US NEWS - Death certificates that did not specify the drugs involved in fatal overdoses may have masked more than 70K opioid-related deaths across the U.S. from 1999 to 2015. "Coroners... do not necessarily have medical training useful for completing drug information for death certificates based on toxicology reports," says BIOS' JEANINE BUCHANICH . DEAN BURKE and LAURAN BALMERT (BIOS ’17) coauthored the study.
MIT NEWS - The stretchiness that allows living tissues to expand, contract, stretch, and bend throughout a lifetime is the result of a protein molecule called tropoelastin. HUGEN's ZSOLT URBAN, says “elastin is necessary for the proper working of stretchy organs such as blood vessels, heart valves, and lungs. However, the full structure of tropoelastin was unknown until now."
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Twelve years after the first vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) was licensed for use, many young people still have not had the vaccine that is proven to prevent certain types of cancer. HPV vaccination rates for girls and boys in the Pittsburgh area are still far below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80 percent, although they are improving, according to BCHS's LINDA ROBERTSON.
"To name a permanent University asset, such as a building, for a person on an honorific basis is intended to be one of the highest, most visible, and permanent recognitions the University can bestow. It is appropriate to revoke this naming decision and to remove any perception of celebrating a name associated with these unfortunate human trials," Gallagher wrote in a memorandum to the Board of Trustees recommending that they remove the name of...
In Sen Toomey's weekly e-newsletter, he announces that the Senate Finance Committee adopted his amendment, the Encouraging Appropriate Prescribing for Victims of Overdose in Medicare Act, to require Medicare to notify a doctor if their patient has suffered a non-fatal opioid overdose. Toomey references a study by experts including JULIE DONOHUE, HPM professor, in his discussion about the need to inform doctors of patient overdoses.
PITTWIRE - Pitt is taking a leading role in tackling the public health crisis by strengthening its prevention, treatment and recovery programs to bring meaningful change to the lives of students. "While opioid abuse is lower on university campuses, we can't be complacent," said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. Pitt Public Health was represented on the task by BRADY BUSHOVER (EPI '18) and project coordinator MICHAEL MALLON (BCHS '13).
ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – also known as ‘good cholesterol.' “The results of our study are particularly interesting to both the public and clinicians because total HDL cholesterol is still used to predict cardiovascular disease risk,” said lead author and EPI's, SAMAR EL KHOUDARY (EPI '08).
FORBES - A new study shows that the combination of opioids with benzodiazepines is especially risky in the first 90 days of concurrent use. "These findings demonstrate that fragmented care plays a role in the inappropriate use of opioids, and having multiple prescribers who are not in communication increases the risk for overdose," HPM's YUTING ZHANG told Forbes about a study also featuring INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16) as first author.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The task force, which includes officials and students, including BRADY BUSHOVER (EPI '18) and MICHAEL MALLON (BCHS '13), has recommended that the school mobilize its research and treatment resources to fight addiction through initiatives ranging from partnerships with local medical centers to an on-campus space devoted to student recovery.
PITT WIRE - The National Security Education Program has recognized 8 Pitt students with Boren Awards. Doctoral student, SARA BAUMANN (BCHS '19), received a Boren Fellowship for study of the Nepali language at Cornell University for summer 2018 to support her work in community-based participatory research using Collaborative Filmmaking to further examine menstrual practices in Nepal this fall.
One Pitt Public Health student has been selected as a 2018-19 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellow. JOHN CORDIER (HPM '18) aims to address health and education gaps faced by youth in urban schools by working with high-school students during after-school programs. He leads health clubs to address health issues and empower the students to be leaders in addressing community health issues.
On May 21, 2018, Healthy Start Inc.’s 2018 Annual Cheryl Squire Flint Cultural Sensitivity Symposium, “This Woman’s Work: Exploring Maternal Mortality and Morbidity,” brought together experts on the public health issue of maternal morbidity and mortality, and related topics such as the life course perspective, disparities, traumatic birth experience, post-partum depression, prevention, and more.
IDM's DERRICK MATTHEWS explains Pitt Public Health's work on HIV/AIDS and where we are today. "If your’e a black gay man in the U.S., you have a one in two change
in your lifetime of becoming HIV positive…short of the cure that we’re looking for, the biology is way ahead of the social implementation science."
IDM's DERRICK MATTHEWS demystifies infectious diseases and microbiology with a basic overview of the fields, how they are practiced, and how disease is spread.
HUGEN's RYAN MINSTER talks about how his interest in body composition and obesity led him to Samoa. "Polynesians and Micronesians have some of the highest rates of overweight and obesity in the world." He and his lab explored genetic factors that could be leading to increases in weight in a sample of Samoans.
Much of the work being done in epidemiology is about translating data into practice, explains EPI's ASHLEY NAIMI. One way of doing that is through causal inference. "Causal inference is not actually about providing causality from observational data. It’s about identifying the conditions that we need in order to infer causality.” He also discusses his work with aspirin and whether it can help with fertility and child birth.
In this talk, JULIE DONOHUE discusses five key factors about the Affordable Care Act. She touches on medicaid expansion, which increased insurance coverage in the U.S. for over 20 million people, and she talks about the uninsured rate. "[The ACA] has led to the biggest reduction in the uninsured in history and we have the lowest level of uninsured that we’ve ever recorded at about 10%."
JOURNAL OF VIROLOGICAL METHODS - BURKE, MARQUES, and colleagues discuss anti-dengue NS1-specific IgG and IgG3 as potential biomarkers of long-term and recent (less than 6 months) DENV infections, respectively.
THE LANCET - MARQUES and BURKE comment about two Zika vaccines in clinical development and describe the challenges ahead.
PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE - Magalhaes, Braga, Cordeiro, Oliveira, Castanha, Maciel, Amancio, Gouveia, Peixoto-deSilva Jr., Peixoto, Britto, Lima, Lima, and Marques detected the tail end of a Zika epidemic in 2015-16 which was displaced by a chikungunya epidemic. Few dengue cases were identified despite a high number of official dengue notifications in the area during this period. Here they show the important epidemiological features of these cas...