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In the News: University of Minnesota research drives home aspirin’s benefits

Photo courtesy Flickr user Jill Watson

Despite its known benefits, new research from the University of Minnesota’s Medical School shows many older patients don’t talk to their doctors about the cardiovascular benefits of low-dose aspirin.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, looked at aspirin use of 26,000 Minnesotans ages 25 to 74. The study found aspirin use for primary prevention of heart attacks and stroke increased in men from 1 percent in 1980 to 21 percent in 2009, and in women from 1 percent to 12 percent.

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In the news: UMN group leads effort to develop new pediatric medical devices

Photo by David Joles, Star Tribune staff photographer. Copyright 2016 Star Tribune. http://strib.mn/1mCilTS

Transforming a concept on paper to a tangible and functioning medical device requires a lot of time and research. And even more money.

It could take an estimated profit margin of $500 million or more before a tech company will move to invest in a new medical device, the Star Tribune estimates. Finding funding to reach that point is difficult to say the least. That’s why Gwen Fischer, M.D., assistant professor in the department of pediatrics of the University of Minnesota Medical School, teamed up with medical device colleagues to form the Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium (PDIC).

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In The News: New research shows cancer diagnoses are associated with higher voter turnout in 2008

Many factors can affect voter turnout: older people generally vote more, as do people with higher income and more years of education. Researchers have recently begun to study how people’s health affects their involvement in politics. Previous research shows healthy people are more likely to vote, even after taking account of other factors known to be associated with turnout.

However, new research published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law and featured in a Washington Post article written by Sarah Gollust, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Wendy Rahn, a professor in Political Science, shows voter turnout is related to not just by how healthy you are, but whether you suffer from specific chronic illnesses. The biggest surprise from their research was that cancer was associated with higher voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election.

 

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In the news: Frequent self-weighing among teens linked to negative health effects

Photo: Flickr user, Paola Kizette Cimenti, CC, https://flic.kr/p/9QWsLc

Stepping on a scale may seem like the most helpful way to measure weight loss progress, but a recent study from the University of Minnesota revealed that teens who often weigh themselves are more likely to have negative mental health effects.

Published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, the research found young women who frequently self-weigh may be at risk for depression and were more likely to have lower levels of self-esteem and body satisfaction.

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In the news: Study shows processed meats may increase cancer risk

Photo: flickr, CC, Didriks, https://flic.kr/p/a6YNau

It might be time to rethink the typical American backyard barbecue with hot dogs and bacon cheeseburgers. Recent research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found more evidence that red meats and processed meats should be eaten in moderation. The study revealed consumption of hot dogs, ham and other processed meats is linked to colorectal cancer. The University of Minnesota collaborated on the study.

The IARC classifies processed meat as a carcinogen and the associated risk of developing colorectal cancer is small, but increases with consumption. Experts determined 50 grams or 1.75 ounces of meat per day (about two strips of bacon or six thin slices of ham) can increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.

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In the news: More than half of nursing mothers lack adequate workplace accommodations

Photo: flickr, Bridget Coila, https://flic.kr/p/ahjewq

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing mothers breastfeed for six months, but a recent study from the School of Public Health revealed less than half of nursing mothers returning to work after giving birth have access to adequate accommodations to do so.

Published in Women’s Health Issues, the research analyzed data from 2,400 mothers who had given birth between 2011 and 2012, and showed 60 percent lacked the proper facilities and break times. The remaining 40 percent that did have access to accommodations were more than twice as likely to breastfeed for the entire six months.

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