Oregon Health & Science University


About OHSU Health

Your family’s well-being is important to us. That’s why OHSU’s Health magazine brings you the latest research news, expert advice and event listings to help you stay current and keep your family healthy. Our magazine is intended to educate and inform: If you have urgent medical issues or in-depth questions, please talk to your health care provider.

Got questions or suggestions? We’d love to hear your feedback: Email us at editor@ohsu.edu

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Ending chronic disease where it starts

What if we could prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease? As it turns out, we can. OHSU is a global leader in a field of science called the developmental origins of health and disease, or DOHaD. This emerging field has shown that our genes aren’t a rigid blueprint for our health. They’re a collection of infinite possibilities, switched on or off depending on the nutrition and well-being our mothers experienced around their pregnancies and on the nutrition and care we received as young children.

These effects are multigenerational. This means that the food a woman eats affects not only her own health, but that of her future children and grandchildren as well. But before you blame your mom, remember this: While the mother provides the environment for the developing child, society provides the environment for the mother. Over the past three decades our health has been declining as our diets have moved toward processed foods and away from fresh, whole foods.

The OHSU Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness is dedicated to translating this science into healthier communities. Change isn’t easy, especially the big social changes needed to impact how we eat. To spread the message about the importance of nutrition to the health of the next generation, the Moore Institute developed a public health initiative called Better the Future.

The Moore Institute created Better the Future to help drive a movement to change our food culture and provide ways you can make a difference. The site offers the scientific justification for changes at all levels that can lead to a healthier population. There’s a lot of work to do and we’ve all got a role to play. Join us: Working together we will end chronic disease where it starts.

Research News

Early detection for pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with a survival rate of about 6 percent. People rarely show symptoms until the disease has progressed. If it’s caught early and the tumors are removed, the chances of survival increase, but there are not any routine screening tests that can find tumors at this early stage. Screening tests that look for biological markers of pancreatic cancer are ineffective because they don’t discriminate between pancreatic cancer and less deadly conditions such as chronic pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis and other gastrointestinal cancers. The Swedish company Immunovia AB is collaborating with several groups across OHSU (the Brenden-Colson Center for Pancreatic Care, the Knight Diagnostic Laboratory, and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute) to confirm, validate and commercialize a blood test for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The test, called IMMray™ PanCan-d, analyzesa patient’s immune system for early signs of disease. The collaboration will also enable researchers to explore biomarkers for a number of other cancer types.

Learn more about pancreatic cancer and its treatment.

Face-to-face beats tech to fight depression

A new study from OHSU shows people who regularly met in person with family and friends were less likely to report symptoms of depression, compared with those who emailed or spoke on the phone.

In a survey of more than 11,000 adults aged 50 and older in the United States, researchers examined the frequency of in-person, telephone and written social contact, including email. The researchers found that having little face-to-face social contact nearly doubles your risk of having depression two years later.

Depression is a disease; we are here for you to provide help. Our caring and highly skilled mental health team will work with you to find the services you need.

Check for skin cancer – with your phone

OHSU recently released Mole Mapper, an iPhone app that gives users the ability to accurately monitor their moles. Mole Mapper allows people to photograph and measure mole sizes relative to a common reference object, like a coin, giving them the ability to monitor how their potential trouble spots may evolve over time. The app also gives users the opportunity to contribute their photos to a melanoma research study with our collaborator Sage BioNetworks. The hope is that by monitoring changes in their skin and sharing data with scientists, users can help researchers better understand the precursors for lethal melanomas and make headway in reducing deaths from the disease. The app is free to download from the App Store and was created using ResearchKit, an open source framework developed by Apple.

Got a mole you’re concerned about? Not sure of your skin cancer risk? Our dermatology team can provide education and treatment.

Upcoming Events

Register today for these exciting opportunities to learn more from area experts about a wide range of health conditions that can affect you and your family.

Ask the Health Experts

Join us for informative talks about some of today’s top health concerns. Learn the latest developments in treatment, prevention and detection from the leading professionals in the field. Light refreshments will be served.

Heart Month 

Heart Screenings

  • Feb. 18, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Beaverton)
  • Feb. 25, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (CHH) 

Heart Lectures

Healthy Pleasures, Unhealthy Habits

The OHSU Brain Institute's 2016 Brain Awareness Season delves into the brain science behind three very popular pastimes: alcohol, gaming, and marijuana.

Marquam Hill Lectures

Since 1981, the Marquam Hill Lecture Series has brought together leading members of the OHSU faculty with the public for free lectures about the biomedical research and clinical advances that will form the basis of tomorrow's cures and treatments.

Feb. 18, 7 p.m.
Lessons from the Battlefield: How Military Trauma Care Transforms Civilian Care in the United States
Martin Schreiber, M.D.

Baby Talk

Considering fertility treatment? Want to learn about what options are best for you? OHSU offers a full range of fertility services. Join us for a free information session and meet briefly with a fertility expert, get to know our staff, learn about financial options and get your questions answered.

  • Feb. 11, 6-7:30 p.m.

  • March 10, 6-7:30 p.m.

Great Conversations

Feeling nervous about having “The Talk” with your pre-teen? Sign up for Great Conversations, a two-part seminar helping preteens and their families have healthy conversations about puberty, sex and growing up. Classes are led by nationally recognized-speakers and co-sponsored by OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel.

  • For girls only:
    Tues., Feb. 2 and 9, 2016 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

  • For boys only:
    Wed., Feb. 3 and 10, 2016 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

March for Babies

Sign up for the March of Dimes March for Babies 3k family walk or 10k walk, and support programs and research to prevent premature birth, birth defects and other serious problems.

April 30, 9 a.m.
Rose Quarter Commons 1 N. Center Court St. Portland, OR

Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Expo

April 9, 9 a.m.- 4p.m.
Doubletree Hotel – Lloyd Center
1000 NE Multnomah St.
Portland, OR

Join experts from Casey Eye Institute and our community partners for a day of information and inspiration. Includes presentations on research and treatment advances in macular degeneration, small group sessions to help with daily living and exhibits of visual aids, assistive technology and community resources.

For more information, call Casey’s Macular Degeneration Center at 503 494-3537 or visit www.caseyamd.com. Free and open to the public. Registration for this event opens on February 29th online or by calling 503 494-8511.

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Past Editions of Health

  • Fall 2015
  • Fine Print

    Health is a quarterly publication of OHSU serving the greater Portland area. Information is intended to educate and is not a substitute for consulting with a health care provider.

    Got questions or suggestions? We’d love to hear your feedback: Email us.

    If you would like to opt-out of receiving the printed version of Health you can do so here.

    • Editor-in-chief: Heather Pease
    • Assistant editor: Ashley Uchtman
    • Copywriter: Carin Moonin
    • Graphic designer: Megan Pugmire