Academic Health Center
Stay Connected

Research snapshot: Study finds high likelihood of over-service at alcohol establishments

Excessive alcohol consumption in bars and restaurants has been directly linked to drinking and driving and incidents of violence. Despite laws prohibiting over-service, alcohol establishments are continuing to serve obviously intoxicated customers, according to a recent study from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.

“Measuring the likelihood that bars and restaurants will sell alcohol to intoxicated patrons is an important step in understanding the scope of this public health issue,” said Kathleen Lenk, M.P.H., research fellow and co-author of the study. “Preventing and reducing sales to intoxicated customers may lead to decreased alcohol-impaired driving, fatal traffic crashes, alcohol-related violence and other harms.”

Read more

Study shows CDC’s PulseNet cost-effectively prevents illness and saves money

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the School of Public Health’s blog.

A study from the School of Public Health shows that over the past 20 years, PulseNet, a foodborne outbreak surveillance system, has justified its expense by preventing thousands of bacterial infections and saving millions of dollars in medical and productivity costs.

The study, led by Professor Craig Hedberg and economist Robert Scharff from Ohio State University, was recently published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

“If it weren’t for the activity of PulseNet, we’d actually have seen an increase in infections, such as Salmonella, over time in the United States,” says Hedberg.

Read more

Research Snapshot: Cats help researchers find ways to ease kidney stone pains

What do people, dogs, cats, dolphins, lions, turtles and wolves all have in common? They all develop painful urinary stones, otherwise known as kidney stones.

Jody Lulich, D.V.M., Ph.D., professor in the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, is hoping to find out why urinary stones form, how they can be eliminated from the body without surgery and how to prevent their recurrence.

Read more

Research Snapshot: How life in the Soudan Mine could save the Midwest bat population

Photo Credit: Christine Salomon

White Nose Syndrome was recently confirmed in Minnesota and is expected to kill thousands of bats throughout the state. The fungal disease is expected to spread across the United States, causing a domino effect: fewer bats result in an increase in insect populations, potentially leading to billions of dollars in damage to the soybean and corn industries.

The fungus grows on the noses, wings and ears of bats. Bats who are infected wake up during hibernation, causing them to use fat reserves meant to sustain them for the duration of hibernation. This can lead to starvation and death.

Read more

Many Americans don’t tell primary care physicians about complementary and alternative medicine use

Photo: CC, Dave Rosenblum,

More than 40 percent of Americans who use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) do not disclose it to their primary care providers.

A recent study through the School of Public Health and Center for Spirituality & Healing  looked at patients who used CAM across the U.S., and analyzed reasoning for disclosing or not disclosing that information to providers. The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Read more

Building positive food relationships in indigenous populations through games

Photo from Elizabeth LaPensee

You know what they say: you are what you eat. Our diets can be as important as our medications, making healthy eating choices and habits an essential part of our daily lives.

Getting this message across to youth, especially those within Indigenous communities, can be tricky. That’s why Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D., a post doctoral associate for the University of Minnesota’s Research for Indigenous Community Health Center (RICH) in the College of Pharmacy, has designed a board game to promote healthy food culture.

Read more