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(1/2450) Use of out-of-plan services by Medicare members of HIP.

Use of out-of-plan services in 1972 by Medicare members of the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (HIP) is examined in terms of the demographic and enrollment characteristics of out-of-plan users, types of services received outside the plan, and the relationship of out-of-plan to in-plan use. Users of services outside the plan tended to be more seriously ill and more frequently hospitalized than those receiving all of their services within the plan. The costs to the SSA of providing medical care to HIP enrollees are compared with analogous costs for non-HIP beneficiaries, and the implications for the organization and financing of health services for the aged are discussed.  (+info)

(2/2450) Transmission dynamics of epidemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci in England and Wales.

A simple epidemiological framework for the analysis of the transmission dynamics of hospital outbreaks of epidemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (EMRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in hospitals in England and Wales is presented. Epidemic strains EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16 are becoming endemic in hospitals in the United Kingdom, and theory predicts that EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16 will reach respective endemic levels of 158 (95% confidence interval [CI], 143-173) and 116 (95% CI, 109-123) affected hospitals with stochastic fluctuations of up to 30 hospitals in each case. An epidemic of VRE is still at an early stage, and the incidence of hospitals newly affected by VRE is growing exponentially at a rate r=0.51/year (95% CI, 0.48-0.54). The likely impact of introducing surveillance policies if action is taken sufficiently early is estimated. Finally, the role of heterogeneity in hospital size is considered: "Super-spreader hospitals" may increase transmission by 40%-132% above the expected mean.  (+info)

(3/2450) Prevalence and social correlates of cardiovascular disease risk factors in Harlem.

OBJECTIVES: This study examined the prevalence, social correlates, and clustering of cardiovascular disease risk factors in a predominantly Black, poor, urban community. METHODS: Associations of risk factor prevalences with sociodemographic variables were examined in a population-based sample of 695 men and women aged 18 to 65 years living in Central Harlem. RESULTS: One third of the men and women were hypertensive, 48% of the men and 41% of the women were smokers, 25% of the men and 49% of the women were overweight, and 23% of the men and 35% of the women reported no leisure-time physical activity over the past month. More than 80% of the men and women had at least 1 of these risk factors, and 9% of the men and 19% of the women had 3 or more risk factors. Income and education were inversely related to hypertension, smoking, and physical inactivity. Having 3 or more risk factors was associated with low income and low education (extreme odds ratio [OR] = 10.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.0, 34.5 for education; OR = 3.7, CI = 1.6, 8.9 for income) and with a history of unstable work or of homelessness. CONCLUSIONS: Disadvantaged, urban communities are at high risk for cardiovascular disease. These results highlight the importance of socioenvironmental factors in shaping cardiovascular risk.  (+info)

(4/2450) The economic impact of Staphylococcus aureus infection in New York City hospitals.

We modeled estimates of the incidence, deaths, and direct medical costs of Staphylococcus aureus infections in hospitalized patients in the New York City metropolitan area in 1995 by using hospital discharge data collected by the New York State Department of Health and standard sources for the costs of health care. We also examined the relative impact of methicillin-resistant versus -sensitive strains of S. aureus and of community-acquired versus nosocomial infections. S. aureus-associated hospitalizations resulted in approximately twice the length of stay, deaths, and medical costs of typical hospitalizations; methicillin-resistant and -sensitive infections had similar direct medical costs, but resistant infections caused more deaths (21% versus 8%). Community-acquired and nosocomial infections had similar death rates, but community-acquired infections appeared to have increased direct medical costs per patient ($35,300 versus $28,800). The results of our study indicate that reducing the incidence of methicillin-resistant and -sensitive nosocomial infections would reduce the societal costs of S. aureus infection.  (+info)

(5/2450) The Montefiore community children's project: a controlled study of cognitive and emotional problems of homeless mothers and children.

OBJECTIVES: This study compares the prevalence of emotional, academic, and cognitive impairment in children and mothers living in the community with those living in shelters for the homeless. METHOD: In New York City, 82 homeless mothers and their 102 children, aged 6 to 11, recruited from family shelters were compared to 115 nonhomeless mothers with 176 children recruited from classmates of the homeless children. Assessments included standardized tests and interviews. RESULTS: Mothers in shelters for the homeless showed higher rates of depression and anxiety than did nonhomeless mothers. Boys in homeless shelters showed higher rates of serious emotional and behavioral problems. Both boys and girls in homeless shelters showed more academic problems than did nonhomeless children. CONCLUSION: Study findings suggest a need among homeless children for special attention to academic problems that are not attributable to intellectual deficits in either children or their mothers. Although high rates of emotional and behavioral problems characterized poor children living in both settings, boys in shelters for the homeless may be particularly in need of professional attention.  (+info)

(6/2450) Cardiovascular mortality of Chinese in New York City.

To determine cardiovascular disease mortality among Chinese migrants in New York City and compare it to both that of residents in China and whites in New York City, mortality records for 1988 through 1992 for New York City and the 1990 US census data for New York City were linked. Age-specific death rates for urban China, reported by the World Health Organization, were used for comparison. The results show that male and female Chinese residents in New York City had lower mortality rates for all causes and total cardiovascular disease than did either New York City whites or Chinese in China. Coronary heart disease deaths among New York City Chinese were intermediate between Chinese in China (lowest) and New York City whites (highest). Stroke death rates for New York City Chinese were substantially lower than those in China and, in general, were similar to those for New York City whites. However, New York City Chinese had higher death rates for hemorrhagic stroke and lower for atherosclerotic stroke than did New York City whites. In conclusion, cardiovascular mortality rates among Chinese migrants in New York City fall below those of both Chinese in China and whites in New York City.  (+info)

(7/2450) Safer sex strategies for women: the hierarchical model in methadone treatment clinics.

Women clients of a methadone maintenance treatment clinic were targeted for an intervention aimed to reduce unsafe sex. The hierarchical model was the basis of the single intervention session, tested among 63 volunteers. This model requires the educator to discuss and demonstrate a full range of barriers that women might use for protection, ranking these in the order of their known efficacy. The model stresses that no one should go without protection. Two objections, both untested, have been voiced against the model. One is that, because of its complexity, women will have difficulty comprehending the message. The second is that, by demonstrating alternative strategies to the male condom, the educator is offering women a way out from persisting with the male condom, so that instead they will use an easier, but less effective, method of protection. The present research aimed at testing both objections in a high-risk and disadvantaged group of women. By comparing before and after performance on a knowledge test, it was established that, at least among these women, the complex message was well understood. By comparing baseline and follow-up reports of barriers used by sexually active women before and after intervention, a reduction in reports of unsafe sexual encounters was demonstrated. The reduction could be attributed directly to adoption of the female condom. Although some women who had used male condoms previously adopted the female condom, most of those who did so had not used the male condom previously. Since neither theoretical objection to the hierarchical model is sustained in this population, fresh weight is given to emphasizing choice of barriers, especially to women who are at high risk and relatively disempowered. As experience with the female condom grows and its unfamiliarity decreases, it would seem appropriate to encourage women who do not succeed with the male condom to try to use the female condom, over which they have more control.  (+info)

(8/2450) Marijuana use among minority youths living in public housing developments.

Youths residing in public housing developments appear to be at markedly heightened risk for drug use because of their constant exposure to violence, poverty, and drug-related activity. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a model of marijuana etiology with adolescents (N = 624) residing in public housing. African-American and Hispanic seventh graders completed questionnaires about their marijuana use, social influences to smoke marijuana, and sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics. Results indicated that social influences, such as friends' marijuana use and perceived ease of availability of marijuana, significantly predicted both occasional and future use of marijuana. Individual characteristics such as antimarijuana attitudes and drug refusal skills also predicted marijuana use. The findings imply that effective prevention approaches that target urban youths residing in public housing developments should provide them with an awareness of social influences to use marijuana, correct misperceptions about the prevalence of marijuana smoking, and train adolescents in relevant psychosocial skills.  (+info)