Harvard Public Health Review
Spring 2005

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Recent publications by HSPH faculty

Environmental Health Third Edition

Dade W. Moeller
Harvard University Press, 2004, 606 pp.

This extensively revised and updated text remains a succinct yet comprehensive introduction to environmental health. The author, who is professor of engineering in environmental health, emeritus, at HSPH, surveys personal, indoor, outdoor, and global issues and developments in a balanced manner that is technically rigorous, yet accessible to lay readers.

Whether discussing acid rain, ozone depletion, global warming, or the management and control of air, water, and food, Moeller emphasizes the need for a systems approach. He explores environmental problems in terms of their local and global implications, their short- and long-range impact, and their importance to developed and developing nations. The book addresses emerging issues such as environmental justice, deforestation, protection of endangered species, multiple chemical sensitivity, and the application of the threshold concept in evaluating the effects of toxic and radioactive materials. It also covers such timely topics as terrorism and environmental economics.

 

Using Cost-Effectiveness Analysis to Improve Health Care

Peter J. Neumann
Oxford University Press, 2004, 224 pp.

With U.S. health costs now exceeding $1.5 trillion annually, cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) can help ensure that the country gets better value for its money by determining which health care services are most worthwhile. Yet policy makers have long avoided CEA, and few researchers have attempted to determine why. In this book, Peter J. Neumann, associate professor of policy and decision sciences in the Department of Health Policy and Management at HSPH, discusses the economic, social, political, and ethical factors contributing to this situation and explores pragmatic responses to them.

Taking as examples Medicare and Oregon’s health plans, Neumann examines the origins of CEA in health and medicine, and its potential for rational resource allocation. Seeking to bridge the gap between CEA’s promise and the resistance to its implementation, he advises CEA researchers on strategies for translating their findings into action and offers real-life lessons from Europe, Canada, and Australia that politicians and policy makers should find useful. Finally, Neumann underlines the need for strong leadership to establish conditions for change.

 

Wounds of War

Julie M. Lamb, Marcy Levy, and Michael R. Reich
Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, 2004, 62 pp.
Distributed by Harvard University Press

Through powerful photography, compelling narrative, and up-to-date facts and statistics, HSPH graduate student Julie Lamb, recent graduate Marcy Levy, and Michael Reich, Taro Takemi Professor of International Health in the Department of Population and International Health, examine the impact of modern warfare, particularly on women and children. These civilians have become the intentional targets of murder, rape, and kidnapping in the last half century, the authors note, chiefly during conflicts arising within rather than between nations.

This slender book, produced for the International Conference on Women Defending Peace, held in Geneva in 2004, is part of an international women’s movement to catalyze action against armed conflict. The authors consider policy issues facing organizations involved in humanitarian assistance, discuss efforts to address and resolve violence, and emphasize the potential role of women as peacemakers.
The full text and photos can be downloaded from http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hcpds/books wounds_of_war.html.

 

Applied Longitudinal Analysis

Garrett Fitzmaurice, Nan Laird, and James Ware
Wiley-Interscience, 2004, 536 pp.

Longitudinal studies that employ repeated measurements of subjects over time play important roles in the health and medical sciences, as well as pharmaceutical studies. An important strategy in modern clinical research, these studies provide valuable insights into disease development and persistence as well as factors that can alter a disease’s course.

This textbook, written for researchers and graduate students by HSPH Department of Biostatistics faculty members Garrett Fitzmaurice, associate professor of biostatistics, Nan Laird, professor of biostatistics, and James Ware, Frederick Mosteller Professor of Biostatistics and dean for Academic Affairs, provides a rigorous and comprehensive description of modern methods for longitudinal data analysis.

The book’s focus is on practical applications. The authors present general linear and mixed effects models for continuous responses and extensions of generalized linear models for discrete responses, exploring the relationships among these different models, their underlying assumptions, and their relative merits. The book features a wide range of examples drawn from real-world studies; coverage of modern methods of regression analysis for correlated data; analyses utilizing SAS(r); multiple exercises and homework problems; and an accompanying web site, which features 25 actual data sets employed throughout the text.

 

Embodying Inequality

Nancy Krieger
Baywood Publishing Company, Inc., 2004, 550 pp.

There are many paradigms through which social inequalities in health are examined. Nancy Krieger, associate professor in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, focuses on ecosocial theories and constructs to convey how population distributions of disease, disability, and death reflect embodied expressions of social inequality. This text seeks to answer who and what drives current and changing patterns of these inequalities through epidemiological analysis.

Section I, "Social Epidemiology: History, Hypotheses, Methods, and Measurement,” introduces the theoretical constructs needed to examine social inequalities in health related to class, race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. The contributors consider how the political and economic context in which people live affects their abilities to live healthy, dignified lives.

Section II, "Empirical Investigation: Social Epidemiology at Work,” presents concrete analyses of diverse determinants of inequalities. Economic and social deprivation; toxic substances and hazardous conditions; social trauma; targeted marketing of harmful commodities; and inadequate or degrading medical care are covered. The text emphasizes the importance of forming hypotheses in relation to the political, material, and psychological conditions in which people exist.

Bookshelf column edited by Colleen Capodilupo

 

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