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Study: African-American men say doctor visits are often a bad experience

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---A majority of African American men said they do not go to the doctor because visits are stressful and physicians don't give adequate information on how to make prescribed behavior or lifestyle changes, a new University of Michig...

Shopping differences between sexes show evolution at work

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---The last-minute holiday dash is on: Men tend to rush in for their prized item, pay, and leave. Women study the fabrics, color, texture and price. The hunting and gathering ritual of yesteryear continues today in malls around t...

Risk of excess weight increases in unsafe neighborhoods

Missouri adults who say that they live in unsafe and unpleasant neighborhoods are one and a half times more likely to be overweight than adults who say they live in safe and pleasant communities, according to a new study. Unsafe traffic, crime and a lack of nice scenery in certain neighborhoods may keep residents from getting enough physical activity, which contributes to becoming or staying overweight, say Ross C. Brownson, Ph.D., of the St. Louis University School of Public Health and colleagues, who collaborated with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on the study.

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.

Managed care plans generally refer patients with pain symptoms to specialists

Primary care physicians under a managed care system were more likely to refer patients to a pain specialist than other physicians were, according to a University of Washington study. The findings run contrary to common beliefs that managed care systems limit access to specialists in order to save money. But if that was true before, it is not true now, according to the findings, which are being published in the February issue of Health Services Research.

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.

Study: Aging boomers won’t boost health-care costs as much as predicted

Baby boomers will increase Medicare and other medical expenditures as they age but not nearly as much as some analysts have feared, according to a new study. The study, which appears in the January issue of the Journal of Gerontology, suggests that by living longer, many baby boomers will pass the ages at which the most "heroic," and hence expensive, efforts are made to prolong their lives. Once members of that generation survive into their mid-80s or so and beyond, many medical procedures will become too risky for their older bodies and will be avoided in many cases.

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.

Fossil fuels for cooking, heating may be best for world’s 2...

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the use of fossil fuels for household cooking and heating may make more environmental sense for the estimated 2 billion rural poor in the world, according to a researcher from the University of California, Berkeley. Because they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels have been largely dismissed as a viable alternative for the one-third of the world's population who now use coal and local biomass - including wood, crop residues and dung - for cooking and heating, said Kirk R. Smith, professor and chair of environmental health sciences at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. Efforts have been focused on equipping the rural poor with renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.

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.

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