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Medical and Research Library News - January 2021

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Training opportunities
Websites and reports on trending topics
Journal articles of note  

January 2021

Training opportunities

Note: The following webinars and online classes are not affiliated with DSHS or the DSHS Library. They are presented here as opportunities to learn more information of interest to public health personnel. All times listed are in Central Daylight Time.

January 7, 2021; 2-3 p.m. Engaging communities to increase confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. This webinar, hosted by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), will highlight national COVID-19 vaccine efforts, as well as explore local and academic partnerships to engage communities and individuals and address confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. https://naccho.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pSH9gr79Sh2zXSTS2Jp6og

January 12, 2021; 12-1 p.m. COVID-19 vaccine distribution: Supply and logistics messaging. This webinar from the Public Health Communications Collaborative will feature issue experts and focus exclusively on vaccine distribution and related messaging. https://omnicomgroup.webex.com/mw3300/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&siteurl=omnicomgroup&service=6&rnd=0.32562984440911&main_url=https

January 13, 2021; 1-2 p.m. Evaluating two-generation approaches: Integrating partnerships and embedding equity. Two recent studies of efforts to serve parents and children together — known as two-generation approaches — have surfaced common themes and insights about the importance of integrating family data and partnerships and embedding race equity. What are the common lessons researchers have learned from evaluating two-generation programs across the country, and what lessons have practitioners gained from implementing these programs? Join the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Urban Institute, and Mathematica to explore these questions. https://aecf.webex.com/mw3300/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&siteurl=aecf&service=6&rnd=0.4014163963534775&main_url=https%3A%2F%2Faecf.webex.com%

January 20, 2021; 1-2 p.m. Racism and health: Evidence and action. Join the Dornsife School of Public Health for a virtual Population Health Spotlight Series presented by Melody S. Goodman, PhD, MS. Goodman is a biostatistician and research methodologist with a large statistical toolbox. Her research interest is on identifying origins of health disparities and developing, as necessary, evidence-based primary prevention strategies to reduce these health disparities. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_i9sBeNcHSPC04EzuZ5_8dA

January 28 & 29, 2021; 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. Community-led initiatives for population health improvement. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Roundtable on Population Health Improvement will host a virtual workshop featuring Community-Led Initiatives that improve health and wellbeing. The event will feature presentations and discussions on community-led action around a variety of population health improvement areas, including the social determinants of health. https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/01-28-2021/community-led-initiatives-for-population-health-improvement-a-workshop

Websites and reports on trending topics

Assessing Healthy People 2020 - This report from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion provides a detailed assessment of the Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators, a subset of objectives that identify high-priority health issues. https://health.gov/our-work/healthy-people/assessing-healthy-people-2020

Five States Break Down Interagency Silos to Strengthen their Health and Housing Initiatives - Between February 2018 and November 2020, the National Academy for State Health Policy’s (NASHP) Health and Housing Institute supported five multi-agency state teams from Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Oregon, and Texas in their efforts to break down internal silos and strengthen services and supports to help low-income and vulnerable populations become and remain successfully and stably housed. https://www.nashp.org/five-states-break-down-interagency-silos-to-strengthen-their-health-and-housing-initiatives/

Make Every Bite Count: USDA, HHS Release Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 - Jointly published by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) every five years the guidelines provide science-based recommendations designed to foster healthy dietary patterns for Americans of all ages – from birth through older adults. Importantly, this edition expands the guidance, for the first time including recommended healthy dietary patterns for infants and toddlers. https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJlbWFpbCI6ImFubmUudGFycGV5QGRzaHMudGV4YXMuZ292Iiwi

Journal articles of note

Anstead GM. History, rats, fleas, and opossums. II. The decline and resurgence of flea-borne typhus in the United States, 1945-2019. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2020;6(1):E2. Published 2020 Dec 28. doi:10.3390/tropicalmed6010002
Flea-borne typhus, due to Rickettsia typhi and R. felis, is an infection causing fever, headache, rash, and diverse organ manifestations that can result in critical illness or death. This is the second part of a two-part series describing the rise, decline, and resurgence of flea-borne typhus (FBT) in the United States over the last century. These studies illustrate the influence of historical events, social conditions, technology, and public health interventions on the prevalence of a vector-borne disease. Flea-borne typhus was an emerging disease, primarily in the Southern USA and California, from 1910 to 1945. The primary reservoirs in this period were the rats Rattus norvegicus and Ra. rattus and the main vector was the Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis). The period 1930 to 1945 saw a dramatic rise in the number of reported cases. This was due to conditions favorable to the proliferation of rodents and their fleas during the Depression and World War II years, including: dilapidated, overcrowded housing; poor environmental sanitation; and the difficulty of importing insecticides and rodenticides during wartime. About 42,000 cases were reported between 1931-1946, and the actual number of cases may have been three-fold higher. The number of annual cases of FBT peaked in 1944 at 5401 cases. American involvement in World War II, in the short term, further perpetuated the epidemic of FBT by the increased production of food crops in the American South and by promoting crowded and unsanitary conditions in the Southern cities. However, ultimately, World War II proved to be a powerful catalyst in the control of FBT by improving standards of living and providing the tools for typhus control, such as synthetic insecticides and novel rodenticides. A vigorous program for the control of FBT was conducted by the US Public Health Service from 1945 to 1952, using insecticides, rodenticides, and environmental sanitation and remediation. Government programs and relative economic prosperity in the South also resulted in slum clearance and improved housing, which reduced rodent harborage. By 1956, the number of cases of FBT in the United States had dropped dramatically to only 98. Federally funded projects for rat control continued until the mid-1980s. Effective antibiotics for FBT, such as the tetracyclines, came into clinical practice in the late 1940s. The first diagnostic test for FBT, the Weil-Felix test, was found to have inadequate sensitivity and specificity and was replaced by complement fixation in the 1940s and the indirect fluorescent antibody test in the 1980s. A second organism causing FBT, R. felis, was discovered in 1990. Flea-borne typhus persists in the United States, primarily in South and Central Texas, the Los Angeles area, and Hawaii. In the former two areas, the opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and cats have replaced rats as the primary reservoirs, with the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) now as the most important vector. In Hawaii, 73% of cases occur in Maui County because it has lower rainfall than other areas. Despite great successes against FBT in the post-World War II era, it has proved difficult to eliminate because it is now associated with our companion animals, stray pets, opossums, and the cat flea, an abundant and non-selective vector. In the new millennium, cases of FBT are increasing in Texas and California. In 2018-2019, Los Angeles County experienced a resurgence of FBT, with rats as the reservoir.

Logan RI, Castañeda H. Addressing health disparities in the rural United States: Advocacy as caregiving among community health workers and promotores de salud. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(24):9223. Published 2020 Dec 10. doi:10.3390/ijerph17249223
Rural populations in the United States are faced with a variety of health disparities that complicate access to care. Community health workers (CHWs) and their Spanish-speaking counterparts, promotores de salud, are well-equipped to address rural health access issues, provide education, and ultimately assuage these disparities. In this article, we compare community health workers in the states of Indiana and Texas, based on the results of two separate research studies, in order to (1) investigate the unique role of CHWs in rural communities and (2) understand how their advocacy efforts represent a central form of caregiving. Drawing on ethnographic, qualitative data-including interviews, photovoice, and participant observation-we analyze how CHWs connect structurally vulnerable clients in rural areas to resources, health education, and health and social services. Our primary contribution to existing scholarship on CHWs is the elaboration of advocacy as a form of caregiving to improve individual health outcomes as well as provoke structural change in the form of policy development. Finally, we describe how CHWs became especially critical in addressing disparities among rural populations in the wake of COVID-19, using their advocacy-as-caregiving role that was developed and well-established before the pandemic. These frontline workers are more vital than ever to address disparities and are a critical force in overcoming structural vulnerability and inequities in health in the United States.

Rauscher E, Rangel DE. Rising inequality of infant health in the U.S. SSM Popul Health. 2020;12:100698. Published 2020 Nov 25. doi:10.1016/j.ssmph.2020.100698
Has infant health inequality narrowed or grown in recent decades? Inequality may have narrowed due to expanded medical insurance coverage and greater knowledge about fetal health. However, greater income inequality may have reduced health for births to the most economically disadvantaged mothers, leading to growing infant health inequality. We use administrative birth certificate data for over 22 million births to examine trends in inequality of infant health from 1989 to 2018 in the U.S. This period allows us to consider how contextual factors - such as passage of the Affordable Care Act, changing demographics, the Great Recession, or delayed impacts of rising income inequality - may have altered infant health inequality. We assess gaps in infant health by maternal race, marital status, and education. Following previous research, we also examine gaps between the most economically advantaged mothers - married, white mothers with a college degree - and the most economically disadvantaged mothers - single, Black mothers without a high school degree. Results reveal that inequality of infant health has increased since 2010.

Rogers SM, Harrell MB, Chen B, Springer A, Loukas A, Perry CL. Multi-directional pathways of tobacco and marijuana use, including comorbid use, among a population-based cohort of adolescents in Texas: A six-wave cross-lagged model [published online ahead of print, 2020 Dec 8]. Addict Behav. 2020;115:106771. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106771
Purpose: Past 30-day tobacco and marijuana use commonly occur among adolescents. It is unclear whether use of one product precedes the other, especially given the new climate surrounding marijuana legalization and the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes.
Methods: Six-panel cross-lagged regression models, with six months between each panel/Wave (2014-17), were used to model stability paths, bi-directional paths, and comorbid paths (i.e., correlations) between past 30-day use of marijuana and tobacco products. Data were derived from three cohorts of adolescents (n = 3907; weighted N = 461,069) in 6th, 8th, and 10th grades at baseline.
Results: Few bidirectional relationships between past 30-day tobacco and marijuana use were observed in early adolescence (6th grade). During the middle adolescence developmental period (8th grade), past 30-day marijuana use was prospectively associated with greater risk of past 30-day tobacco use. In late adolescence (10th grade), increased odds of past 30-day marijuana use given prior past 30-day e-cigarette use, and vice versa, were observed. For all cohorts, stability paths were common, especially for past 30-day marijuana use. Comorbid use was common in middle adolescence (8th grade) but small in magnitude.
Conclusions: This is the first study to longitudinally situate comorbid, past 30-day use of tobacco and marijuana and simultaneously examine bi-directional past 30-day use of these products for adolescents. Marijuana use more often and more strongly predicted subsequent tobacco use than the reverse, especially during middle adolescence (13-15 years old). Marijuana use should be considered when creating interventions that address adolescent e-cigarette use in the U.S.

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Last updated January 7, 2021