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Gold Standard Research & Evidence for Organizations

2018

Pankaj Parag Sharma, Mark Benden, Ranjana K. Mehta, Adam Pickens & Gang Han . "A quantitative evaluation of electric sit-stand desk usage: 3-month in-situ workplace study." IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, September 13, 2018.

Sit-stand desk interventions are deployed to reduce sedentary time and improve ergonomic adjustability in modern workplaces, with ultimate goals of improving health and productivity. Sit-stand desks, however, require workers to take an active role in changing the desk position, and usage compliance of the sit-stand function has been a challenge. This study used computer software to objectively record continuous data on electric sit-stand desk usage during computer use, to understand current desk usage behaviors in a large office environment involving ∼300 workers for 3 months. We found that workers completed roughly one desk position change per work day, and one-fourth of the workers always had the desk in a seated position (during computer use). The methods used here demonstrate a novel approach to record sit-stand desk usage continuously during active computer use.

Kuiper NM, Loomis BR, Falvey KT, Gammon DG, King BA, Wang TW, et al.. " Trends in Unit Sales of Flavored and Menthol Electronic Cigarettes in the United States, 2012–2016." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Preventing Chronic Disease, August 23, 2018.

CDC and RTI International analyzed retail scanner data to assess national and state-specific trends in sales of flavored and menthol e-cigarettes.  Findings from this analysis include:

  • During 2012-2016, flavored e-cigarette sales as a percentage of all e-cigarette sales rose national from about 2% to nearly 20% in all but four states
  • Menthol e-cigarette sales remained stable nationally at 35-40%
  • Over half of total e-cigarette sales in 2016 were flavored or menthol products, and sales varied by product type
  • Continued monitoring of the variety of flavored tobacco products available in the United States, including combustible, noncombustible, and electronic tobacco products, is critical for informing comprehensive tobacco prevention and control strategies
Halpern, Scott D., M.D., Ph.D., Michael O. Harhay, Ph.D., Kathryn Saulsgiver, Ph.D., Christine Brophy, Andrea B. Troxel, Sc.D., and Kevin G. Volpp, M.D., Ph.D.. "A Pragmatic Trial of E-Cigarettes, Incentives, and Drugs for Smoking Cessation." New England Journal of Medicine, June 14, 2018.

BACKGROUND: Whether financial incentives, pharmacologic therapies, and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) promote smoking cessation among unselected smokers is unknown.

CONCLUSIONS: In this pragmatic trial of smoking cessation, financial incentives added to free cessation aids resulted in a higher rate of sustained smoking abstinence than free cessation aids alone. Among smokers who received usual care (information and motivational text messages), the addition of free cessation aids or e-cigarettes did not provide a benefit. (Funded by the Vitality Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02328794.)

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.. "Incorporating weight management and physical activity throughout the cancer care continuum: Proceedings of a workshop." Washington, DC: The National Academies Press., 2018.

The National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a public workshop, Incorporating Weight Management and Physical Activity Throughout the Cancer Care Continuum, on February 13 and 14, 2017, in Washington, DC. The purpose of this workshop was to highlight the current evidence base, gaps in knowledge, and research needs on the associations among obesity, physical activity, weight management, and health outcomes for cancer survivors, as well as to examine the effectiveness of interventions for promoting physical activity and weight management among people living with or beyond cancer. Workshop sessions also reviewed the opportunities and challenges for providing weight management and physical activity interventions to cancer survivors. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Marian Freedman and Michael G Burke, MD. "High-nicotine e-cigarettes lead to more smoking and vaping." Contemporary Pediatrics, February 1, 2018.

Compared with adolescents who use e-cigarettes with relatively low or no nicotine concentrations, those who use e-cigarettes with higher nicotine concentrations are more likely to progress to more frequent and intense combustible cigarette smoking and vaping.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. "Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes." Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2018.

Millions of Americans use e-cigarettes. Despite their popularity, little is known about their health effects. Some suggest that e-cigarettes likely confer lower risk compared to combustible tobacco cigarettes, because they do not expose users to toxicants produced through combustion. Proponents of e-cigarette use also tout the potential benefits of e-cigarettes as devices that could help combustible tobacco cigarette smokers to quit and thereby reduce tobacco-related health risks. Others are concerned about the exposure to potentially toxic substances contained in e-cigarette emissions, especially in individuals who have never used tobacco products such as youth and young adults. Given their relatively recent introduction, there has been little time for a scientific body of evidence to develop on the health effects of e-cigarettes.

Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes reviews and critically assesses the state of the emerging evidence about e-cigarettes and health. This report makes recommendations for the improvement of this research and highlights gaps that are a priority for future research.

Ahmed Jamal, MBBS; Elyse Phillips, MPH; Andrea S. Gentzke, PhD; David M. Homa, PhD; Stephen D. Babb, MPH; Brian A. King, PhD; Linda J. Neff, PhD. "Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2016." CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, January 19, 2018.

The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that the burden of death and disease from tobacco use in the United States is overwhelmingly caused by cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products. Proven population-based interventions, including tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws, anti-tobacco mass media campaigns, and barrier-free access to tobacco cessation counseling and medications, are critical to reduce cigarette smoking and smoking-related disease and death among U.S. adults, particularly among subpopulations with the highest prevalences.

2017

Farhad Islami, MD, PhD; Ann Goding Sauer, MSPH; Kimberly D. Miller, MPH; Rebecca L. Siegel, MPH; Stacey A. Fedewa, PhD, MPH; Eric J. Jacobs, PhD; Marjorie L. McCullough, ScD, RD; Alpa V. Patel, PhD; Jiemin Ma, PhD, MHS; Isabelle Soerjomataram, MD, PhD, MS. "Proportion and Number of Cancer Cases and Deaths Attributable to Potentially Modifiable Risk Factors in the United States." CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, November 21, 2017.

Contemporary information on the fraction of cancers that potentially could be prevented is useful for priority setting in cancer prevention and control. Herein, the authors estimate the proportion and number of invasive cancer cases and deaths, overall (excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers) and for 26 cancer types, in adults aged 30 years and older in the United States in 2014, that were attributable to major, potentially modifiable exposures (cigarette smoking; secondhand smoke; excess body weight; alcohol intake; consumption of red and processed meat; low consumption of fruits/vegetables, dietary fiber, and dietary calcium; physical inactivity; ultraviolet radiation; and 6 cancer-associated infections).

Elyse Phillips, MPH; Teresa W. Wang, PhD; Corinne G. Husten, MD; Catherine G. Corey, MSPH; Benjamin J. Apelberg, PhD; Ahmed Jamal, MBBS; David M. Homa, PhD; Brian A. King, PhD . "Tobacco Product Use Among Adults — United States, 2015." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 10, 2017.

In 2015, approximately one in five U.S. adults (48.7 million) currently used any tobacco product, with most using combustible tobacco products. Any tobacco product use was significantly higher among males; adults aged <65 years; non-Hispanic AI/AN, whites, blacks, and persons of multiple races; persons living in the Midwest; persons with a GED; persons with annual household income <$35,000; persons who were single/never married/not living with a partner or divorced/separated/widowed; persons who were uninsured or insured through Medicaid; persons with a disability; and persons who identified as LGB. Adults with serious psychological distress had the highest prevalence of any tobacco product use of any subpopulation.

Babb, Stephen MPH, Benmei Liu PhD, Brandon Kenemer MPH, Carissa Baker Holmes MPH, Anne M. Hartman MS, MA, James T. Gibson BS, Brian A. King PhD, MPH. "Changes in Self-Reported Smokefree Workplace Policy Coverage Among Employed Adults— United States, 2003 and 2010–2011." Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco Research, October 12, 2017.

The workplace is a major source of exposure to secondhand smoke from combustible tobacco products. Smokefree workplace policies protect nonsmoking workers from secondhand smoke and help workers who smoke quit. This study examined changes in self-reported smokefree workplace policy coverage among U.S. workers from 2003 to 2010–2011.

Greta M. Massetti, PhD; William H. Dietz, MD, PhD; Lisa C. Richardson, MD, MPH. "Excessive Weight Gain, Obesity, and Cancer." JAMA, October 3, 2017.

Even though the effects of overweight and obesity on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, all-cause mortality, and other health outcomes are widely known, there is less awareness that overweight, obesity, and weight gain are associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. A recent review of more than 1000 studies concluded that sufficient evidence existed to link weight gain, overweight, and obesity with 13 cancers, including adenocarcinoma of the esophagus; cancers of the gastric cardia, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, corpus uteri, ovary, kidney, and thyroid; postmenopausal female breast cancer; meningioma; and multiple myeloma.

Drope, J., Cahn, Z., Kennedy, R., Liber, A. C., Stoklosa, M., Henson, R., Douglas, C. E. and Drope, J. "Key issues surrounding the health impacts of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and other sources of nicotine." CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, September 29, 2017.

Over the last decade, the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including the electronic cigarette or e-cigarette, has grown rapidly. More youth now use ENDS than any tobacco product. This extensive research review shows that there are scientifically sound, sometimes competing arguments about ENDS that are not immediately and/or completely resolvable. However, the preponderance of the scientific evidence to date suggests that current-generation ENDS products are demonstrably less harmful than combustible tobacco products such as conventional cigarettes in several key ways, including by generating far lower levels of carcinogens and other toxic compounds than combustible products or those that contain tobacco. To place ENDS in context, the authors begin by reviewing the trends in use of major nicotine-containing products. Because nicotine is the common core—and highly addictive—constituent across all tobacco products, its toxicology is examined. With its long history as the only nicotine product widely accepted as being relatively safe, nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) is also examined. A section is also included that examines snus, the most debated potential harm-reduction product before ENDS. Between discussions of NRT and snus, ENDS are extensively examined: what they are, knowledge about their level of “harm,” their relationship to smoking cessation, the so-called gateway effect, and dual use/poly-use. 

"AACR Cancer Progress Report." Philadelphia: American Association for Cancer Research, September 13, 2017.

With the number of cancer cases diagnosed in the United States rising every year, it is vital that the AACR increases public awareness about cancer and the importance of research for improving health and saving lives from cancer. The annual AACR Cancer Progress Report is a cornerstone of these educational efforts and the AACR’s work to advocate for increased funding for the federal agencies that are vital for fueling progress against cancer— in particular, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Report is released in September of each year and highlights advances over the past 12 months in the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. It also includes the personal experiences of cancer survivors who have benefited from these advances. Together with the developments described in the report, these survivor stories provide hope for a much brighter future for cancer patients and their loved ones.

Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and Mitchell Zeller, J.D. "A Nicotine-Focused Framework for Public Health." New England Journal of Medicine, August 6, 2017.

Despite extraordinary progress in tobacco control and prevention, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Combustible cigarettes cause the overwhelming majority of tobacco-related disease and are responsible for more than 480,000 U.S. deaths each year. Indeed, when used as intended, combustible cigarettes kill half of all long-term users.

Hines, Jonas Z. MD ; Steven C. Fiala, MPH ; Katrina Hedberg, MD. "Electronic Cigarettes as an Introductory Tobacco Product Among Eighth and 11th Grade Tobacco Users — Oregon, 2015." CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), June 16, 2017.

During 2011–2015, increased electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) and hookah use offset declines in cigarette and other tobacco product use among youths (persons aged <18 years)

Maura L. Gillison, Tatevik Broutian, Barry Graubard, Robert Pickard, Zhen-Yue Tong, Weihong Xiao, Lisa Kahle, Anil Chaturvedi; Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD; The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Informat. "Impact of HPV vaccination on oral HPV infections among young adults in the U.S.." Meeting Library, ASCO University, June 5, 2017.

The incidence of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers has risen in recent decades among US men. The potential impact of HPV vaccines on oral HPV infections has yet to be evaluated in efficacy-trials or surveillance studies.

HPV vaccination substantially reduced vaccine-type oral HPV infection prevalence among young adults (ages 18-33 years) in the US population during 2011-2014. However, due to low vaccine uptake, population-level effectiveness was modest overall and particularly low in men.

Ralph S. Caraballo, PhD ; Paul R. Shafer, MA ; Deesha Patel ; Kevin C. Davis, MA ; Timothy A. McAfee, MD. "Quit Methods Used by US Adult Cigarette Smokers, 2014–2016." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 13, 2017.

Quitting cigarette smoking greatly reduces the risk of developing smoking-related diseases; although the health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, there are benefits at any age (1). The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has increased in the United States (2). Little is known about how the rise in e-cigarette use, particularly among current and former adult cigarette smokers, may have affected quitting behaviors. This study assessed common methods used to try to quit cigarettes among a nationally representative online sample of US adult current smokers surveyed from April 2014 through June 2016.

Commissioned by Bristol-Meyers Squibb. "Cancer in the Workplace." The Economist Intelligence Unit , February 17, 2017.

The impact of cancer looks set to continue to grow for organisations in the decades ahead. Experts predict continued growth in the numbers of the working population affected by cancer as populations age and earlier diagnosis and better treatment of the disease lead to improved survival rates. If employers are to continue to provide an environment in which they can attract and retain talented staff, they must take action.

"Cancer Facts and Figures 2017." American Cancer Society, January 2017.

Estimated numbers of new cancer cases for 2017, excluding basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers and in situ carcinomas except urinary bladder.
Estimates are not available for Puerto Rico.

Note: State estimates are offered as a rough guide and should be interpreted with caution. State estimates may not add to US total due to rounding.

2016

Elissa Meites, MD; Allison Kempe, MD; Lauri E. Markowitz, MD. "Use of a 2-Dose Schedule for Human Papillomavirus Vaccination — Updated Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 16, 2016.

This report provides recommendations and guidance regarding use of HPV vaccines and updates ACIP HPV vaccination recommendations previously published in 2014 and 2015

"E-cigarette use among youth and young adults : a report of the Surgeon General.." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 8, 2016.

This report confirms that the use of electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) is growing rapidly among American youth and young adults. While these products are novel, we know they contain harmful ingredients that are dangerous to youth. Important strides have been made over the past several decades in reducing conventional cigarette smoking among youth and young adults. We must make sure this progress is not compromised by the initiation and use of new tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes. 

Maki Inoue-Choi, PhD, MS; Linda M. Liao, PhD, MPH; Carolyn Reyes-Guzman, PhD, MPH; Patricia Hartge, ScD; Neil Caporaso, MD; Neal D. Freedman, PhD, MPH. "Association of Long-term, Low-Intensity Smoking With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study." JAMA Internal Medicine, December 5, 2016.

A growing proportion of US smokers now smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes per day (CPD), and that proportion will likely rise in the future. The health effects of smoking only a few CPD over one’s lifetime are less understood than are the effects of heavier smoking, although many smokers believe that their level is modest.

Berko, Jeff MPH; Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD; Roemer, Enid Chung PhD; Kent, Karen MPH; Marchibroda, Janet MBA. "Results From the Bipartisan Policy Center's CEO Council Physical Activity Challenge to American Business." Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, December 2016.

Physical inactivity is a major public health threat: inactive adults are at an elevated risk of early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Despite these dire consequences, fewer than half of American adults meet the recommended guidelines for daily physical activity. Sedentary jobs contribute to this problem, but the workplace also presents an opportunity for intervention. 

Bergouignan, Audrey , Kristina T. Legget, Nathan De Jong, Elizabeth Kealey, Janet Nikolovski, Jack L. Groppel, Chris Jordan, Raphaela O’Day, James O. Hill and Daniel H. Bessesen. "Effect of frequent interruptions of prolonged sitting on self-perceived levels of energy, mood, food cravings and cognitive function." International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, November 3, 2016.

While physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive performance and well-being, office workers are essentially sedentary. We compared the effects of physical activity performed as (i) one bout in the morning or (ii) as microbouts spread out across the day to (iii) a day spent sitting, on mood and energy levels and cognitive function.

Song, Mingyang, MD, ScD; Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD. "Preventable Incidence and Mortality of Carcinoma Associated With Lifestyle Factors Among White Adults in the United States." JAMA Oncology, September 1, 2016.

Lifestyle factors are important for cancer development. However, a recent study has been interpreted to suggest that random mutations during stem cell divisions are the major contributor to human cancer. 

Conclusions and Relevance: A substantial cancer burden may be prevented through lifestyle modification. Primary prevention should remain a priority for cancer control.

Michael C. Fiore, MD, MPH, MBA. "Tobacco Control in the Obama Era — Substantial Progress, Remaining Challenges." New England Journal of Medicine, August 24, 2016.

The steady decline in smoking rates among U.S. adults that began in the early 1960s has acceleratedsubstantially during the 7 years of the Barack Obama presidency.

Moore, PhD, Steven C. MPH; I-Min Lee, MBBS, ScD; Elisabete Weiderpass, PhD; et al. "Association of Leisure-Time Physical Activity With Risk of 26 Types of Cancer in 1.44 Million Adults." Journal of the American Medical Association , June 2016.

Importance  Leisure-time physical activity has been associated with lower risk of heart-disease and all-cause mortality, but its association with risk of cancer is not well understood.

Objective  To determine the association of leisure-time physical activity with incidence of common types of cancer and whether associations vary by body size and/or smoking.

Steven C. Moore, PhD, MPH; I-Min Lee, MBBS, ScD; Elisabete Weiderpass, PhD; et al. "Association of Leisure-Time Physical Activity With Risk of 26 Types of Cancer in 1.44 Million Adults." Journal of the American Medical Association , June 2016.

Importance  Leisure-time physical activity has been associated with lower risk of heart-disease and all-cause mortality, but its association with risk of cancer is not well understood.

Objective  To determine the association of leisure-time physical activity with incidence of common types of cancer and whether associations vary by body size and/or smoking.

"Winning With Wellness." US Chamber of Commerce, May 5, 2016.

Compelling evidence exists that wellness programs work and prevention pays off when done well and in the right ways. This publication delineates the attributes of successful and effective workplace wellness programs, discusses how workplace wellness can be a win-win for employers and employees, and outlines the legal and regulatory parameters associated with such programs. Significant converging financial, political, and cultural trends drive the importance and the urgent need for more pervasive employer-driven, evidence-based workplace wellness initiatives.

Azvolinsky, Anna . "Unraveling How Obesity Fuels Cancer." Oxford Academic, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, April 2, 2016.

“We are getting more and more precise about the different risk factors for the various subtypes of cancer,” said Stephen Hursting, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor in the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One established factor is obesity, now well linked to at least ten cancers, including pancreatic, colorectal, endometrial, and hormone receptor–positive, postmenopausal breast cancer. 

Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, Raymond Fabius, MD, Dan Fabius, DO, Enid C. Roemer, PhD, Nicole Thornton, BA, Rebecca K. Kelly, PhD, RD, and Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD (hc). "The Stock Performance of C. Everett Koop Award Winners Compared With the Standard & Poor's 500 Index." American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, January 1, 2016.

Workplace health promotion programs are designed to improve the health and well-being of employees and their dependents. Companies that excel in their workplace wellness efforts can apply for and win recognition through numerous vehicles including earning the C. Everett Koop National Health Award (Koop Award). The Koop Award is conferred annually by The Health Project, a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 to promote employer achievements in improving population health cost-effectively. The hypothesis tested was that companies applying for and winning the Koop Award, thereby earning the distinction of having outstanding workplace health promotion (wellness) programs, would realize financial gains that extend beyond those simply offering traditional employee benefit programs.

Fabius, Raymond MD, Ronald R. Loeppke, MD, MPH, Todd Hohn, CSP, Dan Fabius, DO, Barry Eisenberg, CAE, Doris L. Konicki, MHS, and Paul Larson, MS. "Tracking the Market Performance of Companies That Integrate a Culture of Health and Safety." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, January 1, 2016.

This article tests the hypothesis that the stockmarket performance of companies that achieve high-scoring assessments in either health or safety during the Corporate Health Achievement Award (CHAA) process will be superior to average market-index performance.

"Cancer Facts and Figures 2016." American Cancer Society, January 2016.

Estimated numbers of new cancer cases for 2016, excluding basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers and in situ carcinomas except urinary bladder. Estimates are not available for Puerto Rico.

Note: State estimates are offered as a rough guide and should be interpreted with caution. State estimates may not add to US total due to rounding.

2015

Towne, Samuel D. Jr., PhD, MPH, CPH, Kelsey E. Anderson, Matthew Lee Smith, Deborah Vollmer Dahlke, Debra Kellstedt, Ninfa Pena Purcell and Marcia G. Ory. "Changing organizational culture: using the CEO cancer Gold Standard policy initiatives to promote health and wellness at a school of public health." BMC Public Health, September 3, 2015.

Worksite wellness initiatives for health promotion and health education have demonstrated effectiveness in improving employee health and wellness. 

Thornburg, Jonathan; Quentin Malloy, Seung-Hyun Cho, William Studabaker, and Youn Ok Lee. "Exhaled Electronic Cigarette Emissions: What’s Your Secondhand Exposure? ." RTI Press, Research Briefs, March 2015.

As e-cigarette use rapidly proliferates in the United States, research is needed to determine potential health risks posed by emissions from e-cigarettes. Currently, little scientific evidence on the toxicant exposures posed by e-cigarette use is available, particularly for a non-user’s secondhand exposures in public places.

Laurie P. Whitsel, PhD, Neal Benowitz, MD, Aruni Bhatnagar, PhD, FAHA, Chris Bullen, MBChB, PhD, Fred Goldstein, Lena Matthias-Gray, BS, Jessica Grossmeier, PhD, MPH, John Harris, MEd, Fikry Isaac, MD, MPH, Ron Loeppke, MD, MPH, Marc Manley, MD, MPH, Kare. "Guidance to Employers on Integrating E-Cigarettes/Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Into Tobacco Worksite Policy." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, March 2015.

In recent years, new products have entered the marketplace that complicate decisions about tobacco control policies and prevention in the workplace. These products, called electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or electronic nicotine delivery systems, most often deliver nicotine as an aerosol for inhalation, without combustion of tobacco. This new mode of nicotine delivery raises several questions about the safety of the product for the user, the effects of secondhand exposure, how the public use of these products should be handled within tobacco-free and smoke-free air policies, and how their use affects tobacco cessation programs, wellness incentives, and other initiatives to prevent and control tobacco use. In this article, we provide a background on e-cigarettes and then outline key policy recommendations for employers on how the use of these new devices should be managed within worksite tobacco prevention programs and control policies

2014

In a new study of cancer patients who smoke, those using e-cigarettes (in addition to traditional cigarettes) were more nicotine dependent and equally or less likely to have quit smoking traditional cigarettes than non-users. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings raise doubts about the potential benefits of e-cigarettes for helping cancer patients give up smoking.

Donatus U. Ekwueme, PhD, K. Robin Yabroff, PhD, Gery P. Guy, Jr., PhD, Matthew P. Banegas, PhD, Janet S. de Moor, PhD, Chunyu Li, PhD, MD, Xuesong Han, PhD, Zhiyuan Zheng, PhD, Anita Soni, PhD, Amy Davidoff, PhD, Ruth Rechis, PhD, Katherine S. Virgo, PhD. "Medical Costs and Productivity Losses of Cancer Survivors — United States, 2008–2011." CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, June 13, 2014.

The number of persons in the United States with a history of cancer has increased from 3 million in 1971 to approximately 13.4 million in 2012, representing 4.6% of the population. Given the advances in early detection and treatment of cancer and the aging of the U.S. population, the number of cancer survivors is projected to increase by >30% during the next decade, to approximately 18 million. ...The results indicate that the economic burden of cancer survivorship is substantial among all survivors. 

"IBI Chronic Disease Profile: Cancer." Integrated Benefits Institute, March 2014.

A growing recognition of the impact of workforce health on business performance has increased interest in workplace interventions and management strategies for chronic health conditions. In support of this broadened value proposition, IBI is drawing on a variety of information sources to publish a series of “disease profiles” for employers and their benefits partners. The profiles highlight the prevalence, full costs, co-morbidities and intervention approaches for key chronic health conditions. This month we profile cancer in the workforce.

"Coverage for Tobacco Use Cessation Treatments." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014.

This updated 2014 document provides an overview of the evidence base for tobacco cessation insurance coverage, best practices for designing cessation coverage, and the current status of cessation coverage.

Workplace wellness is a $6 billion dollar industry in the United States. Employers offer the programs to improve the health and well-being of their employees, increase their productivity, reduce their risk of costly chronic diseases, and improve control of chronic conditions. In 2012, half of all employers with at least 50 employees offered programs, and nearly half of employers without a program said they intend to introduce one.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. ." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.

This comprehensive report chronicles the devastating consequences of 50 years of tobacco use in the United States. It updates data on the numerous health effects resulting from smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, and details public health trends, both favorable and unfavorable, in tobacco use. This report marks the steady progress achieved in reducing the prevalence of smoking and validates tobacco control strategies that have consistently proven to be effective. It also examines strategies with the potential to eradicate the death and disease caused by the tobacco epidemic at long last, and identifies specific measures that should be taken immediately to move smoking off its decades-old number one spot as the largest single cause of preventable death and disease for the citizens of the United States. Finally, the report documents that effective interventions are available and calls for their full implementation.

2013

Lankford, Tina; Jason Lang, Brian Bowden, and William Baun. "Workplace Health: Engaging Business Leaders to Combat Obesity." Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, December 1, 2013.

Recognizing the adverse impact of obesity on employee productivity and health, many businesses have invested resources in worksite strategies to increase physical activity and improve the diets of their employees. Employers play a pivotal role in creating health-supportive environments for their employees as well as the community at large. Employers that contribute to a healthier workforce have the potential to reduce their out-of-pocket health care costs and improve productivity within their workforce. Further, through community engagement, employers can foster the improved health and stability of their future workforce

Fabius, Raymod, MD; R. Dixon Thayer, BA, Doris L. Konicki, MHS, Charles M. Yarborough, MD, Kent W. Peterson, MD; Fikry Isaac, MD; Ronald R. Loeppke, MD, MPH; Barry S. Eisenberg, MA; and Marianne Dreger, MA. "The Link Between Workforce Health and Safety and the Health of the Bottom Line: Tracking Market Performance of Companies That Nurture a “Culture of Health”." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, September 9, 2013.

A growing body of evidence supports the concept that focusing on the health and safety of a workforce is good business. Engaging in a comprehensive effort to promote wellness, reduce the health risks of a workforce, and mitigate the complications of chronic illness within these populations can produce remarkable effects on health care costs, productivity, and performance. The literature is replete with examples demonstrating that the health of employees impacts their performance and productivity. In addition, for the majority of the employers who pay for the cost of health care provided to their employees, there is a direct impact on the bottom line.

Henke, Rachel, PhD; Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD; Janice McHugh;Deborah Gorhan; Malinda Reynolds; Jaclyn Davenport; Kate Rasmussen; and Fikry Isaac, MD. "Employers' Role in Cancer Prevention and Treatment—Developing Success Metrics for Use by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer." Population Health Management, August 13, 2013.

As evidence accumulates on the risk factors for cancer, it is becoming clearer that employers can play a significant role in the fight against the disease by creating a workplace conducive to lowering health risks. The CEO Roundtable on Cancer’s CEO Cancer Gold Standard Program defines what companies can do to prevent cancer, detect it early, and ensure access to the best available treatments for those who are afflicted with the disease. This article describes how Johnson & Johnson incorporated the Cancer Gold Standard Program into its existing health promotion initiatives.

This commentary is in response to the March 5, 2013 Health Affairs article, "Wellness Incentives in the Workplace: Cost Savings through Cost Shifting to Unhealthy Lifestyles."  In that article, Jill Horwitz and coauthors express concerns about new rules governing workplace health promotion (wellness) programs due to take effect in 2014 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2011, Public Law 111-148 (“ACA”). 

In this post, I explain how well-designed wellness programs can benefit both employers and employees, and I offer some suggestions to ensure that such programs are both effective and fair. 

2012

Recent research suggests that obesity and excess weight can play a prominent role in the incidence and progression of various cancers.

2011

Smith Carls,Ginger, PhD, Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, Rachel Mosher Henke, PhD, Jennifer Bruno, BS, Fikry Isaac, MD, and Janice McHugh, DBA, RN, COHN-S. "The Impact of Weight Gain or Loss on Health Care Costs for Employees at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, January 2011.

Objective: To quantify the impact of weight gain or weight loss on health care costs.

Conclusions: Preventing weight gain through effective employee health promotion programs is likely to result in cost savings for employers.

2010

Berry, Leonard L.; Ann M. Mirabito and William B. Baun. "What’s The Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?." Harvard Business Review, December 1, 2010.

The ROI data will surprise you, and the softer evidence may inspire you.

Steven A. Schroeder, M.D. and Kenneth E. Warder, PhD. "Don’t Forget Tobacco." New England Journal of Medicine, July 15, 2010.

At a time when all eyes are focused on health care reform, escalating medical costs, and childhood obesity, cigarette smoking remains by far the most common cause of preventable death and disability in the United States.

Katherine Baicker, David Cutler, and Zirui Song. "Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings." Health Affairs, February 1, 2010.

Amid soaring health spending, there is growing interest in workplace disease prevention and wellness programs to improve health and lower costs. In a critical meta-analysis of the literature on costs and savings associated with such programs, we found that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs and that absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.

David P. Hopkins, MD, MPH, Sima Razi, MPH, Kimberly D. Leeks, PhD, MPH, Geetika Priya Kalra, MPA, Sajal K. Chattopadhyay, PhD, Robin E. Soler, PhD. "Smokefree Policies to Reduce Tobacco Use: A Systematic Review." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, February .

In 2001, a systematic review for the Guide to Community Preventive Services identified strong evidence of effectiveness of smoking bans and restrictions in reducing exposure to environmental (secondhand) tobacco smoke. As follow-up to that earlier review, the focus here was on the evidence on effectiveness of smokefree policies in reducing tobacco use. Smokefree policies implemented by worksites or communities prohibit smoking in workplaces and designated public areas. The conceptual approach was modified for this review; an updated search for evidence was conducted; and the available evidence was evaluated. Published articles that met quality criteria and evaluated changes in tobacco-use prevalence or cessation were included in the review. 

Mehnert, Anja. "Employment and work-related issues in cancer survivors." Critical Reviews in Oncology and Hematology, January 6, 2010.

Purpose of this systematic literature review was to identify current knowledge about employment in cancer survivors. Sixty-four studies met inclusion criteria that were original papers published between 01/2000 and 11/2009. Overall, 63.5% of cancer survivors (range 24–94%) returned to work. The mean duration of absence from work was 151 days. Factors significantly associated with a greater likelihood of being employed or return to work were perceived employer accommodation, flexible working arrangements, counseling, training and rehabilitation services, younger age and cancer sites of younger individuals, higher levels of education, male gender, less physical symptoms, lower length of sick leave and continuity of care. Cancer survivors had a significantly increased risk for unemployment, early retirement and were less likely to be re-employed. Between 26% and 53% of cancer survivors lost their job or quit working over a 72-month period post diagnosis. Between 23% and 75% of patients who lost their job were re-employed. A high proportion of patients experienced at least temporary changes in work schedules, work hours, wages and a decline in work ability compared to non-cancer groups. 

2008

Mello, Michelle M., JD, PhD; Meredith B. Rosenthal, PhD. "Wellness Programs and Lifestyle Discrimination - The Legal Limits." New England Journal of Medicine, July 10, 2008.

In this article, we examine the ex­tent to which employers and health plans can pro­vide rewards or otherwise adjust individual health insurance costs based on the steps employees or plan members take to reduce their health risk. 

Hannon, Peggy A., PhD, MPH; Jeffrey R. Harris, MD. "Interventions to Improve Cancer Screening Opportunities in the Workplace." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, July 2008.

All of the latest cancer screening intervention recommendations from the Community Guide can be implemented in the workplace via four important avenues: health insurance benefits, workplace policies, workplace programs, and workplace communications. Health insurance affects workers’ access to and use of preventive care, including cancer screening.  Workplace policies also can improve employees’ access to cancer screening. Workplace programs offer workers relatively easy access to and social support for cancer screening. Workplace communications can improve knowledge and shape beliefs, attitudes, and perceived norms about cancer screening, and about the health insurance benefits, policies, and programs aimed at improving screening.

C-Change’s ―Making the Business Case initiative documents why employers should consider including scientifically proven cancer prevention and early detection services in their respective employee health insurance policies. Research has shown that prevention and early detection services, such as tobaccofree policies, tobacco cessation, as well as regular screenings, are proven methods of decreasing cancer risk among employees and increasing early diagnosis and associated medical care outcomes. The data also suggest that these cancer prevention and early detection services are effectively decreasing direct and indirect costs associated with cancer.

2006

Fitch, Kate, RN, MEd; Kosuke Iwasaki, FIAJ, MAAA; Bruce Pyenson, FSA, MAAA. "Covering Smoking Cessation as a Health Benefit." Milliman: Consultants and Actuaries, December 6, 2006.

This report provides information so employers can make informed choices based on the costs and benefits of smoking cessation programs – and compare these to other routinely provided benefits.

2005

Bruce Pyenson, FSA, MAAA, and Patricia A. Zenner, RN. "Cancer Screening: Payer Cost/Benefit thru Employee Benefits Programs." Milliman: Consultants and Actuaries, November 18, 2005.

This paper demonstrates that covering and promoting full compliance with established screening recommendations thru employer sponsored programs is low cost and cost effective for employee benefit programs.

2002

Fichtenberg, Caroline M.; Stanton A Glantz. "Effect of smoke­free workplaces on smoking behaviour: systematic review." British Medical Journal, March 21, 2002.

Passive smoking is linked with cancer, heart disease, respiratory illness and is the leading source of indoor airpollution. In the United States, passive smoking has been linked to the deaths of at least 53 000 non-smokers each year, about one non-smoker for each eight smokers that tobacco kills. 

We investigated the effects of smoke-free workplaces on cigarette consumption and compared these effects with those obtained by raising taxes.

2000

Arnold Barnett, PhD; Howard Birnbaum, PhD; Pierre-Yves Cremieux, PhD; A. Mark Fendrick, MD; and Mitchell Slavin, PharmD. "The Costs of Cancer to a Major Employer in the United States: A Case-Control Analysis." The American Journal of Managed Care, November 2000.

Reliable data on the costs and outcomes of different healthcare interventions are essential for efficient distribution of healthcare resources and evaluation of quality of healthcare.The National Institutes of Health estimates total annual costs for cancer in the United States at $107 billion annually. These cancer costs represented roughly 5% of all healthcare expenditures in 1995. These high healthcare costs translate into significantexpenses for US employers. As cancer treatment improves and the number of patients in remission or recovery increases, the management of cancer care is becoming increasingly important. This trend has led managed care organizations to focus on assessing the likely costs of cancer care and outcomes for different types of cancer.