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expert-perspectives

UMN expert: Sunscreen might not be as effective as you think

The sun is shining and summer has finally arrived. But before heading out for a long day at the beach, a University of Minnesota expert wants you to take a closer look at your sunscreen. A recent Consumer Reports study found 43 percent of sunscreens do not meet the SPF claim on their label and could be putting your skin at serious risk.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Cigarette smoking prevalence remains high among American Indians in Hennepin County and Ramsey County

A recent analysis from the Tribal Tobacco Use Project Survey of 964 urban American Indian residents in Hennepin County and Ramsey County in 2011 found a high prevalence of cigarette smoking among persons aged 25-44 years (72 percent). Among all survey respondents 59 percent were current smokers, 19 percent were former smokers and 22 percent had never smoked.

Furthermore, the smoking rate and secondhand smoke exposure is still high despite being covered by Minnesota’s strong smoke-free law.

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u-of-m-voices

Maternal consumption of artificially sweetened beverages can lead to infant weight gain

Childhood obesity rates have more than doubled in the last 30 years. One third of children in developed countries are overweight or obese, putting them at a high risk for many diseases.

Now, a new study published online today suggests that childhood obesity could be influenced even before birth.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Thirty percent of antibiotic prescribing unnecessary

Antibiotic resistance is a growing health concern in the United States, causing 23,000 fatalities annually from exposure to harmful effects, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Excessive antibiotic use is the main driver for the resistance, leading the White House to implement the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, which sets the goal of decreasing inappropriate antibiotic use by 50 percent by 2020.

School of Public Health Assistant Professor, Eva Enns, Ph.D., collaborated with researchers from the CDC and various colleges around the country to determine the number of outpatient visits in which antibiotics were inappropriately prescribed. They found an estimated 30 percent of outpatient antibiotic prescribing was unnecessary in 2010-2011.

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research-and-clinical-trials

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.”

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research-and-clinical-trials

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.

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