Cardiovascular Disease

Based on the material in our class readings and discussion, along with other material from the course website and your own interests, please comment on some issue in the area of policy-making and cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention, treatment and research in the US. Did you understand the link between CVD and air pollution before reading these materials? What does the CDC website say about air pollution as a risk for CVD? What does the American Heart Association says about air pollution as a risk for CVD? Why is this especially important for women? What EPA policies might affect risk for CVD?

How does the obesity epidemic and national response to skyrocketing rates of diabetes, especially among non-whites and the poor in the US. the issue of gender play into the issue? Keep in mind that Big Food, the diet and fitness industry, mass media, medical and pharmaceutical businesses all have something to gain from the obesity epidemic. What does an increasingly obese population tell us about health policy in the US? How does the concept of constrained choice enter into this area?

Finally, any comments on the Go Red campaign?

With this module we shift gears in the course, going from reading and thinking about general aspects of the issue of gender and health and tools for working with those ideas to looking at specific areas of health and gender. As you are reading and looking at the material in this module you should also be thinking back (and perhaps rereading) to relevant chapters in the text books, especially Bird & Reiker. Also, as we explore these specific areas of health you should be checking the NY Times to see what has happened, if anything, lately in relation to the material in the module.

For the module on cardiovascular disease you will be looking at websites for some of the major organizations and agencies that work to make and/or enact policy and programs in this area. Keep in mind that you should always bring a critical eye to these sites, keeping in mind the complexitites of policy making that you are beginning to understand from your reading of Governing Health and the other course materials. Read through the question posed for the discussion board BEFORE you do all your work in the module. Remember that you do not need to exhaustively read through everything on each website but do try to come away with some understanding of the organization or agency behind it and the broad pupose of the site. Depending on the topic you are developing for your paper you may also find things in these modules that you can use more deeply in your own research.

Film: Unnatural Causes: Not Just a Paycheck
Unnatural Causes Website

BIRD&REIKER: Chpts. 6 – 7
NY Times
Various websites (CDC, EPA, American Heart Assoc., Go Red, NIH)
CDC Fact Sheet on Women and Heart Disease
Harvard School of Public Health News, \”Long-term exposure to air pollution may increase risk of hospitalization for lung, heart disease\”
Circulation, \”Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease: An Update to the Scientific Statement From the American Heart AssociationAHRQ Report, Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Conditions in Women: Recent Findings

Film: Weight of the Nation and website


F as in Fat
OECD Update 2014
CDC Information on Overweight and Obesity
CDC Information on Diabetes