Health research roundup: home address and obesity unrelated

Does your address predict your waistline or is it your paycheck?

A new study says it may be the latter. She notes that obesity is higher in less populated communities, but the causes do not seem to be related to the increased presence of transit roads.

You know the way that asks if you want french fries with it?

The result comes from a major new study on health and the so-called “built environment” recently published in the International Journal of Obesity.

Health experts have argued for years that there is a link between location and obesity.

According to this work, some communities are more obese than others because they are “obese,” that is, high in fast food and convenience stores and low in parks, sidewalks, and grocery stores.

These traits are believed to lead people to drive more, walk less, and eat high-calorie or take-away foods quickly and become more obese in the process.

This so-called built environment has been associated with higher obesity rates in rural communities and cities, earning the name “food wasteland” as the hungry are mostly only offered convenience stores and fast food.

In the United States, “the USDA estimates that 23.5 million people live in urban neighborhoods and rural cities with limited access to fresh, affordable, and healthy food,” it said to the editorial 2019 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Although people in lower density communities or in places with less access to grocery stores are more likely to be overweight, so far data has not been able to tell whether these environments cause obesity or simply inherited it.

By reviewing anonymous electronic health records, a new study from the University of Washington tracked the weight development of over 100,000 insured patients in Kaiser Permanente Washington’s healthcare system for five years.

In search of associations between people’s place of residence and their weight gain during the study period, the data were analyzed in terms of socio-economic status, population density, number of local supermarkets, fast food restaurants and other variables.

The researchers found that the patient’s built environment predicted whether a person’s starting weight was high or low, but that it was unrelated to whether someone gained weight over time.

In one exception, the researchers found that those who lived in high-density locations were slightly less likely to gain weight over time.

In short, “obese” environments were actually not found to be obese.

The authors believe that factors beyond the configuration of buildings better explain obesity rates in a given community.

“Whether you can afford to eat healthy or have time to exercise,” senior writer and researcher, UW School of Public Health James Buszkiewicz said in a statement, “These factors likely outweigh things we see in relation to the effect of the built environment.”

Over 70% definitely plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19

The US Census Bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey suggests reluctance to use COVID-19 vaccines declined sharply between January and late March 2021.

The news comes from a recent update from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), a research communications arm of the University of Minnesota.

Between the beginning of 2020 and the end of March SHADAC writes, the percentage of American adults surveyed who said they would definitely get the COVID-19 vaccine rose from 54.5% to 71.6%.

Those who said they were “likely” to get the shots were cut in half from 23.7% to 12.4% over the same period.

This combination makes up 84% of US adults surveyed who are not against or intend to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, a percentage deemed necessary for herd immunity.

Although the upward trend among vaccine positives was large, the remaining 16% who were unlikely (8.2%) or strongly opposed (7.8%) to COVID-19 vaccination changed little because they were only fell by 3.9% and 1.1%. over the examined period.

In an inter-state comparison, between January and late March, reluctance to receive COVID-19 vaccines fell 20 points in North and South Dakota and 10 points in Minnesota. All three neighboring states had different levels of reluctance earlier in the year, with North Dakota being the highest and Minnesota being the lowest.

Reluctance among black respondents fell by the largest percentage among demographics to date in 2020, falling 28 points in the first three months of the year. Opponents remain slightly higher than the proportions of the Hispanic and white populations.

“While concerns about potential side effects, safety, priority, and effectiveness have decreased, suspicion of COVID-19 vaccines and suspicion of the government, as well as a non-belief that ‘I need a COVID-19 vaccine,’ have been as stated increased reasons for hesitation about the vaccine, “said James Campbell of the State Health Access Data Assistance Center in a statement.

“This could be cause for concern as these reasons for hesitation may not fade as more people are safely vaccinated in their communities.”

Offering low-quality care does not make patients happier

Another reason for doctors to withhold treatments that are available but found to be of little benefit: treatment of little value will not make the patient happier with the experience.

Some hospitals continue to offer so-called low-quality treatments on the grounds that the patient rates their satisfaction lower and the hospital sees this when the patients so request and a doctor explains that this has not been proven, quality values ​​decrease.

These are usually larger, prominent hospitals. A rCurrent national ranking of hospitals according to their reluctance to provide low-quality care placed several small community hospitals in Minnesota and the Dakotas at the top while marquee providers in the state failed to break the top 50.

in the a recently published study In the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from the University of Chicago and Harvard Medical School collected patient satisfaction data from a large healthcare consumer survey and then compared it to Medicare claims for the eight most frequently performed services of low value.

The eight services examined were:

  • PSA test in men over 75 years of age with no history of prostate cancer;
  • Imaging of the carotid artery in asymptomatic adults;
  • Cervical Cancer Screening In Women Over 65 With No Symptoms;
  • Two types of thyroid tests;
  • Imaging of the back for the first episode of back pain without complications;
  • Head imaging for headache without complications and;
  • Spinal injection for back pain.

The researchers found no association between the delivery of these low-quality services and patient satisfaction.

“In fact, it has not been clarified whether patients advocate low-quality services at all,” first author Prachi Sanghavi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences at UChicago said in a statement.

“In short, the concern is exaggerated,” said the study’s co-investigator Michael McWilliams, MD, PhD, Professor of Health Policy at Harvard Medical School and General Internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“Whether it’s because less wasteful physicians are able to let patients know why a requested test or procedure is unnecessary, or because most treatments have little value on the providers’ practice patterns, not the ones Patient demand, we should be sure that we can deal with waste in the medical system without major backlash from patients or failing providers on their ‘scorecards’. “

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