SCEHSC Announces 2017 Pilot Project Grantees

The Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center (SCEHSC) announced the annual pilot awards for 2017 on Friday, Feb. 3rd.  Director Frank Gilliland, MD, PhD said that the applications covered a wide range of cutting edge environmental health issues.  Four pilots were funded a total of $123,525 for 2017:
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Air pollution linked to heightened risk of Type 2 diabetes in obese Latino children

High levels of pollution may make insulin-creating cells become less efficient, increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes, USC researchers say

by Zen Vuong

Latino children who live in areas with higher levels of air pollution have a heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a new USC-led study.

Scientists tracked children’s health and respective levels of residential air pollution for about 3½ years before associating chronic unhealthy air exposure to a breakdown in beta cells, special pancreatic cells that secrete insulin and maintain the appropriate sugar level in the bloodstream.

By the time the children turned 18, their insulin-creating pancreatic cells were 13 percent less efficient than normal, making these individuals more prone to eventually developing Type 2 diabetes, researchers said.

Air quality in Los Angeles and other cities is a concern for researchers who study its effects. (Photo/iStock)

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Living Near Busy Roads Infographic Receives Recognition

Living Near Busy Roads or Traffic PollutionThe Community Outreach and Engagement Team recently received recognition for the Living Near Busy Roads or Traffic Pollution infographic that was initially produced in 2014. The Transportation Research Board recognized the interactive infographic as part of an overall competition focused on communicating the link between transportation and public health.

The team received the recognition at the TRBs Annual Meeting in Washington DC on January 10, 2017. Read associated article published by NIEHS in the online newsletter Environmental Factor.

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Air pollution may lead to dementia in older women

USC-led study suggests that tiny, dirty airborne particles called PM2.5 invade the brain and wreak havoc

by Zen Vuong

MEDIA COVERAGE: Science (AAAS), New York TimesUSC News, Press Enterprise, Science Daily, LA Daily News, Environmental News Network, Science Newsline, Medical Xpress, U.S News, The Economic Times, Psych Central, Bold Sky

Tiny air pollution particles — the type that mainly comes from power plants and automobiles — may greatly increase the chance of dementia, including dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, according to USC-led research.

Scientists and engineers found that older women who live in places with fine particulate matter exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standard are 81 percent more at risk for global cognitive decline and 92 percent more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

Air pollution may lead to dementia in older women USC-led study suggests that tiny, dirty airborne particles called PM2.5 invade the brain and wreak havoc
(Animation/Meg Rosenburg)

If their findings hold up in the general population, air pollution could be responsible for about 21 percent of dementia cases, according to the study.

Link to research here.

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Children’s Health Study: New comprehensive report published

Researchers from the USC based Southern California Children’s Health Study have authored a comprehensive report published this week by the Health Effects Institute, The Effects of Policy-Driven Air Quality Improvements on Children’s Respiratory Health.

16 communities in the Children's Health Study
16 communities in the Children’s Health Study

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Children with asthma are more likely to become obese, USC study finds

Even after accounting for exercise, asthmatic children may be more at risk of obesity

by Zen Vuong

MEDIA COVERAGE: Health DayUSC News, Press Enterprise (SCNG), Medical News TodayNew Delhi Television, Tech TimesBusiness Standard (India), San Gabriel Valley Tribune, United Press International. Nursing Times, Medical News Daily , The Global Dispatch

New USC research finds that children with asthma were 51 percent more likely to become obese over the next decade compared to kids who did not have asthma.

“Early diagnosis and treatment of asthma may help prevent the childhood obesity epidemic,” said study senior author Frank Gilliland. (Photo/shutterstock)
“Early diagnosis and treatment of asthma may help prevent the childhood obesity epidemic,” said study senior author Frank Gilliland. (Photo/shutterstock)

The study, published on Jan. 20 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, also indicated that children who used asthma inhalers when they had an attack were 43 percent less likely to become obese. Continue reading “Children with asthma are more likely to become obese, USC study finds”

Training resources to build community capacity on goods movement & health

The Community Engagement Team of the USC Environmental Health Centers hosted a webinar on December 21, Training resources to build community capacity on goods movement & health. Speakers Carla Truax (USC), Eric Kirkendall (Diesel Health Project), and Ms. Margaret Gordon (West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project) highlighted workshops and presentation resources that organizations can use to train new members and students. These resources are all featured in the Moving Forward Network‘s online resource library.  During the webinar the speakers talked about their experience developing the materials for all audiences, and noted that the “guides and 101” documents are great for beginners, use an engaging education style, and many are also available in Spanish.

Resources can be found at the Moving Forward Network’s online library.

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