FEATURED STORY | Incubator

Fighting Misinformation: The Preprint Sifter

The Preprint Sifter is a new Twitter tool that tracks down Tweets from leading epidemiologists, virologists, public health and other experts who are posting, vetting and verifying COVID-19 related preprint papers.

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Drivers of Health Archive

Plant-Based Diets and Mortality

By Kate Raphael In one of his recent Health Care Triage videos, Aaron Carroll calls attention to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association that supposedly tells us something new about plant-based diets and health. In this study, cardiovascular and all-cause mortality were the primary outcomes measured, and the authors found that Continue reading [...]

Addressing social needs requires good evidence

By Austin Frakt As I read more of the social determinants of health-related literature, I’m noticing a frequent theme: we don’t have enough information to guide decision making. For example, Kali Thomas and colleagues interviewed representatives from 17 Medicare Advantage plans (collectively capturing 65 percent of the Medicare Advantage market) about the importance of addressing social determinants Continue reading [...]

Rethinking Regulations: Smarter Investments in Social Needs

The following is an interview with Len M. Nichols, Ph.D., Director, Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, Professor of Health Policy, College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University. Austin Frakt: What do you think are the top three most important health-related social needs? Len Nichols: The top three health-related social needs are housing, Continue reading [...]

Connecting the Dots

By Austin Frakt One of the goals of Drivers of Health project is to engage diverse audiences in learning about what affects our health. But how do you get people interested? We thought an interactive might help, so we made one. The interactive encourages users to indicate what they think drives health by connecting the dots Continue reading [...]

When black patients see non-black doctors

By Austin Frakt African American men live about 4.6 fewer years than non-Hispanic white men. There are many causes contributing to the difference, including a learned mistrust of the health system by African Americans. Another set of potential factors arises when non-black physicians treat black men. According to a study published earlier this year, that care just isn’t as good as Continue reading [...]

The Proximal/Distal Paradigm

By Austin Frakt Factors that affect health are often described as either “proximal” (downstream or directly affecting health) or “distal” (upstream or indirectly affecting health). For example, income is thought of as distal (upstream) because it doesn’t directly affect health. However, just as upstream water flows downstream, income is thought to influence proximal factors like where Continue reading [...]

The legacy of the Tuskegee study

By Austin Frakt In the United States, African American men have the worst health outcomes of any major demographic group. At age 45, their life expectancy is more than three years less than that of non-Hispanic Caucasian men and more than five years less than African American women. According to a 2017 study published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, one-third and Continue reading [...]

What is known about drivers of health: a literature review

By Austin Frakt While there is widespread understanding that the health system and other factors — social determinants — affect health, we know relatively little about their precise contributions to health differences across a population at a point in time or differences in health of a fixed population over time. Our just-released literature review provides a historical Continue reading [...]