American Public Health Association (APHA)

Embargoed AJPH research: Heroin overdose decline, global health aid and U.S. image, ACA disability disparities

EMBARGOED UNTIL Thursday, May 16, 2019, 4 p.m. ET

American Journal of Public Health July 2019 issue research highlights:

Heroin overdose emergency room visits declined overall, but increased in three states 2017-2018

Newswise — This study found a significant decline of 21.5% in heroin overdose emergency department visits from 2017 through the start of 2018. Three states had significant yearly increases (Illinois, Indiana and Utah), and 9 states (Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia had significant decreases. The data also showed both sexes, all age groups and some states exhibited increases from first quarter to second quarter of 2017, and significant decreases from third quarter of 2017 to first quarter of 2018.

Study authors concluded that while there were overall decreases in heroin overdose emergency room visits, the declines were not consistent among all states included in the study. They noted that it is important that the public health field continue to prevent overdoses and focus on emerging epidemic hot spots.

[Author Contact: Alana Vivolo-Kantor, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. “Suspected Heroin Overdoses in US Emergency Departments, 2017–2018”].

Global health aid improves US image abroad

This is the first study to find other nations’ favorability ratings of the United States increased in proportion to health aid received from the U.S. The study showed favorability ratings were significantly higher after implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President’s Malaria Initiative. Higher U.S. health aid was associated with more references to that aid in the popular press.

Researchers concluded that sustained global health investments may offer important returns to the United States as well as to the recipient populations.

[Author Contact: Aleksandra Jakubowski, Primary Care and Population Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California. “Impact of Health Aid Investments on Public Opinion of the United States: Analysis of Global Attitude Surveys From 45 Countries, 2002–2016”].

Affordable Care Act reduced some disability-related health disparities

This research found disparities in access to health care were reduced for people with certain types of disabilities, young adults ages 19 to 25 and low-income families, after the Affordable Care Act was implemented. Study authors concluded that the ACA improved overall access to health care and reduced some disparities, but noted that substantial disparities persist.

Disability status remains associated with much greater risk of delayed or forgone care, and mental health disability is associated with greater likelihood of uninsurance.

[Author Contact: H. Stephen Kaye, Institute for Health and Aging, San Francisco, California. “Disability-Related Disparities in Access to Health Care Before (2008–2010) and After (2015–2017) the Affordable Care Act”].

Find a full list of AJPH research papers published online below:

  • Improved public opinion of the U.S. following health aid investments: Analysis of global attitude surveys from 45 countries, 2002-2016
  • The e-cigarette debate: What counts as evidence?
  • Suspected heroin overdose in 23 U.S. state emergency departments (2017-2018)
  • Strategies to reduce illicit trade of regular nicotine tobacco products after introduction of a low nicotine tobacco product standard
  • Nondetectable: The politics of measurement of asbestos in talc, 1971-1976
  • Empowering Chicago’s youth as the next generation of health advocates
  • Quantiferon-tb gold v tuberculin screening and care retention among homeless, Georgia, 2015-2017
  • Disability-related disparities in access to healthcare before (2008-10) and after (2015-17) the Affordable Care Act

The articles above will be published online May 16, 2019, at 4 p.m. ET by AJPH under “First Look.” “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. AJPH is published by the American Public Health Association, and is available at

Complimentary online access to the Journal is available to credentialed members of the media. Address inquiries to Megan Lowry at APHA, 202-777-3913, or email her. A single print issue of the Journal is available for $35 from the Journal’s Subscriptions Department. If you are not a member of the press, a member of APHA or a subscriber, online single-issue access is $30, and online single-article access is $22 at For direct customer service, call 202-777-2516, or email us.

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at


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Released: 23-Oct-2020 3:50 PM EDT
Trump Led Biden in Twitter Volume and in Positive Mentions, Analysis Shows
New York University

President Donald Trump received more Twitter mentions, and a greater increase of positive mentions, relative to former Vice President Joe Biden Thursday night, shows a new analysis of online activity leading up to, during, and immediately after the second presidential debate.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 26-Oct-2020 3:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 23-Oct-2020 2:45 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 26-Oct-2020 3:00 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 23-Oct-2020 2:30 PM EDT
Trump continued to falsely claim Biden supported getting rid of private insurance

In the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, moderator Kristen Welker asks the candidates to speak about their plans for healthcare in the United States. President Trump once again accused his oponent of wanting to eliminate private health insurance. Trump has made this claim repeatedly. This claim is false. It conflates Biden's plan with those of other Democrats pushing "Medicare for All."

Released: 23-Oct-2020 1:50 PM EDT
Are we really “rounding the corner" when it comes the coronavirus pandemic?

“We’re rounding the turn,” Trump said during the debate. This implies a meaningful improvement. We rate this claim as false. On that very same day the U.S. recorded 77,000 new cases, according to NBC News. This tops the previous high that had been set in July. We may be learning to "live with it," as Trump mentioned, but this is not an improvement.

Released: 22-Oct-2020 11:55 AM EDT
A video posted by a European-based group called World Doctors Alliance falsely claims the novel coronavirus is “a normal flu virus”

A video posted by a European-based group called World Doctors Alliance claims the novel coronavirus is “a normal flu virus” and there is no COVID-19 pandemic. Although the video was removed from Youtube, portions of the video are circulating on Facebook. We rate this claim as false. Scientists universally agree that the cuase of this pandemic is a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and not a strain of influenza. COVID-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu. COVID-19 so far has killed more people in the U.S. than the past five flu seasons combined.

Newswise: Time is Not on Their Side: Physicians Face Barriers to Voting
Released: 22-Oct-2020 11:00 AM EDT
Time is Not on Their Side: Physicians Face Barriers to Voting
UT Southwestern Medical Center

DALLAS – Oct. 22, 2020 – Two new UT Southwestern studies published today report some surprising findings: Only half of practicing physicians are registered to vote, and the most common obstacle faced by resident physicians is the lack of time to vote. The researchers say finding ways to increase voter participation among doctors is critical as the nation tackles health care issues.

Released: 22-Oct-2020 10:15 AM EDT
Pres. Trump claim that "phony ballots" were printed without his name on it is not entirely true

We rate this claim as mostly false. There was one instance in Los Angeles where a small percentage of mail ballots omitted the presidential race entirely. That meant that it wasn’t only Trump’s name that was missing, but also Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

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