Advances in Public Health Care in the Last Century

Topics: Public health, Health care, HPV vaccine Pages: 5 (1759 words) Published: March 11, 2014
In the last century there have been many advances in the division of public health. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the APHA (American Public Health Administration) have both been involved in the developments which have occurred in the last 10 years. The CDC published a list back on May 20, 2011 of the 10 nominated noteworthy public health achievements. The ten recognized in no ranking order are vaccine-preventable diseases, prevention and control of infectious diseases, tobacco control, maternal and infant health, motor vehicle safety, cardiovascular disease prevention, occupational safety, cancer prevention, childhood lead poisoning prevention, and public health preparedness and response. The CDC also reported that the “life expectancy at birth among U.S. residents increased by 62%, from 47.3 years in 1900 to 76.8 in 2000, and unprecedented improvements in population health status were observed at every stage of life” (CDC, 2011) One of the biggest achievements in the last century was the advances in cancer prevention. Cancer has been one of the deadliest diseases, if not caught early it will progresses quickly and spread from the point of origin to other parts of the body, including the vital organs. In a publication by the MINNPOST the statistics of colorectal cancer deaths as well as breast and cervical cancer had drastically decreased. Susan Berry wrote “From 1998 to 2007, colorectal cancer death rates decreased from 25.6 per 100,000 population to 20.0 per (2.8% per year) for men and from 18.0 per 100,000 to 14.2 (2.7% per year) for women. During this same period, smaller declines were noted for breast and cervical cancer death rates (2.2% per year and 2.4%, respectively)”(Perry, 2011) The advances in medicine to catch cancer early involved routine checkups and screening tests. Some of those tests include routine colonoscopies for patients starting at age 50 and regular pap smears for women at the age of 21 or who sexually active. Along with younger girls and women being vaccinated for the HPV virus, which can lead to cervical cancer. Mammograms are now being performed at 35, 40, and then every year after a woman reaches the age of 50. All of these precautions have led to the drop in death rates of these cancers, that were once deadly killers. Another important advancement in public health in the last century was motor vehicle safety. The CDC states that motor vehicle accidents are among the 10 leading causes of death among citizens of all ages and the leading cause of death among people ages 5-34. In terms of death of people under the age of 65 motor vehicle accidents came second only to heart disease and cancer. The CDC also states that although the rate of travel went up 8.5% across the nation, the death rate decreased from 14.9 per 100,000 population to 11.0 per 100,000. The injury rate declined from 1,130-722. Motor vehicle accidents are incredibly easy to prevent. As technology progressed cars became safer as well as the roads on which the cars were driven due to new laws being passed. For example as technology progressed it created more hazards. New laws are being created to prevent the increase in accidents from hand held phone use, and texting and driving. Also new laws have state that seatbelts must be worn by all passengers in the car, not just the front two seats. Liz Borkowski states in her article on the Pump Handle from 2011 that another reason there was a decrease in death rates was because of the laws regarding teens and graduated drivers licensing, and car-seat restrictions and laws. (Borkowski, 2011). Although these decreases were incredible, as technology progresses law makers and car production companies will have to stay on top of safety concerns and hazardous conditions. One of the biggest advances made for families in the public health department was the prevention of childhood lead poisoning. Almost every home built before 1978 was constructed using lead paint. Lead paint affects...

References: Borkowski, L. (2011, May 24). The Pump Handle. Retrieved from Science Blogs:
CDC. (2011, May 20). Center for Disease Controol and Provention. Retrieved from Moridity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR):
Georges C. Benjamin, M. F. (2011, May 19). Amerian Public Health Association. Retrieved from
Perry, S. (2011, July 22). Minn Post. Retrieved from
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