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Research News

Physical activity helps to counteract weight gain from obesity-causing gene variant, study finds

May 4, 2017
To determine how physical activity and genetic variants related to obesity interact to affect weight gain, Dr. Misa Graff and colleagues performed genome-wide interaction meta-analyses using more than 200,000 individuals. The international study was published in PLOS Genetics.

Study identifies novel gene loci for traits related to obesity

May 3, 2017
Drs. Anne Justice and Kari North are part of an international collaboration that explored whether and how smoking tobacco may alter one’s genetic susceptibility to obesity and distribution of body fat. Their study was published in Nature Communications.

Study reveals limitations of maternal health services for deaf women in Cape Town

May 2, 2017
A recent study of the experiences of deaf women seeking maternity health-care services in Cape Town, South Africa found reports of linguistic barriers and mistreatment.

Study confirms link between alcohol consumption, breast cancer risk in black women

May 1, 2017
Based on studies that primarily have included data from white women, alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for breast cancer. Now, a study co-authored by epidemiology doctoral student Lindsay Williams, Dr. Melissa Troester and others confirms the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk for black women, an understudied group.

Doctoral student co-authors two studies on the difficulties of quitting smoking

April 26, 2017
Paul Shafer, health policy and management doctoral student, co-authored two articles that examine aspects of the behaviors of smokers who are trying to quit or who are exposed to antismoking advertising. The articles appear in Preventing Chronic Disease and the Journal of Health Communication.

Study finds small, mostly-male schools are less likely to have sexual assault policies

April 20, 2017
A new research paper highlights the wide variation in definitions of consent at universities across the United States.

New study explores timing of changes in blood pressure health that lead to larger disparities

April 20, 2017
African Americans and men are more likely to transition from ideal levels of blood pressure in childhood or early adulthood compared to white Americans and women, which puts them at increased risk of developing hypertension earlier in life.

Gillings School authors study online sex education intervention

April 19, 2017
A recent study assessed high school students’ and health teachers’ perceptions of an online sexuality education intervention – and found the tool a valuable resource that provided high-quality health education while improving student engagement, privacy and comfort. Doctoral student Liz Chen and Dr. Clare Barrington are study co-authors.

One year later: Berkeley’s ‘Soda Tax’ significantly reduced sales of sugary drinks

April 18, 2017
A new study found that a 2015 tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) implemented by Berkeley, Calif., resulted one year later in a drop in SSB purchases and an increase in purchases of non-sweetened beverages, including water. The study, co-led by Drs. Barry Popkin and Shu Wen Ng, and researchers at the Public Health Institute of Oakland, Calif., was published in PLOS Medicine.

Gillings researchers find further evidence that bats may be evolutionary source of MERS

April 13, 2017
A collaborative team including researchers from the Gillings School has found new evidence to support the hypothesis that the MERS coronavirus originated in bat populations.