Pyrethroid Exposure Increases Risk for Death, Medscape, December 31
Pyrethroid pesticides are a large family of synthetic analogues of naturally occurring pyrethrins that are also widely used in numerous consumer products. Collectively, they are the second most–used insecticides in the world, totaling thousands of kilograms and billions of dollars in U.S. sales. According to Steven Stellman, PhD, professor pf Epidemiology, and Jeanne Stellman, PhD, professor of Health Policy and Management, this unexpected finding of increased risk of death from exposure to such a commonly used agent merits urgent follow-up.
Ocean climate patterns linked to diarrhea epidemic outbreaks: Study, Times of India, December 31
"In Southern Africa, precipitation is projected to decrease, said Jeffrey Shaman, study co-author from Columbia University. “This change…may amplify the public health threat of waterborne illness. For this reason, there is an urgent need to develop the water sector in ways that can withstand the extremes of climate change,” Shaman explained.
La Niña climate phenomenon sparks a 30% jump in diarrhoea cases in Africa 'because the ..., Daily Mail, December 31
Jeffrey Shaman, co-author and professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia said: 'In Southern Africa, precipitation [rainfall] is projected to decrease. 'This change, in a hydrologically dynamic region where both wildlife and humans exploit the same surface water resources, may amplify the public health threat of waterborne illness. 'For this reason, there is an urgent need to develop the water sector in ways that can withstand the extremes of climate change.'
'Tough year' for measles and other infectious diseases in US, Washington Post, December 27
“There may have been a real surge of optimism after the eradication of smallpox in 1980,” but then a few years later AIDS came in, said Stephen Morse, a Columbia University expert on the spread of diseases.Today’s growing resistance to vaccines and other prevention efforts is a “very worrisome trend,” he said.
Cannabis use rising faster among depressed Americans, REUTERS, December 26
“This perception of risk is decreasing more rapidly among those with depression,” said Renee Goodwin of Columbia University in New York City, the study’s senior author. “Those with depression who perceive little or no risk associated with use have a much higher prevalence of cannabis use, relative to those who perceive higher associated risks,” Goodwin said.
The Decade In Global Health: New Drugs, Faster Trials, Social Media To The Rescue, NPR, December 24
Early treatments for the drug-resistant disease required injections over many months, and the side effects, such as hearing loss, kidney failure, depression or psychosis, can be worse than the disease, says Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of ICAP at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. But in the past decade, two drugs, bedaquiline and delaminid, have emerged to treat drug-resistant TB. "They're taken by mouth and are well-tolerated," she says. As the simpler, safer treatments become available, she says, they could be game changers for patients in the developing world.”
… In the 2010s, big data has been shown to have huge potential to save lives, says Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. “Combining disease information from huge data sets, including Facebook, Twitter and digital news sites, through which researchers and health officials can spot outbreaks of disease, determine vulnerability of different populations and track the spread of disease. The earlier you detect an outbreak, the more likely it is that you can prevent its spread," he says.
Boys born to obese mothers 'have worse motor skills and at age 3 and lower IQ at age 7 because ..., Daily Mail, December 24
Researchers at UT Austin and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health studied the children, from New York City, at two points - three and seven years of age. At age three, the researchers measured the children's motor skills, which would include coordination, dexterity, movement and speed. Girls had higher scores compared to boys - an average of 102.3 compared with 97.2.
A nuclear attack would most likely target 1 of 6 US cities. Simulated images show how a Hiroshima ..., Business Insider, December 23
"There isn't a single jurisdiction in America that has anything approaching an adequate plan to deal with a nuclear detonation," Irwin Redlener, a public-health expert at Columbia University who specializes in disaster preparedness. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has some simple advice for those catastrophic circumstances: Get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned. But Redlener said the overall federal guidelines weren't enough.
A new chance to end New York’s plague of ‘zombie homes’, NEW YORK POST, December 19
A report recently published by the Manhattan Institute, from University of Pennsylvania’s John MacDonald and Columbia’s Charles Branas, shows how cleaning and greening a handful of blighted lots lead to large drops in an area’s shootings, armed assaults and nuisance crimes, and without displacing such criminal behavior to elsewhere in a city. For neighborhoods below the poverty line, the effect was even greater: a 29 percent reduction in gun assaults and a 28 percent fall in crimes such as illegal dumping and public drinking.
US Prefers Mass Hysteria to Sound Policy on Vaping, Yahoo Finance, December 19
Important voices who believe e-cigarettes can save lives are finally pushing back. In its latest issue, Science magazine published an important essay by five public health heavyweights…including Ronald Bayer, a professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Teen Marijuana Vaping Soars, Displacing Other Habits, New York Times, December 18
…When it comes to vaping, young people may have gotten the wrong message: that it is not harmful. Silvia Martins, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, noted that marijuana is increasingly marketed in states where it is legal to suggest the drug may have widespread health benefits, claims that are not backed up by science. The rise of marijuana vaping among young people, she said, “could be related to the fact it is seen as less harmful and less risky.” Dr. Martins and other experts said that the changes in teenage drug use may have a curious influence: technology.
But technology may also be partly responsible for the decline in the use of some other drugs, Dr. Martins and Dr. Volkow, among others, have hypothesized. The theory is that some teenagers are partying less because they are spending time stimulated by their devices, and communicating with one another over social media, rather than in gatherings where they might have encountered alcohol or drugs. Dr. Martins is in the middle of research to test that hypothesis.
How trillions of microbes affect every stage of our life—from birth to old age, National Geographic, December 17
One of the scientists involved in the study, W. Ian Lipkin of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, cautions researchers against rushing to explain diseases—whether diabetes or any other—by differences in the microbiome alone. “This is still largely a descriptive science,” he says; all that’s known for sure is that certain microbes are associated with certain conditions.
Even with this caveat, Lipkin is excited about where microbiome science might lead. He expects that in five or 10 years, scientists will understand the mechanisms of how the microbiome affects the body and will have begun clinical trials on human subjects to demonstrate the health impact of altering it. Once microbiome science “becomes mechanistic and testable,” he says, “then it will become real.”
People With Depression Turning to Pot for Relief, U.S. News & World Report, December 17
"Cannabis use has increased rapidly among persons with depression, and this increase has been more rapid than among those without depression," said senior researcher Renee Goodwin. She's an adjunct associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City. "With increasing legalization in the U.S., previous studies have shown that perception of risk associated with use is declining overall," she said. "The results of this study show that this decline is even more rapid among this vulnerable population."
Also in WebMD
Many Women With Little Desire To Avoid Pregnancy Still Use Contraception, PsychCentral, December 17
We found that women across all ranges of desire to avoid pregnancy used a diversity of contraceptive methods, said Goleen Samari, Ph.D., Columbia Mailman School assistant professor of population and family health. The finding tells us that women use contraception for all sorts of reasons, and contraceptive counseling shouldn’t be guided by pregnancy preferences alone. Even for women with strong preferences to avoid pregnancy, overemphasizing effectiveness in contraceptive counseling may not lead to contraceptive uptake and satisfaction if other contraceptive features are not addressed.
Also in News-Medical Net
Congress agrees on historic deal to fund $25 million in gun violence research, ABC NEWS ONLINE, December 16
Congress has reached a spending agreement that includes $25 million for gun violence research, the first funding in more than 20 years to study a problem that kills 40,000 people annually. … While the new research dollars are important, the symbolism of the funding is also crucial, including for the people who work at the CDC, explained Ted Alcorn, an associate at the Mailman School ofPublic Health at Columbia University, who authored the JAMA Internal Medicine analysis. "For too long researchers have learned to assume that the CDC does not support gun violence research," he said.
Choking Haze Is Turning Sydney Into the World’s Laboratory, BLOOMBERG NEWS, December 14
We know that wildfire fine-particulate matter differs from that produced, for example, from coal combustion, said Joan Casey, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York. “What’s more interesting is how these extreme air pollution episodes in regions with relatively little air pollution at baseline may lead to both short- and long-term health consequences.”
Also in Yahoo Finance
Vaping – The Riskiness of E-Cigarattes, Globo TV News, December 12
Ana Navas-Acien, professor of environmental health, Columbia University was interviewed on e-cigarettes and vaping. “There is evidence that the oily substance that is used in e-cigarettes can be highly damaging and the liquid that you are inhaling contains metals that are highly toxic. I recommend that anyone who doesn’t smoke would be crazy to ever try e-cigarettes.
Log in: email@example.com
Scientists Tell Everyone to Take Several Seats Over Vaping Panic, VICE, December 13
A group of prominent public-health experts on the vape crisis had a message to share in one of the country's leading academic journals: Don't panic. Ronald Bayer of Columbia and his colleagues write that"restricting access and appeal among less harmful vaping products out of an abundance of caution," would be a massive setback for public health globally. Instead they advocate a harm-reduction approach. "In public health, there are always trade-offs," Bayer said. "You have to weigh both the risks and benefits.” But, as Bayer emphasized, the crucial conclusions and recommendations they make are for taxing vaping products—enough to keep them out of the hands of teenagers, but lower than those on combustible cigarettes so as not to discourage current smokers to switch.”
Policy Forum: Evidence, Alarm and the Debate Over E-Cigarettes (co-author, Ronald Bayer), SCIENCE Magazine, December 12
We suggest that the evidence warns against prohibitionist measures. Restricting access and appeal among less harmful vaping products out of an abundance of caution while leaving deadly combustible products on the market does not protect public health. It threatens to derail a trend that could hasten the demise of cigarettes, poised to take a billion lives this century.
Will vaping bans do more harm than good? Some public health experts say yes., NBC NEWS ONLINE, December 12
In an editorial published Thursday in the journal Science, the group writes that such "prohibitionist measures" may thwart earnest efforts of adult smokers trying to quit regular cigarettes by turning to electronic cigarettes. The group includes public health experts from major institutions, including Columbia University (Ron Bayer is a co-author), Emory University, New York University and Ohio State University.
You Could Die Today. Here’s How to Reduce That Risk., THE NEW YORK TIMES, December 12
Small steps have a big impact. Merely wearing a seatbelt will “substantially reduce your risk of sustaining serious injuries and double your chance of survival in a crash.” said Guohua Li, a professor and director of the Center for Injury Science and Prevention at Columbia University.
People with depression twice as likely to use cannabis, Healio, December 12
“Screening for cannabis use among people seeking treatment for depression may be increasingly important as the risks of cannabis use for persons with depression are not known,” Renee D. Goodwin, PhD, of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, told Healio Psychiatry. “If depression is treated with either medicine or therapy, cannabis use is generally likely not to be indicated or helpful toward recovery. Medicinal cannabis is not approved to treat depression.”
'Vicious circle' of bullying poses harm to mental health, Breitbart, December 12
Even though many studies have shown that being bullied can leave mental scars, “no studies to date” have tested the notion that mental health issues might also help drive bullying, explained study author Marine Azevedo Da Silva. She’s a postdoctoral researcher in Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
'Vicious circle' of bullying poses harm to mental health, UPI.com, December 11
According to study senior author Dr. Silvia Martins, the findings suggest that efforts to stem bullying "should consider how to take into account and handle negative feelings and mental health problems" of young perpetrators. Martins directs the Substance Abuse Epidemiology Unit at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
Bullying's 'Vicious Circle' Harms Mental Health, HealthDay, December 10
Even though many studies have shown that being bullied can leave mental scars, "no studies to date" have tested the notion that mental health issues might also help drive bullying, explained study author Marine Azevedo Da Silva. She's a postdoctoral researcher in Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
The Latest on Vaping Risks, Columbia Magazine, Winter 2019
A team of researchers led by Markus Hilpert and Norman Kleiman of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health are investigating whether potentially toxic metals found in e-cigarettes component parts might be contributing to reported lung injuries. “We suspect that these metals could be interacting in dangerous ways with Vitamin E oil, which I soften added to e-liquids and possible other chemical contaminants,” says Kleiman.
New Study Links Bullying with Internalized Problems for US Adolescents, MD Magazine, December 6
A team of investigators, led by Marine Azevedo Da Silva, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, examined the bidirectional association between the bullying perpetration and internalized problems amongst adolescents in the US.
Create uproar over lack of clean air to breathe: experts, The Hindu, December 4
“It has been shown that PAH is a compound associated with increased breast cancer risk,” said Dr. Jasmine McDonald, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and co-director of the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences at Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.
A pill a day can keep HIV away..., Independent Online, December 1
BYLINE: Salim S Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim
In our country, adolescent girls and young women tend to acquire HIV infection at a much earlier age than their male peers. This age-sex disparity in infection rates is a consequence of girls partnering with men about 10 years older than them, and who may have recently acquired HIV or who are already living with HIV but are not on treatment with antiretroviral medicines.
Salim S Abdool Karim is director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa) and Caprisa Professor of Global Health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Quarraisha Abdool Karim is associate scientific director of Caprisa, and Professor in Clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia.
Listen to Karim’s November 29th PODCAST: Wider attention must be paid to PrEP for HIV/Aids prevention - professor
Women, mothers lead increases in U.S. binge drinking rates, UPI, November 26
Researchers from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York, in a study published online Tuesday in PLOS Medicine, report that, for the most part, levels of binge drinking are up. Only men with children saw declines in the rate of their drinking or binge drinking. … "Moms are often subject to increased scrutiny regarding their own health, and how their decisions impact the health of their children," study co-author Sarah McKetta, a doctoral candidate at Columbia, said in a statement.
Moms are binge drinking more, but so are all women, study finds, NBC NEWS ONLINE, November 26
Moms are binge drinking more, but they’re not the only ones: According to a study released Tuesday, binge drinking rates are on the rise for nearly all groups of Americans, whether they have children or not. “There had been a lot of media attention on the ‘mommy drinking phenomenon,’” said the study's lead author Sarah McKetta, a medical student and doctoral candidate at Columbia University.
'Mummy drinking' is on the upswing - but women without children still booze more, Mirror (UK), November 26
Lead author Sarah McKetta, an epidemiologist at Columbia University , New York, said: "Although heavy drinking has either decreased or stabilised for most groups, binge drinking is still common and is becoming even more prevalent… Ms McKetta, a PhD student in public health, said: "The largest increases in binge drinking were reported among women aged 30 to 44 without children - from 21 percent in 2006 to 42 percent in 2018.” Senior author Professor Katherine Keyes, also of Columbia, said: "Our study demonstrated that trends in binge and heavy drinking over time were not differentiated by parenting status for women; rather, declines and increases over time were mainly attributable to sex and age.
'Problem' marijuana use has declined in the U.S., UPI, November 26
There are fewer problem "potheads" today than before the wave of marijuana legalization that's swept the United States, a new analysis of federal survey data shows … "The number of people with problems, instead of increasing as predicted, has decreased," said senior researcher Dr. Silvia Martins. She is director of the substance use epidemiology unit at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
Fewer Americans Now Struggle With 'Problem' Pot Use, U.S. News & World Report (HealthDay News), November 26
"The number of people with problems, instead of increasing as predicted, has decreased," said senior researcher Dr. Silvia Martins. She is director of the substance use epidemiology unit at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City… A lot of these frequent users could be people who come home and smoke one joint a day," she said."Usually there are many people using a legal substance and it's only a small portion of people that end up developing the disorder," Martins added. "The people who need treatment are the tip of the iceberg."
In another study published recently, Martins and her colleagues found that cannabis use disorder had increased in the first four states to legalize marijuana: Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon…Once marijuana becomes more normative, we're going to see a huge increase in people with cannabis use disorder," Martins said.
US life expectancy declining due to more deaths in middle age, REUTERS, November 26
The new findings (fall off in life expectancy) highlight some distressing trends, said Dr. John Rowe, a professor in Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. "It is depressing," Rowe said, "but I don't think it's much of a surprise. We knew the opioid epidemic was taking a major toll with 250,000 who have overdosed and died… This is really evidence that mortality rates are increasing only in middle age while they're continuing to decline in children, adolescents and people over 65," Rowe said, noting that it's occurring as mortality rates from cancer and stroke are declining.
'Deaths Of Despair': U.S. Life Expectancy Has Been Falling Since 2014, With Biggest Impacts In Rust Belt And Ohio Valley, NEWSWEEK, November 26
Peter Muennig, professor of health policy and management at Columbia University, told Newsweek the research provides detail on a problem that was largely already known. However, he was taken aback by the breadth of the problem. "We have long considered Asians and Hispanics to be holding the torch for all Americans. Those two groups have long been considered the healthiest," said Muennig. "But mortality rates appear to be flat for those groups rather than getting better. This is particularly surprising because Asians have been considered untouched by the opiate crisis," he said.
Marijuana: can its consumption really cause other more serious addictions?, BBC NEWS, November 26
Denise Kandel of the Mailman School of Public Health, belonging to Columbia University in New York, says that animal research shows changes in the way their brains respond to cocaine after being exposed to alcohol, marijuana or nicotine. “It is not possible to establish a clear connection between the use of marijuana and other drugs because there are so many contributing factors that cannot be controlled in the investigations," Kandel said.
The New Deal Wasn't Intrinsically Racist, The New Republic, November 26
A central focus on group-level disparities can lead to mistaken diagnoses of the sources and character of the manifest inequalities it identifies. And those mistaken diagnoses, in turn, can reflect damaging class and ideological biases that ultimately undercut the struggle for social justice and equality. In this column and later ones, I will examine facets of this problem and its entailments. A key point of departure here is the study I published in 2012 with Columbia University public health Professor Merlin Chowkwanyun, explicating how what we call the “disparitarian perspective” has distorted discussion of the impact of the New Deal on black Americans.
You're Black and Pregnant. What Should Your Birth Plan Actually Look Like?, SELF, November 23
In an effort to research the disrespect and abuse that can happen in maternity care, along with her colleagues, Shanon McNab, M.P.H., M.I.A., with the Averting Maternal Death and Disability program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health held 16 focus groups for women of color who had given birth in New York City hospitals…“What we found was this deep sense of mistrust on both sides,” McNab tells SELF. “[A lot of women talked about] deeply [mistrusting] the medical institution and not really having a reason to trust why this provider is telling me that I don’t know my body or that I need this intervention. On the other hand, the clinicians are saying, ‘I know nothing about this woman. I don’t know how many prenatal visits she went to. I maybe don’t have all of her records. I have no reason to trust what she’s saying when my clinical instinct is telling me something different.’”
Immigration raids tied to worse mental health among Hispanic Americans, REUTERS, November 21
“Given that immigration policy continues to be a deeply contested topic, ensuring that the health and social consequences of aggressive enforcement are identified and acknowledged within national debates is a key priority,” study authors Emilie Bruzelius of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City and Aaron Baum of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City write.
Poverty affects access to health care. These women are trying to change that., Philadelphia Tribune, November 21
If people’s housing is unhealthy they will be too. To explore the disparity in care, the New York Times spoke to Diana Hernandez, assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences one of five women focused on exploring the health of people with low income.
Vitamin B Diminishes Effects of Air Pollution-induced Cardiovascular Disease Camfil USA, Yahoo Finance, November 21
While ambient air quality across much of the United States has steadily improved over the years, homes and buildings should still be outfitted with air filters to ensure indoor air is healthy. A growing body of literature suggests that air filters may not be the only preventative measure we can take; a study conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that healthy non-smoking individuals who took vitamin B supplements almost reversed any harmful effects of exposure to polluted air on their immune and cardiovascular function.
Seasonal severity, vaccine effectiveness not associated with flu vaccination rates, Healio, November 21
“We as clinicians often think to ourselves that we can ‘predict’ influenza vaccine uptake based on the severity of influenza, particularly in the previous season, or reports of vaccine effectiveness,” Melissa S. Stockwell, MD MPH, associate professor of pediatrics and population and family health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “We were surprised to see that, at least nationally, that did not seem to be a case.”
Making Cities Safer One Vacant Lot at a Time, The American Health Podcast, November 20
In September 2019, the American Public Health Association and the Bloomberg American Health Initiative co-hosted a forum called Policies That Work to Reduce Gun Violence, featuring leading experts discussing the most up-to-date evidence on gun violence prevention. At the forum, Dr. Charles Branas, Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Epidemiology, spoke about how reducing blight in urban areas can significantly reduce firearm violence.
Poverty Impacts Access to Health Care. These Women Are Trying to Change That., The New York Times, November 19
This article is part of our Women and Leadership special section, which focuses on approaches taken by women, minorities or other disadvantaged groups challenging traditional ways of thinking.
Diana Hernández, 37, a public health researcher and New York native, sees housing as the centerpiece of a healthy life. When Dr. Hernández was growing up in federally subsidized housing in the Bronx, she and her family grew vegetables in a community garden. “There was something about working with the land and doing that as a family and as neighbors, and then sharing,” Dr. Hernández said. “It wasn’t just about us as a family, it was also about the community that was built around the garden.” That idea of pairing community-building and healthy activities stuck with her. Now an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, she sees health care as part of a larger picture: If people’s housing is unhealthy, they will be, too.
World Toilet Day Spotlights Those Who Have None, China Global TV, November 18
“The main diarrheal killer is a rotavirus – that was the case in 1980 and that’s the same problem today. It’s the same pathogens we encountered 10, 20, 50 years ago. It takes education and changing cultural values to make hygiene and toilets to become a norm. if a world community doesn’t want to use toilets it is very hard for outsiders to make them use toilets,” said Les Roberts, Professor of Population and Family Health, Columbia University.
What Early-Career Income Volatility Means for Your Middle-Aged Brain, City Lab, November 16
As Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, study author and an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told CityLab via email: “Cognitive impairment, decline, and ultimately dementia are public health priorities with tremendous health care costs.” And income volatility is likely to get worse as a quarter of American jobs will face high exposure to automation in the coming decades, according to a recent Brookings Institution report.
Our Country Is Already Seeing the Impact of Climate Change, The Hill, Byline Article: Dean Linda P. Fried, November 15
The United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is an unjust endangerment of current and future generations’ basic right to health, now and in the future… Climate change will dramatically harm human health in innumerable, tragic ways. We know enough scientifically to prevent the impacts of these changes on health— let’s get going and enact what we know is needed. It is not too late to still work towards the Paris agreement.
Cannabis Use Disorder is Rising in US States Where Weed is Legal, Newsweek, November 13
Senior author Dr. Silvia S. Martins, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, commented: "Cannabis use disorder in adolescence is associated with long-term adverse health, economic and social consequences.” Given our findings on problematic use across age groups, legalization efforts should coincide with prevention and treatment. The general public should be informed about both benefits and potential harms of marijuana products to make informed decisions."
'Cannabis Use Disorder' Up in States That Legalized Recreational Pot, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, November 13
According to study senior author Dr. Silvia Martins, "Cannabis use disorder in adolescence is associated with long-term adverse health, economic and social consequences." She is an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. "Given our findings on problematic use across age groups, legalization efforts should coincide with prevention and treatment. The general public should be informed about both benefits and potential harms of marijuana products to make informed decisions."
Also covered in HealthDay
After Legalization, Marijuana Addiction Is on the Rise, HealthLine, November 13
The study was conducted by a team at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and published in JAMA Psychiatry. CUD can be linked to long-term adverse health and economic and social impacts, said Dr. Silvia S. Martins, an associate professor at Columbia University and report senior author. Martins’s team looked at data from 505,796 people from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. They compared data from the first four states to legalize marijuana for recreational use — against data from states that have not legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Information is lacking on whether certain groups of people are more likely to develop CUD in response to changing marijuana laws, noted Deborah Hasin, PhD, a professor at Columbia University.
Wait, What Is In a Tampon?, MEDIUM, November 13
The other concern regarding chemical exposure through tampons is that both cotton and rayon come from highly absorbent plants, meaning they can soak up pesticides and heavy metals present in the soil where they’re grown. “Cotton is one of the most heavily pesticized crops in the United States,” says Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University…Concerned about potential heavy-metal exposure, Kioumourtzoglou tested 255 women to see whether those who used tampons had higher levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury in their blood than women who used another type of menstrual product. (Study)
Flu vaccination rates in children, teens remain low, UPI, November 11
"We do know from our own, as well as other people's research, that there remain widespread misperceptions about influenza and the vaccine," study co-author Melissa Stockwell, associate professor of pediatrics and population and family health at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, told UPI.
Was shutting Japan’s reactors deadlier than the Fukushima disaster?, THE ECONOMIST, November 7
The precautionary principle—taking dramatic action to prevent a worst-case scenario—resulted in poor policymaking in this instance, concludes Matthew Neidell of Columbia University, one of the paper’s authors. “Our estimated increase in mortality from higher electricity prices significantly outweighs the mortality from the accident itself.”
Violence Is in the Air, THE NATION, November 6
Research on workers on farms and in manufacturing and call-center workplaces indicates a clear link between air pollution at a work site and performance on the job. Conversely, researchers concluded, limiting air pollution through regulation could boost productivity; a reduction in the ozone standard by 10 parts per billion would save $700 million in labor costs in the farming sector, according to research by Columbia professor Matthew Neidell (of Mailman School of Public Health).
Flu Season Update: Where the Virus Is Hitting and What Shots Are in Short Supply, HealthLine, November 5
“If a senior can’t find the high-dosage vaccine, they should take the regular vaccine now. ‘Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,’ as the old saying goes,” Stephen Morse, PhD, an expert in influenza and infectious diseases at Columbia University in New York, told Healthline. “We know the immune system usually doesn’t respond as strongly in the elderly as in young adults, so they often don’t fight off the infection as well,” he said. “Seniors living in nursing homes or wherever there’s a high density of older people are at higher risk,” Morse said.
The prognosis is poor for stopping the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, The Hill, Byline Article: Samantha Garbers, PhD, associate professor at Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, November 3
“As prevention and treatment services diminish under the Title X restrictions, this country can expect higher rates of STDs, increased transmission, and deteriorating sexual health…Although these STDs are preventable and treatable, inadequate funding and hostile regulation leaves us on track to see rates further skyrocket in the coming years. We must work to make health care resources and access top priorities in order to stop the spread of STDs.”
Measles weakens immune system against other diseases: Scientists, The Straits Times, November 3
"These elegant studies provide insights into immunological deficits following measles infections that have intrigued scientists for over 100 years," said Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, director of the Centre for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "I agree that the findings also enhance the strength of the argument for vaccination." But he added: "I don't think it's going to change vaccination rates because those decisions are irrational.”
Measles Can Cause 'Immune Amnesia,' Increasing Risk of Other Infections, New York Times, November 1
“These elegant studies provide insights into immunological deficits following measles infections that have intrigued scientists for over 100 years,” said Dr. Ian W. Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “I agree that the findings also enhance the strength of the argument for vaccination,” he said but added, “I don’t think it’s going to change vaccination rates, because those decisions are irrational.”
Cannabis Use Disorder is Falling For Teens and Young Adults, Consumer Affairs, November 1
Researchers from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that the number of teens and young adults affected by cannabis use disorder declined between 2002 and 2016. “Contrary to expectations, the frequency of cannabis use disorder among people reporting daily/almost daily use decreased significantly between 2002 and 2016,” said researcher Dr. Silvia Martins. “The findings contradict the predominating hypothesis that the prevalence of DSM-IV CUD would be stable, or increase, among those using with regularity.”
Genomic Data Maps Spread of Deadly Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Strain, MedicalResearch.com, October 31
In a Q and A with the editor, Barun Mathema said, “We are losing the general fight against drug resistant pathogens. We suggest a major reason is that the processes that make a drug resistant pathogen epidemic is multifactorial and importantly occurs months to years prior to when they are first detected by public health.
Mathema is Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Vaping is Blamed for Mounting Deaths, Lung Injuries. Here’s What it’s Doing to Kids’ Brains, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, October 29
Meanwhile, a landmark study by Columbia University medical school researchers viewed as the closest to biological proof of the gateway theory found that mice given nicotine in their water over a period of time showed addiction-related gene changes and increased vulnerability to cocaine dependence. Denise Kandel, a professor of sociomedical sciences in psychiatry and a lead author on the study, said she and her colleagues have also found in subsequent research that alcohol and cannabinoids seem to have gateway-like relationships to cocaine use in mouse studies.
FDA Approves Medicines360's LILETTA® (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) to Prevent Pregnancy for up to Six Years, the Longest Approved Duration of Use of Any Hormonal IUDs, Yahoo! Finance, October 28
I hear all the time from women that they want a reliable and long-term option for birth control that is reversible," said Carolyn Westhoff, M.D., MSC, chief of the Division of Family Planning, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon Professor of Reproductive Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor of Population and Family Health and Epidemiology, Columbia University, and investigator in the ACCESS IUS study. "This groundbreaking trial has given healthcare providers the ability to confidently offer women the option of pregnancy prevention for up to six years."
Five Myths About Vaping, Washington Post, Perspective: Daniel Giovenco, October 17
“It is true that most smokers who try e-cigarettes continue to smoke, but that does not mean that e-cigarettes are an ineffective cessation aid: Most smokers who try FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies also continue to smoke, but such products are still officially deemed effective. We are still learning about the product features and behavioral factors that may contribute to successfully quitting with e-cigarettes…Make no mistake, though: E-cigarettes do not seem to be leading large numbers of youth into smoking, but the strikingly high rates of teenage vaping alone are alarming.”
Daniel Giovenco is an assistant professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. His research focuses on tobacco control policies and patterns of tobacco product use.
Getting the Dirt on Hamilton Beach, Queens Chronicle, October 17
A Columbia University public health professor is preparing to study homes in Hamilton Beach to see what kind of lasting effect the persistent flooding has on families. Dr. Pam Factor-Litvak, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia’s School of Public Health, is scheduled to appear tonight, Oct. 17, at the civic association’s monthly meeting to pitch residents and find volunteers for the study. She is “one of the leads on a research project looking at flooding and how it impacts the home and health,” a Facebook post said.
Doctors Urge Americans to Get Flu Shots Amid Fears Over Deadly Flu Strain, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, October 16
Doctors are urging Americans to get their flu shots right away after a bad flu season in Australia has raised concerns about the coming season in the U.S. … “For many people, even if it’s not perfect, it will probably give them some protection or modify the course of the disease if they become infected,” says Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Opinion: Letters: “How to Close Rikers Island”, The New York Times, Oct 16
The research could not be clearer. Incarceration is inherently harmful to human health. There is simply no such thing as a therapeutic jail or a humane cage. The best empirical evidence suggests that incarceration does not prevent or deter future crime or arrests. The mayor’s plan guarantees that incarceration will continue to be the expected outcome for people experiencing the daily problems of living without adequate material resources and public investments.
Dr. Seth J. Prins and Dr. Ana Tergas are, respectively, an epidemiologist and an obstetrician-gynecologist at Columbia University.
Air Pollution Linked to 'Missed' Miscarriages in China: Study, Straits Times, October 16
The study's findings are "consistent with other studies of air pollution and pregnancy loss, and also with other studies documenting significant associations between air pollutants and preterm birth", Frederica Perera, a professor of public health at Columbia University who was not involved in the study, told AFP.
Food Stamps Cuts Pose Hardship for Home Health Care Workers, The Bronx Ink, October 12
“Many families are living on the edge financially and they really do need that benefit in order to make ends meet and to make sure that their family is fed,” said Sara Abiola, Professor of Health Policy & Management at Columbia University. ..“People are concerned that this new cut would threaten a lot of households in the state have not being able to afford to meet their food needs,” said Abiola. New York State has been able to provide food stamps to families using broad-based categories…“If you are able to determine that you are eligible based on one assessment, then you don’t have to go back and re-apply,” Abiola said, “or can determine your eligibility multiple times in multiple different ways.”
To Build a Better Vaccine, PROTO, October 7
VirCapSeq-VERT is a custom sequencing system developed by W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology, pathology and neurology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons. It works as a universal virus detector, which means that clinicians can take a sample of a person’s blood and detect the genetic signature of virtually any virus known to infect humans and other vertebrates. Now Lipkin is working on tools that…will be able to provide a report within hours of obtaining a sample, helping researchers “recognize a threat and appreciate it in its full complexity.”
Aspirin Could Cut Air Pollution Harms in Half, Study Claims, FOX NEWS ONLINE, October 5
Researchers from Columbia, Harvard and Boston Universities analyzed a subset of data collected from 2,280 male veterans from the greater Boston area who were given tests to determine their lung function. Participants' average age was 73. … "Our findings suggest that aspirin and other NSAIDs may protect the lungs from short-term spikes in air pollution," first and corresponding author Xu Gao, a post-doctoral research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Columbia Mailman School, said in press statement. "Of course, it is still important to minimize our exposure to air pollution, which is linked to a host of adverse health effects from cancer to cardiovascular disease."
Aspirin May Lessen Adverse Effects of Air Pollution Exposure, Science Times, October 5
Environmental policies have significantly reduced air pollution, along with the efforts of organizations all over the world, yet the short-term spikes of high pollution rates are still commonplace. "It is for this reason that studies to minimize those harms must continue," said Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Columbia Mailman School, and senior author of the study.
New York -- Uber, A Taxi in the Air, Channel 2 France, October 4
Darby Jack, professor in Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University was interviewed about the launch of different helicopter services between Manhattan and JFK and the environmental aspect of these services on the quality of air and health compared to a car.
How to Reduce Exposure to Air Pollution, The New York Times, August 13
When walking, running or biking, “the things you can vary are, where do you go and when do you go,” said Darby Jack, an associate professor of environmental health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “With both of those, some relatively small changes in behavior can result in meaningful changes in exposure.” Limiting exposure is particularly important during exercise, when we take in more air.
Opinion: Environmental Advocates Should Take Another Look at Biofuels, The Hill, August 14
Frederica Perera, head of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, has shown through more than a decade of research that the worst emissions from those chemicals – polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs – have effects on pregnant women and small children comparable to airborne lead: low birth weight, diminished IQ and cognitive and behavioral disorders.
Food Will Be Scarce, Expensive, and Less Nutritious, Climate Report Says, CNN, August 9
Plant physiologist Lewis Ziska does agree. His work has contributed to the IPCC report. His past work with the US Department of Agriculture found that the rising CO2 levels have had a negative impact on the nutritional value of certain crops such as rice, and the climate crisis has reduced crop yield. ... He considers food one of the most important issues policymakers should look at in the wake of the climate crisis. "Food is the greater leveler among people," Ziska said. "Research and adaptation plans are essential for survival," said Ziska, who is now with Columbia University, where he will continue his work.
U.N. Warns Climate Change Could Trigger Global Food Crisis, MSNBC, August 9
Reporter Ali Velshi speaks to former Department of Agriculture researcher Lewis Ziska (currently at the Mailman School of Public Health), who quit the Trump administration when his research was repressed, about what we can do to mitigate disaster.
This Researcher Left the USDA for Higher Ed. Here’s His Plea on Climate Science: ‘Please, God, Don’t Make It Political.’, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, August 8
For more than 20 years, Lewis Ziska researched plant physiology at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He has published papers on climate change, environmental threats and — as they relate to rising carbon-dioxide levels — food security and public health. He works on issues that, as he puts it, are at once “very prosaic and very important.” … Ziska has left government science for higher education, joining Columbia University (Mailman School of Public Health) this week as a researcher in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. He expects the independence of a college campus to allow him to speak more openly about his findings.
This story was also covered by Politico, ThinkProgress, and The Hill
Medical Schools Are Pushed to Train Doctors for Climate Change, Wall Street Journal, August 7
But 187 schools and programs have joined a two-year-old coalition launched by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health that supports including climate change in health education. The Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education offers resources including links to slides, videos and online courses, as well as curriculum suggestions.
Boom in overdose-reversing drug is tied to fewer drug deaths, ASSOCIATED PRESS, August 7
Prescriptions of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone are soaring, and experts say that could be a reason overdose deaths have stopped rising for the first time in nearly three decades. … “One could only hope that this extraordinary increase in prescribing of naloxone is contributing to that stabilization or even decline of the crisis,” said Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University drug abuse expert.
Rise in naloxone tied to fewer drug deaths in US, CBC Canada, August 7
"One could only hope that this extraordinary increase in prescribing of naloxone is contributing to that stabilization or even decline of the crisis," said Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University drug abuse expert.
Air Pollution Gets Into Your Brain, and Scientists Want to Know What It's Doing to You, Gizmodo, August 6
“It’s really quite an interesting paper,” said Frederica Perera, an environmental health researcher at Columbia University who was not involved in the research.
Perera herself has conducted several studies examining the effects of pollution exposure, focusing on minorities in particular. In one study of 40 New York City minority children and their mothers, Perera and her team sought to determine if a component of city smog might affect cognition and externalizing behavior, like aggression or hostility…. “The whole purpose of this [research] is to get a better handle on the risks to the young, and to use that information to help guide public health and environmental policies,” said Perera.
10 Best College Values You May Have Overlooked, 2019, Yahoo Finance, July 25
Today, Dickinson ranks number 32 on our list of best liberal arts colleges…Besides its well-rounded course catalog and historic campus, the college is also known for its high-profile partnerships with other schools, including a law school affiliation with Penn State and a joint master's program with Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Why We Should Ban the Brain-Damaging Pesticide Chlorpyrifos, Physician’s Weekly, July 24
Multiple epidemiologic studies show that prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos elevates the risk of developmental effects in children and fetuses, such as ADHD and autism. One of the most influential is a 2016 study by Columbia University’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health, which showed children with the highest chlorpyrifos concentrations in their umbilical cord blood to have differences in volume in those brain regions responsible for attention, receptive language processing, social cognition, and regulation of inhibition.
CDC's Explanation of Inaccurate Gun Injury Data 'Falls Short', Senators Say, The Trace, July 22
Guohua Li, editor in chief of the medical journal Injury Epidemiology and director of Columbia University’s Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, said the CDC could fix some of its data issues by using the larger and more reliable Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) database to adjust the current online estimate... “The data issue could be resolved within a few months,” Li told The Trace. … “Fixing the estimates is crucial to reducing gun violence. Violence is an ongoing public health crisis facing this nation,” he said. “Without quality and timely surveillance data, the public health approach is blindfolded.”
EPA Rejects Ban on Common Pesticide Linked to Brain Damage in Children, FORBES, July 19
On Thursday, under pressure from that court-ordered deadline, the EPA again rejected calls to institute a ban, saying there was a lack of “valid, complete, and reliable evidence.” “I think it’s absolutely shocking,” said Robin Whyatt, a Professor at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, of the EPA’s ruling. Whyatt was one of the co-authors of a seminal 2006 paper linking chlorpyrifos to delayed childhood development.
E.P.A. Won’t Ban Popular Pesticide Seen as a Health Risk to Children., THE NEW YORK TIMES, July 19
In opting not to ban chlorpyrifos, the E.P.A. rejected a major study conducted by Columbia University on its effects on children in New York City. The E.P.A. said because it was unable to obtain the raw data and replicate that study, which linked the insecticide to developmental delays, it could not independently verify the conclusions.
Trump's EPA Just Made Its Final Decision Not to Ban a Pesticide That Hurts Kids' Brains, Mother Jones, July 18
The pesticide in question, chlorpyrifos, is a nasty piece of work.
Major studies from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the University of California-Davis, and Columbia University have found strong evidence that low doses of chlorpyrifos inhibits kids’ brain development, including when exposure occurs in the womb, with effects ranging from lower IQ to higher rates of autism.
Intensive Efforts for Curbing H.I.V. Meet With Mixed Success in Africa, THE NEW YORK TIMES, July 18
Imagine that 90 percent of all people living with H.I.V. were diagnosed and treated with drugs. Would that be sufficient to end the AIDS epidemic? Scientists tried to answer the question in three enormous studies published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. … Together, the studies cost more than $200 million and included nearly 1.5 million people. “The scale and scope of these studies is remarkable,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, an H.I.V. expert at Columbia University in New York and leader of a group that helped fund PopART. “This is public health research at its best.”
Legalizing medical marijuana hasn't affected opioid crisis, study shows, UPI.com, July 17
"When comparing the overall effect of use after versus before medical marijuana laws were passed, we found small increases in nonmedical use of prescription opioids and slight decreases or no change in prescription opioid use disorder among nonmedical users of prescription opioids -- even for states that allowed dispensaries," said study first author Dr. Luis Segura. He's a doctoral student in epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
"The hypothesis generated from these studies is that after medical marijuana law enactment, health care professionals would be more likely to prescribe medical marijuana instead of opioid medications, and this in turn would reduce the chance of individuals to misuse prescription opioids and develop consequences," explained study senior author Dr. Silvia Martins, an associate professor of epidemiology.
Medical marijuana laws not linked to reduced opioid misuse, Modern Healthcare, July 17
"With our data, we found very little evidence of an association between the enactment of these laws and the misuse or opioid use disorder among people who use opioids," said study co-author Dr. Silvia Martins, director of the substance abuse epidemiology unit at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Martins said environmental factors mostly likely had a greater impact on opioid-related harm outcomes, such as the kind of drug policies states may have implemented. Other factors, such as the proliferation of more powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl may have also had an impact.
Medical Marijuana Won't Help Ease Opioid Crisis: Study, HealthDay, July 17
… “We tested this relationship and found no evidence that the passage of medical marijuana laws -- even in states with dispensaries -- was associated with a decrease in individual opioid use of prescription opioids for nonmedical purposes," explained study senior author Dr. Silvia Martins, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
New York City Hopes to Ease Strain on Its Emergency Rooms, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, July 16
Weaning people from use of the emergency department remains a substantial issue. It is extraordinarily difficult to change patient patterns of behavior, said Michael Sparer, chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. “It’s kind of a cliché, but it is true: the hard thing is to make what you might consider the right choice, the easy choice” for patients, he said.
Women With Paying Jobs See Slower Memory Loss Later in Life, CNN, July 16
“Paid work may offer economic benefits that influence health, said Dr. John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. "They're in the labor force which means they may have health insurance, which gives them better access to care than people without health insurance," Rowe said. But work also brings people together, he said, and "there are very few jobs you get paid to do where you're not interacting with other people." "We need to begin to look at engagement, work for pay or volunteering, as health promotion and disease prevention," said Rowe. "When a physician sees a patient, they shouldn't just be asking about blood pressure and exercise, but should also ask how patients spend their lives."
Hearing aids could help improve brain function in later life, ConsumerAffairs, July 16
Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that hearing loss could be associated with premature death. “Old age greatly increases the risk for hearing loss,” said Dr. Vegard Skirbekk. “Therefore, as the population ages, we are seeing increasing numbers of people with hearing loss. At the same time, there are greater numbers of adults living without a partner -- putting people with hearing loss at an increased risk for death.”
Eminent SA Aids scientist Salim Abdool Karim inducted into the Royal Society, Business Day (SA), July 16
Abdool Karim joined about 40 leading scientists globally who were inducted as fellows of the oldest academy at a ceremony in London. He is the director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in SA (Caprisa), and Caprisa professor of global health at the Maliman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York.
“I felt truly humbled to be in such august company — and I know that I could never have achieved this without the amazing people that I work with, both in Caprisa, and our many collaborators,” said Abdool Karim.
Eminent SA Aids scientist inducted into the Royal Society, alongside Newton, Darwin and Einstein, South Africa Sunday Times, July 15
South Africa’s leading Aids researcher and scientist, Prof Salim Abdool Karim, was inducted on Friday as a fellow of the prestigious science academy the Royal Society… He is the director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa), and Caprisa professor of global health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York.
Mental Health in a Cannabis Nation, Medscape, July 11
I'm with Dr Deborah Hasin, a professor of epidemiology in psychiatry at Columbia University, and one of our experts on understanding what's happening in terms of cannabis and substance use in America… “It's certainly a point worth making that while a lot of people can use marijuana safely without harm, just as with drinking alcohol, cannabis is not a risk-free substance. There are risks involved in using it, and we see time trends for some of those risks increasing as the number of Americans using cannabis rises.”
How hay fever could give you anxiety: Expert reveals common allergies can release stress ..., Daily Mail, July 11
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health concluded children with a food allergy had a 'significantly higher prevalence of childhood anxiety', publishing the results of a study on 80 children in Pediatrics in 2017.
You Can Now Uber a Helicopter, but You Probably Shouldn't, VICE, July 10
"It's a step in the wrong direction in an era when we should be doing everything possible to move society towards a low-carbon, clean footing,” said Darby Jack, associate professor of environmental health science at Columbia University.
Remember Zika? We Now Know How Bad the Virus Was for Infants, HealthLine, July 9
Micaela Martinez, PhD, an infectious disease ecologist at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, explained that there isn't enough data to confirm what the long-term implications of Zika may be until the patients are studied in the future. “We only know what’s happening two… three years later,” Martinez told Healthline. “There could be things that pop up in adolescence later in life. We’ll be discovering things decades later.”
Is Marijuana Addictive?, MEDIUM, July 8
A 2015 study led by Deborah Hasin, a professor of psychology and epidemiology at Columbia University, found that nearly 30% of marijuana users “experienced a marijuana use disorder of abuse or dependence.” The finding is based on the DSM-5 definitions, “which are somewhat more inclusive than the way people ordinarily think of ‘addiction,’” Hasin says.
How Long Should Physicians' Past Deeds Be Held Against Them?, Medscape, July 8
In a Q and A led by Art Caplan, head of medical ethics at New York University School of Medicine, Robert Klitzman, who is a professor of psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and also at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health: “At all times it's important to think carefully about what we do from an ethical perspective. [It's important] to think about the rights of different people we interact with, the risks of behaviors I might do, the benefits [of my behaviors], and the socially just thing to do.”
The Sober-Curious Movement Challenges ‘Wine Mom’ Culture at a Time When Mothers are Drinking More than Ever., THE WASHINGTON POST, July 7
All those social media posts and pictures and memes do have an impact, says Katherine Keyes, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University who has researched alcohol use among women. “Based on what we know about the role of norms in maintaining behavior, it’s not surprising that all the sharing and liking and retweeting would help solidify an alcohol culture,” she says. But that’s also exactly why the sober-curious movement, with its growing visibility on social media, could potentially turn the tide, she adds.
There's Nowhere Worse to Have Your Period Than a Refugee Camp, Buzzfeed News, Opinion: Maggie Schmitt, July 3
Addressing these needs (of girls) should be an integral part of humanitarian work, not just a shiny new program derived from larger global menstrual equity movements. Girls and women cannot wait in line for distributions, fetch water and food for their families, or attend school, if they can’t manage their monthly blood flow. The average duration of humanitarian emergencies continues to climb, with current estimates at more than nine years. The protracted nature of these crises is of critical concern when planning support for menstruating girls and women.
6 Steps to Finding Your Second Act in Retirement, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 1
Anthony Pramberger, 65, started thinking about his next phase two years ago, when he was vice dean for finance and administration at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He wanted to make a difference in his hometown of Stamford, Conn., something he couldn’t manage with his previous schedule. But he also didn’t want new financial stress. “I arbitrarily used my 65th birthday as a time to make a change,” Pramberger says. “It helped setting a deadline for myself, and I was able to work backward from that.”
Should kids play in dirt and puddles? Gut health improves, research suggests, but allergy link not ..., South China Morning Post, July 1
According to Elaine Larson, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and the School of Nursing, “Superbugs are not arising from topical antiseptic products,” Larson says. “Primarily, they’re arising from the use of systemic antibiotics.”
… Nor is there any compelling evidence that overuse of hand sanitizer could somehow compromise your immune response or the idea that being “too clean” can hamper a child’s immune system. “You’re killing the organisms that you’re picking up in the environment,” Larson says, not the normal bacteria that grow on your skin.
China facing shortage of pediatricians, especially in rural areas, REUTERS, June 28
China’s problems with health care delivery to rural areas mirror what is seen in the U.S., said Dr. Guohua Li, the Finster Professor of Epidemiology and Anesthesiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and head of Columbia’s Injury and Prevention Center.
Society should embrace the economic and social promise that lies at the core of more vigorous aging. (Are you listening, Presidential candidates?) I like the way Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, puts it. She’s written: “Perhaps the greatest opportunity of the twenty-first century is to envision and create a society that nurtures longer lives not only for the sake of the older generation, but also for the benefit of all age groups — what I call the Third Demographic Dividend. …”
Meng calls for inquiry into excessive airplane noise, Queens Daily Eagle, June 27
New flight paths caused controversy in Queens in August 2018, after a study from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that prolonged exposure to loud noise could take a year off of a person’s life. “During U.S. Open tennis matches, the residents of certain neighborhoods in Queens had to endure heavy airplane traffic over their homes, but it only lasted a few weeks. Now, they have to contend with it year-round,” said Peter Muennig, professor of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School.
Smartphones aren’t making millennials grow horns. Here’s how to spot a bad study, PBS ONLINE, June 25
They’re arguing that young people are spending a lot of time hunched over their laptops and their phones,” said Jeff Goldsmith, a biostatistician at Columbia University. “But they don’t actually have any data about screen time, their [subjects’] typical posture or about any of the things that might give you a way to evaluate that hypothesis.
America's Leading Medical Groups Declare 'Public Health Emergency' Over Climate Change, Gizmodo, June 24
Health professionals spanning over 70 institutions, from the American Academy of Pediatricians to Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, have come together to declare climate change a “public health emergency.” As they put it in their declaration, “Climate change is one of the greatest threats to health America has ever faced." (Not to mention the rest of the world.)
New approaches may help solve the Lyme disease diagnosis dilemma, Science News, June 23
In places like Long Island, up to 45 percent of adult deer ticks are infected with multiple pathogens,” says Rafal Tokarz, a microbiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. To address the variability of tickborne infections and be able to treat the correct disease, Tokarz and colleagues developed a prototype test to analyze a sample of blood for eight different infections simultaneously.
Displaced Planet: UN Reports Record Number of Global Refugees, WNYC, June 20
Monette Zard, Associate Professor of Forced Migration and Health at the Mailman School at Columbia University, speaks to the underlying issues behind forced migration, the history of the Refugee Convention with the United Nations, and how things have changed since.
Torn apart by the Syrian war, these siblings struggle to stay connected across 6 different countries, Public Radio International, June 19
Many refugees interviewed stressed “how important extended family members are. … There were a lot of reflections about how [family separation] changes family dynamics and the cultural dynamics,” said Zahirah McNatt, a doctoral candidate at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health who co-authored the study.
Just How Healthy Is Biking in New York City? Help Us Find Out, THE GOTHAMIST, June 18
“From the first two years’ worth of data, we’ve been able to see that with increased doses of black carbon exposure during a bike ride, about two hours after the ride, we see an increase in blood pressure,” Cara Smith, the project manager for the study at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, told WNYC’s Shumita Basu.
As surrogacy debate heats up, NY weighs ethical, moral impacts, Albany Times Union, June 15
"To ask someone to become pregnant on someone else's behalf is to ask her to put herself at real risk," said Wendy Chavkin, professor emerita at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "The women are deciding to undergo these risks while being incentivized by large sums of money."
Eager to Limit Exemptions to Vaccination, States Face Staunch Resistance, THE NEW YORK TIMES, June 14
“A crisis like this is often the catalyst and provides a window of opportunity” for tightening vaccine laws, said James Colgrove, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University. “This is a very, very serious outbreak, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it prompted more states to move on this.”
New York Eliminates Religious Exemptions In Face Of Measles Outbreak: 'Personal Opinions ..., Kaiser Health News, June 14
“The only way to stop the outbreak of measles — a dangerous and sometimes fatal disease — is to make sure as many children as possible are vaccinated,” said Dr. Linda P. Fried, dean of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
“The only way to stop the outbreak of measles is to make sure as many children as possible are vaccinated,” said Dr. Linda P. Fried, dean of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “The New York Senate’s passage of critical legislation to eliminate non-medical exemptions from childhood vaccination requirements is a vital step.”
BYLINE: LINDA P. FRIED
The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that the current measles outbreak — the worst in the United States in 25 years — has spread to 1,022 cases in 28 states since September. The overwhelming majority of these cases have occurred in New York State, where the outbreak is largely linked to parents who have chosen not to vaccinate their children. To date, more than 50 patients across the state, mostly children, have been hospitalized, with some landing in intensive care units. We should not take this outbreak lightly or believe there is an easy medical fix. … Fried is dean of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Depo-Provera, an Injectable Contraceptive, Does Not Raise H.I.V. Risk, THE NEW YORK TIMES, June 13
The results “will be a relief to both women and health care providers in southern Africa, where Depo-Provera is the most commonly used contraceptive,” said Dr. Salim S. Abdool Karim, an H.I.V. expert at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and Columbia University, who was not involved in the trial.
Hand sanitisers: good or bad? Good, say experts, but soap and water is sometimes better, South China Morning Post, June 13
“What we know right now is that alcohol hand sanitisers are the fastest and best,” said Elaine Larson, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and the School of Nursing. “The way alcohol-based hand sanitisers work is basically by busting the cell wall of germs [and thus killing them]”, Larson says.
T. Rowe Price Group Adds Dina Dublon And Robert Stevens As Independent Directors, Yahoo Finance, June 13
Ms. Dublon currently serves on the board of directors of PepsiCo, Inc. and on the board of overseers of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
How red-baiting in medicine did lasting harm to Americans’ health care, THE WASHINGTON POST, June 12
BYLINE: MERLIN CHOWKWANYUN
The battle for universal health care has come a long way. Today, the House Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing on Medicare-for-all, and the plan has recently gained support from high-ranking Democrats, including several presidential contenders. It’s traction that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. Even so, the fight for Medicare-for-all will be a war. … Merlin Chowkwanyun is an Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Also covered by SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle online)
How red-baiting in medicine did lasting harm to Americans' health care
The Incredible Link Between Nature and Your Emotions, Outside Magazine, June 12
“We presented this as how a randomized trial for a new drug would go—but for spaces and places,” recalls one of the project’s leaders, Charles Branas, chair of the department of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Branas and his colleagues selected 541 vacant lots across the city of Philadelphia and randomly allocated each to either receive no intervention, receive regular trash removal and mowing, or be turned into open pocket parks, with trees and a pleasant, short wooden-perimeter fence.
Barrels possibly containing Agent Orange ingredients remain months after Wallowa Lake discovery, The Oregonian, June 12
Jeanne Stellman, a professor in Columbia University’s School of Public Health who has studied Agent Orange exposure, said residents should be comforted that the less hazardous chemical hasn’t shown up in drinking water tests. If 2,4-D was in the water, it likely would have shown up even after going through the treatment process, Stellman said.
But she said the water should be tested for the more toxic 2,4,5-T as well. “I don't think you are facing a crisis,” Stellman said. “I wouldn't ignore the problem, but I also wouldn't start a ‘drink bottled water’ campaign.”
New Government Estimates Offer Early Hope That Drug Overdose Deaths Are Waning, TIME, June 11
Back in 2014, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health predicted that drug overdose deaths would peak in 2017, then decline progressively until they hit pre-epidemic levels seen in the 1980s around 2034. Columbia researcher, epidemiologist Dr. Guohua Li, says the new estimates are a good indication that their prediction, which was based on an epidemiological modeling method called Farr’s Law, was correct. “It’s not a surprise to us,” Li says. “Our prediction model did not account for the overdose hike driven by fentanyl overdoses, but, still, the pattern and trajectory of the opioid epidemic has generally held up quite well.”
A shocking number of women are harassed, ignored, or mistreated during childbirth, VOX, June 11
That’s something that sets childbirth apart from other interactions with the health system, said Columbia University public health professor Lynn Freedman. “People have different kinds of expectations and desires around childbirth care than perhaps if you break your leg,” she said. “It has a different meaning for people, and they go into childbirth with different kinds of hopes and expectations, and aspirations and meaning. So when things do not go the way they had hoped, it’s meaningfully different for many women.”…“These are broader issues of racism and other social power dynamics that then play out in health system — as well as the education, police, court systems.”
Research reveals gaps in the girls' knowledge and absence of support during puberty, News-Medical.net, June 11
A study led by Marni Sommer, DrPH, RN, associate professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, examined girls' transitions through puberty in Madagascar and ways in which menstruation influences their educational experiences and future sexual and reproductive health. “Given the significant gaps in girls' levels of knowledge and support, there was a clear need demonstrated for educational material on puberty for early adolescents, along with teacher training about puberty."
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are still a safe bet, THE WASHINGTON POST, June 10
Absolutely not. “Superbugs are not arising from topical antiseptic products,” according to Elaine Larson, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and the School of Nursing. “Primarily, they’re arising from the use of systemic antibiotics.”
LI hospitals use feds' ratings to assess, improve care, Newsday, June 10
The federal data are “not perfect,” said Adam Sacarny, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Columbia University. But, he said, researchers have studied hospitals’ performance on certain procedures using randomly chosen patients and “their estimates of quality were pretty similar” to what the federal government had for the same hospitals, suggesting that “some of these scores really do a fine job of getting at hospital quality.”
It's Official: Over 1,000 U.S. Measles Cases in 2019, MedPage Today, June 6
Stephen Morse, PhD, of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, provided an epidemiologist’s perspective on the current U.S. outbreak. “The number of cases are going up, but the numbers [of new cases per week] are varying a lot,” Morse said…reiterating that high rates of vaccination coverage are essential for measles, and that while vaccination rates are declining, “the decline has been slow” and the U.S. is still over the 90% coverage line…Morse emphasized the burden on the healthcare system from measles complications.“The cost of hospitalization and psychological effects on the parents are staggering compared to the cost of the vaccine. [A death] is not out of the question, but I hope not [to have any]” Morse said.
That’s exactly what’s already happening in Japan, said Dr. John W. Rowe, a professor in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. “Immigration has been limited by Japan’s preference for an ethnically homogeneous society,” Rowe said in an email.
Can 'Nudge' Letters Cut Overprescribing of Psych Meds?, MedPage Today, June 5
The study by Adam Sacarny, PhD, of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, and colleagues assessed the impact of "behavioral nudges" to stem over-prescribing of quetiapine in the Medicare Part D program. Sacarny discussed the findings at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting. The study, which was published in 2018 in JAMA Psychiatry, received the group's 2019 Publication-of-the-Year Award.
Immigrants play big role in caring for elderly and disabled in US, REUTERS, June 4
That’s exactly what’s already happening in Japan (a huge projected shortfall in people who do hands-on face-to-face caregiving for older and disabled adults), said Dr. John W. Rowe, a professor in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. “Immigration has been limited by Japan’s preference for an ethnically homogeneous society,” Rowe said in an email. “With the rapid aging of the Japanese, who have the longest life expectancy in the world, this shrinking population has yielded major shortages in the elder care workforce and in manufacturing.”
In response, “the Japanese government in December 2018 relaxed the long-standing immigration restriction and established a program of five-year visas for several hundred thousand workers, Rowe said. “This was seen as a major social change in traditionally xenophobic Japan.”
Kids Face Rising Health Risks from Climate Change, Doctors Warn as Juliana Case Returns to Court, Inside Climate News, June 4
"These are affecting children's health now, and certainly affecting their future," said Frederica Perera, a co-author of the letter and the director of the Center for Children's Environmental Health at Columbia University. "It's not an abstraction, and not some future threat. It is happening now."
Breathe Easier, New York City: Clean-Air Taxi Rules Are Working, U.S. News &World Report, May 29
Co-author Frederica Perera said the study provides evidence that air pollution legislation can have real impact. "Even though overall, yellow taxis account for a small proportion of vehicular miles traveled on New York City's streets, in midtown they account for almost half," said Perera. She is director of translational research at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health in New York City."Similar regulations targeting other vehicles could make an even bigger difference," Perera noted.
Also covered in HealthDay
Discipline or treatment? Schools rethinking vaping response, ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 26
“Studies have shown that e-cigarette use among young people is potentially associated with an increased risk of progressing on to cigarette use and to vaping cannabis, which has become increasingly common in recent years,” said Dr. Renee Goodwin, a researcher and professor of epidemiology at the City University of New York and Columbia University, who studies tobacco and cannabis use.
Women are really grateful not to have to travel three or four hours to a clinic," said researcher Dr. Beverly Winikoff of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "But there are also people within walking distance from a clinic who prefer to do it this way because it's more private."
A 16-year Old Boy Dies in CBP Custody. Blame Immigration Policy, Washington Post, BYLINE: Irwin Redlener, May 23
Redlener explains how the federal government is not equipped to handle the increasing waves of migrants streaming to the U.S. Southern Border every month and calls for a coherent, effective and humane plan to manage immigration going forward.
Irwin Redlener directs the National Center for Disaster Preparedness and is professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Rats Are Taking Over New York City, New York Times, May 22
Simon H. Williams, a researcher at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, likened the impact of the construction on rats to “stepping on an ant’s nest.”
Also published in The Independent (UK):
'It's just an all-night buffet': New York rat infestation blamed on climate change and gentrification
'Incredibly sloppy': Yiddish translation of New York's measles message riddled with errors, CNN, May 22
"In order to be credible, you have to get the message out via the methodologies that a community commonly uses," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, professor of health policy and management at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. "And since measles spreads quickly, there are cascading consequences to delay."
Putting Your Child to Sleep in a Car Seat Can Be Deadly, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, May 20
The researchers outline their findings in the July issue of Pediatrics. Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University in New York City, reviewed the findings. … "This study provides some suggestive evidence that improper use of car seats as a sleeping device might pose a risk for sudden unexpected infant death or sudden infant death syndrome," Li said.
Why So Many Women Choose Abortion over Adoption, THE ATLANTIC, May 20
The move away from adoption is part of the historical trend toward reduced societal stigma for unwed mothers. Today, women who are inclined to go through with a pregnancy are simply keeping their babies. In a 1992 story about the drop in adoption placements, Debra Kalmuss, a professor at the Columbia University School of Public Health, told The New York Times that in past decades, many unmarried women had been sequestered during their pregnancies.
Refugee Children in Ohio have Higher Blood Lead Levels than U.S.-Born Peers, Reuters, May 20
Dr. Manuela Orjuela, professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health told Reuters Health, "Although this report emphasizes high lead levels, what we find a lot in places like New York City is that the risk is more from chronic exposure to low levels, which is quite noxious, as well. We may not have emergently high levels," she noted, "but we have kids who have fallen through the cracks in their own countries for monitoring lead levels, and so this is an important issue."
"Lead level checks…should be on the battery of tests that are done when they come to a new provider, and this could be put in American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines," she concluded.
Also published in Medscape
EPA plan to end funding for children's health research leaves scientists scrambling, Science Magazine, May 20
Ending grants for children’s centers is one of several moves the Trump EPA has taken to undercut research. In rejecting a proposed ban on the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, for instance, EPA mirrored arguments made by the pesticide industry to raise concerns about peer-reviewed research it had funded by Columbia University’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health.
Trump's 'pro-life' administration just killed a program on children's health, Los Angeles Times, May 20
Evidence developed at Columbia University that the pesticide chlorpyrifos interferes with children’s neurological development helped establish scientific grounds for a 2015 EPA recommendation for a ban on the chemical for agricultural use.
America's birthrate falls to lowest since 1980s, The Times of London, May 16
John Rowe, of Columbia University, predicted that the low birthrate will mean we’re going to have an increasing proportion of older people.”
Birth rate in U.S. falls to lowest level in 32 years, CDC says, NBC NEWS, May 15
The patterns seen in the U.S. echo what’s been happening in many developed countries, said Dr. John W. Rowe, a professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “For comparison, the total fertility rate in Europe is 1.58, in Southern Europe, meaning Spain and Italy, its 1.3, and in Japan, its 1.44,” Rowe said. “So this is not unprecedented.”
U.S. birth rate fell to a 32-year low in 2018, UPI and U.S News, May 15
Long term, it means we're going to have an increasing proportion of older people," Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health professor, said John Rowe. "All the projections about what percent of the population will be elderly in 5, 10, 20 years from now were made with the assumption that the birth rate would be stable."
Also picked up by Breitbart News
Birth Rate in the US Plummets to 32-Year Low, Daily Beast, May 15
We’re going to have an increasing proportion of older people... [It will] have a significant impact on the labor force," said John W. Rowe, a professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said: “Long term, it means we're going to have an increasing proportion of older people... [It will] have a significant impact on the labor force.”
de Beaumont Foundation Announces the Inaugural 40 Under 40 in Public Health, Yahoo!Finance, May 15
The 2019 judges panel includes Robert Fullilove, EdD, MS, Professor, Sociomedical Sciences at the Columbia University Medical Center, Associate Dean, Community and Minority Affairs, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
New HIV Map Offers the Most Detailed Look Yet at the Epidemic, NPR and WFUV Public Radio, May 15
"There's an increasing appreciation that this epidemic is even less homogeneous than people have imagined," says Wafaa El-Sadr, director of ICAP at Columbia University, who was not a contributor to the study (one of her ICAP colleagues, Jessica E. Justman, was a co-author). "This kind of data helps to prompt other research questions: Can we do different kinds of interventions in these places?"
The Big Number: 1.1.million people in the U.S. live with HIV, Washington Post, May 13
While HIV has mostly faded from the headlines, the disease is still infecting millions.
This article references a paper co-written by Wafaa El-Sadr.
Political Controversies Could Fuel Bullying of LGBT Youth: Study, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, May 13
Study first author Mark Hatzenbuehler noted that public votes and referendums on the rights of minority groups occur in about half of U.S. states. "Our findings suggest that the public discourse surrounding these votes may increase risk for bias-based bullying," said Hatzenbuehler, an associate professor of sociomedical sciences and sociology at Columbia University in New York City.
Homophobic Bullying Rises In Children When LGBT Rights Get Publicly Debated, NEWSWEEK, May 13
Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler, the first author of the research and an associate professor of sociomedical sciences and sociology at Columbia University, commented: “Public votes and voter referendums on the rights of minority groups occur in approximately half of U.S. states.”Our findings suggest that the public discourse surrounding these votes may increase risk for bias-based bullying."
Political Controversies Could Fuel Bullying of LGBT Youth: Study, HealthDay, May 13
"Our findings suggest that the public discourse surrounding these votes may increase risk for bias-based bullying," said first author Mark Hatzenbuehler, an associate professor of sociomedical sciences and sociology at Columbia.
The impact of early sexual initiation on boys, New York Times, May 13
Dr. David L. Bell, an associate professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and the first author on the commentary, said, “Parents and pediatricians need to help our young men navigate their sexual lives by communicating with them, having open dialogues with them about many different aspects of having sexual relationships.”
“Our culture is always afraid that by talking about something, it encourages something,” Dr. Bell said. “It’s not true about sex. It doesn’t encourage them to have sex, it encourages them to be thoughtful.”
CDC: Hepatitis A Cases Quadruple in 5 Years, MedPage Today, May 9
Stephen Morse, of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, told MedPage Today that the higher number of outbreak-associated infections reflected changing social conditions. "In many ways, the changing epidemiology of hepatitis A has been riding the wave of increased homelessness and the opioid crisis," he said.
Can a gut virus trigger type 1 diabetes in children?, Medical News Bulletin, May 8
Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the University of New South Wales, came up with a new study to emphasize the role of enterovirus in the gut of children… Thomas Briese, one of the researchers, stated, “These findings strengthen the model that enteroviruses can spread from the gut into a child’s pancreas and trigger autoimmunity in the cells that regulate blood sugar. Knowing the virus types involved is a critical step toward developing new strategies for prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes.”
Huge Racial Disparities Found in Deaths Linked to Pregnancy, New York Times, May 7
“Health issues of pregnancy don’t just end when the baby comes out, and that hasn’t gotten the attention it should,” said Lynn P. Freedman, director of the maternal death and disability program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Well Water's Spillover Effect: Heart Damage?, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, May 7
"People drinking water from private wells, which are not regulated, need to be aware that arsenic may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease," said study author Dr. Gernot Pichler. He is an internal medicine specialist at Hospital Hietzing/Heart Center Clinic Floridsdorf in Vienna, Austria, and a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York City. Dr. Ana Navas-Acien, professor of Environmental Health Sciences is senior author.
Well Water's Spillover Effect: Heart Damage?, Health Day, May 7
A new study finds that well water may be injurious to heart health in young adults ... "The study raises the question of whether the changes in heart structure are reversible if exposure is reduced. Some changes have occurred in water sources in the study communities, and it will be important to check the potential health impact of reducing arsenic exposure," said Gernot Pichler, an internal medicine specialist at Hospital Hietzing/Heart Center Clinic Floridsdorf in Vienna, Austria, and a visiting scholar at Columbia University. Ana Navas-Acien, professor of Environmental Health Sciences is senior author.
New York health officials won't disclose facilities hit by deadly superbug, WABC-TV, May 6
A deadly drug-resistant fungus is spreading in hospitals and nursing homes throughout New York City and its suburbs, threatening the lives of those with weakened immune systems. But so far, health officials are refusing to identify the affected facilities. "It's a very serious health threat," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, Columbia University professor and an expert on public health policy. "It's a superbug, meaning resistant to all-known antibiotics."
Sexual assault survivors could lose health access under Trump, THE HILL, Opinion, May 3
BYLINE: TERRY MCGOVERN
The Trump administration’s attacks on the rights of women and girls threaten to turn back decades of progress. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of UNFPA, the United Nations’ sexual and reproductive health agency, advocates around the world are meeting this blatant disregard for women’s health with widespread condemnation. The international advocacy community must hold the U.S. accountable for all of the damage its ideological zeal has caused and will continue to cause to women and girls.
Terry McGovern J.D. is Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn professor and chair, department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is also the founding director of the Global Health Justice and Governance Program at Columbia University.
America’s Long History with the Anti-Vaccination Movement, CITY LAB, April 24
When it comes to legal challenges to mandatory vaccination, local governments have history on their side, according to James Colgrove, who studies the the ethics of public health policy at Columbia University. He’s also the author of the book, State of Immunity, which digs into the history and politics of vaccinations in America. “This is really settled law,” he says.
What to do if someone in your office has the measles, QUARTZ, April 24
For those who are not vaccinated, the danger is everywhere, says Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University. Morse argues that employers should start treating the measles like it’s their problem, too. Companies ought to make it easy for workers who know or suspect they need to get vaccinated to visit a doctor’s office and still be compensated.
Transgender adults have higher risk of poor health, US study finds, NBCNews, April 23
“I think the take-home message for transgender adults here is clear, which is that transgender adults face additional mental and physical health disparities when compared to cisgender individuals,” said Xiang Cai, a researcher at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. Cai attributes the higher risks for poor health in trans people to “multiple levels of transgender-specific stigmas.”
Transgender U.S. Adults Have Higher Risk of Poor Health, REUTERS, April 23
"I think the take-home message for transgender adults here is clear, which is that transgender adults face additional mental and physical health disparities when compared to cisgender individuals," said Xiang Cai, a researcher at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City who wasn't involved in the study.
The People vs. Dutch Boy Lead, WNYC RADIO, April 23
Columbia Mailman Professor David Rosner talks to WNYC's The Stakes about the longest-running American public health epidemic involving lead poisoning and marketing ploy of The Dutch Boy.
“…I think it is important to note that adults in the transgender community are capable and resilient,” Cai said by email.
The study also didn’t look at whether transgender individuals had gender-affirming surgery or were able to make their outward appearance match their gender identity, said Xiang Cai, a researcher at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. “Gender-affirmation treatments may be associated with higher levels of quality of life among those who desire them regardless of age.”
Older people feel more youthful when they also feel in control: Study, Business Standard, April 20
"The relationship between feeling younger and healthy aging should be viewed as a two-way street, meaning positive feeling and good health could reinforce each other," said Dr. Guohua Li of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Older people feel more youthful when they also feel in control, REUTERS, April 19
“Older adults who feel in control and youthful are likely to be more physically and mentally active and more socially engaged, which could help them continue to flourish and function on the optimal level,”
said Dr. Guohua Li of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.
Gluten Free Restaurant Foods Are Often Mislabeled, Scientific American, 60 Second Science, April 19
“About 32 percent of gluten-free labeled restaurant foods have a gluten found result,” said Ben Lebwohl, gastroenterologist and epidemiologist at Columbia.
NIH-funded Studies Aim To Lower Opioid Deaths by 40 Percent in 3 Years, UPI, April 19
As a part of the study, Boston Medical Center, Columbia University, University of Kentucky and Ohio State University will all receive grant awards.
(Three members of our faculty are involved in the HEAL Initiative: Katherine Keyes, Lisa Rosen-Metsch, and Silvia Martins.)
Gun Research is Suddenly Hot, New York Times, April 17
Research publications on gun violence also appear to be rising, reflecting an enhanced interest by journal editors, not just scholars. “There’s new names on a lot of these publications,” said Ted Alcorn, an instructor at Columbia whose analysis of gun-related science publications over the past few decades was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. His study found that gun research had declined as a share of science research since the mid-1990s, but that it began to rise sharply in 2012, the year of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut.
Ted Alcorn is affiliated faculty teaching the gun violence course (Charlie Branas) in Department of Epidemiology.
Loneliness: A Serious Problem Plaguing Some Seniors, Enterprise Echo, April 17
Linda Fried, who is a geriatrician and the dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University says that social institutions need to bring meaning and purpose to the lives of older adults. She recently spoke to a panel of the National Academies of Sciences investigating loneliness and social isolation among older adults.
Measles Outbreaks Are On the Rise, Dr. Oz Show (aired in March)
Virus hunter Dr. Ian Lipkin from Columbia joins Dr. Oz to talk about measles and discuss “What You Need to Know” if you get infected.
Too soon for sex talk? New study shows some boys are having sex before age 13, USA TODAY, April 9
Dr. David Bell, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Samantha Garbers, an associate professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health called for stepped-up responsibility. "It is critical to engage young men in self-reflection about the real pressures U.S. society places on them that affect their overall health and well-being," they wrote in an accompanying study editorial, "Any discussions associated with pressures should include topics of 'what it means to be a man' and soliciting and giving consent."
Some Boys Are Having Sex Before 13, U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay, April 8
The author of an accompanying editorial, Dr. David Bell, agreed. "The big picture for me is that we need to make sure our young people are better prepared and better educated around sex," he said.
Bell, an associate professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, pointed out that talking about sex doesn't encourage young people to have sex.
The average age that teens initiate sex is around 17, according to Bell, and that number hasn't really changed in years. However, he said that the percentage of youths having early sex initiation (before 13) has been decreasing for more than a decade.
Nearly 1 in 13 U.S. Males Reported Having Sex Before Age 13, CNN, April 8
Dr. David Bell, pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Samantha Garbers, an associate professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, wrote an editorial published alongside the study in JAMA Pediatrics. They called for improvements in sex education and screening for sexual activity in youth.
"Any messaging, whether from clinicians or schools or parents, must recognize pressures that 'manhood is something that boys must make happen, by passing certain social milestones,' such as having sex. It is critical to engage young men in self-reflection about the real pressures US society places on them that affect their overall health and well-being," Bell and Garbers wrote.
"Any discussions associated with pressures should include topics of 'what it means to be a man' and soliciting and giving consent," they wrote. "With the support of caring adults, led by existing national guidelines that call for developmentally appropriate interventions early in life, boys can achieve healthier milestones without ambivalence or societal risk."
A Quarter of Black Boys in Urban Areas Have Sex Before Age 13, Daily Mail, April 8
Dr. David Bell and Dr. Samantha Garbers from the department of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City called for more mental health counseling for boys and teens when it comes to sex. 'It is critical to engage young men in self-reflection about the real pressures US society places on them that affect their overall health and well-being,' they write.
'Any discussions associated with pressures should include topics of "what it means to be a man" and soliciting and giving consent. With the support of caring adults... boys can achieve healthier milestones without ambivalence or societal risk.'
Measles Outbreak Spreading Rapidly, Now Reaches 19 US States As CDC Reports 78 New Cases, Newsweek, April 8
The complete list of states reporting measles cases according to the CDC is as follows: Arizona, ... people living in close proximity, and growing distrust of vaccines and public health initiatives in those communities,” Dr. Melissa Stockwell with Columbia University Medical Center told Newsweek.
Study: Kids in poorer neighborhoods likely to be less healthy, worse educated, UPI, April 8
“Genetic risk alone was not enough to explain why children from poorer neighborhoods versus more affluent neighborhoods received less education,” said Daniel Belsky, assistant professor of epidemiology. “The data suggest that there is ample opportunity for neighborhoods to influence these outcomes.”
Not just genetics: The neighborhood where children grow up can predict educational and health ..., Daily Mail, April 8
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health set out to answer that question by examining genetic and geographic data.
'But genetic risk alone was not enough to explain why children from poorer versus more affluent neighborhoods received less education and were more likely to be Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEET) by late adolescence,' said author Dan Belsky, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia.
There's a serious problem plaguing some older people: Loneliness, Washington Post, April 7
For years, Dr. Linda Fried offered older patients who complained of being lonely what seemed to be sensible guidance. “Go out and find something that matters to you,” she would say. But her well-meant advice didn’t work most of the time. What patients really wanted were close relationships with people they care about, satisfying social roles and a sense that their lives have value. And this wasn’t easy to find. We need “new societal institutions that bring meaning and purpose” to older adults’ lives, Fried recently told a committee of the National Academies of Sciences investigating loneliness and social isolation among older adults. (Fried is a geriatrician and dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.)
Ignoring Warning Signs Made Historic Midwest Floods More Dangerous, The Hill, BYLINE: Irwin Redlener, April 5
In the piece, Redlener explains how the nation's failure to improve its infrastructure, including thousands of deteriorating levees, is a major factor in the historic billion dollar destruction of farms, businesses and homes from the Midwest floods.
Redlener is professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness
Severe psychological distress and daily cannabis use: Implications for mental health?, Science Daily/Healio, April 5
Research at Columbia Mailman School and CUNY shows that in 2016, past-month daily cannabis use was about three times higher for SPD (8%) compared to those without SPD (2.7%).
"Our research found that persons with SPD reported higher daily cannabis prevalence each study year," said senior author Renee Goodwin, PhD, Department of Epidemiology. "Therefore, it is important to consider potential consequences of this increased use for those with mental health vulnerabilities."
Global Journalist: Ending 'Period Poverty', KBIA Public Radio, April 4
On this edition of Global Journalist: a discussion about period poverty and some of the ways that stigma about the issue affects women from India to Kenya to the United States.
Joining the program is Marni Sommer, associate professor of sociomedical sciences, Columbia University.
Global Journalist: Ending 'Period Poverty', KBIA Public Radio, April 4
On this edition of Global Journalist: a discussion about period poverty and some of the ways that stigma about the issue affects women from India to Kenya to the United States.
Joining the program is Marni Sommer, associate professor of sociomedical sciences, Columbia University.
Men Are Having a Lot Less Sex and Dating Apps Are to Blame, New York Post, April 3
Dr. David Bell, medical director for the Young Men’s Clinic of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, says Pipta’s dating stress is standard for 20 something dudes.
“Young men really don’t know how to navigate the space of sex anymore,” says Bell, also an associate professor at Columbia Medical Center and at the Mailman School of Public Health. He thinks our social media-driven culture of comparison creates “anxiety” for guys like Pipta: They develop an idea of what their lives should look like, and try to check off certain boxes. But when their lives don’t look quite like the picture in their minds, Bell says, it’s “a little confusing for them.”
Workplace Stress Hits Women Harder than Men, Corporate Wellness Magazine, April 3
Researchers at the Columbia University School of Public Health found that a woman’s income level (compared to her male counterpart’s is closely linked with anxiety and depression. They further reported that no such link existed if the woman earned the same or even more than her male counterpart of the same age, with similar qualifications, and in the same industry.
What Healthcare Options Are There If Obamacare is Uprooted, MSNBC, April 2
Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle are joined by NBC’s Rehema Ellis and Columbia University Health Policy and Management Chair Michael Sparer to discuss what will happen when 12 million adults lose coverage if Obamacare is invalidated.
Can college scandal make Latino students rethink 'impostor syndrome' guilt?, NBCNews.com, April 2
Marial Mendez, 27, graduated from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and is a student in the Harvard Medical School’s program to prevent diseases in underserved communities.
Mendez says impostor syndrome left her with a perpetual mission to prove she deserved to be at Columbia and Harvard. “Over time, it’s exhausting,” she said.
It's Not You. Allergy Seasons Are Getting Longer and Worse, NBC Chicago, April 1
Dr. Kim Knowlton, deputy director of the Science Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council and assistant clinical professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, warned that the northward shifts in the distribution of some tree species, including oaks, could alter the type and quantity of allergenic pollen to which people in different geographic areas are exposed.
"It is likely to mean a continuing trend toward longer pollen production seasons, which could mean symptoms over more of the year, possibly more people sensitized to pollen allergen, and more intense symptoms among those already allergic to pollen," Knowlton said.
Letters and Responses: Heather Krasna
The most recent ASPPH data show that, for academic year 2015–2016, 50 ASPPH member institutions reported outcomes for 869 doctoral graduates (an 80% response rate for this cohort). Of these 869 doctoral graduates, 90% were employed (73% in jobs and 17% in fellowships), 1.8% were pursuing further study, 1.6% were unemployed, and 0.8% were not seeking a job by choice or were engaged in volunteer programs; information on employment status was not available for 5.9% of the graduates. These data paint a different picture than the 22% unemployment rate reflected in the article.
Bronx Connections: The Health Impact, Norwood News, March 31
For Julius Chen, an associate professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, urban area residents value convenience, low wait times, and the option to get care wherever and whenever they want. Given the ubiquitous times they are open, urgent care appeals to patients afflicted with basic illnesses, such as a cold, which can be treated quickly. According to Chen, this poses a problem for diagnosing and treating chronic illnesses. “Primary care physicians are the ones who are able to deliver continuity of care,” Chen said, opening up the potential for being misdiagnosed or not receiving accurate treatment.
Georgia Joins Effort to Fund Menstrual Products in Schools, ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 26
Periods can often lead to shame and distraction for young students, said Marni Sommer, a Columbia professor who has researched the issue internationally and is exploring how low-income girls in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York experience their periods.
Bronx Connections: The Health Impact, Norwood News, March 31
For Julius Chen, an associate professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, urban area residents value convenience, low wait times, and the option to get care wherever and whenever they want. Given the ubiquitous times they are open, urgent care appeals to patients afflicted with basic illnesses, such as a cold, which can be treated quickly. According to Chen, this poses a problem for diagnosing and treating chronic illnesses. “Primary care physicians are the ones who are able to deliver continuity of care,” Chen said, opening up the potential for being misdiagnosed or not receiving accurate treatment.
Columbia receives award for piloting Opioid Education and Naloxone Training on College ..., News-Medical.net, March 29
Rachel Shelton, ScD, MPH, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences, and Lisa Rosen-Metsch, PhD, dean of Columbia University's School of General Studies, received a planning grant award to focus on piloting Opioid Education and Naloxone Training on College Campuses.
"College campuses are an important, yet understudied and underutilized context for opioid education and naloxone training," said Shelton. "Universities nationally have differed in their response to naloxone on who should be trained and what protocols are established in reacting to an overdose.
How Experts Are Working to Find Solutions for Loneliness, Next Avenue, March 29
For years, Dr. Linda Fried offered older patients who complained of being lonely what seemed to be sensible guidance. “Go out and find something that matters to you,” she would say.
But her well-meant advice didn’t work most of the time. What patients really wanted were close relationships with people they care about, satisfying social roles and a sense that their lives have value. And this wasn’t easy to find. We need “new societal institutions that bring meaning and purpose” to older adults’ lives, Fried recently told a committee of the National Academies of Sciences investigating loneliness and social isolation among older adults. Fried is a geriatrician and dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Also covered in The Union Leader: Understanding loneliness in older adults
The article appeared previously in Kaiser Health News.
Psychosis in Teens May Be Linked to An Unlikely Culprit, CNN, March 27
Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, wrote in an editorial published beside the study that "air pollution exposures are ubiquitous in urban environments," yet they are "modifiable and can be reduced through rigorous regulatory action."
"It is especially important to identify other factors that may potentially ameliorate the consequences of air pollution to protect human health," said Kioumourtzoglou, who had no role in the new research. "These could be lifestyle, nutritional, or neighborhood-level factors."
"As the global population is becoming increasingly urban, it is of utmost importance to incorporate public environmental health into urban planning decisions."
Youth exposed to highest levels of air pollution report psychotic experiences, Healio, March 27
Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, wrote that "air pollution exposures are ubiquitous in urban environments," yet they are "modifiable and can be reduced through rigorous regulatory action."
"It is especially important to identify other factors that may potentially ameliorate the consequences of air pollution to protect human health," said Kioumourtzoglou. "These could be lifestyle, nutritional, or neighborhood-level factors. As the global population is becoming increasingly urban, it is of utmost importance to incorporate public environmental health into urban planning decisions."
Flushing Congresswoman Grace Meng unveils bold proposal to provide menstrual equity for women, QNS.com, March 27
Dr. Marni Sommer, associate professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said the legislation tackles some of the key challenges that girls, women and people who menstruate face here in the U.S. “I’d challenge us to go further in the coming years, to go beyond products, which although essential are only one component of achieving menstrual equity,” said Sommer. “In research underway with low-income girls in the U.S., we are hearing stories of bathrooms that lack toilet paper, leaving them nothing to manage with if they get their period unexpectedly and lack a pad; stories of toilet stalls that lack working locks, impacting their ability to manage their periods in privacy; and stories of totally absent or inadequate menstrual education being provided in schools. We can do better.”
Georgia Joins Effort to Fund Menstrual Products in Schools, ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 26
Periods can often lead to shame and distraction for young students, said Marni Sommer, a Columbia professor who has researched the issue internationally and is exploring how low-income girls in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York experience their periods.
Michael Sparer on MSNBC’s Velshi and Ruhle talking about how ending Obamacare would affect millions of Americans who rely on it.
He says ending this is extremely flawed reasoning if the 5thcircuit court upholds this or if it goes to the Supreme Court; and he believes this will not happen. ”Having the entire ACA fall because of one part is absurd. There is a legal issue here as well as a political issue.” Michael is on from 7:20 until the end at the 12-minute mark.
Number And Timing Of Pregnancies Influence Breast Cancer Risk, Science Daily/Moms.com, March 26
According to Science Daily, Dr. Mary Beth Terry, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center explains that timing is key when it comes to decreasing a woman’s risk of breast cancer through multiple pregnancies.
Dr. Terry said, “What we have learned is that timing really matters for many risk factors and the dual effect of pregnancy we see in non-mutation carriers with a long term protection but short term increase following a pregnancy may not extend to all women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations as the short-term increase and long-term protection may relate much more to the timing of when these pregnancies occur."
Also covered in Healio on March 25: Breast cancer risk among BRCA carriers influenced by timing, number of pregnancies
Researchers find little evidence for connection between Chinese Famine and T2DM epidemic, News-Medical.net, March 26
"Most Chinese studies were limited in using appropriate age-balanced controls," said L. H. Lumey, MD, professor of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School. "Therefore, establishing a firm connection between prenatal famine and T2DM in future studies in China will require significant improvements in study design and execution."
Suicide Contagion: What You Can Do To Help Following Deaths of Parkland Students, Newsweek, March 25
In the past week, two school shooting survivors and the father of another victim, have died in apparent suicides in the U.S. The recent deaths could be the cause of the Werther Effect, also known as suicide contagion, Madeyln Gould, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, told Newsweek. … “The anniversary of Parkland shootings probably precipitated retraumatization for a number of different people,” said Gould. “If the one suicide occurs, it can be a contributing factor to someone else’s suicide.”
Also covered in the Washington Examiner: Suicides after mass shootings underline contagion of high-profile tragedies
and Rolling Stone: What We Get Wrong When We Talk About the Parkland Survivor Deaths
Southern African Countries Face Disease Outbreaks, Mental Health Crisis in Wake of Cyclone Idai, Gizmodo, March 25
“The close proximity of everyone to everyone else is a real problem in the spread of diseases,” Irwin Redlener, the director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness and clinical professor at the university’s Mailman School of Public Health, told Earther. “That’s one issue, but there are many more concerns there. People are under a great deal of stress.”
Islamophobia Is a Public Health Crisis, The Hill, March 25
Those of us who work in public health aim to fulfill individuals’ right to health and wellbeing. As I struggle with heartache for the 50 lives lost and the countless others who remain injured, it is more clear than ever that white supremacy is a public health issue. Beyond those killed and injured and their devastated families, Islamophobia is harming the health and wellbeing of millions more.
Goleen Samari is an assistant professor in the Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Op-ed was also highlighted in Kaiser Health News
Understanding the Measles Outbreak, NY1 News, Inside City Hall, March 14
As a measles outbreak continues to grow in the city, Dr. Stephen Morse joined Errol Louis to discuss the importance of vaccinations and why some parents are not getting their children vaccinated.
Adolescents Affected by Inequality in Health Globally Study Suggests., Health Gazette, March 14
Lead author of the study John Santelli, is a professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “The study demonstrates both success and failure in adolescent health. “While there have been great improvements in adolescent health in some countries, the greatest population growth has been in countries where adolescents experience the largest disease burden.”
Mental health problems are on the rise among American teens and young adults, Los Angeles Times, March 14
Dr. Mark Olfson, a Columbia University psychiatrist and mental health researcher, said that recognizing a younger person’s distress, talking about those feelings, and guiding him or her to professional help quickly can save a life and get a Gen Zer back on track. “When a kid becomes more irritable or pulls away from friends or school, it’s easy for parents who are busy to chalk it up to a phase. And they can clam up, which is understandable, because they’re frightened. But that’s not the thing to do,” he said. “That’s a time when parents can listen and reach out to get professional help.
AHA News: Black Woman in Their 50s Face Especially High Stroke Risk, HealthDay, March 14
Dr. Mitchell S.V. Elkind, a professor of neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University in New York who was not involved in the study, said he was "struck by the magnitude" of the stroke risk difference between black and white women in that age group. Like Jiménez, he suspects risk factors are playing a big part. "Although this effect (on black women in their 50s) decreased substantially after accounting for important risk factors, it could be there are disparities in risk factors themselves," said Elkind, chair of the American Stroke Association Advisory Committee.
Understanding Loneliness In Older Adults — And Tailoring A Solution, Kaiser Health News, March 14
For years, Dr. Linda Fried offered older patients who complained of being lonely what seemed to be sensible guidance. “Go out and find something that matters to you,” she would say. But her well-meant advice didn’t work most of the time. What patients really wanted were close relationships with people they care about, satisfying social roles and a sense that their lives have value…We need “new societal institutions that bring meaning and purpose” to older adults’ lives, Fried recently told a committee of the National Academies of Sciences investigating loneliness and social isolation among older adults. (Fried is a geriatrician and dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.)
Pregnancies tied to breast cancer odds for high-risk women, REUTERS, March 13
“We see a different pattern of risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers,” said lead study author Mary Beth Terry of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.
Few studies to date have explored whether the number and timing of pregnancies influence breast cancer risk for women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, Terry writes in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. With BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, roughly 70 percent of women will develop breast cancer by age 80, she notes.
AMA Letter Implores Tech Companies to Do More About Vaccine Misinformation, Adweek, March 13
Dr. Melissa Stockwell, an associate professor of population, family health and pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, said educating parents on vaccines and vaccine safety can be a challenge when physicians see them infrequently and have to compete against digital misinformation.
“Parents want to do right by their children, but when there is a lot of misinformation out there, they don’t necessarily know what to trust and what not to trust,” Stockwell said in a recent interview with Adweek. “That’s when they can end up making decisions that can be harmful to their children.”
Measles Is Spiking Around The Globe. How Worried Should We Be?, NPR, March 12
Stephen S. Morse got measles as a kid in New York City. He's now a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. When he was growing up, he says, nearly all children got measles. That's not the case now, and that's one cause of people avoiding vaccination in places like the U.S., Italy and France. "We've kind of taken it for granted because we see so few cases," he says. "That's the vaccine essentially being a victim of its own success. People don't see a problem; they think it's not there anymore."
Global Gag Rule and Trump's Decision on Women's Abortion, Industry Reporter, March 12
This inspired a new research to be conducted by a team at the Global Health Justice and Governance program (GHJG) at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, which learns the different point of views and effects of such a decision. This decision is similar to a policy that is yet to be in effect by April, which is named the Domestic Gag Rule. The author of the research, Marta Schaaf, is also the director of programming and operations for GHJG. “Organizations that comply with the rule often over-interpret its restrictions, whether because they lack information about what speech is allowed, they receive misinformation from U.S. government employees about what is allowed, or they fear a major donor…. As a result, organizations that comply with the rule often decline to participate in meetings where abortion or even contraception is discussed. In this way, the Global Gag Rule not only curtails free speech, but it limits the ability of organizations to deliver quality healthcare.”
"What we have learned is that timing really matters for many risk factors and the dual effect of pregnancy we see in non-mutation carriers with a long-term protection but short-term increase following a pregnancy may not extend to all women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations as the short-term increase and long-term protection may relate much more to the timing of when these pregnancies occur," said lead author Mary Beth Terry, PhD, professor of epidemiology and environmental health sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.
More Pregnancies, Less Breast Cancer Risk in Women With BRCA Genes, HealthCentral.com, March 11
Pregnancy and breastfeeding are known to lessen breast cancer risk, but until now, it wasn’t known whether this risk reduction applied to women at higher risk because of their genes. According to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York who conducted this study, it does indeed.
The CDC's Gun Injury Data Is Becoming Even More Unreliable, The Trace, March 11
The CDC acknowledges its estimates are unreliable… “I would not cite these estimates,” Guohua Li, editor-in-chief of the medical journal Injury Epidemiology and director of Columbia University’s Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, told The Trace and FiveThirtyEight. Li said that the CDC could correct the uncertainty of its estimates by incorporating data from a much larger and more reliable source like HCUP. “If they want to fix it, I think it is definitely doable,” he said. Li said he doesn’t believe that the limitations of HCUP’s data are significant enough to keep the CDC from using it.
“The data quality has become more important than ever, so they should really pay immediate attention to this issue and get it improved,” Li said.
The CDC's Gun Injury Data Is Becoming Even Less Reliable, FiveThirtyEight, March 11
Guohua Li, editor-in-chief of the medical journal Injury Epidemiology and director of Columbia University’s Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, told FiveThirtyEight. “As an editor, I would not publish any manuscript that is based on these estimates.” “If they (CDC) want to fix it, I think it is definitely doable,” Li said. Li doesn’t believe that the limitations of HCUP’s data are significant enough to keep the CDC from using it.
Study links permissive state gun laws to higher rates of mass shootings, MinnPost, March 9
“Our analyses show that U.S. state gun laws have become more permissive in recent decades, and that a growing divide in rates of mass shootings appears to be emerging between restrictive and permissive states,” write the authors of the study. The authors of current study, a team of researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, set out to explore that issue.
Study: where gun laws are weaker, there are more mass shootings, Vox, March 8
There are more mass shootings in states with weaker gun laws, according to a new study published in The BMJ, a medical journal, on Wednesday. The result: Where there are more guns, there are more mass shootings. And where gun laws are weaker, there are more mass shootings. “A 10 unit increase in the permissiveness of state gun laws was associated with an approximately 9 percent higher rate of mass shootings after adjusting for key factors,” the researchers concluded. “A 10 percent increase in gun ownership was associated with an approximately 35 percent higher rate of mass shootings after adjusting for key factors.”
Lawmakers talk funding for gun violence prevention research, CNN, March 7
"I'd want to see renewed interest and many more resources devoted to the scientific study and prevention of gun violence," said Charles Branas, professor and chair of the department of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York, who was senior author of a gun violence study published in the medical journal The BMJ on Wednesday.
…"More specifically, the rate of mass shootings in permissive states appears to be increasing since 2010, while the rate in restrictive states appears to be decreasing," said Branas, the study's senior author.
All in all, Branas said, "For mass shootings, we'd love to see more of a call for better data collection on these tragedies and funding for new scientific study of which specific laws are accounting for the differences between permissive and restrictive states that we are just now finding."
Loose Gun Laws Tied to More Mass Shootings, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, March 7
Columbia University researchers tracked nationwide data and identified 344 mass shootings between 1998 and 2015. They also assessed gun laws in different states, using a score from 0 (completely restrictive) to 100 (completely permissive). … After accounting for a number of other factors, the Columbia team concluded that each 10-point increase in state gun law permissiveness was associated with an 11.5 percent higher rate of mass shootings.
Mass Shootings Are Higher in States with Permissive Gun Laws, Fast Company, March 7
“Our analyses reveal that U.S. gun laws have become more permissive in past decades, and the divide between permissive states and those with more stringent laws seems to be on the uptick in concert with the growing tragedy of mass shootings in the U.S.,” said study co-author Charles Branas, chair of the school’s Department of Epidemiology, in a statement.
States with Fewer Restrictive Gun Laws Experience More Mass Shootings, Washington Times, March 7
States that have fewer restrictive gun laws on average see more mass shootings, according to a new study published Wednesday from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Our analyses reveal that U.S. gun laws have become more permissive in past decades, and the divide between permissive states and those with more stringent laws seems to be on the uptick in concert with the growing tragedy of mass shootings in the U.S.,” said study co-author Charles Branas, chair of the school’s Department of Epidemiology.
States with Permissive Gun Laws Have Higher Mass Shooting Rates, Daily Mail, March 7
Researchers at Columbia University found that the disparity is growing: states with permissive firearm laws have an 11 percent higher mass shooting rate than states that have cracked down on gun ownership. 'Gun laws, or lack thereof, have real potential to influence mass shootings,' lead author Paul Reeping said. 'Our study brings out a key disparity and sets the stage for better data collection on mass shootings and figuring out which specific gun laws could be most impactful in reducing mass shootings.'
Loose Gun Laws Tied to More Mass Shootings, HealthDay, March 7
Based on the findings, "a state like California, which has approximately two mass shootings per year, will have an extra mass shooting for every 10-unit increase in permissiveness over five years," said researchers Paul Reeping and Charles Branas, from the university's Mailman School of Public Health.
States with Stricter Gun Control Regulations Have Fewer Mass Shootings: Study, The Hill, March 7
States with stricter gun laws and lower rates of gun ownership in general saw a lower rate of mass shootings between 1998 and 2015 than did other jurisdictions where gun laws were more relaxed, according to a new study. A study published in The BMJ found a significantly higher rate of mass shootings and other gun crimes in states that had higher rates of gun ownership among the population.
“It’s hard to be 100 percent certain that what we found isn't possibly because states that experience more mass shootings in turn change their gun laws, or some other factors that we just couldn’t measure," (author) Paul Reeping said.
State by state, more gun ownership equals more mass shootings, study shows, Yahoo, March 7
As lawmakers on Capitol Hill called loudly for more funding to study the effects of gun ownership on public health, a new study in a leading medical journal indicated that states with higher gun ownership rates see higher rates of deaths from mass shootings. “States with more permissive gun laws and greater gun ownership have higher rates of mass shootings,” the researchers conclude. “There is a growing divergence in recent years as rates of mass shootings in restrictive states have decreased and those in permissive states have increased.”
What Lessons Can be Salvaged from Alabama's Deadly Tornado, The HILL Byline: Irwin Redlener, March 7
While there are lots of mysteries about the life cycle of tornados, including why their prevalence is rapidly growing in the Southeast U.S., and how to improve early warning systems, we need to take common-sense steps to make sure families are safer, for instance creating below surface shelters for people who live in mobile homes.
Irwin Redlener, M.D., is professor of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and also the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
AHA News: Opioid Meds Pose Danger to Kidney Disease Patients, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, March 6
The study has yet to be published, but there's a big need for more like it, said Dr. Silvia Martins, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York. "We need more research on treatment of chronic pain, not just for this population of people with kidney disease, but on the treatment of chronic pain in general," she said.
States with Stricter Gun Controls Have Fewer Mass Shootings, Newsweeks, March 6
U.S. states with stricter gun controls have fewer mass shootings, according to a recent study. States with higher levels of gun ownership also see more mass shootings, the research published in the journal The BMJ found. Paul Reeping, co-author of the study at Columbia University, told Newsweek: “We were surprised most by the growing divergence in recent years of the rates of mass shootings in permissive and restrictive states.
Also covered by MSN.com
VIDEO: CROI 2019 'a sensational meeting', Healio, March 6
In this video, Elaine J. Abrams, MD, professor of epidemiology and pediatrics at Columbia University, and clinical vice chair for the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections program committee, provides some insight into the many presentations occurring throughout the week.
“This has already been a sensational meeting,” Abrams says.
New HIV Infections Can Be Prevented, Million People Trial Shows, Business Standard, March 5
Overall‚ both strategies improved knowledge of HIV status and uptake of treatment‚" said Wafaa El-Sadr‚ HPTN co-principal investigator‚ and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University in New York. "These findings show that a combination prevention strategy similar to PopART may be an effective tool to slow the global HIV epidemic."
Also in Sowetan Live
HIV Prevention Study Finds Universal Test and Treat Approach Can Reduce New Infections
https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/hiv-prevention-study-finds-universal-test-treat-approach-can-reduce-new-infections (Quotes Wafaa), NIH News, March 5
“The HPTN 071 (PopART) study, the largest HIV prevention study conducted to date, highlights the importance of conducting large-scale studies that aim to measure the impact of an integrated prevention strategy,” said Wafaa El-Sadr, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.A. Dr. El -Sadr is co-principal investigator of the NIH-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University. “Achieving HIV epidemic control will require the integration of various evidence-based interventions tailored to the needs of specific populations,” she added.
Want to Leave a Legacy? Be a Mentor, New York Times, March 5
One of the co-authors of that study, Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, put it this way: Participation in Experience Corps dusted off the cobwebs in their brains.
Anti-vaxx propaganda is flooding the internet. Will tech companies act?, The Guardian Byline: Lucky Tran, Rachel Alter and Tonay Flattum-Riemers, March 5
We, as pro-vaccine advocates, can hold some responsibility in preventing the echo chambers from filling up by following evidence-based advice, keeping our discussions with vaccine skeptics civil, and by not dismissing them all as “quacks”. For too long public health advocates have conceded crucial ground to anti-vaxxers, who have become much more adept at cultivating online communities. It’s time to change that and meet people where they’re at. However, all of our hard work as advocates is undercut unless technology companies themselves change too.
Rachel Alter and Tonay Flattum-Riemers are recent graduates from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
New HIV infections can be prevented, million-people trial shows, TimesLIVE, March 5
"Overall, both strategies improved knowledge of HIV status and uptake of treatment," said Wafaa El-Sadr, HPTN co-principal investigator, and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University in New York. "These findings show that a combination prevention strategy similar to PopART may be an effective tool to slow the global HIV epidemic."
Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy tied to stroke risk, Medical Xpress, March 4
Eliza C. Miller, M.D., from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from 83,749 women participating in the California Teachers Study. Patients were enrolled in 1996 (≤60 years of age) and were followed through 2015 using data linked with California hospital records. "A history of preeclampsia is currently not considered when calculating 10-year cardiovascular risk, but it probably needs to be incorporated into risk-estimation guidelines," Miller said in a statement. "Some women with this history may need primary preventive treatment with aspirin, even in the absence of additional vascular risk factors."
The moment the Oscar for best documentary short was announced, Marni Sommer's email account started blowing up.
Sommer, a professor at Columbia University, is one of a small group of public health scholars who for years have been trying to convince fellow researchers and policymakers that the fact that many poor women lack access to menstrual products and hygiene is a serious problem. (For a sense of how lonely Sommer's crusade was during the early years you can read this NPR piece.) So Sommer says the tone of her colleagues' emails was largely "just utter delight that [menstrual hygiene] had achieved this level of awareness-raising and attention." And on that point, she adds, "I one hundred percent concur. I've got a colleague who for two decades has been saying, 'We've got to break the silence around menstruation.' And I wrote her, 'Well, I think we've smashed it.'
What Do Breast Cancer Survival Rates Tell Us?, U.S. News & World Report, February 28
In the simplest terms, these rates describe "the number of people that have lived once they've been diagnosed with the disease," says Dr. Dawn L. Hershman professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital. This information may also sometimes be conveyed as mortality rates, which track "the number of people who die annually with the disease. Part of the reason we track (survival rates) is to see whether the incidence of cancer is increasing or if people are dying less once they develop the disease," Hershman says.
Breast cancer prediction models more effective when they include family history data, Radiology Business, February 26
“Our findings suggest that all women would benefit from risk assessment that involves collection of detailed family histories, and that risk models would be improved by inclusion of family history information including ages at diagnoses and types of cancer,” co-author Mary Beth Terry, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, said
For Teens, Opioid Abuse Begins At Home, MedPage Today, February 26
In a sample of 35,000 parent-child pairs, parental non-medical prescription opioid use was independently associated with lifetime use in their adolescent children ages 12 to 17, reported Denise Kandel, PhD, of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, and colleagues…When you reduce the use of opioids among adults it also has the effect of reducing drugs among young people," Kandel told MedPage Today. "If you ask people who misuse opioids where they got the opioids, a high proportion say they got it from a relative, a friend, or a medicine cabinet in the house."
Too Often, Opioid Abuse Runs in the Family, Study Shows, U.S NEWS & WORLD REPORT, February 25
The study of thousands of U.S. teenagers found that kids were 30 percent more likely to abuse prescription opioids if one of their parents had. But this is the first study to look at those patterns when it comes to prescription opioid abuse, said senior researcher Denise Kandel, a professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.
Study bolsters link between prenatal nicotine exposure and ADHD, REUTERS, February 25
“We found, in a large nationwide sample that mothers who smoked during pregnancy, in particular those who were heavy smokers, had offspring with a fairly high risk for ADHD,” said senior study author Dr. Alan S. Brown, a professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City. “That finding was after we controlled for a lot of potential variables that might account for the association.”
Will Your Flu Shot Weaken as Flu Season Drags On, WebMD, February 25
Looking at older adults, Melissa Stockwell, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics and of population and family health at Columbia University, says ''we don't know enough about the waning in a season'' to make hard and fast recommendations at the beginning of the season. The researchers concluded there may be benefits to vaccinating older patients as close to the start of flu activity to maximize protection.
She also does not recommend that adults get a second flu shot.
A Better Path to Universal Health Care, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Opinion, February 21
BYLINE: Jamie Daw
As a Canadian living and studying health policy in the United States, I’ve watched with interest as a growing list of Democratic presidential candidates — Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker — have indicated support for a Canadian-style single-payer plan with little or no role for private insurance. Approval of such a system has become almost a litmus test for the party’s progressive base. … Jamie Daw is assistant professor of health policy and management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Prescription opioids may play role in some fatal two-car crashes, NBC NEWS ONLINE, February 20
"This shows that the ongoing national opioid epidemic has spilled over to our national highway system with deadly consequences," said study coauthor Dr. Gouhua Li, founding director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University. "Drivers who caused the crashes were about twice as likely to have taken prescription opiates as the non-initiators of the crashes."
Children suffer more from air pollution, but our policies don't reflect that, POPULAR SCIENCE, February 20
Further, policy makers don’t give sufficient attention to the benefits for children when evaluating how well regulations put forth to reduce fossil fuel emissions are working, says Frederica Perera, director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health… That’s even though there is strong evidence that exposure to particulate matter and other airborne pollutants, like nitrous oxide, generated by burning fossil fuels, likely cause childhood health effects such as preterm birth, low birth weight, autism, and asthma, noted Perera and colleagues in a new review published in the journal Environmental Research. “This is an important, missing piece of the conversation,” she says.
What is Medicare for Everyone, EL DIARIO, Story published in Spanish; an unofficial translation by Google Translate, February 20
Some experts, such as Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, believe that a good option would be to lower the age of eligibility for Medicare to people 50 years of age and older, which would solve the problem. Part of the issue of medical care for a range of age in which exactly begins to spend more on health.
Prescription opioids may play role in some fatal two-car crashes, REUTERS, February 20
“This shows that the ongoing national opioid epidemic has spilled over to our national highway system with deadly consequences,” said study coauthor Dr. Gouhua Li, founding director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University in New York City. “Drivers who caused the crashes were about twice as likely to have taken prescription opiates as the non-initiators of the crashes.”
Viruses That Linger in the Gut Could Trigger Type 1 Diabetes, Infection Control Today, February 20
Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, provide new evidence supporting an association between elevated levels of enteroviruses in the intestinal tracts of children and islet autoimmunity, a precursor to Type 1 diabetes.
"These findings strengthen the model that enteroviruses can spread from the gut into a child's pancreas and trigger autoimmunity in the cells that regulate blood sugar," says Thomas Briese, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and CII lead on the project. "Knowing the virus types involved is a critical step toward developing new strategies for prevention and treatment of Type 1 diabetes."
Trump's environmental policies are putting the health of American children at risk., New York Magazine, February 20
In 1997, Virginia Rauh, deputy director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, and her colleagues began studying the prenatal effects of exposure to airborne pollutants on a group of pregnant women who lived in Washington Heights, central Harlem, and the South Bronx. Part of their study focused on chlorpyrifos. It is the most widely used insecticide in the country, according to the EPA, even though its use has declined since Rauh and Eskenazi began their studies. The women in the Columbia study, mostly African-American or of Dominican ancestry, encountered chlorpyrifos because it was also widely used at the time as the active ingredient in household insecticides, including Raid. The Columbia group has followed approximately 370 children who were born to women exposed during pregnancy. In a series of papers, Rauh and her colleagues have documented a link between higher levels of exposure to chlorpyrifos in the womb and early cognitive and behavioral deficits…The study showed, Rauh says, “significant differences, years later, in structural characteristics of the brain” between kids who had high versus low pesticide exposure in the womb. In some cases, higher exposure to chlorpyrifos in the womb was linked to surprising changes in brain architecture: females exhibited structural features typical of the male brain and males exhibited features typical of female brains. More recently, the Columbia researchers have reported that about 40 percent of the children who had the highest exposures to chlorpyrifos in the womb exhibited “mild to moderate tremor” in at least one arm.
Drivers using prescription opioids twice as likely to trigger a fatal crash, study finds, Newsday, February 19
Using opioids appears to double the risk that a driver will trigger a fatal crash, regardless of whether alcohol is in the mix, a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health has found has found. Guohua Li, a physician who was the study's lead researcher, said the findings demonstrate the ripple effect of the national opioid crisis. "The impact of the opioid epidemic goes far beyond the body count from overdoses," Li said in an interview recently. He said the findings should stand as a warning to clinicians and patients about the risks of getting behind the wheel when using prescription narcotics such as Vicodin, OxyContin, morphine or codeine.
Grothman off-base with claim on US tax dollars funding abortions abroad, PolitiFact, February 19
"What the policy does is it requires foreign NGOs that receive U.S. government health assistance to certify that they are not using U.S. funds or any other funds to do several things," said Emily Maistrellis, a senior program officer for the Program on Global Health Justice and Governance within Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. "One is provide abortion as a method of family planning. Another is to counsel and refer women to an abortion in a context where abortions are legal."
Trump's Vision of Defeating AIDS Is Achievable, New York Daily News: Opinion, February 18
Byline: Getrude Makurumidze and Jessica Justman
As two people on the front lines of this fight, who’ve seen up close the devastation the disease has wrought and the progress made in recent years, we’re here to say the goal is possible.
Makurumidze is a program coordinator at ICAP at Columbia University; she lost her parents and sister to HIV in Zimbabwe in 2002. Justman, associate professor of medicine in epidemiology at Columbia University, is an infectious diseases specialist and senior technical director at ICAP at Columbia.
Fueled by climate change, Zimbabwe's erratic harvests cause farmers with HIV to struggle, NewZimbabwe.com, February 17
“Climate extremes are often associated with changes in behavior as people struggle to survive in the face of loss of agricultural production.,” wrote lead author Andrea Low, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. “As people, particularly women, address their food insecurity, they may be less likely to take steps to protect themselves from HIV infection.”
How single-payer health insurance would work, Times Herald-Record, February 17
The proposed New York Health Act, legislation that would offer a state-run, one-payer health insurance program, drew wide-ranging criticism at a recent discussion sponsored by the Empire Center. … Expanding Medicaid within the state’s Affordable Care Act Exchange might be a better option, suggested Michael Sparer, chairman of [the Department of Health Policy and Management] at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Prescription Opioids Are Contributing to More Fatal Auto Accidents, Pacific Standard, February 15
An analysis in the journal JAMA Network Open "provides compelling evidence that use of prescription opioids by drivers is a significant contributing factor for fatal two-vehicle crashes," Dr. Guohua Li, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, said in announcing the findings.
Driving While On Opioids; 'Compelling Evidence' Of Dangers Revealed In New Study, Forbes, February 15
“There has been heightened concern about drugged driving in recent years due in part to increasing permissibility and availability of marijuana, and excess consumption of prescription opioids,” Guohua Li, professor of Epidemiology at Mailman and the report’s author, said in a statement. “However, few epidemiological studies have assessed the causal role of prescription opioids in fatal motor vehicle crashes.”
Climate shocks threaten gains against HIV in Africa, researchers say, Thomson Reuters Foundation, January 31
In the urban areas of Lesotho researchers looked at, droughts were linked to an almost five-fold increase in the number of girls selling sex and a three-fold increase in those being forced into sexual relations. Such findings mean climate shocks…threaten to undermine progress made in HIV treatment, said Andrea Low, an assistant professor of epidemiology with the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
A New Discovery Could Help Prevent Future Ebola Transmission, Contagionlive.com, January 30
The discovery was announced by the Liberian government who worked alongside investigators with the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and EcoHealth Alliance. "Now we have a target for more focused ecological and epidemiologic studies – in particular sampling this species through time to elucidate the natural transmission dynamics of the virus," Simon Anthony, DPhil, assistant professor of epidemiology, Center for Infection & Immunity at Columbia University Medical Center told Contagion® in an interview.
Flu May Up the Odds of Stroke, Neck Artery Tears, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, January 30
"The risk is highest in the 15 days of influenza and starts to decrease as time goes on," said lead researcher Amelia Boehme. She's an assistant professor of epidemiology at Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City. … In the second study, another group of Columbia University researchers found that in the month following a bout with flu, patients had a higher likelihood of tearing neck arteries.
Also covered by HealthDay, WebMD, and Live Science.
The New Retirement: Purpose And A Paycheck, Forbes/Next Avenue, January 29
The association of old age with decline and uselessness runs deep. ....
"Perhaps the greatest opportunity of the twenty-first century is to envision and create a society that nurtures longer lives not only for the sake of the older generation, but also for the benefit of all age groups — what I call the Third Demographic Dividend,” writes Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. “To get there requires a collective grand act of imagination to create a vision for the potential of longer lives.”
The Trump Administration Is the Worst for Children in the Country's History, DailyBeast Byline: Irwin Redlener, January 28
It was already clear that Donald Trump’s policies, actions, and words have put millions of children at risk. But although the longest government shutdown in American history is coming to an end, this nearly 40 day financial crisis added a whole new dimension to the challenges facing children….It has become undeniable that after only two years, the Trump administration is already showing itself to be the most anti-child of any presidency in memory.
Ebola virus found in bat in West Africa for the first time, scientists say, Fox News, January 26
The Ebola virus has been found in a bat in Liberia, the country’s government and scientists with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health announced this week. The discovery marks the first time the virus has ever been found in a bat in West Africa, though it has previously been found in bats in Central Africa.
Riders may not appreciate risks when using shared electric scooters, REUTERS, January 26
“It’s a very timely contribution to an emerging injury risk,” said Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury, Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, who wasn’t involved in the study. “I was in San Diego two months ago at a conference and (the scooters) were everywhere. They are not just a risk to the riders, but also the pedestrians.”
Many teens and young adults lack privacy at doctor's office, REUTERS, January 25
“Private time and confidentiality are critical because when confidentiality is not assured, adolescents and young adults are less willing to discuss sensitive topics with providers or may skip care altogether,” said lead study author Stephanie Grilo of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. “Parents need to know that private time and confidentiality are important parts of keeping teens healthy and they should be asking for this as it will improve the health of their adolescent,” Grilo said.
Young people living in liberal states consume more marijuana, but have lower rates of marijuana dependence, according to a new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The results found that these policies, which aren’t specifically related to cannabis, still have an impact on cannabis use, according to study author Morgan Philbin, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University.
It’s unclear why we’re seeing this pattern…Still, the big takeaway is that it’s important to see how marijuana legalization laws might lead to different outcomes and have different impacts based on the local political climate,
Deadly Ebola Virus Is Found in Liberian Bat, Researchers Say, New York Times, January 24
“It’s an incomplete study, a work in progress,” said Simon J. Anthony, a virologist at Columbia University who has performed genetic analyses on samples from the infected bat. “It feels premature scientifically, but on the other hand, you have the public health aspect. We do have enough data to suggest to me that it is Ebola Zaire in this bat. We agree with our Liberian government partners that this information should be shared.”
Scientists find deadly Ebola virus for first time in West African bat, Washington Post, January 24
Scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, which is part of the team, are working to determine whether the virus found in the bat is the exact same virus that caused the West Africa epidemic and the current Ebola outbreak in Congo that is the second-largest ever recorded. There have been at least 713 cases and 439 deaths as of Wednesday, according to Congo’s health ministry.
This bat species may be the source of the Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa, Science, January 24
The results have yet to be published; they were announced today by Tolbert Nyenswah, director of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, at a press conference in Monrovia. The Liberian government and other PREDICT partners “felt that this was an important finding to bring to the public irrespective of a scientific publication,” says team member Simon Anthony, a virologist at Columbia University.
Childhood Lead Exposure May Increase Risk of Mental Illness, Study Suggests, Gizmodo, January 24
A study out Wednesday in the JAMA Psychiatry journal shows that early exposure to the toxic metal is associated with increased mental illness in adulthood…
The findings difficult to generalize, particularly to the communities of color who are disproportionately burned with lead exposure in the U.S, explained Pam Factor-Litvak, an epidemiology professor at the Columbia University Medical Center…“It’s one of the premiere cohort studies in the world,” Factor-Litvak told Earther, which has been tracking these people since they were 3. “All of the measures in this study, to my knowledge, have been done with extreme thought, and they’ve used state-of-the-art measures.”
Cities near Denver area's Centennial Airport are fighting possible changes to flight paths, Denver Post, January 23
A study of a NextGen flight path near LaGuardia Airport in New York by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, which was released last year, concluded that exposure “to a loud and continuous noise” can have ill health effects — including cardiovascular disease and anxiety — on those living under a flight path.
People in Red and Blue States May Use Weed Very Differently--and Not Just Due to Legalization, Gizmodo, January 23
But a state’s pot laws aren’t the only thing that could shape our attitudes and behaviors surrounding the drug, according to lead author Morgan Philbin, a social and behavioral scientist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “[T]hese state-specific cannabis laws exist within a broader policy context and that relationship had yet to be explored (e.g., a medical cannabis law in Hawaii exists within a very different state specific context than, say Arizona),” she told Gizmodo via email.
In Some States, Legalization Affects Cannabis Use in Unexpected Ways, Inverse, January 23
First author and assistant professor Morgan Philbin, Ph.D. tells Inverse that the observed association means “policies don’t exist in a vacuum.” … “Now that this study is out in the world, we hope that policy-makers, researchers, and key stakeholders consider not just the potential impact of a specific policy, but also how that policy might have a differential impact based on the context in which it is being implemented,” Philbin says.
NY Health Act Debated at Empire Center Conference, PostStar, January 22
Michael Sparer of Columbia University urged legislators to consider who actually needs affordable health insurance. The working poor and those with high-deductible employer plans could be helped by allowing them to buy in to Medicaid or the Essential Plan, which are currently available only to those who make very little and have no access to an employer-provided plan. The Essential Plan fills a gap for those who make just slightly too much money for Medicaid. At most, it costs $20 a month with low co-pays. The state could offer a subsidy for more people to buy into those programs, at much less cost than the $189 billion, he added. “You really have the opportunity to give them a decent health program at an affordable price,” he said. “I think it provides the most plausible path to get there. You have to think: Who’s the target audience?”
Chelsea Clinton Reveals She's Pregnant With Third Baby At 38 Years Old, Newsweek, January 22
Chelsea Clinton, 38, teaches at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and serves on several health-related boards in New York City.
Flu Forecasting Models Consistently More Accurate Than Historical Baseline Models, Contagionlive.com, January 21
A team of investigators from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas at Austin, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Columbia University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Mount Holyoke College collaborated on the project, which compared the accuracy of weekly real-time forecasts assembled between 2010 and 2017 to a historical baseline seasonal average.
"The field of infectious disease forecasting is in its infancy and we expect that innovation will spur improvements in forecasting in the coming years," the authors write. Jeffrey Shaman, the senior author of a study referenced in this article, is an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the Mailman School.
NYC's new Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot knows what it's like to be denied care, amNY, January 18
“I think the commissioner’s background as a pediatrician and working in the school system is one of the most important qualifications you can have today,” said Fred Hyde, a clinical professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Largest US twin study probes whether nature or nurture makes us sick, Verge, January 16
Dan Belsky, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health who was not involved in the study, said that the study method helps solve a big problem in medical research: that the people who sign up to participate in studies could be fundamentally different from the people who don’t. … “This is a very carefully done study and I think it’s exciting to see this scale of data put to this question.”
Latino, African-American adolescents less likely to have undiagnosed asthma, study finds, Crain's New York Business, January 16
Although there are known health care disparities and shortages that impact Latino and African-American adolescents in urban areas, the two groups were found to be at lower risk for undiagnosed asthma than whites. That's according to a new study from researchers at the Columbia University School of Nursing, the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Dickinson College, published in the Journal of Urban Health.
These Latina moms wanted to prevent asthma. They started with daycares, KUOW News, January 16
Those could trigger asthma, said Sally Findley, a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
"Many of the things that trigger asthma in the home are also present in the daycare," she said. "You're going to have some of the same problems with cockroaches and mold…Findley said daycare providers want to get rid of asthma triggers. It's just that, usually, no one tells them how.
High Fiber, Whole Grains Linked to Lower CVD, Diabetes, Cancer Risk, Medscape, January 16
Commenting on the study for theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology, Richard Deckelbaum, MD, a professor of epidemiology and pediatrics, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City, called it a "strong study" and "very powerful in bringing many, many studies together, which have shown similar conclusions in the past."
Many Teens, Young Adults Don't Get Private Time With Doctors, HealthDay, January 15
"Discussing confidentiality and having private time with a provider are critical components of comprehensive clinical preventive services for young people, however about half of young people report never having had these with their provider," said lead author Stephanie Grilo. She's a doctoral candidate in sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Dems back election reform — DE BLASIO lays out year's agenda, Politico, January 12
THE CITY’S GOAL OF REDUCING THE RELIANCE ON EMERGENCY ROOMS by helping people take advantage of available preventative care is much easier said than done, medical experts said. ‘It’s not easy to change individuals’ patterns of seeking care,’ said Michael Sparer, chair of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. ‘There are large numbers of people who are on Medicaid, who have insurance right now, who rely heavily on emergency rooms for their care, so even if you have insurance it’s not a guarantee that you’re gonna stop using the ER.’
De Blasio's NYC Care isn't likely to decrease emergency room visits, experts say, amNY, January 12
‘It’s not easy to change individuals’ patterns of seeking care,’ said Michael Sparer, chair of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. ‘There are large numbers of people who are on Medicaid, who have insurance right now, who rely heavily on emergency rooms for their care, so even if you have insurance it’s not a guarantee that you’re gonna stop using the ER.’
Flu Season Has Kicked In... Here's How to Protect Yourself, Healthline, January 11
“At the end of 2018, flu activity was high in New York City and 19 states, including most of the American southwest and New Jersey. It’s still low in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and 22 of our 50 states, but that will change as the season progresses,” Stephen Morse, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, told Healthline.
The surprising way my sex life changed after I was raped, Cosmopolitan, January 11
Dr. Claude Ann Mellins, a clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, says, “I think the bottom line is the aftermath of assault is so variable. There isn’t a wrong way or right way for survivors of sexual assault to feel or heal.”
Not enough babies? Declining U.S. birth rate means population can't replace itself, new report says, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, January 10
A drop in teen pregnancies is also a factor in the decline, said Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health professor Dr. John Rowe to NBC. “We’ve been seeing, year after year, a precipitous drop in the number of births to teenage girls,”Rowe told NBC. “That’s good news. Not only are these children not having children, but they’re also getting a chance to finish high school. And that makes a huge difference to their lives.”
Also covered in the Orlando Sentinel
Americans aren't making enough babies to replace ourselves, NBCNews.com, January 10
The trend seen in the United States is also seen in much of the developed world, including Western Europe, said Dr. John Rowe, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. One important factor driving this is the changing roles of women in society, Rowe said.
“In general women are getting married later in life,” he explained. “They are leaving the home and launching their families later.”
… One of the biggest factors is the decline in teen pregnancies, Rowe said. “We’ve been seeing, year after year, a precipitous drop in the number of births to teenage girls,” he added. “That’s good news. Not only are these children not having children, but they’re also getting a chance to finish high school. And that makes a huge difference to their lives.”
Americans Aren't Making Enough Babies, Says CDC, Fortune, January 10
“In general women are getting married later in life,” public health researcher John Rowe at Columbia University told NBC News, “They are leaving the home and launching their families later.”
Young Patients Have Trouble Getting Private Talks with Doctors, UPI.com, January 9
"Discussing confidentiality and having private time with a provider are critical components of comprehensive clinical preventive services for young people, however about half of young people report never having had these with their provider," Stephanie Grilo, a doctoral researcher at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and study lead author, said in a press release. "Regular providers need to begin discussion of private time and confidentiality at earlier ages."
Mayor's $100M Health Care Plan Supports the Uninsured, Crain’s New York Business, January 9
Michael Sparer, chair of health policy and management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, called the notion that every city resident deserves a basic level of health care "a good policy statement." But Sparer cautioned that simply giving out NYC Care cards won't reverse the flow of people to emergency rooms. Even Medicaid beneficiaries tend to overuse the ER despite their coverage, he noted.
Child migrant deaths: 4 areas Congress should investigate, THE HILL: Opinion, January 8
BYLINE: IRWIN REDLINER
With the deaths of two migrant children from Guatemala last month and another tear-gassing of crowds that included children just across the Southern U.S. border on New Year’s Day, nobody should argue against a thorough investigation of the circumstances that continue to place minors in highly dangerous situations.. ...Irwin Redlener, MD, is professor of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
Lessons from successes and failures of AIDS epidemic could inform our response to opioid crisis, News-Medical.net, January 4
There are important lessons to be learned from the successes and failures of the AIDS response that could inform our response to the opioid epidemic, according to a new paper by researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health….
"Despite the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, the mortality rate for opioids has surpassed that of the AIDS epidemic during its peak in the early 1990s--a time when there was no effective treatment for HIV/AIDS," says Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School.
Also in Science Daily:
The opioid crisis: What we should learn from the AIDS epidemic
What can the AIDS epidemic teach us about the US opioid crisis?, SciTech Europa, January 4
The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health has assessed the AIDS epidemic response and developed an action plan using this knowledge to inform action on the current US opioid crisis.
Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School said: “Despite the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, the mortality rate for opioids has surpassed that of the AIDS epidemic during its peak in the early 1990s–a time when there was no effective treatment for HIV/AIDS.”
Preeclampsia Linked to Later Stroke Risk, Aspirin May Help, Medscape, January 3
"Women at high risk of developing preeclampsia are given aspirin during pregnancy and we know this reduces their risk of developing the condition, but the aspirin is usually stopped after delivery. The question remains as to whether aspirin should be continued in these women," lead author Eliza C. Miller, MD, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York City, commented to Medscape Medical News.
Ban entire pesticide class to protect children's health, experts say, The Guardian, October 24
Another of the new report’s co-authors, Prof Robin Whyatt of Columbia University’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health in New York, said the decreased IQs among children that OPs could trigger would be of the order of five to six points and “would probably not have a huge impact”. “The problem is that when you have an exposure as ubiquitous as this, you get distributional shifts in IQ, with fewer people in the brilliant range and more in the lower ranges of IQ,” she said.
Gas Station Toxic Fume Emissions Are 10 Times Higher Than Thought, Study Finds, Newsweek, October 7
“There are several unique aspects of our study which have not been considered before,” Markus Hilpert, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University and first author on the paper, told Newsweek. He said this is the first study published in peer-reviewed literature that’s measured vent pipe emissions at gas stations at these rates.
Climate and city density key factors governing flu outbreaks: Study, Axios, October 4
…The study "does not show that some cities are safer than others for flu" — just that different types of patterns are emerging, which tended to be consistent for that city over that time period. And Jeffrey Shaman, director of Columbia University's climate and health program, said the results don't yet provide enough information to be useful for providing flu control solutions.
In battle over pesticide ban, Trump's EPA aims to undermine the science, Science Magazine, August 24
After the court's rebuke, EPA took aim at a study from Columbia University's Center for Children's Environmental Health in New York City that showed the troubling real-world impacts of chlorpyrifos on children that helped prompt the ban.
“We cannot submit this extensive individual level data to EPA in a way that ensures the confidentiality of the children and mothers who are our research subjects,”
Dr. Linda Fried, the dean of Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, told the agency in May 2016.
Trump's coal emissions rollbacks will be bad for country's health, experts say, CNN Outline, August 20
"There is no such thing as a safe level of pollution. It's that simple. Any pollution is bad. There is no doubt about this," said Dr. Andrea Baccarelli, chairman of the Environmental Health Sciences Department at Columbia University, adding that reducing the standard by any amount will have negative health consequences. "It's clear that relaxing the standards could cost lives."
Residents say Love Canal chemicals continue to make them sick, PBS NewsHour, August 5
Forty years ago this week, President Jimmy Carter declared Love Canal a national health emergency when the small community near Niagara Falls, New York, learned that their homes and school were built on 22,000 tons of chemicals. Today, many residents in the area, which was deemed safe by authorities, claim to be facing health problems. … Ana Navas-Acien is a physician and epidemiologist at Columbia University who studies public health near Superfund sites. She says, “Its good news that the wells show no signs of contamination.”
City Cyclists: Here’s How Much Pollution you’re Actually Inhaling, 2018, VICE, July 24
"What really matters for health is dose, and dose is a function of two things. Number one how much air pollution is in the air. And number two how much you are breathing,” says Darby Jack, an assistant professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University.
Primary Probes, Manhattan Times, July 11
Since its founding in 1998, the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) has used a variety of methodologies to study the effects of environmental pollutants on pregnant women and children. Part of Columbia University Medical Center’s Mailman School of Public Health, CCCEH was established when an interdisciplinary team of Columbia researchers received funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create one of eight centers nationwide devoted to studying children’s environmental health.
Hawaii Just Became The First State To Ban A sbPesticide Linked To Developmental Delays In Kids, BUZZFEED NEWS, June 13
An earlier study by the same group of researchers at Columbia University’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health in New York looked at 265 children and found prenatal exposure was linked to IQ deficits and working memory problems at age 7.
Concerns Raised Over E-Cigs Growing Popularity Among Teens, NY1, April 24
Interview with Ana Navas-Acien, Environmental Health Sciences professor, Mailman School of Public Health
"Young people are getting access to nicotine in this new form is concerning because we know that nicotine is very addictive, so the potential for them to get addicted to tobacco products, to nicotine, and maybe later on to switch from e-cigarettes."
Vaping now an epidemic among US high schoolers, CNN, April 6
A sharp spike in vaping and the use of e-cigarettes by students has grabbed the attention of the US Food and Drug Administration. .... Dr. Ana Navas-Acien, a professor of environmental health sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, recently released a study.
Single Intervention Cockroach Bait-Trapping Can Improve Clinical Asthma Outcomes, MD Magazine, March 9
Matthew Perzanowski, PhD, an associate Professor of Columbia University School of Public Health presented an overview of the NYC Neighborhood Asthma and Allergy Study examining exposures leading to sensitization followed by asthma. …He emphasized that researchers must think in terms of public health in order to reduce asthma. New York City recently passed the Asthma Free Housing Act to give New York City residents the right to live in homes free of mold, pests, and indoor health hazards.
A Look At How This Year's Flu Vaccine Is Holding Up, NY1, January 18
Jeffrey Shaman, an environmental health scientist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University says this flu season is unique. "It wasn't a gradual build towards it, it really built up in mid and late December," Shaman said.
170 Million Americans Have Cancer-Causing, Radioactive Elements In Their Drinking Water, Newsweek, January 11
And around 38 percent of Americans had radium concentrations that exceeded another standard: California state scientists' public health goals from ... of environmental chemicals in drinking water,” Dr. Ana Navas-Acien, environmental health sciences professor at Columbia University, told Newsweek. “It’s surprising to see that the standard for radium has not been updated since 1976,” she said. “We have a much larger body of scientific evidence that has been developed since then that should have been able to inform new updates [for the] maximum contaminant level for radium.”
Air Pollution May Weaken the Bones, New York Times, November 29
“Air pollution is like diluted smoking,” said the senior author, Andrea A. Baccarelli, a professor of environmental medicine at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “Smoking causes cancer, cardiovascular disease and bone mineral density loss. So does air pollution. Even at pollution levels the Environmental Protection Agency considers acceptable, there is still an increased risk.”
Trump’s E.P.A. Pledges to Clean Up NYC’s ‘Most Radioactive Site' – But Funding Is in Question, WNYC Radio, November 6
Norman Kleiman, director of the Eye Radiation and Environmental Research Laboratory at Columbia University, said the E.P.A. had an obligation to clean up the site. Radiation there is "well above the average terrestrial exposure even in New York City,” Kleinman told WNYC. "People are especially concerned about exposure,” Kleinman added, “and from a public policy and public health point of view, it's important to allay fear."
Arsenic Reductions in Drinking Water Tied to Fewer Cancer Deaths, New York Times, October 24
The senior author, Dr. Ana Navas-Acien, a professor of environmental health sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said that water treatment to remove arsenic is expensive and a challenge for smaller cities. “We are trying to provide information in a way that’s useful for policymakers,” she said. “If we could eliminate arsenic entirely, it would be ideal. But we have to be realistic.”
Seal Meat, Gold Mining: How Lower-Income Women Are Exposed To Mercury, NPR, October 3
The potential harm to the development of the fetal brain is of special concern, says Joseph Graziano, professor of environmental health sciences and pharmacology at Columbia University. "You get just once chance," he says. "When the damage is done, the damage is done and there's no going back."
A Race to Develop Pollution Sensing Tech Plays Out in Oakland, WIRED, June 5
The question isn’t whether or not air pollution is bad for health. “There’s quite a strong consensus that air pollution exposures are quite bad for you,” says Darby Jack, an environmental health scientist at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.
The Womb is No Protection from Toxic Chemicals, New York Times, June 1
Opinion piece by Frederica Perera
Air Pollution Denial Is the New Climate Denial, New Republic, March 15
“There’s this issue if this data becomes public, will anyone be able to go and knock on these people’s doors?” said Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, an environmental health professor at Columbia University… Kioumourtzoglou says this is a fundamental misunderstanding of how scientists classify cause of death. When people die, they are given an International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code to signify what happened, and there is no ICD code for pollution. “If you died of a heart attack, you get the ICD code for a heart attack,” she said. “If exposure to PM2.5 has caused a heart attack, on your death certificate, it would still say heart attack, not PM2.5.”
Scientists Find a Way to Predict West Nile Outbreak, R & D Magazine, February 24
Scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have developed a method to accurately predict the timing and intensity of West Nile Virus outbreaks…In the study, DeFelice and Jeffrey Shaman, an associate professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia’s Mailman School, developed the model by drawing on field collection data documenting mosquito infection rates and reported human cases, accounting for transmission between mosquitos and birds and spillover to human beings.
Wind, Rain, Heat: Health Risks Grow with Extreme Weather, Live Science, February 17
Kim Knowlton, an assistant clinical professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, who also spoke at the meeting, elaborated on the health risks posed by heat. "There is a clear warming trend and that threatens health," Knowlton said. "Heat waves, which are extreme heat events that last several days, are the No. 1 cause of U.S. weather fatalities, on average, over the last 30 years," she said.
Protect Our Children's Brains, New York Times, February 3
Several studies led by Virginia Rauh, a neuro-epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health, found that children in New York City who had been most highly exposed to chlorpyrifos in utero when it was still in widespread use in homes showed persistent developmental effects.
Can a cleaner cookstove save lives?, PBS NewsHour, February 1
Professor Darby Jack at Columbia University (assistant professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health) is a partner with the Ghanaians on the project, supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. ... Darby Jack, Columbia University said “We recruit women during pregnancy, and we give them a clean-burning cookstove, either LPG, which is the propane or butane, the same thing you probably cook with in your backyard grill, or a stove called the BioLite, which is an efficient biomass burning stove, and can reduce emissions by about half.”