The recent train derailment in East Palestine (apologies for host Bryan James’ mispronunciation in the Intro), Ohio raised major concerns over the release of harmful chemicals such as vinyl chloride into the environment. The town was evacuated for 5 days until authorities deemed that it was safe to return, though many lingering questions remained as to the safety of the air and water after such a disaster. This train derailment raised questions as to how experts assess the risk to exposed persons after a major disaster—both quickly assessing the immediate threat to residents, as well as observing long term health effects like increased risk for cancer. In this episode of Epi Counts, hosts Bryan James and Ghassan Hamra talk to Keeve Nachman from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, an expert in risk assessment, about how these decisions are made, and whether we really can ever get a yes or no answer to “is it safe now?” after a major disaster.
Epidemiology Counts – Episode 39 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
In this episode of Epi Counts, host Bryan James talks to Maria Glymour, the incoming chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, about their shared area of research: the epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In this conversation, they discuss the latest on how scientists are attempting to define Alzheimer’s disease biologically as a distinct concept from the dementia syndrome, as well as the controversies surrounding such a definition. They cover what the evidence says about what we can do to prevent dementia, and what aspects of Alzheimer’s and dementia make these conditions particularly difficult to study. Finally, they address the cautious excitement regarding the recent FDA approval of two new Alzheimer’s drugs that appear to target the underlying disease after decades of failed trials, and the societal, ethical, and financial implications that arise from the introduction of these therapies.
Alzheimer’s Association Facts & Figures report https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures
Occupational Epidemiology is one of the oldest and most salient areas in Epidemiology. People need to work, so understanding the aspects of the work environment that contribute to health is vital to public health. Exposures are often not confined to the workplace, meaning knowledge generated has wider importance. For example, occupational cohort studies of the health effects of asbestos and diesel exhaust have led to determinations of carcinogenicity by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The knowledge generated about asbestos ultimately lead to banning its use broadly.
In this episode, we discuss the field’s history and where it stands with Dr. Ellen Eisen, professor at UC Berkeley, who has spent her career advancing our understanding of the impacts of workplace exposures.
Epidemiology Counts – Episode 37 – Epidemiology vs. Population Health: Two sides of the same coin?
Population Health Sciences and Epidemiology are thought about as different from one another by some, and largely overlapping by others. Depending on who you talk to, either view might spark an argument. In this crossover episode, I get the chance to chat with Aresha Martinez-Cardoso, Darrell Hudson, and Michael Esposito, hosts of the IAPHS podcast. We may or may not actually answer the question: what’s the difference between these two fields anyway?
Epidemiology Counts – Episode 36 – Trans Health
Trans health is a growing area in public health. This is largely due to the growing number of individuals who feel comfortable expressing gender identities that do not confirm to binary male and female categories. The 2015 summary of the US transgender survey reported around 27,000 respondents, over 4 times as many as the previous 2008-2009 survey. Respondents also reported greater acceptance among family, friends, and colleagues, with over 50% of respondents describing them as ‘supportive.’ More notable in the survey was the volume of hardships experienced by transgender community members. Nearly any adverse health outcome or condition is experienced in greater proportion in the transgender community. It is also notable that people of color in the trans community tend have a greater proportion of adverse experiences compared to their white counterparts.
On this episode, we are joined by Dr. Will Beckham, an assistant scientist in the department of health, behaviour, and society here at JHBSPH, to discuss the evolution of research on trans health, where it is, and where it’s going.
About Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research
Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research, a podcast that gives you up to date information on the state of health research straight from researchers who are deeply involved with this work.