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News release archives

Pūranga karere

Old vaccine brings new surprises

Friday, 19 July 2019 9:23am

New research about an old vaccine – one that has been in use for nearly 100 years – has not only shown how effective it is but also suggests it improves our immune response to a wider range of bacteria than originally intended.

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Massive potential health gains in switching to active transport – Otago study

Thursday, 18 July 2019 12:24pm

Swapping short car trips for walking or biking could achieve as much health gain as ongoing tobacco tax increases, according to a study from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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New data on e-cigarette use among New Zealand adults

Monday, 15 July 2019 12:59pm

Around one in six New Zealand adults have tried e-cigarettes but only 2 per cent are using them currently, a national survey has found.

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Eliminating waiting lists for cataract surgery prevents falls and is cost effective

Thursday, 4 July 2019 11:21am

Eliminating waiting times for cataract surgery would be a cost-effective health system intervention, largely driven by the falls prevention benefits related to improved vision, a just-published New Zealand study has found.

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HRC Grants of almost $35 million to Division of Health Sciences researchers

Thursday, 27 June 2019 9:40am

Beta blockers, smoking cessation, stress suppression in motherhood and synthetic cannabinoid signalling are just a few of the areas of University of Otago Division of Health Sciences research to receive a total of almost $35 million in funding this year from the Health Research Council.

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HRC grants $40m to Otago research tackling issues from climate change to heart failure

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 4:06pm

Climate change and its impact on people’s health and using DNA to help predict who may suffer heart failure are just two of many University of Otago-led research projects being funded this year by the Health Research Council to the tune of more than $40 million.

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Sugary drink taxes reduce consumption, major review shows

Tuesday, 25 June 2019 2:32pm

A 10 per cent tax on sugary drinks has cut the purchase and consumption of sugary drinks by an average of 10 per cent in places it has been introduced, a just published major review shows.

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Hard hitters share weight management knowledge

Wednesday, 19 June 2019 10:13am

A postgraduate distance education paper in Obesity Prevention and Management run by the University of Otago, Wellington has enlisted help from some hard hitters in a quest to improve the management of patients in the community.

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High quality websites and apps could help those in chronic pain to manage symptoms, researcher says

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 1:06pm

Smartphone apps and pain management websites could fill a significant gap in helping to support the one in five New Zealanders living with chronic or persistent pain, a pain researcher from the University of Otago, Wellington says.

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Butting Out: Researchers gauge public opinion on tobacco product waste

Friday, 14 June 2019 11:25am

Requiring cigarettes to contain biodegradable filters, fining smokers who litter cigarette butts and expanding smoke free outdoor areas are measures the public considers are most likely to reduce tobacco product waste, new University of Otago research reveals.

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More awareness needed about lead exposure from firearms, researchers say

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 3:10pm

Researchers are warning that lead-based ammunition is posing a risk to firearms’ users and their families, with a culture of denial about the issue among the firearms community.

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Study points to need for care in inappropriate use of stigmatising terms in weight management

Friday, 7 June 2019 10:21am

A large quantitative research study has found using the terms ‘weight’ or ‘high BMI (body mass index)’ to describe excess fatness was rated as less stigmatising and less blaming than commonly used medical terms, such as ‘fat’ or ‘obese’.

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Opinion: Why are taxpayers subsidising licensed firearms owners?

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 11:33am

OPINION: Online comment from some local gun lobbyists after the Christchurch shooting bypassed sympathy and jumped straight to worries about government "taking our guns away". Despite such attitudes, firearm owners are happy for the rest of us to subsidise them through our taxes.

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Cat, horse, cow allergens found in primary school classrooms

Friday, 17 May 2019 9:23am

Cats and farm animals are making their presence felt in classrooms, with allergens rubbing off children’s clothes and on to classroom carpets, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington have found. 

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Therapist ‘stoked’ rehabilitation research secures HRC funding

Thursday, 16 May 2019 11:05pm

Occupational therapist Dr Fiona Graham is excited the Health Research Council (HRC) is funding a study she is leading with the aim of improving the quality of life for children with disabilities.

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Otago’s emerging researchers secure more than $1.7 million in HRC funding

Thursday, 16 May 2019 12:56pm

An occupational therapist who aims to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities is one of several University of Otago early-stage researchers who have together been awarded more than $1.7 million in Health Research Council funding.

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Making the homeless count

Thursday, 9 May 2019 12:02pm

When Dr Kate Amore began researching homelessness for her PhD at the University of Otago, Wellington, the country was in denial that the issue was even a problem, she says.

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Otago alumna behind UK Government’s move to help cerebral palsy children walk

Wednesday, 1 May 2019 8:32am

An Otago alumna has led a study into spinal surgery for children with cerebral palsy in the UK, which has proven it helps them walk and reduces pain, triggering the UK Government to fund the procedure.

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Urgent action needed to end our love affair with cars, report finds

Monday, 29 April 2019 3:50pm

The authors of a University of Otago report on active transport say urgent steps must be taken to encourage New Zealanders to walk, cycle or take public transport, with our use of cars harming both our health and our environment.

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He Kete Kōrero – Autumn 2019

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 9:56am

The Autumn 2019 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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Sparking a love for science in kura kaupapa Māori students

Tuesday, 16 April 2019 11:06am

From dissecting a sheep’s heart and lungs to examining the microbial properties of manuka honey, a ground breaking initiative at the University of Otago, Wellington, has a no holds barred attitude to hosting students from kura kaupapa Māori (Māori language immersion schools).

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Wood is good, research on 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake shows

Tuesday, 16 April 2019 9:52am

New research has found that only three per cent of deaths in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake occurred in people’s homes, almost all of which were at that time constructed from wood.

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Public health experts call for use of “tie-down” practice to be abolished in NZ prisons

Friday, 12 April 2019 11:31am

A University of Otago public health physician and researcher and her Australian colleague welcome news that the use of “tie-down” practice will be abolished in New Zealand prisons.

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Blending family therapy with creativity

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 12:31pm

Writing a children’s picture book for the families of premature babies has been a project close to the heart for author Julie Burgess-Manning, a lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Housing WOFs need to be combined with education, study shows

Tuesday, 9 April 2019 11:01am

Alongside funding and regulatory support, understanding how housing affects health and safety can spur owners to make improvements to their properties, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and WISE Better Homes have found.

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Plaudits for tobacco control group ASPIRE 2025

Friday, 5 April 2019 10:48pm

University of Otago research group ASPIRE 2025 has won praise from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand for its exemplary efforts and achievements in the field of smoking cessation and tobacco control.

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Otago researchers encourage New Zealanders to support Arms Amendment Bill

Wednesday, 3 April 2019 4:28pm

University of Otago firearms researchers are encouraging New Zealanders who are not gun owners to support MPs and political parties with the Arms Amendment Bill.

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Kiwi kids call for ban on junk food marketing

Friday, 29 March 2019 4:06pm

If Kiwi kids had the Prime Minister’s job for a day, many would ban junk food marketing, according to new research from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Otago researchers call for urgent law change

Sunday, 17 March 2019 12:25pm

Firearms law changes promised by the Prime Minister are long overdue, according to experts in the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, Dr Marie Russell and Dr Hera Cook.

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Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Friday, 15 March 2019 2:15pm

The University of Otago community stands shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim community. Following the tragic events in Christchurch last Friday, several events are being held on the Dunedin campus on Thursday, 21 March.

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Liberal access to e-cigarettes likely to bring health benefits, NZ study finds

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 11:16am

New Zealand’s approach of allowing wide access to e-cigarettes is likely to be bringing overall health gains and cost savings for the health system, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington have found.

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‘Invisible wounds’ may have cut WWII veterans’ lives short

Friday, 8 March 2019 9:08am

Kiwi men who were veterans of World War II appear to have had a shorter lifespan than other New Zealand men who were born at the same time, new research shows.

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New WHO housing and health guidelines could save millions each year

Monday, 25 February 2019 3:00pm

Preventable injuries and hospitalisations due solely to poor housing conditions in New Zealand could be costing more than $145 million annually in ACC claims and hospitalisation costs, according to new research.

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Train station signs send weak smokefree signal

Friday, 22 February 2019 9:58am

More than 20 per cent of the 54 railway stations in the lower North Island have no smokefree signs at all and many others have signs of poor quality, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington have found.

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Are we closing the health gap?

Thursday, 21 February 2019 10:58am

Listen to Professor Louise Signal, Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit, participate in a radio panel interview considering progress in addressing health inequities.

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Surprise te reo Māori finding in pre-diabetes research

Monday, 18 February 2019 2:27pm

New research from the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge has found people who speak te reo Māori have a reduced risk of progressing from pre-diabetes to diabetes.

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New Zealand leads global effort to control rheumatic fever

Monday, 11 February 2019 4:20pm

A three-year project aimed at pinpointing the most effective ways to prevent and control rheumatic fever and associated heart disease in New Zealand is being launched tomorrow (Tuesday 12 February) at the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Cancer Society calls for an end to DHB-led cancer care

Thursday, 31 January 2019 9:15am

New Zealand is at a major crossroads in cancer care and the Cancer Society are calling on government to back a nationally-led, coordinated approach to cancer.

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‘Choosing Wisely’ reduces unnecessary tests and antibiotic use, study finds

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 1:09pm

A Hutt Valley District Health Board campaign to cut the number of urine tests being carried out on hospital patients not only significantly reduced the number of unnecessary tests being ordered but also lowered the level of antibiotic prescribing, a study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal has found.

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One plus one equals more than two for health expenditure in patients with multiple conditions, study finds

Wednesday, 9 January 2019 1:27pm

Caring for patients with two or more chronic diseases costs the health system more than it would to treat each disease in isolation, a new study has shown.

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He Kete Kōrero – Summer 2018

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 2:00pm

The Summer 2018 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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Probiotic gives long-standing protection against childhood eczema, study finds

Monday, 17 December 2018 1:05pm

Giving a probiotic supplement to pregnant mothers and their infants significantly reduces the chances of a child developing eczema for the first 11 years of their life, researchers have shown.

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Call for pandemic research fund as “living memorial” to 1918 flu victims

Friday, 14 December 2018 9:11am

Professors from the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington are calling on the government to set up a research fund to help prevent pandemics and increase New Zealand’s preparedness to deal with such disasters.

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University of Otago announces academic promotions

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 2:45pm

Seventeen University of Otago academics have been promoted to the position of professor this year.

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Licence to Swill: James Bond’s drinking over six decades

Monday, 10 December 2018 1:17pm

He may be licensed to kill but fictional British secret service agent James Bond has a severe alcohol use disorder, according to an analysis of his drinking behaviour published in the Medical Journal of Australia’s Christmas issue.

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Cycle lanes and walkways cut car use, reduce emissions, study finds

Monday, 3 December 2018 3:32pm

Researchers have shown for the first time that investing in cycle lanes and walkways encourages people to drive less and cuts carbon emissions.

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Otago academic voted president-elect of College of GPs

Thursday, 29 November 2018 10:15am

Dr Samantha Murton, a senior lecturer at the University’s Wellington campus, has been voted president-elect of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGPs).

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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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The challenge of reducing health inequities and improving health outcomes in New Zealand

Monday, 19 November 2018 2:21pm

The Healthier Lives – He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge, hosted by the University of Otago,  welcomes the announcement from the Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Megan Woods,  confirming funding for its 2019-2024 research strategy

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Sobering insights into alcohol marketing and Māori children

Thursday, 1 November 2018 9:07am

Innovative camera research has revealed that New Zealand children are exposed to alcohol marketing in their residential and school neighbourhoods. The collaborative research by the Universities of Otago and Auckland, found children’s exposure to alcohol marketing was higher in neighbourhoods with greater numbers of alcohol outlets and for Māori participants.

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Professor Tony Blakely wins 2018 Chaffer Medal

Thursday, 1 November 2018 12:32pm

One of the country’s leading epidemiologists and public health researchers has been awarded this year’s Chaffer Medal for distinguished performance in health research.

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Otago’s NEXT magazine Woman of the Year

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 2:33pm

Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman of the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington, stepped into a world of unaccustomed glitz and glamour when she was judged NEXT magazine’s 2018 Woman of the Year at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland earlier this month.

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WWI cast a long shadow over New Zealanders’ health, study finds

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 10:42am

World War I cast such a long shadow over New Zealand that the health and social impacts continued through to the next generation, public health researchers say.

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Increasing alcohol tax could benefit health and save money for society – NZ study

Monday, 29 October 2018 12:52pm

Increasing the excise tax on alcohol would likely result in fewer people dying or being injured in vehicle crashes – and generate savings for society, according to a just-published New Zealand study.

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Kiwis failing to slip into shade and slap on a hat for sun protection, researchers find

Friday, 26 October 2018 10:44am

An alarming proportion of New Zealanders are neither wearing hats nor seeking shade to protect themselves from the sun, University of Otago research reveals.

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Flavoured capsule cigarettes pose a threat to smokefree goals

Tuesday, 23 October 2018 9:17am

New research from ASPIRE2025, a University of Otago research theme, challenges tobacco companies’ claims they are working towards a smokefree world and suggests young people are vulnerable to tobacco companies’ product innovations.

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Unprecedented success for Otago at the NZ Research Honours Awards

Thursday, 18 October 2018 10:22pm

The University has had unprecedented success at the New Zealand Research Honours Awards this year, taking home one quarter of the awards on offer.

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Six Otago researchers recognised in NZ research honours

Thursday, 18 October 2018 9:12am

University of Otago Research Fellow Helen Taylor’s science communication around conservation genetics and threatened species has earned her recognition at this year’s New Zealand Research Honours.

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Otago research aims to explain high testicular cancer rates in Māori

Friday, 12 October 2018 4:56pm

A new University of Otago study is aiming to tackle why Māori men have abnormally higher rates of testicular cancer compared to their non-Māori counterparts.

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Researchers call for end to fat stigma

Thursday, 11 October 2018 1:44pm

Researchers are using World Obesity Day today to call for an end to the stigma which fat people experience in their daily lives.

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Education and support for menstrual periods needed at primary school

Wednesday, 3 October 2018 10:30am

Primary school is the correct place to educate girls about periods and provide sanitary bins and pads, say University of Otago researchers.

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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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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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Otago scientist urges NZ to lead the way in eliminating top infectious disease killer

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 9:45am

A University of Otago doctor and scientist is calling on New Zealand to be the first country in the world to eliminate tuberculosis (TB), the top infectious disease killer in the world.

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Otago experts question use of consultants who worked for tobacco industry in NZ tobacco review

Friday, 24 August 2018 2:31pm

University of Otago researchers believe Government actions may be inconsistent with its tobacco treaty obligations by employing a consulting firm that has worked globally for the tobacco industry, to advise on tobacco taxation.

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Honing in on the key ingredients for successful self-management of chronic pain

Friday, 24 August 2018 2:19pm

The outlook for the one in five New Zealanders with persistent or chronic pain has the potential to be more positive according to an extensive study review by researchers from the School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) and Pain Management Service, Capital Coast District Health Board.

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Researching the impact of drops in the oxygen levels of preterm babies

Monday, 13 August 2018 11:43am

Friends of international PhD student, Dr Conway Niu, joke that his current research project – monitoring the oxygen levels of preterm babies – is taking him back to the comfort zone of his early days.

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Closing NZ’s border in severe pandemics cost-effective – New study

Thursday, 9 August 2018 7:20am

Closing the border may make sense for New Zealand in some extreme pandemic situations, according to a newly published study of the costs and benefits of taking this step.

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3MT finals showcase up-and-coming talent

Wednesday, 8 August 2018 10:24am

A PhD candidate who is investigating the emotional responses of clinicians who deal with suicidal patients has won the PhD category of Otago’s 2018 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

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Opinion: Healthy environment the foundation of suicide prevention

Friday, 3 August 2018 12:47pm

Dr John Adams and Professor Sunny Collings take a look at student mental health and suicide prevention.

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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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Anywhere, anytime: New Zealand children’s exposure to alcohol marketing

Tuesday, 31 July 2018 10:56am

Innovative camera research has revealed New Zealand children are exposed to alcohol marketing on average 4.5 times per day.

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He Kete Kōrero – Winter 2018

Thursday, 26 July 2018 10:43am

The Winter 2018 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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Opinion: Smokefree 2025 - An opportunity for Government

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 9:28pm

Bold Government action is needed to achieve the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal writes a group of staff from the Wellington campus and the Cancer Society.

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Major fundamental changes required to achieve health equity

Monday, 9 July 2018 9:15am

In comparing efforts to address health inequities, researchers in Aotearoa/New Zealand (NZ) and the United States (US) have found that both countries are failing to align policy with evidence-based approaches that could help achieve equity.

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Junk food dominates NZ sport

Monday, 9 July 2018 9:03am

Junk food dominates New Zealand sport venues, according to new research led by the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Multimorbidity impacts on employment and financial wellbeing, Otago report shows

Monday, 25 June 2018 11:56am

Multimorbidity has a substantial impact on sufferers who report not only poorer health but also adverse impacts on their employment and financial wellbeing compared to the general population, new University of Otago research reveals.

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Preparing for increased stroke volumes in New Zealand

Friday, 22 June 2018 10:49am

Although the incidence of stroke and mortality are declining due to better management strategies, stroke volumes are going up in New Zealand due to a growing and ageing population.

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Smokefree 2025: An opportunity for big scores by the Government

Friday, 22 June 2018 10:17am

A group of tobacco control experts today published an open letter in the New Zealand Medical Journal calling for bold new actions from the New Zealand Government to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal.

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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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New Zealand leads call to improve health for indigenous people globally

Friday, 1 June 2018 3:59pm

An open letter published today in a leading international medical journal, Lancet Oncology, calls on the World Health Organization (WHO) and Governments to prioritise health improvements for Indigenous peoples worldwide.

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Cold New Zealand council housing getting an upgrade

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 11:17am

University of Otago, Wellington researchers are advocating for standards to bring all New Zealand housing up to the World Health Organization minimum standard which recommends indoor temperature of 18 degrees celcius.

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Warning labels on alcohol containers highly deficient, new research shows

Monday, 21 May 2018 2:23pm

Current health warning labels on alcohol beverage containers in New Zealand are highly deficient, new research from the University of Otago, Wellington shows.

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Obesity a tough topic for GPs, Otago research reveals

Friday, 18 May 2018 9:11am

New University of Otago research highlights the difficulties for GPs of discussing obesity with patients who are overweight and signals the need for resources to support them and other community health providers in this role.

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New ideas for detecting cancer get go-ahead from HRC

Thursday, 17 May 2018 4:47pm

A University of Otago researcher focused on the earlier detection of cancer has just secured her first significant grant from the Health Research Council, valued at $249,984, for her novel proposal for diagnosing bowel cancer.

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HRC funding enables Otago researcher to investigate early detection test for bowel cancer

Thursday, 17 May 2018 7:59am

A researcher aiming to develop an early-detection genetic-based test for bowel cancer is one of several University of Otago researchers who have been awarded almost $1.5 million in Health Research Council funding.

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Radical new framework for trade and investment treaties

Monday, 14 May 2018 12:44pm

A team from the University of Otago, Wellington has just published a radical new framework for designing international trade and investment treaties.

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Gaps in patient care pathway may perpetuate high rates of sexually transmitted infections

Wednesday, 9 May 2018 10:21am

There are gaps between best practice and documented management of patients diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections in primary care, which may contribute to high rates of infection, new University of Otago research shows.

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Study aiming to improve New Zealand’s low breastfeeding rates

Thursday, 3 May 2018 1:24pm

University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) researchers are leading a new collaborative study to find out why New Zealand breastfeeding rates are so low and even dropping.

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Genetic research reveals new insights into severe childhood epilepsy

Tuesday, 1 May 2018 4:16pm

In a new study on children with severe forms of epilepsy, researchers have found the genetic copying mistake that causes the severe epilepsy in children can be found in their parents who do not have epilepsy.

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Otago researchers claim inaugural Māori researcher fellowships

Monday, 30 April 2018 2:25pm

Two University of Otago researchers of Ngāpuhi descent are being rewarded with new prestigious four-year fellowships aimed at providing better health and well-being for Māori.

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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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He Kete Kōrero – Autumn 2018

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 11:05am

The Autumn 2018 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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A picture is worth a thousand medical explanations

Monday, 16 April 2018 2:22pm

A Wellington campus Senior Lecturer and GP is beginning her PhD examining whether a health practitioner drawing a picture to help describe a medical situation impacts on a patient’s health outcome.

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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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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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Yoghurt may reduce eczema and allergy in infancy

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 1:54pm

Yoghurt given to infants in the first year of life may protect them from developing eczema and allergy, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, and the University of Auckland have found.

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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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Summer Studentship programme 2017/2018

Monday, 26 March 2018 2:10pm

University of Otago, Wellington hosts the Summer Studentship Programme each year.  The Department of Medicine has had a number of students this summer participating in 10 week research projects.

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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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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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New Chair for research foundation’s advisory committee

Wednesday, 7 March 2018 10:18am

Dr Rebecca Grainger from the Department of Medicine at the University of Otago, Wellington has been appointed Chair of the Research for Life’s Research Advisory Committee.

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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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Third vaccine dose needed to protect young New Zealanders from mumps outbreak

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 4:35pm

Urgent and proactive action is needed to protect young people from the current mumps outbreak in New Zealand, says Dr Ayesha Verrall, an infectious diseases physician and researcher at the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Award-winning Biomedical Scientist appointed to Associate Dean (Pacific) at University of Otago Wellington

Friday, 9 February 2018 3:06pm

Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu has been appointed to the role of Associate Dean (Pacific) at the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW). Dr Sika-Paotonu is the first Tongan, Pacific biomedical scientist to be appointed to this role within the Division of Health Sciences at Otago.

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New Associate Dean (Pacific) at the Wellington campus

Thursday, 8 February 2018 2:47pm

Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu has been appointed to the role of Associate Dean (Pacific) at the University’s Wellington campus.

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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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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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Talking about diabetes – improving health, one sentence at a time

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 9:53am

Primary care physicians can improve their communication to newly-diagnosed diabetes patients by offering more information specific to the patient’s experience, new research from Otago, Auckland and Victoria universities shows.

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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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Revelations on International Pathology Day at the Wellington campus

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 3:31pm

Wellington campus systems engineer Ricardo Batista, took time out from investigating the innards of computers to find out more about what made him tick from colleagues in that campus’ Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine on International Pathology Day.

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University of Otago announces academic promotions

Friday, 15 December 2017 12:25pm

The University of Otago will this year promote 23 academics to the position of Professor across its Dunedin, Christchurch, and Wellington campuses.

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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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Students scoop awards in Wellington ceremony

Monday, 11 December 2017 2:47pm

Top-ranking medical and radiation therapy students enjoyed their own version of the red carpet at the University’s Wellington campus 2017 Awards Ceremony at the Roxy Theatre last month.

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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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He Kete Kōrero – Spring 2017

Tuesday, 7 November 2017 1:30pm

The Spring 2017 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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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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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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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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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 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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Improving assessment of acute abdominal pain

Friday, 6 October 2017 3:08pm

Surgical admissions for people with abdominal pain to Wellington Hospital’s department of general surgery have nearly doubled over the past decade, a University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) study has found.

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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 study shows General Practices at health training capacity

Friday, 22 September 2017 10:17am

A comprehensive survey in the lower North Island and South Island has revealed that general practices, although crucial for teaching our future health professionals, are at training capacity.

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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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New medical device for brain monitoring at the bedside

Monday, 18 September 2017 10:26am

A University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) team has been awarded an MBIE Endeavour grant this week to develop a non-invasive and cost-effective device to diagnose and treat stroke and other brain injuries.

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Professor Tony Dowell interviewed for RNZ Documentary on Mental Health

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 2:22pm

Professor Tony Dowell from the Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice was recently interviewed as part of the RNZ Insight Programme, entitled "NZ’s Mental Health at Breaking Point?"

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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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Study shows mould in bedrooms causes asthma in young children

Thursday, 7 September 2017 11:02am

Researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) have shown that leaking and mouldy homes may lead to the development of a first attack of asthma in young children living in them.

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Helping healthcare practitioners to work with language interpreters

Monday, 28 August 2017 11:44am

A team of researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington has just launched a unique on-line eLearning module to provide realistic and practical guidance for clinicians working with spoken language interpreters in primary health care.

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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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'Big data' study shows high impact of childhood respiratory illnesses on primary care practices

Friday, 11 August 2017 2:48pm

A study using ‘big data’ has found that childhood respiratory illnesses, especially during the first two years of life, have a big impact on New Zealand primary care general practice (GP) workloads.

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Obstetric providers need greater support for new prenatal screening test

Friday, 4 August 2017 2:47pm

A new study shows most New Zealand obstetric providers need more support when providing a revolutionary genetic prenatal screening test because of its complexity and because it is not publicly funded.

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Centre for Translational Physiology launched at Wellington campus

Thursday, 3 August 2017 9:45pm

The University of Otago officially opened its Centre for Translational Physiology (CTP)/Te Whaiaroaro Whakawhiti at the Wellington campus this week – with those involved believing the facility could help Otago researchers lead the world in solving major health problems.

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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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New Centre for Translational Physiology launched in Wellington

Monday, 31 July 2017 4:08pm

A unique centre that will forge new links between health researchers and clinicians, working on solutions for complex diseases such as diabetes, obesity and stroke, is being launched at the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) this week.

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He Kete Kōrero – Winter 2017

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 1:42pm

The Winter 2017 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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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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Research to help patients with acute abdominal pain

Monday, 17 July 2017 2:49pm

A PhD candidate at the University’s Wellington campus believes the way acute abdominal pain is diagnosed can be improved, and that the process for patients who need surgery can be sped up.

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Wellington’s new direction in postgraduate support

Thursday, 13 July 2017 2:26pm

A multi-skilled team of Wellington staff has worked together to produce a fantastic new Study Skills programme for distance taught postgraduate students.

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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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Men of different ethnicities needed for Wellington weight loss study

Thursday, 29 June 2017 2:33pm

Researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) are seeking 20 men from different ethnic backgrounds for a study to find out how well people of different body shapes and different ethnicities respond to a weight loss diet.

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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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Stomach cancer programme part of HRC funding haul

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 4:31pm

A five-year programme to examine ways of reducing the burden of stomach cancer in New Zealand has received support in the latest Health Research Council (HRC) funding round announced last week, along with 18 other Otago projects.

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Updated guidance urgently needed for antipsychotic drug clozapine

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 11:04am

Drug-safety regulators and manufacturers need to take urgent action over serious adverse effects of the valuable antipsychotic drug clozapine, a new study shows.

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Major funding for innovative University of Otago health research

Thursday, 15 June 2017 9:30am

University of Otago researchers have been awarded more than $24M in new health research funding to support their world-class studies aimed at improving New Zealanders’ health and well-being.

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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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Cannabidiol shown to be effective for a severe form of Epilepsy

Thursday, 25 May 2017 4:48pm

The first ever Class 1 clinical trial of the drug cannabidiol has shown it is effective at reducing convulsive seizures in a severe type of epilepsy in children.

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Do Community Treatment Orders violate human rights?

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 9:54am

Researchers from New Zealand and Australia have claimed that a standard practice used in psychiatry may be ineffective and violate international human rights conventions.

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He Kete Kōrero – Autumn 2017

Thursday, 18 May 2017 1:50pm

The Autumn 2017 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter.

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New appointment for the University of Otago in Tairāwhiti

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 11:43am

Dr Diana Kopua (nee Rangihuna) has been appointed to the new part-time role of Associate Dean, Tairāwhiti, by the University of Otago, Wellington. She will be providing support for all Otago students in the Tairāwhiti (Gisborne) region, including Wairoa. 

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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.

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Turning healthcare around: Health professionals learning together makes for better healthcare

Thursday, 13 April 2017 8:41am

Poor communication between clinicians can turn health care into a bad experience. The University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) is turning this around through an interprofessional education (IPE) programme introduced in recent years for students across the disciplines – dietetics, medicine, physiotherapy, and radiation therapy.

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Probiotics may reduce risk of gestational diabetes

Tuesday, 4 April 2017 2:06pm

Research led by the University of Otago, Wellington has found that a ‘home-grown’ naturally occurring probiotic reduces the risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) and lowers fasting blood sugar.

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Health Research Council supports Otago researchers

Thursday, 30 March 2017 8:18am

Several University of Otago researchers have gained feasibility grants from the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) in its latest funding round. The HRC yesterday announced a combined total of $2 million worth of these grants, up from $1.05 million in 2016.

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New research towards a Smokefree Wellington

Thursday, 30 March 2017 8:46am

Progress towards smokefree inner cities in New Zealand requires specific policies for places like building entrances, family areas, public seating, outdoor dining and for city events, say researchers.

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Evidence supports nationwide roll-out of home safety measures

Tuesday, 21 March 2017 2:28pm

New evidence from the University of Otago, Wellington shows that government social investment in safer housing would be justified to prevent falls.

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Major science event presents latest research on our “Diabesity” epidemic

Friday, 17 March 2017 9:32am

Getting teenagers more active and how our gut hormones impact on obesity are just two of a wide range of topics being discussed at a major gathering of top national and international researchers at Auckland City Hospital today.

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Otago’s flagship research centres confirmed

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 9:56am

The University of Otago has reconfigured the line-up of its flagship research centres after a rigorous evaluation process.

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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 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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Downward trend in disaster events causing mass deaths in NZ (1900 to 2015)

Thursday, 2 March 2017 7:45am

Fewer New Zealanders are now dying in large-scale disaster events but that is not the case across the Tasman, a University of Otago, Wellington study has found.

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Otago gains funding to engage young minds with science

Friday, 17 February 2017 12:22pm

Four University of Otago initiatives are among the latest projects to be successfully awarded a total of $2m in the 2017 Unlocking Curious Minds funding round. The fund particularly focuses on projects that engage young New Zealanders who have fewer opportunities to be involved with science and technology.

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Cold homes harm NZ youth health and schooling

Monday, 13 February 2017 11:29am

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington has found that young people are experiencing increased health problems, stress, and adverse social effects from cold housing.

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Die Another Day: Bond smoking research gains wide attention

Thursday, 9 February 2017 10:32pm

Otago research which examines the smoking habits of James Bond and his associates has gained widespread media attention, and is the subject of a British Medical Journal (BMJ) podcast.

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Wellington researchers awarded Long-Term Condition funds to tackle diabetes

Thursday, 9 February 2017 9:07am

Diabetes is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing long-term health conditions with enormous costs for individuals, the health care system and society. This was recognised in today’s announcement by the Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith for multi-million dollar funding on research to tackle diabetes.

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Public health leaders speaking in Wellington through February

Tuesday, 7 February 2017 9:08am

The 21st Public Health Summer School starts at the University of Otago, Wellington today. As part of the Public Health Summer School, the University will host four free evening talks by leading international public health experts throughout February. The Wellington lectures are free and open to the public.

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Hurricanes find new way to get even fitter

Monday, 23 January 2017 9:48am

The defending Super Rugby champions, the Hurricanes, are using the Wellington GEnESiS chamber to train for the upcoming season.

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Researchers call for ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport

Friday, 13 January 2017 9:01am

Watching televised sport means watching advertisements for alcohol, say researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW).

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Medicinal Cannabis – harms or benefits? Who decides?

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 9:25am

Wellington researchers are calling for doctors to be more involved in the debate around cannabis as a medicine.

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What has art got to do with Public Health?

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 4:40pm

What has art got to do with public health? How can people be “nudged” to better health using behavioural economics? And what emerging infectious diseases should we really worry about?

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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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Wellington’s new simulation suite to aid obesity research

Tuesday, 6 December 2016 8:44pm

A new environmental simulation suite at the University’s Wellington campus will help researchers test ideas such as whether modern office environments might be contributing to the world’s growing obesity rates.

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Values emphasised at Wellington awards ceremony

Thursday, 1 December 2016 2:27pm

Staff and students at the University’s Wellington campus attended a wonderful student awards ceremony on Friday 18 November to finish off what had been a difficult week of earthquakes and floods in the Wellington region.

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Medical Evacuation from the South Pole

Monday, 28 November 2016 2:27pm

One of our graduates from the Postgraduate Diploma in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport at UOW featured recently in a story on Otago alumni. Dr Hamish Wright was the medical physician at the South Pole this winter and he assisted in a world-first medical evacuation of two patients in extreme conditions in the middle of winter this year.

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Amazon humidity and Everest Base Camp altitude...in Wellington

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 10:29am

Researchers can now explore complex health questions in a unique environmental simulation suite at the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Major Marsden funding for Otago researchers

Thursday, 3 November 2016 2:38pm

University of Otago researchers have been awarded more than $13.7M in the latest annual Marsden Fund round to undertake 23 world-class research projects that push the boundaries of knowledge in their fields.

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Otago health researchers gain career development awards

Thursday, 3 November 2016 4:05pm

University of Otago, Christchurch, MRI expert Dr Tracy Melzer has been awarded $500,000 from the Health Research Council (HRC) to study changes in the brain that could predict dementia.

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Akoranga pūtaiao i roto i te reo Māori

Tuesday, 1 November 2016 1:54pm

Viewing eyeballs through a microscope and discovering the huge numbers of cells in a “single eyeball slice” was one of the highlights for Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna students on a recent visit to the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Artwork gifted to University of Otago

Thursday, 27 October 2016 2:29pm

A large-scale artwork by renowned New Zealand sculptor Paul Dibble is being gifted to the University of Otago by the Stuart Residence Halls Council, to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

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Cost-effectiveness of Herceptin® for early stage breast cancer varies by age and tumour type

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 9:33am

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) found that the cost-effectiveness of the drug trastuzumab (known more commonly as Herceptin®) in treating early stage breast cancer was highly variable depending on the disease characteristics and age of the woman.

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Researchers identify urgent needs for Porirua City youth

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 8:55am

Researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, have recently completed a study in Porirua City that found better facilities and affordable activities for youth are urgently needed to achieve social sector change.

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University of Otago and Ngāti Toa Rangatira renew partnership

Monday, 17 October 2016 12:22pm

The University of Otago this week renewed an important Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira. The MoU was signed at a ceremony at the University of Otago Wellington by Te Taku Parai, chair of Te Rūnanga, Sir Matiu Rei, Te Rūnanga Executive Director, and John Ward, Chancellor of the University.

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Large Otago study shows New Zealand maternity system needs improvement

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 7:38am

Researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, have released the findings of a major five-year study of New Zealand’s maternity outcomes. 

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BLITZ study: A youth vision for Porirua City

Monday, 19 September 2016 1:38pm

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington, with a unique angle and focus in Porirua city has found that better facilities and affordable activities for youth are urgently needed to achieve social sector change.

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Kids'Cam in Tonga

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 1:03pm

Researchers from the University’s Wellington campus have started working with camera and GPS-wearing children in Tonga.