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Dr Adlina Maulod with Mdm Tan Swan Eng (front), aged 102, at the 2016 Centenarian Conference organised by Duke-NUS' Centre for Ageing Research and EducationResearch Fellow Dr Adlina Maulod recently joined Duke-NUS Medical School’s Centre for Ageing Research and Education (CARE), bringing a fresh perspective and lens to the research that CARE does. Today we talk to her about her background and role in CARE.

1. Tell us about your academic background.

I have always been interested in issues about power, identity and the body. I earned my PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Purdue University, specializing in gender and sexuality studies, to explore these issues.

 For my dissertation in Purdue, I explored how female same-sex couples become a family and navigate various reproductive, cultural and economic barriers in their desire to raise children. My work addresses the need to pay attention to stratified forms of reproduction, in which the privilege to bear and nurture children are unequally distributed as it is based on one’s marital status, race/ ethnicity, class, gendered sexuality and able-bodiedness. 

2. How does your academic background contribute to the work that you do now?

First author Dr Mohammad Talaei and co-senior authors Prof Koh Woon-Puay and Prof Yuan Jian Min

A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition had an interesting finding; Chinese elderly who had consumed milk were less likely than their counterparts to be diagnosed with hypertension. 

Globally, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is the leading risk factor for death associated with cardiovascular disease. A proven, effective way to prevent high blood pressure is adhering to DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which includes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, low- or non-fat dairy foods, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, nuts and beans.

The consumption of dairy products is believed to be a key factor in DASH that prevents high blood pressure. This belief has been substantiated by studies in populations that traditionally consume high levels of dairy. What’s interesting about the study, led by NUS’ Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH) PhD student Dr Mohammad Talaei and his supervisor Professor Koh Woon-Puay from Duke-NUS Medical School and SSHSPH, is that it is the first to show the same positive effect of dairy on high blood pressure, in a Asian population that traditionally has a relatively low consumption of dairy products.

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