Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content
PCD logo


10 Most Talked About Articles of 2018

Announcement posted 1/11/19
Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is excited to announce its most popular articles of 2018, as rated by Altmetric. Thousands of conversations about scholarly content happen online every day. Altmetric tracks a range of sources to capture, collate, and score this activity.

    1. Percentage of Deaths Associated With Inadequate Physical Activity in the United States
    2. Impact of the Tips From Former Smokers Campaign on Population-Level Smoking Cessation, 2012–2015
    3. Assessing the Relationship Between a Composite Score of Urban Park Quality and Health
    4. Patterns and Trends in Cancer Screening in the United States
    5. Creating Walkable Communities: Understanding Trade-Offs
    6. E-Cigarette Use Among Adolescents Not Susceptible to Using Cigarettes
    7. Trends in Unit Sales of Flavored and Menthol Electronic Cigarettes in the United States, 2012–2016
    8. Eating Veggies Is Fun! An Implementation Pilot Study in Partnership With a YMCA in South Los Angeles
    9. National and State-Specific Unit Sales and Prices for Electronic Cigarettes, United States, 2012–2016
    10. Public Libraries As Partners for Health




Deadline Extended on Call for Papers: Health Care Systems, Public Health, and Communities: Population Health Improvements


Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) invites authors to submit manuscripts for publication in a collection entitled “Health Care Systems, Public Health, and Communities: Population Health Improvements.


PCD invites authors to submit manuscripts on research, evaluation, and other work describing innovative and effective work to link health care and community health in ways that improve population health. Chronic diseases are a major cause of poor health outcomes, reduced quality of living, and increased health care costs worldwide. Reducing the burden of chronic disease remains a global challenge requiring diverse collaborations and diffusion and adoption of effective interventions in multiple settings. Emerging approaches have encouraged the use of combined individual and population-based approaches within and across health care and community settings. Innovative ways to work in and across settings are necessary to simultaneously address behavior, provide access to quality health care, address underlying social and environmental factors shaping health, and measure progress more easily and accurately on those issues. Over the past decade, there have been a range of innovative community- and clinically-driven prevention strategies (primary and secondary) designed to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic conditions worldwide. PCD invites manuscripts that provide timely information on jointly implemented public health and health care efforts to improve population health.

Examples of topics include but are not limited to the following:

      • Collaborations among public health agencies, health care partners, and others (eg, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, schools, academic institutions, transportation, housing, public safety) to implement clinical and nonclinical strategies, and the selection, tracking, and reporting of intermediate health outcomes.
      • Health care system (hospitals, federally qualified health systems, etc) and public health agency (local and state health department) working jointly to conduct needs assessment to identify and implement shared health improvement goals based on findings from the assessment.
      • Identifying cost-effective ways to offer sustainable evidence-driven community-based disease management opportunities.
      • Identification and execution of care coordination models (resources) that support patients’ abilities within healthcare and community settings to optimally manage chronic conditions.
      • Using trained community health workers as critical members in the delivery of team-based care to improve patient satisfaction, increase follow-up, and increase referral to disease management opportunities in community settings.
      • Health care and public health strategies to identify individuals of highest risk for hospitalization to yield the greatest success in reducing health care cost, and improving and documenting improvements in health outcomes.
      • Improving the delivery, reducing potential harms, or improving cost effectiveness of health care services of public health importance.
      • Implementation and evaluation of health communication strategies (derived from diverse partnerships) to educate patients and the public about local efforts to improve population health through education, prevention, treatment, referral, and coordination.
      • Identifying ways of using health care and public health data to guide the integration of clinical and public health approaches that address high cholesterol and blood pressure, physical inactivity, diets low in fruits and vegetables, and diets high in sodium and saturated fats.
      • Identifying and implementing monitoring systems that simultaneously track disease burden and health improvements in clinical and community settings.

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts should be submitted to PCD on or before Friday, February 1, 2019. Manuscripts submitted in response to this call for papers will be reviewed and, if accepted, published on a rolling basis. Articles will be assembled into a PDF collection accessible on the PCD website after all accepted papers have been published. PCD welcomes submissions that address a broad range of health conditions (eg, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, obesity, asthma, arthritis, oral health, reproductive health, alcohol abuse, mental health) and their risk factors, with application to a wide range of settings (access to care, health equity, policy and program development, evaluation).

Manuscripts must follow the instructions for PCD article types. Further information on submitting a manuscript is available in PCD’s Author’s Corner. Cover letters to the Editor in Chief are required and must state that the submission is for consideration in the PCD collection: “Health Care Systems, Public Health, and Communities: Population Health Improvements.” CDC’s Peter A. Briss, Medical Director of NCCDPHP, and Lloyd Michener, MD, Professor in the Department of Community & Family Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, will serve as coeditors of this collection. Please contact for questions about appropriate topics.




In Memory of Dr. Timothy Cunningham

Announcement posted 5/16/18

It is with profound sadness that Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) announces the death of Dr. Timothy (Tim) Cunningham. PCD is fortunate to have some of the most talented, well-trained, and insightful public health professionals working closely with us to achieve our mission and vision. Dr. Cunningham was one of those gifted individuals. He was appointed Associate Editor in June of 2017, and during his tenure he provided exemplary scientific review and oversight of manuscripts on many important research and evaluation topic areas, including randomized trials of behavioral interventions; epidemiological studies examining the influence of social determinants of health on health outcomes among racial/ethnic groups; the application of survey methods to assess effectiveness of local interventions; and public health approaches to mediating the effect of food insecurity among vulnerable populations.

Dr. Cunningham was masterful at providing both novice and seasoned researchers with accurate and detailed feedback that greatly improved the quality of research submitted to PCD. He assisted researchers with developing and refining research topics; identifying and addressing research bias; critically examining the quality of data and determining its fit for reported use; assessing the quality of statistical analyses; and communicating in writing to convey complex information in user-friendly ways. Dr. Cunningham brought his rich research experience to every article assigned to him as Associate Editor, and he had a thirst for knowledge that encouraged authors to move past the familiar to make a stronger case for publication in our journal. He strongly encouraged authors to challenge their work by sharing not only the strengths but also the limitations of their research. Dr. Cunningham was a tremendous asset to PCD in so many ways. He was a vital member of our team of Associate Editors and brought an impressive blend of expertise to the journal.

Dr. Cunningham understood and shared the journal’s commitment to serving the public, and his contributions helped us to fulfill our mission of disseminating proven and promising public health findings, innovations, and practices. In honor of Dr. Cunningham’s illustrious career and in appreciation for his many contributions to the journal, we plan to publish a special collection of articles on effective and innovative ways to address causes of disparities from a multifactoral perspective. We intend to dedicate this special collection to Dr. Cunningham’s career as a social epidemiologist, published author, and esteemed PCD Associate Editor.

Leonard Jack, Jr, PhD, MSc
Editor in Chief
Preventing Chronic Disease



Update on PCD’s 2018 Student Research Paper Contest

Announcement posted 5/2/18

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) would like to thank all of the students who participated in this year’s contest. We had another record year, with a total of 109 submissions! PCD is currently in the process of reviewing student papers and expects to announce winners in August. Check back for more updates.




PCD Extends Deadline for Student Research Paper Contest

Announcement posted 2/22/18

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) has extended the deadline for its 2018 Student Research Paper Contest to 5:00 PM EST on Friday, March 23. PCD is looking for students at the high school, undergraduate, or graduate level and recent post-graduates to submit papers relevant to the prevention, screening, surveillance, or population-based intervention of chronic diseases, including but not limited to arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

The 5 primary goals for PCD’s Student Research Paper Contest are to:

      • Provide applicants with an opportunity to become familiar with a journal’s manuscript submission requirements and peer-review process;
      • Assist applicants to connect their knowledge and training on conducting quality research with a journal’s publication expectations;
      • Develop applicants’ research and scientific writing skills to become producers of knowledge rather than just consumers of knowledge;
      • Provide applicants with an opportunity to become first author on a peer-reviewed paper;
      • Promote supportive, respectful, and mutually beneficial student/post-graduate―mentor relationships that result in strengthening students’ ability to generate and submit future scholarly manuscripts.

Submission Requirements

PCD uses PCD ScholarOne Manuscripts for manuscript submission and tracking. Before submitting your manuscript, please read the instructions below in addition to the information provided on the PCD website under Manuscript Requirements.


      • Student applicants must be currently enrolled in a high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree program. Post-graduate applicants must have received their graduate degree within the past 12 months and be participating in a medical residency, post-doctoral fellowship, or similar training program under the supervision of a mentor, advisor, or principal investigator.
      • Applicants should meet the standard to serve as first author. The first author is the person who conducted or led the topic being presented and prepared the first draft of the manuscript. The first author must also ensure that all other authors meet the criteria for authorship.
      • Applicants and coauthors are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards in submitting scholarly work to the journal for consideration. Applicants and coauthors should become familiar with the journal’s Editorial Policy.
      • Applicants (not mentors) must serve as the corresponding author for manuscripts submitted in conjunction with the student research contest. No exceptions will be allowed.
      • Manuscripts must report on research done while in one of the qualifying student or post-graduate categories listed above.
      • The research must have been completed within the last 12 months.
      • Manuscripts must not be published previously or submitted elsewhere for publication.
      • Manuscripts must represent original research submitted in Original Research format or GIS Snapshots format. Other article types will not be considered. For a detailed explanation, see information on Original Research and GIS Snapshots articles on PCD’s Types of Articles page.
      • Students and recent post-graduates must submit a cover letter indicating their interest in being considered for the contest and the name and contact information of their advisor. The cover letter must also indicate current level of academic enrollment: high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree, or applicable post-graduate residency, fellowship, or other training program. In addition, applicants should address all routinely required disclosures in the cover letter. Learn more about general cover letter requirements on PCD’s How to Submit a Manuscript page.
      • Applicants must provide a letter of recommendation from their advisor confirming either the student’s enrollment in a degree program or the post-graduate candidate’s residency or fellowship. The advisor must confirm that the research was conducted while in training under the advisor’s supervision. The advisor’s letter must confirm that the applicant conceptualized the analysis and was the primary author of the manuscript. The advisor’s letter must also acknowledge that the advisor recognizes that no one other than the applicant can serve as corresponding author.
      • Applicants should submit the cover letter and advisor letter when they submit the manuscript.


Manuscripts must be received electronically no later than 5:00 PM EST on Friday, March 23, 2018.

Manuscript Review Process

      • Not all manuscripts submitted for consideration will undergo peer review.
      • Applicants and advisors must understand that the decision-making process to identify which manuscripts will advance through the various stages of review is a lengthy process. Therefore, applicants and advisors must have patience as the decision-making process moves through review stages.
      • An applicant manuscript receiving comments and suggestions does not mean the manuscript will be accepted for publication.
      • Applicants interested in getting a sense of where manuscripts are in the review process are encouraged to contact the journal. Such inquiries should only come directly from the applicant serving as first and corresponding author on the manuscript.

Helpful Hints

Please be sure to visit the Author’s Corner section of PCD’s website for important information on what to avoid when developing the manuscript, tables, and figures.


      • The winning manuscript will be recognized on the PCD website and published in a 2018 PCD release with an accompanying editorial, podcast interview, and social media promotion.
      • The winning author will be invited to participate in the panel review process for the 2019 Student Research Paper Contest.


Other manuscripts may be accepted for publication depending on the outcome of the peer-review process. Accepted manuscripts that remain in the contest after the second round of review will be published after the winning manuscripts are published and recognized as submissions to the student contest.

About the Journal

PCD is a peer-reviewed electronic journal established to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners in chronic disease prevention and health promotion. The journal is published weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.



Call for Papers on Population Health, Place, and Space: Spatial Perspectives in Chronic Disease Research and Practice

Announcement posted 2/13/18


Deadline for Submission: August 31, 2018

PCD welcomes submissions for this upcoming collection, which highlights the variety of ways in which geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analyses are being applied to enhance chronic disease research and public health practice.



Understanding the role of place and space in shaping the distribution of chronic disease is critical to informing appropriate public health responses for chronic disease prevention and treatment. Advances in the application of spatial statistics, spatial epidemiology, and GIS have provided opportunities for public health professionals to explore and address the spatial variation in a wide range of chronic disease-related outcomes, risk factors, and their correlates. Many place-based factors, including social, economic, environmental, and health care-related conditions of communities, have been associated with chronic disease in both theory and research. Research into the contributions of these contextual, community-level factors moves beyond a narrow focus on individual-level risk factors and enables public health professionals to address underlying causes and to advance health equity. Furthermore, advances in the delivery of place-based chronic disease data and maps, via interactive websites and other spatial tools, provide public health professionals with opportunities to develop programs and policies tailored to the needs of specific communities. Understanding how to evaluate data from these sources is important as public health professionals navigate this burgeoning world of local-level chronic disease-related data. This PCD special collection documents research, translation, case studies, and analytic tools that have a spatial perspective and highlights the innovative and effective incorporation of place and space into chronic disease surveillance, prevention, and treatment.


Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts submitted in response to this call for papers will be reviewed and, if accepted, published on a rolling basis. Articles will be assembled into a PDF collection accessible on the PCD website after all accepted papers have been published. PCD welcomes submissions that address a broad range of chronic disease conditions (including injury, mental health, maternal and child health) and their risk factors, with application to a wide range of settings (access to care, health equity, policy and program development, evaluation).

PCD encourages the submission of manuscripts in a variety of article types. Illustrative examples are included below but are not intended to exclude other topics relevant to the collection. Please refer to the Types of Articles page on PCD’s website for specifications of each article type.

Original Research or Research Brief

      • Descriptive epidemiology of the spatial and/or spatio-temporal distributions of chronic disease outcomes
      • The association of neighborhood or community attributes with chronic disease outcomes
      • Theoretical or conceptual development of the importance of place and space for chronic disease prevention and treatment
      • Review of methodological considerations for using spatial statistics and techniques from an applied perspective for chronic disease
      • Tutorial-style paper that instructs readers in the use of a spatial method
      • Theoretical or conceptual development and extension of the meaning of space and place in chronic disease epidemiology
      • Applied spatial analysis in chronic disease research and practice
      • Descriptions of the following:
        • Methods for spatial data collection
        • Existing data sources that are not well-known
        • Data analysis methods, etc, and the corresponding benefits and challenges
      • Review of websites with small area chronic disease-related data and mapping capabilities
      • Tools that support the use of small area chronic disease-related data

GIS Snapshots

      • Maps that describe geographic variation in chronic disease outcomes and/or risk factors
      • Maps that inform chronic disease-related policies, interventions, and/or programs


Thank you, 2017 PCD Peer Reviewers

Announcement posted 2/1/18

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) recognizes the enormous contribution that peer reviewers make to the success of the journal and the scientific enterprise as a whole. Our reviewers represent a broad spectrum of public health specialties with expertise in virtually every area of research and practice. We extend our sincere thanks to all of our peer reviewer consultants for their insightful critiques, thoughtful recommendations, and valuable assistance in contributing to the scientific quality and the integrity of articles published in PCD.

See the full list of 2017 PCD Peer Reviewers.


Announcing PCD’s Top Peer Reviewers of 2017

Announcement posted 2/1/18

Our top 5% of reviewers for 2017 have fulfilled the highest standards of scientific research, measured not only in the timeliness and quantity of reviews they completed but also in the exceptional quality of their reviews as rated by our Editor in Chief and Associate Editors.

PCD’s top reviewers receive:

      • Personal thank-you letter from PCD’s Editor in Chief
      • Letter of recognition directed to the reviewer’s institution or supervisor
      • Social media promotion, with photo and brief bio, on Facebook and Twitter
      • Opportunity to receive Continuing Education credit (CME, CPE, CNE, or CPH)

See the full list of Top 2017 PCD Peer Reviewers.


10 Most Talked About Articles of 2017

Announcement posted 1/12/18

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is excited to announce its most popular articles published in 2017, as rated by Altmetric. Thousands of conversations about scholarly content happen online every day. Altmetric tracks a range of sources to capture, collate, and score this activity. A Complete list of the top 10 articles published in 2017 are available below:

Top 10 Articles Published in 2017:

      1. Could EBT Machines Increase Fruit and Vegetable Purchases at New York City Green Carts?
      2. Perceptions of Harm to Children Exposed to Secondhand Aerosol From Electronic Vapor Products, Styles Survey, 2015
      3. Global Trends in the Affordability of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, 1990–2016
      4. Do No Harm: Moving Beyond Weight Loss to Emphasize Physical Activity at Every Size
      5. Metabolic Syndrome Prevalence by Race/Ethnicity and Sex in the United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–2012
      6. Cardiometabolic Risk Factors Among 1.3 Million Adults With Overweight or Obesity, but Not Diabetes, in 10 Geographically Diverse Regions of the United States, 2012–2013
      7. Quit Methods Used by US Adult Cigarette Smokers, 2014–2016
      8. Screening for Food Insecurity in Six Veterans Administration Clinics for the Homeless, June–December 2015
      9. Comorbid Arthritis Is Associated With Lower Health-Related Quality of Life in Older Adults With Other Chronic Conditions, United States, 2013–2014
      10. The Influence of Parental Health Literacy Status on Reach, Attendance, Retention, and Outcomes in a Family-Based Childhood Obesity Treatment Program, Virginia, 2013–2015



PCD Announces 2017 Student Research Paper Contest Winners

Announcement posted 8/30/17

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is pleased to announce the winners of our 2017 Student Research Paper Contest. A total of 5 papers were selected as top selections in each category by our review panel. Two winners were named in the doctoral category and 1 winner each was selected from the graduate, undergraduate, and high school categories. Thank you to all the students who submitted manuscripts and to the educators and advisers who encouraged and supported their participating students. The winning papers and podcast interviews with each winning student will appear in an October 2017 release of PCD.

Congratulations to the following student winners:

Doctoral Winner: Lorena S. Pacheco, MPH, RDN, CPH

Current epidemiology doctoral student at University of California, San Diego–San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program.

Doctoral Winner: Katherine Arlinghaus

Current doctoral student at the University of Houston.

Graduate Winner: Kenny Mendoza-Herrera, MSc

Former graduate student at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

Undergraduate Winner: Kayla Smurthwaite

An undergraduate student at Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.

High School Winner: Emily Liu

University of Pennsylvania first-year student.


PCD Pilots Simplified Submissions for Authors

Announcement posted 7/5/17

As part of our ongoing efforts to accelerate the dissemination of research findings and to improve customer service, PCD is piloting a simplified submissions process from July through October 2017. During this period, PCD hopes to make the process of submitting manuscripts faster and easier by reducing formatting and technical requirements in tables, figures, and other supporting files. In addition, references may be submitted in varied formats as long the format is used consistently and includes all information. In adopting this streamlined submission process, we strongly encourage authors to focus on research results and implications for practice in their papers. Those papers that move through peer review to the revision stage will be required to conform to PCD guidelines. We hope through this 4-month pilot effort to streamline the submissions process, reduce the burden on authors, and shorten the overall turnaround time in bringing important quality research to publication. Visit our updated Simplified Submission Process page for more information.


Watch and Learn: How to Get Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Announcement posted 6/13/17

Did you miss the Public Health Reports webinar on how to get published in peer-reviewed journals? Watch a recording of the presentation and hear what Public Health Reports Editor in Chief Frederic E. Shaw, MD, JD, PCD Editor in Chief Leonard Jack, Jr, PhD, MSc, and fellow public health and editorial experts had to say about organizing a writing strategy when preparing an article for peer-reviewed literature, including how to structure it, how to plan it, how to execute it, and how to position it so that it will be attractive to journals and peer reviewers.


PCD Named Top HHS Innovator

Announcement posted 5/10/17

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) has been recognized as part of the HHS family of products ranked number 1 in the Reuters Top 25 Global Innovators: Government category for 2017. HHS rose from 4th place in 2016, largely due to its increasingly influential patent portfolio, which saw a rise in the number of citations by researchers at other institutions around the world. To create the ranking, Reuters News relied on Clarivate Analytics to identify more than 600 global organizations (including educational institutions, nonprofit charities, and government-funded institutions) that published the most articles in academic journals. Then they identified the total number of patents filed by each organization and evaluated each candidate on factors including how many patents it filed, how often those applications were granted, how many patents were filed to global patent offices in addition to local authorities, and how often the patents were cited by other patents. Candidates were also evaluated in terms of the number of articles published by researchers in academic journals, how often those papers were cited by patents, and how many articles featured a co-author from industry. PCD is honored to be among these prestigious innovators.


The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions.