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One baby’s heart defect is saving lives with new test

Photo courtesy WCCO TV

When baby Eve Saarinen was first born, she looked healthy. However, right before she was discharged, Eve’s doctor detected a heart murmur, a condition that is fairly common in newborns.

After Eve was screened, her physician, Lazaros Kochilas, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist with the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, informed the family their child was in heart failure and she needed immediate surgery. This inspired Eve’s mom, Annamarie Saarinen, to help prevent seemingly healthy babies being discharged who in reality have a serious medical condition.

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in-the-news

In the News: U of M Study: PTSD symptoms linked to food addiction in women

Photo courtesy Flickr Megan Allen

New research suggests women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms may be more likely to experience food addiction or dependence.

The study conducted by epidemiologist Susan Mason, M.P.H., Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health was recently published in JAMA Psychiatry.

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in-the-news

U of M study reveals kids exposed to more fat shaming comments on TV than adults

Photo courtesy Flickr user Michael Cramer

In a general sense, children’s television has a reputation for being politically correct, however, a new study reveals television aimed at kids contains just as many, if not more, weight-stigmatizing, or fat shaming, conversations.

The study led by Marla Eisenberg Sc.D., M.P.H., an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, was recently published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. Eisenberg analyzed the content of more than 30 episodes of popular kid shows and identified the number of weight-stigmatizing incidents.

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in-the-news

Your health, influenced by social standing

Photo: JD Hancock/CC 2.0/ flic.kr/p/8awYPw

Of the five factors that go into building good health, experts agree three are social. Whereas two factors – health choices (like sleep and safe sex) and genetics – come up frequently in discussions around improving health care, three additional factors often fall by the wayside.

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in-the-news

In The News: Maternal Mental Illness

More than 500,000 women in the United States encounter postpartum depression every year. According to a new article co-authored by Katy Kozhimannil, Ph.D., School of Public Health, depression symptoms can start during pregnancy — negatively impacting both the mother and baby.

“…maternal illness adversely affects infant brain development and subsequent social and emotional health as a result of inadequate prenatal care, poor birth outcomes, and impaired parenting practices,” Kozhimannil and co-author Helen Kim wrote last week in Science Magazine.

Some states across the country have started screening and treatment for depression, but according to Kozhimannil and Kim, that’s not enough.

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expert-perspectives

E. coli in our lakes: What does it really mean?

Image courtesy Death to the Stock Photo

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the personal blog of University of Minnesota associate professor of biosciences Timothy Johnson, Ph.D.
Johnson’s research at the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine includes investigations into antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens, microbial communities in the animal gastrointestinal tract, and multidrug resistance of E. coli and Salmonella in both humans and animals.

If you follow the local news, or have children that love swimming, you have probably noticed an increasing number of beaches in Minnesota closed recently due to high E. coli levels. Just in Minneapolis, Lake Hiawatha Beach and Lake Calhoun’s Thomas and 32nd Street beaches were recently closed in response to high E. coli counts in the water. The simple phrase “E. coli” strikes fear into the hearts of anyone who has ever experienced gastrointestinal distress. However, it is important to understand what E. coli actually is and what “high E. coli levels” actually means to our lakes.

What is E. coliE. coli stands for Escherichia coli. This is the formal name for a species of bacteria in honor of the German-Austrian physician Theodor Escherich, who first identified the bacteria associated with digestion in infants. Here are the important take-home messages about E. coli:

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