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November 22, 2000


  • Vernick JS. Lobbying and advocacy for the public's health: what are the limits for nonprofit organizations? American Journal of Public Health 1999; 89(9):1425-1429. (E.10.02 S)

    Nonprofit organizations play an important role in advocating for the public's health in the United States. This article describes the rules under US law for lobbying by nonprofit organizations. The 2 most common kinds of non-profits working to improve the public's health are "public charities" and "social welfare organizations." Although social welfare organizations may engage in relatively unlimited lobbying, public charities may not engage in "substantial" lobbying. Lobbying is divided into 2 main categories. Direct lobbying refers to communications with law-makers that take a position on specific legislation, and grassroots lobbying includes attempts to persuade members of the general public to take action regarding legislation. Even public charities may engage in some direct lobbying and a smaller amount of grassroots lobbying. Much public health advocacy, however, is not lobbying, since there are several important exceptions to the lobbying rules. These exceptions include "non-partisan analysis, study, or research" and discussions of broad social problems. Lobbying with federal or earmarked foundation funds is generally prohibited.


  • Kelley C. The pediatric forum: should infants sleep with their parents? Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 2000; 154(11):1171-1173. (E.55.04 S)

    This commentary reviews the relevant literature on cosleeping of infants and parents, to enable pediatricians to more knowledgeably counsel families about cosleeping. The authors reviews literature regarding the potential benefits of cosleeping; cosleeping and SIDS; and cosleeping and suffocation. She concludes that there is insufficient data to recommend or discourage cosleeping of babies and parents. Until there is more compelling evidence, the decision to cosleep, like many other child rearing practices, should be left to the family.


  • Pate RR, Trost SG, Levin S, Dowda M. Sports participation and health-related behaviors among US youth. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 2000; 154(9):904-911. (E.37.04 S)

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between sports participation and health-related behaviors among high school students. The authors used a cross-sectional design using data from the 1997 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Survey and a nationally representative sample of 14,221 US high school students. Prevalence of sports participation among males and females from 3 ethnic groups and its associations with other health behaviors, including diet, tobacco use, alcohol and illegal drug use, sexual activity, violence, and weight loss practices were examined. Approximately 70% of male students and 53% of female students reported participating on 1 or more sports teams in school and/or nonschool settings; rates varied substantially by age, sex, and ethnicity. Male sports participants were more likely than male nonparticipants to report fruit and vegetable consumption on the previous day and less likely to report cigarette smoking, cocaine and other illegal drug use, and trying to lose weight. Compared with female nonparticipants, female sports participants were more likely to report consumption of vegetables on the previous day and less likely to report having sexual intercourse in the past 3 months. Among white males and females, several other beneficial health behaviors were associated with sports participation. A few associations with negative health behaviors were observed in African American and Hispanic subgroups. Sports participation is highly prevalent among US high school students, and is associated with numerous positive health behaviors and few negative health behaviors.

  • Powell EC, Tanz RR. Cycling injuries treated in emergency departments: need for bicycle helmets among preschoolers. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 2000; 154(11):1096-1100. (E.51.02.02 S)

    The purpose of this study was to describe the incidence, circumstances, and severity of bicycle-related injuries among children treated in US emergency departments (EDs) and to compare injuries in children aged 1 to 4 years (young children) with those in children and adolescents aged 5-9 and 10- 14 years (intermediate-age and older children, respectively). The authors used an emergency department survey from the National Center for Health Statistics National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey for January 1, 1992, through December 31, 1997 and a national probability sample of patients who sought care in EDs; data for children 1 to 14 years old were used. Incidence and description of bicycle-related injuries among children grouped by age treated in US EDs were compared. The 6-year weighted estimate of bicycle-associated injuries was 2,176,173. Young children had 270,098 ED visits; their average annual incidence was 45,016, a rate of 28.8 per 10,000. Children in the intermediate-age and older groups had an incidence of 82.0; and 86.4 per 10,000, respectively. The highest rates of bicycle-related injuries were observed among boys in the intermediate- age (108.3 per 10,000 per year) and older groups (123.8 per 10,000 per year). Few injured children were involved in collisions with motor vehicles (<1% of young and 4% of intermediate-age groups). The annual incidence of head trauma was 4.0 per 10,000 for young children, 9.3 per 10,000 for intermediate-age children, and 8.1 per 10,000 for older children. Children aged 5 to 9 years had the highest rates of face trauma (estimated 29.8 per 10,000). The incidence of extremity fractures (range, 6.9-17.6 per 10,000) was similar for all groups. Although boys in the intermediate-age and older groups have the highest incidence of bicycle-related injuries, young children are also commonly injured. The anatomic sites of injury among young cyclists (head and face trauma and extremity fractures) are similar to those observed in both other groups. Bicycle helmets are indicated for the youngest children as well.


  • Messinger-Rapport BJ, Rader E. High risk on the highway. How to identify and treat the impaired older driver. Geriatrics 2000; 55(10):32-8, 41. (E.50 S)

    Among older adults who drive, the rate of those involved in fatal crashes rises after age 70. Problem driving in older adults involves visual, cognitive, and motor skills, which may decline with aging and chronic disease. Physicians and other health care providers may not be prepared to evaluate and advise the older patient on the emotion-loaded topic of driving ability. Although it is difficult to identify prospectively a high-risk driver, a targeted history and physical exam are useful clinical tools. Two models are proposed to guide the health care provider and patient through the process of limiting or ending the impaired older driver's time behind the wheel.

Alcohol/Drug use:

  • Lynam DR, Milich R, Zimmerman R, Novak SP, Logan TK, Martin C et al. Project DARE: no effects at 10-year follow-up. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1999; 67(4):590-593. (E.40.02 S)

    The present study examined the impact of Project DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), a widespread drug-prevention program, 10 years after administration. A total of 1,002 individuals who in 6th grade had either received DARE or a standard drug-education curriculum, were reevaluated at age 20. Few differences were found between the 2 groups in terms of actual drug use, drug attitudes, or self-esteem, and in no case did the DARE group have a more successful outcome than the comparison group. Possible reasons why DARE remains so popular, despite the lack of documented efficacy, are offered.


  • Weist MD, Albus KA, Bickham N, Tashman NA, Perez-Febles A. A questionnaire to measure factors that protect youth against stressors of inner-city life. Psychiatric Services 2000; 51(8):1042-1044. (E.80.06 S)

    This study reports the development of the My Life Questionnaire (MLQ), a self-report measure of factors that protect inner-city youth against stressors such as poverty, crime, and violence. An initial pool of 23 items reflecting important protective factors was developed through focus groups with inner-city youth and clinicians working with them in a school-based mental health program. Item-total correlations and factor analysis resulted in a 12-item measure containing three factors: avoiding negative peer influences, focusing on the future, and religious involvement. Scores on the MLQ were negatively correlated with behavioral problems, supporting its validity. The measure holds promise for use in clinical and research efforts with disadvantaged urban youth

  • Friedman AS, Kramer S, Kreisher C. Childhood predictors of violent behavior. Journal of Clinical Psychology 1999; 55(7):843-855. (E.80 S)

    In this study, prospective childhood data from birth to 7 years of age were used to determine predictors of subsequent violent behavior. The childhood predictors found for the girls accounted for more variance in the reported later violent offenses: 24.9% compared to 3.8% for the boys. This large difference may be due partly to the fact that violent behavior is more unusual among girls; thus, those girls who are violent are more readily differentiated from the others. The only two early childhood variables that were found to predict for both genders were: (a) less normal behavior and (b) presence of deviant or stereotyped behavior. Thus, abnormal behavior in childhood can be considered to be a fairly reliable predictor to greater likelihood of later violent behavior.

  • Cooper WO, Lutenbacher M, Faccia K. Components of effective youth violence prevention programs for 7- to 14-year olds. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 2000; 154(11):1134-1139. (E.80 S)

    The purpose of this study was to classify features of effective violence prevention programs for 7-14 year olds according to children's risk groups and targeted behaviors. The data sources used were articles published between 1980 and 1999 using the keywords violence, violence prevention, youth violence, or aggressive behavior. Articles were included if they reported prevention efforts in 7-14 year olds and compared outcome measures, met requirements for scientific rigor, and reported significant improvements. Twenty-five programs indicated significant improvements in attitudes, knowledge, or intentions (n=10) and/or reduction in delinquency rates and violent and/or aggressive behavior (n=11); significant changes in both types of outcomes were indicated in 4 programs. Most programs (n=13) targeted older children (aged 11-14 years) and focused on fighting (n=13) and conflict management (n=14). Classroom teaching was the most common process (n=18) used. Few programs (n=7) involved family intervention. Although limited in number, effective youth violence prevention programs were identified from current literature. Study findings were compiled into a database outlining effective processes for specific sociodemographic and risk behavior groups that will be helpful to future program planning.

  • Miller M, Azrael D, Hemenway D. Community firearms, community fear. Epidemiology 2000; 11(6):709-714. (E.96 S)

    To examine how perceptions of safety are influenced as more people in a community acquire firearms, the authors conducted a nationally representative random-digit-dial survey of 2,500 adults and asked whether respondents would feel more safe, less safe, or equally safe if more people in their community were to acquire guns. We used multivariable logistic regression to explore correlates of perceived safety while taking into account various confounders. Fifty percent of respondents reported that they would feel less safe if more people in their community were to own guns; 14% reported they would feel more safe. Women and minorities were more likely than were men and Whites to feel less safe as others acquire guns, with Odds ratios of 1.7 and 1.5, respectively. Our findings suggest that most Americans are not impervious to the psychological effects of guns in their community, and that, by a margin or more than 3 to 1, more guns make others in the community feel less safe rather than more safe.

  • Cummings P. Should your neighbor buy a gun? [editorial]. Epidemiology 2000; 11(6):617-619. (E.96 S)

    This editorial discusses some possible directions for future research into the net effects of firearm ownership. The author believes that unless group level differences in both exposure prevalence and outcome occurrence are large, consistently suggest an association in one direction, and cannot be readily explained by factors other than the exposure of interest, group level comparisons are unlikely to be convincing regardless of causation. Group level comparisons regarding firearm prevalence and health do not meet these criteria. Studies of individual access or ownership as the exposures are the most likely to lead to informed decisions about the net risks and benefits of guns in regard to health. If the cumulative evidence regarding associations at the level of the individual were persuasively in one direction or the other, this information would be useful for persons who wished to consider the purchase of a firearm. The author also suggests conducting a case control or cohort study to assess neighborhood gun prevalence as an exposure for individual study subjects.


  • Playground Safety News. V.4(4); Winter 2000. Cover story: "Ashes, ashes, we all fall down… but are we falling on safe surfaces?"

  • Surface Transportation Policy Project Progress. V.10(4); Nov 2000. Cover story: "Greetings from Smart Growth America!"

  • California Healthy Cities and Communities Connections. V.12(2); Fall 2000. Cover story: "Planning for Sustainability."

  • Burn Institute Newsletter. V.27(3); Oct 2000. Cover story: "Plan your escape!"

  • SafetyBeltSafe News. V.21(5); Sep 2000. Cover story: "Technical flaps."

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