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News from the Department of Medicine

EDOR contributes to global cholesterol study in Nature

Wednesday, 3 June 2020 1:00pm

Professor Jim Mann, Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre Co-Director, and EDOR member Associate Professor Rachael McLean, have contributed to the largest ever study of global cholesterol levels, published in the prestigious journal Nature.

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HRC Emerging Researcher grants for EDOR members

Friday, 29 May 2020 10:51am

The HRC announced their 2020 Emerging Researcher grant recipients this week and EDOR members feature in two of the eight grants awarded to University of Otago applicants.

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Increase in HIV cases, but decline in numbers first diagnosed in New Zealand

Thursday, 28 May 2020 12:31pm

After two years of declining numbers of HIV cases in New Zealand, there was a slight increase in 2019, but many of these cases were first diagnosed overseas.

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Otago research shines spotlight on health woes of Mururoa veterans and their children

Friday, 22 May 2020 11:30am

Cancers are prevalent among Mururoa veterans who witnessed the French atmospheric nuclear explosions in 1973 while many of their children have fertility problems, new University of Otago research reveals.

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Whole grains and diabetes study features on Radio NZ

Thursday, 21 May 2020 3:34pm

Dr Andrew Reynolds was interviewed by Jesse Mulligan at Radio NZ about his study showing that unprocessed whole grains are more beneficial for adults with Type 2 diabetes.

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Smoking cannabis causes bronchitis and changes to lung function

Monday, 18 May 2020 10:05am

Cannabis is harmful to the lungs, but in a different way to tobacco, causing significant respiratory symptoms such as bronchitis with evidence to suggest it can result in destructive lung disease – sometimes referred to as ‘bong lung’ – in heavy cannabis users.

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The meeting of two pandemics: Kirsten Coppell talks diabetes and COVID-19

Thursday, 14 May 2020 1:02pm

Associate Professor Kirsten Coppell, EDOR researcher and public health physician, has co-authored a letter to the New Zealand Medical Journal on the meeting of two pandemics - COVID-19 and diabetes.

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Otago researchers fast-track app for bowel disease sufferers in new COVID-19 era

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 11:03am

The advent of COVID-19 has resulted in University of Otago researchers, in collaboration with others in New Zealand, fast-tracking development of a smartphone application (app) to help improve care for people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (also called inflammatory bowel disease or IBD), as fewer of them will be able to meet with specialists.

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Participate in the COVID-19 food survey

Thursday, 30 April 2020 10:25am

Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research member Dr Lisa Te Morenga, Victoria University of Wellington, is involved in a worldwide survey on how COVID-19 has changed the way we cook and eat.

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Sending children back to school: as safe as it’s ever been, doctors say

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 11:02am

With a lack of CoVID-19 circulating in our community, fewer other viruses and bacteria than usual, and good systems for detection and contact tracing in place, it is as safe as it has ever been for children to attend school.

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Large numbers of NZ military personnel suffer post-traumatic stress, Otago research reveals

Friday, 24 April 2020 12:15pm

The first wide-ranging survey of New Zealand military personnel shows many suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS) though greater length of service, psychological flexibility (resilience) and quality sleep may be protective factors.

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Potential food insecurity issues highlighted by COVID-19 shortages

Wednesday, 15 April 2020 2:32pm

Professor Jim Mann has highlighted an important aspect of food security in New Zealand, as revealed in the flour shortages reported during COVID-19.

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Can food or drink taxes protect our health?

Thursday, 19 March 2020 3:34pm

EDOR researchers have contributed to a review of food or beverage interventions involving taxes or subsidies, both in New Zealand and overseas.

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High fibre benefits those with diabetes or prediabetes

Thursday, 12 March 2020 12:12pm

EDOR researchers have found that found high-fibre diets are a key aspect of diabetes management.

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It's World Obesity Day - and sleep is on the menu!

Wednesday, 4 March 2020 12:00pm

World Obesity Day 2020 is today, Wednesday 4 March. The EDOR DREAM team is looking at a novel intervention approach for childhood obesity.

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Watch presentations from the Evidence to Everyday research symposium

Friday, 28 February 2020 11:49am

View recordings of the Evidence to Everyday research symposium presentations, held in Wellington on 20 September, 2019.

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EDOR researcher using Heart Foundation fellowship to improve health through diet

Wednesday, 19 February 2020 2:24pm

Dr Andrew Reynolds, an EDOR research fellow, has been granted a three-year fellowship from the NZ Heart Foundation.

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Register for the 2020 NZSSD annual scientific conference

Thursday, 13 February 2020 10:48am

The New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes (NZSSD) 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting will be held in Wellington 6-8 May.

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Associate Professor Kirsten Coppell speaks at the BEATS symposium 2020

Wednesday, 5 February 2020 10:59am

Associate Professor Kirsten Coppell spoke about the dietary patterns of teenagers and obesity-promoting food environments at the BEATS symposium 2020.

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Weight loss and health improvements with Mediterranean, fasting and paleo diets

Friday, 24 January 2020 10:46am

There were some weight loss and health benefits for overweight adults who followed the Mediterranean, Intermittent Fasting and Paleo diets, though adherence to the diets dropped off considerably during the one-year study, new University of Otago research shows.

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Dr Rachael McLean talks to The Listener about salt

Thursday, 23 January 2020 11:03am

EDOR researcher and public health physician, Dr Rachael McLean, discusses how we can reduce our salt intake in the latest edition of the NZ Listener.

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Climate-friendly food choices protect the planet, promote health, and reduce healthcare costs

Thursday, 23 January 2020 9:34am

Increased uptake of plant-based diets in New Zealand could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions while greatly improving population health and saving the healthcare system billions of dollars in the coming decades, according to a new University of Otago study.

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Otago researchers ponder selling tobacco only through liquor stores, petrol stations or pharmacies

Thursday, 9 January 2020 2:39pm

The sale of tobacco only through liquor stores, petrol stations or pharmacies would considerably reduce the overall availability of tobacco and assist the Government in achieving its 2025 smokefree goal, new University of Otago research shows.

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Tragedy led young Fijian doctor to change her country

Monday, 23 December 2019 4:02pm

Sometimes things happen that are so tragic, so traumatic, there is no way to forget them.

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New Professors for EDOR

Thursday, 12 December 2019 11:14am

Three EDOR researchers have been made Professor or Associate Professor in the recent University of Otago promotion round.

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Prescribers be aware of fatal risks of methadone and clozapine

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 11:26am

New Zealand prescribers should be aware of the high risk of death associated with two prescription medicines, methadone and clozapine, University of Otago researchers warn.

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Our Director Dr Emma Wyeth has been promoted to Associate Professor!

Monday, 9 December 2019 10:11am

We are super proud to announce that our Director Dr Emma Wyeth has been promoted to Associate Professor!

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Marsden Fund success for EDOR members

Friday, 6 December 2019 12:30pm

Several EDOR members have been successful in the gaining funding from the Royal Society Te Apārangi's Marsden fund in 2019.

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Fewer Kiwis will die of bowel cancer if new screening tool introduced, Otago research reveals

Thursday, 28 November 2019 11:15am

Introducing flexible sigmoidoscopy screening into the national bowel screening programme would significantly reduce both the incidence and mortality of bowel cancer in New Zealand, new University of Otago research reveals.

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BEATS Team recognised for promoting physical activity amongst teenagers

Friday, 22 November 2019 12:20pm

The Built Environment and Active Transport to School (BEATS) Research Team, including EDOR member Associate Professor Kirsten Coppell, has been awarded the University of Otago 2019 Research Group Award.

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See what's on for World Diabetes Awareness Month

Thursday, 14 November 2019 11:46am

World Diabetes Day is November 14 and this year is part of Diabetes Awareness month.

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New funding awarded to develop a sleep toolkit for tamariki and their whānau

Thursday, 7 November 2019 1:03pm

A new strategic research project led by EDOR Director Professor Rachael Taylor, with the aim of improving sleep for pepi and their whānau, has been awarded $1.7 million over three years from A Better Start National Science Challenge.

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Otago researchers recipients of inaugural $3m Marsden Fund Award

Tuesday, 5 November 2019 9:42am

University of Otago researchers are the recipients of an inaugural Marsden Fund Council Award worth $3 million to investigate genetic predisposition to metabolic diseases like diabetes and gout among Pacific people.

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Otago scientist wins award for stomach cancer research

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 1:42pm

A University of Otago researcher has won a fellowship to undertake cutting-edge research on stomach cancer survival, using technology not yet available in New Zealand.

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Diabetes-related admissions in two Southern hospitals costs $41m in one year

Friday, 25 October 2019 9:38am

The cost of diabetes-related hospital admissions to Dunedin and Southland Hospitals for the 2016/2017 financial year was $41 million, new University of Otago research reveals.

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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 12:26pm

"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 3:16pm

EDOR researchers Dr Andrew Reynolds and Professor Jim Mann are led 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.