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News from the Department of Medicine

EDOR researcher Dr Lisa Te Morenga wins national award

Friday, 18 October 2019 4:05pm

EDOR researcher Dr Lisa Te Morenga wins the Royal Society Te Apārangi Hamilton Award, which was presented at the Research Honours Awards Aotearoa in Dunedin on the 17th October, 2019.

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Hear a recording of the Cost of Food panel discussion

Friday, 11 October 2019 1:42pm

The Cost of Food panel discussion, held at the Evidence to Everyday symposium on 20 September, 2019, was recorded by Radio NZ and is now available on their website.

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Social audit as a social accountability mechanism for strengthening governance and service delivery in Nepal

Friday, 11 October 2019 9:57am

Social audit is a mechanism used to hold frontline health service providers accountable. This study explored the role of social audit in facilitating direct accountability between service providers and community.

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Prof Jim Mann comments on controversial red and processed meat research

Wednesday, 2 October 2019 10:44am

Professor Jim Mann has commented on a series of reviews suggesting that there are very few health benefits to cutting your consumption of red and processed meat.

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From Evidence to Everyday: translating nutrition research for a healthy Āotearoa

Friday, 20 September 2019 1:24pm

"From Evidence to Everyday: Translating nutrition research for a healthy Aotearoa", a symposium organised by the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre, was held on Friday 20 September, 2019, at the Nordmeyer Lecture Theatre, University of Otago, Wellington.

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Director of The Dunedin Study recognised with Distinguished Research Medal

Friday, 13 September 2019 12:23pm

Having a clear goal to make people’s lives better has helped earn Professor Richie Poulton Otago's prestigious Distinguished Research Medal for 2019.

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Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori

Monday, 9 September 2019 12:02pm


I tērā wiki i whakanui mātou Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.

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Young people with chronic illness find health system doesn’t meet their needs – Otago study

Tuesday, 27 August 2019 8:55am

New Zealand’s adult-centred health system appears ill-equipped to meet the needs of chronically sick young people, a University of Otago study has found.

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Māori rates of subsequent injury disproportionately high

Friday, 26 July 2019 12:31pm

A ground-breaking University of Otago study has found Māori experience disproportionately higher rates of subsequent injuries within two years of their initial injury.

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National Bowel Screening age limit harms Māori - Dr Sue Crengle talks to the ODT

Wednesday, 17 July 2019 8:59am

National Bowel Screening age limit harms Māori - Dr Sue Crengle talks to the ODT

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EDOR researchers comment on link between mental health, diabetes and obesity

Wednesday, 17 July 2019 3:43pm

EDOR researchers comment on a mental health and life expectancy report published in The Lancet.

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Māori-led research at Otago awarded more then $3m in HRC funding

Thursday, 27 June 2019 1:49pm

Māori researchers from the University of Otago have been granted more than $3 million in funding from the Health Research Council (HRC) to tackle a wide range of projects ranging from water safety to disability support access for Māori - including our very own Dr Emma Wyeth.

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We hosted the wonderful Dr Donna Cormack for our Matariki seminar today

Monday, 24 June 2019 1:44pm

We were so privileged to host the fantastic Dr Donna Cormack last Monday who presented about data (in)justice and Māori data sovereignty in a datafied world.

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Infant sleep and nutrition studies attract HRC funding

Wednesday, 19 June 2019 3:04pm

Infant sleep and nutrition studies, co-led by EDOR Director Professor Taylor, have gained significant funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand

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EDOR celebrates two new Professors

Friday, 14 June 2019 2:50pm

Two new EDOR Professors have delivered their inaugural professorial lectures.

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Hidden cost of alcohol to workplaces estimated at $1.65 billion – Otago study

Friday, 7 June 2019 9:50am

Employees turning up to work hungover, or not turning up at all, cost New Zealand $1.65 billion per year, a University of Otago study has found.

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EDOR staff recognised at Health Research Excellence Awards

Thursday, 30 May 2019 10:03am

EDOR staff have featured at Health Research Excellence Awards.

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Health and the environment - how can we turn the tide?

Thursday, 23 May 2019 10:51am

EDOR co-director Kirsten Coppell is concerned about the effect of the environment on health, and has co-authored a report listing key policy recommendations to increase active transport in New Zealand.

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High-intensity exercise may restore heart function in people with type 2 diabetes

Thursday, 23 May 2019 4:43pm

University of Otago researchers have discovered that high-intensity exercise can reduce or reverse the loss in heart function caused by type 2 diabetes.

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Sir Eion Edgar walking the talk to raise funds for diabetes

Friday, 17 May 2019 11:59am

EDOR benefactor and advisory board chair, Sir Eion Edgar, is busy raising funds to support those with diabetes in New Zealand.

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Number of HIV cases continue to decline in New Zealand

Thursday, 16 May 2019 2:42pm

For the second year in a row there has been a reduction in the number of confirmed cases of HIV in New Zealand.

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Students present at Otago Medical School Research Society

Friday, 10 May 2019 10:52am

Joyce Guo and Noeline Venter were among 10 University of Otago students who were selected to present their research at the 248th scientific meeting of the Otago Medical School Research Society.

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Our two ARFs attend the Qualitative Methods Conference in Brisbane

Wednesday, 8 May 2019 2:14pm

Our two assistant research fellows Vicky Nelson and Georgia McCarty flew the ditch last week to go the the 17th Qualitative Methods Conference in Brisbane.

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EDOR Director Rachael Taylor gives her Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Thursday, 2 May 2019 9:42am

EDOR Director Professor Rachael Taylor delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture on the 30 April, 2019.

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2019 Departmental Awards

Friday, 5 April 2019 11:41am

We held our inaugural Annual Departmental Awards Dinner in February. At this event, seven members of staff were acknowledged for their contributions within the Department to improving and protecting public health, locally and globally, through excellence in teaching, research, or service.

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Watch presentations from the Focus on Fibre and Food Monitoring symposium

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 3:23pm

Watch the presentations from the Focus on Fibre and Food Monitoring symposium, held on 11-12 February, 2019, in Dunedin, NZ.

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Otago research shows alcohol consultation failing Māori communities

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 12:28pm

Local governments are failing to consult meaningfully with Māori when it comes to liquor licensing legislation, new research from the University of Otago has found.

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Vicky Nelson presented her research at the In-house Convention

Monday, 25 March 2019 9:14am

NTMHRU Assistant Research Fellow - Māori health, Ms Vicky Nelson (Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Ruanui), presented at the In-house Convention. Vicky presented on a research project that herself and Associate Professor Sue Crengle (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha) are conducting this year, titled 'Rangatahi Primary Mental Health - A Kaupapa Māori Approach to Identifying the Gaps and Needs' 

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International flavour to NZ whole grains in diabetes study

Thursday, 14 March 2019 11:22am

EDOR researchers Dr Andrew Reynolds and Professor Jim Mann are leading a study on whole grains and health in type 2 diabetes, assisted by visiting Swedish postgraduate student Sebastian Åberg.

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We hosted the fantastic Dr Rawiri Jansen today 

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 10:46am

We hosted the fantastic Dr Rawiri Jansen today who gave a talk to our PUBH304 tauira on the hauora kaupapa Waitangi Tribunal Claim.

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Seminar recording now available on the MOST strategy for running intervention studies

Wednesday, 6 March 2019 3:27pm

EDOR hosted Distinguished Professor Linda M. Collins from Pennsylvania State University, to give a seminar and run a workshop on the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), an alternative way of running interventions.

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Our Director attends the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Principal Investigators' Wānanga

Monday, 18 February 2019 10:40am

Last week, our director, Dr Emma Wyeth, was fortunate enough to attend the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Principal Investigators' Wānanga at the beautiful Rānana up the Whanganui River. 

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High intake of dietary fibre and whole grain foods reduces risk of non-communicable diseases

Friday, 11 January 2019 12:39pm

University of Otago researchers have found a link between higher intakes of dietary fibre and whole grain foods and a reduction in the risk of a wide range of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors.

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Study examines impact of alcohol policy change on hazardous drinking habits at Otago

Friday, 7 December 2018 11:41am

A study spanning ten years has found alcohol policy reform implemented by the University of Otago probably contributed to a change in the drinking culture of the student population.

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Samuel Carrington is underway with his MPH

Thursday, 6 December 2018 4:34pm

Samuel Carrington is currently underway with his masters project exploring Māori understandings of antimicrobial resistance using a One Health approach.

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Too many dementia patients prescribed potentially inappropriate drugs – Otago finds

Thursday, 29 November 2018 9:45am

Older adults diagnosed with dementia are frequently being prescribed potentially inappropriate medications, which leaves them at risk of delirium, worsening cognitive impairment, and increased mortality, a University of Otago study has found.

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Otago invention helps patients manage Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Friday, 23 November 2018 9:20am


As increasing numbers of New Zealanders are being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), University of Otago researchers have developed a smartphone application (app) proven to be as effective as clinical care in helping patients manage their disease.

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True burden of rheumatic fever in NZ currently underestimated, new research reveals

Thursday, 22 November 2018 5:05pm

The true burden of rheumatic fever in New Zealand may be underestimated because serology cut-off guidelines are too high resulting in undercounting about 16 cases annually, new collaborative research has found.

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Focus on Fibre and Food Monitoring symposium, Dunedin, 11-12 February, 2019

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 3:30pm

The Focus on Fibre and Food Monitoring symposium was held on 11-12 February, 2019, in Dunedin.

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It's World Diabetes Day, Wednesday 14 November

Wednesday, 14 November 2018 2:29pm

The Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre released an infographic for World Diabetes Day 2018

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Otago research highlights need for spirituality to be integrated into the health system

Wednesday, 14 November 2018 4:11pm

Spiritual care must be integrated into health system care plans, policies and training in order to reflect national guidelines and strategies more effectively, according to University of Otago researchers.

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Driving anxiety experienced by many older adults, new research reveals

Monday, 5 November 2018 9:15am

Driving anxiety is experienced by many older adults in New Zealand, especially among women and those aged over 70, recent collaborative research shows.

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Most Kiwis support some form of euthanasia or assisted dying, Otago review reveals

Thursday, 1 November 2018 9:21am

Most New Zealanders support some form of euthanasia or assisted dying, a review of 20 years’ research into Kiwis’ attitudes to euthanasia by University of Otago researchers reveals.

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He ora te whakapiri: Unleashing the potential of NZ life course research

Friday, 19 October 2018 12:25pm

Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Researchers have chaired sessions at He ora te whakapiri: Unleashing the potential of New Zealand life course research.

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Research reveals diagnosis delays and at risk populations for bowel cancer in NZ

Friday, 5 October 2018 12:44pm


There are often delays in diagnosis for New Zealanders with bowel cancer with people aged under 60, Māori and those with less formal education most at risk, new research reveals.

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No increased risk of lung infections among infants using popular anti-reflux medicines

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 10:16am

New University of Otago research shows infants using popular anti-reflux medicines like omeprazole are not at increased risk of pneumonia or other lower respiratory tract infections, contrary to findings from other international studies.

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Otago scientists secure almost $1.6 million for heart research

Monday, 17 September 2018 12:20pm

Otago scientists secure almost $1.6 million for heart research

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Serving sizes have increased in NZ fast food outlets

Friday, 14 September 2018 12:08pm

Professor Jim Mann, Co-Director of EDOR, has commented on a study showing that serving sizes have increased in New Zealand fast food outlets.

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Nutrition textbook receives international accolade

Thursday, 13 September 2018 9:53am

A nutrition textbook co-edited by EDOR Co-Director Professor Jim Mann, was highly commended in the recent British Medical Association medical book awards.

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Congratulations to Dr Emma Wyeth on her promotion

Thursday, 13 September 2018 9:38am

Congratulations to our Director Emma Wyeth who has been promoted to Senior Lecturer above the bar in Hauora Māori.

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Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit’s new space

Thursday, 13 September 2018 4:41pm

Earlier this week the Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit’s new space was officially opened.

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Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori!

Friday, 7 September 2018 11:56am

We are so excited that this week is te reo o te wiki (te reo Māori language week). The week runs from September 10th – 16th and we are all challenging each other and you to kōrero te reo Māori (speak te reo Māori) as much as possible not only this week but all year!

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Māori Injury and Disability Poster

Friday, 7 September 2018 11:57am

  A poster summarising the longitudinal studies of Māori Injury and Disability.

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Potential for less smoking with new tobacco retailer restrictions, Otago research shows

Thursday, 6 September 2018 4:02pm

Changing the way tobacco is sold is a crucial step in achieving the Government’s 2025 smokefree goal, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Tackling diet-related disease in New Zealand

Monday, 3 September 2018 9:54am

Unhealthy diet is the leading preventable risk for poor health in New Zealand. Diet-related diseases (and how we manage them) is becoming a pressing issue for the country.

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Brief sleep intervention works long-term to prevent child obesity – Otago discovers

Monday, 3 September 2018 9:39am

When it comes to obesity prevention, sleep is not usually something that springs to mind, but a University of Otago research team has found we should not underestimate its importance.

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Mongrel Mob open up to Otago researchers for the good of their health

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 10:02am

Studying the liver health of a high-risk, hard-to-reach gang population certainly came with challenges and a few surprises, a University of Otago academic says.

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Experts agree - benefits of folic acid fortification outweigh risks

Wednesday, 8 August 2018 9:04am

EDOR Co-director Professor Jim Mann has commented on a report that found that mandatory folic acid fortification is linked to lower rates of birth defects, and that taking folic acid supplements at the recommended doses in pregnancy has no adverse effects on pregnancy outcome or the child’s health.

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Otago researcher claims new study a step forward in fight to eliminate tuberculosis

Thursday, 2 August 2018 9:36am

The McAuley Professor of International Health at the University of Otago is labelling the findings of new international collaborative research a step forward in the fight to eliminate the world’s top infectious disease killer, tuberculosis.

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Otago researchers signal time for Government action on reducing alcohol-related harm

Friday, 27 July 2018 9:40am

University of Otago experts in addiction medicine and the health effects of alcohol are questioning what the barriers are to Government action on reducing alcohol-related harm and calling for change.

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Junk food is the norm at NZ sporting venues

Friday, 20 July 2018 9:45am

New research by EDOR member Louise Signal has found that two thirds of foods sold at New Zealand sporting venues are classed as junk food.

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Two million New Zealanders predicted to be obese by 2038

Thursday, 5 July 2018 12:06pm

Professor Jim Mann has commented on a University of Otago study on obesity in New Zealand, that predicts that two million Kiwis will be obese by 2038.

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DSM's palliative care education in the spotlight

Tuesday, 3 July 2018 2:48pm

Lis Latta

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EDOR Director Rachael Taylor comments on new UK strategies to prevent childhood obesity

Thursday, 28 June 2018 3:38pm

Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research (EDOR) Director, Professor Rachael Taylor, has commented on the new UK strategies for preventing childhood obesity.

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Funding success for EDOR researchers

Thursday, 21 June 2018 2:06pm

Several members of the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre have enjoyed recent funding success.

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Primary Care Exhibition

Thursday, 21 June 2018 11:46am

The Primary Care Exhibition was showcased at the Hocken Library this month focusing on "different areas such as health promotion, disease prevention, disgnosis, treatment, deinstitutionalisation - thinking about hospitals like Seacliff - mental health, community health and Māori health".

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Reduction in HIV diagnoses in New Zealand

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 10:03am

There has been a significant reduction in the number of people diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand over the past year.

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Fran Kewene joins the NTMHRU

Friday, 15 June 2018 11:48am

We are pleased to welcome Fran to the NTMHRU team as a Professional Practice Fellow.

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Expert Advisory Rōpū Hui

Monday, 11 June 2018 11:49am

The Expert Advisory Rōpū met for the first time today.

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Kids'Cam team wins award for innovative research paper

Tuesday, 5 June 2018 1:21pm

The Kids'Cam team has been featured in the latest issue of the Otago Magazine, and their seminal paper published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity last year has just been awarded best publication for 2017.

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PhD candidate receives award

Thursday, 31 May 2018 12:07pm

Sarah Donald has received a prize in the 2018 Dunedin School of Medicine postgraduate poster competition for a poster which outlines the process of generating a pregnancy cohort for medicine utilisation and safety studies in New Zealand.

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Otago University-led Citizens’ Jury highlights complexity around euthanasia debate

Thursday, 24 May 2018 10:59am

A University of Otago-led Citizens’ Jury on euthanasia could not reach agreement about whether it should be legalised, highlighting complexities around the debate.

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Toi Tū Te Whānau, Toi Tū Te Kāwai Whakapapa

Monday, 14 May 2018 11:58am

Emma Wyeth and Georgia McCarty recently attended the Toi Tū Te Whānau, Toi Tū Te Kāwai Whakapapa: A Workshop on Whānau and Whakapapa for Public Policy.

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Congratulations to Shawnee Brausch

Saturday, 12 May 2018 11:50am

Congratulations to Shawnee for graduating with a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health.

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Prescribing guidelines not always followed for patients on cholesterol-lowering drug

Friday, 4 May 2018 10:40am

New Zealand prescribers do not always follow guidelines when prescribing other medicines to patients taking simvastatin, according to University of Otago researchers from the Pharmacoepidemiology Research Network. 

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Carbohydrates in our diet - it's the quality that matters

Thursday, 3 May 2018 10:28am

EDOR researchers have two back-to-back letters published in The Lancet, commenting on the PURE study that was published in August 2017.  

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EDOR member Dr Reremoana Theodore awarded prestigious Māori fellowship

Tuesday, 1 May 2018 11:52am

EDOR member Dr Moana Theodore has been awarded a prestigious four-year fellowship aimed at providing better health and well-being for Māori.

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Older, injured workers lose up to one-third of income, Otago research reveals

Tuesday, 1 May 2018 9:21am

Injuries impact on the financial well-being of older workers with substantial lost earnings of between 20 and 30 per cent of their work income, new University of Otago research reveals.

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EDOR members speak at metabolic disease conference

Thursday, 5 April 2018 4:36pm

EDOR researchers speak at Tātai Oranga: Joining forces to tackle metabolic conditions, held at Iritekura Marae in Waipiro Bay and in Gisborne, 4-6 April 2018.

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Importance of physical activity in preschoolers highlighted by Otago researcher

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 12:47pm

The journey to obesity can start as young as age one so increased physical activity should be established and encouraged early, University of Otago researchers say.

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Prediabetes and primary care: making a difference

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 10:26am

EDOR researcher Dr Kirsten Coppell has been interviewed by NZ Doctor about her successful prediabetes intervention study in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.

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Lowering our sugar intake is likely to reduce both obesity and type 2 diabetes

Thursday, 15 March 2018 10:13pm

Professor Jim Mann comments on the close links between obesity and type 2 diabetes. If sugar is reduced, rates of both obesity and type 2 diabetes are likely to be reduced.

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View the talks from "The global effort to tackle obesity and diabetes" public lecture

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 1:16pm

"The global effort to tackle obesity and diabetes" public lecture presentations, held on Friday 23 February 2018, are now available to watch online.

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Otago researchers part of $18M project to reveal causes of fever in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia

Friday, 9 March 2018 11:05am

Otago researchers are helping lead a major international project to determine what the main causes of fever in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are and how they should be treated.

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‘Ubiquity’ of cancer highlighted by Cancer Research Unit’s new Co-Directors

Wednesday, 7 March 2018 9:41pm

The new Co-Directors of the Cancer Society Social & Behavioural Research Unit, Dr Richard Egan and Dr Louise Marsh, are keen to ensure they make a real difference to the wellbeing of New Zealanders through high-quality research.

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Teachers suffer post-traumatic stress following ‘quakes – Otago research highlights

Thursday, 1 March 2018 2:56pm

School teachers were among the majority of frontline workers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the Christchurch earthquakes, new University of Otago research shows.

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Switching to vaping not always straightforward: Otago research

Thursday, 8 February 2018 2:48pm

Smokers attempting to quit the habit by vaping or using e-cigarettes do not always find the process plain sailing, according to new University of Otago research published in the international journal, Tobacco Control.

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New University of Otago research on women involved in the ‘Unfortunate Experiment’

Thursday, 8 February 2018 10:38am

A final report on the unethical clinical study conducted by Dr Herbert Green at National Women’s Hospital in Auckland from the 1960s to the 1980s, known widely as the “Unfortunate Experiment”, has just been published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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Switching to vaping not always straightforward: Otago research

Thursday, 8 February 2018 11:42am

Smokers attempting to quit the habit by vaping or using e-cigarettes do not always find the process plain sailing, according to new University of Otago research published in the international journal, Tobacco Control.

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Otago study links childhood fitness to healthy lungs in adulthood

Thursday, 1 February 2018 2:49pm

Fit children whose fitness improves during childhood and adolescence have better lung function as young adults, according to a University of Otago-led study.

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NTMHRU welcomes new staff

Thursday, 1 February 2018 11:50am

We are pleased to welcome on board two new Assistant Research Fellows, Vicky Nelson and Georgia McCarty.

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"The global effort to tackle obesity and diabetes" public lecture, Friday 23 February

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 2:42pm

"The global effort to tackle obesity and diabetes" public lecture took place on Friday 23 February, 2018, 3.30pm, at the Dunedin public art gallery.

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Professor Tony Merriman gains a Fulbright Scholar Award

Thursday, 18 January 2018 2:35pm

EDOR researcher Professor Tony Merriman has received a Fulbright New Zealand Scholar Award to undertake research in the United States.

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Professor Jim Mann tells us why energy drinks are so bad

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 4:40pm

Professor Jim Mann talks with Mark Sainsbury about why energy drinks may be even worse than sugary drinks.

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EDOR researcher Louise Signal promoted to full professor

Thursday, 4 January 2018 3:42pm

Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre member Louise Signal has been promoted to full professor.

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Chronic lung disease treatment in New Zealand often not consistent with international guidelines

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:53am

University of Otago researchers have found that the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in New Zealand frequently does not conform to international guidelines.

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Guidelines needed around searching for patient information on the internet

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:36am

Medical professionals have a range of tools at their disposal to care for patients. New University of Otago research delves into the ethical dilemma of adding the internet to their choices.

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2017 Graduates' Oath Reading Ceremony

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 1:52pm

Otago Medical School graduates undertook their oath on 9 December 2017 as part of their graduation ceremonies.

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Have your say on diabetes and obesity research in NZ

Monday, 4 December 2017 3:29pm

The Healthier Lives National Science Challenge is asking for stakeholder input into its research priorities for the next five years.

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Do you know if there is added sugar in your food?

Friday, 1 December 2017 11:39am

Dr Lisa Te Morenga has commented on calls by Consumer NZ and the Dental Association for manufacturers to show the amount of added sugar in foods and drinks.