Mission Possible: Addressing Health Disparities in Heart Disease and Stroke Outcomes

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of  death in the united states. The prevalence of heart disease is higher in certain groups of people. These group of people include those associated with poverty and lack of education. Also, people associated with racial and ethnic minorities. Areas such as Southeast, Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta, experience a higher prevalence in heart disease because they experience a lower education rate and a higher poverty rate. They also have a hard time accessing health care and community supports. Heart diseases today are characterized by tobacco use, poor diet and lack of physical activity. Public health helps to prevent and reduce tobacco use, improve nutrition, increase opportunities for physical activity. this helps control the rate of heart disease in some populations.

The data is in: Americans who don’t finish high school are less healthy than the rest of the US

“…adults with no high school diploma or GED are consistently at the greatest risk for the leading causes of disease and death.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans who do not finish high school are behind in terms of living a healthy life compared to those with a GED degree. Although people with less than a high school education has experienced a decline in heart disease, this population consistently reported the highest percent for heart disease. Adults with higher education also do better in terms of smoking as well. Education is very important in living a healthy life. Report shows that people that have at least a high school degree an aid in taking medications properly; interpreting medication labels or food labels; and finding the appropriate preventive care….

 

http://theconversation.com/the-data-is-in-americans-who-dont-finish-high-school-are-less-healthy-than-the-rest-of-the-us-103663

Apple Taking Public Health Strides

Health technology has the potential to enhance our public health system. Tech companies can improve how we monitor disease and potential health risks. Apple has stepped into the health tech field with the introduction of its new product the Apple Watch Series 4. The watch is equipped with features that measure abnormal heart activity and a built-in emergency response contact system. Not only can the user have a constant heart monitoring system, but also the stored information can be shared with the user’s physician. This is one of the first FDA approved consumer devices used for medical purposes.

apple watch 4

This opens the gateway for technology companies to partner with the healthcare system to develop healthcare interventions using consumer devices. These partnerships could potentially lead to increases in public awareness of health outcomes, improve medical data collection, and expand patients access to health information.  Is this the beginning of how we connect our healthcare system and improve public health?

Click the following link to know more about Apple’s venture into health tech:

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/apple-makes-huge-leap-health-tech-first-kind-heart-tracking-features-apple-watch/

Possible New Way to Predict Heart Attacks

Scientist at the University of Oxford have developed a new cardiac imaging method that detects inflamed fat cells as they are transforming into atherosclerotic plaque which clogs the arteries. Generally, a person finds out they have a cardiac blockage when it’s too late and the only option is some form of surgical treatment. In some cases a heart attack or a stroke might be their first symptoms. However, with this new development providers will be able to start patients on cardiac drugs earlier than they do now. Hence, reduce the chance of a person having a heart attack, stroke or needing surgical intervention.

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Check out the article here.

By Julia Watson

Healthmap.com

Healthmap.com is a great site to quickly and easily see health alerts and information around you. When you go on the site, you can let the site access your location and immediately health alerts pop up. The picture below shows 89 alerts around central NJ this past week. Click on the data points to view more information about the disease and the location.

Stay alert & stay healthy! Thanks healthmap.com for the information. Go to healthmap.com to see more.

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nj.mapplerx.com/map/urisahealth

Take a look at this interesting map we made on Mappler in collaboration with Planning Communities! The map is full of GIS layers that you can toggle to show various information such as crime, food, recreation, transit, and URISA health data in DC. The picture below shows URISA data marking sidewalks, intersections, homeless locations, and garbage. Visit the map to view all the data ! nj.mapplerx.com/map/urisahealth

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NYT Income and Life Expectancy Map

It seems logical that the more money you have, the longer you would be expected to live. This would be because you can afford better healthcare, maintain a healthier lifestyle, have access to better nutrition, and probably have less stress when it comes to day-to-day life because you are financially stable. The New York Times recently released an article that affirmed this thought, but also gave an eye-opening spin on the life expectancy of the poor based on where they live, showing that cities like LA and New York the life expectancy of those under the poverty line is higher then other cities in the US.

Health plays a significant role in the life span of a human, which seems obvious but when you look at the numbers, it can be shocking. The Journal of the American Medical Association states that the richest men live 15 years longer then the poorest 1 percent. So why do the poor living in cities like Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Dayton, and Tulsa to name a few, have lower life expectancies? David M. Cutler who is a economist at Harvard explains that a lot of cities with the lowest life expectancy for the poor fall into the “drug overdose belt”. Other explanations are just the availability to clinics and health education. Increasing health resources would slowly help to increase life expectancy in cities with the lowest life spans.

Take a look at the map from the NYT and see where your area compares. Looking at where you live, do you think your area provides enough health resources for those who can’t afford it?

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All information for this post is from an article by The New York Times.