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Annual Review of Public Health

Amy G Huebschmann, Ian M Leavitt, Russell E Glasgow
Most of the clinical research conducted with the goal of improving health is not generalizable to nonresearch settings. In addition, scientists often fail to replicate each other's findings due, in part, to lack of attention to contextual factors accounting for their relative effectiveness or failure. To address these problems, we review the literature on assessment of external validity and summarize approaches to designing for generalizability. When investigators conduct systematic reviews, a critical need is often unmet: to evaluate the pragmatism and context of interventions, as well as their effectiveness...
January 21, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Bryan D James, David A Bennett
The burden of dementia continues to increase as the population ages, with no disease-modifying treatments available. However, dementia risk appears to be decreasing, and progress has been made in understanding its multifactorial etiology. The 2018 National Institute on Aging- Alzheimer's Association (NIA-AA) research framework for Alzheimer's disease (AD) defines AD as a biological process measured by brain pathology or biomarkers, spanning the cognitive spectrum from normality to dementia. This framework facilitates interventions in the asymptomatic space and accommodates knowledge that many additional pathologies (e...
January 14, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Martin Röösli, Susanna Lagorio, Minouk J Schoemaker, Joachim Schüz, Maria Feychting
Mobile phones (MPs) are the most relevant source of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure to the brain and the salivary gland. Whether this exposure implies a cancer risk has been addressed in several case-control and few cohort studies. A meta-analysis of these studies does not show increased risks for meningioma, pituitary, and salivary gland tumors. For glioma and acoustic neuroma, the results are heterogeneous, with few case-control studies reporting substantially increased risks. However, these elevated risks are not coherent with observed incidence time trends, which are considered informative for this specific topic owing to the steep increase in MP use, the availability of virtually complete cancer registry data from many countries, and the limited number of known competing environmental risk factors...
January 11, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Marie-Abèle Bind
The field of environmental health has been dominated by modeling associations, especially by regressing an observed outcome on a linear or nonlinear function of observed covariates. Readers interested in advances in policies for improving environmental health are, however, expecting to be informed about health effects resulting from, or more explicitly caused by, environmental exposures. The quantification of health impacts resulting from the removal of environmental exposures involves causal statements. Therefore, when possible, causal inference frameworks should be considered for analyzing the effects of environmental exposures on health outcomes...
January 11, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Howard Frumkin, Andy Haines
Multiple global environmental changes (GECs) now under way, including climate change, biodiversity loss, freshwater depletion, tropical deforestation, overexploitation of fisheries, ocean acidification, and soil degradation, have substantial, but still imperfectly understood, implications for human health. Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) make a major contribution to the global burden of disease. Many of the driving forces responsible for GEC also influence NCD risk through a range of mechanisms. This article provides an overview of pathways linking GEC and NCDs, focusing on five pathways: ( a) energy, air pollution, and climate change; ( b) urbanization; ( c) food, nutrition, and agriculture; ( d) the deposition of persistent chemicals in the environment; and ( e) biodiversity loss...
January 11, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Peng Jia, Alfred Stein, Peter James, Ross C Brownson, Tong Wu, Qian Xiao, Limin Wang, Clive E Sabel, Youfa Wang
The United Nations has called on all nations to take immediate actions to fight noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which have become an increasingly significant burden to public health systems around the world. NCDs tend to be more common in developed countries but are also becoming of growing concern in low- and middle-income countries. Earth observation (EO) technologies have been used in many infectious disease studies but have been less commonly employed in NCD studies. This review discusses the roles that EO data and technologies can play in NCD research, including ( a) integrating natural and built environment factors into NCD research, ( b) explaining individual-environment interactions, ( c) scaling up local studies and interventions, ( d) providing repeated measurements for longitudinal studies including cohorts, and ( e) advancing methodologies in NCD research...
January 11, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Justin Jagosh
Realist synthesis is a literature review methodology for understanding how, for whom, and under what circumstances complex interventions function in complex environments. Using a heuristic called the context-mechanism-outcome (CMO) configuration, realist synthesis produces evidence-informed theories about the interactions between intervention mechanisms and their implementation contexts. Public health interventions and their effects unfold over time and develop differently in different contexts. Much of what causes programs to function remains in a realm beyond empirical measurement...
January 11, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Sarah E Gollust, Erika Franklin Fowler, Jeff Niederdeppe
Television (TV) news, and especially local TV news, remains an important vehicle through which Americans obtain information about health-related topics. In this review, we synthesize theory and evidence on four main functions of TV news in shaping public health policy and practice: reporting events and information to the public (surveillance); providing the context for and meaning surrounding health issues (interpretation); cultivating community values, beliefs, and norms (socialization); and attracting and maintaining public attention for advertisers (attention merchant)...
January 11, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Lawrence A Palinkas, Sapna J Mendon, Alison B Hamilton
Mixed methods research-i.e., research that draws on both qualitative and quantitative methods in varying configurations-is well suited to address the increasing complexity of public health problems and their solutions. This review focuses specifically on innovations in mixed methods evaluations of intervention, program or policy (i.e., practice) effectiveness, and implementation. The article begins with an overview of the structure, function, and process of different mixed methods designs and then provides illustrations of their use in effectiveness studies, implementation studies, and combined effectiveness-implementation hybrid studies...
January 11, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Matilda van den Bosch, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg
Mental health and well-being are consistently influenced-directly or indirectly-by multiple environmental exposures. In this review, we have attempted to address some of the most common exposures of the biophysical environment, with a goal of demonstrating how those factors interact with central structures and functions of the brain and thus influence the neurobiology of depression. We emphasize biochemical mechanisms, observational evidence, and areas for future research. Finally, we include aspects of contextual environments-city living, nature, natural disasters, and climate change-and call for improved integration of environmental issues in public health science, policies, and activities...
January 11, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
David R Williams, Jourdyn A Lawrence, Brigette A Davis
In recent decades, there has been remarkable growth in scientific research examining the multiple ways in which racism can adversely affect health. This interest has been driven in part by the striking persistence of racial/ethnic inequities in health and the empirical evidence that indicates that socioeconomic factors alone do not account for racial/ethnic inequities in health. Racism is considered a fundamental cause of adverse health outcomes for racial/ethnic minorities and racial/ethnic inequities in health...
January 2, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
David McDaid, A-La Park, Kristian Wahlbeck
Poor mental health has profound economic consequences. Given the burden of poor mental health, the economic case for preventing mental illness and promoting better mental health may be very strong, but too often prevention attracts little attention and few resources. This article describes the potential role that can be played by economic evidence alongside experimental trials and observational studies, or through modeling, to substantiate the need for increased investment in prevention. It illustrates areas of action across the life course where there is already a good economic case...
January 2, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Brian L Cole, Kara E MacLeod, Raenita Spriggs
Health impact assessment (HIA) is a forward-looking, evidence-based tool used to inform stakeholders and policy makers about the potential health effects of proposed projects and policies and to identify options for maximizing potential health benefits and minimizing potential harm. This review examines how health equity, a core principle of health impact assessment (HIA), has been operationalized in HIAs conducted in the United States in one sector, transportation. Two perspectives on promoting health equity appear in the broader public health research literature; one aims at reducing disparities in health determinants and outcomes in affected populations, whereas the other focuses on facilitating community participation and self-determination...
January 2, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Debra Haire-Joshu, Felicia Hill-Briggs
Disparities in diabetes burden exist in large part because of the social determinants of health (SDOH). Translation research and practice addressing health equity in diabetes have generally focused on changing individual behavior or providing supportive approaches to compensate for, rather than directly target, SDOH. The purpose of this article is to propose a pathway for addressing SDOH as root causes of diabetes disparities and as an essential target for the next generation of interventions needed to achieve health equity in diabetes prevention and treatment...
January 2, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Krista M Perreira, Juan M Pedroza
Public policies play a crucial role in shaping how immigrants adapt to life in the United States. Federal, state, and local laws and administrative practices impact immigrants' access to education, health insurance and medical care, cash assistance, food assistance, and other vital services. Additionally, immigration enforcement activities have substantial effects on immigrants' health and participation in public programs, as well as effects on immigrants' families. This review summarizes the growing literature on the consequences of public policies for immigrants' health...
January 2, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Frank J Chaloupka, Lisa M Powell, Kenneth E Warner
In countries around the world, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are significant contributors to the global epidemic of noncommunicable diseases. As a consequence, they contribute, as well, to excess health care costs and productivity losses. A large and growing body of research documents that taxes specific to such products, known as excise taxes, reduce consumption of these products and thereby diminish their adverse health consequences. Although such taxation has historically been motivated primarily by revenue generation, governments are increasingly using these taxes to discourage unhealthy consumption...
January 2, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Jay S Kaufman
Social epidemiology seeks to describe and quantify the causal effects of social institutions, interactions, and structures on human health.To accomplish this task, we define exposures as treatments and posit populations exposed or unexposed to these well-defined regimens. This inferential structure allows us to unambiguously estimate and interpret quantitative causal parameters and to investigate how these may be affected by biases such as confounding. This paradigm has been challenged recently by some critics who favor broadening the exposures that may be studied beyond treatments to also consider states...
January 2, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Andrew Steptoe
Research into the relationship between happiness and health is developing rapidly, exploring the possibility that impaired happiness is not only a consequence of ill-health but also a potential contributor to disease risk. Happiness encompasses several constructs, including affective well-being (feelings of joy and pleasure), eudaimonic well-being (sense of meaning and purpose in life), and evaluative well-being (life satisfaction). Happiness is generally associated with reduced mortality in prospective observational studies, albeit with several discrepant results...
January 2, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
Patrick J Fowler, Peter S Hovmand, Katherine E Marcal, Sanmay Das
Homelessness represents an enduring public health threat facing communities across the developed world. Children, families, and marginalized adults face life course implications of housing insecurity, while communities struggle to address the extensive array of needs within heterogeneous homeless populations. Trends in homelessness remain stubbornly high despite policy initiatives to end homelessness. A complex systems perspective provides insights into the dynamics underlying coordinated responses to homelessness...
January 2, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
John P Allegrante, Martin T Wells, Janey C Peterson
A majority of the US adult population has one or more chronic conditions that require medical intervention and long-term self-management. Such conditions are among the 10 leading causes of mortality; an estimated 86% of the nation's $2.7 trillion in annual health care expenditures goes toward their treatment and management. Patient self-management of chronic diseases is increasingly essential to improve health behaviors, health outcomes, and quality of life and, in some cases, has demonstrated effectiveness for reducing health care utilization and the societal cost burden of chronic conditions...
January 2, 2019: Annual Review of Public Health
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