public health

CT suicide rate up, but it could be worse

The national suicide rate grew by 25% from 1999 to 2016 while CT’s rate grew by 19.2% over those years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suicides in CT are more than three times higher for men and 31% higher for whites. Over half of Americans who died by suicide did…

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Health Policy undergrad class resources online

The most recent slides, assignments, and syllabus, including reading list, for an undergraduate course in health policy are online. There is no required text for the class, but lots of readings. The course focuses on Connecticut health policy and is required of Public Health majors at Southern CT State University as a designated writing class.…

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CT life expectancy rising, but risks vary

A comprehensive, new analysis of public health outcomes, risks, and causes by state published in JAMA finds that life expectancy for CT residents rose from 77 years in 1990 to 80.8 year in 2016. Healthy life expectancy (maybe more important) also rose from 66.5 years to 69 years. States varied widely in the burden of…

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Smart CT Medicaid smoking cessation coverage

A new CDC analysis finds that CT’s Medicaid program is among the most progressive in covering smoking cessation treatments. Medicaid members are twice as likely to smoke as other Americans. Smoking-related treatment costs US Medicaid programs about $39 billion annually, so effective tools to quit are a smart investment for states. Despite improvements, most states’…

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Book Club — Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions

For the Book Club– Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions By Johann Hari, 2018 Depression and anxiety are becoming growing epidemic across the globe. This fascinating book by a sufferer explores the medicalization of the illnesses and over-reliance on drugs as a solution. Instead he explores social causes related…

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Antibiotic prescribing down in CT but more needs to be done

Between 2010 and 2016, antibiotic prescriptions per person have declined 8% in CT, according to a report by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The rate declined even faster (15%) for children. Unfortunately, CT’s rate is still higher than all but 16 other states. Overuse of antibiotics is blamed for contributing to the rise of…

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One in ten CT adults has high medical needs

Understanding high-need adults with complex conditions and their barriers to care are key to developing solutions that improve health and control costs. High-need adults have at least two chronic diseases and a functional limitation in their ability to care for themselves or perform routine daily tasks. A new report from the Commonwealth Fund outlines in…

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