About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach ... Released: September 10, 2012
    Globalization of the food supply has created conditions favorable for the emergence, reemergence, and spread of food-borne pathogens—compounding the challenge of anticipating, detecting, and effectively responding to food-borne threats to health. In the United States, food-borne agents affect 1 out of 6 individuals and cause approximately 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths each year. A One Health approach to food safety may hold the promise of harnessing and integrating the expertise and resources from across the spectrum of multiple health domains including the human and veterinary medical and plant pathology communities with those of the wildlife and aquatic health and ecology communities. The IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop on December 13 and 14, 2011 that examined issues critical to the protection of the nation’s food supply.
  • Informatics Needs and Challenges in Cancer Research ... Released: July 16, 2012
    Informatics tools – which help collect, organize, and analyze data – are essential to biomedical and health research and development. The field of cancer research is facing an overwhelming deluge of data, heightening the national urgency to find solutions to support and sustain the cancer informatics ecosystem. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum held a workshop February 27-28, 2012, to further examine informatics needs and challenges for 21st century biomedical research.
  • International Animal Research Regulations: Impact on ... Released: May 29, 2012
    Animals are widely used in neuroscience research to explore biological mechanisms of nervous system function, to identify the genetic basis of disease states, and to provide models of human disorders and diseases for the development of new treatments. To ensure the humane care and use of animals, numerous laws, policies, and regulations are in place governing the use of animals in research, and certain animal regulations have implications specific to neuroscience research. To consider animal research regulations from a global perspective, the IOM held a workshop that brought together key stakeholders to discuss current and emerging trends in animal regulations as they apply to the neurosciences.
  • Alliances for Obesity Prevention: Finding Common Ground ... Released: May 11, 2012
    Many organizations are making focused efforts to prevent obesity. To achieve their goals, accelerate their progress, and sustain their success, the assistance of many other individuals and groups—not all of them with a singular focus on obesity prevention—will be essential. In October 2011 the Institute of Medicine held a workshop that provided an opportunity for obesity prevention groups to hear from and hold discussions with many of these potential allies in obesity prevention. They explored common ground for joint activities and mutual successes, and lessons learned from efforts at aligning diverse groups with goals in common.
  • The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence ... Released: April 03, 2012
    Recent research suggests that obesity and excess weight can influence cancer survival and recurrence. Given the increasing rate of obesity and an aging population more susceptible to cancer, there is mounting concern about obesity’s role in fueling tumor growth. At an IOM workshop, experts presented the latest evidence on the obesity-cancer link and the possible mechanisms underlying that link, as well as potential interventions to mitigate the effects of obesity on cancer, and research and policy measures needed to counter the expected rise of cancer incidence and mortality due to an increasingly overweight and older population.
  • Country-Level Decision Making for Control of Chronic ... Released: April 02, 2012
    A 2010 IOM report, Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World, found that not only is it possible to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease and related chronic diseases in developing countries, but also that such a reduction will be critical to achieving global health and development goals. As part a series of follow-up activities to the 2010 report, the IOM held a workshop that aimed to identify what is needed to create tools for country-led planning of effective, efficient, and equitable provision of chronic disease control programs.
  • Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and ... Released: March 30, 2012
    Although epilepsy is one of the nation’s most common neurological disorders, public understanding of it is limited. Living with epilepsy is about much more than just seizures; the disorder is often defined in practical terms, such as challenges in school, uncertainties about social situations and employment, limitations on driving, and questions about independent living. The IOM examines the public health dimensions of the epilepsies, focusing on public health surveillance and data collection; population and public health research; health policy, health care, and human services; and education for people with the disorder and their families, health care providers, and the public.
  • Alzheimer's Diagnostic Guideline Validation: Exploration of ... Released: February 16, 2012
    Scientific advances over the last decade now indicate that Alzheimer’s disease is a continuous, progressive cognitive disease, most likely beginning many years before dementia is apparent. To discuss the next steps in validating new diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease, the IOM Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders hosted a public workshop session at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
  • Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action ... Released: January 31, 2012
    The epidemic of chronic illness is steadily moving towards crisis proportions, yet maintaining or enhancing quality of life for individuals living with these illnesses has not been given the attention it deserves. In this report, the IOM makes recommendations to the CDC as well as HHS on the development and support of programs to meet the health and social needs of people living with chronic illnesses.
  • Breast Cancer and the Environment: A Life Course Approach ... Released: December 07, 2011
    More than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2011. The IOM was asked to review the current evidence on breast cancer and the environment, review challenges in studying this topic, explore evidence-based actions that women might take to reduce their risk, and recommend future research. Overall, it finds that major advances have been made in understanding breast cancer and its risk factors, but more needs to be learned about its causes, how environmental exposures affect risk for the disease, and how to prevent it.