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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Health Systems Archive

What Causes AIDS Deaths? (Part 2)

By Austin Frakt In the 1980s through the mid-1990s there was little the health system could do to address AIDS. Today there is a lot. Would we therefore attribute no deaths to AIDS in the 1980s and early 1990s to access to health care and some of them to that factor today? On June 5, Continue reading [...]

Social determinants and/or health care?

By Austin Frakt An interesting tension was raised several times at the first Drivers of Health meeting in Princeton. (You can watch the webcast of the meeting here.) On the one hand, there’s a temptation — even a policy need — to separate social determinants and health care. On the other hand, the two seem tightly Continue reading [...]

Education and Health: The work of Paula Braveman

By Austin Frakt Education is related to health. Better educated people tend to be healthier. Why? The pathways from education to health are varied and complex, as explained by Paula Braveman, one of the speakers at our Princeton meeting. The relationship between education and health is complicated. Education can affect health, but health can affect Continue reading [...]

Health care and longevity: the work of David Cutler

By Austin Frakt Much of what I’ve learned about the effect of health care on longevity comes from the work of David Cutler. He’s one of our speakers at the Princeton meeting. This post a preview of some of what he might say. Cutler makes two points in his work on longevity. One is that in Continue reading [...]

What Causes AIDS Deaths?

By Austin Frakt Here’s a puzzle: To what would you attribute deaths from AIDS today? Genetics? Behavior? Social or environmental factors? The health system (or its failure)? Something else? Once you have your answer, how would you know it was right? How would you test it? What evidence would you need? What studies would you Continue reading [...]

Racial identity and the health system

By Austin Frakt For centuries privileged classes have placed people into racial categories and acted upon them in ways that reflect and cement power. Racial discrimination has been woven into the fabric of many, if not all, U.S. institutions. The health system is not immune. My colleague Aaron Carroll, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School Continue reading [...]

Health system cost-effectiveness

By Austin Frakt How much value do we obtain per dollar spent on the health system? How has that changed over time? How does it compare across countries? These are tough but important questions. To explore them, this chart is worth close study. It’s an updated version of one that appears in this 2017 Lancet article by Reinhard Busse, Continue reading [...]

Social determinants over time

By Austin Frakt The risks to health faced by Americans long ago are different from those we face today. Some of the things that once killed many people (like poor sanitation) now kill many fewer. On the other hand, we now face new risks (like death from auto accidents) that didn’t exist a century ago. Continue reading [...]

The value of health spending

By Austin Frakt The U.S. is the biggest spender on health care in the world, yet national health outcomes do not reflect this massive investment. This fact forces us to question the value of health care spending: are our health care dollars worth it? We can start by looking at longevity. Studies have found that Continue reading [...]

Social determinant pathways are complex

By Austin Frakt The causal pathways from social determinants of health to health outcomes can be numerous and complex. Though some factors (like smoking) are directly related to health, others (like education or income) relate to health in a variety of indirect ways. These facts are conveyed by the chart below from the WHO’s Global Health Continue reading [...]