Epi Department News

What women can do to protect their hearts at every age

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NHLBI News - EPI's Samar El Khoudary shares what healthcare providers and the public should know about reproductive events, such as pregnancy complications or early menopause, that can influence women's cardiovascular disease risks. "We want to make sure that women are aware that heart disease is their number one killer," she says. Knowing about the risks can be the first step to prevention.   

Real-time genomic surveillance quickly detects hospital outbreaks

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HEALIO - Alexander Sundermann (IDM '14, EPI '22) and colleagues find real-time genomic surveillance is able to detect hospital outbreaks using an approach they call Enhanced Detection System for Healthcare-Associated Transmission, which would allow hospitals to detect outbreaks early and intervene quickly. Sundermann says, "We believe that this will substantially improve patient safety" and that "sequencing surveillance will eventually become ro... 

Diabetes in the offspring of exceptional survivors

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FRONTIERS SCIENCE NEWS - New study within the US Long Life Family Study identifies biomarkers characteristic for people born in – or married into – families with exceptionally long-lived members. Both groups also have a reduced risk of developing type II diabetes. Sharing the household and lifestyle of children of long-lived parents might lead to these marked health benefits for spouses, but it’s also possible that people tend to pick their part... 

Doctors devise safer alternative to opioids during, after surgeries

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U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT - EPI's Wendy King weighs in on opioid use during and after bariatric surgery care. States that many weight-loss centers are indeed developing their own opioid-sparing protocols. The majority of patients seem to be on board with these protocols.   

Dean’s Day 2022 DEI Award, Master’s Category: Emily Arthur

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EPI student Emily Arthur won the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, Masters Level for the project, “Maternal Health in Rural Virginia”.  

Christian Garcia-Calavaro (EPI '19) appointed head of Department of Epidemiology Chilean Ministry of Health

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With a warm and inviting smile – and a colorful tattoo of the Andy Warhol bridge on his forearm – Epidemiology alum Christian Garcia-Calavaro is eager to share his public health journey from his native Chile to Pittsburgh and back again. As he reflects on his experiences at Pitt Public Health he shares, “Through knowledge and example, I learned what made me the public health professional I am today and the foundations of the virtuous person who ... 

Black Equity Coalition and Tiffany Gary-Webb use data driven approach to addressing health disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic

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PITT MED - Concerned about the COVID-19 death rate for Black Pittsburghers, Tiffany Gary-Webb and a group of scholars in her sphere reached out to public health officials. When they asked about the rates in the Pittsburgh area, the data were not available to the public at the time. In the ensuing weeks and months, Gary-Webb was part of a collegial huddle working together to put pressure on public health officials. Ultimately, that pressure resul... 

Researchers seek answers on how structural racism could impact dementia

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WESA - EPI's Andrea Rosso and Tiffany Gary-Webb, Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity, are part of a research study intent on learning how structural racism has affected the cognitive health of Pittsburgh residents in two of the city's historically Black communities: Homewood and Hill District. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, epidemiologists from Pitt and the Rand Corporation will follow 1,100 research particip... 

El Khoudary weighs in on study of menopausal weight gain

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EVERYDAY HEALTH - Authors of a study on menopausal weight gain found that exercise and diet during perimenopause may be the best strategy to avoid excess weight. "The results suggest that there are differences in metabolism that are related to exercise according to menopause status," says EPI’s Samar R. El Khoudary. Adding that “findings are in agreement with data from longitudinal studies showing perimenopause as a critical window for body comp... 

Congratulations to Jennifer Adibi as an inaugural Social Justice Faculty Fellow

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PITTWIRE - EPI's Jennifer Adibi was selected as an inaugural Social Justice Faculty Fellow! The fellowship supports faculty who are committed to social justice and equity, and is one of several initiatives at Pitt seeking to address structural racism and inequity. Fellows receive a $10,000 award, funded jointly by their respective schools and community partnerships, and are paired with a community organization for an 11-month project that addres... 

Remembering Russell Rycheck, Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology

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Russell Rycheck, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology, passed away on December 17, 2021. He will be remembered as a celebrated professor and respected colleague. Dr. Rycheck was a professor at Pitt Public Health for 42 years, where he received multiple awards for teaching, including Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Excellence in Teaching and the Margaret Gloninger award for teaching and service.  

Self-compassion can be good for the heart, Thurston finds

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - New research from secondary EPI faculty Rebecca Thurston sheds light on the ways that being kinder to yourself may be good for your heart. The study found that women who practice self-compassion overall have stronger cardiovascular health, further cementing the correlation between mind and body. “Self-compassion is a psychological construct that includes relating to oneself with kindness or compassion, particularly duri... 

A Broken System: Health Care Inequity

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WQED - EPI’s Dara Mendez, BCHS’s Patricia Documet, and Diego Chaves-Gnecco (MMPH ’00) are featured in a 30-minute documentary showcasing widespread and troubling health disparities. Lack of access to affordable care, racism, marginalization and other factors have led to increased rates of cancer, diabetes, asthma, and fetal and maternal death in Pittsburgh’s African American, Latinx, LGBTQIA+ and disabilities communities.  

Wenzel, Kagan, Newman are Highly Cited Researchers for 2021

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Congratulations to EOH’s Sally Wenzel and Valerian Kagan and EPI’s Anne Newman for their inclusion in the 2021 list of Highly Cited Researchers. The list identifies researchers who have demonstrated significant influence in their chosen fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. A total of 18 researchers from Pitt were included in this year's list.   

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