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Adult obesity rates fall significantly in Minnesota

Adult obesity rates are decreasing in Minnesota, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests.

The report issued last week ranked Minnesota with the 13thth lowest obesity rate in the U.S.

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In The News: U.S. Senators, UMN faculty discuss Zika virus threat

Photo: https://flic.kr/p/oJoYyb

Zika virus is gaining attention in the United States as mosquito season arrives. The virus, carried and transmitted by infected Aedes mosquitoes, poses a major threat to pregnant woman and can cause extreme birth defects in unborn babies.

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken visited the University of Minnesota to discuss the immediate concern of the Zika virus in Minnesota and to talk about preventative steps.

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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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