University of Washington School of Public Health
SPH Research Highlights
Infant Diet Exceeds EPA Guidelines for Phthalate Exposure
Environmental Health, July 3, 2014
New findings show that adolescents and infants may be especially vulnerable to high exposures of endocrine-disrupting phthalates in their diet, exceeding even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's guidelines.
Steroid Injections Offer Little Relief for Spinal Stenosis
New England Journal of Medicine, July 3, 2014
Steroid injections for a common form of back and leg pain known as spinal stenosis may have little or no benefit for patients.
Immunization Hesitancy Linked to Topical Fluoride Refusal
American Journal of Public Health, July 1, 2014
Parents who refused to immunize their children also tended to turn down fluoride treatments for them.
Health Department Cuts Linked to Low Birth Weights
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, June 20, 2014
Cuts in local health department spending on maternal and child health programs are linked to increased rates of underweight babies.
Kit System Estimates High MRSA Levels in Fire Stations
American Journal of Infection Control, June 1, 2014
A new kit system developed by environmental health researchers turned up evidence that the MRSA "superbug" contaminates living areas in WA state fire stations and may pose risks to the health of fire personnel.
Nearly One-Third of World is Overweight or Obese
The Lancet, May 29, 2014
More than 2 billion people are either obese or overweight, presenting a major global public health epidemic.
Airport Pollution Travels Much Farther than Thought
Environmental Science and Technology, May 29, 2014
School of Public Health researchers contributed to a recent study that suggests air pollution from jets could be a much greater health risk than was formerly thought.
Marijuana-Using Drivers and Their Passengers
JAMA Pediatrics, May 12, 2014
More under-age high school students drive after using marijuana than after drinking, says a study co-authored by Frederick Rivara.
Right-Heart Changes Linked to Air Pollution
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, May 1, 2014
Air pollution from traffic was associated with changes in the right side of the human heart.
Public Health and the Prevention of War
American Journal of Public Health, April 17, 2014
Public health practitioners and academics have an obligation to take a lead role in the prevention of war, says a new report co-authored by Amy Hagopian.
Study Explores Why Most Boaters Won't Wear Life Jackets
Injury Prevention, March 31, 2014
Most adults don't wear life jackets when boating in western Washington state, but they are more likely to put one on when a child is on board.
Study Predicts When Herpes Least Likely to be Transmitted
Journal of the Royal Society, March 26, 2014
Antiviral therapies that maintain viral load below a certain level could prevent most if not all transmissions of herpes.
Selenium, Vitamin E Supplements Linked to Prostate Cancer
Journal of the National Cancer Institute, March 26, 2014
Some men who take high doses of selenium and vitamin E supplements could increase their risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
Vaccination Limits Severity of Pertussis
Clinical Infectious Diseases , March 14, 2014
Young people vaccinated against pertussis but who still contracted the disease recovered more rapidly than other pertussis patients.
Distance to Supermarket Makes No Difference to Diet
American Journal of Public Health, March 13, 2014
Only one-third of shoppers in the Seattle area regularly went to the closest supermarket.
Soda Taxes Do Little to Decrease Obesity
Health Economics, March 10, 2014
A new study casts doubt on whether taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages reduce obesity.
Two Spine Surgeons Three Times Safer Than One
Spine Deformity, March 3, 2014
New research with Group Health and Virginia Mason shows patients were three times less likely to develop major complications when two spine surgeons were in the operating room and other factors were at play.
Frequent Massage Works Best for Neck Pain
Annals of Family Medicine, March 1, 2014
Several 60-minute massages per week for four weeks were more effective in treating chronic neck pain than fewer or shorter sessions.
Depression May Increase Diabetes' Patients Risk of Kidney Failure
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, March 1, 2014
Diabetes patients suffering major depression were nearly twice as likely to experience end-stage kidney disease.
High School Athletes Often Play with Concussions
American Journal of Sports Medicine, February 25, 2014
Sixty-nine percent of high school athletes who had concussions reported playing with symptoms, and 40 percent reported their coaches weren't aware.
Repeat Domestic Violence More Likely When Weapons Used
Violence Against Women, February 23, 2014
Men who used a weapon against their female partners were more likely to commit a follow-up act of violence.
Strengthening Post-Market Safety Surveillance
Gates Foundation, February 17, 2014
A new report calls for strategies to ensure the safety and effectiveness of new drugs and vaccines in low- and middle-income countries.
Eating Fatty Fish Linked to Reduced Risk of Death
American Journal of Epidemiology, February 3, 2014
People who consumed high levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids -- found in dark fish and fish-oil supplements -- tended to live longer.
Girls Frequently Play Soccer with Concussion Symptoms
JAMA Pediatrics, January 20, 2014
Concussions are common among middle-school girls who play soccer, and most girls continue playing through their symptoms.
New Drug Targets Genital Herpes
New England Journal of Medicine, January 16, 2014
A new drug shows effectiveness against the virus that causes genital herpes, according to a study led by Dr. Anna Wald.
Global Smokers Grow to Nearly 1 Billion
Journal of the American Medical Association, January 8, 2014
Global population growth and high smoking rates among males in some countries are driving the increase, according to a new study led by Dr. Marie Ng.
Exercise Program for Seniors Lowers Healthcare Costs
ASPPH Friday Letter, December 20, 2013
Lower health care costs, fewer unplanned hospitalizations, and fewer deaths among Medicare enrollees were results suggested by evidence from a report on a community-based exercise program for older adults.
Pay-for-Performance Did Not Affect Quality of Care
Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation, December 20, 2013
A large-scale, state-wide, pay-for-performance program among physician group practices in Washington State found no significant positive effect on general clinical quality.
Exercise May Slow Decline in Kidney Function
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, December 12, 2013
Exercise could have a powerful effect on maintaining the health of patients with kidney disease.
Clues for Future HIV Vaccines
New England Journal of Medicine, November 28, 2013
Results of a clinical trial for a preventive HIV vaccine were disappointing, but should provide useful information as new vaccine regimens are developed.
Study Reveals Childhood Clues for Later Risk of STD
Journal of Adolescent Health, November 23, 2013
Children who enjoyed school, grew up in well-managed households, and had friends who stayed out of trouble reported fewer sexually transmitted diseases as young adults.
Framework for Investing in Women's and Children's Health
The Lancet, November 19, 2013
Increasing health expenditures by $5 per person per year up to 2035 in 74 high-burden countries could yield up to nine times that value in economic and social benefits.
A Case for Investment in Women's and Children's Health
The Lancet, November 19, 2013
Increasing health expenditures by $5 per person per year over the next two decades in 74 countries could yield up to nine times that value in economic and social benefits.
Use of Breast MRI Nearly Triples
JAMA Internal Medicine, November 18, 2013
The number of women using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) nearly tripled from 2005 to 2009, according to a study led by Dr. Karen J. Wernli.
Maternal Smoking May Harm Infant Immunity
Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, November 15, 2013
Maternal smoking is associated with both respiratory and non-respiratory infections in infants, resulting in increased risk for hospitalization and death, according to a study led by former PhD student Michael Metzger.
Two Pesticides Linked to Reproductive Disease
Environmental Health Perspectives, November 5, 2013
Two organochloride pesticides were associated with an increased risk of endometriosis, a condition that can lead to infertility. Research was led by Dr. Kristen Upson, former PhD student in epidemiology.
Caregiver Stress Depends Largely on Genes, Upbringing
Annals of Behavioral Medicine, November 1, 2013
Associations between caregiving and different types of psychological distress depend largely on a person's genes and upbringing, and less so on the difficulty of caregiving.
Panel Recommends More Research on Concussions
IOM News, October 30, 2013
Drs. Fred Rivara and Nancy Temkin were members of a national panel on concussions recommending more data, better helmets and a change of culture in youth sports.
New Estimates of Iraq War Deaths
PLOS Medicine, October 15, 2013
A new study led by Amy Hagopian estimates nearly half a million people died from war-related causes in Iraq from 2003 to 2011.
Study Highlights Timely Immunization for Measles
JAMA Pediatrics, October 14, 2013
Delaying administration of vaccines containing measles could increase the already small risk of seizures.
Genetic Variants and Esophageal Cancer Risk
Nature Genetics, October 13, 2013
SPH researchers co-led an international consortium that has identified four genetic variants associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer and its precursor.
Obesity Linked to Socioeconomic Status
International Journal of Obesity, October 8, 2013
A new UW study uses health-care records and census tract data to link obesity to socioeconomic status in King County.
Attitude on Healthy Eating Matters More than Where You Shop
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, October 7, 2013
Having a positive attitude towards healthy foods may be more important to diet quality than where people shop for groceries.
Less Blood Clot Risk Linked to Estradiol than Premarin Pills
JAMA Internal Medicine, September 30, 2013
Women who used estradiol to relieve menopause symptoms had less risk of developing blood clots in their legs and lungs than they did when using conjugated equine estrogens.
Microneedles Devised for Easy-to-Use TB Skin Test
Advanced Healthare Materials, August 26, 2013
A UW team has created tiny, biodegradable needles for diagnosing tuberculosis that promise to be easier to use, more accurate, and less painful than hypodermic needles.
Family History of Diabetes Associated with Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, August 21, 2013
Having a parent, sibling, or offspring with diabetes was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
Annual Stool-Based Tests an Alternative to Colonoscopy
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, August 8, 2013
Most people can avoid the need for invasive colorectal cancer screening tests, such as colonoscopy, by following a regimen of annual stool-based tests.
Dementia Linked to Blood Sugar Level
New England Journal of Medicine, August 7, 2013
Higher blood glucose levels are associated with a greater risk for dementia, even among people without diabetes.
Lack of Awareness of Good Samaritan Overdose Law
Journal of Urban Health, July 31, 2013
Few Seattle police officers and paramedics knew about a Good Samaritan drug overdose law a year after it was enacted, and those who did had mixed opinions about it.
Phthalates May Alter Risk of Reproductive Disease
Environmental Health, July 25, 2013
Phthalates, man-made chemicals used in a variety of products, may have endocrine-disruptive effects in reproductive-age women, increasing or decreasing their risk of endometriosis.
Unemployment Level Affects Health Care Choices
Health Services Research, July 16, 2013
A 1 percent increase in a state's unemployment rate is associated with a 1.58 percent decrease in preventive care services utilized, researchers found.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Linked to Risk of Prostate Cancer
Journal of the National Cancer Institute, July 10, 2013
Scientists have confirmed that high levels of omega-3 fatty acids increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Vitamin D and Heart Disease Link Varies by Race
Journal of the American Medical Association, July 10, 2013
Low levels of vitamin D were associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease in Whites and Chinese, but not in African-Americans or Hispanics.
Shared Values Lead to Successful Nutrition Policy Strategies
Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, June 19, 2013
Unlikely allies should consider forming strategic partnerships based on shared values to create successful nutrition policy agendas, according to a study led by the Center for Public Health Nutrition.
Whole Genome Sequence and Human Traits
Nature Genetics, June 16, 2013
The architecture of the genome can define traits that affect our bodies and our health - even the levels of so-called "good cholesterol."
Weekly Yoga Classes Effective in Reducing Back Pain in Low-Income Minorities
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, June 13, 2013
Once-a-week yoga classes were effective in easing back pain in predominantly low-income, minority adults.
Group Therapy Helps Survivors of Sexual Violence
New England Journal of Medicine, June 6, 2013
A form of group therapy proved extraordinarily effective in helping women who have been exposed to sexual violence in the Congo.
Acute Kidney Infection Linked to Use of Fluoroquinolones
CMAJ, June 3, 2013
Men who used oral fluoroquinolones, a commonly prescribed antibiotic, have a small, but significant increased risk of acute kidney infection.
When Good Cholesterol Turns Bad
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, June 1, 2013
Diesel exhaust may prevent good cholesterol from battling the bad, artery-clogging cholesterol connected to heart attack and stroke.
Comparing Health Payment Reform Projects
Health Affairs, June 1, 2013
Researchers compared eight diverse health payment reform projects across six states to learn what helps and what hinders their successful implementation.
Joint Supplements May Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Cancer Causes & Control, June 1, 2013
Glucosamine and chondroitin, two popular supplements for joint pain, may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, a new study finds.
Bullying Among WA State Youths
American Journal of Public Health, May 16, 2013
Bullying because of perceived sexual orientation is prevalent among school-aged youths.
Potatoes and Beans Provide Most Nutrients Per Penny
PLOS One, May 15, 2013
Potatoes and beans are the most popular low-cost sources of potassium and fiber for school children, according to a study by the Center for Public Health Nutrition.
Children Who Miss Well-Child Visits More Likely to Be Hospitalized
American Journal of Managed Care, May 10, 2013
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of being hospitalized as children who attended most of their visits.
Eating Peppers May Lower Risk of Parkinson's
Annals of Neurology, May 9, 2013
Eating peppers and other foods that contain nicotine may lower the risk of Parkinson's disease.
Breast Cancer Survivors Not Exercising Enough
HemOnc Today, May 6, 2013
Most breast cancer survivors do not meet national exercise recommendations, and their activity declines over time.
Air Pollution Linked to Hardening of Arteries
PLoS Medicine, April 23, 2013
Long-term exposure to air pollution may be linked to heart attacks and strokes by speeding up atherosclerosis.
Racial, Geographic Differences in End-of-Life Kidney Care
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, April 21, 2013
African-Americans with kidney failure were more likely than white patients to continue dialysis and less likely to be referred to hospice care, differences pronounced in regions with high levels of end-of-life Medicare spending.
Walkable Neighborhoods May Not Increase Walking
Health & Place, April 19, 2013
Neighborhood walkability was not independently associated with greater walking among post-menopausal women when individual characteristics such as income and education were taken into account.
Walking Speed and Early Death in Kidney Disease Patients
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, April 18, 2013
Patients with chronic kidney disease who had slower walking speeds had a greater risk of death, according to a study by Baback Roshanravan and colleagues.
Most US Women Don't Get Paid Maternity Leave
Maternal Child Health Journal, April 13, 2013
Most women receive limited paid leave every year to manage health-related family issues, says a study led by PhD student Megan Shepherd-Banigan.
Physical Activity Drops Over Time for Breast Cancer Survivors
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, April 10, 2013
Most breast cancer survivors do not meet minimum recommendations for physical activity and their activity levels decline significantly after 10 years.
Mammograms Every Two Years Best for Women 50-74
JAMA Internal Medicine, March 26, 2013
Women ages 50-74 who received a mammogram every two years rather than annually are not at increased risk of developing advanced breast cancer or large tumors.
Colon Cancer Screening Doubles Using e-Health Records
Annals of Internal Medicine, March 5, 2013
Screening for colorectal cancer doubled when patients who had not been screened regularly were identified though electronic health records and contacted automatically by mail.
Diet Contributes to Phthalate and BPA Exposures
Nature Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, February 27, 2013
A study led by Sheela Sathyanarayana finds we may be exposed to bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates in our diet.
Changing TV Content Can Improve Children's Behavior
Pediatrics, February 18, 2013
Parents of preschool-aged children who switched to less violent screen content found their children behaved better, according to a study led by Dimitri Christakis.
Many Patients Misunderstand Intrauterine Contraception
Contraception, February 10, 2013
Most women seeking primary care have inaccurate perceptions about the effectiveness and safety of intrauterine contraception.
Night Shifts Linked to Ovarian Cancer
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, January 23, 2013
Working night shifts was linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women 50 or older, according to a study led by Parveen Bhatti.
Deep-Fried Foods Linked to Risk of Prostate Cancer
The Prostate, January 17, 2013
Regularly eating certain deep-fried foods is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, says a new study by SPH and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Less Reaction to Vaccines When Given in Children's Thighs
Pediatrics, January 14, 2013
Injection in the thigh rather than the arm is associated with fewer local reactions to the DTaP vaccine in children 12 to 35 months old, says a study led by Lisa Jackson.
Heroin Overdose Antidote Kits Cost Effective
Annals of Internal Medicine, January 1, 2013
Distribution of heroin overdose antidote kits containing naloxone is likely to reduce overdose deaths and is highly cost-effective.
Lung Cancer Mortality in African-Americans Linked with Segregation
JAMA Surgery, January 1, 2013
The rate of lung cancer deaths is higher in African-Americans than Whites and highest in African-Americans living in the most segregated counties, a new study finds.
Global Burden of Disease Study 2010
The Lancet, December 13, 2012
The largest study of its kind shows that people are living longer but suffering from more disability from chronic diseases and injuries such as back and neck pain.
Tire Traction and Lower Back Pain
Journal of Safety Research, December 1, 2012
Ergonomics researchers have found that the type of traction chain used on heavy equipment vehicles can impact a driver's exposure to whole body vibration.
Commitment from Gil Omenn, Martha Darling for Genetics Research
November 29, 2012
A new research project fund at the Institute for Public Health Genetics has gotten a kick-start with a $100,000 commitment from former SPH Dean Gil Omenn and his wife Martha Darling. The first project will focus on evaluating potential gene and drug interactions, for example between long-term use of medications and disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
A Promising Public Health Dentistry Model for Cameroon
Human Resources for Health, November 26, 2012
Cameroon could expand access to oral health care by using more mid-level dental providers, according to a study led by Global Health MPH graduate Leo Achembong.
Low-Level Air Pollution has Modest Effect on Fetal Growth
Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, November 16, 2012
Exposure to low levels of air pollution in the Puget Sound area has modest effects on fetal growth, with important public health implications, says a study led by Sheela Sathyanarayana.
Janitors and Cleaners Most Likely to Get the Flu
PLoS One Journal, November 12, 2012
Janitors, cleaners and secretaries appear to be more likely to catch the flu, while truck drivers and construction workers are least likely.
Vitamin D May Help Prevent Tooth Decay
Nutrition Reviews, November 9, 2012
Vitamin D is associated with lower rates of tooth decay, according to a review of two dozen studies by Philippe Hujoel.
Study Links Particulate Matter to Atherosclerosis
Journal of the American College of Cardiology, November 1, 2012
Long-term exposure to air pollution may be a risk factor for vascular diseases, according to a new study led by research scientist Ranjini Krishnan.
Overcoming Barriers to Home Dialysis for Kidney Patients
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, October 4, 2012
Only a fraction of patients with kidney disease use home hemodialysis, despite its benefits and cost-effectiveness, says a review led by Bessie Young.
Food Deserts Exist in Seattle Area for Those without Cars
American Journal of Public Health, October 1, 2012
"Food deserts" dramatically increase in the Seattle area if you take away the car and factor in walking.
School Awards Pilot Grants To Meet Challenges of 21st Century
SPH News, September 28, 2012
How does Twitter affect obesity? How can we engage diverse groups on the issue of climate change and health? These are some of the research studies funded by five innovative pilot grants just awarded by the School.
Vaccine Efficacy Increased against Certain HIV Viruses
Nature, September 10, 2012
Scientists co-led by Paul Edlefsen used genetic sequencing to discover new evidence that the first vaccine shown to prevent HIV infection in people also affected the viruses in those who did become infected.
Genetic Risk Factor Found for Inflammation in African-American Women
American Journal of Human Genetics, September 7, 2012
Research led by Alexander Reiner has identified a gene difference that helps explain why African-American women have higher blood levels of a protein that may increase heart-attack risk.
Text Messaging Improves Attendance at Follow-up Clinic Visits in Kenya
PLoS One Journal, September 5, 2012
Men in Kenya who received daily text messages after they were circumcised were more likely to attend a follow-up visit to check for complications from the procedure, according to a study led by Thomas Odeny, a post-graduate fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
Lessons Shared from Restaurant Menu-Labeling Policy
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, September 1, 2012
People seeking to build a healthier environment through better nutrition can learn from the policy-making experiences in the Seattle area, according to a new study led by Donna Johnson.
Americans Gaining More Weight Than They Say
Preventive Medicine, August 21, 2012
The typical American reported losing weight while obesity actually increased, according to research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
Children Sleep Better When They Watch Less Violent TV
Pediatrics, August 6, 2012
Preschool-age children who switched from violent media content to programs like "Sesame Street" slept much better at night. The study was led by Michelle Garrison, acting assistant professor of health services.
Why Our Bodies Can't Adequately Fight HIV
Journal of Virology, August 1, 2012
Michael Gale and colleagues have shed light on why the human body cannot adequately fight off HIV.
Antiretroviral Drugs Show Promise in HIV Prevention
New England Journal of Medicine, July 11, 2012
Antiretroviral drugs can help protect healthy people exposed to HIV, according to a study carried out by the UW's International Clinical Research Center in Kenya and Uganda.
Pregnant Ugandan Women Don't Always Use Mosquito Nets
PLoS One Journal, June 22, 2012
More than a quarter of pregnant women in Uganda who had access to insecticide-treated mosquito nets did not regularly use them, according to a study led by Laura Sangare, former senior fellow in Global Health.
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