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Research News

SSRIs may increase fracture risk in middle-aged women without psychiatric disorders, study finds

June 30, 2015 The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. Vasomotor menopausal symptoms (VMS) include hot flashes and night sweats. Use of low-dose SSRIs for non-psychiatric conditions has increased over the past two decades, and SSRIs are… Read more »

Study finds availability of parks and recreational facilities lower in some predominantly minority neighborhoods

June 26, 2015 A new study across six regions of the United States found that the availability of physical activity resources, such as parks and recreational facilities, varies by locations’ sociodemographic characteristics. The study was led by Sydney A. Jones, a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of… Read more »

Taxes may discourage purchase of sugared and high-fat beverages in households with young children, study finds

June 24, 2015 Given the prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States and globally, any measure that encourages children’s early consumption of healthier foods and drinks can only be beneficial. A new study suggests that financial incentives to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages can be such a measure. Researchers at The University of North Carolina at… Read more »

Early menarche may influence aggressive breast cancer in African-American women

June 18, 2015 Early age at menarche, or first menstrual cycle, could play a role in the disproportionate incidence of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancers diagnosed among African-American women, according to a study published online June 17 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study is a result of a multicenter collaborative research… Read more »

Training boosts bystander confidence in preventing interpersonal violence on college campuses, study finds

Sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and intimate partner violence (collectively termed interpersonal violence) are public health problems that affect 20 to 25 percent of female college students. Currently, One Act is one of the few university prevention-training programs that teach students how to intervene as bystanders in low- and high-risk interpersonal violence situations. Recent research… Read more »

In US homes, more than three-fourths of calories come from moderately and highly processed foods and beverages

June 1, 2015 Soda, cheese puffs and candy likely spring to mind when you think of processed foods. You might be surprised to know that milk, dried fruit, and frozen vegetables are processed foods, too. The United States government defines food processing as any procedure that alters food from its natural state. This includes pasteurizing,… Read more »

New GTEx project tackles DNA’s genetic ‘switchboard’

May 15, 2015 The link between inherited DNA variation and numerous diseases has been well established, but an important question still looms – What are the precise mechanisms linking genetic variation to disease? Despite decades of research and the development of sophisticated tools, important gaps remain in understanding human genetic processes, which vary widely across… Read more »

Kosorok leads $10.4M NCI grant to improve clinical trials for cancer patients

May 15, 2015 Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and N.C. State University have been awarded a five-year, $10.4 million grant by the National Cancer Institute to continue determining ways to design more powerful clinical trials for cancer patients, effectively delivering better and more personalized new therapies to cancer… Read more »

Nutrition professor studies relationship of flu immunity to obesity

May 13, 2015 A May 12 article about the work of nutrition researcher Dr. Melinda Beck, written for Endeavors magazine by Susan Hardy, is excerpted below. The complete article is available on Endeavors’ website. The 2014–2015 flu season was a tough one, says Melinda Beck, PhD, professor and associate chair of the nutrition department at… Read more »

Gillings School alumna investigates why NC teachers have trouble breathing in their classrooms

May 13, 2015 Kim Gaetz, PhD, who earned a doctorate in epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health in 2014, was featured in a May 7 article in Endeavors, UNC’s research magazine. The article, by Ashita Gona, is reprinted in part below. Read the complete article on Endeavors’ website. Dr. Kim Gaetz discovered… Read more »