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Research Snapshot: More research-based evidence needed in legislative discussions about childhood obesity in Minnesota

Photo credit: Michael Hicks via Flickr

How our legislators make decisions depends on a variety of factors such as expert beliefs, constituents’ opinions, political principles and research-based evidence. And while we’d like to think more decisions are made utilizing research-based evidence, a new study by researchers at the School of Public Health and the Medical School at the University of Minnesota along with collaborators at the American Heart Association and the Public Health Law Center found only 41 percent of all formal legislative discussions over childhood obesity-related bills in Minnesota from 2007-2011 cited some form of research-based evidence.

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research-and-clinical-trials

University of Minnesota study finds mothers in poorer health are less likely to breastfeed

Photo credit: DSC_6978 via Flickr

Pediatricians agree exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life provides a wealth of benefits to a mother and child. But new research from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota finds one-third of women enter pregnancy in poorer health, and are less likely to plan to breastfeed and less successful at exclusive breastfeeding when they do plan to breastfeed their babies. The study found women who are obese, have diabetes or have hypertension were 30 percent less likely to intend to breastfeed than mothers without health complications.

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University of Minnesota research finds ACA insurance expansions reduce health care spending burdens for young adults

A new study published today in the August issue of the journal Health Affairs by Ezra Golberstein, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, in collaboration with Susan Busch, Ph.D., of Yale University and Ellen Meara, Ph.D., of Dartmouth College, found the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they turn 26, was associated with significant reductions in the likelihood that young adults had to pay high out-of-pocket costs for health care.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M study finds health insurance coverage and racial disparities exist in receiving reconstruction after mastectomy

A University of Minnesota School of Public Health study found health insurance coverage and racial disparities exist in women who have undergone reconstruction after mastectomy. In 2013, more than 232,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States, and 37 percent of those women with breast cancer underwent a mastectomy, or the surgical removal of breast tissue. Of those, nearly one third undergo breast reconstruction to rebuild the shape of the removed breast. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy offers clinical, cosmetic and psychological benefits with low medical risk.

Study findings were recently published in Women’s Health Issues.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Sen. Jeremy Miller impressed with U and MnDRIVE Neuromodulation research

Sen. Miller stands with President Eric Kaler during his recent visit to U of M.

In late June, the U of M hosted Minnesota Senator Jeremy Miller for an educational visit to learn more about the exciting neuromodulation research and technology taking place as part of the MnDRIVE brain conditions initiative.

During his visit Sen. Miller had the opportunity to tour the campus, meet and welcome new Minnesota men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino and hear from students and faculty about their research.

“I believe it’s extremely important for legislators, especially those on the higher education committee, to see and understand what our higher education institutions are doing,” Miller said.

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U of M research: Implications of expanding indications for drug treatment to prevent fracture in older men

Photo: Joan Sorolla via Flickr

A new University of Minnesota-led study of osteoporosis in men recently published in the British Medical Journal found the proportion of older men labeled as abnormal and warranting drug treatment ranged from 2 percent to 25 percent depending on the definition of osteoporosis and absolute fracture risk intervention thresholds applied to the population.

Older men experience 29 percent of all bone fractures among United States adults 50 years of age or older. However, the best strategy to identify men who are candidates for drug treatment is not yet known. The uncertainty exists, in part, because osteoporosis is not as well defined for men as it is for women. In addition, drug treatment in women with osteoporosis reduces risk of bone fractures, but the effect of treatment on fracture risk has not been evaluated in men.

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