Leading Causes of Death

leading_causes_2014More Than Ever, Americans Are Dying By Accident
June 11, 2016
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/11/481641640/more-than-ever-americans-are-dying-by-accident

A new report from the National Safety Council shows more than 136,000 people in the U.S. died accidentally in 2014, the highest number ever recorded. That’s an increase of 4.2 percent from the year before and 15.5 percent more than a decade ago.

The higher accidental death rate is being fueled in large part by the opioid and heroin epidemic.

Sir Michael Marmot

Better Parenting Skills May Break the Poverty–Disease Connection
Helping parents to help their children can close the rich–poor health gap
By Sir Michael Marmot on March 1, 2016
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/better-parenting-skills-may-break-the-poverty-disease-connection

Sir Michael Marmot directs the Institute of Health Equity at University College London and is president of the World Medical Association for 2015–2016. His book The Health Gap was published by Bloomsbury in 2015.

The Cockroach of Mosquitoes

Fighting the ‘Cockroach of Mosquitoes’
The Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti species bites by day and hides indoors by night, making it hard to eliminate
By Betsy McKay et al.
Feb. 11, 2016
http://www.wsj.com/articles/fighting-the-cockroach-of-mosquitoes-1455238636

Experts working to halt the spread of the Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses face a stubborn foe in the main mosquito that transmits them, and some of the many methods under consideration for fighting them are stirring controversy.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito primarily responsible for spreading these diseases has been called “the cockroach of mosquitoes.” It thrives around people, particularly in the densely packed neighborhoods that are common in the tropics. It bites during the day and hides at night in dark corners,…

IOM. Smart Snack

Guess What Makes The Cut As A ‘Smart Snack’ In Schools? Hot Cheetos
March 28, 2015
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/03/26/395598079/guess-what-makes-the-cut-as-a-smart-snack-in-schools-hot-cheetos

These aren’t just any Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. They’re a reformulated version with less fat, less salt and more whole grains. But is that really what the scientists at the Institute of Medicine had in mind when they wrote the recommendations that would become the Smart Snack rules?

In Chicago, schools get a 20 percent commission on all sales.

Remembering Dr. Steinfeld

From Surgeon General To Smoking Foe: Remembering Dr. Steinfeld
August 06, 2014
http://www.npr.org/2014/08/06/338354923/from-surgeon-general-to-smoking-foe-remembering-dr-steinfeld

JESSE STEINFELD: I hope that in this next year each American citizen will review for himself the summary findings of what is no longer an honest disagreement among medical scientists about the hazards of cigarette smoking. There is no disagreement. Cigarette smoking is deadly.

CORNISH: In 1972 Steinfeld issued a blistering report on the hazards of secondhand smoke. And the next year he was forced out of office. But not before he instituted tougher warning labels on cigarette packages and a smoking ban inside government buildings. Doctor Steinfeld died yesterday at age 87. To speak more about his legacy we turn to Stanton Glantz. He studies the health effects of secondhand smoke at the University of California, San Francisco.

GLANTZ: He’s a fearless guy. And it’s important to remember that the tobacco industry’s primary defense against the evidence that smoking was causing disease was to say it was an open question – that reasonable scientists could disagree. Steinfeld said, no – the evidence is overwhelming that smoking is causing disease.

Low-dose radiation risk

We don’t know enough about low-dose radiation risk
5 April 2011
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110405/full/news.2011.206.html

The long-term risks to health of low levels of radiation are still poorly known, says David J. Brenner. A combination of more studies of exposed populations and basic research is needed.

We have been studying the risk of radiation since the discovery of radioactivity more than a century ago

with the exception of studies of a couple of specific cancers — thyroid cancer and leukaemia — no large-scale systematic cancer studies have been carried out on the exposed populations