Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Emergency Care, Heart Disease / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michalis Katsoulis PhD Immediate PostDoctoral BHF fellow Institute of Health Informatics Senior Research Fellow, UCL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the early stage of the pandemic, we observed a decline in patient visits to Emergency Departments (ED), including those for cardiac diseases. This decline may have been due to fear of coronavirus infection when attending hospital, public reluctance to overload National Health Service facilities, or difficulty accessing care. In our study, we tried to estimate the impact of reduced ED visits on cardiac mortality in England. We used data from ED visits from the Public Health England Emergency Department Syndromic Surveillance System (EDSSS). For cardiovascular disease outcomes, we obtained mortality counts for cardiac disease from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for England. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA, USPSTF / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aaron B. Caughey, M.D.,M.P.P., M.P.H. Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Associate Dean for Women’s Health Research and Policy Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR Founder and Chair Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–funded Oregon Perinatal Collaborative USPSTF Task Force Member MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hepatitis B virus infection is a serious condition that affects about 860,000 people in the United States. Screening for hepatitis B can detect the infection early, so that you can receive treatment that will reduce the potential for serious complications, including cancer, liver failure, and even death. Hepatitis B often has no signs or symptoms, so clinicians should screen teens and adults who are at increased risk for hepatitis B to help protect their health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nature, Weight Research / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harriët Schellekens MSc PhD Lecturer Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience, and APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre University College Cork, Cork, IRELAND. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has been an increased emphasis on gut microbiota-targeted therapeutics for the amelioration of obesity. Recent studies have identified several probiotic strains with different anti-obesity effects, including members of the genus Bifidobacterium, but the exact mechanisms of action are still lacking. Moreover, positive effects in animal studies often do not translate in human studies. The APC Microbiome Ireland has set up a “culture-to-product” platform, a well catalogued and quality controlled collection of bacteria with potential biofunctional activities. In my laboratory, I have developed a state-of the art “bug-to-drug” screening approach, using high-throughput biochemical and cellular assays, to fully characterize bacteria and identify the most promising bacterial strains with specific desirable probiotic and functional properties. This careful in vitro screening of APC’s strains (or customer strains) is designed to identify the most potent candidates that can impact on host physiology and overall gut-brain axis function, e.g. by producing microbial metabolites or neuroactives, altering gut-barrier function, reducing inflammation, or modifying G-protein coupled receptors. This comprehensive screening approach facilitates the precise selection and prediction of the best strains that are likely to yield a specific positive health effects in subsequent animal and human studies, based on their in vitro probiotic and functional properties. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Education, Pediatrics / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrey Vyshedskiy PhD Boston University, Boston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background of ImagiRation? https://imagiration.com/ Response: ImagiRation is a Boston-based startup with links to MIT, Harvard, and Boston University. ImagiRation has developed a highly innovative adaptive language therapy application for children with autism, Mental Imagery Therapy for Autism (MITA). MedicalResearch.com: How is the Mental Imagery Therapy for Autism program delivered? Response: MITA language therapy is administered by parents at home. MITA application works on all smartphones and tablet devices and is designed for children ages 2 to 12 years. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chris Clark, PhD Clinical Senior Lecturer in General Practice Primary Care Research Group St Luke's Campus, Exeter MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Various individual studies have suggested that a blood pressure difference between arms is associated with increased mortality and cardiovascular events since we first reported this association in 2002. Such studies have been limited, due to smaller numbers of participants, in the conclusions that could be drawn. Therefore we sought to pool data from as many cohorts as possible to study this association in more detail. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Should it be standard practice to measure blood pressure in both arms? Response: Systolic inter-arm difference was associated with increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. We found that all-cause mortality increased with inter-arm difference magnitude from a ≥5 mmHg threshold. Systolic inter-arm difference was also associated with cardiovascular events in people without pre-existing disease. This remained significant after adjustment for various internationally used cardiovascular risk scores, namely ASCVD, Framingham or QRISK2. Essentially we found that each increase of 1mmHg in inter-arm difference equated to a 1% increase for a given cardiovascular risk score. When undertaking a cardiovascular assessment, or determining which arm should be used for blood pressure measurement, it is recommended to measure both arms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods / 20.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian J. Piper, PhD, MS Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA 18510 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The US continues to be adversely impacted by an iatrogenic opioid epidemic. There have been increasing reports of “vet shopping” or diverting opioids from pets to their owners [2]. In humans, methadone is the number one prescription opioid when expressed in terms of morphine mg equivalents (MME) [3]. The goal of this study was to examine the changing pattern of opioid and other controlled substance use by veterinary teaching institutions. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Genetic Research, NYU / 19.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John T. Poirier, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine Director, Preclinical Therapeutics Program Perlmutter Cancer Center An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center NYU Langone Health Smilow Research Center New York, NY 10016 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The goal of this study was to identify in as much detail as possible the genes that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, needs to successfully infect a human host cell. CRISPR technology played a key role in this research; it was used to disrupt every gene in the human genome in parallel and study which ones were required for infection. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 18.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca McAdams, MA, MPH Senior research associate Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sledding is a popular winter activity in communities across the country, but it may not be as risk-free as many people think. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: We found that 220,488 patients were treated in U.S. emergency departments for injuries related to sledding from 2008 through 2017. Nearly 70% of these patients were children age 19 years and younger. Compared to adults, children were almost seven times as likely to be treated in an emergency department for a sledding-related injury. The majority of patients were injured as the result of a collision (63%). Collision injuries occurred when the patient made contact with an object in the environment (47%), when they hit the ground (16%), or when they ran into another person (10%) or sled (7%). Head injuries are a serious concern during sledding. The head was the most frequently injured body part for children. In fact, nearly 82% of those who sustained an injury to the head were children. The type of sled can also impact the risk of head injury. Children injured while riding snow tubes and disks had a greater risk of sustaining a concussion or CHI than children who were riding sleds or toboggans. Researchers recommend wearing a helmet while sledding to reduce the risk and severity of head injuries. While less frequent (3% of all cases), injuries occurring as a result of the sled being pulled by a motorized vehicle such as a car, ATV or snowmobile resulted in more serious injuries that required hospitalization (14%). This practice should be avoided. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania, Vaccine Studies / 18.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Largent, PhD, JD, RN Senior Fellow Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Assistant Professor, Medical Ethics and Health Policy Perelman School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Ending the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccination will require sufficient vaccine uptake. Various means are being considered to promote uptake, including mandatory vaccination. For instance, COVID-19 vaccination might be mandated by states (e.g., as a condition for children to attend public school) or by employers. Given the opposition we’ve seen to masks, to choose just one example, our team wanted to gauge the acceptability of COVID-19 vaccine mandates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 18.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Louis Aronne, MD, FACP Chief Medical Officer, Intellihealth Medical Director, Comprehensive Weight Control Center Weill Cornell Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the study Effect of an Online Weight Management Program Integrated With Population Health Management on Weight Change: A Randomized Clinical Trial”? Response: More than 70% of U.S. adults have overweight or obesity. Online programs promoting lifestyle change have had some success in helping people achieve and maintain weight loss, but study results have been variable, and these programs have not been widely implemented in primary care. We studied the effectiveness of an online program we have developed (Intellihealth, formerly known as BMIQ) in routine primary care practices, both alone and integrated with population health management (with participants receiving additional support and outreach from nonclinical staff). The study’s objective was to determine whether a combined intervention integrating online weight management with population health management would increase weight loss at 12 months among primary care patients compared with the online program only and usual care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Orthopedics / 18.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karin Magnusson PT, PhD Associate Researcher Lund University and Norwegian Institute of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is one of the most common knee injuries, for which very limited data has been presented on the genetic contribution. Based on our knowledge of the role of genetics in the development of ACL-rupture related traits, such as joint hypermobility and knee osteoarthritis, we hypothesized that heritability might play a role also in ACL injury. Using the Swedish Twin Registry, which is the world's largest twin registry and in this study including more than 88.000 twins, we had unique data to for the first time reliably estimate the heritability for this common knee injury. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lung Cancer / 17.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert Van Haren, MD, MSPH College of Medicine University of Cincinnati MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all areas of society including the field of oncology. This study evaluated the impact of COVID-19 on lung cancer screening. Screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans are important because they reduce lung cancer mortality by at least 20%. Our lung cancer screening program was closed in March 2020 due to COVID 19 and reopened again in June 2020. We cancelled over 800 LDCTs during that time period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Immunotherapy / 17.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua Brody MD Director, Lymphoma Immunotherapy Program Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hess Center for Science and Medicine New York, New York 10029 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cancer Immunotherapies target "antigens" on the surface of cells. -CAR-T cells targets antigens e.g. CD19 -Bispecific antibodies target antigens e.g. CD20 -Anti-PD1 antibodies awaken T cells that target antigens on e.g. MHC-I Cancer Immunotherapies frequently fail because a small percent of tumor cells simply lack the antigen and cause cancer relapse ('Antigen Escape') (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 17.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Xiaolei Yang The State Key Laboratory of Nonlinear Mechanics, Institute of Mechanics School of Engineering Sciences University of Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing, China hallway-air-flow.jpeg MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The most important finding of this study is that the transmission of COVID-19 is highly influenced by the airflow and that a slight difference in the airflow can significantly alter the virus spreading pattern in the air. In this study, the change of airflow is caused by a minor difference in the corridor width and the walking speed. However, such a change can also come from other factors, such as the indoor architectural structure, the temperature, the humidity, etc. In many of these cases, the common guideline of 6-feet may not be enough when the influence of airflow is taken into account. Due to this complexity, there is still a gap of knowledge to fill before a safety guideline for different indoor environments can be provided to the public, many research efforts are needed from the fluid mechanics’ aspect. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Kidney Disease / 14.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kevin Moore, MD UCL Institute of Liver and Digestive Health Royal Free Hospital, University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is hepatorenal syndrome – acute kidney injury (HRS-AKI) and how does terlipressin fit into the treatment landscape? Response: HRS-AKI, also known as hepatorenal syndrome type 1 (HRS-1), is an acute and life-threatening syndrome involving acute kidney failure in people with cirrhosis.[i] HRS-1 can progress to life-threatening renal failure within daysi and has a median survival time of approximately two weeks and greater than 80 percent mortality within three months if left untreated.[ii],[iii] Terlipressin, a potent vasopressin analogue selective for V1 receptors, is an investigational agent, and its safety and effectiveness have not yet been established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In the U.S., there are currently no approved pharmacologic treatments for HRS-1; however, terlipressin is approved in most other countries, where it has been a standard of care for the last 20 years in the treatment of patients with HRS-1.[iv],[v] The current standard of care for HRS-1 in the U.S. includes other vasoconstrictors such as midodrine (a drug which can increase blood pressure and potentially improve blood flow into the kidneys) along with concomitant albumin and frequent monitoring, but current data do not support good efficacy.2 Dialysis (a type of renal replacement therapy) is sometimes used in hepatorenal syndrome, but dialysis is not curative and it can be costly. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, End of Life Care / 14.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isaac Chua, MD, MPH Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patient surveys have shown that most people prefer to die at home at the end-of-life. However, during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, anecdotal evidence from our colleagues and findings from a prior study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggested that majority of COVID-19 decedents died in a medical facility. However, less is known about care intensity at the end-of-life according to place of death among patients who died of COVID-19. Therefore, we characterized end-of-life care by place of death among COVID-19 decedents at Mass General Brigham (MGB), the largest health system in Massachusetts. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, OBGYNE / 13.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sheela Maru, MD, MPH Department of Health System Design and Global Health and Arnhold Institute for Global Health and Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Universal screening for SARS-CoV-2 infection on Labor and Delivery (L&D) units is a critical strategy to manage patient and health worker safety, especially in a vulnerable high-prevalence community. We describe the results of a SARS-CoV-2 universal screening program at the L&D Unit at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, NY, a 545-bed public hospital serving a diverse, largely immigrant and low-income patient population and an epicenter of the global pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, CT Scanning, Johns Hopkins, Nature / 12.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nilanjan Chatterjee, PhD Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Departments of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Calculation of risks or severe COVID-19 disease and mortality for individuals in the general population can help to prioritize prevention efforts, such as early vaccination. We developed a model to estimate risks for COVID-19 mortality for currently uninflected individuals based on sociodemographic factors, pre-existing conditions and local pandemic intensity. The model captures factors associated with both risk of infection and complications after infection. The model was developed using information from a large UK based cohort study called OpenSAFELY, and was adapted to the US population based on information on mortality rate associated with age and race/ethnicity available through CDC. The model also utilizes information on state level projected death rates from pandemic forecasting models. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Genetic Research, Nutrition / 11.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Auriel Willette, PhD Assistant Professor Food Science and Human Nutrition Iowa State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: To date, pharmacology therapies done to slow down or halt Alzheimer's disease have been inconclusive. Lifestyle interventions like changes in diet and activity are also mixed but do show some promise. Dietary clinical trials or self-reported diet have tended to focus on groups of foods such as the Mediterranean or MIND diet. To build from this excellent work, we were curious if we could pinpoint specific foods that were correlated with changes in fluid intelligence over time. Fluid intelligence represents our ability to creatively use existing knowledge, working memory, and other components of "thinking flexibly." Further, we tested if these patterns of association differed based on genetic risk. In this case, genetic risk was defined as having a family history of Alzheimer's disease or having 1-2 "bad" copies of the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene, which is the strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, Exercise - Fitness / 11.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew W. McHill, PhD Research Assistant Professor Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences Oregon Health & Science University, Portland OR Portland, OR 97239 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It has long been known that there is a home court advantage in sports, whether it be due to the home fans cheering, playing within familiar settings, or travel of the opposing team. However, the contribution of travel to home-court advantage could never be fully teased apart due to all the confounds of the other aspects of playing at home. In March, the National Basketball Association had to pause their season due to COVID-19 concerns, only to start again several months later with the top 22 teams playing in a “bubble” environment where no teams were required to travel. This created a ‘natural experiment’ wherein we could test the impact of travel on winning and performance before the COVID-19 shutdown with games played in the bubble environment with no travel. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks, Science / 11.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Asimanshu Das, Ph.D. student Brown University School of Engineering MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Driving in a car with ride-share or car-pool is a widely prevalent social interaction. The study aimed to address the airflows inside cars in various window open/closed configurations using computer simulations, and also looking into the possibility of movement of aerosol-type of particles from one occupant to other. The main findings are that opening windows provides a likely benefit to reduce the potentially pathogenic aerosols inside the cabin. Generally, more windows the better, but at the least it would be advisable to have one rear side window and one frontside window open. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Neurology, Pain Research / 10.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: William K. Schmidt, Ph.D. Senior VP Clinical Development Helixmith Co. Ltd. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How common is diabetic peripheral neuropathy and how does it affect patients? Response: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 34 million people in the United States have diabetes (about 10% of the U.S. population) and about one in four patients do not know that they have it (https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/diabetes-prediabetes.htm). Diabetes can cause significant damage to nerves in the feet, hands, eyes, and other parts of the body. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is the most common form of nerve damage worldwide; it affects approximately half of the patients with diabetes (Iqbal et al., 2018). In many individuals, severe burning, tingling, “pins and needles,” or cramping pain can occur simultaneously in both feet without external evidence of foot damage. Despite the pain, symptoms may be accompanied by numbness or loss of sensation in the feet. This is called painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (painful DPN or P-DPN) and may affect up to one-third of the general diabetic population (Yoo et al., 2013). P-DPN may cause increased anxiety and depression, sleep impairment, and difficulties with walking. Up to one-third of P-DPN patients may require the use of a cane, walker, or even a wheelchair due to extreme foot pain. Once P-DPN occurs, it may result in a lifetime of pain and disability. FDA-approved daily oral medications often used to treat P-DPN include Neurontin (gabapentin), Lyrica (pregabalin), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Nucynta ER (tapentadol). While these “neuropathic pain” medications may dull the pain for some subjects, they produce significant side effects that may be troubling for many patients. Indeed, many patients stop using these pain killers due to lack of effectiveness at doses that they can tolerate (van Nooten et al., 2017) There is also a topical 8% capsaicin patch, but again with limited efficacy. It is well known that the most severely affected patients may require opioid analgesics to control P-DPN (Pesa et al., 2013). None of the currently used medications have disease-modifying effects. However, our new injectable medication is now in advanced clinical development that has the potential disease-modifying effects lasting months after each treatment, with limited or no side effects for most patients aside from brief injection site discomfort. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 10.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joanne L. Blum, MD, PhD, FACP Texas Oncology and Director Hereditary Cancer Risk Program Baylor University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe the POLARIS study? Response: POLARIS is an ongoing prospective, real-world, non-interventional study in patients with HR+/HER2-ABC receiving palboiclib plus endocrine therapy with a targeted enrollment of 1500 patients at 110 sites in the United States and Canada. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
  • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately one third of the study sites experienced an impact on their responsiveness to correspondence, timely data entry, and subject management.
  • The geographic location or type (e.g., academic or community) of study site appears associated with whether the site was impacted by COVID-19.
  • Other study site characteristics were generally similar between sites that reported an impact of COVID-19 and those that were not impacted.
  • Because of inherent limitations of survey studies, these findings must be interpreted with caution.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, CDC, JAMA, Lung Cancer / 10.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David A. Siegel, MD, MPH Division of Cancer Prevention and Control US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: Why is it important to better understand the smoking histories (both current/former and never smokers) among lung cancer patients? Response: Knowledge of smoking status of patients diagnosed with lung cancer can help us understand how to best prevent, detect, and treat lung cancer in the future. More than 84% of women and 90% of men newly diagnosed with lung cancer had ever smoked cigarettes, and half of patients aged 20 to 64 years newly diagnosed with lung cancer were current cigarette smokers. These findings reinforce the importance of cigarette cessation and lung cancer screening. 1 out of every 8 people diagnosed with lung cancer had never smoked cigarettes, which reiterates the importance of learning more about their risk factors for lung cancer, which could impact prevention and treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pulmonary Disease / 10.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew M. Wilson, MD Clinical Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Health University of East Anglia Norwich and Honorary Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine Norfolk and Norwich University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis has a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. Clinical trial evidence suggested a survival benefit for people taking co-trimoxazole and microbiological data suggested that infection was implicated in prognosis. However this large multicentre study did not show that co-trimoxazole had an beneficial effect in terms of time to all-cause mortality, hospitalisation or lung transplant in people with moderate and severe idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (more…)
Author Interviews, BMC, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Diabetes, Nutrition / 10.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tengteng Wang, PhD, MSPH, MBBS Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Channing Division of Network Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been associated with poor progression of breast cancer. Moreover, having a breast cancer diagnosis may also increase the risk of developing T2D. Therefore, identifying strategies for T2D prevention among breast cancer survivors may play a key role in improving their survival outcomes. One approach may be through a diabetes risk reduction diet (DRRD), a dietary pattern comprised of 9 components that has been associated with 40% lower T2D risk in a previous Nurses’ Health Study publication.1 However, no studies to date have evaluated the association between adherence to the DRRD (as measured by the DRRD score) and survival outcomes following breast cancer. In this prospective cohort study among 8,320 breast cancer survivors, we found that greater adherence to the diabetes risk reduction diet after diagnosis was associated with a statistically significant 31% lower risk of overall mortality. Reduced breast cancer-specific mortality was also observed, which was more pronounced (20% lower risk) among those who improved adherence after diagnosis compared to women with consistently low DRRD adherence before and after diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 10.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicholas S. Reed, AuD Assistant Professor | Department of Epidemiology Core Faculty | Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is known that hearing aid ownership is relatively low in the United States at less than 20% of adults with hearing loss owning and using hearing aids. However, many national estimates of hearing aid ownership are based on data that is over 10 years old. Our team was interested in trying to understand whether ownership in hearing aids had changed over time. We used data from 2011 to 2018 in a nationally representative (United States) observational cohort (The National Health and Aging Trends Study) of Medicare Beneficiaries aged 70 years and older to estimate the change in hearing aid ownership. In our analysis, the proportion of Medicare beneficiaries 70 years and older who reported owning and using their hearing aids increased 23.3% from 2011 to 2018. However, this growth in ownership was not equal across all older adults. For example, while White males saw a 28.7% increase in hearing aid ownership, Black females saw only a 5.8% increase over the same 8-year period. Moreover, adults living at less than 100% federal poverty level actually saw an overall 13.0% decrease in hearing aid ownership while those living at more than 200% federal poverty line saw an overall 30.6% increase. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 09.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ed Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM The Melanie S. Steele Distinguished Professorship in Medicine Professor, Internal Medicine NC State College of Veterinary Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Bartonella species represent a medically underappreciated group of vector-transmitted bacteria that are increasingly implicated in a spectrum of animal and human diseases. Most recently, our research group has focused on the potential role of these bacteria as a cause or co-factor in patients with neuropsychiatric symptoms. This focus is based upon prior case reports and case series generated by our research group and others. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Hematology / 08.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven Pipe, MD Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology Laurence A. Boxer Research Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases Pediatric Medical Director, Hemophilia and Coagulation Disorders Program Director, Special Coagulation Laboratory University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hemophilia B is an inherited bleeding disorder where patients are missing clotting factor IX (9), a critical blood clotting protein. Patients with a severe deficiency are at risk for traumatic and spontaneous bleeds – primarily into joints. Repeated bleeding into joints causes more than acute pain and swelling but also leads to inflammatory and degenerative changes in joints that eventually leads to severe debilitating arthritis that can be crippling. To try to prevent this, patients as young as infants are placed on regular infusions of clotting factor IX concentrates. The relatively short half-life of factor IX means patients must infuse on average once to twice a week. These can only be delivered intravenously – parents and then patients themselves have to learn this. Prophylaxis must be continued lifelong to try to prevent bleeding events and protect joint health over the lifespan. This is a tremendous burden on the patient and their caregivers. Even with regular prophylaxis, joint bleeds may still occur and arthropathy may still ensue. This is because the blood levels often reach critically low levels prior to the next infusion. Gene therapy aims to deliver a functional copy of the factor IX gene such that the patient’s own liver will make a continuous supply of factor IX that is delivered to the bloodstream. At steady state with levels close to or within the normal range, patients would no longer be subject to bleeding events and would not require prophylaxis any longer. We hope that such a one-time treatment would produced durable, “functionally curative” levels of factor IX. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education / 08.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martin J. Bergee Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs School of Music University of Kansas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The idea that listening, participating, or achieving in music makes you better at another subject, say, math, science, or reading, has been around for a while. Indeed, there’s a relationship between achievement in music and achievement in other content areas. But I’ve always assumed that the relationship was spurious, that is, driven my any number of such background influences as urbanicity, ethnicity, SES, level of parent education, the type of school one attends, and so forth. Essentially, I set out to demonstrate once and for all that with these background influences accounted for statistically, the relationship is considerably attenuated. Much to my surprise, however, music achievement’s relationships with reading and math achievement remained quite strong. (more…)