public health

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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New report finds adults in Medicaid expansion states like CT have better access to care, fewer financial barriers

A new report from the CDC provides the first analysis of the population-based impact of the Affordable Care Act. The analysis used data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a state-based ongoing survey of adult Americans about health risk behaviors, chronic conditions, health care access and use of preventive care. As for previous…

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Unlike most of US, non-medical vaccine opt-outs for children rising in CT

New analysis by the CDC finds that while the percentage of families opting out of school-required vaccines for kindergartners for non-medical reasons is dropping nationally, Connecticut’s rate continues to rise. The percent of Connecticut kindergarteners without vaccines rose from 0.8% in 2009/2010 to 1.7% in 2015/2016. Connecticut is one of only eleven states with rising…

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CT ranks third among states in health this year, up from sixth from last year

This year’s America’s Health Rankings finds that overall Connecticut residents are healthier than all but two other states. We benefit from low smoking and infectious disease rates and high rates of childhood immunization. However we need to work on air pollution, excessive drinking, rising obesity rates, and our disparities based on educational level are embarrassing.…

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