JAMA: Gonzales Finds Higher Rates of Severe Psychological Distress and Impaired Physical Health among LGBT Populations

June 28, 2016

In one of the largest, most representative health surveys conducted to date, lesbian, gay and bisexual adults reported substantially higher rates of severe psychological distress, heavy drinking and smoking, and impaired physical health than did heterosexuals. This study adds to the previous research on LGBT health disparities and has important implications for policy and practice,” said Gilbert Gonzales, Ph.D., M.H.A., the study’s corresponding author and assistant professor of Health Policy at Vanderbilt.    

Schaffner: Flu vaccine supply may be disrupted with new panel ruling

June 27, 2016

On Wednesday, a federal advisory committee on immunization voted to retract its endorsement of the vaccine after preliminary CDC study results presented to the committee showed it provided no protection from the flu strain that made most people sick last year. With many doctors, hospitals and flu clinics placing their orders for flu vaccine early in the year, Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert said the panel's decision would really disrupt the vaccine supply.

Buntin: State drug monitoring programs can prevent one opioid-related overdose death every two hours

June 24, 2016

The implementation of state prescription drug monitoring programs was associated with the prevention of approximately one opioid-related overdose death every two hours on average nationwide, according to a new Vanderbilt-led study released this week in the journal Health Affairs.Senior author, Melinda Buntin, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt, said "“This work is important not only because it demonstrates that prescription drug monitoring programs can save lives, but also because it shows that there are specific actions that states

MPH's Schaffner: Too early to change guidelines based on new preliminary Zika study

June 16, 2016

Zika virus infection during the third trimester of pregnancy may pose only minor risk for brain abnormalities in infants, according to a preliminary study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the early findings seemed promising but that it was far too preliminary to change guidelines based on data.  

JAMA: MPH's Ray lead author on VUMC study pointing to other death risks from opioids

June 15, 2016

Deaths from prescribed opioids may be higher than previously known, according to a study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center with lead author Wayne Ray, that found that users had an increased risk of cardiovascular death. Long-lasting opioids, often used to treat chronic pain such as back pain, led to a 64 percent increase in the risk of death and a 65 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular death, according to the study, released Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA.

MPH's Schaffner praises new W.H.O. Zika Advice

June 13, 2016

People living in areas where the Zika virus is circulating should consider delaying pregnancy to avoid having babies with birth defects, the World Health Organization has concluded. Dr. William Schaffner, head of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, called the W.H.O.’s advice “excellent.” “Now we just have to provide both the education and the means so that couples can implement,” he added.

MPH's Kripalani, Zhu and Self: Uninsured heart attack patients more likely to be transferred to another facility

June 13, 2016

Patients who present to an emergency department with a type of heart attack known as a STEMI and do not have insurance are much more likely to be transferred from one medical facility to another than patients who do have insurance, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology. Contributors to this study include Sunil Kripalani, M.D., MSc., Yuwei Zhu, M.D., MS, Alan Storrow, M.D., Thomas Wang, M.D., Theodore Speroff, M.D., Daniel Munoz, M.D., MPA, Robert Dittus, M.D., MPH, Frank Harrell Jr.

MPH faculty member William Schaffner on the latest superbug and antibiotic resistance

May 31, 2016

The first U.S. case of a bacterial infection that can’t be treated by last-resort antibiotics has been reported in a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are difficult to treat and have become a grave — and growing — concern. The CDC estimates that at least two million people are infected with such bacteria each year, and 23,000 die.