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Each stage in the life cycle of coal-extraction, transport, processing, and combustion-generates a waste stream and carries multiple hazards for health and the environment. These costs are external to the coal industry and are thus often considered "externalities." We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing(More)
PURPOSE To determine if chronic cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality rates are higher among residents of mountaintop mining (MTM) areas compared to mining and nonmining areas, and to examine the association between greater levels of MTM surface mining and CVD mortality. METHODS Age-adjusted chronic CVD mortality rates from 1999 to 2006 for counties in 4(More)
BACKGROUND An increased risk of lung cancer has been observed at exposure to certain industrial chemicals in occupational settings; however, less is known about their carcinogenic potential to the general population when those agents are released into the environment. METHODS We used the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database and Surveillance,(More)
Problems in the structure, consistency, and completeness of electronic health record data are barriers to outcomes research, quality improvement, and practice redesign. This nonexperimental retrospective study examines the utility of importing de-identified electronic health record data into an external system to identify patients with and at risk for(More)
BACKGROUND The study conducts statistical and spatial analyses to investigate amounts and types of permitted surface water pollution discharges in relation to population mortality rates for cancer and non-cancer causes nationwide and by urban-rural setting. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) were used to(More)
BACKGROUND Interest in monitoring the quality of health care in the United States has increased in recent years. However, the policy objectives associated with collecting this information are constrained by the limited availability of timely and relevant data at a reasonable cost. Online data-collection technologies hold the promise of gathering data(More)
BACKGROUND The objective of this study was to assess the impact of pre-existing diabetes on breast cancer prognosis. METHODS Women (n=2833) with centrally confirmed invasive breast cancer in the Women's Health Initiative, who were linked to Medicare claims data (CMS) were followed from the date of breast cancer diagnosis to date of death or 20 September(More)
BACKGROUND Epidemiological studies have reported that diabetes significantly increases overall mortality in patients with colorectal cancer. However, it is unclear whether diabetes increases colorectal cancer-specific mortality. We used the US Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database linked with Medicare claims data to assess the influence(More)
Cancer incidence and mortality rates are high in West Virginia compared to the rest of the United States of America. Previous research has suggested that exposure to activities of the coal mining industry may contribute to elevated cancer mortality, although exposure measures have been limited. This study tests alternative specifications of exposure to(More)
Epidemiological studies suggest that living near mountaintop coal mining (MTM) activities is one of the contributing factors for high lung cancer incidence. The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term carcinogenic potential of MTM particulate matter (PMMTM) exposure on human bronchial epithelial cells. Our results show that chronic exposure(More)