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Dunedin School of Medicine news archive

Otago graduate influential in Africa

Thursday, 13 December 2018 9:05am

The first PhD student to graduate from the University of Otago’s Centre for International Health (CIH) has been named the most influential woman in the education and training sector of business and government in part of Africa.

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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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Otago researchers discover information about a gene that helps define us as humans

Thursday, 6 December 2018 9:11am

University of Otago researchers have discovered information about a gene that sets primates – great apes and humans – apart from other mammals, through the study of a rare developmental brain disorder.

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Māori health professional graduand numbers soar to new heights

Wednesday, 5 December 2018 9:08am

The number of University of Otago Māori health professional graduands has climbed to an historic high.

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Pain common and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand

Friday, 30 November 2018 9:19am


Pain is an extremely common condition and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand, University of Otago researchers say.

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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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Otago health researchers share more than $3.5m in Career Development Awards

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 9:19am

A University of Otago Christchurch engineer is developing  a ‘lego’ system to 3D-bioprint bone; a solution that could one day replace the billions-of-dollars-worth of ceramic and titanium implants required by New Zealand patients annually.

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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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Boost in training health professionals rurally under ‘virtual’ school proposal

Friday, 9 November 2018 4:14pm

The National Interprofessional School of Rural Health that has been proposed recently is not a separate education provider, but rather an “enabling body” that would lever off the expertise of the existing tertiary institutions to undertake more teaching and research in rural communities, working in partnership with local health services.

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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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Cutting societal alcohol use may prevent alcohol disorders developing – Otago research reveals

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 11:14am

Society must take collective responsibility to reduce the harm caused by alcohol use disorders, a University of Otago academic says.

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Study investigates link between loneliness and age in elderly New Zealanders

Monday, 29 October 2018 11:35am

Loneliness is associated with reduced quality of life and morbidity and mortality and typically worsens with aging. Loneliness may be considered a public health hazard because of its association with a wide range of conditions, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer disease, depression and insomnia.

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University of Otago to develop Education Centre at Southland Hospital

Friday, 5 October 2018 4:34pm

The University of Otago is developing a new $1.5 million education and research centre at its Southland campus in Invercargill, in partnership with the Southern District Health Board.

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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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New admissions test announced for future healthcare students

Monday, 24 September 2018 3:25pm

A group of leading universities in Australia and New Zealand, including the Universities of Otago and Auckland, are embarking on an exciting new collaboration with similar universities in the United Kingdom. 

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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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Otago scientists awarded major funding for innovative research

Thursday, 13 September 2018 2:48pm

University of Otago research leader Professor Richard Blaikie has received almost $1 million in Government funding to develop a cost-effective solution for large-scale production of hydrogen gas, a potential source of energy as an alternative to fossil fuel.

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Otago researchers find answers as to why some people are at risk of gout

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:33am

University of Otago researchers have helped characterise a genetic variant that enables new understanding of why some people are at risk of gout, a painful and debilitating arthritic disease.

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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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Otago demonstrates its commitment to rural health with new ‘virtual campus’

Tuesday, 7 August 2018 11:32am

The University of Otago has reiterated its commitment to training and education in rural health with the establishment of a new Section of Rural Health, believed to be the first dedicated rural health unit currently operating within a New Zealand tertiary institution.

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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 researcher secures funding for therapy to help prevent disorders in preterm babies

Wednesday, 1 August 2018 10:09am

A University of Otago researcher has received funding from the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand to investigate a new therapy which could potentially prevent disorders developing in children born prematurely.

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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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Funding for Otago breast cancer research which aims to halt cancer spread

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 9:33am

A University of Otago researcher has been awarded $133,263 to investigate opportunities to halt the spread of cancer in women suffering breast cancer, thereby improving patient survival.

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Otago research reveals alarming rise of obesity in New Zealand

Thursday, 5 July 2018 8:38am

The Body Mass Index (BMI) of New Zealanders is continuing to rise and on current trends, two million New Zealanders will be considered clinically obese by 2038 up from 1.1 million in 2015, new University of Otago research reveals.

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DSM's palliative care education in the spotlight

Tuesday, 3 July 2018 2:48pm

Lis Latta

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Otago scientists make breakthrough in childhood kidney cancer

Tuesday, 3 July 2018 7:44am

A world-first discovery by University of Otago scientists may change the way children suffering from a rare form of kidney cancer are treated.

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Otago researchers’ discovery unlocks secrets behind cancer drug resistance

Friday, 29 June 2018 2:15pm

University of Otago research provides insights into an underlying mechanism that could explain why new cancer therapies to help treat metastatic melanoma do not always work on patients, paving the way for predicting which patients will benefit from certain drugs.

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Otago researchers help find answers to growing typhoid problem in the Pacific

Tuesday, 26 June 2018 9:45am

University of Otago researchers have been key partners in a study which has found poor sanitation facilities appear to be a major source of Salmonella Typhi, the cause of typhoid fever, in Fiji.

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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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$4.4 million awarded to DSM researchers in HRC funding

Monday, 18 June 2018 1:21pm

Dunedin School of Medicine warmly congratulates our outstanding researchers on their HRC funding success

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Almost $19 million awarded to Otago researchers in Health Research Council funding

Monday, 18 June 2018 10:21am

A new study investigating for the first time the health of occupants of leaky homes in New Zealand is one of many University of Otago-led projects being funded this year by the Health Research Council to the tune of almost $19 million.

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Unit to provide statistical support to staff, students

Tuesday, 5 June 2018 1:27pm

No statistical survey will ever be perfect, the director of the University of Otago’s biostatistics unit, Robin Turner, says.

However, health surveys carried out by Otago staff and students will hopefully be as close to perfect as they can thanks to the work of the biostatistics unit.

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Father and son celebrate joint success

Friday, 1 June 2018 10:54am

Greymouth GP Greville Wood and his son shared their graduation ceremonies from Otago University last weekend

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Researchers and clinicians honoured in Health Research Excellence Awards

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 8:03am

A novel idea by Dunedin Hospital clinicians to use naturalistic light to improve patients’ sleep quality, recovery and well-being received a $100,000 grant at this evening’s Health Research Excellence Awards.

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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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Pelvic pain a major issue for women nearing mid-life, Otago research reveals

Tuesday, 22 May 2018 10:12am

Many women nearing mid-life suffer some form of pelvic pain like period pain, or pain with sex however, pregnancy and childbirth appears to offer some protection, latest findings from the University of Otago's Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study reveal.

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University of Otago welcomes selection of inner-city site for new Dunedin Hospital

Friday, 4 May 2018 1:30pm

The University of Otago is pleased Cabinet has approved an inner-city Dunedin location with close proximity to the University precinct on which to build the new Dunedin Hospital.

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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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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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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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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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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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Otago research provides more incentives for desk-dwellers to get up and move

Wednesday, 7 February 2018 9:39am

Taking regular activity breaks while sitting for long periods does not increase your appetite, University of Otago academics have discovered.

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First human trial of potentially game-changing diabetes treatment set to commence

Wednesday, 7 February 2018 2:17pm

University of Otago researchers are ready to take a significant step in the development of a new natural product that could potentially prevent diabetes.

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Surgeons look to do the right thing by their patients

Friday, 2 February 2018 2:03pm

New Zealand surgeons are often prepared to treat an abnormality discovered during an elective surgical procedure in the absence of patient consent, especially if the patient’s health is threatened and the risk of the additional procedure is low.

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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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Mind the gap – public and expert views on cancer risk

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 1:30pm

There are substantial gaps between expert recommendations and public knowledge about risk factors for cancer, though these gaps are closing for some cancer types, according to new University of Otago research.

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Otago reveals concerning prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Southern New Zealand women

Monday, 22 January 2018 12:07pm

New Zealand women and their babies are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency and current health guidelines fall short of curbing this detrimental trend, new University of Otago research shows.

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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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Otago survey shows care needed at Christmas and social functions

Tuesday, 5 December 2017 10:39am

A University of Otago survey of 1000 employers and employees in New Zealand has found that many things can go wrong at work social events when alcohol is involved.

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Otago research aims to fill gap in views on assisted dying

Wednesday, 8 November 2017 2:24pm

A researcher at the University of Otago is hoping to ascertain, for the first time, the collective views about assisted dying from people who are terminally ill and nearing the end of their lives.

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Dean's Bequest recipients 2018

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 3:22pm

DSM warmly congratulates recipients of Dean's Bequest Round 2018

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Otago health researchers gain career development awards

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 11:53am

Four up–and–coming University of Otago researchers have each been awarded around $500,000 from the Health Research Council (HRC) to pursue world-class projects aimed at improving New Zealander’s health and wellbeing and contributing to international progress in these areas.

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Osteoarthritis no knees-up for many NZers – Otago research

Wednesday, 25 October 2017 4:14pm

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) causes adult New Zealanders to lose a total of 467,240 quality-adjusted years of life (QALY) across their lifetimes, new University of Otago research shows. One QALY equates to one year in perfect health.

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Dunedin School of Medicine Teaching Awards 2017

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 2:07pm

Dunedin School of Medicine warmly congratulates recipients of the 2017 Teaching Awards

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Shoddy sunbeds on the second-hand market in New Zealand: Otago findings

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 10:03am

New Zealand regulations around commercial sunbeds have been tightened in recent years, but they can be purchased on TradeMe where no regulations apply at all, according on to ongoing University of Otago research.

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Canterbury quake damage increased risk of cardiovascular disease

Friday, 8 September 2017 3:32pm

A Healthier Lives National Science Challenge study using New Zealand linked datasets  reveals the impact of residential housing damage from the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes on hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease.

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Positive outlook for couples with fertility difficulties

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 11:01am

Young couples who fear they are infertile may just need more time rather than costly treatments, University of Otago research shows.

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Legendary rural GP remembered at RNZCGP conference

Wednesday, 2 August 2017 9:45am

Dr Garry Nixon, Director of the Rural Postgraduate Programme awarded the coveted Eric Elder Memorial Medal

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No evidence higher doses of cholesterol-lowering drug increase risk of acute kidney damage

Monday, 31 July 2017 3:37pm

New Zealanders taking a higher dose of simvastatin, one of the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, do not appear to have a higher risk of acute kidney damage than those taking a lower dose, according to University of Otago researchers from the Pharmacoepidemiology Research Network.

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Youth more likely to discourage than promote smoking among peers

Friday, 28 July 2017 12:18pm

Young people more often discourage smoking among their peers than encourage it, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Modified baby-led weaning shows benefits for infants – Otago research

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 12:11pm

Babies who feed themselves as soon as they have started eating solids appear to be less fussy eaters, new University of Otago research has found.

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Health Research Excellence Awards Recipients

Monday, 3 July 2017 10:29am

The Dunedin School of Medicine and Southern DHB warmly congratulate recipients of the Health Research Excellence Awards

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Significant HRC funding boost for Dunedin School of Medicine

Monday, 19 June 2017 1:29pm

The Dunedin School of Medicine warmly congratulates researchers who have been awarded $4.25M in HRC funding.

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Researchers funded to investigate possible adverse effect of a common lung disease treatment

Thursday, 15 June 2017 9:23am

The University of Otago’s Dr Lianne Parkin and colleagues will receive a Health Research Council grant to investigate whether particular drugs used to treat a common lung disease put people at greater risk of heart attacks.

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Being overweight or obese in childhood closely linked to heart health risk in middle age: Otago research

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 8:47am

Being overweight or obese from as early as three years of age is associated with measures of cardiovascular risk in early midlife, according to new findings from the world-renowned Dunedin Study.

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Experts call for urgent changes to tobacco sales

Friday, 2 June 2017 4:48pm

Dramatically changing the way tobacco is sold will be a crucial step in achieving the Government’s 2025 smokefree goal, according to new University of Otago research that examined the views of smokefree experts throughout New Zealand.

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HIV diagnoses in New Zealand in 2016 highest ever

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 9:28am

Figures released today by the AIDS Epidemiology Group at the University of Otago show that in 2016, 244 people were diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand – the highest number ever diagnosed in any one year since monitoring of the epidemic began in 1985.

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Chlamydia more common in New Zealand than thought

Tuesday, 30 May 2017 10:46am

One in three New Zealand women have had the sexually transmitted infection (STI) chlamydia by the age of 38 as have one in five men, based on estimates from a new study.

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Off-label prescription of proton pump inhibitors to New Zealand infants is common

Thursday, 4 May 2017 12:09pm

Off-label use of proton pump inhibitors is common among New Zealand infants, according to new University of Otago research.

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Injured Māori face higher rates of long-term disability

Tuesday, 4 April 2017 2:36pm

Māori experience considerable longer-term disability after injury, new University of Otago analysis of patient-reported and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) data shows.

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Major support for Otago health research provided through latest lottery grants

Thursday, 9 March 2017 1:57pm

University of Otago researchers have gained more than $2.6m in funding from the Lottery Grants Board to support studies aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

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Otago research suggests child obesity can be tackled by simple sleep interventions

Tuesday, 7 March 2017 12:34pm

Families who receive brief interventions about how to improve their children’s sleep have infants who are much less likely to be overweight, a University of Otago study has found.

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Specific immune cells predict bowel cancer outcomes

Monday, 6 March 2017 12:37pm

A pilot study by University of Otago researchers suggests that people with colorectal cancer that have a certain type of immune cell in their tumour may have increased survival rates.

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Flexible sigmoidoscopy test just once greatly reduces life–time risk of bowel cancer

Friday, 3 March 2017 3:14pm

A world expert in cancer screening based at the University of Otago says new evidence from the United Kingdom strongly supports the introduction of flexible sigmoidoscopy screening for bowel cancer in New Zealand rather than the currently planned screening approach.

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Otago researchers receive new joint pharmaceuticals research funding

Thursday, 2 March 2017 4:32pm

Researchers from University of Otago are among the first recipients of two new grants from PHARMAC and the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC).

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Young nation’s leader to discuss public health initiatives with his former University

Monday, 27 February 2017 4:44pm

The Timor-Leste Prime Minister, who is a University of Otago alumnus, will visit the campus this week to explore possible collaborative projects.

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Study finds babies are relatively safe in Wahakura, woven flax bassinets

Monday, 9 January 2017 4:19pm

Infants sleeping in wahakura (flax bassinets) are relatively safe when compared with bassinets, a joint study between the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic has found.

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Epigenetic changes promoting cancer metastasis identified: Otago research

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 12:25pm

Latest University of Otago research is shedding new light on why and how cancer cells spread from primary tumours to other parts of the body. This phenomenon – known as metastasis – causes about 90 per cent of all cancer deaths.

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Mystery of Southland's high bowel cancer rates may be solved

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:50am

Professor Brian Cox receives funding to investigate Southland's high rates of bowel cancer

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Rachael Taylor promoted to full professor

Thursday, 15 December 2016 10:30am

The Dunedin School of Medicine warmly congratulates Rachael Taylor, the Department of Medicine's Deputy Head of Department, on her promotion to full professor

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Boxing: what lies beneath

Monday, 12 December 2016 2:27pm

Dr Jane Millichamp from the Dunedin School of Medicine discusses the dangers of repeated injuries to the brain

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Brian Cox: a cancer beater – and we're not using it

Friday, 9 December 2016 12:28pm

A 20-minute procedure called flexible sigmoidoscopy can reduce the subsequent risk of bowel cancer by 43 per cent.

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Māori medical student graduates create history

Wednesday, 7 December 2016 10:56am

The largest number of Māori medical students in New Zealand’s history will graduate from the University of Otago on Saturday 10 December.

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New Zealanders need high quality cancer information

Friday, 2 December 2016 3:24pm

There is considerable demand for cancer information resources in New Zealand, with a third of women and a quarter of men deliberately searching for these over the past year, according to a new University of Otago study.

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NZ banning sunbeds will have little impact on jobs

Friday, 2 December 2016 3:18pm

Banning sunbed services in New Zealand would help reduce skin cancer rates and only have a minimal impact on businesses and jobs, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Triple Marsden success for DSM researchers

Tuesday, 8 November 2016 12:15pm

Dunedin School of Medicine researchers have been awarded nearly $2.5 million in Marsden Fund grants.

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Otago academic honoured by NZ AIDS Foundation

Monday, 7 November 2016 4:10pm

An Otago academic was one of five people to be recognised by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) during the weekend, receiving honorary Life Membership – the highest honour the organisation bestows.

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Otago researchers probe HPV’s manipulation of immune system

Friday, 7 October 2016 9:55am

University of Otago researchers have gained fresh insights into how one of the main viruses that cause cervical cancer evades its hosts’ immune systems.

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Disparities in insulin pump use by New Zealanders with type 1 diabetes: Otago research

Friday, 23 September 2016 11:32am

There are significant demographic and regional disparities in the use of insulin pumps in New Zealand, according to new University of Otago research.

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Study reveals joint replacement surgery inequities

Friday, 23 September 2016 10:32am

The provision of publicly-funded hip and knee total joint replacement (TJR) procedures varies between District Health Boards (DHBs) and national rates have not increased since 2007, new University of Otago research has found.

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Otago scientists win national medals

Friday, 9 September 2016 12:02pm

Two current and one former University of Otago staff members received medals at the New Zealand Association of Scientists Awards Night, which recognises outstanding contributions by members of the country's science community.

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Vaccine complacency alert

Monday, 29 August 2016 11:11am

Despite major achievements arising from the past use of vaccines, including the eradication of smallpox, there is no room for complacency over the continuing need to vaccinate.

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Study suggests NZ children’s family lives often complex and fluid

Monday, 29 August 2016 10:38am

Conventional notions of family life that underpin New Zealand’s social policies do not match the reality of many young New Zealanders’ lives, new University of Otago research suggests.

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CVD-targeted screening for the 'silent killer' AAA

Friday, 26 August 2016 3:04pm

Targeted screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) based on patients' cardiovascular health shows promise for improving detection and treatment of this potentially deadly condition, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Otago rugby team assisting with ground-breaking concussion research

Thursday, 25 August 2016 8:48am

The University of Otago is conducting ground-breaking research in to the forces exerted on heads of the Otago rugby players as they compete during the Mitre 10 Cup on Thursday, 25 August. The University researchers are testing whether neck strength is a crucial factor in preventing concussion in the sport.

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Many pregnant NZ women are in the dark about healthy weight gain in pregnancy

Friday, 5 August 2016 4:34pm

A large proportion of pregnant New Zealand women are at higher risk of poor health outcomes because they don’t know how much weight they should be putting on during pregnancy, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Monitoring for Congenital Zika Syndrome to start in New Zealand

Friday, 29 July 2016 9:25am

From August 2016, paediatricians are being asked to report all cases of infants and children less than six months of age with microcephaly or other brain abnormalities, whose mother, or her partner, has been in a country with active Zika virus transmission during (or just before) her pregnancy.

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Otago global health researchers to tackle fevers in Asia

Monday, 11 July 2016 9:08am

A coalition of experts on tropical infectious diseases led by the University of Otago’s Professor John Crump, Co-Director of the Centre for International Health, has secured around NZD $450,000 to study causes of fever and how patients with fever are managed in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).

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Otago health researchers honoured by HRC

Thursday, 9 June 2016 9:12am

A world-renowned New Zealand longitudinal study researcher; a molecular biology pioneer and mentor; and two talented up-and-coming researchers from the University of Otago have received Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) awards for an outstanding contribution to health research excellence, leadership, and impact last evening.

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Garry Nixon rewarded for Dunstan Hospital, rural health work

Monday, 6 June 2016 4:30pm

Dr Garry Nixon has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health in the Queen's Birthday Honours List

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Māori health expert tops list

Monday, 6 June 2016 11:36am

Professor John Broughton has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Māori health, theatre, and the community in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

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High level of HIV diagnoses in New Zealand persists in 2015

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 9:23am

224 people were diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand in 2015 — a similarly high figure to last year — according to data released today by the AIDS Epidemiology Group based at the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago.

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Otago studies supported by Health Research Council

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 8:58pm

Health Research Council ‘Emerging Researcher First Grants’ have been won by two up-and-coming University of Otago, Christchurch researchers.

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Sun protection poor for NZ secondary school students: Otago research

Thursday, 31 March 2016 9:25am

A University of Otago study that involved unobtrusively observing the sun-protective practices of students and staff at the sports days of 10 Dunedin secondary schools last summer has found them sorely lacking.

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Medical centre in Michigan offers exercise program developed at Dunedin School of Medicine

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 10:42am

Thirty people improved their health and well-being this past year by participating in Otago, a simple, individually tailored, home-based exercise program to improve strength and balance that was offered by Cuyuna Regional Medical Centre (CRMC) in Crosby [Michigan].

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Caution urged over planned introduction of new cervical screening test

Friday, 11 March 2016 9:10am

The Minister of Health’s announcement of the introduction within two years of a new test for cervical cancer to replace the current screening method poses a risk to “our well-established, high-quality” screening programme, say leading New Zealand experts and researchers in the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) this week.

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Vaccine cuts rate of major disease in African children in half

Monday, 7 March 2016 12:20pm

A vaccine against pneumococcal disease, which is a major killer of children in Africa, has cut the disease rate by more than half, new research has found.

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New Zealand children’s cycle safety scrutinised

Thursday, 25 February 2016 11:11am

A new University of Otago study of 8–12-year-old New Zealand children’s bicycle safety has found that many children aged under 11 are unable to safely complete a practical cycling skills assessment.

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Sigmoidoscopy bowel-screening method urged for New Zealand

Friday, 19 February 2016 12:29pm

An effective national bowel screening programme involving a single test, a sigmoidoscopy, could be introduced in New Zealand within 12 months.

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Otago and Queen’s University to collaborate on veterans’ health research

Thursday, 17 December 2015 12:20pm

The University of Otago is joining forces with Queen’s University in Canada to collaborate in research aimed at enhancing veterans’ health.

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NZ Vietnam War vets’ health scrutinised

Thursday, 10 December 2015 12:08pm

New Zealand’s Vietnam War veterans are more likely to suffer chronic renal failure (CRF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than their non-serving peers, according to new University of Otago research.

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Otago Pacific health researchers scoop HRC Career Development Awards

Tuesday, 8 December 2015 12:18pm

Twenty of the 36 budding Pacific health researchers funded in the Health Research Council’s (HRC) latest Pacific Career Development Awards programme are based at the University of Otago.

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HRC Career Development Awards announced

Tuesday, 8 December 2015 12:22pm

A University of Otago brain cancer researcher has gained a prestigious Sir Charles Hercus fellowship in the Health Research Council’s (HRC) latest Career Development Awards.

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New Healthier Lives Challenge takes aim at NZ’s major killers

Friday, 4 December 2015 11:31am

Innovative research aimed at significantly reducing the death and disease burden of some of New Zealand’s leading health problems will be pursued through the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge launched by the Hon Steven Joyce at Ōtākou Marae on the Otago Peninsula today.

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Infertility a common problem for Otago-Southland women

Friday, 20 November 2015 10:23am

Infertility is common amongst women aged 25–50 years in the south of New Zealand and significant health resources go towards helping them become mothers, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Zebrafish study sheds new light on human heart defects

Friday, 16 October 2015 9:38am

University of Otago researchers working with zebrafish have published a study providing new insights into the causes of the congenital heart defects associated with a rare developmental disorder.

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Salmonella unmasked as major killer of young children in Africa

Thursday, 8 October 2015 5:01pm

Invasive Salmonella infections in sub-Saharan Africa are a major cause of child illness and deaths, a new body of research into this usually overlooked infectious disease has revealed.

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Otago researchers evaluate The Salvation Army’s Bridge Programme

Friday, 25 September 2015 12:34pm

A twelve-month University of Otago evaluation study of people being treated for alcohol and drug dependency at The Salvation Army Bridge Treatment Programme reports that client recovery outcomes match leading treatment programmes internationally.

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Otago health researchers awarded prestigious fellowships

Thursday, 17 September 2015 9:43am

Two University of Otago health sciences researchers have gained prestigious Royal Society of New Zealand fellowships, it was announced today.

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Otago study shows clear link to worse learning outcomes in child snorers

Monday, 7 September 2015 4:04pm

A comprehensive University of Otago-led study of data from 12 countries has found that children with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), including snoring, are clearly associated with poorer academic performance.

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HPV infection of placentas linked to pregnancy complications

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 10:24am

In a landmark study, University of Otago researchers have found that human papilloma virus (HPV) can infect the placenta and is linked to several pregnancy complications, including the potentially fatal disorder pre-eclampsia.

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Alcohol and adverse sexual health outcomes tracked into late thirties

Thursday, 13 August 2015 1:37pm

Mixing alcohol and sex then regretting the consequences sounds like young people’s behaviour. However, a new study from the University of Otago shows that drinking alcohol before sex is still common as people approach middle age, and it still has an impact on their health and wellbeing.

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Young social smokers more likely to become adult daily smokers

Thursday, 6 August 2015 1:59pm

Young people who have a cigarette occasionally—even just at weekends— have almost four times the odds of becoming a daily smoker by their late 30s compared to their non-smoking peers, according to new University of Otago research.

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Time-discounts on restricted driver licences linked to later traffic offending

Tuesday, 4 August 2015 3:39pm

Young New Zealand drivers who gain a time discount on their restricted licences for taking a defensive driving course (DDC) are more likely to be caught committing traffic offences once they are fully licensed, according to new University of Otago research.

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Study of tobacco company RRPs reveals tax increases applied unequally

Monday, 6 July 2015 2:37pm

New Zealand’s largest tobacco company is not keeping the recommended retail pricing for its leading budget brand in line with tobacco excise tax increases, according to a new University of Otago study.

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Long-acting reversible contraceptives for adolescents advocated

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 2:38pm

Senior lecturers in bioethics, and obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Otago have called for a free, universal LARC (long-acting reversible contraceptive) programme to be made available to teens before they become sexually active.

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NZ children still suffer rickets from lack of Vitamin D

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 9:14am

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation.

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Smoking cannabis linked to respiratory problems: Otago research

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 2:27pm

People who smoke cannabis as little as once a week are more likely to suffer respiratory symptoms such as morning cough, bringing up phlegm, and wheezing, according to University of Otago research.

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Endemic zoonoses in the tropics overlooked

Monday, 11 May 2015 5:25pm

Zoonoses - infectious diseases that can be passed between animals and humans - can have a substantial effect on both human and animal health, and yet the health burden due to these conditions in the tropics is often overlooked

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Otago Professor elected to International Society of Nephrology

Thursday, 7 May 2015 1:49pm

Otago’s Professor Rob Walker hopes his new position on the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) Council will give him the opportunity to support programmes in the Pacific Islands where up to half of the population of some countries have kidney disease.

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Rejecting Vitamin K at birth predicts child vaccination refusal

Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:54am

New Zealand parents who turn down vitamin K for their newborns are more than 14 times more likely to not get their children immunised, a new University of Otago study has found.

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Otago scientist gains grant for innovative gout research

Monday, 13 April 2015 7:57am

A University of Otago pathology researcher has gained a Health Research Council Explorer Grant to identify new drug targets to combat gout, a severely painful and debilitating condition caused by high blood levels of uric acid.

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Lecturer honoured at the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network annual conference

Friday, 27 March 2015 4:15pm

Dr Katharina Blattner, Senior Lecturer in the Dean's Department, Dunedin School of Medicine has been awarded the 2015 Peter Snow Memorial Award.

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Edible gardens in New Zealand schools providing food for thought

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 8:50am

Edible gardens are taking off in New Zealand primary and secondary schools, presenting important new opportunities to promote fruit and vegetable consumption, new University of Otago research has found.

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Rural patients in the South receive fewer CT scans

Monday, 9 March 2015 12:08pm

Rural patients in southern New Zealand are much less likely to receive computed tomography (CT) scans than their city-dwelling counterparts, according to University of Otago research that is the first to compare such scanning rates.

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Otago receives grant to track true toll of neglected deadly disease

Friday, 6 March 2015 1:25pm

The University of Otago announced today that it has received around NZD$320,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to coordinate efforts in determining the disease burden of typhoidal and non-typhoidal Salmonella disease, which are major causes of child death in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Waiting to start a family could be more problematic than thought: Otago study

Monday, 23 February 2015 9:16am

More than a quarter of women and a fifth of men experience fertility difficulties by their late thirties – figures which are considerably higher than traditionally reported, newly published information from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study shows.

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Smokefree tertiary institutions point the way

Tuesday, 17 February 2015 10:39am

The progress public tertiary education institutions (TEIs) have made towards becoming completely smokefree should encourage other New Zealand workplaces and institutions to follow suit, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Clinical research scholarship awarded

Thursday, 4 December 2014 2:24pm

Dr Anel Reyneke awarded the 2015 Dunedin School of Medicine Clinical Research Scholarship

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Health issues highlighted in Child Poverty Monitor

Tuesday, 2 December 2014 8:28am

Although the just released second annual Child Poverty Monitor has revealed a small decrease in the number of New Zealand children living in income poverty, researchers involved in its preparation say there is still much to address in terms of health impacts.

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Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 10:00am

A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s health status, too, according to latest research out of the University of Otago.

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Conference explores integrated ‘One Health’ approach to infectious diseases

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 2:58pm

Infectious diseases and other health concerns arising at the interface between people, animals, and the environment, are the focus of the 7th annual conference of the Otago International Health Research Network (OIHRN) that begins tomorrow.

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Otago commentary in The Lancet warns saturated fat is still the enemy

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 2:18pm

A group of University of Otago researchers is warning that the promotion of low carb/high fat diets risks harming public health.

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Prestigious Rutherford Fellowships won by Otago researchers

Wednesday, 1 October 2014 10:49am

Two talented early to mid-career scientists will return to the University of Otago after gaining highly sought-after Rutherford Discovery Fellowships, which are valued at up to $800,000 each over five years.

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Cannabis smoking may increase risk of lung cancer

Friday, 19 September 2014 12:57pm

University of Otago researchers have contributed to evidence that cannabis smoking may increase the risk of lung cancer in heavy users.

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TransTasman collaboration leads to new rotavirus vaccine

Thursday, 4 September 2014 11:15am

A new rotavirus vaccine that has the potential to save over half a million lives worldwide each year has reached a pivotal milestone after clinical trials results found the vaccine provided a strong immune response in over 90 per cent of babies that received a course of the vaccine.

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Tobacco display bans protect youth and quitters: Otago research

Tuesday, 2 September 2014 12:39pm

Ending the display and promotion of cigarettes and tobacco in retail shops helps prevent young people taking up smoking and keeps quitters on track, according to new University of Otago research.

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Hand sanitiser use doesn't prevent school absences

Monday, 18 August 2014 11:36am

A randomised controlled trial conducted by staff at the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine failed to show any effect of hand sanitiser use on school sick days.

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Harkness Fellowship applications now open

Friday, 15 August 2014 9:38am

Promising mid-career professionals are invited to apply for an opportunity to spend up to 12 months in the United States as a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice.

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Video learning tool wins award

Monday, 28 July 2014 12:17pm

An online video-based system that allows students and tutors to separately critique a patient interview won the second annual CALT awards held recently.

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NZ schoolchildren not disadvantaged by part-time work: Otago research

Thursday, 24 July 2014 4:19pm

Schoolchildren who combine schoolwork with a part-time job do not appear to suffer from any long-term disadvantage, University of Otago research suggests.

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UK primary care expert takes up Elaine Gurr Chair in General Practice

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 10:00am

A leading UK academic general practitioner, Professor Tim Stokes, has this month taken up the Elaine Gurr Chair of General Practice at the University of Otago’s Dunedin School of Medicine.

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Prestigious award for rising Otago researchers

Friday, 4 July 2014 10:25am

University of Otago’s Carl Smith Medal and Rowheath Trust Award have been awarded this year to two early career researchers who have already made important international contributions to their disciplines.

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Study analyses NZ newspapers’ coverage of tobacco control issues

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 9:16am

University of Otago researchers’ analysis of 12 months of coverage of tobacco-control issues in New Zealand newspapers has found that these media outlets use a positive tone when covering actions to reduce smoking.

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Otago healthcare systems expert awarded UK visiting professorship

Friday, 27 June 2014 11:28am

Robin Gauld, Professor of Health Policy and director of the Centre for Health Systems at the University of Otago, has been named the 2014 NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professor.

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Otago researcher in top one percent most-cited in world

Friday, 20 June 2014 3:52pm

A University of Otago researcher, along with only three other New Zealand scientists, has been included in a new list of the top 1% most-cited researchers in science around the globe.

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Reducing the alcohol minimum purchasing age increased assaults of young males

Thursday, 19 June 2014 8:46am

New research from the University of Otago shows that reducing the minimum alcohol purchasing age to 18 in December 1999, was associated with an increase in assaults of 15-19 year-old males in New Zealand.

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Funding granted to study New Zealand’s new alcohol laws

Monday, 9 June 2014 2:15pm

Researchers from the University of Otago have been awarded $1.19 million by the Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand to study the effects of the country’s new alcohol legislation.

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BMJ urged to widen its approach to transparency

Wednesday, 4 June 2014 5:00pm

A group of University of Otago health policy researchers, based in Dunedin and Christchurch, has called on the leading medical journal BMJ to be much more even handed in scrutinising the transparency of what it publishes.

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Research raises questions about physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 12:38pm

A new study co-authored by a University of Otago researcher has found that combining several physiotherapy treatments does not produce greater improvements in pain or function than inactive ‘sham’ treatments among adults with hip osteoarthritis.

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International research coalition secures major funding for ‘One Health’ approach tackling animal-human disease spread

Thursday, 22 May 2014 3:25pm

A coalition of researchers working in northern Tanzania, including leading University of Otago and Massey University experts, has been awarded three grants collectively worth around NZ$8.8 million to study zoonotic infectious diseases among poor livestock keepers.

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Health Research Excellence Awards

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 2:16pm

Professor Barry Taylor of the Dunedin School of Medicine and Carole Heatly of the Southern District Health Board together with the Health Research South Board would like to congratulate recipients of the 2014 Health Research Excellence Awards.

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Fluoridating water does not lower IQ: Otago research

Monday, 19 May 2014 2:10pm

New University of Otago research out of the world-renowned Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study does not support claims that fluoridating water adversely affects children’s mental development and adult IQ.

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Serious muscle damage risk from widely used cholesterol lowering drug very low in general population: Otago research

Friday, 16 May 2014 3:25pm

New Zealanders taking a higher dose of simvastatin, one of the statin drugs used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, have a greater risk of rhabdomyolysis than people taking a lower dose according to new University of Otago research.

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Innovative Otago health research gains funding

Monday, 12 May 2014 11:16am

Four University of Otago researchers have gained a total of around $550,000 to support their innovative studies in the latest funding announcement by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC).

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Accurate height and weight measurement necessary to reduce risk for pregnant women

Friday, 11 April 2014 1:38pm

A study by the University of Otago shows there are inaccuracies being made in the documented height and weight of pregnant women at the time of their 12-week scan, which could change clinical risk assessments for women.

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Postcard from the Gambia

Thursday, 10 April 2014 4:46pm

Working with children in the Gambia, Dr Uzochukwu Egere is doing what he loves: caring for children and easing “the intolerable burden of disease” around him.

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Web-based alcohol intervention programme has limited effect on consumption

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 3:25pm

New research from the University of Otago shows that a web-based self-assessment and feedback programme for students who drink hazardously produced only a modest reduction in alcohol consumption.

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Widely used heartburn and peptic ulcer medicines increase risk of rare kidney disease: Otago research

Monday, 24 March 2014 3:25pm

New Zealanders taking a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), a type of medicine used to treat gastric acid reflux disorders and peptic ulcer disease, are at an increased risk of a rare kidney disease, according to new findings by University of Otago researchers.

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Otago’s collaboration with Myanmar university moves into TB research

Friday, 21 March 2014 3:24pm

An international partnership forged by the University of Otago and University of Medicine (1) in Myanmar (also known as Burma) in late 2012 is moving ahead in several directions, including research into the genetics of tuberculosis drug resistance.

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Pathology staff shave for a cure

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 9:19am

Janine Neill and Justine Farquar today participated in the Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand's Shave for a Cure fundraiser.

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Health researchers supported by lottery grants

Tuesday, 11 March 2014 4:47pm

Dunedin School of Medicine researchers have gained over NZ$500,000 in funding from the Lottery Grants Board to support studies aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

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A 'tsunami' of knee replacements predicted

Sunday, 9 March 2014 9:38am

New Zealand faces a "tsunami of knee replacements" in the coming years, placing even more pressure on health services, a Dunedin School of Medicine academic says.

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Education and persuasion strategies fail to address alcohol problems

Thursday, 30 January 2014 8:46am

In an article published today in the Otago Daily Times, Professor Jennie Connor explains that education and persuasian strategies are popular but ineffective ways to address alcohol problems.

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Department of Pathology academic wins Fulbright award

Monday, 27 January 2014 4:46pm

Fulbright New Zealand Scholar Award winner Dr Sarah Young is keen to make use of the travelling opportunity the award brings.

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Quitting smoking unlikely to cause long-term weight gain: Otago research

Monday, 27 January 2014 11:46am

Smokers wanting to kick the habit needn’t be too worried about gaining a lot of weight after quitting, according to newly published University of Otago research.

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One-off screening could slash NZ bowel cancer rates: Otago expert

Thursday, 23 January 2014 2:48pm

Introducing a highly effective one-off bowel cancer screening test could reduce rates of the deadly disease and alleviate the current over-supply of nursing graduates in New Zealand, according to a University of Otago researcher.

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Triple theme research meeting jointly hosted by kidney, gut health, and arthritis research themes

Friday, 13 December 2013 3:35pm

Medical researchers involved in three different study areas joined forces at a University of Otago research meeting yesterday to explore new ways of tackling several important challenges, including treating gout and kidney disease.

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New Zealand Child Poverty Monitor released

Monday, 9 December 2013 8:25am

Today’s release of the first annual monitor of child poverty puts a spotlight on the thousands of Kiwi children who are not getting the start to life they deserve.

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Otago to honour distinguished graduate Sir Peter Gluckman

Wednesday, 4 December 2013 8:14am

The University of Otago will this weekend confer an honorary doctor of science degree on one of its most distinguished graduates, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman.

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Otago research reveals tobacco’s toll on women’s placentas

Wednesday, 4 December 2013 10:06am

Smoking while pregnant causes severe DNA damage to cells in the placenta and significantly impairs its function, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Master's and PhD scholarships for science and medical graduates

Friday, 22 November 2013 12:21pm

The Department of Medicine is offering multiple scholarships to science and medical graduates at master's, PhD, and registrar level.

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Department of Pathology researcher elected as Royal Society Fellow

Thursday, 21 November 2013 3:43pm

Professor Antony Braithwaite is among the 13 leading New Zealand researchers and scholars who are newly elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

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Researchers walk the talk for diabetes control

Monday, 18 November 2013 9:41am

Dr Coppell, Professor Jim Mann and colleagues from the University’s Edgar National Centre for Diabetes and Obesity Research have found that by following a better diet, people with pre-diabetes are much less likely to go on to develop the disease, and people who already have diabetes will have better control of their disease, preventing the onset and progression of complications.

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Department of General Practice and Rural Health celebrates 30 years

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 12:23pm

Thirty years may not seem much when put in the context of the nearly 150-year history of the University of Otago, but for the University’s General Practice and Rural Health department, the milestone was well worth commemorating.

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Researchers call for dietary changes to prevent diabetes epidemic

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 1:22pm

University of Otago researchers say that helping people with pre-diabetes and diabetes to follow a healthier diet will significantly improve their blood sugar levels, and they are calling on smaller portion sizes to be offered at cafés and eateries to support this cause.

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Research vital part of vaccination projects

Saturday, 9 November 2013 3:21pm

Professor Kim Mulholland says Western governments and other organisations that are supporting vaccination programmes in developing countries should also ensure some key related research is undertaken.