School of public health

YSPH study: childhood leukemia linked to fracking

Fracking, which involves drilling into the earth and releasing a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals, releases numerous carcinogens, which have the potential to contaminate nearby air and water, an analysis by Yale School of Public Health researchers has confirmed.

The study suggests that the presence of carcinogens involved in or released by hydraulic fracturing can increase the risk of childhood leukemia, but future studies are needed to evaluate the cancer risk. Childhood leukemia is a particular concern because of the severity and short latency period of the disease. The study is published in the journal Science of the Total Environment

Students teach others about medical careers

HPREP (Health Professionals Recruitment and Exposure Program), a nine-week outreach session intended to increase the number of African American, Native American, and Latino high school students entering the science and health-care professions, was hosted this fall by Yale students. The students participated in group discussions on health topics within medicine and public health, with a special emphasis on health issues that affect minority communities. Students drafted and edited a college essay and completed a health-related research project and an oral presentation. This year’s topics included preventative medicine, infectious disease, neuroscience, and bioethics, among others. 

“Surprise” medical bills

A Yale School of Public Health study of 2.2 million emergency room visits across the United States found that 22 percent of patients who went to emergency departments within their health-insurance networks were treated by an out-of-network doctor and potentially incurred unexpected expenses. The study, based on data from a large commercial insurer, provides the first national estimate of the frequency of “surprise” out-of-network medical billing. The researchers describe their findings in an article published in the November 16 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.  “Most patients with health coverage go to in-network emergency rooms and rightly expect to be treated by in-network doctors,” said Zack Cooper, assistant professor of public health and economics at the Yale School of Public Health and one of the study’s authors. “Our study shows that nearly a quarter of people who visited in-network emergency rooms were exposed to potentially major costs.”   

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