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Journal Article 1: Dal-Re, R. (2011). Worldwide behavioral research on major global causes of mortality. Health Education & Behavior, 38, 433–440.
Abstract: Researchers willing to publish their interventional studies’ results must register their studies before starting enrollment. This study aimed to describe all “open” (i.e., recruiting or not yet recruiting) behavioral studies in 16 of 20 top worldwide leading causes of death. Method. Search on Clinicaltrials.gov database (March 2010). Results. Of 204 studies, 66% accounted for the following diseases: diabetes (26%), colon and rectum cancers (16%), cerebrovascular diseases (14%), and HIV/AIDS (11%). Less than 3% were on tuberculosis, stomach cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, and lower respiratory infections combined; no study was open on malaria, nephrosis and nephritis, and diarrheal diseases. A total of 81% of the studies were interventional, and 19% were observational. Fifty-nine percent were conducted in the United States. A total of 79%, 35%, and 5% were sponsored by universities, U.S. federal agencies, and industry, respectively. Twenty-one percent of studies were cofunded. A typical interventional study had a two-arm prospective parallel design, lasting approximately 3 years and involving 100 to 400 subjects. Conclusions. Increasing the number of trials and participating countries (including developing ones) is necessary to make available behavioral interventions in different settings in the future.
Journal Article 2: Krieger, N., Chen, J., Kosheleva, A., & Waterman, P. (2012). Not just smoking and high-tech medicine: Socioeconomic inequities in U.S. mortality rates, overall and by race/ethnicity, 1960-2006. International Journal of Health Services, 42, 293–322.
Abstract: Recent research on the post-1980 widening of U.S. socioeconomic inequalities in mortality has emphasized the contribution of smoking and high-tech medicine, with some studies treating the growing inequalities as effectively inevitable. No studies, however, have analyzed long-term trends in U.S. mortality rates and inequities unrelated to smoking or due to lack of basic medical care, even as a handful have shown that U.S. socioeconomic inequalities in overall mortality shrank between the mid-1960s and 1980. The authors accordingly analyzed U.S. mortality data for 1960–2006, stratified by county income quintile and race/ethnicity, for mortality unrelated to smoking and preventable by 1960s’ standards of medical care. Key findings are that relative and absolute socioeconomic inequalities in U.S. mortality unrelated to smoking and preventable by 1960s’ medical care standards shrank between the 1960s and 1980 and then increased and stagnated, with absolute rates on a par with several leading causes of death, and with the burden greatest for U.S. populations of color. None of these findings can be attributed to trends in smoking-related deaths and access to high-tech medicine, and they also demonstrate that socioeconomic inequities in mortality can shrink and need not inevitably rise.