New research presented at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting (ARM) highlights the relationship between non-clinical factors such as income, housing and food access and healthy behaviors and outcomes.
“Studies presented at this year’s Annual Research Meeting add to growing evidence on how health and social factors relate and affect one another,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cope, AcademyHealth’s senior director of public and population health. “These studies reveal important considerations for policymakers about the way health policy can influence broader social factors such as housing stability.”
Key studies on this topic at this year’s ARM include:
- New Jersey’s Paid Family Leave Policy: Effect on Breastfeeding Practices Among Postpartum Women with a Recent Live Birth
While breastfeeding is beneficial to maternal and infant health, lack of paid leave can be a barrier to breastfeeding. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that New Jersey’s paid family leave policy had a positive impact on breastfeeding duration, particularly among those with traditionally lower rates of breastfeeding including Black mothers and mothers with less than a high school education.
- Health Insurance and Housing Stability: The Effect of Medicaid Expansion on Evictions
A growing body of literature suggests that one of the principal benefits of Medicaid expansion is protection from catastrophic medical debt and improved financial stability. Researchers from Columbia University and Boston University add to this by examining eviction rates before and after Medicaid expansion in California, estimating that for every 1,000 new Medicaid enrollees, there were 22* fewer evictions per year.
- Food Insecurity Among the Medicare Population – Prevalence, Predictors, and Innovative Policies
While access to non-clinical goods such as food and housing is increasingly recognized as being at least as important for health as access to health care, data on non-clinical issues have only recently been collected in the health care context. Researchers from Northeastern University, Harvard, and the University of Massachusetts examined new survey data and found that the prevalence of food insecurity among Medicare beneficiaries is substantial, particularly among adults under 65 years with disability. Their findings represent the first national prevalence estimates of food insecurity among Medicare enrollees.
*Data updated after the abstract was accepted for presentation.
For more information about featured studies, please visit academyhealth.org/arm/pressroom.