Looking beyond the tooth: WVU studies impact of social support on kids’ oral health

Limiting sugary drinks and insisting on regular toothbrushing can prevent tooth decay in kids. Maybe providing their mothers with social support can, too. A study by Daniel McNeil, a WVU School of Dentistry researcher, suggests children may be less likely to have a lot of cavities if their mothers have someone to talk to about their problems.

WVU researchers use telehealth to head off hospitalizations and ER visits

West Virginia University researcher Steve Davis is piloting an intervention program that uses telehealth to connect rural West Virginians with nurses who can help them manage—and even prevent—conditions like these. The program will focus on individuals being discharged from long-term care facilities as they transition to life back at home.

WVU researcher studies how nursing homes can accommodate obese residents

West Virginia University researcher Nicholas Castle is part of a team investigating how nursing homes can best meet obese residents’ healthcare needs. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality—a division of the Department of Health and Human Services—has awarded them nearly $2 million for the project.

WVU study links exposure to chemicals found in household items to lower heart disease rates in diabetics

Kim Innes, of the WVU School of Public Health, and her colleagues recently discovered that greater exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances was associated with lower rates of existing coronary heart disease in adults with diabetes. PFAS, considered a public health threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are manufactured chemicals that were popularized by various industries in the 1940s because of their ability to repel oil and water.

WVU biostatistician studies link between microbiome and preterm birth

Pregnant African American women are more likely than white women to give birth prematurely, but they’re underrepresented in studies of preterm birth rates. Snehalata Huzurbazar, a biostatistics professor in the West Virginia University School of Public Health, is working to change that.

WVU researcher studies bystander behavior in sexual-assault prevention

Carry your keys; stick to well-lit streets; don’t go out alone after dark. People receive advice like this every day from friends and family members concerned for their safety. But WVU researcher Danielle Davidov is investigating bystander-intervention programs that engage the whole community, not just potential victims, in preventing sexual violence.