(41/1465) Some trends in schools of public health.
Some of the recent changes in the schools of public health include: an increasing number of schools and of graduates; a decrease in both the awarding of the MPH degree as compared with other masters degrees, and the DrPH degree as compared with the PhD; a trend toward lengthening the time for achieving the MPH degree; an increase in part-time study for graduate degrees; institution of undergraduate programs and external masters degree programs; a thrust toward greater continuing education activities; and a broadened base for the student population in terms of the heterogeneity of professional backgrounds and prior experience, a wider age range with more younger students, more women students, fewer foreign students, and an increase in minority representation. (+info)
(42/1465) Metabolic precursors and effects of obesity in children: a decade of progress, 1990-1999.
Current data suggest that 20% of US children are overweight. An analysis of secular trends suggested a clear upward trend in body weight in children of 0.2 kg/y between 1973 and 1994. In addition, childhood obesity is more prevalent among minority subgroups, such as African Americans. Obesity that begins early in life persists into adulthood and increases the risk of obesity-related conditions later in life. Obesity is now considered a disease of epidemic proportions, not just in the United States but also worldwide. In the past 10 y there has been a tremendous increase in the number of studies examining the etiology and health effects of obesity in children. The major objectives of this article are to 1) review highlights in pediatric obesity research from 1990 to 1999; 2) summarize our research on the roles of energy expenditure, physical activity, and aerobic capacity in the etiology of pediatric obesity, and on ethnic differences in the relation between obesity and type 2 diabetes risk factors in children; and 3) discuss areas of future study that will require greater emphasis as the field of childhood obesity research evolves over future years. (+info)
(43/1465) Cross-sectional study of sexual behaviour and knowledge about HIV among urban, rural, and minority residents in Viet Nam.
OBJECTIVE: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in three districts of Quang Ninh province, Viet Nam, to find out what proportion of the people who lived there engaged in behaviour that put them at risk of becoming infected with HIV, and to measure their knowledge about HIV infection and AIDS. METHODS: The survey was conducted in a rural district, Yen Hung; a mountainous district inhabited primarily by ethnic minority groups, Binh Lieu; and an urban district, Ha Long. Participants aged 15-45 years were randomly selected from the general population to be interviewed. FINDINGS: A total of 630 people from 707 households were interviewed; 8% were not home despite repeated visits and 3% refused to participate. The prevalence of premarital intercourse ranged from 9% to 16% among married men and 4% to 7% among married women. Among single men the proportion who had ever had intercourse ranged from 6% to 16%. Fewer than 3% reported having ever had sex with a sex worker. The median number of extramarital sex partners was 1. Knowledge about HIV/AIDS was high in the urban and rural areas but low in the mountainous area. Being male and being 20-29 years old were associated with having multiple sex partners. CONCLUSION: The low prevalence of individuals reporting that they had had intercourse with sex workers and partners other than their spouse may explain the low rates of HIV infection among the heterosexual population; these rates are in contrast to the high rates of HIV infection found among injecting drug users. The association between having extramarital partners and being a younger man suggests that the tendency to have more sexual partners may increase in the future. If this happens, the potential for HIV to be spread through heterosexual sex will increase. (+info)
(44/1465) Helicobacter pylori infection in preschool and school-aged minority children: effect of socioeconomic indicators and breast-feeding practices.
Helicobacter pylori infection was examined among 356 asymptomatic white Hispanic and black children aged 2--16 years attending 13 licensed day care centers in Houston. Demographic information and socioeconomic factors were evaluated. H. pylori status was determined by (13)C-urea breath testing. The prevalence of active H. pylori infection was 24% and increased with age. Prevalence was almost identical among white Hispanic and black children. Children living in the most crowded conditions were at the greatest risk for H. pylori acquisition, and an inverse correlation was seen between the mother's education and H. pylori positivity in children. Breast-feeding played a protective role against the acquisition of H. pylori infection. Understanding the epidemiology of H. pylori infection in childhood requires better understanding of the interactions between environment, ethnic group, and socioeconomic conditions. (+info)
(45/1465) Is there equity in access to health services for ethnic minorities in Sweden?
BACKGROUND: This paper addresses the extent to which equity of treatment according to need, as defined by self-reported health status, is received by members of ethnic minorities in Swedish health services. METHODS: The study was based on a multivariate analysis of cross-sectional data from the Swedish Survey of Living Conditions and Immigrant Survey of Living Conditions in 1996 on use of health services, morbidity and socioeconomic indicators. The study population consisted of 1,890 Swedish residents aged 27-60 years born in Chile, Poland, Turkey and Iran and 2,452 age-matched, Swedish-born residents. MAIN RESULTS: Residents born in Chile, Iran and Turkey were more likely to have consulted a physician during the 3 months prior to the interview compared to Swedish-born residents; odds ratios (ORs) 1.4 (95% CI: 1.2-1.7), 1.3 (95% CI: 1.1-1.7) and 1.5 (95% CI: 1.3-1.9) respectively. The higher consultation rate in these ethnic minorities was primarily explained by a less satisfactory, self-reported health status compared to Swedish-born residents. Thirty-eight percent of the minority study groups reported exposure to organised violence in their country of origin, which was associated with a higher level of use of consultations with a physician (OR 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1-1.6). CONCLUSIONS: This study did not indicate any gross pattern of inequity in access to care for ethnic minorities in Sweden. Systems for allocating resources to health authorities need to consider the possibility that ethnic minorities in Sweden and in particular victims of organised violence, use health services more than is suggested by socioeconomic indicators only. (+info)
(46/1465) Urban air pollution and health inequities: a workshop report.
Over the past three decades, an array of legislation with attendant regulations has been implemented to enhance the quality of the environment and thereby improve the public's health. Despite the many beneficial changes that have followed, there remains a disproportionately higher prevalence of harmful environmental exposures, particularly air pollution, for certain populations. These populations most often reside in urban settings, have low socioeconomic status, and include a large proportion of ethnic minorities. The disparities between racial/ethnic minority and/or low-income populations in cities and the general population in terms of environmental exposures and related health risks have prompted the "environmental justice" or "environmental equity" movement, which strives to create cleaner environments for the most polluted communities. Achieving cleaner environments will require interventions based on scientific data specific to the populations at risk; however, research in this area has been relatively limited. To assess the current scientific information on urban air pollution and its health impacts and to help set the agenda for immediate intervention and future research, the American Lung Association organized an invited workshop on Urban Air Pollution and Health Inequities held 22-24 October 1999 in Washington, DC. This report builds on literature reviews and summarizes the discussions of working groups charged with addressing key areas relevant to air pollution and health effects in urban environments. An overview was provided of the state of the science for health impacts of air pollution and technologies available for air quality monitoring and exposure assessment. The working groups then prioritized research needs to address the knowledge gaps and developed recommendations for community interventions and public policy to begin to remedy the exposure and health inequities. (+info)
(47/1465) Farmworker pesticide exposure and community-based participatory research: rationale and practical applications.
The consequences of agricultural pesticide exposure continue to be major environmental health problems in rural communities. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an important approach to redressing health disparities resulting from environmental causes. In this article we introduce a collection of articles that describe projects using CBPR to address the health disparities resulting from pesticide exposure in agricultural communities, particularly the communities of migrant and seasonal farmworkers. The articles in this collection are based on a workshop convened at the 1999 American Public Health Association meeting. The goals in presenting this collection are to provide those endeavoring to initiate CBPR projects needed information, guidelines, and procedures to improve the quality of the CBPR experience; to increase the scientific validity of CBPR projects; and to reduce the potential difficulties and stress of these collaborations. In this introduction we discuss the context in which these projects operate, summarizing background information about farmworkers in the United States, what is known about farmworker pesticide exposure, and the concept of community-based participatory research. Finally, the articles in this collection are summarized, and major themes common to successful CBPR projects are identified. These common features are taking the time to interact with the community, using multiple approaches to engage the different parts of the community, understanding different participants often have different goals, appreciating each group's strengths, valuing community knowledge, and being flexible and creative in conducting research. The final article in this collection describes the translational research program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) highlighting activities pertinent to the health of rural communities, giving an overview of NIEHS-supported projects addressing health concerns of Native Americans and rural African-American communities in addition to farmworkers, and discussing future plans for CBPR at NIEHS. (+info)
(48/1465) Something for everyone? A community and academic partnership to address farmworker pesticide exposure in North Carolina.
Partnerships between academic researchers and community organizations are frequently formed to address environmental health concerns in underserved communities. Although such participatory approaches to research combine valuable assets of both partners, they are often difficult to maintain. We describe a partnership formed to investigate migrant and seasonal farmworker exposure to pesticides in North Carolina and to develop effective interventions to reduce exposure. North Carolina ranks fifth in the United States in the number of farmworkers; most are from Mexico, and a significant minority come to the United States on work contracts. Several barriers to establishing effective collaboration were recognized in this partnership, including stereotypes, cultural differences, competing demands for time and attention, and differences in orientation to power structures. To overcome these barriers, members of the partnership took actions in three domains: clarifying the different goals of each partner, operationalizing a model of participation that could involve many different community segments developing cultural sensitivity. By taking these actions, the work of the partnership was accomplished in ways that met the criteria for success of both academic researchers and community members. This approach can be used by others to develop collaborative relationships to investigate environmental health issues within a community-based participatory framework. (+info)
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