When it comes to health care disparities and cardiovascular disease (CVD), the divide widens early. A spate of studies published recently illustrates how social factors influence CVD outcomes from our earliest years.
For example, a report published in Pediatrics found that the increased obesity prevalence among U.S. adolescents is happening almost entirely among those in low- and middle-income families. Smoking, diet quality, and physical activity levels also tracked with household socioeconomic status for these children, based on the NHANES data used in the study. The only equal-opportunity metabolic derailment among teens in the United States appears to be prediabetes and diabetes. Risk factors for CVD overall declined for adolescents from 1999 to 2014, but significantly so only for those from high-income households. Continue reading
Health Affairs held an October event in Sacramento on California’s health policy landscape (also available as a podcast).
Here are some highlights from the panelists, all of whom are excellent potential sources for stories about health care policy in California and around the nation: Continue reading
Photo: Heather Vogell/ProPublicaCarlton Palms’ isolated campus of group homes and classrooms sits on a lake and includes some modular units.
The answer to that question comes in an 8-episode Aftereffect podcast, which begins with the day that Arnaldo Rios Soto was playing with a silver truck outside of his group home in Florida, accompanied by his therapist, Charles Kinsey.
A passerby in a car thought the truck was a gun and called the police on Rios Soto, who was 26 years old at the time. Continue reading
Gary Harki of The Virginian-Pilot came to his team’s sweeping series on mental illness, death and U.S. jails by way of a single incident: a young man who died in jail from direct neglect and bureaucratic incompetence for the crime of stealing a zebra cake and a Mountain Dew from a local convenience store.
The young man, Jamycheal Mitchell, had both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and his death, Harki says, was “just appalling,” especially as Mitchell was supposed to have been transferred to a mental health care facility. That incident led Harki to wonder how often people like Mitchell met this fate in America’s jails. And from that, the “Jailed in Crisis” series was born. Continue reading
Politico’s “The Agenda” section has published a special report on Medicare, now and in the future, and how it might fare in the current political climate. Baby boomers are weighing the system to the breaking point, and this series looks at the current threats and at the ideas being proposed to rescue the social welfare program for seniors. Continue reading
Racial and socioeconomic disparities in outcomes among hospitalized patients?
Don’t blame the hospitals, say the authors of this JAMA Network Open study. They looked at factors that might underlie known divergences in health outcomes based on socioeconomic status and race or ethnicity, with a focus on heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia. Their findings suggest that hospitals perform similarly across socioeconomic and ethnic groups but that something “systemic” must explain the differences among these populations. Continue reading