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Research Snapshot: Why are obstetric units in rural hospitals closing their doors?

New research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health shows obstetric units in rural hospitals are closing their doors, due to difficulty in staffing, low birth volume, and financial burdens. As the annual birth volume decreases, additional rural hospitals will be vulnerable to obstetric unit closure in the future.

The study findings were published in the Health Services Research. Doctoral student and lead author, Peiyin Hung M.S.P.H., and her colleagues gathered hospital discharge data as well as conducted interviews to identify factors associated with unit closures between 2010 and 2014. The analysis found 7.2 percent of rural hospitals in the study closed their obstetric units. These units were typically small in size and located in communities with fewer resources including lower family income, fewer obstetricians and fewer family physicians.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Indoor tanning, a driver in melanoma trends among young women and men

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to ban indoor tanning for minors as physicians have seen an increase in melanoma cases among young adults in recent decades.

In a study released today in a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Dermatology), researchers from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health examined age- and sex-specific associations between indoor tanning and melanoma to determine whether the tanning trend is driving the increase in cases, especially among younger women.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Race simulation testing recommended for runners with recurrent heat stroke

It’s no surprise that athletes are at risk for heat stroke during the blazing summer months; however, a recent case study from the University of Minnesota demonstrates that exertional heat stroke (EHS), a form of heat-induced illness, could still be life-threatening to athletes in cooler temperatures.

The research investigated a 30-year-old distance runner with a history of recurrent heat strokes while racing. A unique circumstance in relatively cool weather triggered a more extensive examination for cause, says William Roberts, M.D., author of the study from the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health in the University of Minnesota Medical School. The runner suffered from EHS despite the cooler temperature, highlighting the importance of race simulation testing for return-to-activity among athletes with a history of EHS.

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news-and-notes

Most loved Health Talk posts of 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, the team at Health Talk wanted to take a minute to thank you – our readers. Since the beginning of 2015, more than 112,000 of you have stopped by to read one of our posts, with the majority staying to enjoy multiple blog posts. Having a strong readership is what makes Health Talk so successful. In honor of our readers, we wanted to share what posts you loved the most in 2015.  

Have a wonderful New Years Eve and see you in 2016!

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research-and-clinical-trials

Maternal health and resources significant predictors of daughters’ self-rated health

You’ve heard the saying “a chip off the old block,” in regards to looks and personalities but researchers now want to know if that remains true when it comes to generational health outcomes. A new study from the University of Minnesota reveals a mother’s health significantly influences her daughter’s self-assessed health.

Lead researcher Tetyana Shippee, Ph.D., an assistant professor of health policy & management at University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health focuses on social gerontology and health disparities. Her research was motivated by her desire to examine the intergenerational transmission of health over time and how this process may differ by race/ethnicity.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Intensive blood pressure lowering in patients with type 2 diabetes may have beneficial effect in preventing atrial fibrillation

The most common heart rhythm abnormality, atrial fibrillation, is categorized by a rapid or irregular heartbeat leading to poor blood flow. In patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), there have been no proven strategies to prevent this condition, until recently.

In a new study from the University of Minnesota Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, researchers found that as compared with standard blood pressure lowering, intensive blood pressure lowering in patients with T2DM was associated with a reduced incidence of atrial fibrillation and abnormal P-Wave indices (PWI).

 

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