Our study, published recently in the IJE, looks at the relationship between experience of violence, in the form of physical assault in the previous 12 months, and premature mortality in a sample of working-age Russian men living in Izhevsk in the Southern Urals.
We did this study because, although violence is considered important at a policy and political level, empirical public health research on the subject is patchy. There has been quite a lot of research on the relationship between violence exposure and later mental health problems, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder, and more generally the impact of violence on coping and psychological characteristics, particularly in children. Recently, there has been considerable work on the descriptive epidemiology of violence against women, both from a general population perspective and in studies focusing on women with serious mental illness.
In contrast, we found that population-based research on the physical health effects of exposure to violence was limited, and we decided to focus on possible associations between assault and mortality in our study.
Continue reading “Exposure to physical assault is associated with premature mortality in Russian men” →
Mika Ala-Korpela and George Davey Smith
Metabolic phenotyping, nowadays most often termed metabolomics, is becoming increasingly applied in epidemiology. Recent technological developments, driven by mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, have recently resulted in increasing numbers of quantitative molecular applications at an epidemiological scale. The results suggest that these kinds of new technologies are inevitably becoming common in research projects aiming for molecular understanding of metabolic health and diseases. It is also evident from the epidemiological applications that absolute quantification of identified molecular entities is the very key for biomedical applications, not to mention potential clinical translation of metabolomics methodologies and findings. Continue reading “Metabolic Phenotyping in Epidemiology” →
Peter Muenning, Daniel Vail and Ryan K. Masters
When Michael Bloomberg was elected Mayor of New York City (NYC), he set forth an ambitious agenda to efficiently sync municipal agencies. Improving New Yorkers’ health was part of his motivation. For example, expanding parks and bike lanes would not only improve people’s quality of life and expand transportation options, their presence would also encourage healthy behaviours. So, why not create cross-agency agendas that allow parks with bike lanes to be created on city streets? Innovative thinkers were hired and were given an unusual amount of political capital and logistical support to implement their plans.
Sadly, very little was done to actually evaluate the programs that were implemented. When the Bloomberg administration promoted the idea that life expectancy had greatly increased as a result of its coordinated policymaking, some people scratched their heads. Sam Preston and Irma Elo argued that improvements in life expectancy in NYC could be explained by a large inflow of healthy foreign migrants. They made this argument by eloquently showing the influence that immigrants had on the city’s life expectancy.
Continue reading “Evolution or revolution? The health of New Yorkers under Mayor Bloomberg” →