Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, Technology / 17.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ali Torkamani, Ph.D. Director of Genomics and Genome Informatics Scripps Research Translational Institute Professor, Integrative Structural and Computational Biology Scripps Research La Jolla, CA 92037 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Prior research has shown that people with higher polygenic risk for coronary artery disease achieve greater risk reduction with statin or other lipid lowering therapy. In general, adherence to standard guidelines for lipid lowering therapy is low - about 30% of people who should be on lipid lowering therapy are, with no correlation to their genetic risk. We set out to see whether communicating personalized risk, including polygenic risk, for coronary artery disease would drive the adoption of lipid lowering therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Chocolate, Heart Disease, Supplements / 16.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Howard D. Sesso, ScD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Preventive Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? How does the amount of flavanols in the study arm compare to what might be obtained in a typical diet? Response: The COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that tested the effects of two promising dietary supplements on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer in 21,442 older adults. Cocoa flavanols have been shown to have favorable vascular effects in small and short-term clinical trials. The 500 mg/day flavanols tested in COSMOS exceeds that readily obtained in the diet typically from cocoa, tea, grapes, and berries. Of note, flavanol content in not typically listed on food labels. COSMOS also tested a multivitamin, the most common dietary supplement taken by US adults and previously linked with a potential modest reduction in cancer in a previous long-term trial of men conducted by our research group at the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 15.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arman A. Shahriar Medical Student, University of Minnesota Medical School Research Consultant, HealthPartners Institute Minneapolis, MinnesotaArman A. Shahriar Medical Student, University of Minnesota Medical School Research Consultant, HealthPartners Institute Minneapolis, Minnesota

  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: In recent years there has been a significant focus on the diversity of medical students, but to date, most work has focused on ‘visible’ forms of diversity; such as race, ethnicity and gender. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Sleep Disorders / 15.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rene Cortese, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Child Health – Child Health Research Institute Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health School of Medicine Core Faculty - MU Institute for Data Science and Informatics University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65212 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects 22 million people in the U.S. and is linked to a higher risk of hypertension, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and many other chronic conditions. We have found that untreated OSA also accelerates the biological aging process, and that appropriate treatment can slow or possibly reverse the trend. Age acceleration testing involves a blood test that analyzes DNA and uses an algorithm to measure a person’s biological age. The phenomenon of a person’s biological age surpassing their chronological age is called “epigenetic age acceleration” and is linked to overall mortality and to chronic diseases. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE / 15.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lora Shahine MD FACOG Host of the fertility podcast Baby or Bust https://www.lorashahine.com/ Dr. Shahine is double board-certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility as well as obstetrics and gynecology Clinical assistant professor at the University of Washington Pacific NorthWest Fertility MedicalResearch.com: How did you become interested in reproductive medicine? Response: I love the combination of technology, women’s health, and helping people during a vulnerable time with all the emotions that come with it. I knew becoming a reproductive endocrinologist would mean a career of learning and helping people build families. MedicalResearch.com: When should women consider freezing their eggs?   Response: There is no one perfect age. The younger someone freezes eggs (in their 20s), the higher quality the eggs will be and the higher success in the future but the more likely someone may not need the. The older someone freezes eggs (in their late 30s and 40s), the lower quality and the lower chance of success over time. For many people and in general - the research supports its most cost effect to freeze eggs in your mid 30s. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 15.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan P. Y. Wong, MD MS Assistant Professor Division of Nephrology University of Washington VA Puget Sound Health Care System  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Very little is known about the care and outcomes of patients who reach the end stages of kidney disease and do not pursue dialysis. We conducted a systematic review of longitudinal studies on patients with advanced kidney disease who forgo dialysis to determine their long-term outcomes. We found that many patients survived several years and experienced sustained quality of life until late in the illness course. However, use of acute care services was common and there was a high degree of variability in access to supportive care services near the end of life. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Cognitive Issues, NIH / 12.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lenore J. Launer, Ph.D. Chief, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging. MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Identifying early risk factors and early changes in the brain will have a major impact on future clinical and public health priorities related to the looming epidemic of dementia. Several studies based on older populations suggest mid-life is an important period to start prevention measures. To date control of blood pressure levels has been the most robust and promising candidate to target for prevention of future cognitive impairment. Although several studies have looked at levels of blood pressure and risk for cognitive impairment, it was not known whether trajectories from young adulthood to middle age studies provided additional information about risk. To investigate possible biomarkers of future risk, we chose to examine the association of the mean arterial blood pressure trajectories to indicators of pathology seen on MRI and that are associated with cognition. We highlight the results of the mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) measure, which is an integrated measure of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Nutrition, Testosterone, Weight Research / 11.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joe Whittaker, MSc Nutritionist MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: There are several studies showing a generational decline in men's testosterone levels, beginning in the 1970s. This is due to a variety of factors such as poorer diets, lack of physical activity, and increasing toxin exposure. Therefore, there is intense research interest in ways we can optimise testosterone levels, to combat this generational decline. Some well-known studies have found low-carbohydrate diets boost testosterone levels, but others have show the reverse effect. So, to settle the controversy we gathered and reanalysed all known studies on the topic. There was also the question of high protein diets and their effects on testosterone, which are currently disputed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, NYU, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 10.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Scott Thomas, PhD Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Molecular Pathobiology and Fangxi Xu, Junior Research Scientist & Clinical Research Coordinator Department of Molecular Pathobiology NYU College of Dentistry  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  vaping-e-cig-smoking-tobaccoResponse: Cigarette smoking is one of the well-established causes of periodontitis, but the effect of using electronic cigarettes (e-cig), especially its long-term impact on periodontal health, is not yet clearly understood. Considering the increased popularity of e-cig use, especially among teenagers and young adults, and the known effect of high nicotine concentration in e-cigarette products, we conducted this clinical research to see if there were differences in periodontal health between e-cig users, traditional smokers, and nonsmokers. The study consisted of two visits, 6 months apart, where measures of oral and periodontal health were obtained. Our data showed significantly greater clinical attachment loss in the e-cigarette users and cigarette smokers than in the non-smokers at both study visits. In only e-cigarette users, we observed an over 0.2 mm average increase in the clinical attachment loss after 6 months.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, BMJ, Gastrointestinal Disease, Pancreatic / 09.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ece Kartal, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Saez-Rodriguez Group Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg Institute for Computational Biomedicine Heidelberg MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer: although incidence rates are relatively low (only few people develop pancreatic cancer in their lifetimes), it has a high lethality, with a five year survival rate of less than ~5%. Pancreatic cancer symptoms are generally unspecific so that the disease is usually detected very late which further  limits therapeutic options. In light of this, earlier detection of pancreatic cancer could dramatically improve prognosis, but there are currently no affordable and non-invasive tests available in the clinic. For pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC),the most common form of pancreatic cancer, it was previously found that the oral, gut and pancreatic microbiome are risk factors and may affect prognosis . (more…)
Nursing / 08.03.2022

There is a massive nursing shortage being faced by countries all around the world. The ever-increasing population means more resources and professionals in the healthcare sector are needed. Though healthcare as a whole suffers from massive shortages, the shortage is felt most keenly within nursing. Nurses make up for half the global healthcare workforce. Globally it is estimated that there will be a shortage of between 7 million and 13 million. A global shortage indicates a global issue. Many professionals believe that to offset this shortage, and finally make headway with improving healthcare as a whole, a global solution is necessary.

The Nursing Shortage and Its Complications

Globally it is estimated that by 2030 there will be a shortage of 7 million to 13 million nurses. This includes the current shortage of 6 million nurses we are currently facing around the world. Many experts believe a global solution is essential when the issue spans across borders. Though the issue is a global one, the current method that many developed countries are using is no longer working. In the past, the solution was simply to hire nurses from abroad to work here. On average, it is estimated that 16% of nurses are foreign-born. The nursing shortage is nothing new. There has been a shortage of nurses in the United States since the 1930s. Immigration requirements have eased and encouraged international nurses to move to the United States to work there since the 1950s. While immigration itself is not a problem, looking only for solutions outside of home soil does cause international issues. Hiring talented healthcare workers from other countries often leaves the healthcare situation in their home country in a worse situation. Jamaica, for example, has lost 29% of its critical care nurses to migration. Hiring from other countries is not a long-term solution. Nor is it a solution that works on a global scale. Improving working conditions, education conditions, and the work/life balance of nurses is a must. There is a pervasive view that nurses are overworked and underpaid. Addressing the cause of this view, and the view itself, can help transition nursing from a vocation to a vied-for career. One of the most critical issues that exacerbate the nursing shortage is the fast turnaround of nurses. Thomas Jordan, an American Hospital Association spokesperson, claims that up to 33% of new nurses will leave the workforce within two years. (more…)
AHA Journals, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Dental Research, Menopause / 07.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael J. LaMonte, PhD, MPH Research Professor (epidemiology) Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health School of Public Health and Health Professions Women’s Health Initiative Northeast Regional Center University at Buffalo – SUNY Buffalo, NY 14214 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Dr. LaMonte:  The rationale for this study was based on existing study results showing
  • (1) oral bacteria are involved with conversion of dietary nitrate (e.g., from leafy greens and beets) to nitric oxide which is a chemical involved keeping arteries healthy and maintaining blood pressure;
  • (2) rinsing the mouth with antiseptic solution (mouthwash) kills oral bacteria and results in rapid increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure; and
  • (3) a very limited amount of epidemiological data suggest that the oral bacteria found beneath the gums (responsible for gingivitis and periodontal disease) are associated with blood pressure and history of hypertension in middle-aged adults.
Thus, we conducted our study to determine whether oral bacteria (beneath the gums) would be predictive of developing hypertension among women who were without this condition at the time the bacteria were measured. Because the bacteria (exposure) would be known to precede development of hypertension (disease), an association seen in our study would be strongly suggestive of a role for oral bacteria in the development of high blood pressure. Our primary result was for statistically significant higher risks of developing hypertension associated with 10 bacterial species, and significantly lower risks of developing hypertension associated with 5 bacterial species. Our findings were evident even after we accounted for differences in demographic factors, lifestyle factors, and clinical factors, and generally were of consistent magnitudes we examined across subgroups of older and younger women, white and black women, normal weight and overweight/obese women, those with normal or slightly elevated blood pressure at study enrollment, and those who were using or not using menopausal hormone therapy at baseline. Therefore, while our observational study evidence for an association is not equivalent to causation, the robustness of the associations between oral bacteria and hypertension risk supports a need to further understand this relationship, ideally with a clinical trial design that would provide definitive evidence to support or refute causation.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 07.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeanette Stingone PhD Assistant Professor, Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Lead is a well-established neurotoxin, particularly when exposure occurs early in life and in childhood. Associations between elevated blood lead levels and lower scores on tests of neurodevelopment and cognition are seen consistently across studies, even when examining lower levels of exposure. While reducing exposure to lead is the primary intervention to prevent these adverse outcomes, there aren’t many interventions designed to support the neurodevelopment of children who have been exposed to lead. Some municipalities consider elevated blood lead levels as a criteria for inclusion in Early Intervention programs. Early Intervention programs are mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and provide services for children younger than 3 years old with disabilities or developmental delays. The objective of this study was to compare 3rd grade standardized test scores among children who had elevated blood lead levels early in life to see if children who had received Early Intervention services performed better on these tests than those who did not receive services. Using matching methods and an existing administrative data linkage of children who were born and attended public school in New York City, we observed that children exposed to lead who received Early Intervention services scored higher on standardized tests in both math and English Language arts than children exposed to lead who did not receive services.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JNCI / 03.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fiona Bartoli PhD Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine University of Leeds  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Physical activity improves our health and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression or even cancer. However, sedentary lifestyles are increasing, and people fail to exercise enough, for reasons such as illnesses, injuries, or computer usage. This puts people at more risk of disease. During physical exercise, the heart beats faster so more blood is pumped through the body. The very large protein called Piezo1 is found in the lining of blood vessels and acts as an “exercise sensor” by detecting the change in blood flow during exercise and acting accordingly. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease, NEJM / 03.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: PJ Devereaux MD PhD Professor of Medicine, and of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact McMaster University President of the Society of Perioperative Research and Care  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: More than 1 million patients undergo cardiac surgery in the United States and Europe annually. Although cardiac surgery has the potential to improve and prolong a patient’s quality and duration of life, it is associated with complications. Prognostically important heart injury – detected by an elevated blood concentration of either cardiac troponin or creatine kinase myocardial MB isoform (CK-MB) – is one of the most common complications after cardiac surgery and is associated with increased mortality. Although elevated CK-MB was historically used to define heart injury after cardiac surgery, this assay is no longer available in many hospitals worldwide, and consensus statements have recommended high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays as the preferred biomarker. Based on expert opinion, the Fourth Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction suggested that a cardiac troponin concentration >10 times the upper reference limit, in patients with a normal baseline measurement, should be the threshold used in the diagnosis of heart attack along with evidence of ischemia (e.g., ischemic ST changes on an ECG) in the first 48 hours after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Although the Academic Research Consortium-2 Consensus stated there was no evidence-based threshold for cardiac troponin after CABG, they endorsed a threshold for the diagnosis of heart attack of ≥35 times the upper reference limit together with new evidence of ischemia, based on expert opinion. They also defined a threshold of ≥70 times the upper reference limit as a stand-alone criterion for clinically important periprocedural myocardial injury. Globally, many hospitals now use high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays; however, limited data are available to define a prognostically important degree of myocardial injury after cardiac surgery based on these assays. We undertook the Vascular Events in Surgery Patients Cohort Evaluation (VISION) Cardiac Surgery Study to examine clinical outcomes after cardiac surgery. A primary objective was to determine the relationship between postoperative levels of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I and the risk of death 30 days after cardiac surgery.  (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, OBGYNE / 28.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jean Guglielminotti MD,PhD Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology Columbia University Irving Medical Center New York 10032  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: An old study (2004-2006) conducted in France suggested that epidural analgesia during childbirth resulted in a decreased risk of postpartum hemorrhage, the first cause of preventable maternal morbidity and mortality. We believed it was important to replicate this study in the United States, because of the advances in obstetric and anesthesia care practices during the last 15 years, and because of the marked differences in the health care systems between the United States and France. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 26.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edmond S. Chan MD, FRCPC, FCSACI, FAAAAI Head | Division of Allergy & Immunology | Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine Clinical Professor, The University of British Columbia Clinical Investigator, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute BC Children's Hospital, Allergy Clinic Vancouver, BC  Canada Treasurer, CSACI (Canadian Society of Allergy & Clinical Immunology) MedicalResearch.com:  What prompted you to look at the safety of peanut oral immunotherapy specifically in this patient population? Response: Our previous research has investigated the overall safety of peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT) in preschool populations. However, we have not investigated the relationship between specific patient characteristics and the safety of OIT. Previous literature has shown that patient factors, such as age, gender, baseline sIgE levels, and atopic comorbidities have been shown to impact the safety of OIT for other food allergies and in older patients. However, no data exist on which factors predict safety of peanut OIT in preschool populations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Diabetes / 22.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chih-Shan Jason Chen, MD, PhD Director, Dermatologic and Mohs Micrographic Surgery Unit Memorial Sloan Kettering Skin Cancer Center at Hauppauge Attending Mohs Surgeon, Dermatology Service Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Chief, Dermatologic Surgery Northport VA Medical Center Associate Professor of Clinical Dermatology Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Managing a surgical wound on the lower leg can be a challenge. Often, higher wound tension, atrophic skin, edema, and compromised circulation result in higher risks of wound dehiscence and infection, and significantly limit the capacity of wound closure post-surgically. Therefore, healing by secondary intention is a practical option for many lower leg Mohs defects. However, a secondary intention wound on the lower leg is expected to take a longer time to heal. Certain factors such as older age and health conditions of the host may adversely affect healing time. Timolol is a nonselective beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist that has FDA approval for the treatment of glaucoma. In addition to this FDA-approved indication, topical timolol has several off-label uses in dermatology, such as for the treatment of infantile hemangiomas, venous stasis ulcers, and refractory wounds. Although timolol solution has been used in chronic wounds, knowledges of the efficacy and utility of timolol in an acute post-surgical wound setting is lacking. (more…)
Author Interviews, Insomnia, Pediatrics / 17.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, PhD, CBSM, DBSM Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Sleep Research & Treatment Center Director, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Is insomnia familial? Response: Consistent research has shown that about 25% of school-age children have insomnia symptoms consisting of difficulties initiating or maintaining sleep. However, what has remained unknown is to what extent those insomnia symptoms persist all the way into adulthood, or whether they developmentally remit (go away with age) as the child grows into adolescence or young adulthood. This is the question that our study focused on. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews / 17.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Harriet De Wit, PhD Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience University of Chicago 

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: There are numerous reports that psychedelics like LSD, taken in very small ‘microdoses’, help boost mood, cognitive function and productivity. The practice is popular in Silicon Valley and among media figures, who report remarkable beneficial effects from regular use of these microdoses. The possible antidepressant effects of LSD are plausible from a neurobiological perspective, as the drug acts directly on serotonin receptors, the same systems where SSRI’s act.  However, the effects of microdosing have not yet been validated in controlled research. In our study, we recruited healthy men and women to ingest repeated, low doses of LSD under double blind conditions.  They attended four laboratory sessions, separated by three to four days.  They were randomly assigned to one of three groups who received the same drug on all four sessions: placebo, 13 micrograms of LSD or 26 micrograms of LSD. Subjects were not told exactly what drug they were receiving until the end of the study.  We measured their mood, emotional reactivity and cognition. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 16.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: https://vipstarnetwork.com/Johonniuss Chemweno CEO of VIPStarNetwork MedicalResearch.com:  What is the mission of VIP StarNetwork?  Response: VIP StarNetwork’s mission is to expand access to healthcare services and information, especially in underserved and underprivileged communities. Our comprehensive group of health experts, leading physicians, and healthcare executives are working to create a meaningful and safe environment to ensure that patients have equitable and streamlined access to vaccines and other forms of care. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs / 26.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Toon Mostien Jessa Hospital, Hasselt, Belgium MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study Response: Patients with COVID-19 that survive critical illness are confronted with months or even years of physical impairments. Moreover, literature indicates that possibly up to 68% can still suffer from musculoskeletal symptoms such as muscle pain and weakness after infection with SARS-CoV-2. Although we have focused on 7-day differences in muscle fiber type characteristics, this research is a first step in discovering if skeletal muscles of critically ill patients are more severely damaged compared to a more general ICU population. Cytokine storm and systemic inflammatory responses triggered by the infection could augment muscle damage beyond that of non-COVID ICU patients. (more…)