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ASPPH Fellow Spotlight: ASPPH/CDC Fellow Co-authored NIOSH Asthma Report in MMWR

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) article on “Asthma Mortality Among Persons Aged 15-64 Years, by Industry and Occupation in the United States from 1999 to 2016″ highlights findings on asthma-related mortality and underscores that some asthma death may be attributed to potentially preventable occupational exposures.

ASPPH/CDC Fellow, Ms. Opal Patel, MPH (Emory) is first author on the asthma-related mortality report, with co-authors Dr. Jacek Mazurek, her National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) fellowship mentor, and CDC staff, Ms. Girija Syamlal, Mr. John Wood, and Ms. Katelynn Dodd (another former ASPPH/CDC Fellow).  The authors summarized findings of asthma-related mortality among persons aged 15 to 64 years by industry and occupation and underscored the importance of optimal asthma management, and identification and elimination or reduction of potential workplace exposures. The report placed in the top 5 percent of all research outputs scored by Altmetric and received a high attention score compared to outputs of the same age and source.

“I really enjoyed going through the process of writing and publishing a the MMWR while I was at NIOSH,” says Ms. Patel. “I was thankful to have a mentor that helped challenge me and critically think about the work I was doing. The opportunities for growth and learning in my time at NIOSH were incredibly fulfilling and helped enhance my skills more than I ever imagined.”

The report begins with an overview of current knowledge of asthma and asthma mortality, methods used for analysis, and main findings from the report. This was followed by a more detailed description of the methods and data used, and the following results from the analysis. The last section of the report is a discussion of the findings, potential implications, and limitations of the study. Two podcasts from A Minute of Health with CDC and A Cup of Health with CDC also accompanied the report.

“My experience as an ASPPH Fellow is one that I will always cherish and be thankful for as I progress through my career. It helped provide direction and insight into my future as a public health professional.”