Author Interviews, Opiods, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 09.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50574" align="alignleft" width="140"]Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan Dr. Chua[/caption] Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Tonsillectomy is one of the most common surgeries performed in children. It is also one of the most common reasons children are prescribed opioids, even though randomized trials suggest that non-opioids like ibuprofen are equally effective for pain control. We were interested in understanding whether it is possible to safely reduce opioid exposure after tonsillectomy in children without increasing the risk of complications such as emergency department visits for uncontrolled throat pain, which could lead to dehydration.
Author Interviews, CDC, Opiods / 09.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32722" align="alignleft" width="200"]Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH Senior Health Economist Division of Unintentional Injury CDC Dr. Gery Guy[/caption] Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH Senior Health Economist Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention CDC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2017, among the 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States, 47,600 (67.8%) involved prescription or illicit opioids. Distribution of the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone to reverse overdose is a key part of the public health response to the opioid overdose epidemic. The 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain recommended clinicians consider offering naloxone when overdose risk factors, such as history of overdose or opioid use disorder, higher opioid dosages, or concurrent benzodiazepine use, are present. However, recent analyses examining pharmacy-based naloxone dispensing are lacking. To address this gap and to inform future overdose prevention and response efforts, CDC examined trends and characteristics of naloxone dispensed from retail pharmacies at the national and county level in the United States.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Depression, OBGYNE / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50618" align="alignleft" width="128"]Jamie A. Seabrook, Ph.D.  Associate Professor, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences  Brescia University College at Western University Adjunct Research Professor, Dept of Paediatrics, Western University Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Western University Scientist, Children's Health Research Institute Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute Faculty Associate, Human Environments Analysis Laboratory London, ON Dr. Seabrook[/caption] Jamie A. Seabrook, Ph.D. Associate Professor, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences Brescia University College at Western University Adjunct Research Professor, Dept of Paediatrics, Western University Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Western University Scientist, Children's Health Research Institute Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis are the most commonly used substances during pregnancy. High alcohol consumption has been linked with preterm birth, and tobacco and/or cannabis use is associated with low birth weight. Much of what we know about predictors of drug use during pregnancy comes from the United States and Australia, with limited studies in Canada. The objective of our study was therefore to assess the relative effects of socioeconomic, demographic, and mental health risk factors associated with drug use during pregnancy. Our retrospective cohort study consisted of 25,734 pregnant women from Southwestern Ontario. We found that maternal depression was the top risk factor associated with all three substances. Compared to women who were not depressed during their pregnancy, women who were depressed were 2.2 times more likely to use alcohol (95% CI: 1.6, 2.9), 1.7 times more likely to smoke tobacco (95% CI: 1.5, 2.0), and 2.6 times more likely to use cannabis (95% CI: 2.0, 3.4).
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43644" align="alignleft" width="200"]Brian J. Piper, PhD, MS Department of Basic Sciences Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA 18509 Dr. Piper[/caption] Brian J Piper, PhD MS Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: All states have a Prescription Monitoring Program to collect data about controlled substance prescriptions. Maine also had a Diversion Alert Program to obtain information about arrests involving prescription and illicit drugs. Buprenorphine is a treatment for an opioid use disorder. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. Prior pharmacoepidemiology research found that buprenorphine accounted for half of prescriptions for males in their twenties in Maine.1 This study examined the current status of the opioid crisis using three complementary data sources: 1) Arrests as reported to the Diversion Alert Program; 2) Medical opioid use as reported by the Drug Enforcement Administration; and 3) Overdoses as reported to the medical examiner.
Addiction, Author Interviews, Occupational Health / 07.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50591" align="alignleft" width="200"]Devan Hawkins ScD Instructor of Public Health School of Arts and Sciences MCPHS University Dr. Hawkins[/caption] Devan Hawkins ScD Instructor of Public Health School of Arts and Sciences MCPHS University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As has been well established, mortality due to opioids has been increasing rapidly in recent years. We were interested in understanding whether mortality rates may be high among workers in certain industries and occupations for two primary reasons. First, if we were to find that mortality rates differed according to industry and/or occupation it might indicate that some aspect of these industries and occupations put workers at elevated risk for opioid-related overdose death. Second, interventions could be created to target these workers and hopefully prevent more deaths.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Opiods / 06.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50561" align="alignleft" width="141"]Lauren A. Hoffman, Ph.D. Research Fellow Recovery Research Institute Center for Addiction Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Dr. Hoffman[/caption] Lauren A. Hoffman, Ph.D. Research Fellow Recovery Research Institute Center for Addiction Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: In 2017, an estimated 11.4 million Americans reported past-year opioid misuse1 and opioid-related overdose accounted for more than 47,000 deaths2. Prior research has helped further our understanding of the prevalence and consequences of opioid misuse, but we know substantially less about recovery from opioid use problems. Recovery-focused research conducted to-date has largely focused on alcohol use disorder, the most common type of substance use disorder. Characterizing recovery from opioid use problems and the pathways that individuals take to resolve such problems can ultimately help identify effective ways to address opioid misuse. Using data from the first national probability-based sample of US adults who have resolved a significant substance use problem (National Recovery Survey3), we provide the first national prevalence estimate of opioid recovery, and characterize treatment/recovery service use and psychological well-being in individuals who resolved a primary problem with opioids, relative to individuals who resolved a primary alcohol problem. We focused our cross-sectional investigation of service use and well-being on 2 time-horizons associated with continued vulnerability: <1 year since problem resolution (early-recovery) and 1 – 5 years since problem resolution (mid-recovery).
Author Interviews, Global Health, Opiods, Pain Research, Primary Care / 26.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50430" align="alignleft" width="133"]Marisha Burden, MD, FACP, SFHM Associate Professor of Medicine Division Head of Hospital Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine Dr. Burden[/caption] Marisha Burden, MD, FACP, SFHM Associate Professor of Medicine Division Head of Hospital Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The United States has seen a marked increase in opioid prescribing since 2000 and while there has been a slight decline in prescribing since 2012, prescription rates for opioids still remain much higher than in the late 1990’s and are considerably higher when compared to other countries. The US continues to see opioid-related complications such as overdoses, hospitalizations, and deaths. Hospitalized patients frequently experience pain and opioid medications are often the mainstay for treatment of pain. Studies have suggested that receipt of opioid prescriptions at the time of hospital discharge may increase risk for long-term use.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dental Research, Opiods / 23.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50367" align="alignleft" width="200"]Praveen Arany, DDS, PhD Department of Oral Biology School of Dental Medicine University of Buffalo Dr. Arany[/caption] Praveen Arany, DDS, PhD Department of Oral Biology School of Dental Medicine University of Buffalo MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How is the light treatment delivered? Response: Cancers are usually treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation to destroy the tumor cells. However, an unfortunate side-effect of these treatments is pain and ulcers in the mouth due to breakdown of normal protective responses. Light has various applications in human health and normal physiology. Two good examples are vision and sunlight-Vitamin D for bone and health. The use of low dose light to alleviate pain or inflammation and promote tissue healing is termed Photobiomodulation (PBM) Therapy. This treatment can be provided with lasers or LED devices at specific wavelength (color) and dose (power). This treatment is currently being provided by a health care provider - usually a laser - either nurse or dentist prior or during the cancer treatments. There are several exciting innovation where take-home, self-use devices are becoming available.
Alcohol, Author Interviews, CMAJ, Emergency Care / 22.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50334" align="alignleft" width="200"]Daniel Myran, MD, MPH, CCFP Public Health & Preventive Medicine, PGY-5 University of Ottawa Daniel Myran[/caption] Daniel Myran, MD, MPH, CCFP Public Health & Preventive Medicine, PGY-5 University of Ottawa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that alcohol consumption results in enormous health and societal harms globally and in Canada. While several studies have looked at changes in alcohol harms, such as Emergency Department (ED) visits and Hospitalizations due alcohol, this study is the first to examine in detail how harms related to alcohol have been changing over time in Canada.
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, JAMA, Opiods / 18.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28490" align="alignleft" width="165"]Silvia S. Martins, MD, PHD Associate Professor of Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology Mailman School Of Public Health Columbia University New York, NY 10032 Dr. Silvia Martins[/caption] Silvia S. Martins, MD, PHD Associate Professor of Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology Mailman School Of Public Health Columbia University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior studies have suggested t6hat medical marijuana legalization might play a role in decreasing opioid use. We aimed to test this hypothesis using individual level data on nonmedical use of prescription opioids and opioid use disorder  from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Pediatrics, UCSD / 17.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50286" align="alignleft" width="200"]Lorraine Kelley-Quon, MD, MSHS, FAAP Assistant Professor | Division of Pediatric Surgery Children's Hospital Los Angeles Department of Surgery & Preventive Medicine Keck School of Medicine of USC Dr. Kelley-Quon[/caption] Lorraine Kelley-Quon, MD, MSHS, FAAP Assistant Professor | Division of Pediatric Surgery Children's Hospital Los Angeles Department of Surgery & Preventive Medicine Keck School of Medicine of USC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Prescription opioids are pharmacologically similar to heroin, and previous research has shown an association between nonmedical opioid use and heroin use. This is the first study to follow a group of teenagers through all 4 years of high school and identify an association between nonmedical prescription opioid use and later heroin use.
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Mental Health Research, Opiods, University of Pennsylvania / 15.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50259" align="alignleft" width="145"]Samuel Preston, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology University of Pennsylvania  Dr. Preston[/caption] Samuel Preston, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Life expectancy at birth in the United States is low by international standards and has been declining in recent years. Our study aimed to identify how these trends differed by age, sex, cause of death, metropolitan status, and region. We found that, over the period 2009-11 to 2014-16, mortality rose at ages 25-44 in large metropolitan areas and their suburbs as well as in smaller metropolitan areas and non-metropolitan areas. Mortality at ages 45-64 also rose in all of these areas except large metropolitan areas. These were the ages responsible for declining life expectancy. Changes in life expectancy were particularly adverse for non-metropolitan areas and for women. The metropolitan distinctions in mortality changes were similar from region to region. The cause of death contributing most strongly to mortality declines was drug overdose for males and mental and nervous system disorders for women.
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Technology / 11.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: video-gamesDr. Klaus Wölfling Psychologische Leitung - Ambulanz für Spielsucht Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Mainz MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response:  Our institution, the outpatient clinic of Behavioral Addictions at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University Medical Center Mainz started as a pilot project, which was funded by Rhineland-Palatine, our federal state in Germany. We rapidly noticed the need for treatment in the population. We revealed insights of the disease during the last decade. During this time, we developed and refined therapeutic processes addressing Internet Addiction and Gaming Disorder. We conducted a pilot study, which tested the feasibility of a CBT-treatment approach for Internet Addiction in an RCT. We learned a lot from therapy research and noticed that it was important to conduct a study, which indicates an effective treatment for this disease. STICA found a strong remission rate for Internet and Computer game Addiction of treatment group vs. WLC (OR=10.10; 94% CI 3.69 to 27.65).
Author Interviews, Opiods, Orthopedics, Rheumatology / 09.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50189" align="alignleft" width="200"]Professor Martin Englund MD PhD Department of Orthopaedics Lund University Prof. Englund[/caption] Professor Martin Englund MD PhD Department of Orthopaedics Lund University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Currently, there is lack of knowledge of opioid usage in osteoarthritis patients. Opioids are typically not recommended for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain. 
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 09.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50165" align="alignleft" width="200"]D. Mark Anderson, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics Montana State University, IZA, and NBER Dr. Anderson[/caption] D. Mark Anderson, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics Montana State University, IZA, and NBER MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys for the period 1993-2017, we explore the effect medical and recreational marijuana laws have on teen use. We find that medical marijuana laws (MMLs) are not associated with teen marijuana consumption, but recreational marijuana laws (RMLs) are actually negatively associated with teen use. 
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Opiods, Pain Research / 05.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50123" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Stuart Lieblich, DMD Oral and maxillofacial surgeon  Avon, CT Dr. Lieblich[/caption] Dr. Stuart Lieblich, DMD Oral and maxillofacial surgeon  Avon, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does EXPAREL® differ from other pain medication for dental work or other short-term procedures? Response: This study analyzed the use of opioids and non-opioid options for postsurgical pain following third molar extraction (wisdom teeth removal). Our research team reviewed data from 600 patients who underwent third molar extraction, with 300 patients having received non-opioid option EXPAREL (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) and 300 patients that did not receive an infiltration of EXPAREL. The study aimed to show that reducing opioid prescriptions following this procedure may decrease opioid-related adverse events and the risk of opioid dependence.
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Environmental Risks / 02.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: alcohol, bottles, Dr Andrew Turner, PhD Associate Professor (Reader) in Environmental Sciences School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: This study was part of a wider study to look at potentially toxic metals in everyday household and consumer products. The main findings here are that many enameled bottles, mainly used to store alcoholic beverages, contain very high levels of cadmium and lead in the décor.  
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, University of Michigan / 30.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49992" align="alignleft" width="135"]Rebecca L. Haffajee, J.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor Department of Health Management & Policy University of Michigan School of Public Health Dr. Haffajee[/caption] Rebecca L. Haffajee, J.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor Department of Health Management & Policy umichsphumichsph MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Evidence suggests that the availability of medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) has been slow to expand, particularly in rural areas, despite the efficacy and effectiveness of these medications in reducing overdose deaths and other adverse life outcomes. We were interested in understanding the characteristics of counties both with high need (as measured by above-national rates in opioid overdose deaths) AND low provider capacity to deliver medications to treat OUD in 2017. We found that such "opioid high-risk" counties were likely to be in the East North Central (e.g., Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana), South Atlantic (e.g., North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia), and Mountain (e.g., New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada) regions. We also found that these opioid high-risk counties were more likely to have higher rates of unemployment and less likely to have fewer primary care clinicians or be micropolitan
Author Interviews, Opiods / 26.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49995" align="alignleft" width="200"]John Holaday, PhD Chairman and CEO of DisposeRx Dr. Holaday[/caption] John Holaday, PhD Chairman and CEO of DisposeRx Dr. Holaday discusses the recentannouncement that Walgreen's has added DisposeRx to its safe medication drop off kiosks.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How big is the problem of unused risky medications leftover after the need or indication period has passed? Response: Keeping leftover medications in the home significantly increases the risk of accidental poisonings as well as diversion, which can lead to addiction, overdoses and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), accidental medicine poisonings send nearly 60,000 children under 5 years old to emergency rooms annually. And, a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the first opioid used by 70% of individuals with heroin-use disorder was a prescription pain medication, often remaining in their medicine cabinet well after the pain subsided and then a remaining temptation for abuse. This is a pervasive problem across the country. In an independent survey DisposeRx sponsored, it was found that 4 out of 10 Americans are keeping leftover prescriptions—including opioids – in their medicine cabinets. Other results of the survey include: 62% of respondents who said they stored medications in case a condition returns; and 37% said they save prescription drugs in case a friend or family member needs them. Walgreens sees value in adding DisposeRx at-home solution to its comprehensive medication management and opioid stewardship programs These consumers need to be educated about all the potential harm resulting from saving leftover medications. Leading pharmacy chains such as Walgreens are committed, as responsible corporate citizens, to making DisposeRx available upon request for their customers and to educate them about its use in getting rid of leftover drugs before they cause harm. Walgreens sees value in adding DisposeRx at-home solution to its comprehensive medication management and opioid stewardship programs as an additional method to reduce risks and exposure.
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pediatrics / 25.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49907" align="alignleft" width="144"]Jennifer N. Cooper, PhD Principal Investigator Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics The Ohio State University College of Medicine Dr. Cooper[/caption] Jennifer N. Cooper, PhD Principal Investigator Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics The Ohio State University College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although postoperative opioid prescribing has decreased in recent years due to an increased awareness of the risks of excess opioid prescribing, many patients are still prescribed more opioids than they need after surgery. In the pediatric population, most opioids are prescribed after surgical and dental procedures. Although patients are often prescribed more opioids than they need after surgery, previous studies have found that excess opioids left unused after surgery are rarely properly disposed. These leftover opioids can be misused or accidentally ingested by young children. Previous studies have targeted the problem of non-disposal of opioids leftover after surgery by providing patients and families with educational materials describing proper methods of postoperative opioid disposal. However, these studies have had mixed results with some finding an increase in opioid disposal after education and others finding no effect of such education. In addition to education, another means of facilitating postoperative opioid disposal is the provision of drug disposal products. These products contain compounds that irreversible adsorb or oxidize medications, enabling them to be safely disposed of in the home garbage.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics / 21.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49903" align="alignleft" width="133"]Marilyn Cyr, Ph.D., Psy.D. Postdoctoral Research Scientist Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry New York State Psychiatric Institute Columbia University Medical Center New York, NY 10032 Dr. Cyr[/caption] Marilyn Cyr, Ph.D., Psy.D. Postdoctoral Research Scientist Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry New York State Psychiatric Institute Columbia University Medical Center New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A hallmark feature of problematic substance use is compulsive drug-seeking long after the drug is no longer experienced as pleasurable and despite the associated adverse consequences of this behavior. Disturbances in cognitive control—an ensemble of processes by which the mind governs behaviors, regulates impulses and guides decisions based on goals—are believed to be involved in the initiation and maintenance of the compulsive drug-seeking that characterizes problematic substance use. Most adults with problematic substance use began having problems with drugs and alcohol in adolescence, a developmental period during which the neural circuits underlying cognitive control processes continue to mature. As such, the adolescent brain may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of substance use, and particularly cannabis, the most commonly used recreational drug by teenagers worldwide.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Opiods, University of Pittsburgh / 18.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49771" align="alignleft" width="130"]Dr. Julie Donohue, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management Vice Chair for Research Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh Dr. Donohue[/caption] Dr. Julie Donohue, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management Vice Chair for Research Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The opioid epidemic is exacting a significant burden on families, communities and health systems across the U.S. Prescription and illicit opioids are responsible for the highest drug overdose mortality rates ever recorded. We know from previous studies that some surgical and medical patients who fill opioid prescriptions immediately after leaving the hospital go on to have chronic opioid use. Until our study, however, little was known about how and if those patients were being introduced to the opioids while in the hospital. My colleagues and I reviewed the electronic health records of 191,249 hospital admissions of patients who had not been prescribed opioids in the prior year and were admitted to a community or academic hospital in Pennsylvania between 2010 and 2014. Opioids were prescribed in 48% of the admissions, with those patients being given opioids for a little more than two-thirds of their hospital stay, on average.
Author Interviews, Education, Opiods, Social Issues / 16.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49776" align="alignleft" width="149"]Arline T. Geronimus Sc.D Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education School of Public Health Research Professor Population Studies Center Institute for Social Research University of Michigan Member, National Academy of Medicine Dr. Geronimus[/caption] Arline T. Geronimus Sc.D Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education School of Public Health Research Professor Population Studies Center Institute for Social Research University of Michigan Member, National Academy of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The gap in life expectancy between less and more educated Americans grew over the last 30 years, a deeply troubling fact. We are alone among western nations in these trends. We aimed to determine what causes of death account for this growing educational gap in life expectancy and whether the gap has continued to grow in the most recent years. Disturbingly, we found the educational gap in life expectancy has continued to grow. Why? A common theory is that this growing inequality is due to the opioid epidemic. Some even speculate that the less educated are dying from a composite of what they call “deaths of despair” – opioid and other drug overdose, suicide and alcoholic liver disease – with the theory being that as less educated and working class Americans have faced job loss and stagnating wages, they experience hopelessness and despair and turn to drugs, alcohol, or even suicide to ease or end their pain and feelings of hopelessness. However, while opioid, suicide and alcoholic liver disease deaths have increased among white youth and young adults and is cause for concern, this does not imply that these deaths should be grouped together as “deaths of despair” (DOD) or that they explain the growing educational gaps in life expectancy across all groups – men, women, whites, blacks, or older as well as younger adults.
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pain Research, Sleep Disorders / 05.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49610" align="alignleft" width="133"]Dr-Nicole Tang Dr. Tang[/caption] Nicole Tang, D.Phil, C.Psychol (Reader) Department of Psychology Warwick Sleep and Pain Lab University of Warwick MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Current guidelines recommend non-opioid therapy as the preferred treatment of chronic non-malignant (CNP) pain, with opioids reserved to situations “when benefits for pain and function are expected to outweigh risks” [1,10]. Whilst the effectiveness of opioid therapy is usually measured in terms of pain outcomes, less is known about its effect on day-to-day functions. A particular function of concern to patients with chronic non-malignant pain is the ability to get a good night's sleep. The current systematic review has identified a set of papers with relevant outcomes regarding the effect of opioid therapy on sleep quality and sleep architecture in CNP patients. It extends our understanding from the drug's respiratory depression effect in healthy individuals to the potential risks and utility of opioid therapy for chronic non-malignant pain patients with sleep disturbances. Whilst the narrative synthesis and the exploratory meta-analysis of a subset of data both suggest that the use of opioid therapy is associated with an overall report of sleep quality improvement, such an improvement is not consistently replicated across studies or substantiated by improvements in sleep parameters linked to deeper and better-sleep quality. Moreover, the improvement may be accompanied by undesirable side effects and increased daytime sleepiness that contradict with the very idea of improved sleep quality. We are also painfully aware of the methodological limitations of the studies reviewed; their exposure to different sources of biases has heightened the risk of result inflation. To many patients with chronic non-malignant pain, improved sleep is a top priority when evaluating the performance of a new drug and non-drug intervention. If we were to advance our current understanding of the opioid-sleep relationship, future trials need to be designed with this interdisciplinary question in mind such that validated measures of sleep can be incorporated as an outcome measure alongside pain.
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 03.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49531" align="alignleft" width="150"]Julie Bobitt, PhD Director Interdisciplinary Health Sciences College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Champaign, IL  61820 Dr. Bobitt[/caption] Julie Bobitt, PhD Director Interdisciplinary Health Sciences College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Champaign, IL  61820 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Older adults are using cannabis at an increasing rate but little is known about their attitudes about, and experiences – including outcomes- with, recreational and medical cannabis use. We believed a qualitative study, where we conducted focus group interviews, would provide a novel perspective to our understanding and help to identify the most salient themes concerning the use of medical and recreational cannabis by adults aged 60 and older living in Colorado.
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Duke, OBGYNE, Opiods, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 29.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashraf Habib, MDChief of the Division of Women’s Anesthesia and Professor of AnesthesiologyDuke University Ashraf Habib, MD Chief of the Division of Women’s Anesthesia Professor of Anesthesiology Duke University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This was a multicenter study conducted in 13 clinical sites in the United States enrolling patients undergoing elective Cesarean-section and receiving spinal anesthesia. 186 patients were enrolled and randomized to receive EXPAREL, a long-acting, non-opioid option to manage postsurgical pain, administered via transversus abdominis plane (TAP) field block, mixed with plain bupivacaine or TAP block with plain bupivacaine alone. A TAP block numbs the nerves that supply the abdominal wall. We presented the data at the 51st Annual Meeting of the Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) in Phoenix, AZ. We aimed to collect clinical evidence that a multimodal postsurgical pain regimen using a TAP block with EXPAREL (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) together with regularly scheduled acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could reduce opioid consumption more so than a standard multimodal pain control approach that combines TAP block with standard bupivacaine, regularly scheduled acetaminophen, and NSAIDs.
Addiction, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Tobacco Research, UCSD / 25.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49370" align="alignleft" width="169"]Davide Dulcis, PhDAssociate ProfessorDepartment of Psychiatry, UCSD School of MedicineUniversity of California, San DiegoLa Jolla, CA 92093-0603 Dr. Dulcis[/caption] Davide Dulcis, PhD Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry, UCSD School of Medicine University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093-0603 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Previous studies in humans have shown that pre-natal and early life exposure to nicotine can lead to altered children behavior and propensity for drug abuse, but the precise mechanisms involved are still unclear. In this pre-clinical study we showed how nicotine “primes” neurons of the mouse brain’s reward center for a fate they normally would not have taken, making them more susceptible to the effects of nicotine when the animals are again exposed to nicotine later in life, said Dr. Benedetto Romoli, first author of the research article.  
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Opiods, Pain Research / 23.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Katie Suda, PharmD, M.S. Associate Professor College of Pharmacy University of Illinois at Chicago Dr. Susan Rowan, DDS Clinical Associate Professor, Executive Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs College of Dentistry University of Illinois at Chicago,  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Dr. Katie Suda: Dentists treat a lot of pain – we have all probably had the experience of a terrible tooth ache. All dentists treat pain worldwide so we would not expect a large difference in which pain medication is prescribed. However, our results show that US dentists prescribe opioids more frequently than is likely needed. This is especially true because studies have shown that non-opioid pain medications are similar or more effective for the treatment of oral pain.