Monday, December 14, 2009

Some recent links

  1. This interesting article discuses evidence-based medicine and the recent mammogram recommendations (I know, they're still talking about it.) Take a look and see what you think.
  2. As I've discussed before, climate change is expected to have a major impact on health and public health. This article is about its impact on mental health specifically. The point that makes the most sense is that climate change is expected to bring more natural disasters, bringing more life upheaval and therefore more stress and mental health issues.
  3. Cancer death rates are declining, according to this article. Researchers who found this statistic examined colorectal cancer as an example, and found that the decline was mostly due to better screening. Here is the study from which the article draws, which is worth a read - interesting.
  4. The CDC has reported that the death toll from H1N1 is at 10,000, but also suggests that the number of new cases could be trickling off. It says one in five Americans have had H1N1. Mike Osterholm says, in my opinion accurately, that this pandemic is not over:
    “So the C.D.C. says 50 million have been infected so far,” he said. “Another 50 million have been vaccinated. And maybe 20 million have got innate immunity because of their age. You do the math — that’s 120 million who are immune out of 320 million, so two-thirds of the population is still not immune. It’s amazing how many people are acting as if this is all wrapped up. The numbers could still go up dramatically.”
  5. This article describes the dismal state of public health and its critical understaffed numbers. It's a great article.
    "If swine flu is a test of public health, we've already flunked. And we have only ourselves -- and the political leaders who have been disinvesting in public health since 1980 -- to blame."
  6. Finally, a new report from the Institute of Medicine about the National Vaccine Plan seeks to elevate vaccines to a higher public health priority, increase funding, and other recommendations. This article explains the highlights of the report. The updated plan is expected to take effect in 2010. However, the development of this plan does not ensure its implementation:
    "Siegel has doubts that the proposed policy can be implemented and enforced. 'There are extremely difficult obstacles -- fear, noncompliance, media hype and poor government choices,' he said."

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