@PITT - Michael Holland has been named Pitt's first-ever vice chancellor for science policy and research strategies. Holland’s responsibilities will include the development and implementation of University research policies and of strategies to support collaborations across the sciences, medicine, engineering, information technology, humanities and creative arts, social sciences and innovation.
GREATER GREATER WASHINGTON - For Advisory Neighborhood Commission GGW endorses MICHAEL SHANKLE (CHS '96). Shankle writes, “as a resident adjacent to Gallery Place, I understand and sympathize with the frustrations of my neighbors [about amplified noise].” However he feels that the proposed legislation is “vindictive against street performers, which have a rich history in the neighborhood” and wants “a more sensible and holistic approach.”
SCIENCE DAILY - New research from Pitt Public Health found that arterial stiffness is a good proxy for predicting who will go on to develop dementia. Even minor signs of brain disease were not as telling. Since arterial stiffness can be reduced by antihypertensive drugs, and likely also lifestyle interventions, these findings suggest that at-risk patients may have the power to prevent or delay the onset of dementia.
FORBES - Bariatric surgery can reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death in obese people. But those who gained back 20 percent of weight lost were more than one-third more likely to develop diabetes and two-thirds more likely to have high cholesterol, according to a study conducted by a research team including EPI and BIOS professors, WENDY KING, STEVEN BELLE, ABDUS WAHED, MPH student, AMANDA HINERMAN (EPI '19), and other colleagues.
UPMC - Given the increased risk of alcohol use disorder associated with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, it is recommended that clinicians screen for alcohol use disorder before and after surgery, but there is no guidance on how to do that screening, said EPI's WENDY KING. According to a long-term, multicenter analysis, common screening tools fail to work well in this population.
EUREKALERT - After Indiana's passage of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 2015, sexual minorities increasingly reported poor health on a national survey. "Although we can't say for certain what caused this significant increase in unhealthy days for sexual minority people in Indiana, the change coincided with intense public debate over enactment of the RFRA law," said lead author JOHN BLOSNICH from our Center for LGBT Individuals' Hea...
MEDSCAPE - A debate took place on whether osteporosis treatment is associated with mortality took place at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) 2018 Annual Meeting. Most (72%) of the bone doctors agreed with the motion that "osteoporosis treatments are associated with improved mortality [rates]." Although unmeasured confounders may be present, "I believe there is an association," said EPI's JANE CAULEY.
PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - Pitt Public Health has won a $1.2 million grant from the CDC to bring to bear its computer and algorithmic firepower on the nation's opioid epidemic. The two-year grant builds upon Pitt's modeling system called A Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED). "Our hope is it's the tool we can train to help" with the drug epidemic, said DEAN DONALD S. BURKE.
PITT MED - Cells die—that’s just part of life. But there’s always a reason. Pitt scientists are figuring out how to keep programmed cell death in check. EOH's VALERIAN KAGAN and SALLY WENZEL and other colleagues including EOH's HULYA BAYIR, are partnering to better understand “the reason” for ferroptosis—exactly what biomolecular line is crossed, how that signal is communicated within and between cells, which molecules pull the trigger, and how....
TRIB LIVE - The Allegheny County Health Department has received two federal grants totaling nearly $1.7 million that will assist in addressing health inequality and the opioid epidemic across the county. Several Pitt Public Health alumni are a part of this initiative, along with BCHS's TIFFANY GARY-WEB, and EPI's DARA MENDEZ as co-investigators on the research and evaluation of this important work.
Congratulations to BIOST's Ada Youk who was recently elected to the International Statistical Institute (ISI). The ISI Mission is to lead, support and promote the understanding, development, and good practice of statistics worldwide, by providing the core global network for statistics.
PITT WIRE - Baby boomers have long been known as one of the largest generations, and now they are living longer and healthier than any generation before, says Epi's ANNE NEWMAN, newly appointed clinical director of the Aging Institute of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh. “We’re going through an aging revolution. The 65-year-old today is a healthier person than a 65-year-old was 30 years ago.”
PITTSBURGH COURIER - Around 75 percent of people in the United States use a smartphone, and apps focusing on mobile health (mHealth) can be used to track key and unique health updates for users. The research of EPI's LORA BURKE (EPI '98), has focused on how to use mHealth for one particular risk factor of cardiovascular disease—being overweight. “Research reinforced that the crux of weight loss... is self-monitoring in real time."
Pitt Public Health was one of the host sites for the Pennsylvania Opioid Code-a-thon. MICHAEL MALLON (BCHS '13), project coordinator for opioid initiatives, said, "watching the teams in action over the first weekend was fun and encouraging! I have been impressed with their critical thinking, observations, and exploration into the data and systems at work in this crisis."
BUSTLE - Though many people do not understand the safety and efficacy of the flu shot, it is the best protection against the dangerous infection. In fact, many of the rumored side effects you've probably heard about the flu vaccine are actually not true at all. Some people claim the flu shot can mess up your muscle. BCHS's RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, explained that the pain in your arm actually means the vaccine is doing its job.
KAISER HEALTH NEWS - As congressional action seems increasingly unlikely, two approaches offer another possible path forward. The first is known as “march-in rights.” The second is generally referred to as Section 1498 because of its location in the U.S. Code. They are “already part of a law that is intact. … An option the administration can take now,” said HPM's WALID GELLAD.
Dean Donald S. Burke's third annual address to the school on the state of the nation's opioid overdose epidemic looks at one of the most pressing issues facing our region. Burke highlights his team's research recently published in Science ( Changing dynamics of the drug overdose epidemic in the United States from 1979 through 2016 ), as well as details Pitt Public Health's efforts to confront the crisis and how you can get involved. Click...
CAROLYN BYRNES (EPI ‘11), NANCY NIEMCZYK (EPI ‘14), and EPI's DARA MENDEZ are to serve in a new effort to collect information to investigate and disseminate findings related to maternal deaths. “With the alarming rate of maternal deaths in Pennsylvania, establishing this committee will help take immediate action in determining the reasons for this phenomenon,” Governor Wolf said.
PRI'S THE TAKEAWAY - Last week America watched as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ducked and dodged questions about his drinking habits when he was a teenager. It forced many of us to consider our own relationship to alcohol. BCHS's CHRISTINA MAIR said, "There are more deaths attributed to alcohol than any other substance and it's one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in this country."
BCHS's ELIZABETH FELTER and JASON FLATT (BCHS '13) recently published a study guide for the Certified Health Education Exam. The 200-page book serves as the primary resource for any student taking the CHES exam and is now available through Springer Publishing Company.