‘There’s No Question We Are In A Maternal Health Crisis’: Lawmakers, D.C. Officials Struggle To Figure Out Why
In the city where they work, the mayor and a House subcommittee plan steps to investigate why the maternal mortality rate in Washington, D.C., is among the nation's highest. Also in public health news: traffic deaths; obesity; and e-cigarettes.
The Washington Post:
Lawmakers In Both D.C. And Congress Want To Understand Why The Nation's Capital Has A Maternal Mortality Rate That Is Twice The National Average.
D.C. mothers are twice as likely to die because of pregnancy than the average American woman. The city’s maternal mortality rate — among the nation’s highest — has captured the attention of local leaders and those in Congress, who say avoidable deaths of mothers are unacceptable in the nation’s capital. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) plans to sign legislation passed last week by the D.C. Council to form a commission to investigate deaths related to childbirth and recommend ways to address the root causes. (Nirappil, 3/14)
The Washington Post:
Traffic Deaths Continue To Soar Despite Cities’ Pledges To Get Them To ‘Zero’
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser stood in the heart of Union Station on Feb. 20, 2015, and promised to lead the nation’s capital into an era free of traffic fatalities. “We are taking our first step toward realizing a ‘Vision Zero’ where no lives are lost on our streets or at our intersections,” said a newly elected Bowser, setting a goal of zero road deaths by 2024. Instead, the number of traffic fatalities has steadily increased since then, frustrating city officials and advocates, and seemingly putting the goal further from reach. (Lazo, 3/14)
Study: Americans Getting More Exercise But Increasingly Obese
A new federal report shows that more Americans are obese despite an overall increase in the rate of regular exercise. The National Center for Health Statistics found that 31.4 percent of Americans over the age of 20 were obese in 2017. That's up from just 19.4 percent who were obese in the 1997 version of the study. (Wilson, 3/15)
E-Cigarette Study Says They Lead To More Smokers Than They Stop
Electronic cigarettes have long been touted not only as a safer alternative to cigarettes but as a potential avenue by which existing smokers might quit. The industry, now worth $11.4 billion, hasn’t been hurt by this one-two pitch of safety and good public policy. New research shows, however, that e-cigarettes are hurting a lot more than they help. Researchers at Dartmouth College’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center said vaping has led more people to start a real smoking habit, rather than avoid tobacco or quit in favor of e-cigarettes, according to a study published Wednesday. (Wolf, 3/14)