Vital Statistics

A roundup of some interesting studies making news. As always, a mention here doesn’t mean an endorsement.

Business travel may negatively impact health

 A new study from Columbia University finds that frequent business travel may be associated with increased health risks. The researchers analyzed data from 13,000 people who were participating in a corporate wellness program. Approximately 80 percent of the employees traveled at least one night per month, while almost 1 percent traveled 20 nights or more per month.

The study found that those who traveled most often were 260 percent more likely to rate their health as fair to poor compared to light travelers. In addition to higher cholesterol and blood pressure, obesity was 92 percent more common in the extensive travelers.

The study is published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

New report names U.S. cities with the cleanest and most polluted air

According to a new report, more than half of the U.S. population lives in areas with polluted air that can be dangerous to breathe. Some of the worst quality air can be found in California, including Los Angeles and Long Beach. On the other hand, Honolulu, Hawaii and Santa Fe, New Mexico have some of the cleanest air in the country.

Approximately 48 percent of U.S. residents live in counties where smog is too high, and about 17 million Americans live in areas affected by three pollution hazards, including smog and soot.

The State of the Air 2011 report is available here.

 What are the top sources of foodborne illness?

A new report released by the University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute identifies the food and disease causing microorganisms that are associated with the most risk in the United States.

The combination of poultry with Campylobacter bacteria causes the most foodborne illness in the country, affecting more than 600,000 people a year and costing $1.3 billion.

The top ten pathogen and food combinations, including salmonella and norovirus, cost the U.S.  more than $8 billion in medical costs and lost wages.

The report is available here.

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