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…)
Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Opiods / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Greg Midgette, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice University of Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This report estimates marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine use in the U.S. between 2006 and 2016 on three dimensions: the number of past-month chronic users per year, where "chronic" has previously been defined as consuming the drug at least four days in the past month, expenditure per drug among those users, and consumption of each drug. These measures are meant to aid the public and policy makers' understanding of changes in drug use, outcomes, and policies.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 09.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Opiods / 09.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Depression, OBGYNE / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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). (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Occupational Health / 07.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Opiods / 06.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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). (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Opiods, Pain Research, Primary Care / 26.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dental Research, Opiods / 23.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, CMAJ, Emergency Care / 22.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, JAMA, Opiods / 18.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Pediatrics, UCSD / 17.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Mental Health Research, Opiods, University of Pennsylvania / 15.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
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). (more…)