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Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago

NIH Blood Pressure Study Data Supports AHA/ACC Hypertension Guidelines

Tue, 2017-11-21 13:22

1952924 by Myriam from Pixabay via CC0

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded a landmark study that supports a crucial component of the 2017 Hypertension

Clinical Practice Guidelines put forth by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC).  The AHA and ACC guidelines state that high blood pressure should be treated earlier by changes in lifestyle and medications for some.  The new guideline recommends treatment at 130/80 instead of 140/90.

Recommendations are the result of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) that was designed to determine how to best treat adults with high blood pressure, over the age of 50, and at risk for heart disease.  SPRINT was sponsored in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and The National Institute of Aging (NIA), divisions of the National Institutes of Health.

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Categories: Data Science

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Launches a Crowdsourcing Project Called PregSource to Better Understand Pregnancy

Tue, 2017-11-14 16:55

PregSource, collects information from pregnant women to increase knowledge about pregnancy.  The research project delves into emotional, physical, labor, and delivery aspects to identify specific challenges experienced by subsets of women, to include those with physical disabilities.  The overarching goal of the research program is to form better strategies to improve maternal health care in the United States.

Participants of PregSource answer online surveys to share information about their experiences like sleep, mood, weight changes, morning sickness, and others.  According to the NIH, by collecting this data, the NIH hopes to answer the following research questions:

  • How many women experience morning sickness? How long does it generally last?
  • How much does pregnancy affect women’s sleep patterns? How do these patterns change over the course of the pregnancy?
  • What are the patterns of weight gain during pregnancy, and how do they affect health?
  • How do women with challenges, such as physical disabilities or chronic diseases, experience pregnancy and new motherhood?

Pregnant women ages 18 years and older can enroll.  Enrollment is free.  Information from participants will not be sold to third parties.  Personal information is de-identified, meaning names and addresses are removed from data collected.  The information is then shared with researchers to be used in future studies.

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Categories: Data Science

The NIH Data Science Releases a Case Study Underscoring the Value of Librarianship in the Patient Care Setting

Tue, 2017-11-07 05:00

The National Library of Medicine

A NIH Data Science published a report titled A Case Study in NIH Data Science: Open Data and Understanding the Value of Libraries and Information Services in the Patient Care Setting.  In short, the NIH used other research studies to learn where and how clinicians reported using PubMed/MEDLINE as an information resource influencing clinical decision making.

Journals and PubMed/MEDLINE were the two resources most used by clinicians according to the NIH data analysis.  In addition, the NIH discovered that when clinicians use a greater number of information resources, the probability of changes to patient care were higher and so is the prevention of negative events.

According to the NIH, the advantage of using research that is already available saves time, money, increases collaboration, and extends the life of the original work.  This has direct implications for researchers and librarians, in particular.  Leveraging information service skills is an important part of affecting patient care.

Who best to provide that service than a librarian?

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Categories: Data Science

The Trouble with Drugs: Possible Solution to the Opioid Problem

Wed, 2017-11-01 18:41

“health medicine tablet pills” by Aloísio Costa Latgé ACL from Pixabay via CC0

The opioid epidemic has become a national crisis, one that may lead the White House to declare a national state of emergency. But there may be good news on the horizon about one possible solution to the rising number of overdose deaths.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that deaths from prescription drugs, heroin, and synthetic opioid like fentanyl have more than quadrupled in the last 20 years. Almost 30,000 deaths a year are attributed to illegal and legally prescribed opioids.

However, in the state of Colorado, the growth of overdose deaths has slowed over the past few years, an adjustment linked to the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana.

In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health and coauthored by researchers in the School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, an analysis of data from the year 2000 to 2015 shows a 6% reduction in Colorado’s number of opioid-related deaths after recreational marijuana was made legal in 2012.

The study, the first of its kind to look at short-term public health benefits of legalized marijuana, has garnered a huge amount of attention, trending on Google and ranked high on Web of Science for number of citations soon after it was released.

Despite the potential benefits demonstrated by the study, the lead author recommends caution for policymakers considering legal decisions, as further study is necessary to examine the long-term effects of expanded and legalized marijuana use. This is one story you’ll want to add to your saved folder and check back on in the future.

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Categories: Data Science

Infection Control Week

Tue, 2017-10-17 10:44

“Achromobacter xylosoxidans” by CDC/Todd Parker is licensed under CC0.

Every year, at least 2 million people in the U.S. become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. Bacteria adapt to the antibiotics designed to kill them, making our antibiotics less effective and limiting our treatment options. For more information on prevention, see the CDC’s Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance page:

Also follow the “ABCs of Antibiotics”, provided by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC):

  • Ask – “Are these antibiotics necessary?”
  • Bacteria – Antibiotics do not kill viruses. They only kill bacteria.
  • Complete the course – Take all of your antibiotics exactly as prescribed (even if you are feeling better).

For more information, check out the infographics at

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Categories: Data Science