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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Antibiotics and Bacterial Resistance in Food Animals

Photo: Nick Saltmarsh, https://flic.kr/p/5h9Nkz

Out of concern over the growing number of antibiotic resistant bacteria, federal policymakers will phase out the practice of giving food animals low-doses of antibiotics to promote growth. In an effort to discover whether science backs up the potential policy change, Associate Professor in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Tim Johnson, Ph.D., studied the issue.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Inhaler ban increases costs for asthma patients

Photo: NIAID, https://flic.kr/p/a4RLsu

Over 25 million people in the U.S. rely on respiratory inhalers to relieve wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and additional asthma-related symptoms. In an attempt to reduce their environmental footprint, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a ban on the production of ozone-depleting inhalers.

This 2008 ban changed the type of albuterol inhalers available to asthma patients, and eliminated the use of inhalers with chlorofluorocarbon (CFC). These generic medications were replaced by the more expensive alternative that uses hydrofluoroalkane (HFA), a more environmentally friendly inhaler.

A recent JAMA Internal Medicine study found that this inhaler ban has been more costly, as the average asthma patient is paying twice as much for their medication. Health Talk turned to co-author of the study, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Ph.D., from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota to help explain the ban and its costly impacts on asthma patients.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Can laryngeal cancer survival differences be explained by pre-existing conditions or treatment types?

Photo courtesy Flickr user Super Fantastic

In a new study conducted by the University of Minnesota, researchers found that patients with early laryngeal cancer have greater survival outcomes if their treatment includes surgery, even when they adjusted for other medical problems and sociodemographics.

The research conducted by University of Minnesota otolaryngologist, Stephanie Misono, M.D., M.P.H. and health policy expert, Schelomo Marmor, Ph.D., in conjunction with Bevan Yueh, MD MPH in otolaryngology and senior author Beth A. Virnig PhD, was a follow up study to their prior work, in which they saw a difference in survival outcomes between patients treated with surgery vs patients treated with radiation for their early laryngeal cancer, leading them to investigate if other medical conditions or sociodemographic factors influenced those results.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Large number of people are eligible for special enrollment periods, majority are uninsured

A study released online today in Health Affairs found there is a large number of people who are potentially eligible for special enrollment periods as part of federal and state Marketplace health insurance exchanges, and the majority are uninsured.

The study was led by Lacey Hartman, a senior research fellow at the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Disease transmission among humans, animals affects chimpanzee conservation in Tanzania

Photo: Flickr, CC, Roland, https://flic.kr/p/ajbJ7M

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.

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

Andrew Mason/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/2GmX1

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.

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