Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nuns Study Writes Book On Good Habits

Date:
April 30, 2007
Source:
Creighton University
Summary:
More than 30 nuns gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a study they participated in, which was pivotal to our modern-day knowledge about women's bone health and osteoporosis.

Left to right: Sr. Cecelia Polt, Dr. Robert Recker, Sr. Dorothy Koenig, Dr. Robert Heaney, Sr. Madeline Mary, Susan Recker, Rita Ryan and Sr. Bernardine Beckman. All were involved with the Omaha Nuns Project as researchers or study volunteers.
Credit: Image courtesy of Creighton University

In 1967, 168 Catholic nuns from the Omaha area met with Creighton University officials to serve a higher cause. Another 24 joined them ten years later. And, every five years, these women faithfully returned to Creighton’s St. Joseph Hospital (now Creighton University Medical Center) for eight days and nine nights.

But this was no spiritual journey. The women – representing six mother houses and all between the ages of 35 and 45 when they started – were participants in what would become known as the Omaha Nuns Study.

On Wednesday, April 25, 32 of the original study participants, along with many of the Creighton researchers, nurses and others involved gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the study, which was pivotal to our modern-day knowledge about women’s bone health and osteoporosis.

The nuns laughed, shared memories and some even got milk mustaches, courtesy of the American Dairy Association/Dairy Council of Nebraska to highlight the important role calcium plays in osteoporosis prevention.

“The project, because of the number of participants and the length of the study, literally wrote the book on the operation of the calcium economy in mid-life women,” said Robert P. Heaney, M.D., John A. Creighton University Professor, who designed and directed the project.

It also established Creighton as an international leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, noted Robert Recker, M.D., director of Creighton’s Osteoporosis Research Center.

For the study, the nuns would eat the same foods in exactly the same portions every day for eight days. The diets were designed to match, within 5 percent, their usual food intake in terms of calories, protein, calcium and phosphorus. Creighton researchers then meticulously gathered data to identify factors that influenced how the women’s bodies absorbed calcium, utilized it and excreted it.

The project enjoyed continuous federal funding from 1967 until 1995, and was one of the longest-running, continually supported projects in the history of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Recker noted. It provided the principal scientific basis for NIH recommendations for adult calcium intake.

Among the findings resulting from the Creighton research: Healthy adult women in midlife require 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day; and calcium absorption is influenced by such factors as body size, vitamin D, estrogen levels, age, race, calcium source and other nutrient interactions.

Although the eight-day inpatient studies ended in 1992, the women – now in their 70s and 80s – continue coming to Creighton for calcium absorption measurements and bone-density scans.

As for the next 40 years, The Catherine M. Recker and Matthew Pappajohn Endowed Osteoporosis Research Fund, has been established by Recker’s daughter and son-in law. Among other things, the endowment would support laboratory and clinical research, train future researchers and provide ongoing patient care and treatment for those with osteoporosis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Creighton University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Creighton University. "Nuns Study Writes Book On Good Habits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070429105854.htm>.
Creighton University. (2007, April 30). Nuns Study Writes Book On Good Habits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070429105854.htm
Creighton University. "Nuns Study Writes Book On Good Habits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070429105854.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins