Advisory: Researchers Present Work At Annual Meeting

November 10, 1998

The following University of Michigan School of Public Health researchers will present their work at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, Nov. 15-19, in Washington, D.C. For more information or assistance in arranging interviews, call Amy Reyes at 734-647-4411.

INCOME GAPS SHORTEN LIFE SPANS. A study by two U-M epidemiologists shows that Americans who live in cities with greater disparities in income are more likely to die than those who live in cities where differences in income are not as large. The effects of income inequality on Americans was examined in a recent study by John W. Lynch, an assistant research scientist at the U-M School of Public Health, and George A, Kaplan, professor and chair of epidemiology. Lynch and Kaplan investigated the association of income inequality and mortality in 282 metropolitan cities in the United States. In the most extreme cases, cities that had both high income inequality and low average income, recorded a mortality rate of 139.8 deaths per 100,000 more than areas with low inequality and high average incomes.

Lynch's presentation, "Inequality and Mortality in Metropolitan Areas in the U.S.," begins at 2:25 p.m. on Nov. 17 in the Thoroughbred Room of the Washington Hilton. The session (2197) is titled "Class Analysis and Health: From Research to Policy Action."

WHO'S USING THE MORNING AFTER PILL? Joseph W. Brown, an assistant professor of health behavior and health education, will unveil the preliminary findings of a new study that examines who is using emergency contraceptive pills (ECP), how often and why. The ongoing study is based on the charts of 1,200 patients who were prescribed ECPs from January 1996 to January 1998, and on a sample of 1,000 patients who were not prescribed ECPs. Brown is examining the extent to which ECP users share similar characteristics such as age, education, marital status and contraceptive use patterns. "We are trying to answer the question of how ECP users may differ from non-users," Brown said. He is also looking at how many patients have used ECPs more than once in the two-year period and why. Did they fail to use other contraceptive methods? Condom failure? Forced sexual intercourse?

Brown's poster presentation, "Retrospective Chart Review of Emergency Contraception Pill Clients," will be 7-8:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Washington Hilton. The session (2335), "Behavioral Research Informing Practice," is sponsored by Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health.

WASTING HOME CARE DOLLARS. Not all home care patients have the same needs, yet home care case managers tend to treat them as if they do and spend money on unnecessary services. William G. Weissert, professor and chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy, will present a plan designed to use home care dollars more wisely. Weissert has shown in many studies that home care patients have been treated as if they all faced the possibility of being placed in a nursing home, though few are actually likely to go to a nursing home with or without home care. He found that average per patient spending levels are too high to justify the few benefits to patients or the savings from other services avoided. Weissert's study is intended to give program managers the tools they need to ensure their clients receive the services they need in a cost-effective manner.

The project is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Home Care Research Initiative.

Weissert's presentation, "Home Care Risk Groups: A Strategy for Improved Effectiveness and Efficiency," will be 2:15-3:45 p.m. Nov. 16 in room two of the Washington Convention Center. The session (1097) is titled "Doing More for Less: Research on HCBS Targeting and Efficiency."

University of Michigan

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