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Research snapshot: Veterans with lower socioeconomic status sleep less, may suffer related health issues

Regularly sleeping fewer than six hours per night has been linked to a number of health problems including cardiovascular disease, poor mental health, and other life-threatening diseases.

Now, new research published in the American Journal of Public Health from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota highlights socioeconomic disparities in sleep duration among veterans who served in the U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Research found these veterans are at an increased risk of not getting enough sleep, and suffering the resulting consequences.

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expert-perspectives

Expert perspective: More can be done to improve Minnesota’s health ranking

The United Health Foundation recently released the 2014 edition of America’s Health Rankings and Minnesota ranks sixth overall. That’s good news, right? Well, if you consider Minnesota was the top ranked state six out of seven years from 2000-2006 and that Minnesota was ranked third in 2012 and 2013, the latest figures could be rather disappointing.

According to the report, Minnesota is doing well in many areas including:

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research-and-clinical-trials

In the News: U of M releases final Minnesota Taconite Workers Health Study

On a cold, windy day in Hibbing, Minn., University of Minnesota researchers released the final report from the Minnesota Taconite Workers Health Study which provided further analysis of lung cancer and mineral fiber exposure along with a series of recommendations to monitor and prevent disease for workers in the taconite mining industry.

The report was shared at a community meeting and allowed for former and current taconite workers, their families and community leaders to ask questions and hear the results from the study which took more than six years to complete.

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expert-perspectives

Health food movement stops short of vending machines

Hungry and seeking a nutritious snack, vending consumers often find themselves struggling to locate a suitable selection. The lack of healthy options in vending machines has raised concerns among schools, public interest groups and public health researchers.

According to a recent article published in the Star Tribune, the health food movement stopped short of vending machines in public facilities. About 75 percent of items found in vending machines analyzed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest consisted of candy, cookies and chips. Similar trends are seen in beverage vending machines as 56 percent of the drinks are soda, and an additional 20 percent of drinks are energy or artificial fruit drinks.

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research-and-clinical-trials

University of Minnesota study: More effective alcohol policies ignored while less effective passed into law

What works to prevent alcohol-related deaths and binge drinking isn’t always what makes it into law. A new study finds that policymakers are significantly more likely to adopt ineffective alcohol policies than they are to adopt effective ones. Researchers at the University of Minnesota and Boston University tracked 29 different state alcohol control policies from 1999 through 2011 and found that that none of the policies rated to be the most effective for reducing excessive drinking were either adopted or strengthened during the study period. During that same period they noted an increase in adoption of policies that were comparatively less effective, or that targeted only youth drinking or impaired driving.

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in-the-news

In the News: U of M Study: PTSD symptoms linked to food addiction in women

New research suggests women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms may be more likely to experience food addiction or dependence.

The study conducted by epidemiologist Susan Mason, M.P.H., Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health was recently published in JAMA Psychiatry.

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