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Research News

Study investigates role of cadmium and microRNAs in preeclampsia

February 10, 2017
Drs. Rebecca Fry and Samira Brooks have explained an underlying biological mechanism by which exposure to cadmium may increase the risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy. Their study was published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Daily sugar-sweetened beverage intake alters human brain and behavior, study finds

February 10, 2017
Research by Dr. Kyle Burger, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that daily consumption of a high-sugar juice beverage altered brain responses while subjects drank the beverage and looked at its logo – and produced behavioral responses when seeing the logo alone.

Maps in new UNC-led study show each state’s stroke risk factors at a glance

February 8, 2017
A new study led by Dr. Matthew Loop has produced data-rich maps of the United States that show the geographic distribution of key stroke-causing factors. On the maps, the Southeast, especially the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, display some of the highest prevalence of hypertension and diabetes among whites and blacks.

NEJM ‘Perspective’ explores use of patient-reported outcomes in improving clinical care

February 2, 2017
Dr. Ethan Basch authored a ‘Perspective’ column published in the Jan. 12 New England Journal of Medicine. The article calls for digitized patient-reported outcomes to be more fully available to physicians as a means of improving patients’ care.

Experts recommend 7-8 hours of sleep for better brain health

January 31, 2017
A new report, issued on Jan. 10 by the Global Council on Brain Health, recommends ways to maintain brain health, including getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Dr. Peggye Dilworth-Anderson is a Council member.

Study finds genetic variant that confirms shared genetic risk for kidney disease among Hispanics, American Indians

January 31, 2017
A new study, led by Drs. Nora Franceschini and Jianwen Cai, has found an Amerindian-specific genetic variant that influences a kidney trait in Hispanics/Latinos, thereby confirming shared genetic risk for kidney disease among Hispanics/Latinos and American Indians.

Study confirms that more activity, less sitting, reduces mortality risk

January 31, 2017
A new study led by Dr. Kelly Evenson reinforced findings that regular physical activity and less sedentary behavior reduces the risk of mortality.
The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, used an accelerometer to assess participants’ physical activity and sedentary behavior.

JAMA editorial: Geography, income need to be part of effective cancer solutions

January 27, 2017
According to a new study, U.S. cancer mortality rates have decreased — but not uniformly across geographic regions. Successful outcomes often remain dependent upon where patients live and on their economic conditions. Dr. Stephanie Wheeler is co-author of a JAMA editorial that elaborates upon the study.

Study finds diet as effective and less expensive than drugs in treating esophageal inflammation

Dr. Daniel Erim and colleagues found that a six-food elimination diet was as effective as topical corticosteroids — and less expensive — in treating eosinophilic esophagitis, a condition in which inflamed esophageal tissue leads to a person’s difficulty in swallowing solid foods. Erim is a doctoral student in health policy and management.

Obesity prevention education has positive impact on college students, study finds

Dr. Leslie Lytle led a weight-gain prevention intervention program for people in their first and second years of college. The results, reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, show that online social networking and support can help prevent weight gain in this group of young adults. Lytle is professor and chair of health behavior at the Gillings School.