hispanics, a study in the December issue of APHA’s American Journal of Public Health finds.

Researchers examined 2014-2018 data from more than 118,000 Hispanics that was collected through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual U.S. telephone survey. Responses were matched to monthly arrest rates by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Of note was the period of January and February 2017, when the U.S. modified ICE policies, resulting in an increase in immigration arrests and heightened public awareness regarding immigrants who were not U.S. citizens.

Over one-third of Hispanics reported at least one day each month of distress over anti-immigration policies being implemented. More than 11% were stressed on multiple days. Stress spiked during periods of increased arrests, particularly after modification of ICE policies in early 2019.

Researchers said the detrimental mental health effects for Hispanics from aggressive anti-immigration enforcement needs to become part of the national debate on U.S. immigration policy.

[Author contact: Aaron Baum, PhD, assistant professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The Mental Health of Hispanic/Latino Americans Following National Immigration Policy Changes: United States, 2014-2018.”]

These papers will also be available in the December issue of AJPH:

  • Links of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with food insecurity, poverty and health: Evidence and potential
  • Importance of SNAP in Rural America
  • SNAP at the Community Scale: How Neighborhood Characteristics Affect Participation and Food Access
  • College Students and SNAP: The New Face Of Food Insecurity In The United States
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program data: why disclosure is needed
  • Recommendations from SNAP Participants to improve wages and end stigma
  • Alternatives to SNAP: Global approaches to addressing childhood poverty and food insecurity
  • Laws about transparent school vaccination Reporting: public health context and ethics
  • Coverage Expansions and Utilization of Physician Care: Evidence from the 2014 ACA and 1966 Medicare/Medicaid Expansions
  • Injury Burden in the United States: Accurate, reliable and timely surveillance Using Electronic Health Care Data
  • Communicable disease outbreaks in Michigan child care centers compared to state and regional epidemics, 2014-2017
  • Improving Boston Nail Salon Indoor Air Quality Through Local Public Health Regulation (2007-2019)
  • Community Oriented Epidemic Preparedness and Response to the Jerusalem 2018-2019 Measles Epidemic
  • Healthy Teaching Kitchen Programs: Experiential Nutrition Education Across Veterans Health Administration 2017-2018
  • Health Impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on St. Thomas & St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (2017-2018)
  • Relevance of the “immigrant health paradox” for the health of Arab Americans in California
  • Disseminating Evidence-based Interventions in Small, Low-Wage Worksites: A Randomized Controlled Trial in King County, Washington (2014-2017)
  • Right-to-Carry laws and Firearm Workplace Homicides: A Longitudinal Analysis (1992-2017)
  • The Effect of Large-Capacity Magazine Bans on High-Fatality Mass Shootings, 1990-2017
  • U.S. Rural-Suburban-Urban Disparities in Intendedness and Resolution of First Pregnancies, 1995-2017
  • Food choice under five front-of-package nutrition label conditions: An experimental study across 12 countries
  • Increasing influenza and pneumococcal vaccination uptake in seniors using point-of-care informational interventions in primary care in Singapore: a pragmatic, cluster-randomised crossover trial
  • The mental health of Hispanic/Latino Americans following national immigration policy changes: United States, 2014-2018
  • Impact of the Terms “Regular” or “Pasable” as Spanish Translation for “Fair” of the Self-Rated Health Question among U.S. Latinos: A Randomized Experiment
  • Demand for Self-Managed Medication Abortion through an Online Telemedicine Service in the United States

The articles above were published online Oct. 17, 2019, 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 Arnice Cottom at APHA. 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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