Subject: Studies in the News 06-14 (April 11, 2006)

Studies in the News
Health Care Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material HEALTH
   Depression among adolescents
   Environment and breast cancer
   Children's environmental health
   Low-income uninsured families
   Chronic conditions of Californians
   Diabetes on the rise in California
   State policy options for elderly
   Physical activity for children and teens
   Patient safety initiative
   Rationing health care
   Chronic disease and health care costs
    Health status in the San Joaquin Valley
   Addressing hunger and nutrition
   Long-term care reform
   Cities and communities health report
   Medicaid spending slows
   Dimensions of Medi-Cal
   Technology changing clinical trials
   Forum on childhood obesity
   Childhood obesity special issue
   State differences in overweight population
   Stress and preterm birth rates for Arabic women
   Medicare drug benefit changes
   Prescription drug monitoring programs
   State of tobacco control
   Breastfeeding and state WIC contracts
   Studies in the News, January-April 2006
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, 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:



Depression Among Adolescents. By the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (The Survey, Washington, DC) December 30, 2005. 4 p.

Full Text at:

["About 12 percent of youths aged 16 or 17 faced severe depression in 2004, compared with about 5 percent of those 12 or 13 years old.... The real tragedy, as the report notes, is that there are still so many young people who aren't receiving the appropriate and effective treatment they need and deserve." Reuters News Service (December 29, 2005)1.]

[Request #S61401]

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State of the Evidence: What Is the Connection Between the Environment and Breast Cancer? By Nancy Evans, Breast Cancer Fund and Breast Cancer Action. (The Fund, San Francisco, California) 2006. 86 p.

Full Text at:{DE68F7B2-5F6A-4B57-9794-AFE5D27A3CFF}/State%20of%20the%20Evidence%202006.pdf

["As many as half of all new breast cancer cases may be foisted upon women by pollutants in the environment or radiation from early mammograms. Researchers increasingly suspect that repeated low doses of chemicals normally considered harmless -- particularly in early childhood -- can have a profound effect.... In the United States one in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, almost triple the rate in the 1960s." San Francisco Chronicle (January 26, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61403]

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"Integrated Assessment of Environment and Health: America’s Children and the Environment." By Amy D. Kyle, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, and others. IN: Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 114, no. 3 (March 2006) pp. 447-452.

Full Text at:

["The significance of environmental factors to health and well-being is increasingly apparent. Environmental factors that affect children may differ from those most relevant to adults because children can be both more vulnerable and more highly exposed than adults. The article reports on the framework and methods used to develop this first integrated assessment of environment and health for children in the United States." MCH Alert (March 17, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61404]

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Children's Health Insurance: Recent HHS-OIG Reviews Inform the Congress on Improper Enrollment and Reductions in Low-Income Uninsured Children. By U.S. Government Accountablility Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) March 9, 2006. 15 p.

Full Text at:

["Increases in SCHIP enrollment are not a valid measure of reductions in the number of low-income, uninsured children. For example, an increase in SCHIP enrollment can be the result of children moving from private health insurance coverage to public insurance under SCHIP. In addition, declines in the economy and increased unemployment can lead to some children losing their private health insurance coverage and enrolling in SCHIP, and others becoming uninsured because they are ineligible for SCHIP."]

[Request #S61405]

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Chronic Conditions of Californians: Findings from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey. By Mona Jhawar and Steven P. Wallace, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. (The Center, Los Angeles, California) December 2005. 47 p.

Full Text at:

["This report provides information for counties ... to assist health planners and policymakers identify areas with high rates of chronic conditions, and identify local health systems that may require strenghening in order to adequately meet local needes."]

[Request #S61415]

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"Diabetes on the Rise in California." By Allison L. Diamant and others. IN: UCLA Health Policy Research Brief. (December 2005) pp. 1-7.

Full Text at:

["This policy brief examines the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in California based on data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2003). It also describes how the prevalence has changed since 2001 based on data from CHIS 2001. The brief concludes with public policy recommendations intended to reduce the risk of diabetes and its related conplications."]

[Request #S61406]

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Aging in Place: State Policy Trends and Options. By Barbara Yondorf, National Conference of State Legislatures. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) October 2005. 35 p.

["Recent trends in state policies support aging in place.... The paper highlights four recent state policy trends related to aging in place: 1) Implementation of policies that enhance the ability of seniors to meet thier own personal and health care needs; 2) Expansion of home and community-based services and programs; 3) A shift from reliance on an institutional, nursing home-based, long-term care systems to a more patient-centered, community-based system; and 4) support for high-quality care and good outcomes."]

[Request #S61407]

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Physical Education Activity for Children and Teens. By Amy Winterfeld, National Conference of State Legislatures. NCSL Legisbrief, Vol. 14 No. 3. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) January 2006. 2 p.

["Regular physical activity has many benefits for all ages.... Physical education is an effective way to improve physical activity and fitness levels among young people.... CDC guidelines recommend daily physical education classes for grades K through 12.... In 2005, 35 states considered bills to require, encourage or strenghen physical activity or education."]

[Request #S61408]

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Assessment of the National Patient Safety Initiative: Context and Baseline Evaluation. By Donna O. Farley and others, RAND. (RAND, Santa Monica, California) 2005. 85 p.

Full Text at:

["The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is fulfilling its congressional mandate to establish a patient safety research and development initiative to help health care providers reduce medical errors and improve patient safety.... This report is the first of what will be four annual reports that RAND will prepare ... to assess the context and goals that were the foundation for the AHRQ patient safety initiative."]

[Request #S61409]

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Health Care Rationing: What It Means. By Henry J. Aaron. Brookings Institute Policy Brief. No. 147 (December 2005) pp. 1-8.

Full Text at:

["Policymakers and medical providers routinely grapple with two difficult and value-laden questions: How much should be spent on the expensive but life saving technology? And how much should be spent on very costly research to evaluate that investment?... This brief examines many of the issues involved with rationing health care by applying its principles to radiology."]

[Request #S61410]

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Chronic Disease and Health Care Costs: A Snapshot for State Legislatures. By National Conference of State Legislatures. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) 2005. 32 p.

["Chronic disease -- including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer -- are among the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. Chronic disease account for 70 percent of deaths and about 78 percent of health spending. Costs of treating chronic diseases fall disproportionately on state-run Medicaid programs and on the federal Medicare program."]

[Request #S61411]

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Healthy People 2010: A Profile of Health Status in the San Joaquin Valley. By Marlene Benjiamin and others, Central Valley Health Policy Institute, California State University, Fresno. (The Center, Fresno, California) December 2005. 40 p.

Full Text at:

["Healthy People 2010 is a national initiative designed to guide riorities around health and health care. The two major goals of Healthy People 2010 are: 1) to increase life expectancy and quality of life and 2) to eliminate health disparities among segments of the population including differences that occur by gender, race or ethnicity, education, income, disability, geographic location, or sexual orientation.... This report is intended to provide an update on the health status of the residents of the San Joaquin Valley counties, using the 10 leading health indicators set forth in Healthy People 2010 and the baseline data from 2003 Profile."]

[Request #S61412]

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Addressing Hunger and Nutrition: A Tool Kit for Positive Results. By National Conference of State Legislatures. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) 2005. Various pagings.

[Includes briefings on: "Food Stamps;" "National School Lunch;" "School Breakfast Program;" "Summer Food Service Program;" "Child and Adult Care Food Program;" "WIC;" "Elderly Nutrition;" "Farmers' Market Programs;" "Farm to Cafeteria;" "The Emergency Food Assistance Program;" "Commodity Supplemental Food Program;" and "Nutrition Education."]

[Request #S61413]

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Long-Term Care Reform: Money Follows the Person. By Helene Kent. National Conference of State Legislatures. (NCSL, Washington, DC) 2005. 19 p.

["States and the federal government have undertaken a transformation in long-term care service systems in response to demands from consumers to live as independently as possible for as long as possible and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that motivates states to reform their long-term care systems. This paper summarizes current trends and highlights how the nation and states are restructuring their long-term care system, with a specific focus on an initiatve called Money Follows the Person."]

[Request #S61414]

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Premature Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke in Los Angeles County: A Cities and Community Health Report. By Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. (The Department, Los Angeles, California) January 2006. 16 p.

Full Text at:

["This report explores the relationship in LA County between and economic hardship and health. Cities and counties are ranked in early mortality (as measured in years cut short from disease), and economic hardship (as measured by crowded housing, households living below the poverty line, percent of persons unemployed, education attainment, percent children, and per capita median income). The report also contains broad recommendations for cities and communities to promote healthy living."]

[Request #S61416]

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Medicaid Spending Slows Amid General Spending Dip. By Federal Funds Information for States, FFIS Issue Brief 06-12. (FFIS, Washington, DC) March 14, 2006. 4 p.

Full Text at:

["Federal Medicaid spending for the first five months of federal fiscal year (FY) 2006 has grown only 1.8%, continuing the slow growth observed in FY 2005. This substantial deceleration coincides with slow growth in other federal grant-in-aid entitlement programs, and slow spendouts also are seen in federal discretionary health programs providing grants-in-aid to states."]

[Request #S61417]

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Medi-Cal Facts and Figures: A Look at California's Medicaid Program. By the California HealthCare Foundation. (The Foundation, Oakland, California) January 2006. 55 p.

Full Text at:

["Medi-Cal is the nation’s largest Medicaid program, in terms of the number of people it serves (6.5 million), and the second largest in terms of dollars spent ($34 billion). It is the source of health coverage for one in six Californians under age 65; one in four of the state’s children; and the majority of people living with AIDS. Medi-Cal is paying for 42 percent of all births in the state; two-thirds of all nursing home days; and two-thirds of all revenue in California’s public hospitals, bringing in nearly $19 billion in federal funds to California’s health care providers."]

[Request #S61418]

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"Going Sci-Tech: New Standards v. Old Technology." By Greg Gogates and others. IN: Next Generation Pharmaceutical, no. 143 (January 2006) [online.]

Full Text at:

["Technology is revolutionizing the way we conduct our clinical trials. But how, in practice does that technology fit with the science? How can we best leverage these new tools and what barriers exist in fully realizing their benefits? "]

[Request #S61419]

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Childhood Obesity: Transcript of Forum. By Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution, and others. (Miller Reporting Co. Inc., Washington, DC) March 14, 2006. 59 p.

Full Text at:

["The Spring 2006 issue of The Future of Children [S# 61421], titled Childhood Obesity, lays out the evidence related to the multiple causes, consequences, and methods of dealing with childhood obesity.... A forum to examine federal, state, and local initiatives, particularly in public schools, designed to address childhood obesity, was held in conjunction with the journal's release." MCH Alert (March 17, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61420]

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"Childhood Obesity: [Issue Theme.]" The Future of Children, vol. 16, no. 1 (Spring 2006)

["This issue of The Future of Children lays out the evidence on the multiple causes, consequences, and methods of dealing with childhood obesity. Now is an opportune time to assess what is and is not known. Many policymakers, having become convinced that childhood obesity is indeed a problem, are searching for effective ways to combat it.... But while the policymakers' desire to reduce obesity is clear, state and federal budgets are stretched thin. It is crucial to develop programs and policies that are effective and can be implemented at reasonable cost."]

Executive Summary: 2 p.

Full Issue: 227 p.,_Number_1_Spring_2006.pdf

[Request #S61421]

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State Differences in Rates of Overweight or Obese Youth. By Kids Count. Data Snapshot. Prepared for the Anne E. Casey Foundation.(The Foundation, Washington, DC) March 2006. 4 p.

Full Text at:

["A new data snapshot ... identifies state-by-state rates of overweight and obesity among youth according to demographics like gender, race, income and geography. The states with the highest rates of obesity also exhibit high rates of childhood poverty and poor child well-being." Connect for Kids (March 20, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61422]

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"Birth Outcomes for Arabic-Named Women in California Before and After September 11th." By Diane S. Lauderdale. IN: Demography, vol. 43 no. 1 (February 2006) pp. 185-201.

['Persons who were percieved to be Arabs experienced a period of increased harassment, violence, and workplace discrimination in the United States in the weeks immediately following September 11, 2001. Drawing on prior studies that have hypothesized that experiences of discrimination increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight, this study explores whether there was an effect on birth outcomes for pregnant women of Arab descent.... The relative risk of poor birth outcomes was significantly elevated for Arabic-named women and not for any of the other groups."]

[Request #S61423]

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Medicare Drug Benefit: How Good Are the Options? By Jonathan Blum, Avalere Health LLC. Presented to a joint hearing of the California State Assembly Health and Aging and Long-Term Care Committees. (California Healthcare Foundation, Oakland, California) March 2006. 10 p.

Full Text at:

["Problems are particularly acute for about one million low-income seniors who were transferred to the new program from Medi-Cal on January 1. About a third of those so-called dually eligible seniors were assigned to new drug plans that cover less than 85 percent of the medications they need….. The state has spent $39.7 million to pay for those prescriptions. Stan Rosenstein, director of medical services for the state Department of Health Services, said 'for a lot of people, the program is working, especially people who are low-income but not dual-eligible,’ he said. ‘It's still a good benefit for people who did not have any coverage.'” Contra Costa Times (March 22, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61424]

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Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. By Blake Harrison, National Conference of State Legislatures. NCSL Legisbrief, Vol. 14 No. 4. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) January 2006. 2 p.

["Prescription drug abuse accounts for almost 30 percent of drug abuse in the United States.... Currently, 21 states operate prescription drug monitoring programs.... Grants from the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program help states plan, implement or enhance a prescription drug monitoring program."]

[Request #S61425]

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State of Tobacco Control: 2005. By the American Lung Association. (The Association, Washington, DC) January 2006.

["Maine, which a decade ago had the nation's highest teen smoking rate, has become the first state to win a perfect score from the American Lung Association for its tobacco-fighting efforts.... Maine's grades contrasted sharply with those of the United States as a whole, which received mostly F scores in the lung association's annual report card on anti-tobacco progress.... The lung group ranked states in four categories: anti-tobacco program funding (California - F), smoke-free air (California - A), cigarette taxes (California - D), and youth access (California - A)." Contra Costa Times (January 13, 2006) F4.]

Report. 162 p.

Executive Summary. 1 p.

[Request #S61426]

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Breastfeeding: Some Strategies Used to Market Infant Formula May Discourage Breastfeeding; State Contracts Should Better Protect Against Misuse of WIC Name. By Government Accountability Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) February 2006. 43 p.

Full Text at:

["This study focused on the marketing of infant formula and its impact on breastfeeding rates. WIC and non-WIC breastfeeding rates fell short of most national goals, but rates were substantially lower for WIC infants.... Infant formula marketing targets non-WIC mothers and also reaches WIC mothers. Some of these marketing efforts use the trademarked WIC acronym in promotional materials. Although FNS requires states to restrict this practice most states do not. A majority of studies GAO reviewed examine giving free formula sample to mothers at hospitals discharge found lower breastfeeding rates among both WIC and non-WIC mothes."]

[Request #S61427]

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


"Health." IN: Studies in the News, (January-April 2006).

Full Text at:

[Topics Include: "Hundreds of harmful man-made chemicals;" "Employer health benefits survey;" "Health insurance among immigrants;" "Concern over prescription benefits;" "States facilitating importation of medicines;" "Increase prescription drug prices;" "Common cold and cool feet;" "Possible SCHIP shortfalls;" "Diabetes becoming a quiet crisis;" "Medicaid/SCHIP Cuts increase emergency room costs;" "Hospital payment systems;" "Federal medical assistance percentages;" "Avian influenza economic effects;" "Influenza preparedness plan;" and others.]

[Request #S61428]

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