Epi in the News
In and op-ed article for the Boston Globe, Dean Julio Frenk draws attention to the incredible importance of funding public health prevention efforts. He outlines key elements of the Affordable Care Act and explains the important role prevention support plays to benefit long term public health efforts. As Dean Frenk states in the article, “Compromise is inevitable, but some things should be placed beyond the reach of politics — prevention funding is one of them.” Follow the link provided to read the full article from the Boston Globe.
A study completed by a collaborative team of researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health pinpoints evidence that women who experience PTSD are more likely to battle obesity. The study was recently published in Jama Psychiatry and was lead by senior author Karestan Koenen. This study acknowledges PTSD as not only being a mental health issue by demonstrating the severe physical health effects it can have on those who suffer from it as well. “The good news from the study is that it appears that when PTSD symptoms abate, risk of becoming overweight or obese is also significantly reduced,” says first author Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at HSPH. Read the full HSPH news article for further information.
A healthy diet is estimated to cost about $1.50 more per day
The healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets, according to new research from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The study was published online in BMJ (British Medical Journal) Open. “While healthier diets did cost more, the difference was smaller than many people might have expected. Over the course of a year, $1.50/day more for eating a healthy diet would increase food costs for one person by about $550 per year. This would represent a real burden for some families, and we need policies to help offset these costs. On the other hand, this price difference is very small in comparison to the economic costs of diet-related chronic diseases, which would be dramatically reduced by healthy diets.” said Dariush Mozaffarian, the study’s senior author and associate professor at HSPH and Harvard Medical School. Other HSPH authors included research fellows Ashkan Afshin (Department of Epidemiology) and Gitanjali Singh (Department of Nutrition).
Shedding light on gestational diabetes
Harvard School of Public Health’s Michelle Williams gave an overview of the controversies and challenges surrounding gestational diabetes, diabetes that women develop while pregnant, at a summer Hot Topics lecture at the School on August 6, 2013. The Department of Epidemiology Chair presented detailed information on the condition that has been on the rise in recent years, in step with the worldwide rise in obesity. According to current estimates, 5%-7% of pregnant women in the U.S.—nearly a quarter of a million each year—develop gestational diabetes. Learn more about this fascinating subject through the recently published HSPH news article written by Karen Feldscher.
- Forced prostitution is finally being linked to higher risk of HIV and sexually transmitted disease infection in sex trafficking victims. “Involuntary sex work is not only a human rights crisis, but also exacts a devastating toll on health,” Kathleen Wirth, ScD ’11, wrote in a recent online opinion piece in the New York Times. Wirth is a research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership in Gaborone, Botswana.
- A new article by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers including David Hunter and Srinath Reddy outlines the global burden of chronic, or noncommunicable, diseases and proposes ways in which national leaders and heads of international organizations can develop systems to cope with these long-term conditions that the authors call the “dominant global public health challenge of the 21st century”. Read the full article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- Nutrition expert and Department of Epidemiology professor Dariush Mozaffarian has challenged the stereotypical “anti-fat” mentality by championing the wonderful benefits that healthy fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, play in a well-balanced diet resulting in long term health benefits. Read the article from Livestrong.com to learn more.
- Professor and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, Marc Lipsitch, discusses differences between various types of the flu and what to look out for this coming flu season. Learn more from the Harvard Gazette.
- In a recent study, findings have shown that individuals who consistently improved their healthy eating habits after a heart attack greatly reduced their risk of a heart disease related death later on. The study was completed by Shanshan Li, research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology, and other HSPH colleagues including senior author, Dr. Eric Rimm. It was published online September 2, 2013 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
- Paige Williams and George Seage have been heavily involved in a study that recently found that newer combination antiretroviral (ARV) drug therapies for HIV appear to protect against puberty delays among children born with HIV. The study is believed to be the first to evaluate the impact of combination HIV treatments on puberty onset in youth. Read the full HSPH news article to learn more.
- African Americans in the US may be at a higher risk for health problems due to insufficient sleep- “Short sleep” has been linked with increased risk of health problems including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and death. According to a recent study from HSPH, researchers found that black professionals had the highest prevalence of short sleep and white professionals had the lowest prevalence.
- Skipping breakfast may increase coronary heart disease risk -HSPH researchers found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who did eat a morning meal. The study was published July 22, 2013 in the American Heart Association (AHA) journal Circulation.
- Prostate cancer: To screen or not to screen? -Dr. Lorelei Mucci outlines the latest research, debates and recommendations on Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) screening during a lecture at the School on July 30, 2013, part of the annual summer Hot Topics series.
- A tireless advocate for the science of healthy eating- The Boston Globe Magazine profiled Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) nutrition expert Walter Willett in the cover story of its July 28, 2013 issue. Read Boston Globe article.
- Three cups of milk a day? That may be too many - coverage of HSPH’s Walt Willett’s work with Vitamin D in the Boston Globe on July 18, 2013
- Researchers uncover 74 new genetic risk factors for breast, prostate and ovarian cancer - coverage of journal articles by HSPH’s Peter Kraft on April 11, 2013
- Cell phone data mining dubbed “breakthrough technology” - coverage of HSPH’s Caroline Buckee’s work in by MIT’s Technology Review on April 23, 2013
- Support for bicycle mass transit in China may hold lessons for other countries - coverage on March 26, 3013 of study in Lancet with HSPH’s I-M Lee
- Eating too much salt led to nearly 2.3 million heart-related deaths worldwide in 2010 - coverage on CBS News featuring HSPH’s Dariush Mozaffarian on March 22, 2013