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Healthy People 2020 News You Can Use

Jan. 5, 2012
Starting this month, the Healthy People 2020 News You Can Use updates will be transformed into a new resource that will be referred to as Who’s Leading the Leading Health Indicators? Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, fills you in on the details of this new national health initiative.
By Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS
Starting this month, the Healthy People 2020 News You Can Use updates will be transformed into a new resource we’re referring to as Who's Leading the Leading Health Indicators?(1) The Leading Health Indicators (LHIs) are a smaller set of Healthy People 2020 objectives that have been selected to communicate high-priority health issues to the nation. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced these critical health priorities for the nation, or LHIs, October 31, 2011. Announced during the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual meeting, the LHIs will be used by policymakers and public health professionals to track progress in local communities as they work toward meeting key national health goals, such as increasing access to health services. HHS also launched a new app challenge that encourages developers and public health professionals to co-design applications that can be used to help solve one or more of the LHIs. The app will help public health professionals in tracking, measuring and reporting on progress in these critical public health areas. The monthly series will spotlight an LHI topic area by providing an overview of the health topic, noting the most recent data and trends, and showcasing states, communities, or organizations that are addressing the LHIs in innovative ways. You can also continue to receive periodic updates highlighting new Healthy People resources and events.Great strides have been made over the past decade: life expectancy at birth increased; rates of death from coronary heart disease and stroke decreased. Nonetheless, public health challenges remain, and significant health disparities persist.
The Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators place renewed emphasis on overcoming these challenges as we track progress over the course of the decade. The indicators will be used to assess the health of the nation, facilitate collaboration across sectors, and motivate action at the national, state, and community levels to improve the health of the U.S. population.Oral diseases ranging from dental caries to oral cancers cause pain and disability for millions of Americans. We know that the impact of these diseases does not stop at the mouth, but can affect other parts of the body. A growing body of evidence has linked oral health, particularly periodontal disease, to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In pregnant women, poor oral health has also been associated with premature births and low birth weight.(2,3,4,5,6) These conditions may be prevented in part with regular visits to the dentist. In 2007, however, only 44.5% (age adjusted) of people age 2 and older had a dental visit in the past 12 months, a rate that has remained essentially unchanged over the past decade. There are 17 Oral Health Objectives.(7)
Tobacco is another LHI. Tobacco use is the single most preventable causes of disease, disability, and death in the United States, yet more deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.(8,9)Stay connected with healthy people.(10) The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) regularly updates their page with information on upcoming Webinars and public meetings, tools, and new media resources.(10) Connect online, subscribe to the Healthy People e-mail updates, sign up for the monthly bulletin, or periodic News You Can Use, which features new tools, events, and resources to help you implement Healthy People. Join the Healthy People Consortium, follow on Twitter, connect with Healthy People on LinkedIn, view the latest Healthy People videos on YouTube, or find the Healthy People coordinator in your state.
National Health Promotion Summit: Save the date! Learn how businesses, schools, nonprofits, and governments are working together to achieve the goals in Healthy People 2020 and other national initiatives. The 2012 National Health Promotion Summit will be held April 10-11, 2012, in Washington, D.C.(11) Summit objectives are that by the end of the conference participants will be able to: Understand the impact that national disease prevention and health promotion initiatives have on plans for improving health at all levels--global, federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local; identify disease prevention and health promotion action steps that will work for their organization; collaborate and partner with organizations across various sectors; and use health communication strategies to tailor messages to reach their specific audiences. The agenda will be posted this month.Visit the Healthy People Webinars & Events Archive to watch webinar recordings, download agendas, and view presentations.(12)References
1. Bensley L, VanEenwyk J, Ossiander EM. Associations of self-reported periodontal disease with metabolic syndrome and number of self-reported chronic conditions. Prev Chronic Dis. 2011;8(3):A50. Available from J Am Dent Assoc. 2006;137(suppl 2). Available from 4. Barnett ML. The oral-systemic disease connection. J Am Dent Assoc. 2006;137(suppl 2):5S–6S. Available from 5. Division of Oral Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public Health Implications of Chronic Periodontal Infections in Adults. Atlanta, GA: 2005. Available from Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Washington, DC: 2000. Available from 8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annual smoking—attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and productivity losses—United States, 2000-2004. MMWR. 2008;57(45):1226-1228. Available from Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, et al. Actual causes of death in the United States. JAMA. 2004;291(10):1238–1245.10. 11. 12.

Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

To read previous articles in RDH eVillage FOCUS written by Maria Perno Goldie, go to articles.