Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Health Care Systems, JAMA, Technology / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shira H. Fischer, MD, PhD RAND Corporation Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Before the COVID-19 outbreak, telehealth was talked about a lot, but it wasn’t widely available and wasn’t used that often. We wanted to know who was using telehealth, what the barriers to use were, and whether people would be willing to do so if it were available to them. We conducted a survey of over 2,500 Americans across the country and asked them about these topics.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Health Care Systems / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steve Olin Chief Product Officer Rally Health, Inc., part of the Optum business of UnitedHealth Grou MedicalResearch.com: Can you please elaborate on Rally Health’s mission? Mr. Olin: Our founding mission 10 years ago and still to this day is to put health in the hands of the individual. As a digital health company, we live this mission through our focus in three key areas: 1) Providing digital-first access to care by giving individuals easy-to-use digital tools and support to navigate their health care and take full advantage of their health benefits; 2) Engaging people in their daily health by creating experiences that people enjoy and that inspire them to perform healthy actions, and by giving them access to resources that help them achieve their health goals; 3) Saving people time and money by providing digital tools that help them understand health care costs and guide them to lower-cost, high-quality care options. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Antoni Bayes-Genis, MD, PhD, FESC, FHFA Head, Heart Institute. Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol Full Professor, Autonomous University Barcelona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Omega-3 fatty acids are incorporated into the phospholipids of cellular membranes, including cardiac contractile cells, and have a wide range of demonstrated physiological effects. Several potential mechanisms have been investigated, including antiarrhythmic, anti-inflammatory, and endothelial. Omega-3 fatty acids lower heart rate and improve heart rate variability, both associated with lower sudden cardiac death risk, one of the complications that may occur after a myocardial infarction. Increased omega-3 fatty acids also enhance arterial elasticity by increasing endothelium-derived vasodilators, which is associated with blood pressure–lowering effects. They also have a cardioprotective effect on platelet-monocyte aggregation, and lower triglyceride levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Emory, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henry Mahncke, PhD Chief Executive Officer Posit Science https://www.brainhq.com/?v4=true&fr=yDr. Mahncke earned his PhD at UCSF in the lab where lifelong brain plasticity was discovered. At the request of his academic mentor, he currently leads a global team of more than 400 brain scientists engaged in designing, testing, refining, and validating the computerized brain exercises found in the BrainHQ app from Posit Science, where he serves as CEO. MedicalResearch.com Tell us what’s important about this new study in people with heart failure? Response: Heart failure is a common condition that even when properly treated can have adverse long-term health outcomes and high medical costs. Heart failure commonly causes cognitive impairment, which can have devastating effect on patient abilities to engage in self-care, and which contributes to poor clinical outcomes, increased rehospitalizations, and higher mortality rates. What makes these results exciting is that the Emory University researchers discovered that a simple intervention – a fairly modest amount of walking and brain exercise – not only significantly improved a standard measure of cognition, but also significantly improved multiple measures that drive better health outcomes and lower costs. MedicalResearch.com: What is heart failure? Response: Heart failure – sometimes called congestive heart failure or congestive cardiac failure – is when the heart cannot pump sufficient blood flow to maintain the body’s needs. Common symptoms include excessive tiredness, shortness of breath and swelling particularly in legs. It’s treated with a combination of lifestyle changes, drugs, and devices. An estimated 6.5 million Americans are diagnosed with heart failure, with 960,000 new cases each year, leading some to describe it as reaching epidemic proportions. In older adults, it’s the most common cause of hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge and among the most costly areas of Medicare expenditures. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, NYU, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Technology / 26.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marie Bragg, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health on Health Choice NYU College of Global Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know from previous research that children who see food advertisements eat significantly more calories than children who see non-food advertisements. Those studies led the World Health Organization and National Academy of Medicine to issue reports declaring that exposure to food advertising is a major driver of childhood obesity. What we don’t know is how frequently unhealthy food and beverage brands are appearing in YouTube videos posted by Kid Influencers. Kid influences are children whose parents film videos of the child playing with toys, unwrapping presents, eating food, or engaging in other family-friendly activities. The parents then post the videos to YouTube for other children and parents to view for entertainment.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health, Nutrition / 26.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samia Mora, MD MHS Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School Director, Center for Lipid Metabolomics Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA 02215 @SamiaMoraMD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Couples, both married couples and domestic partners, are likely to share similar environmental exposures, adopt similar behavior patterns, and have similar characteristics. However, the degree to which couples share similar levels of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and behaviors is uncertain. If high levels of poor CV risk factor measures and behaviors are common in both members of a couple, programs that target improvement of these risk factors and behaviors may simultaneously benefit CV health in both members of the couple. (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Diabetes / 26.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yuji Komorita, MD, PhD Department of Medicine and Clinical Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University Maidashi 3-1-1, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Both green tea and coffee have been reported to confer health benefits, and reduce all-cause mortality in general population, respectively. However, no study has investigated the combined impact of them on health or mortality. We followed 4,923 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes registered at the Fukuoka Diabetes Registry (median, 5.3 years; follow-up rate, 99.5%).  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: Drinking 4 or more daily cups of green tea was associated with 40% lower risk of death, and 2 or more cups of coffee was associated with 41% lower risk. Furthermore, the combination of 4 or more cups of green tea and 2 or more cups of coffee every day was associated with 63% lower risk of death. We have shown that higher consumption of green tea and coffee was associated with reduced all-cause mortality, and their combined effect appeared to be additive in people with type 2 diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs / 24.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Mazzeffi MD MPH MSc Associate Professor of Anesthesiology Division Chief Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine Medical Director Rapid Response Team MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have known for some time that COVID19 is characterized by hypercoagulability or excess blood clotting.  In fact, the incidence of blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary emboli) is as high 20% and is two to three times more common in COVID19 than in severe influenza.  Further, autopsies of patients who died from COVID19 have shown that endothelial cells (cells that line the blood vessels) are damaged and that "micro clots" form in multiple organs.  Together, these findings strongly suggest that excess blood clotting and endothelial cell dysfunction are defining features of severe COVID19. For several months, my colleagues and I have been interested in whether aspirin might improve outcomes in patients with severe COVID19.  In prior observational research studies, aspirin was found to be protective in patients with severe lung injury.  The general idea is that aspirin reduces platelet aggregates in the lung and this improves outcome.  Unfortunately, in a prior randomized controlled study (LIPS-A) aspirin was not shown to reduce the incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome.  Nevertheless, COVID19 has unique features that make aspirin more likely to be effective.  Mainly COVID19 is associated with hypercoagulability to a greater degree than in other viral illnesses.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 23.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven Grieco, PhD Postdoctoral Scholar Xu Lab, UCI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In recent years the drug ketamine, which has been used safely as a dissociative anaesthetic for decades, has gained widespread interest in the field of psychiatry for its use as an antidepressant at low doses. In 2019 the FDA finally approved a nasal spray that delivers ketamine to patients with untreatable clinical depression.  Now, such patients go to the appropriate clinical setting and receive ketamine treatments, though this is not required daily for an effective outcome. In fact, studies have found that a single low dose ketamine treatment can result in beneficial improvements in mood that last for several days or even weeks. This suggests that ketamine treatment induces significant neural plasticity in the brain. Since the mechanisms governing this ketamine-mediated neural plasticity were not known, our group studied this using the visual cortex as a model tissue. The visual cortex has perhaps the most well-characterized patterns of neural plasticity in the brain to date, and is an excellent arena in which to test hypotheses about the mechanisms of neural plasticity. In fact, the classical antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac), which induces neural plasticity only after long-term chronic treatment, has been studied extensivley in the visual cortex as well. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Social Issues, Technology / 23.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Lu PhD Gerald Lyles Rising Star Associate Professor of Management Krannert School of Management Purdue University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We started this project in 2016. Overcrowding in emergency rooms (ERs) is a common yet nagging problem. It not only is costly for hospitals but also compromises care quality and patient experience. Hence, finding effective ways to improve ER care delivery is of great importance. Meanwhile, the advancement of healthcare technologies including electronic medical records, online doctor ratings and 4G mobile network motivates us to think about the impact of telemedicine on ER operations in the near future.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Nature, Pediatrics / 23.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. John Boland AMBER The SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research, CRANN, and Trinity’s School of Chemistry Prof. Liwen Xiao at TrinityHaus and Trinity’s School of Engineering Trinity College Dublin baby-bottle-infant-plasticsMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is growing evidence to suggest that micro and nano plastics are released into our food and water sources through the chemical and physical degradation of larger plastic items. Some studies have demonstrated the potential transfer of micro and nano plastics from oceans to humans via the food chain but little is known about the direct release of microplastics (MPs) from plastic products through everyday use – and this is what we wanted to investigate.  Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most commonly produced plastics in the world for food preparation and storage. It is used to make everyday items such as lunch boxes, kettles and infant-feeding bottles (IFBs). Despite its widespread use the capacity of PP to release microplastics was not appreciated until now. We analysed the potential for release of MPs from polypropylene infant-feeding bottles (PP-IFBs) during formula preparation by following international guidelines. We also estimated the exposure of 12-month-old infants to MPs in 48 countries and regions.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Inflammation / 22.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Michael Glogauer, D.D.S., Ph.D Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto Toronto, ON Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Periodontal disease (PD) affects between 20% and 50% of the global population, with growing evidence supporting its association with other inflammatory diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Several studies have shown how untreated periodontal disease leads to increased medical care costs for nonoral conditions, including patient hospitalization rates. The interaction of inflammatory diseases with PD suggests a shared, underlying pathology that may be exploited to better manage patients and reduce the economic burden. However, the mechanisms through which these diseases interact are unclear. In periodontal disease, tissue and bone destruction in the mouth is driven by elevated recruitment of white blood cells called polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs), which are activated by the oral disease and recruited from the circulation to sites of inflammation.  (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, BMJ, Osteoporosis / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christos Chalitsios B.Sc, M.Sc PhD student Funded by British Medical Association (BMA) School of Medicine Division of Respiratory Medicine University of Nottingham City Hospital,Nottingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Inhaled (ICS) and oral (OCS) corticosteroids play a crucial role in the control of airway inflammation in asthma. Given that the use of ICS in asthma is likely to increase with the recent change in GINA guidance recommending combined long-acting-β2-agonists with ICS at step 1 and the upward trend in prescribing of OCS, we sought to clarify the link between steroids, osteoporosis and FF in patients with asthma, stratifying the risk by dose, number of courses and type of steroids. The prevalence of patients receiving at least one bisphosphonate was also calculated. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Mental Health Research, Nature, PTSD / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amit Etkin, MD, PhD Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, Stanford Universitu Stanford, CA    MedicalResearch.com: What is the mission of Cohen Veterans Bioscience - CVB?  Cohen Veterans Bioscience Response: Cohen Veterans Bioscience (CVB) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) research biotech dedicated to fast-tracking the development of diagnostic tests and personalized therapeutics for the millions of Veterans and civilians who suffer the devastating effects of trauma-related and other brain disorders. To learn about CVB’s research efforts visit www.cohenveteransbioscience.org.   MedicalResearch.com: How can patients with PTSD or MDD benefit from this information? Response: With the discovery of this new brain imaging biomarker, patients who suffer from PTSD or MDD may be guided towards the most effective treatment without waiting months and months to find a treatment that may work for them.   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study, which was supported with a grant from Cohen Veterans Bioscience, grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH and other supporters, derives from our work over the past few years which has pointed to the critical importance of understanding how patients with a variety of psychiatric disorders differ biologically. The shortcomings of our current diagnostic system have become very clear over the past 1-2 decades, but the availability of tools for transcending these limitations on the back of objective biological tests has not kept pace with the need for those tools. In prior work, we have used a variety of methods, including different types of brain imaging, to identify brain signals that underpin key biological differences within and across traditional psychiatric diagnoses. We have also developed specialized AI tools for decoding complex patterns of brain activity in order to understand and quantify biological heterogeneity in individual patients. These developments have then, in turn, converged with the completion of a number of large brain imaging-coupled clinical trials, which have provided a scale of these types of data not previously available in the field. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Inflammation, JAMA / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David E. Leaf, MD, MMSc, FASN Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Director of Clinical and Translational Research in Acute Kidney Injury Division of Renal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The data for this study were derived from a multicenter cohort study of over 4,000 critically ill patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICUs at 68 sites across the US, as part of the Study of the Treatment and Outcomes in Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19 (STOP-COVID). STOP-COVID was initiated by David E. Leaf, MD, MMSc and Shruti Gupta, MD, MPH, from the Division of Renal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. It was initiated in March, 2020 as an unfunded, grassroots network, and now includes over 400 collaborators from 68 sites across the US. Using this data, we used a ‘target trial emulation’ approach to examine whether early administration of the monoclonal antibody, tocilizumab, reduces mortality in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Target trial emulation, a novel method of analyzing observational data, is the idea of simulating a randomized control trial to reduce bias.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Washington State University Department of Psychology Pullman, WA, 99164-4820  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While many studies have examined the acute effects of cannabis on other mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychosis there is almost no research on acute effects of cannabis on symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in humans.  Nevertheless, we have previously found that acute cannabis intoxication is associated with reductions in anxiety as well as with reductions in the intrusive thoughts characteristic of PTSD. Further previous research using a rodent model of compulsive behavior has provided pre-clinical evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) - which is the second most common constituent in the cannabis plant - reduces compulsive behavior. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Liliana Sanchez-Gonzalez MD, MPH Medical Epidemiologist Dengue Branch – Division of Vector Borne Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention San Juan, PR MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the significance of prion disease? Response: Prion diseases are neurodegenerative diseases that occur in animals and humans. These diseases are caused by an infectious agent known as a prion. While the accuracy of diagnostic tests using cerebrospinal fluid or brain imaging from living patients has improved greatly in recent years, analysis of brain tissue is still necessary to confirm the diagnosis of these diseases. Human prion disease cases are rare, but always fatal. There have been around 500 reported cases annually in the US in recent years. A very small percentage of human prion disease cases are acquired, meaning they are caused by an exposure to the infectious agent from an external source. The most well-known acquired human prion disease is variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which was first described in the United Kingdom in 1996 and linked to consumption of contaminated beef from cattle with the animal prion disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow” disease). The only US state where classic BSE has been reported is Washington, where an infected dairy cow was imported from Canada in 2003. Beef from the slaughtered cow was processed for human consumption, and beef from cattle slaughtered the same day at the involved slaughter plant was recalled. After this incident, the Washington State Department of Health, in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center (NPDPSC), implemented enhanced human prion disease surveillance. All patients with positive results from tests conducted at the NPDPSC are investigated. We present the results of 12 years of human prion disease surveillance, from 2006 to 2017, plus results of surveillance for vCJD through July 2020. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dental Research / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Craig Meyers, PhD Department of Microbiology and Immunology Pennsylvania State College of Medicine Hershey, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As nasal and oral cavities are major points of entry and transmission for human coronaviruses our team of physicians and scientists (Craig Meyers, Janice Milici, Samina Alam, David Quillen, David Goldenberg and Rena Kass of Penn State College of Medicine and Richard Robison of Brigham Young University) were interested in testing common over-the-counter oral antiseptics and mouthwashes for their efficacy to inactivate infectious human coronavirus, which is structurally similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. While we wait for a vaccine for COVID-19 to be developed, methods to reduce transmission are needed. We chose products that are readily available and often already part of people’s daily routines. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, Vaccine Studies / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Douglas L. Kriner, PhD The Clinton Rossiter Professor in American Institutions Department of Government Cornell University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 reaches the market, the world will not change overnight.  Rather, government and public health individuals will have to develop a comprehensive plan to distribute the vaccine and to convince potentially wary Americans to take it. Our study examined the influence of both specific vaccine characteristics and the politics surrounding it on public willingness to vaccinate.  Both matter in important ways.  For example, efficacy is unsurprisingly a major driver of public opinion; Americans are more willing to take a vaccine that is more efficacious. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Social Issues / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aaron Baum, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health System Design & Global Health Economist, Arnhold Institute for Global Health Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: To what degree are geographic health disparities in the leading risk factors for morbidity and mortality in the United States – including elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, obesity, and poor mental health – driven by the place where people live versus by characteristics of the people who live in different places? For example, male adults in Mississippi are 33% more likely to have uncontrolled blood pressure and 54% more likely to be obese than male adults in Colorado. One explanation is that male adults who live in Mississippi are different is many other ways from male adults in Colorado, some of which can't be directly measured and adjusted for, and that those unobserved differences cause the health disparity. Another possibility is that the place where a person lives actually contributes to the health disparity. Using national electronic health records from the Veterans Health Administration, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of 5 million adults, including 1 million who moved zip codes exactly once between 2008-2018. Our goal was to isolate how a movers' likelihood of uncontrolled blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity and depression changed in response to changes in the prevalence of each outcome in his or her environment. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Esophageal, Gastrointestinal Disease / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 加藤元嗣 Mototsugu KATO MD PhD 院長  独立行政法人国立病院機構函館病院 Director, National Hospital Organization Hakodate National Hospita MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The primary goal of upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopic examination is to detect neoplastic lesions in the pharynx, esophagus, and stomach. However, early-stage lesions may frequently be overlooked by conventional white light endoscopy. Since the recent launch of image-enhanced endoscopy, many studies have evaluated its efficacy in diagnosing upper GI neoplasms as well. Linked color imaging (LCI )emphasizes the difference in color to make it easier to detect neoplastic lesions. The aim of this trial is to compare the performance of LCI with white light imaging in detecting upper GI tract neoplastic lesions.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Heart Disease, Social Issues, Tobacco Research / 19.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mahmoud Al Rifai MD MPH Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine Houston Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD Section of Cardiology Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine Houston    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: E-cigarettes typically cost more than combustible cigarettes and there is more variability in cost due to a wide variety of flavors, e-cigarette liquid, and vaping device that are available in the market. Therefore, use of e-cigarettes may vary depending on income with potentially higher use among higher income individuals. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Lancet / 18.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steve Kanters, PhD MSc Rain City AnalyticsPresident and Lead Analyst RainCity Analytics School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A watershed moment for the fight against HIV was the antiretroviral treatment (ART) scale-up that made HIV treatments available around the world. While HIV activism led to its initiation, two key ingredients to the ART scale-up were the advent of a once-daily single-pill HIV treatment and the creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) clinical guidelines for treatment and prevention of HIV. The HIV treatment in question combines three drugs in a single pill and centers around a drug called efavirenz. The WHO guidelines use a public health framework, which is to say that it uses a treatment algorithm that is both equitable and simple enough to allow some task-shifting to less specialized workers. As such, the guidelines suggest a single preferred treatment for people initiating HIV treatment. While resource rich countries can use a personalized medicine approach, many settings where HIV is endemic cannot. In 2015, our review found strong evidence that a newer HIV drug, called dolutegravir, was better than efavirenz in respect to efficacy, tolerability and safety; however, there was not enough evidence to support its use in key populations, such as people with HIV-tuberculosis co-infections and pregnant women. For this and other reasons, the WHO could not recommend its use as the preferred treatment at initiation. Since then, we have continued to dynamically assess the evidence to determine the best treatment to have as the preferred ART for first-time HIV treatment. This is the culmination of 6 years of work and its findings have helped the WHO change its recommended preferred first-line therapy from an efavirenz-based ART to a dolutegravir-based ART.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gender Differences, PNAS / 18.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paola Profeta, PhD Professor of Public Economics, Department of Social and Political Sciences Bocconi University Director, Msc Politics and Policy Analysis, Bocconi University Coordinator, Dondena Gender Initiative, Dondena Research Center President, European Public Choice Society MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We interview more than 20000 men and women in 8 OECD countries in two periods during the lockdown. Using two waves from 8 OECD countries, we find that women are more likely to perceive the pandemic as a very serious health problem, to agree with restraining measures and to comply with public health rules, such as using facemasks. This gender differences are less strong for married individuals and for individuals who have been directly exposed to COVID, for instance by knowing someone who was infected.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 16.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shane Riddell MSc CSIRO—Australian Animal Health Laboratory Geelong, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: While it is generally considered that SARS-CoV-2 is spread via aerosol and respiratory droplets, we still need to investigate how much of a role fomites play in transmission. Understanding the risk first requires you to know how long the virus can survive on a surface. We therefore wanted to assess how long the virus would remain viable on various common surfaces such as stainless steel, glass and banknotes. We found that, under controlled conditions, we could recover infectious virus at 28 days for all non-porous surfaces at 20 degrees Celsius. When the temperature was raised to 40 degrees Celsius, SARS-CoV-2 only remained viable for 24hrs on most surfaces. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease / 16.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mallika Mendu, MD, MBA MedicalDirector of Clinical Operations Brigham and Women’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: African-Americans with chronic kidney disease have poorer outcomes with respect to hypertension control, timely nephrology referral, progression to end stage renal disease, placement of vascular access and transplantation compared to other racial groups. For the past two decades a race multiplier has been applied in equations that estimate glomerular filtration rate (a proxy for kidney function) for African-Americans. We sought to determine whether what the impact of the race multiplier term was on care delivered to African-Americans, by using our health system-wide CKD registry. We were particularly focused on advanced CKD patient outcomes, knowing that there are health disparities that could be potentially exacerbated.

The original CKD-EPI and MDRD studies showed an association between African-American race with higher measured GFR at the same blood creatinine concentration. However, there have been concerns raised about the application of the race multiplier to all African-American patients. First, there is no clear biological explanation for the association, the identification of Black race was unclear in some of the cohorts used in these studies, and there is vast genetic and ancestral heterogeneity among those who self-identify as black. The use of the race multiplier also ignores the fact that race is a social, not biological construct.

We found that with the removal of the race multiplier, up to one in every three African-American patients would be reclassified as having a more severe stage of CKD, with one-quarter of African-American patients going from stage 3 to stage 4. We also found that with the removal of the race multiplier, 64 patients would have had an eGFR <20, the threshold for referral for kidney transplant, and none of these patients were referred, evaluated or waitlisted for transplant. This is in contrast, to those African-American patients with an eGFR <20 with the race multiplier applied, who had a higher odds of being referred, evaluated or waitlisted for transplant compared to other racial groups (Odds ratio of 2.28, compared to White cohort).

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Author Interviews, BMJ, Surgical Research / 15.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sebastian Straube, BM BCh, MA (Oxon), DPhil Professor and Director, Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine University of Alberta Zone Section Chief, Occupational Medicine Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services Director, Foundation Course in Occupational Medicine surgery-aerosols-covid-19MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical procedures that generate aerosols require a higher grade of personal protective equipment, typically including filtering facepiece respirators (e.g. N95 masks). We wanted to know which procedures were aerosol-generating and would require such enhanced precautions. MedicalResearch.com: How did you approach that question? Response: We conducted a systematic review of the literature and aimed to find those procedures for which there is widespread agreement that they are aerosol-generating. We assembled a team of researchers with expertise in the subject matter as well as in systematic review methodology, and we searched widely for relevant guidelines, policy documents, and academic papers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, PNAS, Weight Research, Wistar / 15.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristina M. Rapuano PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow BJ Casey, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Yale University Richard Watts PhD Technical Consultant Department of Psychology Yale University, New Haven, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Around 35% of children and adolescents in the US are overweight or obese, dramatically increasing their likelihood of obesity as adults and the associated health risks. In our paper we use a novel MRI technique to investigate links between obesity and neurobiology in a large group of typically developing 9-10 year-olds. The data were acquired as part of the NIH-funded Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM (ABCD) study, which enrolled more than 11,000 children from across the US. We looked specifically at a reward-related region of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. Previous human studies have shown that healthy weight and obese children display different responses to food cues, for example adverts for unhealthy foods, in this region. Animal studies have also found that a high saturated fat (unhealthy) diet induces inflammation in the nucleus accumbens, and changes in behavior including sucrose-seeking. We wanted to investigate if we could use advanced MRI techniques to provide evidence of a similar effect in humans. (more…)
Author Interviews / 14.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chuan-Liang Xu, MD, PhD Changhai Hospital of Shanghai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Patients with urothelial carcinoma usually have to undergo lifelong cystoscopy for surveillance, because it recurred often. Cystoscopy is an examination which inserted a catheter with light and camera into the urethra and inspect the lining of the bladder. Cystoscopy is invasive and uncomfortable for the patients, and also cost a lot of money. Urothelial carcinoma is in direct contact with the urine, just like fish and water, and tumor cells might be flushed out by urine. Traditional method urine cytology is trying to find tumor cells in the urine by cytopathologist, but this method may miss up to 50 to 70% of tumor patient. So, the main purpose of our study is to establish a new non-invasive, and more accurate method to detect urothelial cancer by analyzing the chromosomal alterations from the urine exfoliated cells, and reduce the use of cystoscopy.  (more…)