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Department of Population Health Sciences

Biostatistics and Data Science***Georgia Prevention Institute***Epidemiology  
Department Chair: Varghese George, PhD
Vice Chair: Gregory Harshfield, PhD.

May your Days be Merry and Bright!

Click on the picture below to see a special Holiday message from PHS. 


New Publications

Dose responses of vitamin D3 supplementation on arterial stiffness in overweight African Americans with vitamin D deficiency: A placebo controlled randomized trial.

Anas Raed; Jigar Bhagatwala; Haidong Zhu; Norman K. Pollock;  Samip J. Parikh; Ying Huang; Robyn Havens; Ishita Kotak; De-Huang Guo; Yanbin Dong
Background: Clinical trials are scant and equivocal on whether vitamin D can ameliorate arterial stiffness, particularly in populations at high risk for vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study determined the dose-response effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on arterial stiffness in overweight African Americans with vitamin D deficiency. Conclusion: Arterial stiffness was improved by vitamin D3 supplementation in a dose-response manner in overweight African Americans with vitamin D deficiency.
See Full Manuscript

Fitness, sleep-disordered breathing, symptoms of depression and cognition in inactive overweight children: Mediation models.

Stojek MK, Montoya A, Drescher CF, Newberry A, Sultan Z, Williams CF, Pollock NK, Davis CL*. 
Objectives: We used mediation models to examine the mechanisms underlying the relationships among physical fitness, sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), symptoms of depression, and cognitive functioning. Conclusions: SDB mediates the relationship between fitness and depression, and SDB and depression separately mediate the relationship between fitness and the attention component of cognition.
See Full Manuscript
Special Notes from Head Author
CFTR Genotype and Maximal Exercise Capacity in Cystic Fibrosis: A Cross-sectional Study.

Radtke T., Hebestreit H., Gallati S., Schneiderman J.E., Braun J., Stevens D., Hulzebos E.H., Takken T., Boas S.R., Urquhart D.S., Lands L.C., Tejero S., Sovtic A., Dwyer T., Petrovic M., Harris R.A., Karila C., Savi D., Usemann J., Mei-Zahav M., Hatziagorou E., Ratjen F., Kriemler S.

Objectives: This study was designed to explore factors influencing aerobic exercise capacity, expressed as peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) with a specific focus on CFTR genotype in children and adults with CF. Conclusion: We conclude that lung disease severity and reduced nutritional status rather than CFTR genotypes are the major determinants of aerobic exercise capacity in patients with CF.
See full Abstract

Lip repositioning for the treatment of excess gingival display: A systematic review.

Omnia K. Tawfik; Hani E. El-Nahass; Peter Shipman; Stephen W. Looney; Christopher W. Cutler; Mark Brunner.
Background: Lip repositioning is a conservative surgical technique used to treat excess gingival
display. An array of modifications has been introduced to the technique over time and as studies
show the technique and its modifications to be successful, there is little standardized information
for clinicians to make informed decisions when choosing this technique for the treatment of
patients with excessive gingival display (EGD). Conclusions: Despite the limited available studies on lip repositioning, an estimated meanimprovement of 3.4 mm was found to be possible with surgical lip repositioning, suggesting thatthe technique could be used successfully to treat EGD. However, more studies are necessary to properly evaluate the treatment approach and stability of the technique.
See Full Manuscript

Micro-calibration of space and motion by photoreceptors synchronized in
parallel with cortical oscillations: A unified theory of visual perception.

Ravinder Jerath; Shannon M. Cearley; Vernon A. Barnes; Mike Jensen.

A fundamental function of the visual system is detecting motion, yet visual perception is poorly understood. We propose that vision is tripartite, with three components that allow a person to make sense of the world, terming them “primary, secondary, and tertiary roles” of vision. Finally, we propose that Gamma waves that are higher in strength and volume allow communication among the retina, thalamus, and various areas of the cortex, and synchronization brings cortical faculties to the retina, while the thalamus is the link that couples the retina to the rest of the brain through activity by gamma oscillations. This novel theory lays groundwork for further research by providing a theoretical understanding that expands upon the functions of the retina, photoreceptors, and retinal plexus to include parallel processing needed to form the internal visual space that we perceive as the external world.
See Full Manuscript

Something New 

Meet Hannah Hill! Hannah is our newest member at Population Health Sciences. She graduated from Augusta University with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. She will be working with Dr. Tingen under the NCI-CCDR studies at the Georgia Cancer Center. Hannah has a passion for reading and volunteering with senior citizens in her spare time. Welcome Aboard Hannah!

Faculty in Action 

Norman Pollock, PhD, was invited to serve a 2-year term as one of nine members of the “Oversight Advisory Committee” for American Heart Association’s Strategically Focused Research Network (Children’s Division). The Oversight Advisory Committee provides external oversight for the AHA’s Strategically Focused Children’s Research Network Awards and serves in an advisory capacity to the awarded Centers, which includes Children’s Research Institute (Washington, DC), Duke University, Northwestern University, and University of Utah.
Frances M. Yang, PhD, is the Chair-Elect of the International Society for Quality of Life Research Psychometrics Special Interest Group, and gave her acceptance speech on October 19th, 2017 entitled: “Clinical and Translation Psychometrics Research for Quality of Life Measures.” Dr. Yang was also an invited speaker at the Emory University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center on December 7, 2017. Seminar was titled  “Using Latent Variable Modeling to Identify Neuropsychological Measures for Alzheimer’s Disease and Cerebral Infarctions Validated by Brain Autopsy Data.” 
Arni S. Rao, PhD, Served on a panel answering important questions about HIV / AIDS. Dr. Rao developed a mathematical model to help answer some essential questions researchers may have when dealing with the HIV / AIDS population. See questions and answers from the interview

Ryan Harris, PhD, served on the NIH P30 National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases Special Emphasis Panel for the Cystic Fibrosis Clinical and Translation Centers on December 4th and 5th of 2017.


The Georgia Prevention Institute Division is
Getting Holiday Ready

James Halbert, PhD
 Kim Norland
Eftihia Kountakis, BS

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