AACR, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Prostate Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 10.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicholas Mitsiades MD Associate Professor of Medicine - Hematology and Oncology Baylor College of Medicine Oncologist at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer CenterMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: African American men have higher risk of developing prostate cancer and up to 2.2-times higher mortality rate from prostate cancer relative to men of other ancestries. This is the largest health disparity across all cancers in the US. Socioeconomic factors, especially access to healthcare, definitely contribute to this disparity. African American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at a more advanced stage than other races, and this is unfortunately very common at Ben Taub Hospital, our safety-net hospital in the Houston area, where we serve large racial and ethnic minority populations and patients who lack commercial insurance. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, JAMA, Menopause / 10.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Duke Appiah, Ph.D., MPH Assistant Professor,Public Health Texas Tech UniversityMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Reports from several countries point towards increasing trends in age at natural menopause. However, epidemiological report from the United States on the long-term trends in age at natural menopause or reproductive life span among a nationally representative sample of women is lacking. Understanding changes in the timing of age at natural menopause and length of the reproductive life span and their associated factors are important. For instance, earlier age at natural menopause is reported to be associated with cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases and osteoporosis while later onset of menopause has been associated with the occurrence of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. Similarly, longer durations of reproductive life span are associated with reduced morbidity and mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Erectile Dysfunction, Heart Disease, JACC, Karolinski Institute / 10.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martin J Holzmann MD PhD Department of Emergency Medicine Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, SwedenMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: ​We published a paper 2007 in Heart where we showed that PDE5i lower mortality in men with a recent myocardial infarction. With this study we wanted to investigate if PDE5i led to a beneficial outcome in men with stable coronary artery disease. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Cancer Research, Pediatrics / 10.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gregory K. Friedman, MD Associate Professor Director, Developmental Therapeutics Associate Scientist, O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB Neuro-Oncology Program Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology University of Alabama at Birmingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This was a first-in-children trial to test the safety of an immunotherapy using an altered cold-sore virus (herpes virus or HSV-1), G207, infused directly via catheters into progressive or recurrent malignant brain tumors. Due to modifications in G207, the virus does not harm normal cells but can infect and directly kill tumor cells while also stimulating the patient’s own immune system to attack the tumor. We tested G207 at two dose levels alone and when combined with a single low dose of radiation, which was used to increase virus replication and spread throughout the tumor. The research is important because outcomes are very poor for children with progressive malignant brain tumors, and the toxicities caused by current standard therapies are unacceptably high. Therefore, we greatly need effective and less-toxic targeted therapies for children. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Nutrition, Prostate Cancer / 10.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Anna Plym PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What arethe main elements of the healthy lifestyle?Response: Prostate cancer is the most heritable of all cancers, with genetic factors accounting for a large proportion of cases. Although we do not currently know about all the genetic factors contributing, a recent study identified 269 genetic markers for prostate cancer, validated in multiple independent populations (Conti et al., Nature Genetics 2021, Plym et al, JNCI, 2021: https://academic.oup.com/jnci/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/jnci/djab058/6207974). Based on a polygenic risk score derived from these 269 markers, we observed that men with a high polygenic risk score have over a 50% risk of developing prostate cancer within their lifetime. With this excess risk in mind, we were interested in possible ways in which the genetic risk of prostate could be attenuated. An increasing number of studies have suggested that lifestyle factors can affect the risk of lethal prostate cancer – however, these studies have seldom incorporated genetic factors. We know from other diseases that a healthy lifestyle is of benefit for individuals at high genetic risk, and we hypothesized that this would be the case for prostate cancer as well. In this study, we examined a healthy lifestyle score for lethal prostate cancer consisting of six components: healthy weight (BMI < 30), not smoking (never smoked or quit > 10 years ago), vigorous physical exercise (3 or more hours per week), high intake of tomatoes or tomato-based products (7 servings or more per week), high intake of fatty fish (1 or more serving per week) and low intake of processed meat (less than 3 servings/week of beef or pork hot dogs, bacon, salami, bologna, or other processed meat sandwiches) (Kenfield et al, JCO, 2016).(more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Weight Research / 10.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Dr. Karsten Koehler Department of Sport and Health Sciences Technical University of Munich MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The primary background is the phenomenon that most people fail to loose (meaningful) weight through exercise alone, which is related to what we call compensatory eating – an increase in food intake to compensate for the increased energy expenditure of exercise. This is been described in a number of studies and is considered a key weight loss barrier – yet few have come up with solutions to overcome this problem. Therefore, we wanted to see if the timing of food choices has an impact on how much and what we want to eat in the context of exercise. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, CMAJ / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Windle, MPH PhD Student in EpidemiologyDepartment of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational HealthMcGill University (Montréal, Québec, Canada) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Concerns have been raised about the potential for increases in impaired driving following the legalization of recreational cannabis use in Canada in October 2018. Data from Statistics Canada suggest that cannabis use in the previous three months increased among adults (15 and older) from 14% before legalization in 2018 to 17% in 2019. Among those users with a driver’s license, 13% reported driving within two hours of cannabis use. While this proportion remained the same before and after legalization, this indicates that the absolute number of individuals who reported driving within two hours of use has increased following legalization (due to an increase in the number of users). (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Pollard Ph.D Senior Sociologist; Professor Pardee RAND Graduate School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has traditionally been a highly trusted source of public health information, and conveying information to the public about the vaccine and broader pandemic response is critical. This study examines changes in levels of public trust in the CDC between May and October, 2020, in light of the numerous challenges the CDC initially faced during the COVID-19 pandemic: technical problems with their COVID-19 testing kits, mixed messaging about the pandemic and mitigation strategies, and public commentary and interference by people in the Trump administration, for example. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Stroke / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Thanh Nguyen MD Director of Interventional Neurology/ Neuroradiology Boston Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, there were many regional and sometimes national reports of declines in stroke and myocardial infarction volumes. Our goal was to understand whether these declines were also seen for other neurological emergencies such as subarachnoid hemorrhage hospitalizations and ruptured aneurysm endovascular treatments. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology / 05.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wolfgang Liedtke, M.D., Ph.D. Professor (tenured) of Neurology, Anesthesiology and Neurobiology
Attending Physician, Duke Neurology Clinics for Headache, Head-Pain and Trigeminal Sensory Disorders
Attending Physician, Duke Clinics for Innovative Pain Therapy at Brier Creek (Dept of Anesthesiology)
Duke University School of Medicine, Center for Translational Neuroscience
Durham NC 27710 Since April 2021 Chair of Neurology Global Development Scientific Council Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Tarrytown NY 10591 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There are systemic diseases that are characterized by intense itching, yet without inflammation of the skin and not associated with allergic inflammation. For example and importantly, liver disease with non-functional secretion of bile (cholestatic liver disease, most common primary biliary cholangitis, an autoimmune disease), but also chronic end-stage renal disease (also certain lymphomas and pruritic psoriasis where the itch is whole-body, not only restricted to diseased skin). We thought that these diseases might be great starting points to better understand itch because there is no inflamed skin and no allergies. Thus, there must be some systemic factor that causes itch, and we were intent on discovering such factors, and with them, molecular mechanisms how they cause itch. For cholestatic liver disease, one of the best candidates to fit this profile has been lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), since the pioneering discoveries of Andreas Kremer, one of our co-authors. My research laboratory at Duke has been rooted in my discovery of TRPV4 ion channels 20 years ago, out of the Friedman Lab at The Rockefeller University in NYC. Over the years, with my colleague Yong Chen out of my lab, now leading his own independent research operation, we focused on the role of TRPV4 ion channels in skin. 5 years ago Yong and I published a paper that provided some evidence for TRPV4 in skin perhaps playing a role in itch. Working with phospholipids, we made the serendipitous discovery that lysophosphatidyl choline (LPC) is a more potent itch-inducing lipid molecule than LPA. Of note, LPC is the metabolic precursor of LPA. We then found that LPA does not depend on TRPV4 to elicit itch. The more robust itch evoked by LPC was significantly reduced when we knocked down TRPV4 in skin keratinocytes. Itch was NOT affected when TRPV4 was deleted from sensory nerve cells that innervate the skin. In terms of background, my long-term goal has been to elucidate how innervating peripheral nerve cell and innervated organ, such as skin, talk to one another so that the sensation that is felt is regulated or modulated, e.g how can skin influence itch or pain, how can joint cells influence pain. That became the exciting bedrock of our study, and we took it from there, 5 years of hard work with collaborations spanning the globe, and a final stretch of exhausting work during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Psychological Science, Sexual Health / 05.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Phd Professor, Department of Psychology Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have two important lines of research running parallel: 1) research into casual sex research. Over several papers inspired by previous evolutionary studies on casual sex we map the proximate mechanisms involved in regret. However, the adaptive function of regret: more adaptive future choices, was not addressed. This is something that most people and most regret researchers just take for granted. Bendixen et al 2017, Kennair et al 2016, 2018. 2) Research into how worry and rumination is not adaptive and how changing metacognitions about these mental processes are helpful here and now, and how discontinuing these processes is an efficient treatment of GAD and MDD. Kennair et al 2017. Solem et al 2019. We found that it was important to question whether regret indeed was adaptive and affected more adaptive future short-term sexual choices. However, this demands a longitudinal design and such data are not easy to collect. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA, USPSTF / 02.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chien-Wen Tseng, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.E.E. The Hawaii Medical Service Association Endowed Chair Health Services and Quality Research Professor, and Associate Research Director Department of Family Medicine and Community Health University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Age-related hearing loss cannot be reversed and can be a significant problem for older adults. Four out of 10 adults who are age 70 and older report hearing loss and it can worsen isolation, cognitive decline, and quality of life, as well as interfere with someone’s ability to live independently. There are simple screening tests to detect hearing loss, so the Task Force did an extensive review of whether there are health benefits to screening for hearing loss in people who do not have symptoms before they notice any hearing problems. The Task Force determined that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening for hearing loss in adults who are age 50 and older and do not have signs or symptoms of hearing loss. This is an I statement. (more…)
Author Interviews / 31.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arch G. Mainous III, PhD Professor Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy Professor and Vice Chair for Research Department of Community Health and Family Medicine University of Florida MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are always concerned about infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria. When the bacteria are resistant to our current treatments this lengthens the time and severity of the illness. Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of community and healthcare associated infections. These range from skin infections to invasive infections and even death. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is of particular concern and is a burden on the health care system. Importantly, patients colonized, not infected, with MRSA are more likely to develop MRSA infections and patients with MRSA infections have increased risk of hospital length of stay and even death. We are always concerned about infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria. When the bacteria are resistant to our current treatments this lengthens the time and severity of the illness. Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of community and healthcare associated infections. These range from skin infections to invasive infections and even death. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is of particular concern and is a burden on the health care system. Importantly, patients colonized, not infected, with MRSA are more likely to develop MRSA infections and patients with MRSA infections have increased risk of hospital length of stay and even death. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Dental Research / 30.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Francesco D’Aiuto Professor/Hon Consultant Head of Periodontology Unit UCL Eastman Dental InstituteMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was set out to further our understanding of the link between gum disease and high blood pressure. Recent evidence suggested that individuals with gum disease had a 20-70% increased risk of hypertension and systemic inflammation seemed to be a driver in mediating this association. Further research on the matter was needed. We recruited two relatively large groups of otherwise healthy participants (without a confirmed diagnosis of hypertension) who had gum disease one and healthy gums the other. We found that diagnosis of periodontitis (gum disease) was consistently linked to higher systolic blood pressure independent of other cardiovascular risk factors. (more…)
Exercise - Fitness, Mental Health Research, Nutrition / 30.03.2021

When you are struggling with your mind and mental health issues, it can be difficult to find peace and accept the situation you find yourself. However, finding inner peace can help you to get back onto your feet and lead a happier and healthier life both now and in the future. Take Up Yoga and Meditationhealthy-food-nutritionThe first step that you should take to finding inner peace is to practice yoga and meditation regularly. Yoga and meditation can give you the chance to slow down and reflect, as well as to clear your mind of the worries and negative thoughts that are concerning you. Not only this, but deep breathing is also an important aspect of both yoga and meditation as this can help you to ground yourself and to reconnect with the world around you. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 25.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Hesam Dashti, PhD Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School Senior Computational Scientist The Broad Institute of MIT and HarvardMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What parameters does the SARS2 score take into consideration?Response: While complex models have been developed for predicting the severity of COVID-19 from the medical history, laboratory, and imaging results of patients, simplified models with similar accuracy would be more practical for individualizing the decision making, especially when detailed medical history of patients is not readily available. In this study, we developed the SARS2 risk equations for estimating risk of hospitalization of patients with COVID-19 and also the risk of mortality among hospitalized patients. The “SARS2” risk equations are named for their input variables: Sex, Age, Race, Socioeconomic and Smoking status. To develop and validate the models, we used the electronic records from 12,347 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Mass General Brigham medical centers in Massachusetts between 02/26/2020 and 07/14/2020 to construct derivation and validation cohorts for estimating 1) risk of hospitalization within 30 days of COVID-19 positive PCR test, and 2) for the hospitalized patients, risk of mortality within approximately 3 months. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Respiratory / 25.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pranay Sinha, MD Section of Infectious Diseases Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We hypothesized that mitigation measures such as physical distancing and mask wearing instituted in Boston would reduce transmission of common respiratory viruses such as influenza, Rhinovirus, and Parainfluenzavirus. We compared the rate of detection of such viruses at Boston Medical Center on comprehensive respiratory panels in the ambulatory, emergency room, and hospital settings in 2020 to rates in the previous five years. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Occupational Health, Vaccine Studies / 25.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michelle N. Meyer, PhD, JD Assistant Professor & Associate Director, Research Ethics, Center for Translational Bioethics & Health Care Policy Faculty Co-Director, Behavioral Insights Team, Steele Institute for Health Innovation Assistant Professor of Bioethics Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Geisinger, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Earlier research had found people are less likely to say they'll receive a COVID-19 vaccine offered to them under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) than one offered to them following full FDA approval. Earlier surveys had also found that only around 30% of health care workers intended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Because the public often looks to local health care workers for health advice, and in most prioritization schemes they were slated to be offered vaccines first, this was quite concerning for the prospect of achieving population immunity. Commenters had warned that if the FDA chose to make COVID-19 vaccines available under EUAs, that substantial efforts would need to be made to ensure trust. On Dec. 4, 2020, an announcement about anticipated vaccine availability was emailed to all 23,784 Geisinger employees, who were asked to indicate their intention to receive a vaccine when one was available to them and the reasons for any hesitation they might have. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Endocrinology, Insomnia, Menopause, Sleep Disorders, Weight Research / 23.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leilah K. Grant, PhDPostdoctoral Research Fellow in MedicineBrigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of obesity increases in women around the age of menopause which increases the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Changes in hormones, like estrogen, are thought to contribute to weight gain during menopause, but other common symptoms of menopause such as sleep interruption may also play a role. While short sleep is known to adversely affect metabolism, little is known about the metabolic consequences of the type of sleep disruption most common in menopausal women – increased nighttime awakenings (i.e., sleep interruption) caused by hot flashes, but no change in overall sleep duration. We therefore did this study to see how an experimental model menopause-related sleep interruption would affect metabolic outcomes that may contribute to weight gain. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, Mental Health Research, PLoS / 23.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David C. Rettew, MD Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our group, the Wellness Environment Scientific Team at the University of Vermont, hadn’t planned to look at COVID at the outset of this study and instead were going to look at mental health and engagement in wellness activities in college students across a semester. The pandemic disrupted that plan when students were abruptly sent home but fortunately, they continued to do their daily app-based ratings of their mood, stress levels, and engagement in healthy activities. We then realized we had some interesting pre-COVID to COVID data that was worth exploring.(more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Genetic Research, Hematology, JAMA / 22.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Patrick DeMartino MD Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellow Doernbecher Children's Hospital Oregon Health & Science University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dozens of gene therapies are expected to be on the market within a decade or so. Much has been written about the high prices of the therapies currently on the market (exceeding $1 million). However, only a small number of patients are eligible for these existing therapies each year. Gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD) appears promising and would potentially apply to a relatively large number of individuals in the U.S. We sought to explore potential affordability challenges associated with a gene therapy for SCD. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, UCLA / 20.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard K. Leuchter, MD Resident PhysicianDepartment of Internal MedicineUCLA Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has been significant research demonstrating racial healthcare disparities among patients with COVID-19, but less exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the healthcare of racial & ethnic minority groups without COVID-19. It is important to understand the ways in which the pandemic has exacerbated the inequitable delivery of healthcare in order to design policies to address these racial injustices. We focused on potentially avoidable hospitalizations, which are admissions to a hospital (not for COVID-19) that likely could have been prevented through timely and high-quality outpatient care. Prior research has shown that avoidable hospitalizations are markers for access to outpatient care, and expose patients to preventable financial burden, separate them from their families, and put them at risk for hospital-acquired infections. (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus, OBGYNE / 19.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathalie Auger Professeure agrégée de clinique École de santé publique - Département de médecine sociale et preventive University of Montreal MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been a major public health concern. The number of infected pregnant women continues to increase. Pregnant women and infants are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 because the physiologic changes of pregnancy involve cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune changes that may alter the response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Fetuses may be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 during critical periods of development. The nature of the association between COVID-19 and pregnancy outcomes remains unclear and meta-analyses of pregnant women with COVID-19 are lacking. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 19.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sungchul Park, MPH PhD Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy Dornsife School of Public Health Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 19104Sungchul Park, MPH PhDAssistant Professor, Health Management and Policy Dornsife School of Public Health Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 19104   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Evidence suggests that a significant share of health care costs in the US is of low value. In some cases, low-value care can be associated with harmful patient outcomes. Thus, decreasing use of low-value care is a major goal for Medicare given the potential to decrease costs and harms. Compared with traditional fee-for-service Medicare (TM), Medicare Advantage (MA) is more strongly financially incentivized to decrease use of low-value care. (more…)
Author Interviews, ENT, JAMA / 18.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chao Cao, MPH PhD student in Movement Science, Program in Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine. Senior author: Lin Yang, PhD Research Scientist/Epidemiologist Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Cancer Care Alberta | Alberta Health Services | Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? dizziness-vertigoResponse: Dizziness and imbalance are common among US adults and increases the risk of serious injuries. However, research related to balance overwhelmingly focuses on functional outcomes among older adults, therefore our understanding on how balance function may affect the long-term health outcomes in adults of different age group is limited. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?Response: We found that balance disorder affects nearly 2/3 of older Americans (65+ yr) as well as 1/3 of those middle-aged (50-64 yr). Our study, for the first time, found that for middle-aged and older Americans, their overall and sensory-specific balance disorders (visual, proprioceptive, and vestibular) were associated with higher mortality risks driven by cancer and CVD death over 12 years. (more…)