Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Heart Disease, JACC / 21.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ersilia DeFilippis, MD Second-year cardiology fellow Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana use has been increasing significantly and is the most commonly illicit drug used in the United States. In recent years, more states have been legalizing its use for both recreational and medicinal purposes. We have all seen news reports regarding the rise of vaping-related health hazards. Yet, data are limited regarding the cardiovascular effects of marijuana which is what drove us to explore this topic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods / 15.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul Christine, MD, PhD University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In an effort to increase employment and "community engagement" among Medicaid enrollees, several states are seeking to implement new Medicaid work requirements. While many proposals make exemptions for individuals with substance use disorders, some require active treatment to qualify for an exemption and maintain Medicaid eligibility. Since many enrollees with substance use disorder would thus need to access treatment to maintain coverage, we sought to quantify the availability of treatment resources in states with and without Medicaid work requirements. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Pediatrics / 06.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel H. Alinsky, MD, MPH Adolescent Medicine and Addiction Medicine Fellow Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that over 4,000 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15-24 are dying from an opioid overdose every year. Nonfatal opioid overdose has been identified as a potential touchpoint with the healthcare system when individuals can be drawn into treatment, yet very little is known about health care use following opioid overdose in youth. We were interested in figuring out the extent to which adolescents and young adults are receiving evidence-based treatment after an opioid overdose. (more…)
Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews, JAMA, Methamphetamine / 06.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Eric Dawson, PharmD Vice President, Clinical Affairs Millennium Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has projected a drop in the number of overdose deaths for 2018; the first reported decline since 1990. They cite a decrease in prescription opioid deaths as the leading contributor to the overall reduction, but caution that deaths associated with synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, as well as stimulants appear to be increasing. In 2019, we reported a 798% increase in urine drug test positivity rates for nonprescribed fentanyl among results positive for methamphetamine and an 1850% increase among results positive for cocaine. In an effort to conduct ongoing surveillance of the polysubstance use landscape and help characterize these evolving trends in a more timely manner, we examined our UDT data as close to real-time as possible to observe trends in positivity for methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin, with and without illicit fentanyl. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM / 02.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Peter M Kistler MBBS, PhD, FRACP Head of Clinical Electrophysiology Research Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Head of Electrophysiology at The Alfred hospital Professor of Medicine University of Melbourne. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a well known association between alcohol intake and atrial fibrillation form population based studies which demonstrate that for every 1 standard drink the incidence of AFib increases by 8%. This is the first randomised study to determine of alcohol reduction/abstinence leads to a reduction in AFib episodes and time to recurrence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Surgical Research / 30.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sunil Agarwal, MD Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network Ann Arbor, MI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Excess opioid prescribing after surgery often leads to misuse and diversion into the community. To prevent excessive prescribing for acute pain, 31 states have implemented legislation that limits the duration of opioid prescriptions. Our study examined the effect of prescribing limits and postoperative opioid prescribing on surgical patients in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the first two states to implement opioid prescribing limits for acute pain after the CDC guidelines were released.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Mental Health Research, Opiods, Pediatrics / 23.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Megan Land, MD, PGY 6 Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Emory University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Much of the research on the opioid crisis has focused on the impact to adults; however, children and adolescents in the US are also negatively affected by the opioid epidemic.
  • The percentage of children admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit increased over the study period as the clinical effects of the opioid ingestions increased in severity.
  • The primary intent of opioid ingestions was suspected suicide attempts in adolescents resulting in increasing admissions to a psychiatric hospital.
  • Opioids associated with the highest odds of needing an intervention in an intensive care unit were methadone, fentanyl, and heroin. 
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Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 20.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hongying (Daisy) Dai, PhD Associate Professor Department of Biostatistics | College of Public Health University of Nebraska Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: E-cigarette use increased significantly from 2017 to 2019 among U.S. adolescents, and marijuana and other substances besides can be used in e-cigarettes. Meanwhile, restrictions on marijuana use have been relaxing and social acceptability of marijuana use is shifting among youth. This study analyzed 38,061 middle and high school students from the 2017 and 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Pediatrics, University of Michigan / 19.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kao-Ping Chua, MD PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Opioids are frequently prescribed to adolescents and young adults aged 12-21 years – in a recent study, 1 in 8 patients in this population were prescribed opioids during the year. At the same time, almost 30% of the 3000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 among adolescents and young adults involved prescription opioids. Given the frequency of opioid prescribing and the risk of overdose, it is important to understand how to prescribe opioids safely to adolescents and young adults. However, there have been few studies that examine which opioid prescribing patterns are associated with prescription opioid overdose in adolescents and young adults. Prior studies examining these patterns have focused on older adults, particularly U.S. Veterans, so the generalizability of these findings to younger populations is unclear. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, Technology / 10.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna Konova, PhD Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry & UBHC Core Faculty, Brain Health Institute Rutgers University - New Brunswick MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Opioid reuse and relapse are common outcomes even when a person is seeking treatment for their addiction. These reuse events pose many health risks, as well as risk for treatment failure. We currently lack the much needed tools to understand and predict this reuse vulnerability. In this study, we used computer games that assess a person's decision making process, to get at psychological processes related to how people make decisions involving risks, when they transitioned between lower and higher reuse vulnerability states during the first few months of opioid treatment. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 05.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathan J. Connealy Doctoral student John Jay College of Criminal Justice CUNY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background, or what prompted this study, is that research on this topic is pertinent right now as more states continue down a path towards legalization. A large share of the research base and public debate centers around the potential adverse effects of marijuana accessibility, consumer-based concerns, and health specific outcomes associated with usage. This research instead focuses on a lesser explored question related to the potential for the physical dispensary locations to impact crime levels, which is also an important consideration when assessing the impact of recreational marijuana legalization. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Opiods / 05.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rupa Radhakrishnan, MD Assistant professor of Radiology and Imaging Sciences Indiana University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Opioid use in pregnancy is a major public health crisis. Opioids adversely impact maternal, fetal and infant health. Infants who were exposed to opioids in the womb, can have withdrawal symptoms soon after birth, and are also at risk for poor long term neurodevelopment outcomes. Our group studied the changes in brain function in infants exposed to opioids in the womb, to understand how opioids affect the developing brain. We used resting state functional MRI to study these infants.  (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods / 27.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yong-Fang Kuo, PhD Professor and Director, Office of Biostatistics Don W. and Frances Powell Professor in Aging Research Mukaila Raji, MD, MS, FACP Professor & Director Edgar Gnitzinger Distinguished Professorship in Aging Preventive Medicine and Population Health UTMB Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Medicare beneficiaries who qualified because of disability constitute a growing population of patients hospitalized for opioid/heroin overdose. Although the CDC regularly generates reports of opioid overdose deaths by demographics and states, studies on policy actionable predictors of overdose mortality (e.g., clusters of medical and psychiatric conditions, types of disabling conditions) are lacking in this population.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods / 27.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH Director Emeritus and Senior Advisor, Center on Society and Health Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Distinguished Chair in Population Health and Health Equity Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Richmond, Virginia 23298-0212 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Life expectancy in the US has decreased for three years in a row, the first time this has occurred in this country since the Spanish flu epidemic a century ago. Meanwhile, life expectancy in other countries continues to climb. Our study found that the trend is being driven by an increase in death rates among working-age adults (ages 25-64 years), which began as early as the 1990s. The increase has involved deaths from drug overdoses—a major contributor—but also from alcoholism, suicides, and a long list of organ diseases. We found increases in 35 causes of death. We analyzed the trends across the 50 states and discovered that the trend is concentrated in certain regions, especially the Industrial Midwest (Rust Belt) and Appalachia, whereas other regions like the Pacific states were least affected. Increases in midlife mortality in four Ohio Valley states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kentucky) accounted for one third of the excess deaths between 2010 and 2017. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 26.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bertha K. Madras PhD Director, Laboratory of Addiction Neurobiology Psychobiologist, Substance Use Disorders Division, Basic Neuroscience Division Professor of Psychobiology, Department of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Parent use of marijuana is rising, and I wondered whether this could be associated with offspring use of specific substances and across several substances
  • Several fathers have confided in me that they used marijuana to bond with their sons. They became horrified after witnessing their sons progress to using other drugs, especially heroin.
  • In general, living with a parent using substances or having substance use disorders is an explicit risk for use of substances among young offspring. Yet, few studies have directly examined whether parental marijuana use elevates the risk for opioid misuse among adolescent and young adults living with parents.  Most importantly and to the best of our knowledge, none of the existing research  simultaneously explored frequency of  parental marijuana use and whether it related to adolescent and young adult offspring’s marijuana, tobacco, alcohol use, and opioid misuse.
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Author Interviews, Cannabis, Heart Disease, Stroke / 17.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rupak Desai, MBBS Research Fellow, Division of Cardiology Atlanta VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Amidst legalization of therapeutic and recreational use of marijuana/cannabis in the United States, cerebrovascular effects of marijuana use remain largely unknown, especially among young adults. We examined the association between cannabis use (18–44 years) among young adults and stroke events. The study analyzed pooled data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2016–2017)—a nationally representative cross-sectional survey collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, 13.6% of total 43,860 young adults (18-44 years) reported using cannabis recently (in the last month), with 63.3% of them being men. Compared with nonusers, marijuana users were often younger, non-Hispanic white or black, and with some college education. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Rheumatology / 12.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Raveendhara R. Bannuru MD, PhD, FAGE Director, Center for Treatment Comparison and Integrative Analysis (CTCIA) Deputy Director, Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CCIM) Asst Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine Asst Professor of Clinical & Translational Science, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences Division of Rheumatology, Tufts Medical Center Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Given the current controversy regarding the use of opioids in chronic pain, we wanted to delve deeper into the efficacy and safety profiles of oral opioid drugs in osteoarthritis patients. Temporal assessments like ours can reveal peak periods of efficacy, and can provide clinicians with a blueprint for optimal durations of treatment regimens. With respect to subgroup analyses based on strength of opioid binding affinity, we sought to explore currently held paradigms that strong opioids may be useful for the treatment of severe pain, and to specifically assess their relevance in OA populations. Knowledge of the relative efficacy and safety profiles of strong versus weak opioids can give clinicians the information they need to weigh benefits and harms of specific subgroups of opioids. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Technology / 29.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zsolt Demetrovics PhD and Orsolya Király PhD Department of Clinical Psychology and Addiction Institute of Psychology ELTE Eötvös Loránd University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Gaming disorder has recently been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a mental disorder. Research examining gaming motivations and mental health among video gamers and in relation with gaming disorder is increasing but different types of gamers such as recreational gamers and esport gamers are not commonly distinguished. Esport is form of electronic sport and refers to playing video games in a professional (competitive) manner in sports-like tournaments. Much like in the case of traditional sports, esport players and teams are sponsored, tournaments are broadcasted and followed by large audiences and have large financial prizes. Therefore, being an esports player in now a real career opportunity for teenagers and young adults who like playing video games.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, UCSD / 23.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John W. Ayers, PhD, MA Vice Chief of Innovation | Assoc. Professor Div. Infectious Disease & Global Public Health University of California San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Touted as a “cure all,” researchers have documented unfounded claims that  cannabidiol (CBD) treats acne, anxiety, opioid addiction, pain, and menstrual problems. You can buy CBD droplets, massage oils, CBD gummies, or even ice cream. But public health leaders have been mostly silent on the subject because they lacked data that demonstrates just how popular CBD is and the future trajectory might be. To fill this data-gap we analyzed Google search queries that mentioned “CBD” or “cannabidiol” emerging from the United States from January 2004 through April 2019 and forecasted searches through December 2019. Rather than relying on self reports, where some might not be willing to discuss CBD openly, our strategy allowed us to directly observed millions of instances of people seeking out information or even shopping for CBD online. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 14.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Smoking Marijuana” by Martin Alonso is licensed under CC BY 2.0Ruibin Lu Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Stockton University Absecon, New Jersey MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are witnessing a trend of legalizing marijuana in the United States and in the world. Many states have either legalized recreational marijuana or are considering it. At the same time, there are concerns about what will happen to our society if weed is legal. One of the concerns is about crime rates: are we going to experience more or fewer crimes after legalizing recreational marijuana? This is a legitimate question that we should consider when making cannabis-related public policies. Our research provides a preliminary answer to this question. It analyzes crime rates before and after the legalization using rigorous scientific methods and provides more information on how marijuana legalization may affect crime rates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Methamphetamine / 11.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jackie Wright (Fellow ACTRA) Adjunct – Flinders UniversityDirector Environmental Risk Sciences (enRiskS) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The contamination of homes with methamphetamine can occur from illegal manufacture or smoking (ice). The methamphetamine residues that are left behind can result in methamphetamine exposures to future occupants of the home, resulting in the potential for adverse health effects. To assess the level of contamination that remains in these homes, the method used is to collect a surface wipe sample. This is a wipe of specified area of a surface (such as walls, floors, kitchen cabinets, or window frames etc) which is then analysed to determine how much methamphetamine residue remain on that surface. The guidelines for determining if a property is safe for occupation is based on surface wipe sampling. This study has further evaluated the level of methamphetamine that is present in a home that was formerly suspected to have been used for the manufacture of methamphetamine. To supplement surface wipe sampling which was undertaken over time, the level of methamphetamine that is within the building/house materials/items themselves was tested, as a bulk analysis, to determine how much methamphetamine is present in these materials, if the methamphetamine has penetrated through and into materials such as the gyprock walls, and if the methamphetamine that is present in materials present when the manufacture occurred have transferred to the homeowners possessions that were brought into the home well after manufacture occurred.  (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 06.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jiabi Qin, MD, PhD Xiangya School of Public Health Central South University Changsha, China  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Congenital heart defects (CHDs), defined as a gross structural abnormality of the heart or intrathoracic great vessels occurring in embryonic period and affected nearly 1% of lives births, is the most common of all congenital defects and remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity in fancy and childhood. With a worldwide prevalence of CHDs now estimated to be 1.35 million newborns with CHDs every year, the number of CHDs is steadily increasing, representing a major global health burden. The association between maternal alcohol exposure and the risk of congenital heart defects (CHDs) has been explored, but little is known about the association between paternal alcohol exposure and the risk of CHDs. Furthermore, subsequent studies regarding the association between alcohol exposure and the risk of congenital heart defects have not yield consistent results. Therefore, given the inconsistency of existing literatures and insufficient evidence of primary studies, further an update meta-analysis based on the new and previously is evidently required. Especially, to our knowledge, any meta-analysis between paternal alcohol exposure and the risk of CHDs have not been conducted.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 05.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hongying (Daisy) Dai, PhD Associate Professor Department of Biostatistics | College of Public Health University of Nebraska Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug at the Federal level, as of June 2019, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized one or more forms of marijuana; 11 states and the District of Columbia have approved both medical and recreational uses. Public opinion on marijuana has changed dramatically over the last two decades and support for legalization has doubled since 2010. However, very little is known about the prevalence and patterns of marijuana use among adults with medical conditions. This study analyzed the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to report the prevalence and patterns of marijuana use among adults with self-reported medical conditions.  (more…)
Alcohol, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cognitive Issues / 30.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manja Koch Dr. oec. troph. (Ph.D. equivalent) Research Associate Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Majken K. Jensen, PhD Associate Professor of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthMajken K. Jensen, PhD Associate Professor of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are highly prevalent conditions. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 50 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias worldwide. Given the lack of a cure or even disease-modifying therapies for most dementias, the identification of risk factors or factors that prevent or delay the onset of dementia remains of paramount concern. Alcohol is a globally consumed beverage and light-to-moderate alcohol consumption, defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, tends to be associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a major risk factor for dementia. However, the effects of light-to-moderate alcohol intake on the brain are less clear.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Gender Differences / 06.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Morgan Philbin, PhD MHS Assistant Professor Department of Sociomedical Sciences Columbia University School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana is the most frequently used substance in the United States (US) after alcohol and tobacco. In 2017, 15.3% of the US population ages 18 and up reported past-year marijuana use (MU) and 9.9% past month use. Individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB), also report higher levels of marijuana use and marijuana use disorder than their heterosexual counterparts. Researchers have begun to explore potentially modifiable factors, such as state-level marijuana policies, that affect marijuana use and related outcomes at the population-level and within subgroups—though as of yet not among sexual minority populations. We therefore examined whether LGB individuals living in states with medical marijuana laws (MMLs) have higher levels of marijuana use and marijuana use disorder compared to LGB individuals in states without MMLs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 31.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Angela Birnbaum, Ph.D., FAES Professor, Director of Graduate Studies Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology College of Pharmacy University of Minnesota  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Little was known about the effect food has on the amount of cannabidiol (CBD) that is actually absorbed into the body. Because of various state laws, CBD preparations vary from state to state. In Minnesota, however, the law only allows pure forms of cannabidiol providing a consistent supply of product including a purified CBD capsule formulation. Due to its pharmacological properties a low amount of a CBD dose reaches the blood stream and the effect of food had not been well described. Our study was done to determine the amount of cannabidiol that is absorbed with food as compared to an empty stomach at doses used in epilepsy patients, which can be higher than the dose often used for other conditions.   (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Primary Care / 30.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Hannah T. Neprash, PhD Assistant Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management School of Public Health University of Minnesota  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Physicians play a pivotal role in the opioid epidemic and it's important to understand what factors that drive opioid prescribing. Variation in opioid prescribing across physicians has been well-documented, but there’s very little research on variation within physicians…which is surprising, given the widespread concern about time pressure and cognitive fatigue having a potentially detrimental effect on the quality of care provided by physicians. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Opiods, Social Issues / 28.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isaac Sasson, PhD Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Herczeg Institute on Aging Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv, Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Life expectancy at birth in the United States has been declining steadily since 2014, which is very unusual for a high-income country in times of peace. In fact, the last time that life expectancy declined in the US was in the early 1990s, and only briefly. Studies from the past few years have shown that the rise in mortality is concentrated among middle-aged Americans and particularly the lower socioeconomic classes. Our study analyzed over 4.6 million death records in 2010 and 2017 to understand which causes of death account for the rise in mortality among white and black non-Hispanic US adults. In addition, given the substantial socioeconomic inequality in health in the US, we broke down our results by level of education, which is a good proxy for socioeconomic status. Essentially, our goal was to measure how many years of life were lost, on average, to each cause of death across different social groups.  (more…)