ARIC celebrates 30 years of community, research

ARIC celebrates 30 years of community, research

Changes happen with age. Blood pressure rises, as does the risk of other cardiovascular diseases.

Who is most susceptible to these changes? Why do they happen? And, perhaps most importantly, how can we use this knowledge to make people healthier?

Big questions require big studies. For 30 years, the University of Mississippi Medical Center has been looking for the answers through the Jackson field site of the landmark Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, or ARIC.

“The main focus [of ARIC] is elucidating the risk factors for heart disease and stroke and determining how that varies by sex, race and geography,” said Dr. Tom Mosley, principal investigator for the Jackson site.

Since 1987, ARIC has followed approximately 16,000 participants in Jackson; Washington County, Maryland; Forsyth County, North Carolina; and Minneapolis, Minnesota from midlife onward, investigating the origin of diseases associated with atherosclerosis, the hardening of blood vessels.

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Pet therapy dogs are kids’ best friends at Batson Children’s Hospital

NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of Under the Rainbow, the semi-annual magazine for Batson Children's Hospital/Children's of Mississippi. A PDF of that issue can be found here.

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Lyla, Honey and Uno, the canine pet therapy team at Batson Children's Hospital, help patients forget about being ill or injured for a while. When these dogs, ranging from a Shetland sheepdog to a Labrador-chow mix, stop in, they offer children the healing power of petting a dog.

That power, it turns out, is fairly potent. The simple act of petting a dog can lower stress and blood pressure and help humans from children to adults make connections among each other as well as with the canine.

Alan Beck, director of the Center of the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University, said even a brief visit with a therapy dog can have an effect on young patients.

“Even a short interaction a dog has a relaxation response,” Beck said. “We demonstrated a small but consistent decrease in blood pressure, and facial expressions indicated relaxed features. The effect is probably stimulated for two reasons. We are genetically coded to find reward with contact - gentle touch among welcomed partners lowers blood pressure - and we view dogs as members of the family.”

Furry friends such as Lyla, a 7-year-old Shetland sheepdog, can be a distraction for kids who need something to take their minds off being in the hospital. “Anything that helps you focus your attention on the present relaxes,” Beck said.

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Pet therapy dogs are kids’ best friends at Batson Children’s Hospital

eCV shifts to weekly summer schedule

eCV shifts to weekly summer schedule

eCV, the Medical Center's twice-weekly electronic newsletter, will move to a weekly distribution pattern for the summer beginning Monday, June 5.

The newsletter will be distributed to all UMMC email accounts on Mondays in June, July and early August. eCV will return to its usual Monday and Thursday publication schedule when the fall semester arrives.

For more information or to submit story suggestions for consideration in eCV, email Marc Rolph at mrolph@umc.edu or Bruce Coleman at bcoleman@umc.edu.

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UMMC staff receive service recognition

The Medical Center is proud to acknowledge those employees who will celebrate service anniversaries during the week of June 5-11.

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UMMC staff receive service recognition

Utah geneticist, JHS director's presentations top week's agenda

Utah geneticist, JHS director's presentations top week's agenda

Several interesting events are scheduled for the upcoming weeks at the Medical Center.

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Indiana academic hospitalist joins Medical Center faculty

The Medical Center is proud to announce the following addition to its faculty and leadership staff.

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Indiana academic hospitalist joins Medical Center faculty
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