Academic Health Center
Stay Connected

Use Of E-Cigarettes Triples Among U.S. Teens

A new national survey confirmed indications e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.

The study was conducted by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Youth Tobacco survey. Findings included the use of e-cigarettes has increased from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014 among middle school Children. The survey found the use among high school students almost tripled, from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent. The numbers equivocate to 450,000 middle school users and 2 million high school stu

Read more

In the news: No link between MMR vaccine and autism, even for children at risk for autism

Photo: Army Medicine/CC 2.0/

In a new study published in JAMA, researchers yet again found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism, even for kids who are at risk for developing autism.

According to Forbes, “the likelihood of developing autism was actually lower for those at-risk children if they received the vaccine, though that finding was not statistically significant and no one would suggest that vaccination reduces autism risk. What vaccination reduces is disease, the kinds that can disable and kill children and the kind that is even more likely to cause serious complications in children with neurological conditions.”

The study’s findings were not surprising to infectious disease experts, including Mark Schleiss, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota.

Read more

Disease transmission among humans, animals affects chimpanzee conservation in Tanzania

Photo: Flickr, CC, Roland,

The spread of disease from animal to human is no new phenomenon; the bubonic plague spread through rat fleas, Rabies normally transfers through animal bites and Ebola has commonly been linked to bats. It’s called zoonosis: when a disease from an infected animal population spills over to humans.

But pathogens can spread both ways. Humans can pass diseases to animals, too (called anthropozoonosis).

Cryptosporidiosis, commonly called Crypto, is one such disease taking a particular toll on chimpanzees within Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. A thorough analysis of the epidemiology of cryptosporidium – the parasite that causes Crypto – recently published in PLOS One, reveals the complexities of disease transmission in the Gombe ecosystem. The discovery could have broader implications on wildlife and chimpanzee conservation models.

Read more

New research shows no advantage to shorter-storage red blood cell transfusions for cardiac surgery patients

Andrew Mason/CC 2.0/

New evidence shows red blood cell units stored 21 to 42 days have similar clinical effects in cardiac surgery patients compared to units stored up to 10 days.

The findings of the study, called the Red Cell Storage duration Study (RECESS), are published in New England Journal of Medicine.

The FDA allows red blood cell (RBC) units to be stored for up to 42 days after blood donation.  At most hospitals, standard transfusion practice is to utilize RBC units that are closest to 42 days old, so that the donated units will not reach their expiration date and be wasted. RECESS sought to compare clinical outcomes in cardiac surgery patients who received RBC units stored up to 10 days and patients who received RBC units stored 21 to 42 days.

Read more

In the News: Breaking The Silence

Photo via CUHCC

According to the Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC), Latin-American women face a high probability of being victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse at some point in their lifetime. In attempt to help lower the probability, CUHCC started a program here at the University of Minnesota, called “Breaking The Silence.”

The “Breaking The Silence” program was created with the purpose to empower Latino women to prevent domestic and sexual violence in their personal lives and communities.

Read more

Research snapshot: Minimum distance requirements for critical access hospitals may harm the rural health care system

A new study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health finds more than 250 hospitals nationally could lose critical access status because of a minimum distance requirement, which requires the hospital to be located at least 15 road miles from the next nearest hospital. These critical access hospitals had higher patient volume, were more financially stable, were more likely to publicly report quality data, and had better quality performance than critical access hospitals located farther from other hospitals.

The study findings, published today in the April issue of Health Affairs, also found loss of critical access hospital status and cost-based reimbursement from Medicare would have considerable negative impacts on these hospitals and the rural communities that depend on them for health care.

Read more