Epi Faculty News

El Khoudary, Thurston recognized by North American Menopause Society

EPI's Samar El Khoudary was elected as a new NAMS board member and also received a poster prize for work presented during the meeting. El Khoudary is also faculty at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. EPI's Rebecca Thurston was elected 2019-20 President of NAMS. Thurston is also faculty in psychiatry and psychology. Congratulations!   

Brent’s findings help high school kids look out for one another

THE LACONIA DAILY SUN - We know that human compassion, connection, and kindness can make a difference for someone experiencing emotional distress. Studies now show that mental illness and its consequences affect 25 percent of the U.S. population. Of those, 50 percent develop mental illness by age 14, 75 percent by age 24. The fastest growing rate of suicide is in children age 10 to 14, said EPI’s David Brent, who has studied adolescent suicide s... 

Boston cites Chang, Kuller, and Matthews study that says optimists live longer

FORBES - As early as 2009, EPI’s Yue-Fang Chang, Karen Matthews, and Lewis Kuller carried out a personality test with 97,253 women that assessed their levels of optimism and pessimism. Researchers compared the top quartile of the most optimistic women with the bottom quartile of the most pessimistic women.  

Bodnar's study seeks to guide maternal weight gain in twin pregnancies

HEALTH NEWS DIGEST - An old adage urges pregnant women to “eat for two.” So with twins, is it “eat for three?” While that is likely bad advice, when it comes to twin pregnancies, EPI's Lisa Bodnar says, “Twin pregnancies have high rates of complications, so it is important to identify factors that we can modify during pregnancy to lessen these risks.”  

Faculty speak out on “Inequality Across Gender and Race” report

Faculty members Dara Mendez (EPI) and Tiffany Gary-Webb (EPI/BCHS) shared some thoughtful criticisms of the “Inequality Across Gender and Race ” report recently issued by the city.  These two Pitt Public Health faculty members were co-signers of a letter responding to the report and challenging city leadership to take this issue seriously. Find out more...  

Former students and colleagues return to honor Dean Emeritus Burke

A Festschrift Symposium honoring Donald S. Burke was held on Friday, September 13, 2019, at the University of Pittsburgh. Burke served as dean of the Graduate School of Public Health and associate vice chancellor for global health at the University of Pittsburgh from 2006 to 2019, making him the longest-serving dean in school history. Invited speakers representing Burke’s major areas of scientific contribution include Jeanine Buchanich of Pitt P... 

Thurston shows more hot flashes could up odds for heart trouble

WEB MD - EPI's Rebecca Thurston ifound that frequent or persistent hot flashes are linked to higher odds of heart attack and stroke. The finding stems from a 20-year study of about 3,300 women during menopause. "The [heart events] were not explained by things like blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, exercise or smoking, which are our usual suspects," said Thurston.  

Burke talks about how to control the river of legal painkillers flowing through Allegheny County

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW - There were 76 billion pills prescribed across the country from 2006-2012. In that time, prescriptions in Allegheny county went from 46 pills per person per year to 58. EPI's Donald Burke said that there is still a long way to go in terms of controlling this first step of the addiction process: prescribing of drugs.   

Study finds microplastics turning up in human stool. Adibi talks moving the research forward.

PHYSICIAN'S WEEKLY - Tiny bits of plastic may be getting into our bodies, a new study suggests. EPI's Jennifer Adibi point out that “[the study] does shine a light on a different way of looking at the impact of plastics on health. “Until now we have been focused on measuring and studying the health effects of the chemicals in plastics. “Now we need to extend that thinking to include the intact particles of plastics.”  

Too old for president? Newman says health and fitness are better indicator than age

AP - “A healthier heart, for example, is going to translate to a healthier brain...you can have a group of people who at age 80 are still going to work every day, doing all the stuff they need to do. We’re not very good at understanding who’s going to be able to tolerate the stress in emergency situations,” like the 3 a.m. crises presidents so often must navigate, said EPI's Anne Newman as three Democrats in their 70s are vying to challenge the... 

Smagula comments on study that says dementia caregiving takes toll on sleep

Just looking at the average difference in sleep over a week may be “misleading,” said EPI's Stephen Smagula. “That comes down to about 25 minutes a day. But some caregivers may be really losing a lot of sleep while some aren’t losing much,” he added.  

Programs work from within to prevent black maternal deaths: Workers targeting root cause — Racism

THE NATION'S HEALTH - The law is good news for maternal health, but it is critical that such committees include and work with women most at risk, said EPI's Dara Mendez, a member of Pennsylvania’s newly established Maternal Mortality Review Committee, which had its first meeting in July. In a Health Affairs article published in February on implementation of the new federal law, Mendez and co-authors said the “extent to which these voices are cur... 

El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for menopause-related symptoms, and new research from EPI's Samar El Khoudary reinforces the importance of tailoring hormone therapy to each patient, based on her individual risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers showed for the first time that hormone replacement therapy affects the accumula... 

Environmental concerns aren't the only reason to reduce plastic consumption, Adibi points out

FOX 46 ORLANDO - "They are considered fat-loving or lipophilic. So they naturally migrate into the fat in the food,” EPI's Jennifer Adibi said.   

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