Weekly Edition – February 7, 2012
In this week’s edition
:: Breast feeding slows BMI growth among infants at risk of childhood obesity
Breast feeding slows BMI growth among infants at risk of childhood obesity
Children of diabetic pregnancies are at a greater risk of childhood obesity, but new research from the Colorado School of Public Health indicates that breast feeding can reduce this risk.
Epidemiologist Tessa Crume, PhD, MSPH and colleagues tracked 94 offspring of diabetic pregnancies and 399 offspring of non-diabetic pregnancies from birth to age 13, to evaluate the influence of breast-feeding on body mass index (BMI) growth, an indicator of obesity among children.
“There are critical perinatal periods for defining obesity risk, pregnancy and early infant life,” stated Crume. “We looked at children exposed to over-nutrition in utero due to a diabetic pregnancy to determine if early life nutrition could alter their risk of childhood obesity.”
Of the children of diabetic pregnancies, those who were breast feed had a slower body mass index (BMI) growth extending into childhood than those who were breast feed less than six months. A similar pattern emerged for offspring of non-diabetic pregnancies.
According to Crume, researchers know that children exposed to diabetes or obesity during gestation are at higher risk for childhood obesity and metabolic diseases. Now researchers know there is a second critical opportunity to normalize BMI growth, by supporting mothers to breast feed for the Academy of Pediatrics recommended six months.
“Breastfeeding support represents an important clinical and public health strategy to reduce the risk of childhood obesity,” stated Crume. She hopes that the research will provide stronger support to encourage mothers to breast feed, especially those who experienced a diabetic pregnancy. “We can work with pediatricians, obstetricians and the public health community to give these women targeted support immediately following birth.”
Crume and colleague’s research “The impact of neonatal breast-feeding on growth trajectories of youth exposed and unexposed to diabetes in utero: the EPOCH Study,” appears in the latest edition of the International Journal of Obesity. The research was conducted as a partnership between the Colorado School of Public Health and Kaiser Permanente of Colorado.
GLBT smokers in Colorado not thinking about quitting
Story originally published by Kim Chriscaden on Colorado Cancer Blogs
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Coloradans who smoke are not thinking about quitting or getting ready to quit, and a quarter are uncomfortable approaching their doctors for help, report University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers in a recent article published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
These and other findings from the study may help identify new approaches to encourage GLBT smokers to quit.
“Among most smoking populations, we almost always find 20 percent getting ready to quit and another 40 percent are thinking about quitting,” says Arnold Levinson, PhD, MJ, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and the paper’s senior author. “But the rates from our study were half of what we expected.”
For more than 70 percent of the GLBT smokers who were surveyed in Colorado, quitting was not on their agenda. GLBT adults are roughly twice as likely as heterosexual adults to smoke cigarettes. And little research has been done to determine which smoking cessation methods the group might prefer.
The GLBT Community Center of Colorado and other GLBT organizations across Colorado approached Levinson to create the survey of 1,633 Colorado GLBT smokers to see if they were less likely than other smokers to use “proven” cessation methods such as nicotine replacement therapy or telephone counseling.
Continue reading the piece online at Cancer Center Blogs.
Accepting applications to the certificate programs, deadline Feb 15
A graduate level certificate program is a great way to retool, refine and reinvest in your professional development or academic interest. The Colorado School of Public Health offers two certificate programs, the Certificate in Public Health Sciences and the Certificate in Global Public Health, and is looking for qualified candidates interested in applying for the summer term.
Public Health Science
The 15-17 credit hour Certificate in Public Health Sciences offers you the opportunity to enroll in graduate public health courses as a standalone program or as an entry point for the Master of Public Health. The certificate is offered at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and University of Northern Colorado. Program courses include Foundations in Public Health, Biostatistics, and Epidemiology, in addition to several elective course options.
Global Public Health
The 15-17 credit hour Certificate in Global Public Health is designed to cultivate a graduate-level, public health perspective of globalization and global health issues, programs, and best practices. You’ll learn how to use public health methods to address global public health challenges. The certificate is a suitable program for health and environmental professionals who work, or will work, in prevention, research or clinical practice. Program courses include Public Health in the Global Community, Global Health Policy and Economics, Geographic Perspectives in Global Health, Biostatistics, and Epidemiology, in addition to global health oriented elective course options.
Additional information, access to the admissions application and instructions, cost of attendance, and gainful employment information and statistics are available online. The school accepts applications February 15 for a summer semester start and September 15 for a spring semester start.
Associate Dean Byers on tobacco and the decline of heart disease
In the January 5, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine Drs. Nabel and Braunwald presented a review of the history of the decline of deaths from coronary heart disease in the second half of the Twentieth Century. That paper chronicled the progress we have made in understanding the causes of heart disease and in fashioning various cures. The paper included a striking line graph of death rates from heart disease in the past 70 years, showing the peak in about 1970, followed by a steady decline of about 75% through 2009. Advances in hypertension control, cholesterol management, ICU treatments, and various other drugs, devices, and surgical techniques were all highlighted.
I was struck by the nearly complete absence of discussion of tobacco control in that review. In fact, the word “tobacco” appeared only once in the paper, near the end, where tobacco was mentioned among the future challenges for global health. We cannot fully motivate other countries to control tobacco unless we can clearly describe the impact of tobacco control on cardiovascular mortality in our own country. In 1965 about 44% of U.S. adults smoked, but by 2009 only 22% smoked. Assuming a 2.5-fold increased risk for cardiovascular mortality from tobacco smoking,that historic reduction in smoking caused a 20% reduction in cardiovascular mortality, which is a substantial proportion of the dramatic decline in heart disease deaths since 1970. Surely the 1964 Surgeon General’s report and the subsequent halving of tobacco smoking in the U.S. were as impactful as were internal defibrillators, fibrinolysis, or several of the other factors that were highlighted in that otherwise comprehensive review.
It is striking how easily we forget the obvious. We have made great strides in tobacco control, but one in every five adults still smokes in the US. Our great strides are only a good start, really. As we look forward to even better progress in heart disease we should not fail to highlight the low hanging fruit of continued progress in tobacco control.
For past editions of Dr. Byer’s blog, visit http://publichealthpractice.org/blogs/tuesdays-tim.
CDPHE now accepting nominations for Public Health Standards Workgroup
The 2009 Colorado Public Health Improvement Plan (COPHIP) which supports SB 08-194 calls for a set of public health standards to complement the core public health services. CDPHE is seeking local and state public health representatives that have the time, interest, and expertise in public health standards to help us craft these statewide standards. The Public Health Standards Workgroup will be accepting a maximum of 15 participants.
The purpose of the Public Health Standards Workgroup is to:
• Develop the set of “minimum quality standards” that will be promulgated into rule.
• Review the Standards section of the current Colorado Public Health Improvement Plan and provide guidance and update on expected activities.
• Develop a list of system improvement recommendations, related to standards.
It is anticipated that the time commitment will be at least 6 meetings in Denver between March and August 2012. Conference calling will be available; however, in-person attendance is ideal. Contact Corrina Quintana at Corrina.Quintana@dphe.state.co.us for the nomination form and more information.
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