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Recent media releases from The Department of Public Health

International agreement provides Otago opportunity to help shape global cancer agenda

Friday, 20 April 2018 2:25pm

In a New Zealand first, the University of Otago has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

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Safety warning labels needed on fresh chicken, say researchers

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 9:07am

New research has found that many New Zealand consumers are unaware of the high levels of Campylobacter contamination of fresh chicken and most want safety labelling about the risks on poultry products.

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Threats from tobacco industry stalled New Zealand plain packs legislation

Friday, 13 April 2018 12:37pm

Threats of lawsuits by the tobacco industry helped delay the New Zealand legislation for plain tobacco packs by at least three years, new University of Otago research suggests.

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New Zealand dentists pick up the pieces when ‘dental tourism’ goes bad

Thursday, 12 April 2018 11:40am

New Zealand dentists are increasingly having to provide remedial treatment where things have gone wrong for “dental tourists” who travel abroad for dental work.

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Taxing sugary drinks a no-brainer for New Zealand

Wednesday, 4 April 2018 10:24am

On 1 April 2018, the United Kingdom introduced a sugary drinks tax, an important public health measure that University of Otago, Wellington, public health researchers believe should be happening in New Zealand too.

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Evidence from 100 years ago of socio-economic position and shorter lifespans in New Zealand men

Monday, 26 March 2018 10:11am

For the first time, Otago researchers have identified evidence of socio-economic inequalities resulting in different death rates in New Zealand men from 100 years ago.

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More sustainable transport for better health in New Zealand cities

Friday, 23 March 2018 1:51pm

Can your local council stop you getting heart disease or cancer? Yes, say researchers in a new study led by the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Research suggests promoting smokefree homes may help reduce teen smoking

Thursday, 22 March 2018 1:52pm

New Zealand children and teens growing up in smokefree homes are less likely to take up smoking, even if their parents are smokers, a University of Otago, Wellington, study has found.

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Standardised packaging a good move, but Otago researchers call for more in fight against tobacco

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 2:59pm

Today marks the introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco products sold in New Zealand.

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Study of smoking among doctors and nurses shows very low smoking prevalence and Smokefree 2025 goal can be achieved

Friday, 9 March 2018 10:57am

A new study on smoking trends among doctors and nurses in New Zealand finds smoking has declined steadily within these healthcare professions. Researchers say this shows that very low smoking rates can be achieved in large occupational groups, suggesting that New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 goal is reachable.

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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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Out of prison and back to smoking?

Friday, 23 February 2018 4:20pm

A lack of support means many prisoners relapse back to smoking on release, despite many wanting to stay smokefree, a new study has found.

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Considering public health issues- the 22nd Public Health Summer School

Monday, 5 February 2018 9:05am

Leading international and New Zealand health experts will be in Wellington to participate in the 22nd Public Health Summer School run by the University of Otago, Wellington in February. The Public Health Summer School will be officially opened by the Minister of Health, Hon Dr David Clark on 7 February.

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Few drinking fountains in New Zealand playgrounds – New study

Friday, 2 February 2018 2:50pm

New research has found that only a fifth (20 per cent) of childrens’ playgrounds in the lower North Island of New Zealand had drinking fountains (11 out of 54 playgrounds).

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Predator Free 2050 has major benefits for human health

Monday, 15 January 2018 9:12am

The Predator Free 2050 campaign to rid New Zealand of rats and possums will have major benefits for human health as well as for native plants and animals, says University of Otago, Wellington public health researcher Dr Mary McIntyre.

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Shade shortage in Wellington playgrounds: Otago research highlights the need to ‘slip, slop, slap and wrap’ this summer

Tuesday, 9 January 2018 4:51pm

Children visiting playgrounds this summer may be at high risk of sunburn, according to a new study from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Sex advice and Siri? To Google or not to Google? These are the questions

Thursday, 14 December 2017 9:31am

In an article published today in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal, New Zealand researchers found that Google laptop searches performed better at finding online sexual health advice than the digital assistants on smartphones.

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How do firearms, floods and flu impact public health?

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 8:24am

Firearms and public health, impacts of New Zealand’s most common natural hazard - flooding, and lessons from the 1918 flu pandemic are just some of the courses and seminar talks being offered by the University of Otago, Wellington’s Public Health Summer School.

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No hat, no play? Not always: Otago research

Thursday, 7 December 2017 2:44pm

Many children may not be sun-safe during school lunch breaks, research from the University of Otago, Wellington, reveals.

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Giving cash without strings attached can improve health

Thursday, 23 November 2017 12:05pm

New research has shown governments can help improve health in low and middle income countries, simply by providing cash to people living in poverty.

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Kids in Space Study: Where do our children go?

Thursday, 9 November 2017 9:04am

New Zealand children stick close to home, innovative research from Otago, Auckland and Harvard Universities has revealed.

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Small changes can make big differences for tenants, study finds

Friday, 3 November 2017 9:10am

Even minor improvements to new buildings can make a significant difference to tenants’ comfort, new research from the University of Otago, Wellington, has found.

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Marsden Fund backs Otago’s research in best ever round

Friday, 3 November 2017 10:04am

University of Otago researchers have gained around $24m for 33 world-class research projects in the latest Marsden Fund annual round – the University’s most successful round ever.

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Study shows NZers who cycle and walk for transport are more physically active

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 11:37am

New Zealanders who walk and cycle for transport are much more likely to have adequate levels of physical activity than those who drive cars.

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No smokefree signs at New Zealand racecourses, study shows

Friday, 27 October 2017 12:25pm

A survey of New Zealand racecourses and sports grounds with stands has found no smokefree signs at the racecourses and signage at less than half the sports grounds.

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Provide more water fountains at playgrounds, say researchers

Thursday, 19 October 2017 11:14am

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington, has found that only six per cent of Wellington City children’s playgrounds have drinking water fountains.

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NZ-China links in non-communicable disease research strengthened

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 2:21pm

The signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) at the University of Otago with three leading Shanghai institutions due to be held tomorrow is a welcome sign of the growing collaborations between New Zealand and Chinese health researchers, according to organisers.

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NZ kids can’t escape alcohol marketing next to bread and milk

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 4:19pm

New Zealand children are exposed to alcohol marketing on nearly every visit to the supermarket, innovative camera research from Otago and Auckland Universities reveals.

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New research shows NZ children are surrounded by junk food ads

Monday, 9 October 2017 5:25pm

New Zealand children are exposed to around 27 unhealthy food advertisements per day, innovative camera research from Otago and Auckland Universities reveals.

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New Zealand teens’ risky behaviour rates reduced since the 1990s

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 11:38am

Overall today’s adolescents are ‘better behaved’ than teens in the 1990s, says a University of Otago, Wellington researcher.

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New research shows surge in outdoor smokefree action around NZ

Friday, 22 September 2017 9:42am

Local outdoor smokefree action is rapidly growing around New Zealand, according to new research from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Book shines spotlight on our cities

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 12:02pm

A new book sets out important ideas for helping New Zealand cities resolve the challenges of providing quality, affordable housing, designing healthy transport systems and dealing with climate change.

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Canterbury quake damage increased risk of cardiovascular disease

Friday, 8 September 2017 1:48pm

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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Study shows most NZ playgrounds lack smokefree signs

Thursday, 24 August 2017 3:48pm

A new study of the smokefree signs at 63 New Zealand playgrounds has found that less than half of the playgrounds (44 per cent) had any such signs. Even when present, many of the signs were small and poorly designed, with some being only postcard sized.

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Quitline is good value-for-money - new study

Monday, 21 August 2017 10:52am

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington has found New Zealand’s Quitline service is a highly cost-effective way to improve health and even saves the health system money.

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Rental Warrant of Fitness for Wellington

Thursday, 17 August 2017 9:15am

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced.

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New Zealand is falling far short of its Smokefree 2025 goal

Wednesday, 2 August 2017 12:02pm

Smokefree 2025 will be Smokefree 2065 unless urgent government action is taken.

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Bowel-cancer screening cost-effective but does not reduce health inequalities

Thursday, 20 July 2017 9:13am

Bowel-cancer screening in New Zealand will improve health cost effectively, according to University of Otago research just published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

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Thousands of NZ children continue to be exposed to second-hand smoke in cars

Friday, 7 July 2017 11:28am

New evidence shows one in five children continue to be exposed to smoking in cars, and that exposure even increased in 2015.

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Pathways to achieve Smokefree NZ – new study

Thursday, 29 June 2017 9:04am

New modelling research has shown the major ways for reducing smoking on the path to New Zealand’s smokefree goal by 2025. University of Otago, Wellington researchers are calling for these new measures to be considered by the New Zealand Government.

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Closing the border in extreme pandemics worthwhile – Study

Monday, 26 June 2017 1:07pm

It may sometimes make sense for island nations like New Zealand to temporarily close their borders in extreme pandemic situations, a new study by Wellington researchers suggests.

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Research finds flu is a major killer in New Zealand with Māori, Pasifika and low-income earners most vulnerable

Friday, 9 June 2017 12:27pm

New research from the University of Otago, Wellington, shows that influenza kills about 500 New Zealanders each year, and the risk of premature death is much higher for Māori, Pasifika, men and those living in relative poverty.

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Setting the world on a course toward sustainable development

Tuesday, 6 June 2017 12:26pm

Not all good policies, in isolation, lead to an overall good outcome. Interactions and linkages between policies are what will lead us towards a more sustainable world, according to a new International Council for Science (ICSU) report.

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Improvements to healthcare system needed to manage multimorbidity

Friday, 12 May 2017 9:06am

Living with multiple health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, is a challenge for increasing numbers of New Zealanders. New research led by the University of Otago, Wellington, has identified issues and improvements needed in the health care system to help patients with multimorbidity (multiple health conditions), their supporters and health care providers.