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.


  • The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts - Workshop ... Released: June 25, 2009
    In the United States, people living in low-income neighborhoods frequently do not have access to affordable healthy food venues, such as supermarkets. Instead, those living in “food deserts” must rely on convenience stores and small neighborhood stores that offer few, if any, healthy food choices, such as fruits and vegetables. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) convened a two-day workshop on January 26-27, 2009, to provide input into a Congressionally-mandated food deserts study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. The workshop provided a forum in which to discuss the public health effects of food deserts.
  • Environmental Health Sciences Decision Making: Risk ... Released: January 08, 2009
    Eighty-two thousand chemicals—both natural and man-made—are used today. Some of these chemicals do not produce notable adverse health outcomes, but others can be toxic and harmful to anyone exposed. Currently, we know very little about basic properties of the majority of these chemicals and even less about the human health impact of these exposures. On January 15, 2008, the workshop Environmental Health Sciences Decision Making: Risk Management, Evidence, and Ethics addressed emerging issues in risk management, weight of evidence, and ethics that influence environmental health decision making.
  • Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events. ... Released: September 24, 2008
    On December 4 and 5, 2007, the Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop in Washington, DC to consider the possible infectious disease impacts of global climate change and extreme weather events on human, animal, and plant health, as well as their expected implications for global and national security.
  • The National Children's Study Research Plan: A Review ... Released: September 12, 2008
    The National Children s Study (NCS) is planned to be the largest long-term study of environmental and genetic effects on children s health ever conducted in the United States. By archiving all of the data collected, the NCS is intended to provide a valuable resource for analyses conducted many years into the future. This report evaluates the research plan for the NCS, by assessing the scientific rigor of the study and the extent to which it is being carried out with methods, measures, and collection of data and specimens to maximize the scientific yield of the study.
  • Review of ATSDR's Great Lakes Report Drafts. Letter Report ... Released: September 05, 2008
    The Institute of Medicine (IOM) letter report Review Of ATSDR’s Great Lakes Report Drafts presents the details of an IOM committee’s evaluation of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) unofficial report drafts looking at health and pollution data from the Great Lakes region, of ATSDR’s response to review, as well as of the concerns of the Office of the Director of ATSDR and the Office of the Director of the Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention (CCEHIP).
  • Use of Dietary Supplements by Military Personnel : Health and ... Released: June 09, 2008
    The use of dietary supplements has become increasingly popular among members of the military. While some supplements may provide benefits to health, others could carry adverse effects that might compromise the readiness and performance of service members. The U.S. Department of Defense, the Samueli Institute, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with additional support from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) review the use of dietary supplements by military personnel, recommending a framework to identify the need for management of dietary supplement use within the military, and developing an approach to report adverse health events.
  • Foodborne Disease and Public Health: An Iranian-American ... Released: March 25, 2008
    The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board and the National Research Council’s Policy and Global Affairs Division convened a workshop in Washington, D.C., entitled Foodborne Disease and Public Health An Iranian-U.S. Workshop.
  • The Utility of Proximity-Based Herbicide Exposure ... Released: March 05, 2008
    A lack of information about Vietnam veterans’ level of exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides has been a fundamental challenge in past studies evaluating whether veterans’ health problems might be linked to herbicide exposure during the war. A new Institute of Medicine report, The Utility of Proximity-Based Herbicide Exposure Assessment in Epidemiologic Studies of Vietnam Veterans, presents the conclusions and recommendations of a committee that was convened to provide guidance to the Department of Veterans Affairs about the best use of an exposure assessment model that was developed to address this problem.
  • Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities ... Released: October 18, 2007
    On April 18 and 19, 2007, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders, in response to a request from the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, hosted a workshop called “Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research.” The goal of the workshop was to provide a venue to bring together scientists, members of the autism community, and the major sponsors of autism-related research to discuss the most promising scientific opportunities.
  • Preparing for an Influenza Pandemic: Personal Protective ... Released: September 18, 2007
    During an influenza pandemic, healthcare workers will be on the front lines delivering care to patients and preventing further spread of the disease. One vital aspect of pandemic influenza planning is the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be used by healthcare workers and others in their day-to-day patient care responsibilities. In 2006, the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a study on the personal protective equipment needed by healthcare workers in the event of an influenza pandemic.