2014 ASPPH Friday Letter

A study by researchers at the University at Buffalo with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shows that patients with chronic, obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), experience more respiratory symptoms when their lungs are ‘colonized’ by bacteria, even in the absence of an acute exacerbation.
A preliminary study of the effects of mushroom ingestion on health conducted by University at Buffalo School of Public Health nutrition scientists and physiologists has found that healthy male and female subjects who consumed mushrooms with glucose had a significant decrease in glucose responses compared to those who consumed glucose alone. The effect was particularly strong in women.
How much do teens smoke? When it comes to measuring teen smoking trends, many public health agencies rely too heavily on reports of monthly cigarette use, a broad statistic that makes it difficult to draw conclusions about current habits and historical changes in behavior, according to a new study.  The figure used to describe current use of cigarettes among high school seniors is from the survey question, “Have you smoked in the past 30 days?”
While many people consider their smartphones to be lifesavers because they help organize and consolidate daily activities, Mark L. Glasgow is exploring ways to use smartphones to literally help save lives.
When Western New York was hit by a lake effect snow storm this past week, first responders, National Guard members and snow-removal crews worked around the clock to assist citizens and communities impacted by the unprecedented storm.  Snow fell at an incredible rate, with certain areas of the region receiving five inches per hour, totaling over seven feet. The snowfall prompted many school and business closures, including a two-day closure of the University at Buffalo, and a state of emergency was declared for several counties in and around the Buffalo, New York area.
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) report improved symptoms and health status when they use a hand-held respiratory device called the Lung Flute®, according to a study by the University at Buffalo. Usually caused by smoking, COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
Philip Smith, PhD, a recent graduate of the PhD program in community health and health behavior (CHHB) at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, has completed a series of studies that improve our understanding of the relationships between childhood maltreatment, psychological distress, nicotine dependence, and smoking cessation.  The studies used data from the baseline (N = 1,000 adult smokers) and 14-month follow-up with 751 respondents in interviews of a national smoking survey.
Tejal Shelat, a full-time student at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions received an award from the American Association of University Women. The $18,000 scholarship award was given to Ms. Shelat through their International Fellowship Program.
Elizabeth Gage-Bouchard, PhD, assistant professor of community health and health behavior, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo was awarded a grant from St. Baldrick’s Supportive Care Research grant for $40,937. St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-driven and donor-centered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research.
A federally-funded systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 childhood obesity prevention programs (with 20 discrete interventions) in high-income countries has found: programs that promoted healthy diet and physical activity significantly improved lipid profiles in children. For those children, such programs may reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Programs that improved lipid profiles did so whether or not they lowered obesity risk.  The principle investigator for the study was Youfa Wang, PhD, professor of epidemiology and environmental health at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions and professor of pediatrics in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, interim dean and professor of epidemiology and environmental health at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions is the principal investigator on the study, “Oral Microbiome and Periodontitis: A Prospective Study in Postmenopausal Women”.
Lynn Kozlowski, PhD, will present the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions 26th Annual J. Warren Perry Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, October 9, at 3 p.m. in Butler Auditorium, 150 Farber Hall. “Thoughts and Data on the Hot Button Issues that Divide Us on Vaping and E-cigarettes,” will address the fierce public health dispute over their relative safety.
Heather Orom, PhD, professions assistant professor in the department of community health and health behavior, and colleagues from the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions have published a series of studies in Ethnicity and Health showing that African Americans perceive their risk for getting cancer to be lower compared to Whites, despite cancer incidence being higher among African Americans. In a new study they replicate these findings and also explored reasons African Americans give for their levels of perceived risk. This study is one of a few that have examined minorities’ attributions for their level of perceived risk for cancer.
Marianthi Markatou, PhD, University at Buffalo professor of biostatistics, has been appointed to serve on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Biostatistics Methods and Research Design (BMRD) study section. The appointment is effective through June 30, 2020. The BMRD study section reviews applications that seek to advance statistical and mathematical techniques and technologies applicable to the experimental design and analysis of data in biomedical, behavioral, and social science research.
University at Buffalo faculty member Xuefeng Ren, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology and environmental health in the School of Public Health and Health Professions, has received a $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the mechanisms of arsenic carcinogenesis — the process by which exposure to arsenic transforms normal cells into cancer cells.
Only few short years after earning a doctorate degree from the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, Brian King, PhD, is making strides at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the a Senior Scientific Advisor in the Office on Smoking and Health.  His role helps lead the federal agency for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control in the United States. In this capacity, King provides scientific leadership and technical expertise to inform tobacco control policy, planning, and practice at the national, state, and local levels.
New research findings from a study of 634 couples found that the more often they smoked marijuana, the less likely they were to engage in domestic violence.
When it comes to dealing with bioterrorism, it is essential that agencies like the police, county health officials, and academic public health experts work together and communicate clearly.
We are often told that worrying can be harmful to one’s health. But University at Buffalo SUNY School of Public Health and Health Professions researchers say when it comes to preventing skin cancer, a little fear is good for you.
Caffeine intake by children and adolescents has been rising for decades, due in large part to the popularity of caffeinated sodas and energy drinks, which now are marketed to children as young as 4 years old. Despite this, there is little research on the effects of caffeine on young people.
University at Buffalo SUNY School of Public Health researchers have received an interdisciplinary bioinformatics grant of $3,986,404 from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health to conduct a prospective study of the oral microbiome and periodontitis in postmenopausal women. To our knowledge, there is no prospective epidemiologic study as large and rich with available data resources that can address the cutting-edge questions we propose here on the oral microbiome and its relationship to periodontitis in postmenopausal women,” stated Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, professor, epidemiology and environmental health.
The twelfth annual School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) commencement ceremony at the University at Buffalo took place at 3:00 p.m. on May 18 in the UB Center for the Arts on the North Campus. 138 students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement by maintaining greater than a 3.6 departmental grade point average and 112 students were recognized for receiving scholarships and awards throughout their time here in the school.
Police officers working the night shift are significantly more likely to suffer long-term, on-the-job injuries than officers on day and afternoon shifts, according to new research conducted at the University at Buffalo SUNY School of Public Health and Health Professions. The study’s principal author is John Violanti, PhD, a research scientist in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and an expert on the relationship of police officer stress to serious health risks. The study – published in the current edition of the Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health – assessed the association of daily-shift schedules with the occurrence of injury leave and lengths of injury leave from 1994 to 2009 among a cohort of 419 officers from the Buffalo (NY) Police Department.