A bi-weekly review of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine media appearances.
IN THE NEWS July 1, 2014
As leaders in medicine, we are frequently featured in the media both locally and nationally. Here are highlights from the past two weeks:

Sitting can increase your risk of cancer by up to 66 percent
In a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers report that people who spend more hours of the day sitting have up to a 66 percent higher risk of developing certain types of cancer than those who aren’t as sedentary. The findings, said Dr. Graham Colditz who wrote an editorial accompanying the study, highlight the difference between being physically active and being sedentary. It’s not enough to just be active—it’s also important to sit less. But most public health messages aren’t stressing the distinction. Other outlets: U.S. News & World Report, NBC News, WebMD,Scientific American, The Globe and Mail (UK), Yahoo News (UK)

Study: Similar outcomes from combat head injuries, regardless of cause
Brain injuries in U.S. military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have similar outcomes whether the cause was a blast or another trauma, a new study reveals. The researchers also found that almost 80 percent of all active military personnel who suffered a concussion – regardless of cause – developed moderate-to-severe overall disability within a year after the injury. “This study and others make us a bit skeptical of the notion that the long-term effects of blast injury to the brain are somehow unique,” senior author Dr. David Brody said. “We still think the physics of how a blast interacts with the brain is quite different from other kinds of brain trauma. But we have yet to find the consequences of that – if there are any – for patients.” 
Other outlets: Los Angeles Times, 
Philadelphia InquirerMilitary.com News Related WUSM news release

The Atlantic
How supportive parenting protects the brain
Pediatricians are trying to encourage more parental nurturing so that kids living in poverty have a chance to succeed. Research by psychiatrist Dr. Joan Luby led them to recommend that all parents should read aloud to their children from birth. Luby’s research shows that early nurturing may offset some negative changes in brain anatomy linked to poverty.
Related WUSM news release

Scientific American
Therapy: This time it’s personal
Tailoring cancer treatment to individual and evolving tumors is the way of the future, but scientists are still hashing out the details. Dr. Elaine Mardis is involved in a university initiative to use whole-genome sequencing and other analyses to launch precision attacks against difficult cancers.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
       (front page)
Medical school graduates could go directly to patient care in Missouri under proposal
It could get easier to be a doctor in Missouri under a proposed law to add the classification of “assistant physician” to the state medical license. At Washington University, a handful of medical school graduates do not match with residency programs each year and could be classified as assistant physicians. Usually it is because they have limited their options for geographic or personal reasons. Those students often spend another year at the school in research and clinical settings before reapplying for a residency slot, said Dr. Kathryn Diemer.

KWMU/St. Louis Public Radio
Wash U clinic seeks treatments for an often undiagnosed syndrome that wreaks havoc on women
Washington University School of Medicine is opening a clinic in the fall to help women with polycystic ovarian syndrome who are not currently trying to conceive. The condition affects reproductive-age women and causes weight gain, irregular periods and excessive hair growth. Dr. Valerie Ratts and Dr. Emily Jungheim were guests on St. Louis on the Air.

New Republic
Big wind is better than big oil, but just as bad at public relations
Earlier this year, Washington University physiologists Dr. Alec Salt and Dr. Jeffrey Lichtenhan published research in the journal Acoustics Today detailing several mechanisms by which infrasound from wind turbines could have detrimental effects. One, for example, is excitation of nerve fibers in the inner ear that is related to tinnitus or a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Study suggests cockroaches may protect babies from asthma
In a long-term study funded by the National Institutes of Health and led by pediatric allergist Dr. Gordon Bloomberg, babies exposed to cockroaches, among other animal allergens, were less likely to have recurrent wheezing as toddlers compared with children raised in more sterile households.

KSDK-TV NewsChannel 5
Father gives son new kidney
This Father’s Day, six-year-old Cannon Pytlinski of South County was the recipient of a very special gift. His dad donated a kidney to him after an episode of E-coli poisoning escalated into a life-threatening condition. Dr. Paul Hmiel, director of the pediatric kidney transplant program at SLCH, explained how in rare cases, E-coli can cause kidney damage requiring dialysis and even a transplant.

3-D mammograms improve early cancer detection rates
Siteman Cancer Center radiologist Dr. Susan Holley highlighted the advantages of 3-D mammograms which have been shown in a new study to improve cancer detection rates.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Komen St. Louis race draws 30,000
Seventy-five percent of the money raised from the St. Louis Komen Race for the Cure goes to area breast-health programs and 25 percent goes to the national organization to fund research. In recent years, roughly $20 million from Komen has come back to St. Louis to fund breast cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center.

KSDK-TV ShowMe St. Louis
Should you give your kids gummy vitamins?

MomDocs Drs. Kirstin Lee and Kathleen Berchelmann explained that popular gummy vitamins lack nutrients found in their non-gummy counterparts.

Philadelphia Inquirer
The heroin uptick: Is it a crisis?
In the 1960s, first-time heroin users typically were African American, under 17 years old, male and from the inner city. Now, 90 percent of heroin users are white men and women whose gateway drug was a prescription painkiller. Heroin use began to spike as the government cracked down on pill mills and OxyContin was reformulated to keep users from snorting it. “Now they’re using [heroin] as a default drug,” Dr. Theodore Cicero said of the 2,700 addicts he surveyed for a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry. Related WUSM news release

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Healthy Kids: Minimizing scarring
Dr. Albert S. Woo, chief of pediatric plastic surgery at WUSM/SLCH, offered advice about minimizing scarring after an injury.

Doctors warn about dry drowning
Dr. Kathleen Berchelman described the phenomenon known as dry drowning, which can occur when a child inhales water and appears to recover but hours later experiences potentially life-threating breathing problems.

WCPN Radio(Cleveland, OH)
Should we lower the drinking age?
Andrew D. Plunk, a post-doctoral research fellow in psychiatry, cautioned against lowering the drinking age. Plunk’s research indicates that people who grew up in states where it was legal to drink alcohol before age 21 are more likely to be binge drinkers later in life. Related WUSM news release

New options for those living with inflammatory bowel disease
Gastroenterologist Dr. Brian Dieckgraefe explained various new treatments, including a recently approved drug, for those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.

St. Louis American
Reverend Starsky Wilson honored for child advocacy
St. Louis Children’s Hospital presented its annual Child Advocacy Award to the Reverend Starsky Wilson, who works at the Deaconess Foundation for his work to protect young people from violence, open up job opportunities and empower teenagers to take an active role in their communities.

Foods you should never refrigerate
In the summer, many people eat outdoors, which increases the risk for food-borne illnesses. Refrigeration is key for some foods, but dietician Katie Lambert explained that refrigerating some foods such as tomatoes, melons and potatoes affects their taste and texture.

MedPage Today
Stroke rounds: No help from genotype-guided warfarin dosing

Using a patient’s genotype to guide the initial dosing of warfarin or its analogues does not appear to be better than dosing based on clinical characteristics, a meta-analysis showed. Dr. David Brown co-authored the study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Philadelphia Inquirer
Insurer finds need to educate public about terms
Many first-time-health insurance buyers don’t understand industry terms and references, such as co-pays and co-insurance, a WUSM study found.

Pacific Standard
Should researchers warn their subjects about genetic danger?
Dr. Michael White highlights the ethical dilemma of sharing incidental genetic information with patients.

J.T. Snow leads fight against genetic disorder
San Francisco Giants’ right fielder Hunter Pence joined former Giant J.T. Snow to raise money for research on Wolfram syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. The money raised will be contributed to a research clinic led by Dr. Fumihiko Urano at WUSM.

Southeast Missourian
Participants take a swing at cancer for Relay for Life
Relay for Life has quickly become a popular national event for raising awareness of cancer. This year’s foundation will support the research of Dr. Rebecca Lobb.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund Discovery Initiative grant award recipients
The SPOT, operated by WUSM/SLCH received $225,000 from the St. Louis County Children’s Service fund. The funding will support programming for at-risk youth at the SPOT – a one-stop, drop in center that provides testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, health care, counseling, social support, prevention and case management services for youth at no cost.

News Medical
NetOAB and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome show considerable overlap
There is considerable overlap between symptoms in patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and those with overactive bladder. The findings raise the possibility that the two conditions represent a continuum of a bladder hypersensitivity syndrome, according to a study by Dr. H. Henry Lai and colleagues. The research was published in the Journal of Urology.

Sunrise Senior Living blog
Yoga may help improve senior and caregiver health
A recent study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that seniors with dementia and their caregivers were more social and happier following a six-week yoga course than they were before the course. Dr. Catherine Roe, who was not associated with the study, added that the experiment should be conducted among a larger group of patients to test exactly how much seniors and caregivers can benefit from yoga.

Rare mutations linked to severe scoliosis
Rare mutations in two genes can drastically elevate children’s chances of developing severe scoliosis. Christina A. Gurnett, MD, PhD, and Matthew Dobbs, MD, led the research. Related WUSM news release

Echo-News   (U.K)
Seven-year-old travels to America for pioneering spinal surgery
After traveling to St. Louis for spinal surgery with Dr. T.S. Park, seven-year-old Lacie-May Cooper is able to walk unassisted.

KMOV-TV (no link)
Heat illness concerns in St. Louis
Dr. Mark Levine shared advice for those heading outside in the heat. Drinking plenty of fluids, wearing light colored clothing and taking breaks in air conditioning will help people avoid heat-related illnesses.

(no link)
St. Louis Cardinals visit SLCH patients

Players Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso and their wives visited patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital to brighten spirits.

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Judy Martin

Washington University
School of Medicine
Media Relations



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Laura High

Barnes-Jewish Hospital



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