Sally Samaha

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Most women aren't aware of cancer overdiagnosis risks, UMN study says

Less than 20 percent of women in the U.S. are aware that routine mammograms can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of breast cancer, according to a University of Minnesota study published this month.  The routine screenings detect cancers, including those that aren’t harmful. This may negatively impact women who are unnecessarily treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. Some researchers say better health communication may be key to raising awareness of these problems.


UMN student places fourth in flu forecasting competition

One University of Minnesota doctoral student stood out at a national flu forecasting competition this summer.  Each year the U.S. Centers for Disease Control holds an influenza forecasting competition where researchers seek to predict the virus’s severity as well as the onset of flu season. University public health Ph.D. student Yang Liu, who placed fourth, said her statistical model stood out because it used environmental data, which influences public health.


'Training ... to be a good parent:' University program helps military parents adapt to civilian life

When Sgt. Major Tina Lenling returned to the U.S. from a 15-month deployment in Iraq, she was reluctant to admit that her family needed help. Members of the military are taught to solve problems independently, Lenling said, but she felt she no longer fit into her family’s everyday life. She realized she was treating her children like soldiers and worried about the impact her temper could have on her husband and kids.


University to use $11.2 million grant to research back pain

A University of Minnesota health center was awarded the first phase of an $11.2 million grant last month to study non-drug approaches to prevent chronic back pain.  Researchers at the University’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing will use the multi-million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct a study aiming to reduce the number of patients whose acute lower back pain episodes become chronic issues.


Boynton gears up for flu season with vaccine clinics

With flu season looming, the University of Minnesota’sBoynton Health is setting up flu clinics across campus.   The clinics, in 15 different locations on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, will provide vaccinations for the University community until the first week of December. Experts say the shot is key, not only to keep recipients healthy, but also to protect more susceptible individuals from the illness.


Researchers investigate link between breast milk and obesity

 A University of Minnesota study aims to better understand infant and child obesity by focusing on breast milk.   Researchers working on the Mothers and Infants Linked for Healthy Growth — or MILK — study analyze the connection between breast milk's fat content, along with other factors, and obesity in what researchers say is one of the nation’s largest breast milk composition studies.


Obstetrics units inaccessible for many rural women, U study says

Over half of rural hospitals in the U.S. no longer have units for childbirth, according to a University of Minnesota study published this month in Health Affairs. The study shows the percent of hospitals with obstetric units fell from 54 percent in 2004 to about 45 percent in 2014. This limited accessibility disproportionately impacts low-income communities and women of color, putting childbearing-aged women and their babies at risk of complications, researchers say. 


University-hosted conference aims to shift conversation around gun violence

Health professionals, advocates and public officials hope to leave a first-annual conference co-hosted by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health this week with a plan to address gun violence as a public health issue. The Northstar Public Health Conference, held Wednesday and Thursday on West Bank, seeks to clear up misconceptions about gun violence and mental health with research presentations from experts in fields from law enforcement to urban violence.