Author Interviews, ENT, JAMA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders, Surgical Research / 09.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:   Prof Stuart MacKay BSc (Med) MB BS (Hons) FRACS Honorary Clinical Professor Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Clinical Professor at University of Wollongong Graduate School of Medicine Adjunct Professor Faculty of Health Sciences   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  1. Sleep Apnea is common and impairs daytime function and carries health risk.
  2. Many patients have difficulty with CPAP, the main treatment.
  3. Surgery offers an alternative, and we tested this at a very high level in this clinical study.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 
  1. Surgery creates marked improvement in stoppages (apnea) and droppages (hypopnea) in airflow.
  2. Surgery significantly improves patient reports of daytime sleepiness.
  3. Many other outcomes related to quality of life, snoring and general well being improve with surgery.
(more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 09.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Nathan Furukawa, MD, MPH Medical officer, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The cost of the PrEP medication is the largest driver of the cost of providing PrEP care. Most patients need insurance or help from a medication assistance program to cover the large costs of the PrEP medication. We wanted to describe how these costs were paid by patients (out-of-pocket payments) and insurers (third-party payments) nationally.    MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: The study found that the cost for a month of the PrEP medication tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine increased from $1350 to $1638 from 2014 to 2018, an average annual increase of 5%. Out-of-pocket costs increased faster from $54 to $94, an average annual increase of 14.9%. In 2018, at least $2 billion was spent paying for the PrEP medication, and this covered 18% of people that had an indication for PrEP.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, JAMA / 09.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kenton J. Johnston, PhD Associate Professor Dept of Health Management & Policy Dept of Health & Clinical Outcomes Research Saint Louis University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Consolidation of physician practices into larger health systems comprised of hospitals and other group practices has been occurring rapidly in the U.S. market over the past 10 years. During this same period, Medicare has been gradually increasing the use of “pay for performance,” or “value-based payment” programs. 2019 was the first year that nearly all physicians in the U.S. were paid under Medicare’s new mandatory Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). We conducted a study to see whether physicians who were affiliated with health systems performed better under the MIPS than those not affiliated with health systems. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology / 09.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer Huang, MD  Dr. Huang is a pediatric dermatologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Huang is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology. Connie Zhong, MD, MSc Dr. Zhong is an intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital She will be doing her dermatology residency at the Harvard Combined Dermatology Program. She is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pediatric nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC) are rare and when they do occur, are often associated with genetic/predisposing skin conditions or iatrogenic risk factors. There are some pediatric patients who develop NMSCs who do not have identifiable risk factors. The objective of our study was to describe the demographic and clinical features of these children without identifiable risk factors and compare them with those who have either genetic or iatrogenic risk factors. We conducted a retrospective study at 11 tertiary care institutions across North America through the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA) (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics / 08.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Xiaoyan Song, PhD, MBBS, CIC Director, Office of Infection Control/Epidemiology Children's National Hospital Professor of Pediatrics George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science Washington, D.C. 20010 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As soon as SARS-COV-2 virus began spreading in early January and raising concerns for a potential pandemic, both the public and healthcare providers have wondered how this new virus is compared to influenza, a virus that human has known for a century and has become much more familiar with its spread pattern, disease characteristics, and treatment. In contrast, we have very little knowledge about SARS-COV-2 and are still getting to know it little by little.  At Children’s National, we always maintain high vigilance on emerging infectious diseases and have excellent surveillance programs for influenza and other respiratory viral diseases.  Therefore, driven by 1) Our curiosity to know if SARS-COV-2 is indeed similar or different from influenza, and 2) Availability of both SARS-COV-2 and influenza data, we conducted this retrospective study. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 08.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Takanori Takebe MD Director for Commercial Innovation, Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Research and Medicine (CuSTOM) Assistant Professor, University Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Professor, Institute of Research Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Drug induced liver injury (DILI) is rare yet highly unpredictable disorder that oftentimes causes drug failure withdrawn from the market during clinical trial even at a very rare incidence of DILI (1/10,000). Indeed, one particular drug TAK875 (Fasigliam) was the case despite promising efficacy. This not only disappoints patient but impact significant financial risk to pharmaceuticals. In collaboration with DILI genomics consortium at US, EU and UK, we’ve found +20,000 genetic make up (variants) defines potential risk of developing Drug induced liver injury thru amplifying cellular stress signal cascades that were investigated by human cell, organoid and patient datasets. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 08.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Gadi Segal Director of the Internal Medicine Department Sheba Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The background is the need to learn about COVID-19 pathophysiology in order to better stratify patients according to current and future severity. Such classification will enable better triage in times of pandemic and health-care-system over-load. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 08.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yaa-Hui Dong PhD Faculty of Pharmacy National Yang-Ming University Taipei, Taiwan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous observational studies found that fluoroquinolones may be associated with more than 2-fold increased risk of aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection (AA/AD). However, these studies might not well address the influence of concurrent infection, which is also a suggested risk factor for AA. Moreover, most of these studies compared fluoroquinolone use versus no fluoroquinolone use, which might overestimate the risk with fluoroquinolones as patients on fluoroquinolones may have more severe infection versus those not on fluoroquinolones. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Inflammation, Pediatrics / 04.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alvaro Moreira, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics Co-Director Neonatal Nutrition and Bone Institute UT Health San Antonio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), also known as pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome, is a new dangerous childhood disease that is temporally associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We conducted a systematic review to communicate the typical presentation and outcomes of children diagnosed with this hyperinflammatory condition.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, Pediatrics / 04.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katherine A. S. Auger, MD, MSc Division of Hospital Medicine James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings Network Cincinnati, Ohio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: All states closed schools in the spring of 2020 to try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Our study demonstrated a large, significant association between school closure and fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths even when accounting for other state policies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, Memory, Pediatrics / 04.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jarrod Ellingson PhD Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry Anschutz Medical Campus University of Colorado Denver  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that cannabis use is associated with many negative outcomes, but there could be many of reasons for that. For example, socioeconomic factors and peer influences both affect adolescent cannabis use and poorer cognitive functioning. To account for some of those risk factors, we studied nearly 600 sibling pairs with moderate to heavy cannabis use. We found that, as a person uses more cannabis than their sibling, they tend to have worse memory recall than their sibling. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yin Zhang MD Research Fellow in Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Among modern hair dyes, permanent hair dye is the most popular type, and is the most aggressive and extensively used type that has posed the greatest potential concern about cancer risk. Monitoring and investigating the carcinogenic hazard to people from personal use of permanent hair dyes has major public health implications. In 2008, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, after comprehensive reviewed prior evidence, classified occupational exposure to hair dyes as a probable carcinogen to humans (group 2A), whereas personal use of hair dyes was not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3). Data on hair dye safety has also been continuously monitored by the USFDA. Prior epidemiological evidence may have been influenced by not discriminating between personal and occupational exposure, an inability to distinguish types and colors of hair dyes used, imprecise assessment of several critical domains of exposure history (duration, frequency and cumulative dose), and inadequate control for potential confounding. (more…)
Author Interviews / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kyla Fergason Senior Undergraduate Student Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D. Principal Investigator Baylor University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There’s a fairly sizable literature suggesting that religious affiliation and religious engagement are associated with positive health outcomes. Therefore, we were surprised to find that agnostic/atheist individuals reported better sleep health than Christian individuals in the Baylor Religion Survey (BRS-5). 73% of agnostic/atheist individuals reported sleeping 7-9 hours/night whereas only 63% of Christian individuals met these consensus sleep guidelines. The most affected Christian denominations were Baptists (54.6%) and Catholics (62.3%). These results stood even after adjusting for age and gender. We predicted the opposite pattern. And, it wasn’t just about longer sleep durations. Agnostic/atheist individuals even reported greater ease falling asleep compared to Christian individuals.    (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin Glicksberg, PhD Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences Member of the Mount Sinai COVID Informatics Center Member of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Healt Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Reports from health systems that detailed the clinical characteristics and outcomes of their COVID-19 patients were instrumental in helping other health systems rapidly adapt and know what to expect. There are few studies, however, that assess what happens to these patients after they were discharged from the hospital. In our work, we address this gap by determining both how many individuals re-present to the hospital within 14 days, and what clinical characteristics of these patients differ from those who do not. Such information is critical in order to continue to refine optimal treatment plans and discharge decisions for patients of all backgrounds and clinical profiles. To provide more context to the question, we also determined if and how these factors changed between initial presentation and readmission to the hospital. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: corona virus-Covid19Dr. Francesco Venturelli Servizio di Epidemiologia Direzione Sanitaria - Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia Padiglione Ziccardi, Via Amendola MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Contact tracing and isolation for people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 are two of the main strategies to limit the viral spread and contain the current pandemic. Long persistence of viral RNA detected by RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs is commonly reported, while its correlation to virus viability is still debated. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: The study showed that in people with COVID-19, the median time between symptoms onset and viral clearance at RT-PCR was 36 days. Moreover, an overall 20% risk of “false negative” results at RT-PCR was observed, decreasing with time from diagnosis.     (more…)
Author Interviews, ESMO, Immunotherapy, Melanoma, NEJM / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Reinhard Dummer, Prof. Dr. med. Stv. Klinikdirektor Universitätsspital Zürich, Dermatologische Klinik Zürich MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Based on molecular biology analysis, a substantial proportion of melanomas are driven by mutations of BRAF resulting in an ongoing growth activating signal. Based on the key role of BRAF several multiple kinase molecules have been developed in order to target this crucial pathway. These medications have shown to improve progression free survival and overall survival in advanced metastatic melanoma. Because there is a tendency for improved outcome in patients with low tumor burden, combined targeted therapy using Dabrafenib and Trametinib have been investigated in the adjuvant (after complete surgical resection) setting in stage III melanoma. And the 5 year data are now available in the New England Journal of Medicine. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Genetic Research, Immunotherapy, Melanoma, Surgical Research / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edmund K Bartlett, M.D. Department of Surgery/Division of Surgical Oncology Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, New York   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Indications for adjuvant therapy for resected, high-risk melanoma is a controversial and rapidly-evolving topic in melanoma treatment. Immunotherapy treatments targeting PD-1 have significantly improved survival in advanced-stage disease, but the magnitude of survival benefit in stage III disease--particularly stage IIIA--remains unclear. Recently, 31-GEP (a gene expression profiling assay) has been studied as a risk-stratifying tool to identify patients who are at higher risk for systemic recurrence. Ideally such a tool could identify patients most likely to benefit from immunotherapy treatment in the adjuvant setting (when all visible disease has been removed). (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Infections / 01.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hariom Yadav, PhD Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine Wake Forest School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As gut microbiota is linked with all kind of known human diseases, however, commonly studied microorganisms are bacteria. Our study is first-of-its kind to discover the role of fungi living in our gut to influence our brain health like Alzheimer’s disease pathology in humans. It also describes that a Mediterranean ketogenic diet can beneficially change fungi and bacteria populations to improve brain health.  (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Emergency Care, JAMA, Surgical Research / 01.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarabeth Spitzer, MD Co-Chair of Board, Scrubs Addressing the Firearm Epidemic (SAFE) Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Firearm injury is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, resulting in almost 40,000 deaths annually in the United States, but very little is known about the epidemiology of nonfatal firearm injuries. Nonfatal firearm injuries can have significant long-term morbidity and are associated with significant cost. We found that there were over 81,000 nonfatal firearm injuries in California over the study period. Over the period, there was a decrease in nonfatal firearm injuries by 38.1%, driven primarily by a decrease in assault injuries.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Pediatrics / 31.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jessica Shoaff, MPH, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Susan A. Korrick, MD Pulmonary and Critical Care Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Harvard Medical School · Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Brigham and Women's Hospital Channing Laboratory Boston, MA 02115   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study posed the question:  Do teenagers’ exposures to chemicals that are often found in consumer products increase behaviors that are common among individuals diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Our results suggest that teenagers exposed to chemicals often found in consumer products (particularly phthalates) may have increased behaviors that are common among individuals diagnosed with ADHD.  However, we did not study the diagnosis of ADHD (most of our study teens did not have ADHD).  This means our results cannot answer the question of whether these chemical exposures increase the likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD. Also, in our study design, chemical exposures and ADHD-related behaviors were measured at the same time, so it is not possible to know with certainty whether the chemical exposures altered behavior or behavior altered chemical exposures.  (more…)
Author Interviews / 30.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elena B. Hawryluk, MD, PhD Board-certified Dermatologist and Pediatric Dermatologist Assistant Professor of Dermatology Harvard Medical School Faculty Director of Pediatric Dermatology Harvard Combined Dermatology Residency Program. Dr. Hawryluk sees patients at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, and has a clinical interest in pigmented lesions and melanoma in the pediatric population. Dr. Hawryluk is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Melanoma is exceptionally rare and challenging to diagnose in the pediatric population.  The most important and clearly defined patients with melanoma are those with an aggressive fatal course, so this study was pursued to evaluate fatal presentations to help physicians to recognize those patients at highest risk.  Due to the rarity of fatal pediatric melanoma, in order to study a big enough group, our research team included pediatric dermatologists who collaborated from major institutions across the US and Canada, through the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA).  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 29.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joanne Lemieux, Ph.D. Professor, Director, Membrane Protein Disease Research Group Department of Biochemistry Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry University of Alberta Edmonton AB Canada  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Labs at the University of Alberta developed and studied inhibitors directed against the main protease of coronavirus virus back in 2003 during the initial SARS outbreak. These inhibitors were subsequently developed by other labs to treat a fatal form of coromavisus infection in cats. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Vitamin D / 28.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH, ATSF Niels K. Jerne Professor of Pediatrics Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Human Genetics University of Pittsburgh Division Chief, Pulmonary Medicine UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15224 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Findings from observational studies suggested that vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml are associated with worse asthma and severe asthma attacks. Based on those results, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of vitamin D3 supplementation to prevent severe asthma attacks in 192 high-risk children with asthma aged 6 to 16 years who had moderately low vitamin D levels and were taking low-dose inhaled steroids. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Sexual Health, USPSTF / 28.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melissa A. Simon, M.D., M.P.H. George H. Gardner Professor of Clinical Gynecology Vice Chair of Clinical Research Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Professor of Preventive Medicine and Medical Social Sciences Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise across the country, with approximately 20 million new cases in the U.S. each year. If untreated, STIs can lead to serious health complications including infertility, AIDS, and cancer. The good news is that effective behavioral counseling has the potential to reduce STI rates by approximately a third. The Task Force continues to recommend behavioral counseling for all sexually active teens and for adults who are at increased risk for STIs. (more…)
Author Interviews / 28.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert Fisher, MD, PhD Professor of Oncological Sciences Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Member of The Tisch Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Gene transcription by RNA polymerase II underlies cellular identity, and cell fate decisions such as proliferation or death, and is regulated by enzymes that add phosphates (kinases) or remove them (phosphatases) from components of the transcription machinery. Here we define two kinase-phosphatase switches that regulate different steps of the transcription cycle in human cancer cells.  We raised antibodies specific for different phosphorylated states of a key elongation factor, Spt5, and used genomic analyses such as chromatin immunoprecipitation and sequencing (ChIP-seq) to monitor when these phosphorylations were added and removed, and by which kinases and phosphatases, respectively, as RNA polymerase II traversed genes in human cancer cells. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 28.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cameron C. Wick, MD Assistant Professor, Otology/Neurotology Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO MedicalResearch.com: What do you see as the primary message of your findings for the general public? Response:  Older adults not satisfied with their hearing aids achieved clinically meaningful improvement in both hearing and quality of life with a cochlear implant compared to an optimized bilateral hearing aid condition. MedicalResearch.com: Do you see your findings as changing the way older adults with hearing loss are managed? Response:   Yes and partially because this study is unique in its design and the outcomes that were measured. Specifically  the study is a prospective, multicenter clinical trial conducted at 13 locations across the United States. All patients were setup with a 30-day optimized hearing aid experience before cochlear implantation (context: sometimes hearing aids are not appropriately optimized so baseline testing may not reflect the "best" that hearing aids can do). This study assesses both hearing data as well as quality of life data before and 6-months after cochlear implantation. After implantation patients were tested in both the unilateral (cochlear implant alone) and bimodal (cochlear implant plus hearing aid in the opposite ear) conditions.  My paper is a subanalysis of adults 65 years and older (range 65 - 91 years) enrolled in the clinical trial. The principal investigator of the clinical trial is Dr. Craig Buchman. Dr. Buchman and myself are at Washington University in St. Louis which was the lead center for the clinical trial. The findings of the study are meaningful because they demonstrate clear superiority of cochlear implants over hearing aids in many key areas, such as understanding speech, hearing in background noise, and ability to communicate. Hearing loss, which becomes more prevalent as we age, can negatively impact communication leading to social isolation, depression, frustration, and possibly cognitive decline. This study highlights that if patients are not satisfied with their hearing aid performance then they should be referred to a center that can evaluate for cochlear implantation. Cochlear implant indications have evolved considerably since they were first FDA approved in 1984. This study emphasizes that patients do not have to be profoundly deaf to experience significant hearing and social benefits from cochlear implants. Also, it demonstrates that cochlear implant surgery is well tolerated even as adults age and acquire other health ailments.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Medical Imaging / 27.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bruce G. Haffty, MD FACR FASTRO FASCO Associate Vice Chancellor Cancer Programs Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Professor and Chair, Dept. Radiation Oncology Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson and New Jersey Medical Schools Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? : What are the main findings? Response: That at peak times of COVID in NJ, in a tertiary care hospital with lots of COVID patients, where cancer patients still need to get treated, there was no evidence of surface COVID contamination, which should be reassuring to patients requiring radiation treatment in a busy hospital with a high in patient population of COVID patients. It should be noted that patients and staff were routinely mask wearing, observing social distancing and routinely hand washing as well as screening patients as they came in to the department with temperature checks and questions regarding symptoms. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Inflammation / 27.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sacha Gnjatic, PhD Associate Director of the Human Immune Monitoring Center Associate Professor of Medicine, Oncological Sciences and Pathology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Member of the Precision Immunology Institute and The Tisch Cancer Institute Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you explain what is meant by cytokine/cytokines? Response: COVID-19 is a disease where inflammation is suspected to play a large role in pathogenicity, possibly more so than the tissue damage created by the virus alone. Cytokines are small soluble proteins that are produced by both immune cells and cells from tissues, and many play a role in signaling such inflammation, to alert of tissue damage or infection. Among these cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, IL-1beta, and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-a) have been well established as important markers of pathogenic inflammation. Drugs that counteract these cytokines are routinely use in various inflammatory disease, from rheumatoid arthritis to plaque psoriasis and Crohn’s disease. When the initial wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection hit our hospitals in New York, we therefore wondered whether these cytokines were associated with COVID-19 disease severity and outcome, and hoped that a rapid test to detect them in blood could be useful to make clinical decisions about treatment. We were able to analyze a very large number of patient samples (>1400) in a period of one month, and confirmed our findings in a second smaller cohort. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lipids, PAD, Women's Heart Health / 27.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: First Author: Dhruv Mahtta, DO, MBA Cardiovascular Disease Fellow Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX Senior & Corresponding Author Dr. Virani Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA, FASPC Professor, Section of Cardiovascular Research Director, Cardiology Fellowship Training Program Baylor College of Medicine Staff Cardiologist, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Co-Director, VA Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research & Development at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX Investigator, Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center HSR&D Center of Innovation Houston, TX @virani_md MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? What do you think accounts for the gender differences? Response: We know that women with ischemic heart disease (IHD) have lower prescription rates for statin and high-intensity statin therapy. In this study, we assessed whether the same trends hold true for women with other forms of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) i.e. women with peripheral artery disease (PAD) or ischemic cerebrovascular disease (ICVD). Maximally tolerated statin therapy is a Class-I indication in patients with clinical ASCVD which includes PAD and ICVD. We also assessed statin adherence among men and women with PAD and ICVD. Lastly, we performed exploratory analyses to assess whether statin therapy, statin intensity, and statin adherence in women with PAD and ICVD were associated with cardiovascular outcomes and/or mortality.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gastrointestinal Disease / 27.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Arvind J. Trindade, MD Director of Endoscopy Long Island Jewish Medical Center Associate professor at Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research Division of Gastroenterology, Zucker School of Medicine Hofstra/Northwell, Northwell Health System New Hyde Park, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although most patients with COVID-19 present with respiratory symptoms, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms have also been reported in up to 25% of patients. Some case reports have shown acute pancreatitis as the initial presentation in patients with COVID-19, however the literature supporting this is limited. Our study aimed to report the point prevalence, risk factors, and outcomes of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 presenting with acute pancreatitis in a large health system and to compare outcomes of pancreatitis in patients without COVID-19. (more…)