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2018 News archive

Pūranga karere 2018

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.