Subject: Studies in the News 04-22 (April 5, 2004)

Studies in the News
Health Care Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material HEALTH
   Developing labor force to care for the aged
   Stem cells in relation to brain injuries
   Human tissue repositories
   Low-tar cigarettes and lung cancer
   Preventing cancer
   Radiation and prostate cancer
   Antibiotics and breast cancer
   Health care costs and the elderly
   Outcomes of treatment of drug offenders
   Drug use drops among teens
   Environmental health surveillance
   Emergency contraception in California
   Cost-effective health services and strategies
   Genetically engineering animal fats
   New treatment for cardiac arrest patients
   Statins and heart disease
   Hospital volume and quality care
   New approaches to Medicaid transportation
   Obesity rates and disability trends
   American teenagers and obesity
   Obesity in childhood
   Diet, exercise, and cause of death
   Health and safety of new workers
   Drug importation from Canada to San Francisco
   Report card on state tobacco control
   Tobacco policy and public health
   U.S. cigarette use among racial/ethnic populations
   Racial/ethnic disparities and teen smoking
   Tobacco sales and minors
   Juvenile suicides, 1981-1998
   Native-Americans and health care
   Underdiagnosis of chronic pain
   Studies in the News, March 2004
   Studies in the News, February 2004
   Studies in the News, January 2004
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News (SITN) is a current compilation of policy-related items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau and State Information & Reference Center to supplement the public policy debate in California's Capitol. To help share the latest information with state employees and other interested individuals, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library's website.

How to Obtain Materials Listed in SITN:

  • When available on the Internet, the URL for the full-text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:



Developing A Diverse Labor Force to Care for Older Californians: Challenges and Opportunities: Hearing Information Folder. By the Senate Subcommittee on Aging and Long Term Care and the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long Term Care. (The Committees, Sacramento, California) February 3, 2004. Various pagings.

["Ensuring the adequacy and availability of the paraprofessional and professional workforce is a critical component of planning for our aging population.... [The hearing began] with an overview of the recently released Strategic Plan on Aging and its general findings, followed by a focused presentation on the provider workforce issues and recommendations outlined in the Plan, as well as current efforts to develop a representative workforce involving rural, minority, and low-income students."]

[Request #S402]

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"Unique Astrocyte Ribbon in Adult Human Brain Contains Neural Stem Cells But Lacks Chain Migration." By Nader Sanai, University of California, San Francisco, and others. IN: Nature, v. 427 (February 19, 2004) pp. 740-744.

["A mysterious type of stem cell found in the brain appears to be a possible wellspring of fresh nerve cells and, when something goes haywire, the starting point of a common form of tumor, scientists are reporting." San Francisco Chronicle (February 19, 2004) A9.]

[Request #S1646]

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Case Studies of Existing Human Tissue Repositories: "Best Practices" for a Biospecimen Resource for the Genomic and Proteomic Era. By Elisa Eiseman and others, RAND Science and Technology. MG-120-NDC/NCI. (RAND, Santa Monica, California) 2004. 208 p.

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["Rand has conducted case studies of twelve existing human tissue repositories to evaluate their utility for genomics- and proteomics-based cancer research and to identify 'best practices' necessary for establishing a national tissue resource and data bank.... This monograph presents the findings for each repository evaluated."]

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"Cigarette Tar Yields in Relation to Mortality From Lung Cancer in the Cancer Prevention Study II Prospective Cohort, 1982 - 1988." By Jeffery E. Harris and others. IN: British Medical Journal, vol. 328, no. 7431 (January 10, 2004) pp. 72-76.

["Low-Tar Cigarettes' Health Risk Examined- Low-tar cigarettes do not carry a lower risk of lung cancer, according to the first study comparing lung cancer deaths among smokers of ultra-light, mild and medium filtered cigarettes....The results held true after other factors known to influence lung cancer, such as age, education level, intake of fruits and vegetables, and duration of smoking, had been taken into account." (January 9, 2004) 1.]

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Preventing Cancer: Using Health Dollars Wisely. By Stephanie Wasserman, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 12, No. 8. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) February 2004. 2 p.

["The financial costs of cancer in 2002 exceeded $170 billion, which includes more than $110 billion for lost productivity and over $60 billion for direct medical costs. In spite of these figures, health experts argue that effective preventive measures could significantly decrease the number of new cases and cancer deaths."]

[Request #S1649]

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"Salvage Radiotherapy for Recurrent Prostate Cancer After Radical Prostatectomy." By Andrew J. Stephenson and others IN: JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 291, no. 11 (March 17, 2004) pp. 1325-1332.

["Study finds Radiation May Stop Recurring Cancer: An estimated 30,000 men who have had prostate cancer surgery will relapse this year, and half of them will die. But many of those patients could be saved, a new study says, if doctors treated them with radiation therapy at the earliest sign of recurrence." San Francisco Chronicle (March 17, 2004) A17.]

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"Antibiotic Use in Relation to the Risk of Breast Cancer." By Christine Velicer. IN: JAMA: Journal of American Medical Association, vol. 291, no. 7 (February 18, 2003) pp. 827-835.

["A new study had found a possible connection between the use of antibiotics and breast cancer.... The link was seen regardless of the class of antibiotics or the diagnoses." Philadelphia Inquirer (February 17, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1651]

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Understanding the Health-Care Needs and Experiences of People with Disabilities: Findings from a 2003 Survey. By Kristina Hanson and others. (Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, California) December 2003. 22 p.

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["Many nonelderly U.S. residents with physical or mental disabilities skip medications, delay receiving care or go without equipment because of difficulty paying for health care, according to a survey.... Researchers found that 46% of respondents reported going without equipment and other items because of cost; 37% delayed in receiving care because of cost; 36% reported skipping medications or splitting pills; and 36% reported spending less on basic services such as food or heat to pay for health care." Associated Press (December 15, 2003) 1.]

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"Five-Year Outcomes of Therapeutic Community Treatment of Drug-Involved Offenders After Release From Prison." By James A. Inciardi and others. IN: Crime & Delinquency, vol. 50, no. 1 (January 2004) pp. 88-107.

["At 5 years, those who participated in the residential treatment program during work release were significantly more likely to be drug and arrest free. Furthermore, treatment graduates with or without aftercare had significantly greater probabilities of remaining both arrest free and drug free than did a no treatment comparison group in regular work release."]

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Ecstasy Use Falls for Second Year in a Row, Overall Teen Drug Use Drops. By Monitoring the Future, University of Michigan. (Monitoring the Future, Ann Arbor, Michigan) 2004. Various pagings.

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["U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and John P. Walters, director of National Drug Control Policy, have released results of the 2003 Monitoring the Future survey, showing an 11% decline in drug use by 8th, 10th and 12th grade students over the past 2 years. The finding translates into 400,000 fewer teen drug users over 2 years." Drug Week (January 16, 2004) 564.]

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Strategies for Establishing an Environmental Health Surveillance System in California. By the SB 702 Expert Working Group, California Policy Research Center. CPRC Brief. Vol. 16, No. 2. (The Center, Berkeley, California) February 2004. 4 p.

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["The report includes ... current knowledge about environmentally related diseases and their costs.... We list the diseases, environmental hazards, and exposures that should be tracked in California; describe community information needs; and describe ethical, legal, and policy issues. We conclude the report by identifying our priority recommendations."]

[Request #S1654]

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Emergency Contraception in California. By Alina Salganicoff and others. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (The Foundation, Menlo Park, California) February 2004. 25 p.

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["Most California women have no idea how to obtain the emergency contraceptive dubbed the 'morning after pill' and many confuse it with the abortion drug RU-486, a study showed. California is one of only five states that allows pharmacists to dispense the contraceptive pill, called Plan B, without a prescription. But only 9 percent of women ages 15 to 44 know that, according to the study.... What's more, 39 percent of the women surveyed don't know the pill is available in the United States and 49 percent of the adult women surveyed confused Plan B with RU-486, which induces abortions." Associated Press (February 18, 2004) 1.]

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Investing in Cost-Effective Health Services and Strategies. By Martha King and Leah Oliver, National Conference of State Legislatures. Balancing Health Needs with Resources. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) January 2004. 24 p.

["Using public health strategies and tools may help legislators achieve the best health status for their state's population in a cost-effective manner.... Legislators can benefit from considering bills in the context of whether they move the state toward the state's health goals and whether they make sense based on scientific evidence."]

[Request #S1656]

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"Transgenic Mice: Fat-1 Mice Convert n-6 to n-3 Fatty Acids." By Jing X. Kang and others. IN: Nature, vol. 427, no. 6974 (February 2004) pp. 504-506.

["Harvard Medical School researchers report that they have taken a gene for the missing omega-3 fatty acids from a lowly laboratory worm called C. elegans and have genetically engineered mice to produce the fats abundantly from generation to generation. The same engineering trick also should endow animals that produce steaks, pork chops, omelets and other much-beloved foods with the same missing essential ingredient, the scientists suggests." San Francisco Chronicle (February 5, 2004) A1.]

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"A Comparison of Vasopressin and Epinephrine for Out-of-Hospital Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation." By Volker Wenzel and others. IN: New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 350, no. 2 (January 8, 2004) pp. 105-113.

["People with a hard-to-treat type of cardiac arrest are three times as likely to survive if they are given a drug called vasopressin than if they receive the standard emergency treatment, adrenaline, doctors ... are reporting. Experts say the information may change the way doctors around the world treat cardiac arrest." New York Times (January 8, 2004) A16.]

[Request #S1658]

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"Statin Therapy Is Associated with Improved Survival in Ischemic and Non-Ischemic Heart Failure." By Tamara B. Horwich and others. IN: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 43, no. 4 (February 18, 2004) pp. 642-648.

["Cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins can reduce deaths from advanced heart failure by as much as 55%, according to a study. The increased survival occurred even though most patients who received the statins were sicker than those who did not receive them." Los Angeles Times, (February 18, 2004) A9.]

[Request #S1659]

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“Procedural Volume as a Marker of Quality for CABG Surgery.” By Eric D. Peterson and others. And “Indirect vs. Direct Hospital Quality Indicators for Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants.” By Jeannette A. Rogowski and others. IN: JAMA: Journal of American Medical Association, vol. 291, no. 2 (January 14, 2004) pp. 195-209.

["The relationship between the number of procedures and their success has become a widely recognized measurement of hospital quality. Separate studies ... raise doubts about the wisdom of using the volume of specific medical procedures at individual hospitals as a way to identify the best places to get those treatments." Wall Street Journal (January 14, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1660]

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New Approaches to Non-Emergency Medicaid Transportation. By Diana M. Hinton, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 12, No. 4. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) January 2004. 2 p.

["States have flexibility in how they provide transportation for Medicaid recipients.... Although finding efficient and effective ways to provide these services can be a challenge, several states recently have designed innovative models.... Programs in Delaware and Utah illustrate two approaches to brokered systems."]

[Request #S1661]

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"Increasing Obesity Rates and Disability Trends." By Roland Sturm and others. IN: Health Affairs, vol. 23, no. 2 (March/April 2004) pp. 199-205.

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["Are older Americans becoming more or less disabled? Unhealthy body weight has increased dramatically, but other data show that disability rates have declined.... If current trends in obesity continue, disability rates will increase by 1 percent per year more in the 50-69 age group than if there were no further weight gain."]

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"Body Mass Index and Overweight in Adolescents in 13 European Countries, Israel and the United States." By Inge Lissau and others. IN: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, vol. 158, no. 1 (January 2004) pp. 27-33.

["Teenagers in the United States have higher rates of obesity than those in 14 other industrialized countries, including France and Germany, a study of nearly 30,000 youngsters ages 13 to 15 found. U.S. teens were more likely than those in other countries to eat fast food, snacks and sugary sodas and were more likely to be driven to school and other activities, contributing to a more sedentary lifestyle." Associated Press Online (January 5, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1663]

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Childhood and Adolescent Overweight: The Health Professional's Guide to Identification, Treatment, and Prevention. By Mary Catherine Mullen and Jodie Shield. (American Diabetic Association, Chicago, Illinois) 2004. 217 p.

[Includes: "Overweight and Obesity Background;" "Management of Childhood and Adolescent Overweight;" and others. NOTE: Childhood and Adolescent Overweight is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1664]

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"Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000." By Ali H. Mokdad and others. IN: JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 291, no. 10 (March 10, 2004) pp. 1238-1245.

["Deaths due to poor diet and physical inactivity jumped more than 30 percent in 2000, a landmark study said. Deaths attributable to diet and lack of exercise rose to 400,000, or 17 percent of all deaths in the United States in 2000, just behind tobacco, which was linked to 435,000 deaths, or 18 percent of the total in 2000." Sacramento Bee (March 10, 2004) A1.]

[Request #S1666]

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Strengthening the Voice of California's New Workers: Labor and Community Efforts to Improve Worker Health and Safety. By Marcos Vargas and Paul M. Ong, The Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, University of California, Los Angeles. Community Service Projects. Paper 14. (The Center, Los Angeles, California) 2004. 10 p.

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["A growing segment of California's working families is struggling simply to make ends meet, and minorities and immigrants are disproportionately over-represented in this labor market niche. In our political economy, societal institutions can and must play a role in promoting better public policy, and organizations that provide a collective voice for workers are central to improving work conditions and access to health care."]

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Resolution Urging the City's Health Service System to Explore the Feasibility and Cost Effectiveness of the Importation of Prescription Medications From Canada by or for Members of the City's Health Service System and Citizens of the City and County of San Francisco: Resolution and Press Release. By Gerardo Sandoval, San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (The Board, San Francisco, California) January 6, 2004. 3 p.

["The [San Francisco] Board of Supervisors went on record in support of finding a way to import cheaper Canadian prescription drugs to lower costs for San Francisco residents and city employees.... In the absence of responsible actions by the federal government, cities and states need to be creative." San Francisco Chronicle (January 9, 2004) E1.]

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State of Tobacco Control: 2003. By the American Lung Association. (The Association, New York, New York) January 2004. 148 p.

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["Most states have failed to institute tobacco prevention programs and implement measures to protect people from the effects of tobacco smoke, according to a report....Yet the American Lung Association said there were some bright spots in its findings. Fifteen states received grades of A in at least one of the four categories, and five states -- California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine and Rhode Island -- got As in two categories. New York was the only state to receive As in as many as three areas." Associated Press (January 6, 2004) 1.]

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The Complete Text of the Report of the Koop-Kessler Advisory Committee on Tobacco Policy and Public Health. By C. Everett Koop and David Kessler. Prepared for the American Lung Association. (The Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, San Francisco, California) December 18, 2003. Various pagings.

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["[The report's] recommendations are to ensure complete ability for the FDA to regulate nicotine and tobacco products, to prevent our children from starting to smoke, to treat those already addicted to tobacco, and to protect nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to smoke."]

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"Prevalence of Current Cigarette Smoking Among 14 Racial/Ethnic Populations -- United States, 1999-2001." IN: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, no. 53, vol. 3 (January 30, 2004) pp. 40-52.

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["To assess the prevalence of cigarette smoking among persons aged >12 years among 14 racial/ethnic populations ... DCD analyzed self-reported data collected during 1999-2001.... This report summarizes the results of that analysis.... Among youths, American Indians/Alaska Natives had the greatest cigarette smoking prevalence than nine other populations."]

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"From Adolescence to Young Adulthood: Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Smoking." By Phyllis Ellickson and others. IN: American Journal of Public Health, vol. 94, no. 2 (February 2004) pp. 293-299.

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["In this study, data were gathered from 6,259 youths between the ages of 13 and 23 years to compare trends in smoking among four racial/ethnic groups. The study examined social influences (such as parental approval of smoking); social bonds (such as talking to parents about personal problems); problem behavior (such as marijuana or alcohol use); and pro-smoking attitudes (such as beliefs about smoking). Although African Americans exhibited higher initiation rates than Whites, they exhibited consistently lower rates of regular smoking than both Whites and Hispanics." RAND Corporation Newsroom (February 3, 2004) 77.]

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California Begins Targeted Campaign to Reduce Illegal Tobacco Sales to Minors. By the California Department of Health Services. (The Department, Sacramento, California) February 19, 2004.

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["Fewer Californians of all ages are smoking and the percentage of retailers selling cigarettes to teens is at an all-time low, but state officials say now is no time to relax. They announced new efforts to combat teen smoking -- a collaborative approach involving five state agencies that calls for beefing up fines for retailers who sell cigarettes to teens, implementing new tobacco licensing requirements and launching a campaign to discourage retailers from selling cigarettes to minors." Sacramento Bee (February 20, 2004)A3.]

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Juvenile Suicides, 1981-1998. By Howard N. Snyder and Monica H. Swahn. Youth Violence Research Bulletin. (U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC) March 2004. 8 p.

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["Between 1981 and 1998, 20,775 juveniles ages 7-17 committed suicide in the United States -- nearly as many as were homicide or cancer victims. Males were the victims in 78% of these juvenile suicides. Over the same period, the suicide rate for American Indian juveniles was far higher than for any other race."]

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"Health Service Access, Use, and Insurance Coverage Among American Indians/Alaska Natives and Whites: What Role does the Indian Health Service Play?" By Stephen Zuckerman and others. IN: American Journal of Public Health, vol. 94, no. 1 (January 2004) pp. 53-59.

["The health care needs of the 4.1 million people who report American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) ancestry are rarely prominent in national health policy discussions. A new analysis examines the role of the Indian Health Services for the uninsured and identifies some of the health policy challenges that affect Native Americans. More than a third (35%) of AI/ANs are uninsured and the problem is worse among low-income AI/AN people. The reach of the Indian Health Services (IHS) is limited with less that half of uninsured AI/ANs identifying IHS as a source of coverage and care." Kaiser Family Foundation (February 11, 204) 1.]

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Women in Pain: Trends & Implications of Underdiagnosis of Chronic Pain in Female Patients: Joint Informational Hearing. By the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and the Legislative Women's Caucus. (The Committee, Sacramento, California) February 4, 2004. Various pagings.

[Includes: "With Chronic Pain, Discrimination Hurts;" "The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain;" "Neural Correlates of Interindividual Differences in the Subjective Experience of Pain;" And "Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 42 (2003) Women in Pain Awareness Month."]

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[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Environmental Supplement.]


Health." IN: Studies in the News, 04-15 - 04-20 (March 2004)

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[Includes: "Childhood obesity and diabetes;" "Hospital discounts for self-paying patients;" "Pharmaceutical rebates due to Medi-Cal program;" "Remodeling the drug Medi-Cal program;" "HMO disputes;" "Health care cost pressure in forecast;" "Medi-Cal program;" "Medicare recipients confused about choices;" "Truth about the tobacco industry;" "Healthy families program;" "Steps to healthier Californians;" "Workers' views on mandated health insurance;" "Forging a universal health care consensus;" "Diagnosing and reporting lyme disease;" "State monitoring of prescription drugs;" "State suicide prevention plans;" and others.]

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"Health." IN: Studies in the News, 04-07 - 04-13 (February 2004)

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[Includes: "Impact of proposed budget cuts on health programs;" "Nursing shortage Rising cost of health care;" "Using Medicaid for mental health;" "Tobacco control settlement;" "Uninsured and Medi-Cal populations;" "Disabilities found among younger adults;" "Increased costs for fewer benefits;" "Uninsured rates among women;" "Medi-Cal facts and figures;" and others.]

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"Health." IN: Studies in the News, 04-01 - 04-03 (January 2004)

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[Includes: "Students fail to meet basic fitness;" "Public survey of concerns about health care cuts;" "HUD hospital mortgage insurance;" "Court rules for medical marijuana;" "$1 billion lost in Medicaid;" "Beneficiaries and Medicare legislation;" "State management and allocation of tobacco funds;" and others.]

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