Magazine article The Nation's Health

Journal Watch: Highlights from the February Issue of the American Journal of Public Health

Magazine article The Nation's Health

Journal Watch: Highlights from the February Issue of the American Journal of Public Health

Article excerpt

Dentists can identify health conditions

Dental practices can serve as alternate sites for health professionals to identify health concerns, according to a study in the February issue of APHA's American Journal of Public Health.

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The study, which used data from the 2008 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, estimated that 26 percent of children in the U.S. did not interact with a general health practitioner, and of those, about 35 percent were seen at a dental practice at least once that year. Among adults, about 24 percent did not see a general health practitioner, and of those, 23 percent saw a dentist. Those people are estimated to represent 19.5 million patients who visited only a dental practice in 2008.

The study's authors wrote that many signs and symptoms in the oral cavity "may be manifestations of systemic disease" and could be detected in dental practices. (Page 253)

Gay marriage could lead to better health

Gay marriage may be good for health, at least for some men, a recent study found.

Gay and bisexual men were less likely to need medical or mental health care visits in the 12 months after the legalization of same - sex marriage in Massachusetts, according to a study in the February issue of AJPH.

The study compared medical and mental health visits in the 12 months after legalization to the 12 months before and found a statistically significant difference, the study found.

It concluded that policies that "confer protections to same - sex couples may be effective in reducing health care use and costs among sexual minority men. …

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