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Research News

Earlier use of hospice can lower costs, improve care of Medicare patients

While nearly half of terminally ill Medicare patients use the program’s end of life hospice benefit, a new study found that many of these patients may receive better and more cost effective care if they opt for hospice sooner once it has been deemed appropriate. The study, titled “Hospice Use, Hospitalization, and Medicare Spending at… Read more »

Cancer patient symptom surveys linked to reduced ER visits, improved survival and quality of life

December 7, 2015 Systematic collection of cancer patients’ symptoms using computer surveys was linked to less frequent emergency room admissions, longer average chemotherapy adherence, greater quality of life improvements, and improved survival, according to a new randomized, controlled trial spearheaded by a researcher at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The first-in-kind study,… Read more »

False-positive mammograms may indicate increased risk of breast cancer later

December 2, 2015 Women with a history of a false-positive mammogram result may be at increased risk of developing breast cancer for up to 10 years after the false-positive result, according to a study led by a researcher at the University of North Carolina. “Our finding that breast cancer risk remains elevated up to 10… Read more »

The global diet is getting sweeter, particularly when it comes to beverages

December 2, 2015 A new paper published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology highlights that the global diet is getting sweeter, particularly when it comes to beverages. The Personal View paper was co-authored by Barry M. Popkin, PhD, W. R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health… Read more »

Study explores supply-side options to increase access to state psychiatric hospital beds

December 1, 2015 When patients with mental health needs cannot be properly treated through outpatient or general hospital care, state psychiatric hospitals act as the ultimate safety net. These state facilities are specifically designed and staffed to care for people with severe mental illness. Such hospitals can competently see patients through immediate crises as well… Read more »

Study finds more children were prescribed low-dose antidepressants after FDA issued warning

December 1, 2015 A recent study co-led by researchers from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health found that after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added a black-box warning to all antidepressants in 2004, more young people initiated treatment on low doses of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Co-authors from the Gillings School… Read more »

Activity trackers offer insight into symptoms of bone marrow transplant patients

November 24, 2015 A recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found that activity trackers (e.g. Fitbits) may be a valuable tool for assessing patient symptom burden in clinical research. Co-authors from the UNC Gillings School include lead author Antonia Bennett, PhD, research assistant professor, second author Bryce… Read more »

Study finds older adults consume too much phosphorus, too little calcium

November 24, 2015 A new study has found that high intake of dietary phosphorus, relative to calcium intake, is associated with a lower calcium to phosphorus ratio overall. When this ratio skews low for calcium and high for phosphorus, it potentially has adverse health effects including arterial calcification, bone loss and death. The three co-authors… Read more »

Study finds sizeable minority of physicians do not strongly endorse HPV vaccine

November 16, 2015 Five UNC researchers are co-authors of a paper published online Oct. 22 by Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The article, titled “Quality of Physician Communication about Human Papillomavirus Vaccine: Findings from a National Survey,” describes vaccine communication practices among primary care physicians. Melissa Gilkey, PhD, is a former postdoctoral fellow with UNC’s… Read more »

Hursting receives National Cancer Institute’s Outstanding Investigator Award

November 16, 2015 Stephen Hursting, PhD, professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, has received a prestigious National Cancer Institute (NCI) Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA). This award recognizes and provides stable funding for cancer research with breakthrough potential. Hursting, who is also a member… Read more »