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NEWS:

Exploring ‘Exercise as Medicine’

If being sedentary is the new smoking, then UCI’s nascent Exercise as Medicine class is the modern equivalent of the old surgeon general’s warning on cigarette packs.

Taught by James Hicks, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology, the course examines the hazards of physical inactivity and explores how exercise not only improves overall health but can even alter or reverse the trajectory of cancer and other diseases.

Hicks says he created the class – which debuted this spring with 85 biology students and turned away another 179 – to spread the gospel of walking, running and other forms of exertion.

“Because many biology majors go into medicine, I’m trying to make them converts who will tell their friends, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and patients that regular physical activity is like a fountain of youth,” he says.

For decades, science assumed that the gradual decline

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Minimum Nurse-to-Patient Ratios Policy Saves Lives and Lowers Costs

A new study published in The Lancet showed that a policy establishing minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in hospitals in Queensland, Australia saved lives, prevented readmissions, shortened hospital stays, and reduced costs.

The study, by the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and the Queensland University of Technology School of Nursing, evaluated legislation enacted in 2016 as a safety measure. The new policy limited the average number of patients per nurse to four, similar to pending legislation in New York and Illinois. “The positive results in Queensland should inform policies in the U.S. and elsewhere,” said lead-author Matthew McHugh, PhD, the Independence Chair for Nursing Education and CHOPR Director.

The researchers collected extensive data before and after the legislation from about 17,000 nurses

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U.S. Blood Donations Are Safe Under Current Covid-19 Screening Guidelines

A new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and their colleagues has found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, does not appear to pose a threat to the safety of the nation’s blood supply. The analysis, published in Transfusion(link is external), supports current donor screening guidelines, including those used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(link is external), that do not require testing blood samples for the SARS-CoV-2 virus but do require that donors be screened for physical symptoms of COVID-19 and for infections that occurred within 14 days of the blood donation. The blood of donors with recent COVID-19 infections, or who develop infections after recent donations, cannot be used.

After reviewing test results for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in thousands of blood donations across the country, researchers found no reason to alter the current blo

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Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Unveils “The Apartment,” a Full-Scale Model Dementia-Friendly Residence

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) unveiled The Apartment, a full-scale model dementia-friendly residence in AFA headquarters—with entryway, kitchen, bedroom, bath, living room and dining area—that showcases more than 30 practical design and technological enhancements to make a home safer and improve quality of life for someone living with dementia and their family care partners.

Families can experience a video tour of The Apartment virtually at www.alzfdn.org/TheApartment as well as receive a free copy of The Apartment: A Guide to Creating a Dementia-Friendly Home, a 20-page booklet that showcases each of the rooms with detailed, step-by-step summaries of dementia-friendly improvements and a sample product listing appendix.

“The Apartment was created as a teaching tool for the growing population of families who have loved ones living with dementia,” said Charles J. Fuschillo

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