Tip Sheets

We work with our partner organizations to create resources for writers and producers on a wide variety of compelling health topics. Tip sheets include basic information such as who’s at risk, typical symptoms and case examples for storylines, and additional resources on the topic. Many are also in Spanish. You can access the CDC’s list of health topics (A to Z), or by using the link at the very bottom of this page. In addition, see our list of featured tip sheets below.
  • Medication Abortion

    Medication abortion care is a safe, FDA-approved, non-invasive option for ending an early pregnancy. It involves taking two different prescribed medications: mifepristone is taken first, and misoprostol is taken 24 to 48 hours later. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Abortion Rights Policy

    Since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade provided women with safe and legal abortion, subsequent decisions have resulted in states having enacted a total of 1,142 restrictions to abortion access. This has created a patchwork of laws that impact women’s health inconsistently and impose financial hardship. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Judicial Bypass for Abortion for Minors

    The majority of states require parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion—either by notification or consent. Since the Supreme Court ruled that states may not give parents a veto over a daughter’s choice, 36 states allow a minor to petition a judge to waive the requirement to notify parents, or obtain one or both parents’ permission. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Post-Abortion Mental and Emotional Health

    For 95% of women who have had an abortion, feelings of relief outweigh any negative emotions. Studies show that women do not regret their decision to terminate a pregnancy—and studies show that these feelings are maintained three years later.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Opioid Addiction in Women

    Opioid addiction has increased at alarming rates for both men and women in the United States. Opioids include both illicit drugs, such as heroin and street fentanyl, and prescription medications such as oxycodone, codeine and morphine. 

    (Updated May. 10, 2021)
    Opioid Addiction in Jails and Prisons

    In the throes of addiction, people may engage in illegal acts that result in incarceration. At least a quarter of people in US prisons and jails have an addiction to opioids, compared to 1% in the general US population. 

    (Updated May. 10, 2021)
    The Opioid Epidemic

    Opioids are a group of chemicals that include natural opiates derived from the poppy (morphine and codeine) and synthetic opioids made in labs, such as oxycodone and fentanyl. By 2010, enough opioids were prescribed in America to medicate every man, woman and child around the clock for a full month every year.

    (Updated May. 10, 2021)
    Nalaxone: Reversing an Opioid Overdose

    Naloxone (often known by the brand name, Narcan) is a safe, easy-to-use and effective way to reverse an opioid overdose. Though traditionally administered by emergency response personnel, naloxone can be administered by minimally trained laypeople. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Arthritis

    Arthritis includes more than 100 diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround the joint, and other connective tissue. Each type of arthritis has a different set of unique signs and symptoms. However, nearly all types of arthritis are marked by joint pain, stiffness and swelling, along with loss of flexibility and range of motion.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Autism Disparities

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a broad range of disorders that affect a child’s communication and social behaviors. The effects of these disorders on the autism spectrum can range from mild to severe. One common autism spectrum disorder is called Asperger’s syndrome. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Cancer Real Stories

    Every day, nearly 4,200 Americans get the terrifying news from their doctor that they have cancer, and the numbers are increasing. Although cancer strikes people of every age, older people have the highest risk—and America’s population is aging.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Young Black Women With Breast Cancer

    Before, during and even after a cancer diagnosis, young Black women face unique challenges that are either not present or are less severe for their white counterparts.

    (Updated Jun. 8, 2021)
  • Diversity in Clinical Trials

    The medications, therapies, and treatments that we use to deal with different illnesses and injuries have been studied using clinical trials. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), African Americans represent 12% of the U.S. population but only 5% of clinical trial participants and Hispanics/Latinos make up 16% of the population but only 1% of clinical trial participants.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Clinical Trials_Cardiovascular Health

    When a variety of racial/ethnic groups are represented in clinical trials, valuable information about certain diseases, treatments, and medications are revealed. This information helps to improve how we treat and prevent illnesses in different communities. Cardiovascular (heart) disease is one particular illness where we see major differences among different groups of people. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Clinical Trials and Diabetes

    Currently over 29 million adults in the United States are living with diabetes; and about 1 in 4 of these people are unaware they have the disease (CDC, 2015a). Diabetes is a group of diseases that results in too much sugar in the blood, which over time can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss and nerve damage. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Clinical Trials and Cardiovascular Health

    With heart disease, we see major differences among different groups of people. It’s the leading cause of death for most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, and is especially common among vulnerable populations, such as ethnic minority groups and low-income populations. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Diversity in Clinical Trials

    The medications and treatments that we use to deal with different illnesses and injuries have been studied using clinical trials. Unfortunately, the people who often participate rarely include those from underrepresented backgrounds—African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and people living in rural areas. This lack of diversity in clinical trials hinders opportunities for discovering medication and treatment effects that may only occur in underrepresented populations.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • California Public Health Guidelines

    We all have a role to play to protect each other and ensure the health and safety of all Californians. Hoping to reach the widest audience possible, the state Department of Public Health has issued some guidelines for content creators on how to convey accurate and helpful information and messages.

    (Updated Feb. 13, 2021)
    Covid-19 Guidelines for TV Content

    If you are considering including Covid-19 messaging in your television content to help slow the spread of the disease for those most at risk, these guidelines (like those for PSAs) build on the successful designated driver ad campaigns.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Covid-19 Guidelines for PSAs

    If you are considering including Covid-19 messaging in public service announcements to slow the spread of the disease for those most at risk, these guidelines build on the successful designated driver ad campaigns.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Re-Entry of Justice-Involved People into Society

    Each year, more than 600,000 people in the U.S. are released from state and federal prisons. However, more than 450,000 are arrested again within five years, often due to technical violations or non-criminal behavior.

    (Updated Mar. 18, 2021)
  • A Culture of Health

    Creating a Culture of Health would ensure that all people have an equal opportunity to live the healthiest lives possible, regardless of ethnic, geographic, racial, socioeconomic, or physical circumstances.

    (Updated Apr. 6, 2021)
  • Clinical Trials and Diabetes

    Over 50% of Hispanic adults are predicted to develop type 2 diabetes (CDC, 2016). Addressing this particular disease burden on the community will require a variety of efforts, including increasing Latino/Hispanic representation in clinical trials.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Disability Inclusion in the Entertainment Industry

    Film and TV have a history of being less than exemplary when it comes to showcasing diverse characters—characters with disabilities are no exception. While people with disabilities are the largest minority in America, the disability community still lacks major representation on TV. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Reaching Out to the Disability Community

    56 million Americans have a disability, and the market size of this extended community is worth an estimated $1 trillion. However, few companies today are fully reaching out to the disability market.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Epilepsy and Seizures

    Epilepsy is a general term for more than 30 types of seizures. People diagnosed with epilepsy have had more than one seizure, and they may have more than one kind of seizure. About 2.9 million people in the United States have some form of epilepsy. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Affordable Care Act

    Despite progress made in health coverage enrollment thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the number of Americans who are uninsured has been increasing since 2016. Recent survey results suggest that many adults are unaware that they are eligible for coverage.

    (Updated Sep. 7, 2021)
  • HIV Prevention: PrEP and PEP

    Traditional efforts promoted by CDC to prevent HIV infections have depended on changing people’s behaviors. The CDC increasingly recommends the use of PrEP and PEP to prevent HIV infection.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    HIV and African-American Women

    African American women are disproportionately affected by HIV. Of all the women living with AIDS in the U.S., 60% are African American and two out of three African American women got HIV from having unprotected sex with a man. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Lung Cancer

    Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the United States, with one in every sixteen Americans expected to receive a diagnosis of lung cancer in their lifetime. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Lung Cancer / Additional Information

    It is estimated that more than 228,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2019. The low 5-year survival rates for lung cancer (19%) is particularly striking when compared with the 5-year survival rates for prostate (98%), breast (90%), and colorectal (65%) cancers. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • What Is Lupus?

    Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that can affect the body’s joints and any organ, including the skin, kidneys, brain, heart and lungs. It causes the immune system to see the body’s healthy cells as foreign invaders and attacks them.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)

    Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that can affect the body’s joints and any organ, including the skin, kidneys, brain, heart and lungs. The disease causes the immune system to see the body’s healthy cells as foreign invaders and attacks them. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Maternal Mental Health

    Maternal mental health disorders are the most common medical complications affecting birthing people during the perinatal period (pregnancy through the infant’s first year).

    (Updated Mar. 18, 2021)
    Salud mental materna

    Los trastornos de salud mental materna (MMH) (por ejemplo, trastorno depresivo mayor, ansiedad) son las complicaciones médicas más comunes que afectan a las mujeres durante el período perinatal (desde el embarazo hasta el primer año del bebé).

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Sobremedicalización del parto

    El parto ha sido un proceso de vida normal y natural para las mujeres y la sociedad durante siglos. Sin embargo, hoy en día, un tercio de los bebés nacen quirúrgicamente, y las intervenciones (por ejemplo, episiotomía, monitoreo fetal) se utilizan a menudo en contra de la mejor evidencia, cuando se sabe que no ofrecen ningún beneficio y tienen el potencial de causar daño. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Black Birth Equity

    Black birthing people are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy/birth-related causes and twice as likely to suffer a maternal morbidity than those in all other racial/ethnic groups.

    (Updated May. 5, 2021)
    Mortalidad materna en los Estados Unidos

    Según los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC), la mortalidad materna se refiere a la muerte relacionada con el embarazo durante o después del embarazo, hasta un período de un año tras el parto. Esta puede incluir afecciones relacionadas con el embarazo, como hemorragias, hipertensión, enfermedad cardíaca y problemas de salud mental, como el suicidio. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Overmedicalization of Childbirth

    One-third of babies in the U.S. are surgically born, and childbirth is the top reason for hospitalization.

    (Updated Mar. 18, 2021)
    Maternal Mortality

    Despite improvements in medical technology and treatment, recent findings report that the U.S. has the worst rate of maternal mortality compared to any country in the developed world.

    (Updated Mar. 18, 2021)
  • Medicaid

    Medicaid provides free or low-cost health coverage to millions of Americans including some low-income adults, families and children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with disabilities. Medicaid currently covers 74 million people, or 1 in 5 Americans. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Mental Health Stigma

    Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death for all Americans (and the second leading cause of death for those between 15 and 34). People struggle with the symptoms and disabilities, and are challenged by the stigma that results from misconceptions about mental illness.

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • The North Korea Nuclear Threat

    For the handful of nations that possess nuclear weapons, how they are controlled and managed has been a fundamental issue since the dawn of the nuclear age. North Korea—a country steeped in secrecy—raises many questions in this regard. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    A New Nuclear Arms Race

    A vast and expensive plan to “modernize” the nation's nuclear stockpile began under President Obama. A recent report in The New York Times describes how the plan’s costs have recently ballooned from $1 trillion over 30 years to more than $1.2 trillion. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Effects of High and Low Doses of Radiation

    Ionizing radiation has sufficient energy to cause chemical changes in human cells and damage them. Fortunately, our bodies are extremely efficient at repairing cell damage. The extent of the damage to the cells depends upon the amount and duration of the exposure, as well as the organs exposed. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • What Is Person-Centered Care?

    Person-centered care is a team-based approach where a person’s values and preferences guide all aspects of their health care, supporting their realistic health and life goals. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
    Aging With Dignity

    The face of American society is changing with people living longer than ever before. Yet right now our nation lacks a system of care and support that enables older adults to age with dignity, independence and choice in the face of increasing health and daily needs. 

    (Updated Jun. 2, 2021)
    Person-Centered Care

    Health care that puts people first means helping those with significant health conditions live the life they want to live—and not spend all their time inside a doctor’s office or hospital.  

    (Updated Jun. 2, 2021)
    Aging in Community

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau report, the older adult population will continue to grow significantly in the coming years as a result of the aging “baby boom” generation. This will affect families, businesses and health care providers. 

    (Updated Jun. 2, 2021)
    Family Caregiving

    More than half of adults who reach age 65 will—at some point—need a high level of support with basic daily activities, such as walking, eating, bathing and getting out of bed. They may also need help with paying bills, taking medications regularly, and scheduling and getting to appointments and social activities.

    (Updated Jun. 2, 2021)
    Older Adults With Chronic Health Conditions

    With the increase in longevity and our society’s expansive aging population, more people are living with chronic health conditions, which can make it challenging to perform the activities of daily living.

    (Updated Jun. 2, 2021)
    Functional Homes for Older Adults

    As people age, their mobility and physical strength diminish and many aspects of a home that were once functional become difficult. One solution is to remodel the space to accommodate these challenges. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)
  • Voting by Mail

    Vote by mail was first used to allow Civil War soldiers to vote from the battlefield and has now expanded to allow more people who cannot physically be at the polls to mail in or drop off their ballot. Access has further expanded recently due to the safety concerns of in-person voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    (Updated Feb. 11, 2021)