SPH in the News

Headlines featuring UW SPH people and research.

November 25, 2022
The Guardian
An estimated 6 million American adults carried a loaded handgun with them daily in 2019, double the number who said they carried a gun every day in 2015, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, professor of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
November 23, 2022
The Boston Globe
 Turkey, the centerpiece of Thanksgiving spreads, is in short supply this year for a variety of reasons. A dearth of truck drivers is hamstringing distribution. Higher corn prices have inflated feed prices. And then, there’s the rampant spread of avian influenza. Across the nation this year, an almost record-breaking 49 million wild and domestic birds either died as a result of the virus or were killed to limit spread, including more than 8 million turkeys, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
November 21, 2022
Axios
The number of U.S. adult handgun owners carrying a loaded weapon almost doubled in a four-year period, according to a new study by the University of Washington. Dr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, professor of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
November 19, 2022
The Seattle Times
Transgender community organizations in the Seattle area are marking Trans Awareness Week by highlighting the critical need for improved health care and access to resources. While Washington has made significant strides to curb the HIV epidemic, advocates emphasize this is no time for complacency, and that there is still more work to be done, with a focus on addressing disparities, if Washington is to ever truly end the epidemic. Stephaun Wallace, clinical assistant professor of global health at the UW, is quoted.
November 17, 2022
KIRO 7
A study from the University of Washington shows that the number of adult handgun owners in the U.S. who carried a loaded gun doubled from 2015 to 2019. The study also found that states with less restrictive carrying regulations had a larger proportion of handgun owners who carried guns. In those states, about one-third of gun owners reported carrying in the past month, while in states with more restrictive regulations, only about one-fifth did.
November 16, 2022
UW News
The number of U.S. adult handgun owners carrying a loaded handgun on their person doubled from 2015 to 2019, according to new research led by the University of Washington. 

“Between increases in the number of people who own handguns and the number of people who carry every day, there has been a striking increase in handgun carrying in the U.S.,” said lead author Dr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, a professor of epidemiology and Bartley Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the UW.
November 14, 2022
SPH News
When Marissa Baker introduces the field of occupational health to her undergraduate students, she asks them to think of a job they or someone they know has had, and what they didn’t like about the job.

The answers are rarely about the physical safety of a job. Rather, the things they didn’t like are almost always about working long hours, being unfairly compensated, or being underappreciated.

Marissa Baker is an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences.
November 12, 2022
Inside Climate News
The first week of climate talks at COP27 ended with another sharp warning from scientists, who said that global warming is already killing thousands to tens of thousands of people each year, and that the carnage will only increase without immediate, sharp cuts of the emissions heating the climate. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
November 12, 2022
The Guardian
The battle over soda taxes has been bitter and long-running. Advocates argue increasing the price of sugar-laden drinks will reduce consumption and improve public health; for opponents, it is simply another cost for those least able to shoulder it, or an example of government overreach. For years, research painted a mixed, often confusing, picture of the effectiveness of these taxes, while the soda industry poured millions of dollars into efforts to stop them. But mounting evidence suggests they are having a beneficial effect. A study from the UW is referenced.
November 9, 2022
DEOHS blog
DEOHS and Duwamish River Community Coalition join new program engaging Latino and Indigenous youth in community climate impacts. DEOHS Assistant Professor Nicole Errett, is quoted.
November 3, 2022
The Conversation
ientists are sounding the alarm about the extreme increases in the Earth’s temperature. A new report by UNICEF warns that 2022 could be the “coldest year of the rest of our lives”. Heatwaves are becoming stronger and lasting longer. These increases are threatening the limits of human survival. Kristie Ebi, global health and environmental and occupational health sciences is quoted.
October 31, 2022
CNET
Drivers speak out after a driver is killed in a suspected dog attack during a delivery and point to policies that make it harder to stay safe. Marissa Baker, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
October 25, 2022
The Independent
Governments around the world are putting the health of “all people alive today and future generations” in growing peril as they pursue policies which lock in dependence on fossil fuels, a major report has warned. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
October 25, 2022
Vox
Years after it was first proven to work, a new tool for preventing sexually transmitted infections is on the brink of entering mainstream medicine. That tool is doxyPEP, an antibiotic that works like a morning-after pill — but instead of preventing pregnancy within hours of unprotected sex, it prevents STIs like chlamydia and syphilis. Dr. Connie Celum, professor of global health and of medicine at the UW, is referenced.
October 25, 2022
SPH News
Spotlight on Maggie Ramirez, William L. Dowling Endowed Professor in Health Administration
October 18, 2022
Fortune
White House COVID czar tells seniors to vax up as new variants gain ground.

To get the new Omicron booster or not—it’s a life and death decision for American seniors, the White House’s COVID czar said Monday, encouraging those over 50 to get the updated jab ahead of an anticipated fall wave of cases.

“Nobody is willing to take the vaccine,” Dr. Ali Mokdad, a professor at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, recently told Fortune.
October 14, 2022
GeekWire
The Space Needle opened 60 years ago with a nod toward futuristic architecture. Inside the iconic Seattle structure today, the Needle is still focused on the future, deploying technology that it hopes will help it deal with public health concerns beyond COVID-19. Martin Cohen, teaching professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
October 13, 2022
Crosscut
Extreme heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S., but people around the country experience it differently. In Washington, heat kills people who live in even the most moderate climates, suggesting there’s more to these deaths than temperature alone. Tania Busch Isaksen, associate teaching professor of environmental and occupational health sciences; Mark Scheuerell, associate professor of aquatic and fishery sciences; and Logan Arnold, who did the work as a UW master's student, are quoted.
October 5, 2022
DEOHS blog
New faculty bring broad expertise in environmental exposures, infectious diseases, machine learning, environmental justice, disaster preparedness and more.
October 4, 2022
DEOHS blog
The recent Clean Air – I Care events in Wenatchee and Okanogan facilitated roundtable discussions with farmworkers and their families about their needs and concerns during wildfire smoke season.
September 29, 2022
The New York Times
Hospitals in coastal cities risk flooding even in ‘weak’ hurricanes, study finds 
In a large proportion of the metropolitan areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States, at least half of the hospitals are at risk of flooding even from relatively weak hurricanes, a new study found. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
September 29, 2022
The Mirror
A new "silent-spreader" sexually transmitted disease which can cause infertility is feared to be evolving into a possible 'superbug'. Scientists are worried that mycoplasma genitalium — also known as M. genitalium or M. gen. — has so far proven to be resistant to antibiotics, with the medical community calling for more screenings for the disease. Lisa Manhart, a professor of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
September 29, 2022
Associated Press
Oregon is set to become the first state in the nation to cover climate change expenses for certain low-income patients under its Medicaid program, as the normally temperate Pacific Northwest region sees longer heat waves and more intense wildfires. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
September 29, 2022
The New York Times
New data from NASA reveals how warm ocean waters in the Gulf of Mexico fueled Hurricane Ian to become one of the most powerful storms to strike the United States in the past decade. Sea surface temperatures were especially warm off Florida’s southwest coast, allowing the storm to pick up energy just before crashing into the state north of Fort Myers. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
September 27, 2022
HealthDay
Five years ago, Grace Stroklund and her jack-a-poo, Nugget, were able to get all the care they needed — and at no cost — courtesy of a dual-purpose health care project established in 2018 called One Health Clinic. It's based at New Horizons, a Seattle shelter for unhoused youth. Vickie Ramirez, research coordinator in environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, and Dr. Alice Tin, clinical instructor in family medicine at the UW School of Medicine, are quoted.
September 25, 2022
NBC News
Doctors are urging more research into a little-known sexually transmitted infection that may be more common than thought. Lisa Manhart, a professor of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
September 23, 2022
NPR
The flu virtually disappeared for two years as the pandemic raged. But influenza appears poised to stage a comeback this year in the U.S., threatening to cause a long-feared "twindemic." While the flu and the coronavirus are both notoriously unpredictable, there's a good chance COVID cases will surge again this winter, and troubling signs that the flu could return, too. Dr. Helen Chu, adjunct associate professor of epidemiology and global health, is quoted.
September 19, 2022
KCBS Radio
Conditions like COVID and asthma make it harder for our bodies to absorb oxygen, so these patients need a way to measure their oxygen levels. A team from the University of Washington has discovered a way for measuring blood oxygen levels by using a smartphone. Matthew Thompson, professor of global health and of family medicine at the UW, is interviewed.
September 13, 2022
Associated Press
Record high temperatures in urban Europe as heat waves bake the planet more often. Devastating floods, some in poorer unprepared areas. Increasing destruction from hurricanes. Drought and famine in poorer parts of Africa as dry spells worsen across the globe. Wild weather worldwide getting stronger and more frequent, resulting “in unprecedented extremes.” Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
September 6, 2022
NPR
As record-breaking heat scorches the West, some disaster experts say our warning system may not be enough. Many people aren't getting alerted when heat can be deadly. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is interviewed.
September 1, 2022
CNET
Four Amazon warehouse workers have died in separate incidents over a span of less than four weeks. While the details of each death are still forthcoming, the fatalities shine an even stronger spotlight on a common complaint about Amazon: that it requires a brutal pace of work and puts employees at risk of injury and overheating. Marissa Baker, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
August 27, 2022
MyNorthwest
There’s been at least one report of a person with monkeypox who may have passed the virus to a dog. Now, University of Washington scientists want to know how big a threat this is for pets in the Puget Sound region. Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
August 26, 2022
HealthDay
Much like humans, dogs can develop dementia as they age — and that risk climbs by half with every extra year of life in a dog's golden years, new research shows. Sarah Yarborough, research scientist of epidemiology at the UW, is referenced.
August 25, 2022
New York Post
Dogs older than 10 are at risk of developing a neurodegenerative condition called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, also known as “doggy dementia,” a new study reveals. Sarah Yarborough, research scientist of epidemiology at the UW, is referenced.
August 22, 2022
UW Statistics News
We are proud to announce that Daniela Witten, Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics, Dorothy Gilford endowed Chair of Mathematical Statistics, has received the prestigious 2022 President’s Award from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS). She has been recognized for her contributions towards statistical machine learning, with applications to biology, and for communicating the fundamental ideas in the field to a broad audience.
August 22, 2022
Crosscut
Despite fierce and deeply funded opposition to the tune of more than $30 million from the beverage industry, eight cities — from Philadelphia and Boulder to Seattle and San Francisco — have successfully levied taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages. Dr. Jim Krieger, clinical professor of health services at the UW, is quoted.
August 15, 2022
Fred Hutch News
Ross Prentice is among the researchers who recently published a study in the Journal of Nutrition and Nutritional Epidemiology seeking to clarify the role that red and processed meat play in chronic disease risk in the diets of post-menopausal women. Hint: it’s complicated.
August 12, 2022
Nutritional Sciences Program
The White House will convene a conference on hunger, nutrition, and health. Leading up to the conference, the White House is organizing several listening sessions across America to hear firsthand from people impacted by food insecurity and to collect ideas about how to end hunger and hunger-related diseases and disparities.

Adam Drewnowski, a University of Washington professor of epidemiology and nutritional sciences, authored the following editorial published in the August issue of Nature Food.
August 11, 2022
Biostatistics News
Daniela Witten, professor of biostatistics and statistics at University of Washington and the Dorothy Gilford Endowed Chair in Mathematical Statistics, has received the prestigious 2022 Presidents’ Award from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS).
August 11, 2022
The Seattle Times
While the unusual quiet of the pandemic’s first months was hard on many people, it allowed birds in the Pacific Northwest to use a wider range of habitats, according to a newly published University of Washington study.

The study was co-authored by Joel Kaufman, a professor in the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, and Beth Gardner, an associate professor in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.
August 11, 2022
Scientific American
The ill effects of heat kill more people in the U.S. than those of any other weather phenomenon, according to the National Weather Service. And globally the growing number of longer-lasting and hotter heat waves because of climate change has left people more vulnerable to record-shattering highs. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
August 10, 2022
JAMA Dermatology
Second opinions are believed to give both patients and physicians better insight into medical diagnoses and help them make better decisions about care and treatment.

But a recent study has revealed that sharing information about a patient’s initial diagnosis with the physician conducting the second opinion – a practice most pathologists prefer – can influence the outcome of the second opinion. “Second opinions are an important but understudied area of medical care,” said senior author Kathleen Kerr, a professor of biostatistics.
August 10, 2022
Vox
Natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires are (rightly) accompanied by warnings of their danger. They bring a visible, elemental fury that’s hard to ignore. Heat, on the other hand, is invisible and insidious. We feel it on our skin, radiating from the sun or bouncing off asphalt and concrete, but we don’t see it the way we see, say, floodwaters carrying cars down the street. That makes heat waves easy to dismiss as quirky summer weather. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
August 11, 2022
CNN
The United States seems to have hit a COVID-19 plateau, with more than 40,000 people hospitalized and more than 400 deaths a day consistently over the past month or so. It's a dramatic improvement from this winter -- there were four times as many hospitalizations and nearly six times as many deaths at the peak of the first Omicron wave -- but still stubbornly high numbers. Trevor Bedford, affiliate associate professor of genome sciences and of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
August 10, 2022
The News Tribune
The state uses the Environmental Health Disparities Map, which helps state departments evaluate health risks in Washington’s 1,458 census tracts. Updated health disparity map shows WA areas most in need. 

“The original request for this map tool came from community members who felt that researchers and government programs were looking at either air or water quality, treating them as separate,” Esther Min, environmental and occupational health sciences
August 9, 2022
Associated Press
Climate hazards such as flooding, heat waves and drought have worsened more than half of the hundreds of known infectious diseases in people, including malaria, hantavirus, cholera and anthrax, a study says.

Researchers looked through the medical literature of established cases of illnesses and found that 218 out of the known 375 human infectious diseases, or 58%, seemed to be made worse by one of 10 types of extreme weather connected to climate change, according to a study in Monday’s journal Nature Climate Change. Kristie Ebi, global health and environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
August 8, 2022
Inside Climate News
For years, researchers have known that air pollution can worsen such respiratory conditions as asthma in children. But a recently released study has shed new light on how exposure to airborne pollutants can also affect the developing brains of the very young. Yu Ni, UW postdoctoral researcher in epidemiology, and Catherine Karr, professor of pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine, are quoted.
August 8, 2022
Bloomberg
Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, outlines the dangers that heat waves pose to the human population.
August 4, 2022
UW Medicine News
COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. Here’s what to know about traveling abroad (safely) while we’re in the pandemic. Get travel tips from Dr. Cristopher Sanford, associate professor of family medicine and global health, and Dr. Paul Pottinger, an infectious diseases expert.
August 3, 2022
Insider
"Beer belly" refers to that protruding stomach some men carry around. But you don't have to be male or drink beer in order to gain weight from alcohol. To be upfront, study results are mixed on the matter: Researchers are still pinpointing exactly how alcohol can make people gain weight and who might be most at risk, says Judy Simon, clinical instructor of health systems and population health
Load More Results