National Public Health Week: Public Health is ROI

This week is National Public Health Week (NPHW). The annual observance brings U.S. communities together to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health. The theme for National Public Health Week (NPHW) 2013 — Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money – spotlights the value of prevention and the importance of well-supported public health systems in preventing disease, saving lives and curbing healthcare spending.

National Public Health Week 2013

Even Healthy People Carry Hundreds of Genetic Flaws

Nobody’s perfect, not even the healthiest among us. Scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Cardiff University have determined that, on average, a normal healthy person carries approximately 400 protein-damaging DNA mutations and two mutations directly linked with a high risk of disease. The research was published in the December 7th issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics [1].

Hundreds of DNA mutations

The Burden of Disease: What Kills Us

Disease has changed over the last one hundred years. A Perspective 200th Anniversary Article in the New England Journal of Medicine compares the way Americans die today versus a century ago [1].

Deaths: 1900 vs 2010

NIH Human Microbiome Project Defines Normal Bacterial Makeup of the Body

Microbes inhabit just about every part of the human body, living on the skin, in the gut, and up the nose. Sometimes they cause sickness, but most of the time, microorganisms live in harmony with their human hosts, providing vital functions essential for human survival. For the first time, a consortium of researchers organized by the National Institutes of Health has mapped the normal microbial makeup of healthy humans, producing numerous insights and even a few surprises.

Human microbiome

Amyloid Deposits in Cognitively Normal People May Predict Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

For people free of dementia, abnormal deposits of a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease are associated with increased risk of developing the symptoms of the progressive brain disorder, according to two studies from researchers at Washington University in St. Louis. The studies, primarily funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, linked higher amounts of the protein deposits in dementia-free people with greater risk for developing the disease, and with loss of brain volume and subtle declines in cognitive abilities.

Normal brain vs. Alzheimers brain