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Highlighted Topics-Public Health

common topics studied by CPH students, based on Twenty Minute Topic session held in October 2020 with added topics

Chronic Conditions

Students often pick a disease to research with a particular population group in mind. At times that group hasn't been covered in the published literature and that can become a challenge to find multiple sourc

As before I like to get some basic definitions by using MeSH.

Chronic Disease

Diseases which have one or more of the following characteristics: they are permanent, leave residual disability, are caused by nonreversible pathological alteration, require special training of the patient for rehabilitation, or may be expected to require a long period of supervision, observation, or care. (Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)


Human immunodeficiency virus. A non-taxonomic and historical term referring to any of two species, specifically HIV-1 and/or HIV-2. Prior to 1986, this was called human T-lymphotropic virus type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus (HTLV-III/LAV). From 1986-1990, it was an official species called HIV. Since 1991, HIV was no longer considered an official species name; the two species were designated HIV-1 and HIV-2.

Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2

A subclass of DIABETES MELLITUS that is not INSULIN-responsive or dependent (NIDDM). It is characterized initially by INSULIN RESISTANCE and HYPERINSULINEMIA; and eventually by GLUCOSE INTOLERANCE; HYPERGLYCEMIA; and overt diabetes. Type II diabetes mellitus is no longer considered a disease exclusively found in adults. Patients seldom develop KETOSIS but often exhibit OBESITY.

Article Sources

As with most of health related topics PubMed is a good place to start, then depending on your focus of interest you may want to explore another database or two.

PubMed: terms used, diabetes AND healthcare disparity

I selected this article to share (out of 1526 results-have not applied any filters yet)

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Diabetes Quality of Care: the Role of Healthcare Access and Socioeconomic Status

Racial disparities in African Americans with diabetes: process and outcome mismatch

first sentence in introduction: Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are disproportionately affected by diabetes."

some MeSH terms I will use and explore more out of this article: African Americans / statistics & numerical dataHealthcare Disparities / ethnology*

To mix it up a bit I searched, HIV AND Health status disparity 

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health Resources and Services Administration Initiatives to Address Disparate Rates of HIV Infection in the South

I noticed many of the results were from other countries (1142 results) . I can add United States to the search (788 results) - no date or other filters applied, yet...

in order to limit it and force the geographic area further I tried using Mesh, "united states" [mesh] (544 results)

CINAHL -covers other health professions publications beyond the medical/physician-I used the same  terms as above: diabetes AND healthcare disparity

Disparities in Chronic Health Outcomes and Health Behaviors Between Lesbian and Heterosexual Adult Women in Pittsburgh: A Longitudinal Study.

when I look at the subject terms I don't see diabetes as one of them, but I do see that it is one of the conditions listed in the abstract

For this topic I decided to try a new database. The library recently obtained a large collection, ProQuest Central, that contains multiple database within it. One of those if Proquest Public Health

I searched, diabetes AND healthcare disparity.

this selected article looks promising: Predictors of Medication Adherence in an Urban Latino Community with Healthcare Disparities, from the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

I used filters to the left to make sure that the articles I looked at included diabetes and the United States.

Early Lessons From An Initiative On Chicago's South Side To Reduce Disparities In Diabetes Care And Outcomes , this article is about a particular area and what they did to address disparities. It is from 2012. The next step I would do is to see who has cited this since then. 

This database shows 47 articles have cited it. (you will see this link to the right when you are viewing the abstract.

Background Sources

If your disease or condition has been around for a while, then textbooks may be a good place to look as well. 

AcessMedicine and the R2Library are two places to find online texts that the library subscribes to.

AccessMedicine example: Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2

R2Libray possibilities:

Motivational Interviewing in Diabetes Care Facilitating Self-Care

HealthyPeople is of course a source for basic information along with goals and objectives. Data and other sources can be found here as well. 

In addition to government and organizations, university can often have sites based on research and programs.



Data Sources

A sampling of possible sources for data.


The CDC has a wealth of information but at times it can be hard to find. Try using Google search and include the word CDC to get results on the CDC site.


I searched , CDC HIV disparities and found these in the results:

Health Disparities in HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs and TB

HIV and African Americans

Disparities in Incidence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Among Black and White Women — United States, 2010–2016 (an MMWR Report)

for diabetes, CDC diabetes disparities

Addressing Health Disparities in Diabetes

National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020, the summary states: "New diabetes cases were higher among non-Hispanic blacks and people of Hispanic origin than non-Hispanic Asians and non-Hispanic whites." and "The percentage of existing cases was highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives."

There was also information about SEARCH  for Diabetes in Youth.