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News release archives

Pūranga karere

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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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.

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Otago researchers gain major science funding for innovative projects

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 7:18am

Six innovative Otago research projects have been supported through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) 2016 Endeavour Fund round announced yesterday.

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Cycling and walking in NZ cities

Thursday, 25 August 2016 10:00am

Cities with higher levels of cycling and walking have better overall population health, according to new research from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Most homeless people working or studying

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 2:02pm

More than half of all homeless adults in New Zealand are working or studying, say University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) researchers.

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Kids’Cam in Tonga

Tuesday, 16 August 2016 4:14pm

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

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Radical new law needed to ensure the Smokefree 2025 goal

Friday, 5 August 2016 2:37pm

Sweeping changes to the Smokefree Environments legislation are proposed by University of Otago researchers in a newly published article in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

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Tairāwhiti Interprofessional Programme is the people’s choice

Thursday, 28 July 2016 9:55am

A University of Otago, Wellington interprofessional health team won the People’s Choice Award in a competition which involved creating a healthcare plan for a client with complex needs.

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I whakaputaina he Tirohanga Hauora mō ngā Poari Hauora a-Rohe i roto i te reo Māori

Friday, 8 July 2016 3:02pm

I whakaputaina e Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare, he rīpoata whakarāpopoto i ngā tatauranga hauora Māori mō ngā Poari Hauora a-Rohe o te motu nei. Koinei te wā tuatahi kua puta ēnei momo tatauranga i roto i te reo Māori.

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Removal of point-of-sale tobacco displays working

Tuesday, 5 July 2016 12:06pm

A new study led by University of Otago researchers suggests that July 2012 legislation that removed all point-of-sale tobacco displays from shops selling cigarettes has helped reduce smoking among New Zealand school students to record low levels.

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New partnership formed to improve health of New Zealanders

Thursday, 23 June 2016 11:39am

A new partnership comprising the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) has been formed to invest in research that will improve understanding, treatment and prevention of long term conditions.

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Funding body gives strong support to Otago’s health research

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 2:30pm

University of Otago researchers have been awarded around $43.8M in new health research funding to support their world-class studies aimed at improving New Zealanders’ health and well-being.

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Innovative Tairāwhiti programme scores well

Monday, 13 June 2016 12:35pm

A new study has shown that a rural health professional programme on the East Coast of the North Island near Gisborne is highly successful for students, patients and the local community.

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Homelessness accelerates between censuses

Friday, 3 June 2016 11:54am

At least one in every 100 New Zealanders were homeless at the latest census in 2013, compared with 1 in 120 in 2006, and 1 in 130 in 2001, say University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) researchers.

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Novel nicotine inhaler doubles smoking quit rates

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 9:46am

A study by researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington shows that smokers who used a nicotine inhaler were twice as likely to quit smoking as smokers using a placebo inhaler.

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Insulating houses keeps children out of hospital

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 9:09am

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington has found that retrofitting insulation to current 2008 standards in existing houses reduces hospitalisation rates for all children by six percent.

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Much healthier low-cost bread possible

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 10:02am

Bread design could be substantially improved to better protect heart health according to new research. A team at the University of Otago, Wellington studied bread design from the perspective of reducing risk of heart disease, while keeping ingredient costs down. 

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NZ contributes to global report on Indigenous and tribal peoples

Thursday, 21 April 2016 3:05pm

A world-first study into the health and wellbeing of more than 154 million Indigenous and tribal peoples globally was launched today simultaneously in Melbourne and London, by Australia’s Lowitja Institute and the Lancet journal.

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Latest Lottery grants fund wide range of Otago health research

Thursday, 14 April 2016 10:28am

University of Otago researchers have been awarded around $1.7M in funding from the Lottery Grants Board to support studies focusing on improving New Zealanders’ health.

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Improving the breast cancer journey for women with experience of mental illness

Monday, 11 April 2016 2:13pm

Researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington are seeking participants for a study to investigate the breast cancer care journey for women with mental illness in order to improve their care.

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University and Kura experiment with science in te reo Māori

Monday, 4 April 2016 3:07pm

Experiments that extract DNA from saliva and use disclosing tablets to look at plaque on teeth may not be new, but the University of Otago, Wellington, and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna are doing these experiments in te reo Māori.

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Barriers to contraception for indigenous Māori teenage mothers

Thursday, 31 March 2016 3:20pm

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington, has found that there are health system barriers for young Māori mothers when trying to access timely contraception.

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A new take on supporting very large patients

Monday, 7 March 2016 12:52pm

Devising ways to better support very large patients is the focus of a collaboration between researchers at the University of Otago's Wellington campus, Victoria University and the health care industry.

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Lecturers’ teaching excellence rewarded

Monday, 29 February 2016 11:59am

Four outstanding lecturers have been honoured in this year’s University of Otago Teaching Excellence Awards, presented at a ceremony at the Clocktower building this afternoon.

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Antipsychotic drug clozapine found to have significant gastrointestinal side effects

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 11:36am

New research from the University of Otago, Wellington, and Capital and Coast Health District Health Board (CCDHB) shows that the antipsychotic drug clozapine dramatically slows bowel function. Rarely, this can lead to serious or life-threatening consequences.

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Is austerity bad for your health?

Thursday, 18 February 2016 8:52am

Austerity measures are seriously bad for our health, according to Oxford University Professor David Stuckler, visiting Wellington this week as part of the University of Otago, Wellington Public Health Summer School. 

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Response to global crisis in indigenous mental health

Tuesday, 16 February 2016 3:23pm

Innovative approaches to address traumatised indigenous communities will be described by Australian educators Barbara Wingard and Dr David Denborough from the Dulwich Centre for Narrative Therapy in Wellington tomorrow.

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Promising advances in prevention of rheumatic fever

Tuesday, 9 February 2016 12:45pm

Leading health researchers and practitioners are meeting today to work towards preventing and controlling  rheumatic fever across New Zealand and Australia. The experts are gathering at a one-day seminar at the 20th Public Health Summer School run by the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Working to improve public health in New Zealand

Monday, 1 February 2016 1:32pm

Leading international and New Zealand health experts will descend on Wellington throughout February to participate in the 20th Public Health Summer School run by the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Government failing to adequately address tobacco harm for Māori

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 12:38pm

Māori smoking rates have barely changed since 2011, and the Government is not doing enough to address tobacco-related harm amongst Māori, say leading tobacco researchers and public health advocates.

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Wellington start-up in top three at Paris Climate Conference

Monday, 21 December 2015 1:49pm

A Wellington e-commerce start-up with a unique eco-idea to lower CO2 emissions has been placed second in a worldwide competition to tackle climate change at COP21, the 2015 Climate Conference in Paris.

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Rental ‘Warrant of Fitness’ to start in Wellington and Dunedin

Thursday, 17 December 2015 11:35am

The University of Otago, Wellington is working with Wellington and Dunedin City Councils on a rental Warrant of Fitness (WoF) to be introduced next year.

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Cancer Society award for Professor Brett Delahunt

Monday, 14 December 2015 4:19pm

Professor Brett Delahunt’s exceptional, long-standing voluntary service and leadership to cancer research has been acknowledged by the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

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Closer links with Wellington community aim of new Deputy Dean

Monday, 14 December 2015 12:05pm

Dr Diane Kenwright has recently been appointed to the role of Deputy Dean of the University of Otago’s Wellington campus.

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What drives urban change in New Zealand?

Tuesday, 8 December 2015 9:38am

A new report about the drivers of urban change in New Zealand by the MBIE-funded Resilient Urban Futures Programme has been launched in Parliament by MPs Nicky Wagner and Grant Robertson. The report ‘Drivers of Urban Change’ brings together the views of key decision-makers and cutting-edge research.

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Bodies and bugs: Curious kids doing cool science

Friday, 4 December 2015 8:23am

A pilot project that will help connect children’s innate curiosity with real life science is about to start at the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Study identifies new risk factors for stroke

Thursday, 19 November 2015 12:24pm

New research from the University of Otago, Wellington, has identified new risk factors for secondary stroke in patients who have suffered a ‘mini-stroke’ or transient ischaemic attack (TIA). The findings open the way for developing potential new treatments to prevent subsequent full strokes, the researchers believe.

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Do New Zealanders still want the quarter-acre dream?

Monday, 2 November 2015 1:38pm

New Zealanders are moving towards the idea of mixed-use development where housing is within walking and cycling distance of key amenities like work, school or shopping, according to a survey carried out by the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities.

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Otago study links midwifery experience to survival chances of babies

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 11:52am

University of Otago researchers have found strong evidence that levels of midwifery experience in New Zealand are associated with baby mortality. The study has been published today in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

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District Health Board Māori Health Profiles for 2015 released

Thursday, 15 October 2015 4:59pm

Twenty reports which provide snapshots of Māori health in District Health Board regions all around New Zealand have been released today.

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Growing public support in the USA and Canada for smokefree outdoor laws

Wednesday, 16 September 2015 10:39am

A new study has found increasing support in the United States and Canada for smokefree laws for outdoor areas, especially in playgrounds and school grounds.

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Unlocking ‘Big Data’ medical information

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 3:25pm

New Zealand researchers have developed a new way of extracting and classifying important information from the ‘Big Data’ stored in hundreds of thousands of electronic health records.

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Portable technology for neurocritical care

Monday, 14 September 2015 12:00pm

Portable technology for neurocritical care

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New Zealand solutions to complex Public Health problems

Friday, 28 August 2015 8:49am

A new book, Promoting Health in Aotearoa New Zealand, provides an in-depth scan of the health promotion landscape in New Zealand. It explores ways in which Māori, and other perspectives, have been melded with Western ideas to produce distinctly New Zealand approaches. In doing so it addresses the need for locally written material for use in teaching and practice, and provides direction for those wanting to solve complex public health problems.

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Health benefits of 20 years of tobacco tax increases modelled

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 9:11am

Continuing annual 10% tobacco tax increases in New Zealand until 2031 should lead to health gains, net health-system cost savings and modest reductions of about 2% to 3% in health inequalities between Māori and non-Māori, according to a new study published by University of Otago, Wellington, researchers.

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New care model for Māori children with asthma recommended

Friday, 24 July 2015 4:33pm

A new University of Otago, Wellington, research report has found that the main barriers to optimal health literacy—and therefore optimal care for Māori children with asthma—are structural and endemic to New Zealand’s acute care model of health delivery.

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Self-management techniques helping people manage suicidal thoughts

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 11:33am

Self-management techniques need to be more widely acknowledged by mental health professionals as an option to help people who felt suicidal and better support provided to help them develop their own self-management strategies, according to new University of Otago research.

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Otago anaesthetist develops unique monitoring software

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 12:07pm

An anaesthetist at the University’s Wellington campus has created a state-of-the-art monitoring system that warns of potential patient issues in plain spoken English.

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Otago study highlights at-risk group leaving hospital without contraception

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 10:35am

Women with near-fatal illnesses during pregnancy have been leaving New Zealand hospitals without the contraception that could prevent future serious harm to their health, a study by University of Otago, Wellington, has found.

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Innovative health research at Otago receives major funding

Thursday, 4 June 2015 9:54am

University of Otago researchers have been awarded more than $30M in new health research funding to support their world-class studies aimed at improving New Zealanders’ health and well-being.

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Quitting smokers win cash reward

Friday, 29 May 2015 9:40am

It is World Smokefree Day this Sunday, and two former smokers have won money by quitting as part of a University of Otago Wellington trial funded by the Ministry of Health.

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Otago science outreach projects to help ‘unlock curious minds’

Thursday, 28 May 2015 3:10pm

The University of Otago will lead three new and innovative projects aimed at engaging New Zealanders, and young people in particular, to learn more about science and technology.

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Researchers funded to pursue projects benefiting NZ health

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 8:38am

Three researchers from the University of Otago’s Wellington Campus have been awarded Health Research Council Grants (HRC).

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Otago health researchers supported by lottery grants

Monday, 25 May 2015 8:38am

University of Otago researchers have gained nearly $2.2M in funding from the Lottery Grants Board to support studies aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

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New Zealand’s maternity statistics should be better – expert

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 8:33am

New Zealand should be one of the safest places in the world to give birth with maternity statistics that are as good as or better than most other countries, says Professor Stacie Geller, an international maternal morbidity and mortality expert.

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High rate of harassment of our MPs, their staff and families

Friday, 8 May 2015 10:26am

Harassment of New Zealand politicians, their families and staff is ‘common and concerning’, according to new Otago University research.

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Reducing salt in food good for the heart and health budgets

Monday, 4 May 2015 3:54pm

New Otago University research shows that introducing strategies that reduce the dietary salt intake of New Zealanders could reduce premature death and save millions of dollars annually for our health sector.

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Smokefree signage lacking in schools

Thursday, 23 April 2015 3:38pm

Smokefree signage, which is required by law, is absent from many North Island schools, according to University of Otago research.

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Overlooked law requires rentals to be free of dampness

Thursday, 16 April 2015 4:22pm

A law, developed in the 1940s to protect people from living in unhealthy homes, could be used to require landlords to provide housing that is free from dampness, according to researchers from the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington.

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The burgeoning cost of cancer in NZ – study

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 3:00pm

The cost of treating cancer in the New Zealand public health sector is more than $800 million annually – hundreds of millions higher than previous estimates, according to University of Otago research.

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Fall prevention findings being presented to Taranaki community

Tuesday, 7 April 2015 10:46am

Fall prevention findings being presented to Taranaki community

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Violence imagery in music videos sparks call for tougher controls

Monday, 30 March 2015 10:12am

Violence imagery in music videos sparks call for tougher controls

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Gift to enhance the future care of our most fragile babies

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 9:58am

Our most vulnerable babies may in the future get an even better start to life and have fewer long-term health problems due to the kindness of The Neonatal Trust New Zealand and ICAP New Zealand.

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New Zealand’s WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death – study

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 10:05am

New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period.

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Otago researchers join new global Urban Health and Wellbeing Programme

Tuesday, 16 December 2014 1:59pm

New Zealand researchers are adding their expertise in housing and health to a newly launched global consortium of science and health organisations known as the Urban Health and Wellbeing Programme.

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Otago housing and health researchers win Prime Minister’s Science Prize

Tuesday, 2 December 2014 4:32pm

The internationally acclaimed housing and health research team at the University of Otago, Wellington, has won the 2014 Prime Minister’s Science Prize, valued at $500,000.

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Influenza estimated to kill about 400 New Zealanders each year

Monday, 24 November 2014 9:49am

New Zealand has an average of 401 influenza-associated deaths each year according to estimates published for the first time.

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Postgraduate programme in Public Health enters new era

Thursday, 13 November 2014 9:10am

The Wellington campus recently celebrated University of Otago’s restructured postgraduate Public Health programmes with a colourful and well-attended launch event on the Capital’s waterfront.

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Memorandum of Agreement acknowledges important and enduring relationship

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 9:25am

The signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between Kōkiri Marae Seaview and Tū Kotahi Māori Asthma Trust and the University of Otago next week will formalise a relationship that began more than 30 years ago.

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Intriguing story of life and death

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 9:02am

The fact that we’re living longer is well-known. But few are aware just how dramatic the changes in mortality have been in the last century. It’s a topic that has long captured the imagination of Wellington campus epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely, and one that is explored in-depth in a book he has co-written with Auckland University Professor of epidemiology and biostatistics Alistair Woodward.

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Low-risk prostate cancer patients will benefit from active surveillance guidelines

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 11:17am

New guidelines for active surveillance of prostate cancer will improve health outcomes for those with low grade diagnoses, according to two University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) experts who had input in to the international recommendations.

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Exploring health impacts of war through art

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 9:11am

Centennial events around the world have heightened public interest in the First World War. For health professionals and students in particular, that interest provides an opportunity to reflect on the health impacts of war. Some of the University’s Wellington campus researchers have chosen art as one medium to do so, distilling numerous artworks relating to the First Word War down to 10 that collectively convey the broadest range of war-related health impacts.

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World-first study proves low-cost home modifications prevent falls

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 10:59am

Falls in the home could be reduced by a quarter according to the results of a new study just published online in top international medical journal The Lancet.

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Learning science in te reo Māori

Thursday, 18 September 2014 12:51pm

The University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine recently hosted Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna for two days of science, in an exciting initiative aimed at exposing year 9 to 13 Kura students to science not usually offered at their school.

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Renters need assistance to improve poor housing conditions - study

Thursday, 18 September 2014 11:46am

Renters are living in poorer conditions than homeowners and are less empowered to improve their housing situation according to a study by medical students at the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Study highlights flaw in tobacco industry’s “informed adult choice” stance

Monday, 15 September 2014 11:09am

Flaws in the tobacco industry’s argument that smokers exercise “informed adult choice” when they start smoking have been highlighted in new study.

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Science Challenge 11 funding a breakthrough for predominantly-urban New Zealand

Monday, 8 September 2014 2:53pm

The Government’s announcement of funding for Science Challenge 11 is welcome recognition that New Zealand is now predominantly an urban country, says the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities.

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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 taxes important, but new approaches also needed – study

Wednesday, 3 September 2014 2:33pm

A just-published study suggests tobacco tax increases will need to be supplemented with other new approaches if New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 goal is to be achieved.

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Political parties to be questioned on needs of children

Wednesday, 3 September 2014 9:57am

Political party representatives will be asked to outline their policies in three key areas relating to the needs of children at a public forum being hosted this Friday by the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW).

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Study on causes of rheumatic fever gets underway in Auckland

Monday, 1 September 2014 10:04am

A study to identify and better understand risk factors for rheumatic fever – one of New Zealand’s most mysterious and serious illnesses – starts recruiting participants in Auckland this week.

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Needs of Māori a priority to address poor stomach cancer survival - researchers

Thursday, 21 August 2014 2:26pm

New research shows that Māori diagnosed with stomach cancer are 27% less likely to survive than non-Māori, prompting calls for recently-released national stomach cancer standards to prioritise the needs of Māori.

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Many drinks children associate with sport are largely unhealthy - study

Friday, 8 August 2014 11:47am

Urgent action is needed to help children and parents make healthier choices when it comes to the drinks children consume when playing sport, say University of Otago, Wellington researchers.

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Wellington’s street-connecting walkways could be better - study

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 11:20am

Graffiti, litter, and insufficient lighting and signage on Wellington’s street-connecting walkways are likely to be discouraging their use, researchers say.

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More political momentum needed to achieve Smokefree 2025 goal

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 11:24am

New research published in the New Zealand Medical Journal by ASPIRE 2025 researchers suggests the Government’s goal to achieve a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025 may be failing to gather the political momentum needed to ensure it is achieved.

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Improving prepayment electricity schemes could benefit households

Monday, 21 July 2014 11:49am

As power prices continue in an upward trend as reported in the latest Consumer Price Index, a new study shows households looking to find ways to make savings could benefit from using prepayment metering.

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HPV vaccination for school boys not yet cost-effective – study

Monday, 14 July 2014 12:11pm

HPV vaccination of New Zealand school boys is not yet a value-for-money option, according to a study just published by the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Successful community action – but smokefree car law
still needed to protect children

Friday, 4 July 2014 9:05am

Newly-published research shows the potential for community campaigns to reduce smoking in cars, but legislation is still critical to ensure children are protected the authors say.

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New Health Star Rating nutrition label may not be best format

Monday, 30 June 2014 10:18am

University of Otago researchers are questioning the likely effectiveness of new Health Star Rating nutrition labels that may soon be seen on the front of food packages in New Zealand and Australia.

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Breast cancer screening programme targets women too soon: researchers

Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:15pm

New Zealand should re-consider the age at which its breast cancer screening programme starts in light of growing questions about the balance of benefits and harms for women under 50, public health experts from the University of Otago Wellington say.

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Decline in funding for mass media campaigns undermines smokefree 2025 goal

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 11:43am

A steady decline in funding for mass media campaigns to promote smoking reduction is undermining the Government’s goal to achieve a smokefree New Zealand by 2025, warn ASPIRE 2025 researchers.

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Thyroid cancer risk in New Zealand highest among Pacific women

Friday, 6 June 2014 4:14pm

Just-published research shows Pacific women have the highest rates of thyroid cancer in New Zealand.

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Smoking cessation trial prompts call for subsidies on wider range of quit therapies

Thursday, 29 May 2014 9:24am

Community smoking-cessation workers are calling for the government to subsidise a wider range of nicotine replacement therapies so that smokers can afford to use products that are proving to be more popular and effective for those trying to quit.

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Medical conditions add to premature mortality risk of people with mental illness

Friday, 23 May 2014 9:20am

People using mental health services in New Zealand are dying prematurely from both natural and external causes, a new University of Otago Wellington study has revealed.

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Study provides new insights in to health system cost of living and dying in New Zealand

Friday, 2 May 2014 10:45am

A just-published study showing how public spending on health varies by age and proximity to death raises interesting questions about the best use of taxpayer funds, the authors say.

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Pregnant Māori teens let down by system despite positive health-seeking behaviour

Friday, 2 May 2014 10:13am

A new study dispels the myth that young pregnant Māori women delay access to antenatal care in their first trimester.

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Mall therapy a hit, but cost still a barrier

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 10:18am

A novel trial that offers smokers the chance to try nicotine replacement therapies through kiosks in community locations is offering ongoing discounts on the most popular products to help people stick with their decision to quit.

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Anti-cancer vaccine proves cost effective: but coverage needs improving

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 1:12pm

The New Zealand Government’s investment in HPV vaccination for girls is a “good value-for-money” way to protect health, a just-published study by the University of Otago Wellington (UOW) shows.

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Study of 1000s of NZ fruit & vege prices shows markets best value

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 2:10pm

A family of four could save as much as $49 per week by buying their fruit and vegetables at markets other than from a supermarket, a University of Otago Wellington study shows.