HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Call for Papers: The Cleveland-Marshall Journal of Law and Health

The Journal of Law and Health is actively seeking scholarly articles on health-related topics for Volume 23, to be published during the 2009-2010 academic year. We are interested in any and all health-related topics, and encourage both legal scholars and active practitioners to submit articles of 20-60 pages in length.  Articles, cover letters, and curricula vitae should be sent to or  


About the Journal of Law and Health:

The Cleveland-Marshall Journal of Law and Health is an interdisciplinary publication that advances health law and policy. The Journal is staffed and edited entirely by students who have demonstrated their potential for scholarly writing either through class rank or acceptable performance in a summer writing competition sponsored by the Journal. Founded in 1984 by Karen E. Rubin and James E. Powell, the Journal has attracted nationally recognized authors and advocates in the field of law and health.  It is indexed and published on LexisNexis, Westlaw, PubMed, and HeinOnline.

The Journal of Law and Health is a traditional, yet innovative periodical. Articles are drawn from all disciplines that offer a perspective on the legal aspects of medicine and health sciences. This pan-disciplinary format allows flexibility in both the type and length of articles published.

While retaining a scholarly format, the Journal encourages publication of the innovative idea, the bold statement, and the unique point of view.

For any additional information, please contact the editors-in-chief:


Eric Steiger


Stefanie Baker

September 30, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Has Statin Use by the Wealthy Created New Social Disparities In Cardiovascular Health?

Since the 1980s, cholesterol levels of the wealthy have declined at twice the rate of those of the poor. Why? A new study suggests that statins, which are expensive drugs that are highly effective in reducing cholesterol and improving heart health, are more widely available to higher income people. Thus, access to statins may have contributed to expanding social disparities in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. 

The study, called Changing Health Disparities and Fundamental Cause Theory:  Fundamental Cause Theory, Technological Innovation, and Health Disparities: The Case of Cholesterol in the Era of Statins was published in the September issue of Journal of Health and Social Behavior and is the work of Virginia W. Chang, MD, PhD, of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania, and Diane S. Lauderdale, PhD, of the University of Chicago.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. However, death from cardiovascular disease has decreased drastically since the 1980s. It is estimated that one-third of this decrease is related to pharmaceuticals, including statins.

As reported in ScienceDaily, Dr. Chang, lead author of the study and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania explains that

[i]ncome disparities in lipid levels have reversed over the past three decades. … High cholesterol was once known as a rich man's disease, because the wealthy had easier access to high fat foods (e.g., red meat). Now wealthy Americans are least likely to have high cholesterol, because they are more likely to be treated with statins, an expensive but highly effective pharmaceutical treatment to lower lipid levels.
Though statins have a longer-run potential to reduce disparities by making it easier for everyone to lower cholesterol relative to lifestyle changes, they have yet to diffuse widely across all income levels.


September 29, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Dangerous Shortage of Domestic Violence Services

More than 10 percent of victims of domestic abuse report that they were unable to receive help they needed according to a study published by the Health Affairs Web site.


The study, published on September 22, 2009, was performed by Rahda Lyengar of the London School of Economics and Political Science and Lindsay Sabik of Harvard University. According to the abstract

[t]he results analyze the information gathered from federally funded local domestic violence programs in the U.S.about the calls each received over one 24-hour period (September 13, 2006). According to the data, 48,350 people reported contacting the agencies. Of these, 5,183 respondents could not be helped due to a lack of a program's resources. Unmet requests included those for emergency shelter, transitional housing, and non-residential services, such as one-to-one counseling, safety planning and legal services.

As reported in the Sunday Health Policy Update of Health Affairs, Dr. Iyengar states:

These community-based organizations are often the last resort before the emergency room for victims of domestic violence. … Clearly more funding of domestic violence programs is needed to meet as many requests for support as possible. Our research has identified a special need for more transitional housing, since shelters with transitional housing report much lower rates of victims returning to their abusive partners.



September 27, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)