Artificial Sweeteners, Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 16.07.2013

Professor, Behavioral Neuroscience Department of Psychological Sciences and Ingestive Behavior Research Center Purdue University, 703 Third Street West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan E. Swithers PhD Professor, Behavioral Neuroscience Department of Psychological Sciences and Ingestive Behavior Research Center Purdue University, 703 Third Street West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Swithers: The paper examined the last 5 years of studies that looked at risks associated with consuming artificially sweetened beverages like diet soda. These studies indicated that those who consume diet soda were at significantly greater risk for a variety of negative health outcomes like type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke, along with being more likely to gain excess weight. These effects might be due to a disruption of basic learned response. The idea is that normally things when things that taste sweet are consumed, the body receives calories and sugar. Our bodies can learn to prepare to deal with these calories and this sugar by starting up our digestive processes as soon as the sweet taste hits our mouth, for example by releasing hormones that not only help us regulate blood sugar, but also can contribute to feelings of fullness. When we consume diet sodas, the mouth gets the sweet taste, but the body doesn't get the calories or the sugar. The body may then learn that a sweet taste in the mouth doesn't always predict sugar and calories, so it makes adjustments in how many hormones it releases. So when we actually consume real sugar, the body doesn't produce the same kinds of physiological responses, which can lead to overeating, higher blood sugar, and over the long term could contribute to diseases like diabetes and stroke. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 15.07.2013

Aneel Bhangu, MBChB, MRCS and Douglas M. Bowley, FRCS Royal Centre for Defense Medicine, Birmingham, England MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aneel Bhangu, MBChB, MRCS and Douglas M. Bowley, FRCS Royal Centre for Defense Medicine, Birmingham, England MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Our study was a meta-analysis, which combined the findings from 8 randomized controlled trials that included a total of 623 patients. The key finding was that delayed primary skin closure (DPC) for contaminated and dirty abdominal incisions may reduce the rate of surgical site infection. However, due to high risk of bias from the included studies, including flaws in study design, definitive evidence is lacking. We believe that this meta-analysis represents an exciting development in biomedical publishing; this was a true collaboration between US and UK military surgeons to examine an area of major concern and interest to surgeons everywhere. This work uses experience hard-won on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, combined with published surgical trials, to inform both future research activity as well as military and civilian surgical practice. This cross-fertilization of ideas is one positive consequence of all the sacrifice and suffering of recent conflicts. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 15.07.2013

Michael Belkin, MA, MD Professor of Ophthalmology Director, Ophthalmic Technologies Laboratory Goldschleger Eye Research Institute Tel Aviv University Sheba Medical Center Tel Hashomer 52621 Israel MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Belkin, MA, MD Professor of Ophthalmology Director, Ophthalmic Technologies Laboratory Goldschleger Eye Research Institute Tel Aviv University Sheba Medical Center Tel Hashomer 52621 Israel MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Belkin: Modern ophthalmic treatment, when freely available is able to reduce the incidence of blindness, and presumably visual impairment considerably. In Israel the rate of new cases of blindness per 100.000 people [age adjusted] was reduced between 1999 and 2010 from 33.8 to 14.8, i.e., by over 56%. The reduction was in all major causes of blindness, Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy and Cataract. In the non-treatable retinal dystrophies such as retinitis pigmentosa, there was no significant changes over this period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Infections, JAMA, Respiratory / 15.07.2013

Andreas Beyerlein, PhD Institute of Diabetes Research, Helmholtz Zentrum München and Forschergruppe Diabetes der Technischen Universität München, Munich, Germany MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andreas Beyerlein, PhD Institute of Diabetes Research, Helmholtz Zentrum München and Forschergruppe Diabetes der Technischen Universität München, Munich, Germany MedicalResearch.com What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Beyerlein: We identified respiratory infections in early childhood, especially in the first year of life, as a risk factor for islet autoimmunity, which is known as a precursor of type 1 diabetes (T1D). We also found some evidence for short term effects of infectious events on development of autoimmunity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Orthopedics / 12.07.2013

obesity and living kidney donation MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark V. Paterno PT, PhD, MBA, SCS, ATC Coordinator of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy Associate Professor, Sports Medicine Biodynamics Center Acting Scientific Director, Division of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center 3333 Burnet Ave. MLC 10001 Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Paterno: Our study suggests that young patients (average age 16 y/o) who return to pivoting and cutting sports after Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction are 6 times more likely to suffer a second ACL injury than an individual with no prior history of ACL injury. In addition, females after ACL reconstruction may be more likely to injury their opposite limb than actually re-injure the same limb they initially hurt. Finally, when you look at the results of this 2 year outcome study in conjunction with the 1 year outcomes we published last year, it would appear that the greatest risk of suffering a second ACL injury is within the first several months after returning to sports. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 11.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew Brenyo MD Electrophysiologist Greenville University Health System Greenville SC MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Brenyo: We found that BNP values at the time of CRT implant and during follow up predict response to CRT and subsequent risk of heart failure admission and death. BNP at implant and at subsequent times was strongly correlated with echocardiographic response to CRT-D along with predicting clinical outcome. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 11.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Jill M. Norris, MPH, PhD Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Aurora MedicalResearch.com: What were the most significant findings? How do they relate to what was already known about this subject? Dr. Norris: One of the most intriguing findings is that if mothers are still breast-feeding when they introduce gluten-containing foods to their baby, they may reduce the risk for T1D. This is similar to a finding from a Swedish study that found that breast-feeding while introducing gluten-containing foods may reduce the risk for celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that has several similarities with T1D. In children at increased genetic risk for T1D, our data suggest that parents should wait to introduce any solid foods until after the 4 month birthday. And when the baby is ready, solid foods should be introduced by the 6 months birthday or soon thereafter, preferably while the mother is still breast-feeding the baby, which may reduce the risk of T1D. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 10.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ann M. Sheehy, M.D., M.S. Associate Professor Division Head, Hospital Medicine University of Wisconsin Department of Medicine Ann M. Sheehy, M.D., M.S. Associate Professor Division Head, Hospital Medicine University of Wisconsin Department of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Sheehy: There were three main findings of our study. First, we found that observation in clinical practice is very different from the CMS definition of observation. CMS states that observation should rarely last longer than 48 hours, yet 16.5% of our observation encounters lasted longer than 48 hours. CMS also states that observation care is “well-defined”. We found there were 1141 distinct observation codes for our 4578 observation encounters, indicating that observation care is not well defined. Second, we found that observation care disproportionately affects the general medicine population, as over half of our observation encounters were on the general medicine services. These patients also had longer length of stay, were older, more likely to be female, were more likely to need discharge to a skilled facility, and were more likely to have government insurance as compared to patients on other services. This indicates that observation care adversely affects the adult general medicine population more than other patients on other types of services. Finally, we found that observation cost was greater than reimbursement, resulting in a net negative financial margin. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Duke, Genetic Research, Lancet, NEJM / 10.07.2013

Daniel Belsky, PhD NIA Postdoctoral Fellow Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development Duke University MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Belsky, PhD NIA Postdoctoral Fellow Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development Duke University Polygenic risk and the development and course of asthma: an analysis of data from a four-decade longitudinal study MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Belsky : We looked to the largest-ever genome-wide association study of asthma (that study by the GABRIEL Consortium included more than 26,000 individuals) to identify genetic variants that could be used to construct a genetic profile of asthma risk. We then turned to The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a unique cohort of 1,000 individuals who have been followed from birth through their fourth decade of life with extensive measurements of asthma and related traits. We computed a “genetic risk score” for each person based on the variants identified in GWAS. Then, we looked at who developed asthma, when they developed asthma, and what that asthma looked like in terms of allergic response and impaired lung function. What we found: (1) People with higher genetic risk scores were more likely to develop asthma and they developed asthma earlier in life. (2) Among children who developed asthma, the ones at higher genetic risk were more likely to have persistent asthma through midlife. (3) Genetic risk was specifically associated with allergic asthma that resulted in chronic symptoms of impaired lung function. (4) People with higher genetic risk score developed more severe cases of asthma. As compared to people with a lower genetic risk, they were more often absent from school and work because of asthma and they were more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. (5) The genetic risk score provided new information about asthma risk that could not be obtained from a family history. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Nutrition, Prostate Cancer / 10.07.2013

Maarten C. Bosland, DVSc, PhD Professor of Pathology Department of Pathology University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine Chicago, IL 60612 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maarten C. Bosland, DVSc, PhD Professor of Pathology Department of Pathology University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine Chicago, IL 60612 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Bosland: Daily consumption of a supplement containing soy protein isolate for two years following radical prostatectomy did not reduce recurrence of prostate cancer in men at high risk for this (radical prostatectomy is surgical removal of the prostate to treat prostate cancer). The study showed that this soy supplementation was safe. It is not clear whether this result indicates that soy does not prevent the development of prostate cancer, but men that have the disease probably do not benefit from soy supplementation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Heart Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 09.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Nazim Ghouri MBChB, MRCP UK Specialty Registrar (Diabetes/Endocrinology/GIM) and Honorary Clinical Lecturer Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre University of Glasgow Glasgow G12 8TA Lower cardiorespiratory fitness contributes to increased insulin resistance and fasting glycaemia in middle-aged South Asian compared with European men living in the UK MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: In this study we aimed to determine the extent to which increased insulin resistance and blood sugar levels in South Asian men, compared to white European men, living in the UK, was due to lower fitness and physical activity levels. We studied 100 South Asian and 100 European men aged 40-70 years living in Scotland without diagnosed diabetes and measured their blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and other risk factors. The men also undertook a treadmill exercise test to determine how much oxygen their bodies were able to use during intense exercise – a key measure of physical fitness, wore accelerometers for a week to assess their physical activity levels, and had a detailed assessment of their body size and composition. Statistical modeling was then used to determine the extent to which body size and composition, fitness and physical activity variables explained differences in insulin resistance and blood sugar between South Asians and Europeans. The results suggested that lower fitness, together with greater body fat in South Asians, explained over 80 per cent of their increased insulin resistance compared to white men with Low fitness being the single most important factor associated with the increased insulin resistance and blood sugar levels in middle-aged South Asian compared to European men living in the UK. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Frailty, Lancet / 09.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr David Strain, MRCP MD Clinical senior lecturer and honorary consultant University of Exeter Medical School Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science Department of Diabetes and Vascular Research Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital Exeter EX2 5AX MedicalResearch.com: What is the Background of the study? In early 2010 recent diabetes outcome trials such as ACCORD and ADVANCE had put into question the benefit of aggressive HbA1c reduction for all patients particularly in elderly population. After that there were several guidelines that suggested individualizing treatment targets for elderly patients according to their age, co-morbidities, frailty and baseline HbA1c. This featured in the Finnish guidelines and the European Working Party for the management of Diabetes in the Older Person. However this was also completely without any evidence base. I worked with Paivi Paldanius (the final author of the paper and a medical advisor for Novartis) to establish a pragmatic study. We both acknowledged the importance of having a patient-centric, pragmatic and 'real-life' approach and as there was already evidence that DPP-4 inhibitors, in this case vildagliptin (due to Päivi's affiliation), had demonstrated it's efficacious and had no tolerability issues in the elderly population we decided to go ahead with the study. It was obvious that we needed to implement a holistic approach and take into account as many clinically relevant parameters as possible, such as age, baseline HbA1c, duration of the disease, co-morbidities and frailty, for implementation of the individualized care. Our primary goal was to request that the physicians acting as investigators would still apply their clinical judgment based on these clinical features of each individual patient but also, follow their local guidelines as in their daily clinical practice. This would later provide us with invaluable information and perspective when interpreting the data and recommending implementation of the results. For assessment of frailty we screened for many different methodologies but Prof Timo Strandberg (known expert of the field and mentioned in the acknowledgements section of our paper) suggested to apply modified Linda Fried's method for assessment of phenotype of frailty as this method is validated, very pragmatic, reproducible and also feasible to be used for the first time also by a non-geriatric investigator. All investigators were trained to follow these parameters by the protocol. We also wished to evaluate in parallel the conventional HbA1c drop assessment in order to be able to put the potential success of our new endpoint, meeting the individualized target, into perspective and for comparison against other standard data from other studies with DPP-4 inhibitors with elderly. We also wished to simulate a clinical, real-world setting as much as possible and included patients who would seem representative of most elderly T2DM patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Frailty, Surgical Research / 09.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Kenneth Ogan MD Department of Urology Emory University School of Medicine 1365 Clifton Rd. NE, Building B, Suite 1400 Atlanta, Georgia 30322 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Ogan: Surgical risk assessment is traditionally a very subjective process, and an evaluation that more accurately measures a patient’s physiologic reserve would greatly aid in surgical decision making. In this study we sought to further characterize frailty as an objective risk assessment tool in surgical patients. We prospectively measured the five component frailty criteria described by Fried et al.1 (weight loss, exhaustion, low activity, grip strength, and gait speed). Patients deemed “intermediately frail” and “frail” had twice the likelihood of experiencing any complication in the 30-day post-operative period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, CT Scanning, Heart Disease, JACC, Lung Cancer, Medical Imaging / 08.07.2013

Dr. Pim A. de Jong, Department of Radiology University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, E.01.132, 3508GA Utrecht, the Netherlands. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. de Jong: The main findings of the study is that lung cancer screening CT scans can predict future cardiovascular events. MedicalResearch.com: Where any of the findings unexpected? Dr. de Jong: The unexpected aspect is that the CT scans were not-ECG gated, but even these non-gated scans were good enough to quantify arterial calcifications and predict risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, OBGYNE, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 06.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lauren A. Wise Slone Epidemiology Center 1010 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Wise: We found that the strong inverse association between dairy and uterine fibroids in black women in the Black Women's Health Study is not explained by percent European ancestry. (more…)
Diabetes, Kidney Disease / 04.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: C Raina Elley C Raina Elley Associate Professor and General Practitioner, Acting Head, Dept General Practice & Primary Health Care, Faculty Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand Associate Professor and General Practitioner, Acting Head, Dept General Practice & Primary Health Care, Faculty Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Type 2 Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal failure and dialysis in many countries. Early identification of those who are at risk within primary care could prompt more intensive intervention to control glycaemia and blood pressure and use of ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers to slow progression. Traditionally estimated glomerular filtration rate and/or urine albumin creatinine ratio have been used to alert clinicians of deteriorating renal function in people with diabetes. However, a far more accurate renal risk score has been developed that combines serum creatinine, demographic characteristics, albuminuria, glycaemia, blood pressure, cardiovascular co-morbidity and duration of diabetes. The 5-year renal risk score was developed by following more than 25,000 people with type 2 diabetes in New Zealand for a median of 7.3 years (equivalent to 180,497 person-years). The study identified those who commenced dialysis for end-stage renal disease, received a renal transplant or died from renal failure to derive the risk score. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, PLoS, Sleep Disorders / 04.07.2013

Keith Summa MD/PhD Student Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, Illinois, United States of America MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Keith Summa MD/PhD Student Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, Illinois, United States of America   Disruption of the Circadian Clock in Mice Increases Intestinal Permeability and Promotes Alcohol-Induced Pathology and Inflammation MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The main findings of the study were that disruption of circadian rhythms, which we achieved using independent genetic and environmental strategies in mice, leads to impaired function of the intestinal epithelial barrier. This loss of epithelial barrier integrity, which has been associated with numerous diseases, results in "gut leakiness," a phenomenon in which endotoxin from gut bacteria can cross the intestinal wall and enter circulation, promoting inflammation. In particular, using in a disease model of gut-derived endotoxemia and inflammation, alcoholic liver disease, we found the circadian disruption interacted with alcohol, leading to increased gut leakiness, inflammation and liver damage. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease / 04.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Virender K. Rehan, MD Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed). MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Rehan: This is the first study to show that the active ingredient in Indian spice turmeric provides long term protection against neonatal lung damage that leads to chronic lung disease of prematurity. (more…)
Anemia, Author Interviews, BMJ, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 04.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Batool Haider, MD, MS, DSc candidate Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition School of Public Health Harvard University Anaemia, prenatal iron use, and risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes: systematic review and meta-analysis MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Haider: The main findings of the study are that iron use in the prenatal period increased maternal mean haemoglobin concentration by 4.59 (95% confidence interval 3.72 to 5.46) g/L compared with controls and significantly reduced the risk of anaemia (relative risk 0.50, 0.42 to 0.59), iron deficiency (0.59, 0.46 to 0.79), iron deficiency anaemia (0.40, 0.26 to 0.60), and low birth weight (0.81, 0.71 to 0.93). The effect of iron on preterm birth was not significant (relative risk 0.84, 0.68 to 1.03). Analysis of cohort studies showed a significantly higher risk of low birth weight (adjusted odds ratio 1.29, 1.09 to 1.53) and preterm birth (1.21, 1.13 to 1.30) with anaemia in the first or second trimester. Exposure-response analysis indicated that for every 10 mg increase in iron dose/day, up to 66 mg/day, the relative risk of maternal anaemia was 0.88 (0.84 to 0.92) (P for linear trend<0.001). Birth weight increased by 15.1 (6.0 to 24.2) g (P for linear trend=0.005) and risk of low birth weight decreased by 3% (relative risk 0.97, 0.95 to 0.98) for every 10 mg increase in dose/day (P for linear trend<0.001). Duration of use was not significantly associated with the outcomes after adjustment for dose. Furthermore, for each 1 g/L increase in mean haemoglobin, birth weight increased by 14.0 (6.8 to 21.8) g (P for linear trend=0.002); however, mean haemoglobin was not associated with the risk of low birth weight and preterm birth. No evidence of a significant effect on duration of gestation, small for gestational age births, and birth length was noted. (more…)
JAMA, Rheumatology / 04.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonas Eriksson, PhD-student Clinical Epidemiology Unit Karolinska Institutet, T2 171 76 STOCKHOLM Sweden Biological vs Conventional Combination Treatment and Work Loss in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis A Randomized Trial MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The main finding from this study is that in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis and with an insufficient response to methotrexate, addition of biologic (infliximab) or conventional combination therapy (sulfasalazine+hydroxychlorquine) resulted in significant improvements in work ability over 21 months. However, at 21 months, no significant difference could be detected in work ability change between patients randomized to addition of biologic or conventional therapy. When comparing the randomized early rheumatoid arthritis patients to matched general population comparators, the average number of days of work loss did not return to the level of the general population, underscoring the need for more effective treatment strategies and earlier diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, CT Scanning, Medical Imaging, Neurological Disorders / 04.07.2013

 Dr. Juan Pablo Villablanca, MD Director, Neuroradiology Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica MedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr. Juan Pablo Villablanca, MD Director, Neuroradiology Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica   The Natural History of Asymptomatic Unruptured Cerebral Aneurysms Evaluated Using CTA - Growth and Rupture Incidence and Correlation to Epidemiologic Risk Factors. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Our longitudinal study showed that growing aneurysms have a significantly higher risk of rupture than aneurysms that are stable in size over time. Due to this increased risk, we recommend that all aneurysms, regardless of size, should be followed regularly to look for growth. We have also found that larger aneurysm size, aneurysm growth and cigarette smoking may independently increase the risk of rupture. (more…)

Author Interviews, Lancet, Medical Imaging, MRI, Neurological Disorders / 03.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Patrick Freund Spinal Cord Injury Center Balgrist University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich Forchstrasse 380 8008 Zurich, Switzerland Dr Patrick Freund Spinal Cord Injury Center Balgrist University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich Forchstrasse 380 8008 Zurich, Switzerland MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Freund: Novel interventions targeting acute spinal cord injury (SCI) have entered clinical trials, but neuroimaging biomarkers reflecting structural changes within the central nervous system are still awaited. In chronic SCI, neuroimaging provided evidence of structural changes at spinal cord and brain level that could be related to disability. However, the pattern and time course of these structural changes and their potential to predict clinical outcomes is uncertain. In a prospective longitudinal study, thirteen patients with acute traumatic SCI were assessed clinically and by longitudinal MRI (within five weeks of injury, after two, six and twelve months) and were compared to eighteen healthy controls. Cross-sectional cord area, cranial white matter (CST) and grey matter (cortex) volume decrease was evident at baseline and progressed over twelve months. Multi-parametric mapping of myelin sensitive magnetization transfer (MT) and longitudinal relaxation rate (R1) was reduced both within and beyond the areas of atrophic changes. Better neurological and functional outcomes were associated with less atrophic changes of the CST in both cord and brain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA / 03.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD Health Policy and Quality Program, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, and Section of Health Services Research, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Research, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, and Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, Houston, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Virani: The main findings of the study are that despite having cholesterol levels at goal (LDL cholesterol <100 mg/dL), about one-third of patients (9200 out of 27947) with coronary heart disease had repeat cholesterol testing in 11 months from their last lipid panel. As expected, no intervention was performed as a response to these lipid panels. Collectively, 12686 additional lipid panels were performed in these patients. Among 13,114 patients who met the optional treatment target of LDL-C<70 mg/dL, repeat lipid testing was performed in 8,177 (62.3% of those with LDL-C<70) during 11 months of follow-up. Patients with a history of diabetes mellitus (odds ratio [OR], 1.16; 95% CI, 1.10-1.22), a history of hypertension (OR, 1.21; 95%CI, 1.13-1.30), higher illness burden (OR, 1.39; 95%CI, 1.23-1.57), and more frequent primary care visits (OR, 1.32; 95%CI, 1.25-1.39) were more likely to undergo repeat testing, whereas patients receiving care at a teaching facility (OR, 0.74; 95%CI, 0.69-0.80) or from a physician provider (OR, 0.93; 95%CI, 0.88-0.98) and those with a medication possession ratio of 0.8 or higher (OR, 0.75; 95%CI, 0.71-0.80) were less likely to undergo repeat testing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Melanoma, Stanford / 03.07.2013

Susan Swetter, MD Professor of Dermatology Director, Pigmented Lesion & Melanoma Program Stanford University Medical Center & Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Swetter, MD Professor of Dermatology Director, Pigmented Lesion & Melanoma Program Stanford University Medical Center & Cancer Institute  

Melanoma Survival Disadvantage in Young, Non-Hispanic White Males Compared With Females

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Swetter: Women diagnosed with melanoma tend to fare better than men in terms of improved survival, and this has mostly been attributed to better screening practices and behaviors in women that result in thinner, more curable tumors, and/or more frequent physician visits in older individuals that result in earlier detection. Our study focused on survival differences between young men and women (ages 15-39 years) diagnosed with cutaneous (skin) melanoma, who constitute a generally healthy population compared to the older adults that have usually been studied. We found that young men were 55% more likely to die of melanoma than age-matched women, despite adjustment for factors that may affect prognosis, such as tumor thickness, histology and location of the melanoma, as well as presence and extent of metastasis. Our results present further evidence that a biologic mechanism may contribute to the sex disparity in melanoma survival, since adolescent and young adults see physicians less frequently and are less likely to have sex-related behavior differences in skin cancer screening practices than older individuals. (more…)
Mineral Metabolism, Nutrition / 02.07.2013

Scott M. Smith, Ph.D. Nutritionist, Manager for Nutritional Biochemistry Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX 77058 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Scott M. Smith, Ph.D. Nutritionist, Manager for Nutritional Biochemistry Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX 77058 Iron status and its relations with oxidative damage and bone loss during long-duration space flight on the International Space Station MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Smith: The key finding from this study is that the increase in iron stores during spaceflight is related to both oxidative damage and bone loss. Iron stores increase in microgravity because blood volume decreases during the initial weeks of spaceflight. The iron in excess red blood cells is not reused by new RBCs during spaceflight and is stored. This increase in iron stores was associated with increased indices of oxidative damage, and furthermore, the magnitude of the increase in iron stores during flight (i.e., the area under the curve) was correlated with bone mineral density loss. That is, the greater the iron stores, the more bone loss. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Lyme, NEJM / 02.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sam R. Telford III, ScD Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health, Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA Borrelia miyamotoi Infection Presenting as Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis: A Case Report MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The study presents two additional cases of BMD (Borrelia miyamotoi disease) that add to our knowledge of the spectrum of illness of this recently recognized zoonosis. Our report of the North American index case in NEJM in January 2013 described a case-patient who was elderly and immunocompromised and it was not clear whether that case was just very unusual. With our Annals report, we describe cases in immune-intact individuals and suggest that cases of BMD may have been under our noses all along, just presumptively diagnosed as HGA and successfully treated with doxycycline with no followup (e.g., lab confirmation of diagnosis of HGA Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis). Hence, individuals presenting with fever, headache, myalgia, and show leukopenia and elevated LFTs may have either HGA or BMD and confirmatory testing should be done accordingly. It should be noted that all tick borne diseases are clinical diagnoses and treatment of an acute case should not depend on "lab tests". Both these infections are effectively managed by oral doxycycline, hence those with these signs and symptoms might be empirically treated with doxycyline, which would be important in areas where RMSF and tularemia (which also produce leukopenia and elevated LFTs) co-occur with deer tick -transmitted infections such as Lyme disease; waiting for "lab tests" to confirm RMSF or tularemia might lead to a negative outcome. RMSF and tularemia are the most dangerous of the tick American tick borne diseases, although I would certainly place the very rare deer tick virus and Powassan virus in the same category. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nature, UCSF, Vitamin C / 02.07.2013

Interview with: Miguel Ramalho-Santos, Ph.D. University of California - San Francisco stem-cell scientist, MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Miguel Ramalho-Santos, Ph.D. University of California - San Francisco stem-cell scientist, Vitamin C induces Tet-dependent DNA demethylation and a blastocyst-like state in ES cells MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We found that Vitamin C has a profound effect in the regulation of gene activity in cultured mouse embryonic stem cells. Vitamin C specifically enhances the action of enzymes called Tet's, which remove certain chemical modifications to DNA (methylation). In this way, Vitamin C makes cultured mouse embryonic stem cells behave more like the early cells in the embryo that they represent. (more…)