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December 2008

December 18 - U-M to buy Pfizer’s former Ann Arbor property

U-M’s purchase of the former Pfizer property was a bold move viewed
widely as a major step in improving the state’s struggling economy.
More than 2,000 jobs could be created there over the next decade. The
Dec. 18 announcement immediately generated top billing in the Ann Arbor
News, which compiled expanded print and video coverage, plus coverage by
the Detroit Free Press, Associated Press, Crain’s Detroit Business,
Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Ann Arbor
Business Review, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, WDIV-TV, Detroit News,
Chicago Tribune and Michigan Technology News.

The nearly 174-acre site, which includes almost 2 million square feet
of laboratory and administrative space in 30 buildings, is ideal for the
University's growing research activities in health, biomedical sciences
and other disciplines. “This purchase is an investment in the future
of the University of Michigan and of our state," U-M President Mary Sue
Coleman said in a news release.

Dec. 8 - Beyond diuretics for high blood pressure

An international study led by Dr. Kenneth Jamerson may change the way doctors treat high blood pressure. A two-drug combination pill containing a calcium channel calcium was better than the recommended diuretic strategy in preventing heart-related events like heart attacks and strokes. The study, funded by Novartis, appeared in the Dec. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings were reported in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Health Day News. You can read more in the UMHS news release.

Dec. 8 - Dr. Herman talks about diabetes risk

As many as a fourth of U.S. adults have impaired glucose tolerance that puts them at risk for diabetes, a condition called pre-diabetes. That's a staggering number of people, but Dr. William Herman, director of the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center, says in American Medical News.htm that some simple lifestyle changes can reduce diabetes risk by 60 percent. Read more in the Dec. 9 edition of the publication produced by the American Medical Association.

Dec. 2 - Dr. Leo in Associated Press

Asthma inhalers go "green" on Dec. 31, forcing patients still using the old-fashioned kind to make a pricey and confusing switch, says an article by the Associated Press that was picked up by about 100 media outlets, including Newsweek. The article quotes Harvey Leo, M.D.: "There's still significant confusion. Patients will tell you, 'I don't feel the puff anymore'." He also points out that, because of the higher cost of the new inhalers, the last to use them will be the poor and uninsured whose asthma is less likely to be controlled. Dr. Leo recently wrote a letter on the topic that appeared in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Dec. 1 - Dr. Freed in Associated Press

The amount that physicians pay for vaccines varies widely, as does the amount they are reimbursed, Gary Freed, M.D., MPH, says in an Associated Press story picked up by media outlets around the world. Studies led by Freed found that one in 10 U.S. doctors who vaccinate privately insured children are considering dropping that service largely because they are losing money when they do it, the article notes. The studies appeared in the journal Pediatrics and are the first to attach numbers to many doctors' belief that they are only breaking even - or losing money - when they give immunizations, the article notes.

December Ladies' Home Journal features Dr. William Chey

William Chey, M.D., a director of Gastrointestinal Physiology, understands that although IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists its also one of the most misunderstood. Chey’s article published in the December 2008 issue of Ladies Home Journal where he explains some common myths people have about IBS and provides knowledgeable insight into the painful disease that affects 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. population. Some myths that Chey sets straight in the article include whether IBS only affects young women, if IBS is related to lactose intolerance and if IBS can be accurately diagnosed.

For more information:

Recent press releases written by the U-M Health System and Medical School

To contact a Health System or Medical School media coordinator to suggest a story idea, e-mail

List of media coordinators, and more information on the Department of Public Relations and Marketing Communications


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