MEDICAL XPRESS - E-cigarette brand JUUL's Twitter handle is attracting adolescents to the point that at least a quarter of its followers appear to be under age 18. Many of these minors—to whom it is illegal to sell nicotine-delivery products—are retweeting JUUL's messages, amplifying its advertisements to a vulnerable population. The study results are published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and coauthored by BCHS' ELIZABETH MILLER.
UNIVERSITY TIMES - University leaders are reviving an effort to turn Pitt into a tobacco-free campus. Dean Burke handed the new initiative over to NOBLE MASERU, director of the Center for Health Equity. Maseru said he has been reaching out to various stakeholders to begin fleshing out the initiative more. “I believe it is an acceptable intervention in today's culture especially in a university campus,” Maseru said.
BARIATRIC NEWS - People who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery are at increased risk for alcohol-related problems and common screening tools that help physicians identify patients at high risk for alcohol use disorder fail to work well in this population, according to a new study. EPI's WENDY KING says specific symptoms of alcohol use disorder, such as being unable to remember because of drinking, should be assessed.
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...
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.
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.
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."
Noble Maseru of the Center for Health Equity joined a panel discussion entitled "Human Rights in Pittsburgh and the World: Assessing Human Rights Impacts, Limitations, and Prospects at the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)". Maseru challenged the audience of students and community members to understand health equity as a human right.
MEDPAGE TODAY - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been associated with cognitive and behavioral changes, especially later in the disease. However a cross-sectional, observational study published in Neurology, found that patients with ALS showed cognitive and behavioral impairment across disease stages. This misconception has "puzzled the field for years," noted Paul Wicks and BCHS's STEVE ALBERT in an accompanying editorial.
US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - A 2005 report from the National Alliance on Caregiving suggested the U.S. has about 1.4 million youth caregivers between the ages of 8 and 18. Most are helping an older adult who has a chronic disease such as dementia, heart disease, or diabetes. “It may be a strategy of having the grandchild help you with activities that make your life easier so you can concentrate on the grandparent,” says EPI and BCHS's RICHARD SCHU...
WRCB-TV - The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vaccine shots, instead of needle-free options, for children of all ages because the shots work better. UPMC is taking that a step further, saying it will only be buying the two egg-free vaccines on the market. “The egg-free vaccines appear to have perhaps a 10 percent higher effectiveness over the traditional egg-based vaccines,” said BCHS's RICHARD ZIMMERMAN.
The LGBT Caucus of Public Health Professionals of APHA established the Walter J. Lear Outstanding Student Research Award to recognize exceptional work by students on LGBT-related issues. Stephanie Creasy (BCHS '17) is the 2018 awardee. Congratulations, Stephanie!
INFECTIOUS DISEASE ADVISOR - "Depending on whether they've been diagnosed and treated, people with HIV now have a higher life expectancy, but they still live with pain — especially chronic pain — and other symptoms," says BCHS's JESSICA MERLIN. These issues underscore the need for palliative care in this population at various stages, including end of life.
U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - A new analysis from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 10 percent of adults ages 60 to 69 whose parents are alive serve as caregivers, as do 12 percent of adults age 70 and older. “If older caregivers have health problems themselves and become mentally or emotionally stressed, they’re at a higher risk of dying,” said EPI and BCHS's RICHARD SCHULZ.