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.


  • 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.
  • The Science and Applications of Synthetic and Systems ... Released: November 23, 2011
    The completion of the initial draft of the human genome sequence in 2001 represented a fundamental shift in the way biology was studied, and allowed for vast post-genomic possibilities. Until the past decade, the work was often painstakingly slow; however, new strategies combining engineering and biological techniques have enhanced researchers' abilities. These new synthetic techniques allow for genes and long chains of DNA to be designed and manufactured from scratch using a computer and relevant chemical compounds, rather than manipulating pieces of existing genes from living cells. The IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop March 14-15, 2011 to explore the scientific and policy dimensions of recent developments in genetic engineering and their applications to emerging infectious diseases.
  • Facilitating Collaborations to Develop Combination ... Released: October 31, 2011
    Advances in biomedical research have increased our understanding of the complex nature of disease and the interaction of multiple molecular pathways involved in cancer. Combining investigational products early in their development is thought to be a promising strategy for identifying effective therapies. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum held a workshop to discuss challenges and identify potential solutions to improve collaboration and advance the development of combination investigational cancer therapies.
  • Fungal Diseases: An Emerging Threat To Human, Animal, and ... Released: September 09, 2011
    Fungal diseases have contributed to death and disability in humans, triggered global wildlife extinctions and population declines, devastated agricultural crops, and altered forest ecosystem dynamics. Despite the extensive influence of fungi on health and economic well-being, the threats posed by emerging fungal pathogens to life on Earth are often underappreciated and poorly understood. On December 14 and 15, 2010, the IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop to explore the scientific and policy dimensions associated with the causes and consequences of emerging fungal diseases.
  • Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality : Health ... Released: August 25, 2011
    Immunizations are a cornerstone of the nation’s efforts to protect people from a host of infectious diseases. Though generally very rare or very minor, there are side effects, or “adverse effects,” associated with some vaccines. The IOM reviewed a list of adverse events associated with eight vaccines to evaluate the scientific evidence about the event–vaccine relationship. Using epidemiologic and mechanistic evidence, the committee developed 158 causality conclusions, assigning each relationship between a vaccine and an adverse health problem to one of four causation categories. Overall, the IOM committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.
  • A Nationwide Framework for Surveillance of Cardiovascular ... Released: July 22, 2011
    Surveillance systems have a potentially key role in reducing the health toll of chronic diseases. Currently, surveillance data are collected from a variety of sources, but there is no national surveillance system to fill the gaps between these monitoring approaches. To help close the gap, the IOM presents a conceptual framework for national surveillance of cardiovascular and chronic lung disease and calls on the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt it and take the lead in developing a national surveillance system.