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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

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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expert-perspectives

UMN expert: Prevention and treatment key elements to reduce infant mortality rates

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found infant mortality rates in the U.S. declined 2.3 percent between 2013 and 2014, reaching a new low of 582.1 infant deaths per 100,000 live births (about 22,000 deaths a year).

In a recent New York Times article, CDC demographer T.J. Mathews said, “This is potentially the best news we’ve had yet.”

Despite the drop in rate, the U.S. has a higher infant mortality rate than many Western or developed countries.

Health Talk spoke with Wendy Hellerstedt, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of epidemiology and community health in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health to better understand infant mortality and what can be done to help decrease infant mortality in the U.S.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Behavioral and environmental factors play a role in obesity remission in adolescents

In a new study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health’s Project EAT, research shows positive behavioral and environmental changes can help adolescents with obesity to achieve healthy weights in the future.

The study was aimed at determining if adolescents with obesity can successfully achieve a healthier weight in young adulthood, as well as determine if any psychosocial, behavioral or environmental factors are associated with adolescents who successfully manage their weight.

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expert-perspectives

UMN experts: New cases of diabetes may be down but more work is needed

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found new cases of diabetes dropped by roughly one-fifth from 2008-2014, from 1.7 million to 1.4 million. And while the investigators are unsure whether prevention efforts are working or if the disease peaked in the U.S., the findings were good news after decades of seeing numbers skyrocket.

According to a recent New York Times article, “there is growing evidence that eating habits, after decades of deterioration, have finally begun to improve. The amount of soda Americans drink has declined by about a quarter since the late 1990s, and the average number of daily calories children and adults consume also has fallen. Physical activity has started to rise, and once-surging rates of obesity, a major driver of type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, have flattened.”

Health Talk spoke with Mark Pereira, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology and community health in the School of Public Health and Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., professor of medicine in the University of Minnesota Medical School to help understand the numbers.

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