Steep Increase in Adversity-Related Hospital Admissions for Teenage Girls

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Ruth Blackburn PhD  UKRI Innovation Fellow UCL Institute of Health Informatics

Dr Ruth Blackburn PhD 
UKRI Innovation Fellow
UCL Institute of Health Informatics 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In England one child in every classroom is admitted to hospital with an adversity related injury (i.e. violence, intentional self-injury, or drug or alcohol misuse) between the ages of 10 and 19 years. These young people are more likely than their classmates to be re-admitted to hospital or to die within 10 years.

We investigated how the rate of hospital admissions with an adversity related injury has changed over time among young people aged 10-24 years, using administrative data for National Health Service hospitals in England.

We found that between 2012 and 2016, rates of admission with an adversity related injury (including intentional self-injury) increased steeply for girls, with the biggest increase (6% per year) among 15-19 year olds. During the same time period, rates of admission with an adversity related injury decreased in boys aged 15-24 years (4-5% per year) but increased slightly for 10-14 year olds (3% per year).  Continue reading

Active Shooter Incidents Involving Semi-automatic Rifles More Deadly

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Adil Haider, MD, MPH, FACS Kessler Director for the Center for Surgery and Public Health Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Deputy Editor of JAMA Surgery

Dr. Haider

Adil Haider, MD, MPH, FACS
Kessler Director for the Center for Surgery and Public Health
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Deputy Editor of JAMA Surgery

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Firearm-related mortality is a public health issue. However, in the US, due in part to lack of funding, there is not enough research to inform the debate about firearms.

The question our group sought to answer was to understand if the presence of a semi-automatic weapon increased the number of victims killed or hurt during an active shooter incident. We chose to focus on these incidents given the availability of an FBI database detailing these active shooter incidents based on a strict definition and the similarities between such incidents that make a comparison valid.

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40% of High School Drivers Text While Driving

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:,
Motao Zhu, MD, MS, PhD Principal Investigator Center for Injury Research and Policy The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital​ Columbus, OHMotao Zhu, MD, MS, PhD
Principal Investigator
Center for Injury Research and Policy
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital​
Columbus, OH

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We know that texting while driving occurs frequently among teen drivers. This study looks at the differences of texting while driving among teens between states. 

Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States. In 2016, over 2,000 teens in the US aged 14-18 years died in motor vehicle crashes and nearly 260,000 were seriously injured in traffic-related incidents. Teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road. Among distracted driving, texting while driving may be especially risky because it involves at least three types of driver distraction: visual, physical, and cognitive. Texting while driving is banned for all drivers in 47 states and the District of Columbia, yet this study shows it still occurs regularly among teen drivers.

Overall (nationally), about 40% of high school student drivers text while driving at least once/month. The rate varies among states. The lowest is 26% (Maryland) and highest is 64% (South Dakota). Texting while driving among high school student drivers is highest in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

These results were not surprising. There are state level factors to explain them. The top 5 highest texting while driving among high school student drivers (Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska) are rural states with a high percent of high school student drivers and students can get their learners permit by age 15. Continue reading

Who Is More Likely To Be Shot by Police?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Me holding USP gun” by Nghị Trần is licensed under CC BY 2.0Brianna Mills, PhD
Research Scientist
Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center
University of Washington

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We know that substance use, mental disorders, and arrest are markers of increased risk of firearm injury. However, many studies of firearm injury are limited in scope – looking only at one type of injury (assault-related, for example) and one type of data (often hospital records). Police shootings, although occurring with increasing frequency, have also received relatively less attention in research than other types of firearm injuries.

We combined data from a variety of sources, including both hospital and arrest records, so we could present a more complete picture of firearm injuries in Seattle, including contacts with law enforcement and healthcare in the two years prior to injury. We subdivided substance use, mental disorder, and arrests into more specific categories to present a more nuanced look at how each category may indicate increased risk of a specific type of firearm injury (assault-related, self-inflicted, unintentional, and police intervention).

We found that when you consider both arrest records and hospital records together a distinct pattern of prior contact emerges for people who were shot by police – they have arrest histories similar to people shot during an assault and hospital histories similar to people with self-inflicted firearm injuries. A majority of people shot during an assault or by police were either arrested or hospitalized in the two years prior to their injury. Compared to our control group, people shot by police were 22 times more likely to have a conduct disorder, 11 times more likely to have been diagnosed with a marijuana use disorder, and 7 times more likely to have a felony arrest, psychosis diagnosis, or depression/anxiety diagnosis.  Continue reading

Following Maria in Puerto Rico Over 1100 Deaths

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Alexis R. Santos-Lozada

Dr. Santos-Lozada

Dr. Alexis R. Santos-Lozada
Director, Graduate Program in Applied Demography
Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology
Research Affiliate, Population Research Institute
College of Liberal Arts
Penn State University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Dr. Howard and I have been working on the topic of deaths attributable to Hurricane Maria since November, and provided rapid-response estimates by the end of November about the humanitarian crisis experienced by Puerto Ricans following the Hurricane.

Our main findings are that there are approximately 1,139 deaths in excess of historical patterns between September, October and November in Puerto Rico.

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Alarming Increase in Violent and Unintentional Injuries Since 2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Angela Sauaia, MD, PhD Professor of Public Health and Surgery University of Colorado Denver Statistical Editor, Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Statistical Consultant, Department of Surgery Denver Health Medical Cente

Dr. Sauaia

Dr. Angela Sauaia, MD, PhD
Professor of Public Health and Surgery
University of Colorado Denver
Statistical Editor, Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Statistical Consultant, Department of Surgery
Denver Health Medical Center 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: As injury researchers we monitor national trends in injury.

The CDC WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) is one of the few available open sources of injury data we can use. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, we saw much improvement in deaths due to most injury mechanisms, such as car accidents fatalities. Our study shows, however, that recent trends seem to be eroding these promising survival gains.

Both violent and unintentional injuries alike seem to be increasing, especially since 2014. We are unclear about the causes of this recent increase in trauma-related deaths, but it is an alarming trend.

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Most Young People Not Against Guns in the Home

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“GUNS” by Jessica Spengler is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kendrin R. Sonneville, ScD, RD

Assistant Professor
Department of Nutritional Sciences
University of Michigan School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The results from this come out of MyVoice, a text message cohort of youth ages 14-24 representing every state in the country (http://hearmyvoicenow.org/). Each week we ask the youth in our cohort a series of open-ended to questions, with the goal of gathering the real-time opinions and experiences of youth across the U.S. This study reports the results of questions we asked MyVoice paritpatns between 07/2017 and 01/2018 about guns and gun control. 

(1) What are your thoughts about having guns in your home?

(2) Do you think gun control laws would affect mass shootings? Why?

(3) Who, if anyone, should NOT be allowed to own guns?

We found that about one-third of youth in our diverse sample were “against” guns in the home, and the remaining two-thirds were either “pro” or “conditionally pro” guns in the home, stating that gun ownership is acceptable under certain conditions, such as proper storage, or kept away from children. Youth in our sample largely believed that gun control laws could decrease mass shootings, but one-third felt that gun control laws would not be enough to impact mass shootings. Continue reading

Self-Driving Cars Can’t Eliminate All Accidents So How Safe is Safe Enough?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Subaru cars waiting for ride” by JackeOb is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0Dr. Peng Liu, Assistant Professor
Department of Industrial Engineering
College of Management and Economics
Tianjin University, China

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Self-driving vehicles promise to considerably reduce traffic crashes. However, they cannot eliminate all crashes.

On March 18, 2018, a female pedestrian was killed after being struck by an autonomous Uber vehicle in the self-driving mode in Arizona, USA. This fatal crash triggered a widespread public debate over the safety of self-driving vehicles. So, how safe is safe enough for self-driving vehicles?

Our findings show that our participants implicitly think self-driving vehicles should be four to five times as safe as the current human-driven vehicles. 

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Why Does Driving Make Us Sleepy?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Driving...” by Stig Nygaard is licensed under CC BY 2.0Prof. Stephen R Robinson PhD
Discipline Leader, Psychology
School of Health and Biomedical Sciences
RMIT University
Australia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Around the world, driver drowsiness and fatigue are estimated to contribute to 250,000 deaths on the road per year. Current research in this area has focused on detecting when drivers become drowsy, by examining their eye movements or steering patterns, and then alerting the driver with a warning tone or vibration of the steering wheel. Rather than this reactive approach, we are interested in helping to prevent drivers from becoming drowsy in the first place.

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Positive Hopes and Dreams May Protect Urban Youth From Violence

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Alison J. Culyba, MD, PhD, MPH Instructor in the Craig-Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Dr. Culyba

Alison JCulyba, MD, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Homicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents, and disproportionately affects minority youth in under-resourced urban communities.

Most research on youth violence focuses on risk factors, such as weapon carrying and substance abuse. We know much less about factors that protect youth from violence. Future orientation, defined as hopes and plans for the future, is linked to many important positive outcomes for youth, including doing well in school and avoiding illicit substances. However, there has been very little research to examine whether future orientation may also protect youth from violence.

To study links between future orientation and violence perpetration, we surveyed over 850 male youth in lower resource neighborhoods in Pittsburgh as part of a community-based sexual violence prevention study. We found that youth with positive future orientation were significantly less likely to report threatening someone with a weapon or injuring someone with a weapon in the past nine months.

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Over 2 Millions Pediatric ER Visits For Bike Accidents Annually

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Bikes” by Britta Frahm is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Lara McKenzie, PhD
Principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Polic
Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Bicycling is a great way for families to get outside and be active together, but certain precautions need to be taken to keep everyone safer. This study looked at bicycle-related injuries among children age 5-17 years treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States from 2006 through 2015 and found that, despite a decrease in the rate of injuries over the 10-year study period, there were still more than 2.2 million injuries. This averages 608 cases per day or 25 every hour.

The majority of injuries involved children 10 to 14 years of age (46%) and boys (72%). The most commonly injured body region was the upper extremities (36%), followed by the lower extremities (25%), face (15%), and head and neck (15%). The most common types of injury were bruises and scrapes (29%) and cuts (23%). Overall, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) represented 11% of total injuries and were most common among patients 10-14 years of age (44%). About 4% of patients were hospitalized.

Injuries most frequently occurred in the street (48%) or at home (37%). Helmet use at the time of injury was associated with a lower likelihood of head and neck injuries and hospitalizations, but there was no significant change in the rate of injury among helmet users over the study period. Motor vehicle involvement increased the odds of bicycle-related TBIs and injury-related hospitalizations.  Continue reading

Driving Skills May Be Harder to Master with ASD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Driving” by Martin Alvarez Espinar is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kristina Elise Patrick, Ph.D

Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Columbus, OH 43205

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Many families of young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are concerned that they may have difficulty acquiring driver’s licenses and driving safely because of symptoms of ASD. However, the ability to drive opens the door to a variety of social, occupational, and educational experiences. We aimed to assess differences in simulated driving behaviors of young adults with ASD and those with typical development and to evaluate whether differences depended on level of driving experience and complexity of the driving task.

On average, young adults with ASD had more difficulty regulating their speed and position within their lane compared with typically developing individuals even on a very basic rural route. After completing the basic route, drivers were required to engage in more complex tasks such as changing the radio or engaging in conversation while driving, driving through a construction zone, and following behind a truck. On complex driving tasks, drivers with ASD who had acquired licensure drove similarly to typically developing drivers who had acquired licensure. However, novice drivers with ASD had more difficulty than typically developing drivers regulating their speed and position within the lane.

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Parents More Willing To Lets Kids Watch ‘Justified’ Violence on TV

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Crime Scene _MG_4847” by thierry ehrmann is licensed under CC BY 2.0Daniel Romer, PhD

Research Director Annenberg Public Policy Center and
Director of its Adolescent Communication Institute (ACI)
University of Pennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have been studying the steady increase in gun violence that has been occurring in popular PG-13 movies since the new rating was adopted in 1984.  It has recently even surpassed the amount of gun violence in R-rated movies.  Since these movies are open to the public at any age, we are concerned that they promote the use of guns and potentially socialize youth to believe that using guns to defend oneself is an appropriate way to handle threats and other conflicts.

We knew that the rating requires the omission of graphic consequences, such as blood and suffering, that can make the violence more acceptable.  But we also wondered whether the motivation for the violence might make a difference as well.  Many of the characters in PG-13 movies are seen as heroic (e.g., Bruce Willis and Liam Neeson).  Could that also be a factor that makes such films more acceptable to parents despite their concerns about their children seeing so much violence in the movies.  So, we conducted this experiment to see if parents are less upset by justified violence in PG-13 style movies.  Continue reading

How Much US Life is Lost to Police Violence?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“police” by istolethetv is licensed under CC BY 2.0Anthony L. Bui, MPH

M.D. Candidate, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Matthew M. Coates, MPH
Associate, Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine
Ellicott C. Matthay, MPH
Ph.D. Candidate, Division of Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Protests after recent deaths from encounters with law enforcement, the Black Lives Matter movement, and activism over social media platforms have raised the profile of the problem of police violence. Several studies have suggested that the public health community has a duty to address these deaths as a public health problem. These studies have also pointed out that although there is a lack of officially reported statistics on police violence, other journalistic and crowd-sourced efforts such as “The Counted” from The Guardian, FatalEncounters.org, U.S. Police Shootings Database, KilledbyPolice.net, and Mapping Police Violence have relatively complete documentation of deaths from police violence.

To help frame the issue as a public health problem, we calculated years of life lost (YLLs) attributed to deaths from encounters with law enforcement. YLLs are, a metric that measures premature deaths, by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. To do this, we followed established methods, subtracting the age of each death from a corresponding standard life expectancy. For example, if an individual who died at age 25 had a life expectancy of 75, their YLL would be 50.  Continue reading

Should Kids With Traumatic Injuries Be Screened For Mental Health Issues?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Julie-Leonard

Dr. Leonard

Dr. Julie Leonard MD MPH
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Columbus, OH

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We looked at children with unintentional injuries who were hospitalized to see if there was an increase in their mental health needs. We saw an average 63% increase in mental health diagnoses and a 155% increase in medications prescribed to treat a mental illness.

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One Blood Type Is a Risk For Bleeding Out After Trauma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Wataru Takayama
Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Department of Emergency and Disaster Medicine
Tokyo, Japan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: ABO blood type is a potential risk of various diseases and various conditions. Furthermore, ABO blood type has a profound influence on hemostasis. Hemorrhage is the leading cause of death in patients with trauma, we assessed the association between the difference in blood types and the outcomes of death.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Blood type O was the independent risk factor for all-cause in-hospital mortality and death due to exsanguination, TBI, and other causes after adjusting for potential confounders. This is the first study to report the association between ABO blood types and mortality in patients with severe trauma.

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How To Prevent the Elderly From Falling?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Alex Krist

Dr. Krist

Dr. Alex Krist, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Krist is is a professor of family medicine and population health at Virginia Commonwealth University and active clinician and teacher at the Fairfax Family Practice residency.

What is the background for these recommendation statements? What are the main findings?

Response: Falls are the leading cause of injuries in adults age 65 and older and can lead to serious disability and even death. Bone fractures—which may result from a fall—can also cause serious disability and death in older adults.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force looked into the most recent evidence on the best ways to prevent falls and fractures in older adults. We found that clinicians should recommend exercise or physical therapy to help prevent falls by older adults who live at home and are at higher risk for falling.

Additionally, we concluded that taking a low dose of vitamin D and calcium does not help prevent fractures due to osteoporosis, but we don’t know if taking a higher dose is effective or not, so we are calling for more research.

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Do Rear-Facing Car Seats Protect Children From Rear Crashes?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Julie Mansfield straps a doll into a car seat. Rear-facing car seats are known to protect children in front and side impact crashes, but are rarely discussed in terms of rear-impact collisions. In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explored the effectiveness of rear-facing car seats in rear-impact accidents by conducting crash tests with different car seat types and features.

Julie Mansfield straps a doll into a car seat. Rear-facing car seats are known to protect children in front and side impact crashes, but are rarely discussed in terms of rear-impact collisions. In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explored the effectiveness of rear-facing car seats in rear-impact accidents by conducting crash tests with different car seat types and features.

Julie Mansfield, Lead author
Research engineer
Injury Biomechanics Research Center
Ohio State College of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Parents and caregivers often understand that a rear-facing car seat will support the head, neck, and spine during frontal impacts. In frontal impacts, the child will simply be cradled and supported by the shell of the car seat as crash forces “pull” the child toward the front of the vehicle. However, caregivers often ask how a rear-facing car seat would work if the vehicle is struck from behind. In that case, crash forces might “pull” the occupant toward the rear of the vehicle. In this case, they wonder whether the head and neck of the rear-facing child would be supported.

Injuries to children in rear impact crashes are fairly rare. However, we wanted to run some crash tests so we could see exactly what was happening in these scenarios. With these data, we can better explain to caregivers how rear-facing car seats work in this type of crash.

We exposed four different models of rear-facing car seats to a moderate severity rear-impact crash pulse. All were installed on a recent model year vehicle seat. We used crash test dummies representing a one-year-old child and a three-year-old child.

We found that the rear-facing car seats protected the crash test dummy well when exposed to a typical rear impact. The car seats supported the child throughout the crash and still did their job to keep the head, neck, and spine aligned. A lot of the crash energy was absorbed through the car seat interacting with the vehicle seat, so that reduced the amount of energy transferred into the occupant. This is important in preventing injuries.  Continue reading

Full-Term Infant Deaths in US Remain High, Many From Suffocation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Neha Bairoliya, Ph.D. Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies Cambridge, MA 02138

Dr. Bairoliya

Neha Bairoliya, Ph.D.
Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies
Cambridge, MA 02138

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: While the high prevalence of preterm births and its impact on infant mortality in the US have been widely acknowledged, recent data suggest that even full-term births in the US face substantially higher mortality risks compared to European countries with low infant mortality rates.

In this paper, we use the most recent birth records in the US to more closely analyze the primary causes underlying mortality rates among full-term births. We show that infants born full-term in the US face 50%-200% higher risks of infant mortality compared to leading European countries.

The two main drivers of these high relative risks are increased risk of mortality due to congenital malformations, which patients cannot really do much about other than ensuring adequate screening during pregnancy, and high risk of sudden unexpected deaths in infancy, which should largely be preventable through appropriate sleeping arrangements. While we do not have data on actual sleeping arrangements from our study, other data sources suggest that a substantial number of babies continue to sleep on their tummy; we also found a shockingly large number of babies dying from suffocation, which suggests that parents either use covers that are not safe, or let children sleep in their own beds.

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Since Semi-Automatic Rifles Outlawed, Australia Has Had Zero Mass Shootings

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Simon Chapman AO PhD FASSA Hon FFPH (UK) Emeritus Professor in the School Public Health University of Sydney

Prof. Chapman

Simon Chapman AO PhD FASSA Hon FFPH (UK)
Emeritus Professor in the School Public Health
University of Sydney

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Since major gun law reforms in 1996, Australian has seen zero mass shootings (five or more deaths, not including the perpetrator).The law reforms outlawed semi-automatic rifles, those often favored by mass killers.

In the 18 years prior to the reforms, Australia experienced 13 mass shootings. The National Rifle Association and others have suggested that the 22 year absence of mass shootings may simply reflect that these events are rare and statistically unlikely to occur regardless of any policy.

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Mortality From Overdose, Alcohol and Firearms Varies Regionally

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Laura Dwyer-Lindgren PhD Assistant Professor at IHME Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation 

Dr. Dwyer-Lindgren

Dr. Laura Dwyer-Lindgren PhD
Assistant Professor at IHME
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

 Response: This study in the latest in a series of studies IHME has conducted on health and disease on the county level in the United States. We analyzed data provided by the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and other sources. Main findings include:

  • Nearly 550,000 deaths were attributed to drug use over the 35 years. Nationally, the age-standardized death date increased 238% between 1980 and 2000, and 112% between 2000 and 2014. The death rate from drug use disorders increased in every county, but some counties in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and eastern Oklahoma has increases exceeding 5000%.
  • There were more than a quarter million deaths in the U.S. due to alcohol use; Western counties generally has higher levels than those in other parts of area of the nation, with especially high death rates in Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Alaska.
  • Neatly 1.3 million suicides were recorded, with especially high rates in Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Wyoming and one county in Maryland. While the national death rate due to suicide decreased between 1980 and 2014, there was an increase in the death rate due to suicide in most counties.
  • More than three quarters of a million deaths by homicide occurred in the US between 1980 and 2015. Nationally, the age-standardized death rate due to homicide decreased by about 35% between 1980 and 2000, and by nearly 16% between 2000 and 2014. Counties with the largest decreases were found in Virginia, Florida, Texas, California and New York. 

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Despite Safe Sleeping Recommendations, Infant Suffocations Continue To Rise

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Guoqing Hu, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics
Xiangya School of Public Health
Central South University
Changsha, Hunan, China
   On behalf of the authors

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We’ve known for some time that suffocation is a leading cause of death for American infants – in fact, it is the cause of over 3/4 of the injury deaths to babies under 12 months of age. We’ve also known that there are strategies, such as “safe sleeping”, that can greatly reduce the risk of a baby suffocating to death.

The surprise in our study is that the suffocation rate for infants under 12 months of age appears to be increasing in the United States over the past 15 years. More babies are dying from suffocation today than in the 1990s, and that is a significant public health concern. Think about the implications of each one of those deaths to the infant’s parents and loved ones. There are few things more devastating than losing a baby to an unintentional, or “accidental” death. There are ways we can prevent unintentional suffocations, and we need to work together to inform parents and ensure babies are kept safe to reduce those deaths, especially as rates in the US appear to be increasing. Continue reading

More Car Crashes on 4/20 Marijuana Celebration Day

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. John A Staples, MD, FRCPC, MPH Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences Clinical Assistant Professor University of British ColumbiaDr. John A Staples
MD, FRCPC, MPH
Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of British Columbia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Around 64 million Americans live in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Many policymakers are trying to figure out what that means for traffic safety.

On April 20th, some Americans participate in an annual “4/20” counterculture holiday that celebrates and promotes the use of cannabis. Some 4/20 events such as those in Denver and San Francisco involve thousands of participants. Much like celebrations at midnight on New Year’s eve, public 4/20 events sometimes mark 4:20 p.m. by a countdown followed by synchronized mass consumption of cannabis. We thought this was a perfect natural experiment to evaluate the influence that cannabis intoxication has on the risk of motor vehicle crash.

To examine this question, we analyzed 25 years of data on all fatal traffic crashes in the United States. We compared the number of drivers in crashes between 4:20 p.m. and midnight on April 20th to the number of drivers in crashes during the same time interval on control days one week earlier and one week later.

We found that the risk of crash involvement was 12% higher on April 20th than on control days. In the subgroups of drivers younger than 21 years of age, the risk of crash involvement was 38% higher on April 20th than on control days.

Assuming fewer than 12% of Americans celebrate 4/20, our results suggest that substance use at April 20th celebrations more than doubles the risk of fatal crash.

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Distance to Trauma Center & Prehospital Care Influence Outcomes from Injuries

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Molly Jarman PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Brigham and Womens Hospital 

Dr. Jarman

Dr. Molly Jarman PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at
Brigham and Womens Hospital 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in the US, and there are well documented disparities in injury incidence and outcomes. Certain populations (i.e. rural, low income, people of color) experience more injury than others, and are more likely to die following and injury.

Past studies focused on individual health and socioeconomic characteristics as the primary driving force behind these disparities, along with variation in the time required to transport an injured patient to the hospital. We wondered if geographic features of an injury incident location contributed to variation in injury mortality that was not explained by differences in individual patient characteristics.

In other words, we know that who you are contributes to injury mortality, and we wanted to know if it also matters where you are when an injury occurs.

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Snowboarders Have More Upper Body Injuries Than Skiiers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“First day of snowboarding” by kaolin fire is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Dr. Brett D Owens, MD
Dr. Owens is currently Team Physician for the US Lacrosse National Men’s Team, and
Team Physician for Brown University
Professor at Uniformed Services University and Professor at Brown University
Alpert School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study is a review of the literature on ski and snowboarding injuries. We summarize findings by our group and others on the injuries seen with these snow sports and report an overall increase in injuries as participation continues to increase.

Snowboarders have a higher injury rate and there are different injury patterns with skiers experiencing more lower extremity injuries (knee) and snowboarders experiencing more upper extremity injuries (wrist, shoulder, etc.).  Continue reading