Publications from the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes We Treat You (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.
Released: June 24, 2013
Initiatives are under way throughout the nation to improve health care quality, improve the health of the American population, and reduce health care costs. These initiatives take on increased urgency in the face of shortfalls with respect to what is possible in health and health care. Despite spending almost one-fifth of the economy’s output on health care, the quality and safety of care remains uneven. While there are multiple obstacles to improving the nation’s health care system, one essential element for sustained progress is the capacity to reliably and consistently measure progress across all aspects of health and the health care system. To consider these issues, the IOM held a workshop, sponsored by the Blue Shield of California Foundation, to explore in depth the core measurement needs for population health, health care quality, health care costs, and engaged people. An IOM study panel is being developed to build on this work and propose a core measure set.
Released: June 05, 2013
In 2010, more than 105,000 people were injured or killed in the United States as the result of a firearm-related incident. Recent, highly publicized, tragic mass shootings in Newtown, CT; Aurora, CO; Oak Creek, WI; and Tucson, AZ, have sharpened the American public’s interest in protecting our children and communities from the harmful effects of firearm violence. While many Americans legally use firearms for a variety of activities, fatal and nonfatal firearm violence poses a serious threat to public safety and welfare. The IOM, in collaboration with the National Research Council, was asked to develop a potential research agenda that focuses on the causes of, possible interventions to, and strategies to minimize the burden of firearm-related violence. The proposed research agenda focuses on the characteristics of firearm violence, risk and protective factors, interventions and strategies, the impact of gun safety technology, and the influence of video games and other media.
Released: May 14, 2013
Despite public health efforts over the past several decades to encourage people in the United States to consume less sodium, adults still consume an average of 3,400 mg/day, well above the current federal guideline of 2,300 mg or less daily. Evidence has shown that reducing sodium intake reduces blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Some recent research, however, suggests that sodium intakes that are low may also increase health risks – particularly in certain groups. The CDC asked the IOM to examine the designs, methodologies, and conclusions in this latest body of research on dietary sodium intake and health outcomes in the general U.S. population and certain sub-populations. The IOM committee also was asked to comment on the implications of this new evidence for population-based strategies to gradually reduce sodium intake and to identify gaps in data and research and suggest ways to address them.
Released: April 03, 2013
Over the past several decades, new scientific tools and approaches for detecting microbial species have dramatically enhanced our understanding of the microbial flora and fauna and their dynamic interactions with the environments in which they reside. In June 2012, the IOM Forum on Microbial Threats convened a public workshop to discuss the scientific tools and approaches being used for detecting and characterizing microbial species, and the roles of microbial genomics and metagenomics to better understand the culturable and unculturable microbial world around us.
Released: March 29, 2013
Pharmaceutical companies, academic researchers, and government agencies compile large quantities of clinical research data, which, if shared more widely both within and across sectors, could improve public health, enhance patient safety, and spur drug development. Despite several barriers to data sharing, there is increasing acknowledgement among researchers of the importance and potential benefits to sharing clinical research data at various stages of the research, discovery, and development pipeline. The IOM hosted a workshop to explore the benefits of sharing clinical research data, the barriers to such sharing, and strategies to address these barriers to facilitate the development of safe, effective therapeutics and diagnostics.
Released: March 27, 2013
In, Congress authorized compensation for Department of Energy (DOE) workers and contractors who attest that they suffer from a disease that is linked to their occupational exposure to toxic material at nuclear-related sites and facilities. To assist with compensation determinations for DOE contractors, the Department of Labor (DOL) uses a database, the Site Exposure Matrix (SEM), which was designed to organize, display, and communicate information on the toxic substances found at those sites and health effects associated with exposure to the substances. The IOM reviewed the SEM database and its use of a particular database, Haz-Map, as the sources of its toxic substance-occupational disease link. This report describes the strengths and shortcomings of both databases, and offers recommendations for improvements that could be made in both databases with a focus on enhancing the scientific rigor of SEM for both DOL claims examiners and former DOE workers.
Released: March 26, 2013
The sequencing of the human genome and the identification of links between specific genetic variants and diseases have led to tremendous excitement over the potential of genomics to direct patient treatment toward more effective or less harmful interventions. However, stakeholders disagree on whether our current understanding of genomic information is ready for clinical use or whether genomic technologies will add costs to the health care system without providing commensurate benefits. The IOM hosted a workshop to better understand the health economic issues that may arise in the course of integrating genomic data into health care.
Released: March 04, 2013
The childhood obesity epidemic is an urgent public health problem, and it will continue to take a substantial toll on the health of Americans. The most recent data show that almost a third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Children are exposed to an enormous amount of commercial advertising and marketing for food. In 2009, children age 2-11 saw and average of more than 10 television food ads per day. The marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages is linked to overweight and obesity. The IOM hosted a workshop which examined contemporary trends in marketing of foods and beverages to children and youth and the implications of those trends for obesity prevention.
Released: February 21, 2013
Limited oral health literacy is associated with inaccurate knowledge about preventive measures such as water fluoridation, dental care visits, and oral health-related quality of life. The public and health care providers are largely unaware of the basic risk factors and preventive regimens for many oral diseases. Oral disease is expensive in terms of teeth, time, and money and results in pain, disfigurement, loss of school and work days, and even death when left untreated. The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy held a workshop to examine the field of oral health literacy.
Released: February 08, 2013
Animal models have provided significant information about the biology of nervous system disorders and have helped in the development of therapeutics; limitations, however, have also been identified. Effective treatment options that are also low in side effects are still lacking for many diseases. Many therapeutics show promise in preclinical animal models but then fail to produce expected results when tested in humans. The IOM held a workshop to discuss potential opportunities for maximizing the translation of effective therapies from animal models to clinical practice.