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Knowing one's genetic disposition to a variety of diseases, including common chronic diseases, can benefit both the individual and society at large. The IOM's Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health held a workshop on March 22, 2010, to bring together diverse perspectives on the value of genetic testing, and to discuss its use in clinical practice.
The National Academies Press (NAP)--publisher for the National Academies--publishes more than 200 books a year offering the most authoritative views, definitive information, and groundbreaking recommendations on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and health. Our books are unique in that they are authored by the nation's leading experts in every scientific field.
From 1962 to 1971, the U.S. military sprayed herbicides over Vietnam to strip the thick jungle canopy that could conceal opposition forces, to destroy crops that those forces might depend on, and to clear tall grasses and bushes from the perimeters of U.S. base camps and outlying fire-support bases. In response to concerns and continuing uncertainty about the long-term health effects of the sprayed herbicides on Vietnam veterans, Veterans and Agent Orange provides a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam. The 2008 report is the eighth volume in this series of biennial updates. It will be of interest to policy makers and physicians in the federal government, veterans and their families, veterans' organizations, researchers, and health professionals.
The current state of science in violence prevention reveals progress, promise, and a number of remaining challenges. In order to fully examine the issue of global violence prevention, the Institute of Medicine in collaboration with Global Violence Prevention Advocacy, convened a workshop and released the workshop summary entitled, Violence Prevention in Low-and Middle-Income Countries. The workshop brought together participants with a wide array of expertise in fields related to health, criminal justice, public policy, and economic development, to study and articulate specific opportunities for the U.S. government and other leaders with resources to more effectively support programming for prevention of the many types of violence. Participants highlighted the need for the timely development of an integrated, science-based approach and agenda to support research, clinical practice, program development, policy analysis, and advocacy for violence prevention.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (the WIC program) has promoted the health of low-income families for more than 30 years by providing nutrition education, supplemental food, and other valuable services. The program reaches millions of families every year, is one of the largest nutrition programs in the United States, and is an important investment in the nation’s health. The U.S. Department of Agriculture charged the Institute of Medicine with creating a committee to evaluate the WIC food packages (the list of specific foods WIC participants obtain each month). The goal of the study was to improve the quality of the diet of WIC participants while also promoting a healthy body weight that will reduce the risk of chronic diseases. The committee concluded that it is time for a change in the WIC food packages and the book provides details on the proposed new food packages, summarizes how the proposed packages differ from current packages, and discusses the rationale for the proposed packages.
Even though slightly over half of the U.S. population is female, medical research historically has neglected the health needs of women. However, over the past two decades, there have been major changes in government support of women's health research--in policies, regulations, and the organization of research efforts. To assess the impact of these changes, Congress directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ask the IOM to examine what has been learned from that research and how well it has been put into practice as well as communicated to both providers and women. Women's Health Research finds that women's health research has contributed to significant progress over the past 20 years in lessening the burden of disease and reducing deaths from some conditions, while other conditions have seen only moderate change or even little or no change. Gaps remain, both in research areas and in the application of results to benefit women in general and across multiple population groups. Given the many and significant roles women play in our society, maintaining support for women's health research and enhancing its impact are not only in the interest of women, they are in the interest of us all.
A report on Disability in America
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