Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Penn State: Students to Present Public Health Research in Baltimore

A Penn State Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student, Ms. Anna Ssentongo, and two Penn State PhD in epidemiology students, Mr. Djibril M. Ba and Dr. Paddy Ssentongo, will present research findings at the American Society for Nutrition’s (ASN) annual conference — Nutrition 2019 — in Baltimore on June 8-11.

In older individuals, hyperglycemia is associated with increased rates of infections, length of hospital stay and mortality. Findings from Ms. Ssentongo’s research, Central Obesity is a Predictor of Stress Hyperglycemia in Critically Ill Geriatric Trauma Patients, show that the influence of metabolic stressors related to adiposity may drive elevated glucose levels and could represent a novel target for future outcomes studies in geriatric critical illness.

Meanwhile, Mr. Djibril and Dr. Paddy Ssentongo’s presentations focus on how certain deficiencies impact unique populations living in sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Djibril’s research, Evaluation of Urinary Iodine Concentration (UIC) for Predicting Iodine Deficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa, shows that poverty and a lack of education are leading factors contributing to iodine deficiency and those most at risk for iodine deficiency are pregnant and breastfeeding women. Because of this, actions to implement and enforce universal salt iodization among this vulnerable population could prove to be beneficial.

Lastly, Dr. Paddy Ssentongo’s research, The Effect of Vitamin A Deficiency on Growth Failure in Uganda, A Cluster Randomized, Cross-Sectional, Countrywide Survey, examines children and shows that vitamin A deficiency was associated with linear (length/height) growth, but not ponderal (weight) growth. Findings show that vitamin A supplements may be more beneficial to children with linear versus ponderal growth failure.