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AMA: Racism is a threat to public health

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AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION - Building on it's June pledge to confront systemic racism and police brutality, the AMA has taken action to explicitly recognize racism as a public health threat and detailed a plan to mitigate its effects.       

Call to Action: Structural Racism as a Fundamental Driver of Health Disparities: A Presidential Advisory from the American Heart Association

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CIRCULATION - Structural racism has been and remains a fundamental cause of persistent health disparities in the United States. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and multiple others have been reminders that structural racism persists and restricts the opportunities for long, healthy lives of Black Americans and other historically disenfranchised groups.   

American Diabetes Association unveils scientific review on social determinants of health and diabetes

AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION - "People living with diabetes face many challenges. Some of these relate to the disease itself, but increasingly we recognize the importance of many social determinants," said Robert A. Gabbay, chief scientific and medical officer of the ADA. "The scientific review not only defines these issues but shines a bright light on the resulting health disparities and articulates an important research agenda to address thes... 

Lead in game meat a health risk for hunting families and food bank recipients

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THE ALLEGHENY FRONT - In an extensive podcast interview, MPH student Samantha Totoni (EOH '21) discusses the risks of lead shot in hunted meat.  Scientists have found concentrations of lead more than 100 times the limit in the meat of lead shot carcasses, which can be particularly dangerous if the meat is ground and donated to food banks. PA has no inspection requirement for game meat donations.    

Lagged Association of Ambient Outdoor Air Pollutants with Asthma-Related Emergency Department Visits within the Pittsburgh Region

Brandy M. Byrwa-Hill, Arvind Venkat, Albert A. Presto, Judith R. Rager, Deborah Gentile, and Evelyn Talbott find an association between O 3 exposure in children and NO 2 and CO exposure in adults and asthma-related ED visits within the greater Pittsburgh area.   

An Expert’s Mental Health Reminders

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PITTWIRE - Finals are here. Winter is coming. Pitt psychiatry and epidemiology expert Rebecca Thurston offers reminders to care for yourself during tough times.  

New AHA Scientific Statement on Menopause and CVD Risk

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NEWS MEDICAL - Changes in hormones, body composition, lipids, and vascular health during the menopause transition can increase a woman's chance of developing cardiovascular disease after menopause, the American Heart Association said in a scientific statement. EPI's Samar R. El Khoudary, who chaired the AHA writing group, stressed "monitoring women's health during midlife and targeting this stage as a critical window for applying early intervent... 

Pitt public health expert anticipates surge in COVID cases

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WTAE NEWS — Like ACHD, HPM's Mark Roberts anticipates a surge in cases after Thanksgiving. "I would say that we should start seeing something in the next couple of days," he said. "Right now, the only way we can stop the spread is if people behave in a way that decreases their likelihood of spreading the virus: That’s socially distancing, wearing the mask, washing your hands. All the things that Dr. Bogen is suggesting."  

COVID-19 deaths in PA more than triple what CDC expected a month ago

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ABC27 News — Why were CDC forecasts for the “fall resurgence” of COVID-19 off by so much? Possibly because the biggest variable of all isn’t molecular. “In essence, models that do this kind of prediction, you have to predict human behavior, which is hard,” said HPM's Mark Roberts, who also directs Public Health Dynamics Laboratory. And human behavior, Roberts said, has been unhelpful.  

BCHS alumnus David Hicks brings teamwork and values to organzing COVID-19 response

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ALABAMA NEWSCENTER - Deputy health officer at the Jefferson County Department of Health David Hicks (BCHS '03) plays a key role in organizing COVID-19 testing at Legion Field in Birmingham, which has been commended for how smoothly it has run. Residents drive into the parking lot, remain in their cars to be tested, and receive test results online in 24-48 hours.“So I’ve always had this passion to take care of those who are the most vulnerable,” ... 

On World AIDS Day 2020, Learn About Pitt’s Work and Impact

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PITTWIRE - Pitt Public Health, the local community, and the University of Pittsburgh have long fought HIV and AIDS. One of our many efforts is the Pitt Men’s Study, which last year celebrated a milestone: 40 years of studying the disease. Learn how we're working together to conquer the disease.  

Trump to FDA: Why is Europe beating us on vaccine?

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POLITICO — A president who preached "America First" is demanding to know why the U.S. could end up third in the global vaccine race. Meanwhile outside public health experts also urge haste as the pandemic worsens. "Every day that goes by is 2,000 people dead. I don't know another circumstance where waiting on drug approval has such an impact on mortality," said HPM's Walid Gellad . "Sometimes in a crisis, you might have to cut corners."  

Al-Ahmadi becomes first woman to serve in leadership position in Saudi government

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ALKALEEJ TODAY – Hanan Bint Abdul Rahim Al-Ahmadi (HPM ’95) was appointed assistant president of the Shoura Council in Saudi Arabia. This appointment elevated her to the third-highest position of the council and made her the first Saudi woman to serve in a leadership position in the Kingdom’s consultative body.  

Newman awarded AHA Clinical Research Prize (video)

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EPI's Anne Newman received the American Heart Association's 2020 Clinical Research Prize based on her extensive research career focused on aging, including the determinants of physical and cognitive function, as well as successful aging and longevity. She is an expert in the study of cardiovascular disease, aging and body composition, and sarcopenia (muscle loss) and physical functioning.  

As the battle against HIV continues, Pitt Men’s Study volunteer joins coronavirus vaccine study

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TRIBUNE-REVIEW — When drug makers solicited volunteers to test a coronavirus vaccine, Marc Wagner jumped. It was a matter of giving back. Wagner felt compelled to do his part for science. But just as important, it was an opportunity for him to honor the herculean efforts of scientists and others he has met over the last 35 years in his battle against HIV.  

Monoclonal antibody drugs raise hopes for keeping high-risk COVID-19 patients out of the hospital. But it’s complicated.

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER — Monoclonal antibodies are not magic bullets. They must be given intravenously in a hospital or infusion center where COVID-19 poses a particular danger to immune-compromised chemotherapy patients. HPM's Walid Gellad summarizes “We don’t want people running to the emergency room to get this therapy. We don’t want people running to infusion centers, where there are patients with cancer."  

Why a vaccine won’t end the covid pandemic

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TRIBUNE-REVIEW — IDM's Amy Hartman said the early results from vaccine trials have her feeling more optimistic than she’s been throughout the pandemic. But, she cautioned, “it’s important to keep in mind that vaccines aren’t necessarily a finite ‘solution’ but they are an important step toward controlling the pandemic.” In the meantime, continuing mitigation efforts—staying physically apart, wearing masks, and washing hands—remain vital.  

Pitt Scientists Demonstrate Positive Effects of Physical Activity in Patients and Identify Predictors of Satisfaction after Bariatric Surgery

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THE PHILLY VOICE — Wendy King, associate professor of epidemiology, found that higher physical activity levels after bariatric surgery lessen depressive symptoms and improve mental and physical quality of life, irrespective of weight loss. Gretchen White's study identified patient characteristics, such as insufficient social support and unrealistic weight-loss expectations, that can predict not being satisfied long-term with Roux-en-Y gastric by... 

Emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines likely in weeks, though U.S. still headed for a harsh winter

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MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL - "Vaccination of select high-risk individuals may start by the end of the year, but most likely the majority of vaccines will be released during the first quarter of 2021," said IDM's Amy Hartman. Vaccine makers still need to gather results from larger groups of recipients who have been studied for longer periods. "That's important," she said, "because some very rare side effects may not become apparent until either a... 

A look inside schools’ reopening decisions, HPM's Donohue weighs in

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TRIB LIVE - HPM's Julie Donohue said certain protocols are critical to stemming potential transmission, naming strategies such as universal mask-wearing, heightened sanitizing and hygiene practices, and “cohorting”—dividing students and staff into distinct groups with minimal interaction between each other—to reduce their number of contacts throughout the day. “It’s an incredibly challenging set of decisions to make,”  

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BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials 

BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials

PITTWIRE — When we hear about clinical trials, we might picture doctors and patients partnering to test new therapies. What we might not think about are the many others who make those studies happen. Take Maria Mori Brooks, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, who makes sense of the numbers... (02/24/2021)
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Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study 

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pitt researchers are studying and combating false online information about vaccines. “Vaccines are often the victim of their own success,” said BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman, a research assistant at the Center for Resea... (02/01/2021)
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Albert among 3 Pitt Experts on Reasons for Optimism in 2021 

Albert among 3 Pitt Experts on Reasons for Optimism in 2021

PITTWIRE — Optimism is hardwired in most humans, says public health professor Steve Albert. If you don’t feel like you’re one of them right now, here are three perspectives on why, despite all that 2020 brought us, things are looking brighter. (12/16/2020)