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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 3, September 2005

The Bulletin on Aging & Health

Today approximately forty percent of the world's population is at risk of malaria, a life-threatening parasitic disease carried by mosquitoes. Each year, malaria causes over 300 million acute illnesses and one million deaths. Malaria primarily affects individuals in low-income countries - the majority of its victims are young children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. Children who survive severe cases of malaria may suffer brain damage and learning disabilities, and...

Research Summaries

The prevalence of youth overweight has risen dramatically over the past three decades in the U.S. and now represents an epidemic. Since 1970, the fraction of children that are overweight has nearly quadrupled among 6 to 11 year olds and more than doubled among 12 to 19 year olds. Currently, one in six children aged 6 to 19 is overweight, defined as a body mass index (BMI) above the 95th percentile of the historical BMI distribution. Youth overweight is a major public concern...
In recent years, policy makers and health care leaders have become increasingly focused on improving the quality of the U.S. health care system. One promising mechanism for improving quality is medical report cards. If consumers are told that their health care provider scores well below average on quality measures such as the fraction of patients receiving routine screening tests or overall patient satisfaction, they may switch to another provider. Such behavior will benefit...

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