Tag Archives | bloomberg school of public health

Parents’ influence on children’s eating habits is limited

As primary caregivers, parents are often believed to have a strong influence on children’s eating behaviors. However, previous findings on parent-child resemblance in dietary intakes are mixed. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of …

Gene linked to worsening kidney disease in African-Americans

In African Americans with kidney disease related to hypertension (high blood pressure), a common gene variant is associated with a sharply increased risk of progressive kidney disease, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephro…

Cloud computing method greatly increases gene analysis

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed new software that greatly improves the speed at which scientists can analyze RNA sequencing data. RNA sequencing is used to compare differences in gene expression to i…

Pakistani injection drug users twice as likely to donate blood

Thirty percent of injection drug users in Pakistan are paid to donate blood, which could contaminate the global blood supply and increase the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C, according to a study in three Pakistani cites conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study, “HIV/AIDS Risk Behaviors and Correlates of Injection Drug Use Among Drug Users in Pakistan,” appears in the June 2003, issue of the Journal of Urban Health.

Vehicle traffic associated with increased carcinogen levels

Assessing a community’s cancer risk could be as simple as counting the number of trucks and cars that pass through the neighborhood. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have identified a significant association between vehicle traffic and curbside concentrations of carcinogens benzene, 1,3-butadiene and particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). The findings may be especially relevant for urban communities where people live in close proximity to high volume roadways. The study is published in the June 2003 issue of the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association.

Americans pay more, get less for health care

Americans spend considerably more money on health care services than any other industrialized nation, but the increased expenditure does not buy more care, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They found that the United States spent 44 percent more on health care than Switzerland, the nation with the next highest per capita health care costs, in the year 2000. At the same time, Americans had fewer physician visits and hospital stays were shorter compared to most other industrialized nations. The study suggests that the difference in spending is caused mostly by higher prices for health care goods and services in the United States. The results are published in the May/June 2003, edition of the journal Health Affair.

Initiative could cut blindness by two-thirds

Over 52 million people worldwide can avoid going blind if current and new resources are successfully implemented, according to a new study. Researchers for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that without extra intervention, the global number of blind individuals would increase from 44 million in 2000 to 76 million in 2020. “Vision 2020 – The Right to Sight”?an initiative cosponsored by the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and aimed at eliminating avoidable blindness from cataract, trachoma, onchocerciasis, vitamin A deficiency and refractive errors?would decrease the 2020 projection by 52 million individuals. The economic gain of this program would be approximately $102 billion. The study, “The Magnitude and Cost of Global Blindness: An Increasing Problem That Can Be Alleviated,” will appear in the April 2003 issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Lead Levels Linked to Hypertension in Menopausal Women

Blood lead levels are associated with increased blood pressure and the risk of clinical hypertension in women aged 40 to 59 years, according to a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Tulane University, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study found blood pressure increased by lead levels well below the exposure levels of concern for adults set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the levels for children set by the CDC. Blood lead levels can increase in women over the menopause, as lead is released from bone. The study is the first to document adverse health impacts as a consequence of bone lead release. It is published in the March 26, 2003, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Trachoma Leaves Millions Blind, Costs $2.9 Billion to Global Economy

Researchers for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the International Trachoma Initiative have calculated the human toll and economic burden of trachoma, a chronic infection that causes blindness. They estimate that there are 3.8 million cases of blindness and 5.3 million cases of low vision in countries known or suspected to have trachoma. In addition, they estimate $2.9 billion in lost productivity to low vision or blinding trachoma. The results appear in the article “Estimating the burden of trachomatous visual loss” in the April 2003 issue of Ophthalmic Epidemiology.

Don't eat soya if you're pregnant

IS EATING soya during pregnancy bad for your baby? That question is back in the spotlight thanks to a study showing severe long-term effects on the sexual development of male rats whose mothers ate a chemical found in soya. The animal study does not prove that soya has this effect on people, and no such effects have been observed in Asia where soya is a big part of many people’s diets. But the researchers say it is enough to spark concern and deserves further study. “The urologists on this project are actually advising pregnant women to avoid soya,” says Sabra Klein at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland.

Food fortification spurred by military purchases

Food fortification with vitamins and minerals is one of the most effective methods to improve health and prevent nutritional deficiencies. It is greatly responsible for the virtual eradication of disease such as goiter, rickets, beriberi, and pellagra in the United States. New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that developing nations could implement successful food fortification programs by requiring fortified foods for their military personnel. The conclusions are based on a detailed review of the history of food fortification programs in the U.S., which is published in the January 22, 2003, edition of the journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

19.2 Million U.S. Adults Have Chronic Kidney Disease

Eleven percent of the U.S. adult population has varying stages of chronic kidney disease, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers concluded that chronic kidney disease warrants improved detection and classification using standardized criteria to improve patient outcomes. Their research is published in the January 2003 issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Amputation, Reconstructive Surgery Have Same Outcomes for Severe Leg Injuries

Patients with severe leg injuries often face a difficult choice of whether to have multiple operations to repair their damaged limb or undergo amputation. With advances in medical technology, limb reconstruction has replaced amputation as the primary treatment at many trauma centers. But a new study finds that patients have similar outcomes regardless of the treatment. The study, coordinated by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was conducted at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and seven other trauma centers across the country. It found that while patients who undergo reconstructive surgery have a higher risk of complications, additional surgeries, and hospitalizations, they fared about the same as those patients who have a leg amputated. After two years, both groups had similarly high levels of disability and psychological distress, and only about half of the people in each group were able to return to work.

Satellite Could Help Predict Hantaviral Transmission Risk

Researchers report that satellite imagery could be used to determine areas at high-risk for exposure to Sin Nombre virus (SNV), a rodent-born disease that causes the often fatal hantaviral pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in humans. According to the researchers, satellite imaging detects the distinct environmental conditions that may serve as a refuge for the disease-carrying deer mice. Higher populations of infected deer mice increase the risk of HPS to humans.

Environmental Enrichment Reverses Learning Impairments from Lead Poisoning

Environmental enrichment that stimulates brain activity can reverse the long-term learning deficits caused by lead poisoning, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It has long been known that lead poisoning in children affects their cognitive and behavioral development. Despite significant efforts to reduce lead contamination in homes, childhood lead poisoning remains a major public health problem with an estimated 34 million housing units in the United States containing lead paint. The Hopkins study is the first to demonstrate that the long-term deficits in cognitive function caused by lead can be reversed and offers a basis for the treatment of childhood lead intoxication.