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Epi Department News

Newman contributes to discussion on whether Trump’s physical should include a cognitive screen

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MEDPAGE TODAY - Epidemiology chair ANNE NEWMAN says, "“It is reasonable to test anyone with concerns about change in cognitive ability, especially after age 80. There are numerous screening tests that tap the main cognitive abilities such as the mini-mental status exam, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and informant questionnaires. These tests focus on short-term memory and language.” 

Manzi receives Richard E. Deitrick Humanity in Medicine Award

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Alumna SUSAN M. MANZI was honored with the 2016 Richard E. Deitrick Humanity in Medicine Award during the  Celebration of Excellence Awards Gala , Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Heinz Field. Established in 2012, the award honors a physician who has improved the lives of patients by caring for them with integrity, honesty, and respect of their human dignity, and serves as a role model for other physicians. Manzi is chair of the Department of Medici... 

Cauley on FRAX screening's reduction of hip fractures for health older women

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MEDSCAPE - Commenting on the study in an accompanying commentary, EPI’s JANE CAULEY points out that high-risk women in the current study had a 17.9 percent probability of sustaining a hip fracture and a 30 percent probability of sustaining a major osteoporotic fracture at 10 years. “Thus, despite the absence of a positive impact on the primary outcome, the results of the SCOOP study nevertheless have important public health implications.” 

Burke weighs in on future of opioid epidemic

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PHILADELPHIA ENQUIRER - Modeling by epidemiologist DONALD BURKE suggests that 150,000 to 200,000 people on pain pills transition to injection drugs every year. “The more people using heroin, the greater the probability that more people will use heroin, just like the spread of an infectious disease.” He wonders whether the kind of response used for epidemics might work: Determine key transition points, like when a painkiller addict is likely to tr... 

Adibi confirms chemical in soft plastics causes key changes in human placentas

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POST-GAZETTE - Odds are you have phthalates inside you. And recent research by EPI’s JENNIFER ADIBI confirms previous findings that the plastic-softening chemicals are linked to changes in the placenta that seem to affect development of the fetus. Because of “ubiquitous exposure”, 99 percent of women of child-bearing age have measurable exposure levels. 

Epi students honored with 2017 Iris Marion Young Award for Social Justice

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Congratulations to Pitt Public Health students ABIGAIL R. CARTUS and C. ELIZABETH SHAABAN, given the awards on November 15, 2017, by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at Pitt. The Young Award honors faculty, staff, and students who work to promote social justice, and recognizes that social activism takes many forms.  

Van Panhuis on the myth of spacing out kids’s vaccines

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CONSUMER REPORTS - It’s unwise to delay or spread out vaccines, says EPI’s WILBERT VAN PANHUIS. The CDC bases the schedule on disease risks, vaccine effectiveness at specific ages, and the way vaccines may interact with each other. “To start mixing this up is really complicated and actually can be dangerous.” The MMR vaccine, for instance, is timed so that children receive it just as they’ve lost residual immunity from their mothers. And measles,... 

University of Pittsburgh architects a versatile HPC system to facilitate breakthrough research

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SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING - With the assistance of Pitt’s high-performance computing (HPC) system, EPI’s ASHLEY NAIMI conducts a randomized trial of 1,200 volunteers to determine if a small, daily dose of aspirin may help women to more easily achieve pregnancy and to carry a baby to term. “Our data-intensive research relies on machine learning algorithms to interpret the data we collect.... With the new processors in place, we can obtain meaningful in... 

Salcido's Pulse Point app alerts citizens to cardiac arrent patients in need (video)

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CBS PITTSBURGH - Alumnus DAVID SALCIDO (EPI ’08), resuscitation specialist and assistant professor in Pitt’s Department of Emergency Medicine, is hoping his app can help save lives in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The free app, called Pulse Point, is connected to the Allegheny County 911 system, so that those who know CPR to get to those in need before paramedics arrive. Listen to the interview and learn more about the app. 

Why the CDC needs number crunchers on the front lines of the opioid epidemic

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90.5 WESA - Who’s needed to fight the battle? At the October 2, 2017, conference sponsored by the PUBLIC HEALTH DYNAMICS LABORATORY and CTSI, CDC’s Sarah Bacon said an essential group of people must crunch the numbers to better understand the hows and the whys of the crisis: mathematicians, epidemiologists, data scientists, and statisticians. 

Thurston research says being sexually harassed may have long-term physical consequences

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FORBES - The past several weeks have seen a regular flow of sexual harassment allegations against high profile individuals and a flood of heartfelt stories on the Internet in response to the #MeToo social media hashtag. But as epidemiologist REBECCA THURSTON has found, traumatic experiences such as sexual harassment may affect your blood vessels, your blood flow, and potentially your heart. “We found that a history of more traumatic experiences w... 

Fabio's research on gun ownership cited in New York Times

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NEW YORK TIMES - Research by Epi's TONY FABIO, was cited by op-ed columnist Bret Stephen's piece "Repeal the Second Amendment." Fabio's study, published in 2016 in the journal Social Medicine, analyzed the guns recovered by Pittsburgh Police and found that the vast majority were not carried by their legal owners.  

Thurston finds just three awful events is all it takes for a woman to end up with heart disease

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DAILY MAIL, UK - This study, led by EPI’s REBECCA THURSTON, is one of the first of its kind to assess the impact of trauma on heart disease risk. She said, “These findings underscore the importance of psychosocial factors, such as trauma exposure, in the development of heart disease risk in midlife women.” Thurston is a professor of epidemiology, psychiatry, and psychology, and director of the Women’s Biobehavioral Health Laboratory at Pitt. 

Kuller comments on why hypertension-linked dementia may impact more women than men

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It is known that high blood pressure in one’s 50s puts a person at risk for dementia in later life. It's now know that hypertension in the 30s and 40s has a similar effect, but only in women. LEWIS KULLER, epidemiology professor emeritus, talks about why this unexpected research finding might be true.  

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