Epi News

Tulane Department of Epidemiology in the News

  • New Predictors of Type-2 diabetes in Native Americans

Jinying Zhao, MD, PhD, reports that native Americans have a disproportionately high rate of Type-2 diabetes, and researchers wanted to see if they could identify new metabolic markers that indicated these patients' diabetes risk. read more>>

  • Can your cellphone help you lose weight?

Like most Americans, you have packed on a few pounds with holiday fêting and feasting. If you’re looking to trim down now, one of the best tools may be in the palm of your hand.

Cellphone support can help people lose significantly more weight, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. read more>>

  • Dr. Jiang He Recognized as a Highly Cited Researcher

Dr. Jiang He, Joseph S. Copes Chair and Professor of the Department of Epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, has been included among Thomson Reuters’ list of Highly Cited Researchers for 2014.  According to, Highly Cited Researchers 2014 represents some of world’s leading scientific minds. read more>>

  • Low Carbs, High Fat, No Problem

Dr. Lydia Bazzano featured on NPR's On Point listen here>>

  •  Annals of Internal Medicine:  Dieting? Low-carb trumps low-fat for weight loss, heart health

Low-carbohydrate diets are better for losing weight and protecting the heart than low-fat diets, according to a new Tulane University study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study followed 148 obese participants who were randomly assigned to either a low-carb diet, consuming less than 40 grams of digestible carbs per day, or a low-fat diet, consuming less than 30 percent of daily calories from fat. Researchers gave both groups dietary advice, but neither had strict calorie or exercise goals. The results challenge the perception that low-fat diets are always better for the heart, said lead author Dr. Lydia Bazzano, Lynda B. and H. Leighton Steward Professor in Nutrition Research at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical more>>

  • Major depressive disorder target of $3.13 million Tulane study

Tulane University has received a five-year $3.13 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the causes of major depressive disorder (MDD). "Major depressive disorder is a devastating psychiatric disorder that affects millions of Americans," says Dr. Jinying Zhao, associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and principal investigator. read more>>

  • JAMA:  Effect of Reducing Blood Pressure With Medications Immediately Following Ischemic Stroke

Jiang He, M.D., Ph.D., of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, and colleagues examined whether moderate lowering of blood pressure within the first 48 hours after the onset of an acute ischemic stroke would reduce death and major disability at 14 days or hospital discharge. read more>>

  •  Epidemiology Professor and Chair  Dr. Jiang He leads Tulane Participation in Major National Study of Chronic Kidney Disease 

Tulane University researchers will receive $3.35 million to continue their participation for the next five years in a major national study on kidney disease. Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, one of the National Institutes of Health, the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study has, since 2003, followed nearly 4,000 patients with chronic kidney disease through two phases of research at seven centers around the country including more>>

  •  NYT:  Global Health -  Diabetes Epidemic Grows in China

China has the world’s biggest diabetes epidemic, and it continues to get worse, according to the latest study of the disease’s devastating effects on the world’s most populous country, which has risen from poverty to become an economic superpower in 30 years. read more>>

  • Epidemiology Alumnus Chris Gunther hired by the City of New Orleans

Chris Gunther’s practicum with the New Orleans Health Department led to a permanent job with the city. He credits the city’s mayor, Mitch Landrieu, right, with the vision to see violence as a public health issue. By the close of his first year at Tulane, Gunther began considering practicum placements, and he emailed Epidemiology adjunct professor and Tulane alumna Dr. Karen DeSalvo, the city’s health commissioner. She was looking for a student who could provide analysis to determine instances of domestic violence among clients in the Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program. Gunther partnered with the New Orleans Family Justice Center.  A new position was created in response to the mayor’s push to end violence. Gunther now serves in the violence and behavioral health program, overseeing the family violence prevention program. read more>>


  • Cancer researchers move to a new home

The Tulane Cancer Center recently relocated a number of its cancer investigators, their laboratory teams and its administrative unit into the new Louisiana Cancer Research Center, a 10-story, $102 million facility near the Tulane University downtown campus. In all, approximately 100 cancer center personnel will work in the new, state-funded building. 

The Louisiana Cancer Research Center is state-of-the-art, featuring an open-lab format, the new standard for modern research facilities that offers several advantages.  “Our research personnel are able to communicate and collaborate more effectively, since they are all working together in one large, modern space, as opposed to individual labs,” says Prescott Deininger, director of the Tulane Cancer Center. "This leads to the sharing of research theories, camaraderie and synergy." read more>>

  • Tulane to Provide Research Training in Gene-Environment Interaction in China

The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine has been awarded a Fogarty International Research Training Grant worth over one million dollars from the National Institutes of Health. The new research training program aims to build capacity for future genomic, epidemiological, and clinical research and training in chronic diseases in China. The grant will also strengthen partnerships between US and Chinese investigators by training the next generation of scientists in research that focuses on the interaction between genetic  predisposition and environmental exposure in chronic, non-communicable diseases.The grant was jointly awarded to Tulane’s Jiang He, Joseph S. Copes Chair and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, and Dongfeng Gu, vice president of the Cardiovascular Institute and Fu Wai Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College and vice director of the National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases of China. read more>>

  • Tulane to test hypertension control program in Argentina

With a five-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Tulane epidemiologist Dr. Jiang He will lead a study to determine the effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention program to improve hypertension prevention and control among uninsured patients and their families in Argentina. read more>>

  • It’s home to Afghanistan for epidemiology global health scholar

It’s home to Afghanistan for epidemiology global health scholar. Improving women’s health in Afghanistan is a passion for Dr. Palwasha Anwari, a doctor from Farah Province. After studying epidemiology as a Fulbright scholar at Tulane University, she plans to return home to work on the problem of childbirth death rates in Afghanistan, which are among the highest in the world. read more>>

  •  HBO:  Bogalusa Heart Study featured in documentary series The Weight of the Nation  

The Bogalusa Heart Study is featured in “Consequences,” the first episode of “The Weight of the Nation,” a documentary series on the national obesity epidemic.  In 1972, Dr. Gerald Berenson, research professor in the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Department of Epidemiology, launched the study which continues through the present day and has tracked vital data on children’s heart health in Bogalusa, Louisiana, a black/white rural community on the Louisiana/Mississippi border. More than sixteen thousand individuals have been tracked over three decades from infancy into adulthood. read more>>

  • JAMA:  New Role for High Blood Pressure Meds?

A Tulane University analysis of previously published clinical studies indicates that for patients with a history of
cardiovascular disease but who do not have hypertension, treatment with high blood pressure medication may
result in a reduced risk of stroke, congestive heart failure and other causes of death. The research team published
its results in the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical more>>

  • CNN:  Swapping carbs for soy, dairy protein may help lower blood pressure   

People with hypertension who replace a portion of the carbohydrates in their diet with soy protein or low-fat dairy
may see a small yet meaningful decrease in their blood pressure, a new study suggests. Our message really
encourages people to eat more beans -- especially soybeans -- and to eat more low-fat dairy," says the lead author of the study, Jiang He, M.D., a professor of epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, in New Orleans. read more>>

  • Tulane New Wave:  Sex Education Goes Online

Tulane University public health experts are devising an online campaign aimed at 18- and 19- year-old African American girls in New Orleans with the goal of preventing unintended pregnancy and promoting personal responsibility. Two-thirds of all teen pregnancies occur in this age category. While the rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States has significantly declined among youth in their early teens, it has continued to remain high among women in their
late teens, says Patricia Kissinger, professor of epidemiology in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. read more>>

  • MSN:  Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension

Physical activity may diminish the negative impact of a high-salt diet on blood pressure, a new study suggests. Researchers found that the more people exercise, the less their blood pressure will rise in response to a high-salt diet. "For those with low physical activity, their blood pressure will increase more if they increase their sodium intake," said study co-authorDr. Jiang He,chair of the department of epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. read more>>

  • NBC17:  NC State, Tulane Professor To Study Roach Control, Asthma Links

A Tulane University researcher is gearing up to study whether exterminating roaches can alleviate asthma symptoms in
children who live in public housing.  Pest control programs have helped improve asthma problems, but this study will look at what affect specifically targeting roaches will have on the children, said Felicia Rabito, an associate professor of epidemiology in Tulane's School of Public Health and Tropical more>>

  • NYTimes: Regimens: Drugs’ Benefits Go Beyond Blood Pressure

A new analysis suggests that blood pressure drugs may benefit heart disease patients even if they don’t have high blood pressure. The study’s lead author, Angela M. Thompson, said that while current guidelines call for treatment when blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, “we know from other studies that there’s a graded relationship between cardiovascular disease risk and blood pressure”— starting when the first number, the systolic reading, is as low as 115. read more>>

  • PR Newswire:  Bogalusa Heart Study Keeps Tulane Researcher Busy 39 Years Later

Dr. Gerald Berenson's four decades of groundbreaking research confirming that heart disease begins in childhood has
brought him international accolades. But what makes this Tulane cardiologist's heart sing is applying the lessons learned
from preventive cardiology research to practical lessons for schoolchildren. Developed by Berenson and the team of the
Tulane Center for Cardiovascular Health, the Health Ahead/Heart Smart program has been implemented in all 16
elementary schools in Washington Parish, La., where Berenson launched the world-renowned Bogalusa Heart Study
in 1972. In these classrooms, Berenson says 5,000 to 7,000 children participate in activities that emphasize having
healthy lifestyles and being good students. read more>>


Department of Epidemiology, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2000, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-6809