Preventive Medicine Fourth Special Issue, November 2017
To share the latest research in effectively addressing and managing these problems, Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH) at The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at The University of Vermont, collaborated with experts on a fourth annual Special Issue of the journal Preventive Medicine, titled “Behavior change, health, and health disparities.”
“The U.S. ranks near the bottom on measures of population health relative to other industrialized countries despite spending orders of magnitude more on health care than any other nation.” Higgins writes in his introduction. “Population health experts agree that the area of personal behavior, or lifestyle, such as substance abuse, physical inactivity/obesity, and non-adherence with medical regimens is the single largest contributor to this situation.”
The takeaway, explains Higgins, is that, "behavior change represents an essential step in improving population health generally and curtailing health disparities more specifically."
The Special Issue features 22 scientific papers about leveraging behavioral science.
Articles on the topic of potential health impacts of legalizing recreational marijuana use include:
- “Cannabis use, attitudes, and legal status in the U.S.: A Review,” by Hannah Carliner, Qiana L. Brown, Aaron L. Sarvet, Deborah S. Hasin
- “The potential impact of cannabis legalization on the development of cannabis use disorders,” by Alan J. Budney, Jacob T. Borodovsky
- “Cannabis and pregnancy: Maternal child health implications during a period of drug policy liberalization,” by Katrina Mark, Mishka Terplan
Articles on the topic of tobacco use in vulnerable populations include:
- “Use of higher-nicotine/tar-yield (regular full-flavor) cigarettes is associated with nicotine dependence and smoking during pregnancy among U.S. women,” by Stephen T Higgins, Ryan Redner, Christopher A. Arger, Allison N. Kurti, Jeff S. Priest, Janice Y. Bunn
- “Beyond education and income: Identifying novel socioeconomic correlates of cigarette us in U.S. young adults,” by Andrea C. Villanti, Amanda L. Johnson, Jessica M. Rath
- "A growing geographic disparity: Rural and urban cigarette smokign
trends in the United States," by Nathan J. Doogan, Megan E. Roberts,
Mary Ellen Wewers, Cassandra A Stanton, Diana R. Keith, Diann E.
Gaalema, Allison N. Kurti, Ryan Rednery, Antonio Cepeda-Benito, Janice
Y. Bunn, Alexa A. Lopez, Stephen T. Higgins
Articles on the weight management and physical activity in vulnerable medical populations include:
Contributors to the Special Issue are selected from participants in the 2016 Annual Conference on Behavior Change, Health, and Health Disparities organized by the VCBH.