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In this first half of 2020, our institute published its first two papers.

The first paper looked at the treatment effects of iron supplementation via meta-analysis for young children who have breath holding spells, a common cause of fainting in this age group. While benign in nature, breath holding spells are frightening for parents and most parents seek medical assistance when they occur. Children are often referred to neurologists and cardiologists in search of a diagnosis and treatment. We found that iron supplementation convincingly worked to alleviate breath holding spells in the vast majority of children. We also found that breath holding spells were alleviated in children treated with iron even if they did not have iron deficiency anemia. This paper was published in Clinical Pediatrics, and we hope this paper helps to change the standard of care for these young children from watchful waiting to iron supplementation.

Our second paper utilized the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) as a data source so we could measure the frequency that Americans participate in what are known as the five healthy behaviors (not smoking, not drinking excessively, exercising, eating healthfully, and maintaining a healthy weight). We were most interested to know what percentage of Americans did all 5 behaviors since doing all 5 is associated with impressive reductions in illness and death. We found that just 5% of Americans did all 5 behaviors, an observation we believe has important public health implications. This paper was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

These papers were written in collaboration with some of the institute’s colleagues and a special thanks to Gary Abrams and David Landy, as well as our in-house fellows, Anna Rabil and Marnie Layton. We are especially proud of our fellows who are both advancing their own research skills while also advancing the agenda of our institute, so a special thanks to Marnie and Anna as well.

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