Dartmouth Medicine Winter 2010
Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:
In the Winter 2010 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, read about:
Heart rate, blood pressure . . . address?: Dr. Ethan Berke studies the impact on people's health of where they live. "We could even consider it the next 'vital sign,' " he says. His latest study shows that in urban areas, the density of retail outlets for alcohol is much higher in neighborhoods with more racial and ethnic minorities, higher levels of poverty, and lower levels of educational attainment. See page 6.
A $4-million "ah-ha moment" in the OR: Add an informal collaboration between two Dartmouth shoulder surgeons to a project by a team of M.D.-M.B.A. and M.B.A. students, and it equals a protocol for adopting new surgical tools or devices that is calculated to save $4 million a year. See page 17.
Color and colorectal cancer: Dartmouth researcher Samir Soneji has assessed the effect of race on outcomes for patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer; he found wide disparities. Annual death rates for the disease dropped dramatically between 1960 and 2005 for white women and somewhat less so for white men-but declined only slightly for black women and increased for black men. See page 8.
Tract record chasing HIV: Dartmouth physiologist Charles Wira has spent three decades studying the effect of the mucosal immune system in the female reproductive tract on the transmission of HIV. His lab recently identified in the tracts of 32 women-including both HIV-positive and HIV-negative subjects-microbicides capable of inhibiting HIV infection. See page 5.
"Blood brothers": In 2008, when Kevin Ireland donated some of his bone marrow to Dartmouth leukemia patient Gerry Best, neither man knew that they were both avid baseball fans-but for different teams. It turns out that Best is a longtime fan of the Boston Red Sox, while Ireland roots for the Yankees; the two men met for the first time this fall at Fenway Park at a Red Sox-Yankees game. "He gave me my life," Best says of Ireland. But make no doubt about it: "I guess I've got Yankee blood in me now," adds Best, "but I'm still for the Red Sox." See page 12.
Changing the rules: The incidence of conditions like hypertension and diabetes has skyrocketed in recent years. Some of that increase is real. But some of it is due to changes in the way diseases are defined. A member of the Dartmouth faculty explains some of the downsides of that trend in a soon-to-be-published book. See page 26.
Skin-banking pays dividends: The first large-scale study ever done of what has become a more and more common post-mastectomy breast reconstruction technique was recently completed by Dr. Dale Collins Vidal of Dartmouth. Her retrospective analysis of outcomes for 63 patients showed that the technique-called skin-banking-does indeed produce better results. See page 3.
Haitians in Hanover: Lots of undergraduate schools accommodated Haitian students whose education was disrupted by the massive earthquake there in January 2010. But Dartmouth was the first medical school in the U.S. to take in students from Haiti. See page 18.
To pursue any of these stories, contact Rick Adams, media relations manager for Dartmouth Medical School/Dartmouth-Hitchcock, at 603-653-1913 or Clarence.R.Adams@Hitchcock.org.
Dana Cook Grossman