Medicating distress: Risky sedative prescriptions for older adults vary widely

Despite years of warnings that older adults shouldn't take sedative drugs that put them at risk of injury and death, a new study reveals how many primary care doctors are still prescribing them, how often, and exactly where.

Mapped out county by county, the study shows wide variation in prescriptions of the drugs, called benzodiazepines. Some counties, especially in the Deep South and rural western states, had three times the level of sedative prescribing as others.

The study also highlights gaps at the level of individual prescribers: Some primary care providers prescribed sedatives more than six times more often than their peers. These high-intensity prescribers of drugs such as Xanax, Ativan and Valium also tended to be high-intensity prescribers of opioid painkillers.

Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine by a team led by Donovan Maust, M.D., M.S., U-M assistant professor of psychiatry, the study shows the power of data to highlight persistent inappropriate use of medications.

Study of nearly 41,000 women who almost died giving birth shows who's most at risk

Tens of thousands of American women each year need emergency treatment to save their lives while they deliver their babies, or immediately after. A new study shows how much their risk of a life-threatening birth depends on their racial and ethnic background, and their underlying health. In all, 1.6 percent of women faced such a situation. Women of color, and those of Hispanic heritage, had higher rates of severe birth-related health issues than non-Hispanic white women ---- even if they were otherwise healthy.

The new study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology and led by Lindsay Admon, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, calls attention to the issue of what physicians call severe maternal morbidity.

Sepsis: What you need to know

Sepsis is an extreme immune response to infection that more than 1 million Americans will develop each year ---- and 250,000 will die from it. It is also one of the most expensive conditions to treat in U.S. hospitals. IHPI's new brief on sepsis discusses what U-M research shows about the issue and potential policy implications and solutions.

Voices of Michigan Medicaid enrollees

Part of IHPI's evaluation of the Healthy Michigan Plan (the state's expansion of Medicaid) includes a series of surveys called Healthy Michigan Voices, which asks enrollees about health status, how and where they are accessing care, their financial well-being, and more. This brief summarizes findings from the 2016 survey.

Lung cancer will remain major health issue, despite falling rates

Smoking-related lung cancer rates are expected to drop dramatically over the next 50 years, but lung cancer will continue to be a significant health problem in the United States, says a University of Michigan researcher.

Under the most optimistic scenario, rates could drop by 81 percent, while under the most pessimistic scenario, rates would fall by 75 percent from 2015 to 2065.

Rafael Meza, Ph.D., associate professor at U-M's School of Public Health, and colleagues at the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network, utilized four independent models to project lung cancer rates for U.S. men and women aged 30 to 84 from 1964 to 2065. All models projected the impact of changes in smoking prevalence since the 1960s on past and future lung cancer mortality.


Genetic testing after a breast cancer diagnosis can offer clues to individualized treatment decisions for a patient and her treatment team. But many patients aren't aware it exists and could be missing out on that opportunity, according to a new study published in Cancer.

A team led by Michele Gornick, Ph.D., M.A., with researchers from IHPI and the U-M Rogel Cancer Center, recently sought to determine how much newly diagnosed cancer patients understand about the benefits of genetic testing after a diagnosis.

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The Institute brings great minds together to address healthcare's biggest challenges. More than 500 investigators come to IHPI from U-M's top-ranked schools of medicine, nursing, public health, engineering, social work, law, business, and public policy, among others, as well as members of affiliated local research organizations.

Points of Impact: Tammy Chang

Tammy Chang, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of family medicine, is the developer of MyVoice, a text message-based survey that asks young people for their insights and perceptions on emerging issues that affect their own health and wellbeing. Here, she explains the survey and its broad goal of conducting timely, responsive research that can directly inform public policy, while giving youth a real say in the decision-making that impacts their lives.


MyVoice: U-M created SMS platform that captures real-time American youth opinions and experiences


U-M receives $3.3M to study new tools for unmet social needs in diabetes management

Minal Patel, Ph.D., M.P.H., the John G. Searle Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the U-M School of Public Health, was awarded a five-year $3.3 million grant from the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative e-health tool that helps people with uncontrolled diabetes manage unmet needs.


Women in Big Data at Michigan Symposium

Date: November 12, 2018
Time: 8:30 a.m. --- 4:30 p.m.
Location: Michigan League
Keynote Speaker: Xihong Lin, Ph.D., Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Biostatistics, and chair, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

This day-long symposium will highlight women in data science research at U-M, provide resources and support for women pursuing careers in data science, a poster session, lunch time round table discussions, a faculty panel, and ample time for networking.

IHPI Speakers:
Explore IHPI's FY2018 Annual Report

The IHPI Annual Report highlights FY2018 high-impact, policy-relevant research in aging, precision health, opioids, healthcare value, and more.

The report also showcases the many ways IHPI is innovating in education, training, and professional development, and harnessing Big Data for healthcare research.

Please explore the report to take a closer look at some of the innovative minds that make IHPI a truly unique driver of collaboration and discovery.
The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation is committed to improving the quality, safety, equity, and affordability of healthcare services.

To carry out our ambitious mission, our efforts are focused in four areas:
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