Asthma, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Pediatrics / 04.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26649" align="alignleft" width="100"]Donata Vercelli, MD Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Arizona Director, Arizona Center for the Biology of Complex Diseases Associate Director, Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center The BIO5 Institute, Rm. 339 Tucson, AZ 85721 Dr. Donata Vercelli[/caption] Donata Vercelli, MD Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine Director, Arizona Center for the Biology of Complex Diseases Director, Molecular Genomics, Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center The University of Arizona The BIO5 Institute Tucson, AZ 85721 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Asthma is the most prevalent chronic disease of childhood. Epidemiological evidence suggests that the disease often begins during the pre-school years even when chronic symptoms appear much later in life. However, firm criteria to pinpoint how early a child’s trajectory to asthma truly begins are currently lacking. The mechanisms underlying asthma inception also remain largely unknown. Although epigenetic mechanisms likely contribute to asthma pathogenesis, little is known about their role in asthma inception.
Asthma, Author Interviews, BMJ, Nutrition / 26.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zhen LI, MD, MPH, PhD Candidate INSERM UMR-S 1168 (ex-Equipe 5 du CESP) (VIMA : Aging and chronic diseases. Epidemiological and public health approaches.), Hôpital Paul Brousse France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: -Cured meat, which is rich in nitrite, has been known as a probable carcinogen. However, although some studies have suggested a potential deleterious role of cured meat intake in lung health, its role in asthma remained unknown. This study was conducted using data from the French Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma (EGEA). Using data from 971 participants with seven years' follow-up, we found that participants who ate frequently cured meat, including ham, sausages, and dried sausages, had a high likelihood of having worsening asthma symptoms. The highest likelihood (76% more) was observed among participants who ate cured meats four or more servings per week, compared with those who ate less than one serving per week. Moreover, as previous studies suggested that obesity is linked to worsening asthma, we used a newly developed method to estimate if this effect was mediated by Body Mass Index (BMI), and we found that overweight/obesity only partly explained the association (14%).
Asthma, Author Interviews, Education, Pediatrics / 14.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29610" align="alignleft" width="143"]Manoj Warrier, M.D. Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Care Center Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics Saint Louis University and Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center St. Louis, MO 63127 Dr. Manoj Warrier[/caption] Manoj Warrier, M.D. Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Care Center Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics Saint Louis University and Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center St. Louis, MO 63127 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2012, Missouri House Bill 1188 was passed, which allowed trained employees in Missouri schools to administer asthma related rescue medications at their discretion to students experiencing an asthma exacerbation, even if the individual student did not have their own supply of the medication. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America St. Louis Chapter (AAFA-STL) was instrumental in facilitating passage of this bill and also created the RESCUE (Resources for Every School Confronting Unexpected Emergencies) program, which provides equipment and access to free medications to treat acute asthma symptoms, mainly supporting schools with lower income populations. AAFA-STL tracked how often RESCUE supplies were used and found that equipment was used 1357 individual times in 2013-2014 school year, with students going back to class 86.07%, sent home 10.83%, and sent to emergency department (ED) only 1.33% of the time. In the 2014-2015, they found similar results with equipment used 1720 individual times, with students going back to class 84.48%, sent home 10.81%, and sent to ED 3.14% of the time.
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 14.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29605" align="alignleft" width="143"]Deepa Patadia, MD Wexner Medical Center The Ohio State University Dr. Deepa Patadia[/caption] Deepa Patadia, MD Wexner Medical Center The Ohio State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Influenza vaccination is recommended every autumn for all children 6 months of age and older. It is particularly important for children with asthma, who are at high risk of hospitalization or severe illness if they contract influenza infection. The rates of influenza vaccination in children with asthma have not previously been well studied, but Healthy People 2020 has set a target goal to vaccinate 70% of all children for influenza. We found that rates of vaccination in our large primary care population was much lower than the target rate, with less than 50% of all children receiving the vaccine each year over a 5 year period; however rates were higher in children with asthma, albeit still only at 55%.
Asthma, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Pediatrics / 08.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Olga Gorlanova Wissenschaftliche Assistenzärztin Paediatric Pneumology Research Group Universitäts-Kinderspital beider Base MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous research has investigated how childhood asthma and early wheeze can develop as the result of a complex interaction between environmental exposures, such as tobacco exposure, older siblings and an individual’s genetic profile. Genes associated with childhood asthma risk are located on chromosome 17, called 17q21. Our study asked the question: could the effect of 17q21 on respiratory symptoms in infants be modified by breastfeeding?
Asthma, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 06.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Charlotte Suppli Ulrik MD DMSc et al. Dept. of Respiratory Medicine Hvidovre Hospital Copenhagen, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is a risk factor for new-onset asthma, but the association is incompletely understood. Our aim was, therefore, to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) BMI in childhood and asthma admissions in early adulthood (until age 45 years). We used data on BMI measured annually (age 7-13 years) in 321,830 children enrolled in the Copenhagen School Health Records Registry. During the 36-years of follow-up, a total of 2,059 first-time ever hospital admissions for asthma were observed.
Asthma, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 06.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_27674" align="alignleft" width="132"]Dr Steve Turner MD MBBS Lead investigator of the study team and Respiratory paediatrician Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital Dr. Stephen Turner[/caption] Dr Steve Turner MD MBBS Lead investigator of the study team and Respiratory paediatrician Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: For almost thirty years there has been evidence that we are all born with a certain predisposition to what are called non communicable diseases (NCD) such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes and heart disease. The evidence comes from studies which have linked reduced birth weight with increased risk for these NCDs in later life. The question which arises, and which has been more difficult to answer, is “when during pregnancy is the predisposition to for NCDs first seen?” This is important to any attempt to reduce the unborn baby’s risk for NCD. We and other researchers have used fetal ultrasound data to link size before birth to non communicable diseases outcomes. In childhood, NCDs include asthma.
Asthma, Author Interviews, Lancet, Pediatrics / 01.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_27559" align="alignleft" width="125"]Francine M. Ducharme, MD, FRCPC Professor, Departments of Paediatrics and Social and Preventive Medicine University of Montreal Associate Director of Clinical Research and Knowledge Transfer, Research Centre, CHU Ste-Justine Prof. Francine Ducharme[/caption] Francine M. Ducharme, MD, FRCPC Professor, Departments of Paediatrics and Social and Preventive Medicine University of Montreal Associate Director of Clinical Research and Knowledge Transfer, Research Centre, CHU Ste-Justine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The management of asthma attacks in preschoolers has been the subject of much recent debate. The results of a study published in 2009 had shaken the pediatric world. The study reported that preschool children with viral-triggered flare-ups did not respond to standard treatment and, suggesting that this was due to their young age. Such finding was particularly worrisome as the majority of asthma-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations involve preschool children. We conducted this large cohort study in which children aged 1 to 17 years with a moderate or severe asthma attack were treated using the established evidence-based therapy adjusted to the severity of exacerbation assessed by the Pediatric Respiratory Assessment Measure (PRAM), administered rapidly. We explored the determinants of the failure of emergency therapy. Age was not a factor. Instead, in addition to attack severity and symptoms between attacks, it was rather the presence of respiratory viral infection or fever triggering the attack that was more often associated with treatment failure, i.e., higher hospitalization rates, more returns to the emergency room, and reduced speed of recovery over the 10 days after discharge. Viral detection occurred more frequently in preschoolers (67%) than in older children (46%) with asthma. Nevertheless, the results confirm the overall effectiveness of standard treatment, adjusted to the severity of the attack and administered early, in the vast majority of children, regardless of age and viral detection. Indeed, although a failure rate of nearly 40% was expected in this group of children with moderate to severe attack, only 17% of the participants did not respond to standard treatment. This rate was significantly higher (19%) in children with viral infection compared to uninfected children (13%).
Asthma, Author Interviews, NEJM, Pediatrics, Pharmacology / 01.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David A Stempel, MD Medical Affairs Lead US Medical Affairs GlaxoSmithKline MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs) have been shown to increase the risk of asthma-related death among adults and the risk of asthma-related hospitalization among children. It is unknown whether the concomitant use of inhaled glucocorticoids with LABAs mitigates those risks. This trial prospectively evaluated the safety of the LABA salmeterol, added to fluticasone propionate, in a fixed-dose combination in children.
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 25.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David A. Hill, M.D., Ph.D. Fellow Physician Division of Allergy and Immunology The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 19104-3375 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Eczema, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and food allergies are among the most common childhood medical conditions in the United States. Importantly, disease rates for these conditions are thought to be changing, prompting the need for continued surveillance. In our study, we examined electronic medical record data of over 1 million children to measure incidence and prevalence rates of these conditions in our community. We found that 1 in 5 children seen in our network are diagnosed with asthma, a rate that is among the highest in the nation. Additionally, the large size of our study allowed us to measure the extent to which food allergies are associated with asthma or allergic rhinitis. In this analysis, we found that children with food allergies are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop asthma or allergic rhinitis, as compared with children without food allergy.
Asthma, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, NEJM, Pediatrics / 18.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_27010" align="alignleft" width="120"]Wanda Phipatanakul, MD, MS Associate Professor of Pediatrics Harvard Medical School Director, Asthma Clinical Research Center Boston Children's Hospital Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Boston, MA 02115 Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul[/caption] Wanda Phipatanakul, MD, MS Associate Professor of Pediatrics Harvard Medical School Director, Asthma Clinical Research Center Boston Children's Hospital Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Boston, MA 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol, Panadol) and ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) are the only available treatments for pain and fever in toddlers and the most commonly utilized medications worldwide. Recently there has been controversy and even alarm with suggestive observational data that acetaminophen makes asthma worse. This has led some experts to recommend the avoidance of acetaminophen in children with asthma. We sought to find the answer to this burning question through the first prospective, double-blind, randomized clinical trial comparing acetaminophen versus ibuprofen head to head for use when clinically indicated for fever or pain. Is there a difference in asthma morbidity (exacerbations) in young children between the age of 12-59 months, who have asthma?
Asthma, Author Interviews, NEJM, Pediatrics / 04.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26649" align="alignleft" width="100"]Donata Vercelli, MD Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Arizona Director, Arizona Center for the Biology of Complex Diseases Associate Director, Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center The BIO5 Institute, Rm. 339 Tucson, AZ 85721 Dr. Donata Vercelli[/caption] Donata Vercelli, MD Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Arizona Director, Arizona Center for the Biology of Complex Diseases Associate Director, Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center The BIO5 Institute Tucson, AZ 85721 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: By probing the differences between two farming communities—the Amish of Indiana and the Hutterites of South Dakota—our interdisciplinary team (which included, among others, Erika von Mutius from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Carole Ober and Anne Sperling from the University of Chicago, and myself) found that substances in the house dust from Amish, but not Hutterite, homes shape the innate immune system in ways that may prevent the development of allergic asthma. Growing up in a microbe-rich farm environment has been known to protect against asthma. Our current study extends these findings by showing that in both humans and mice protection requires engagement of the innate immune system. The Amish and Hutterite farming communities in the United States, founded by immigrants from Central Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, provide textbook opportunities for comparative studies. The Amish and the Hutterites have similar genetic ancestry and share lifestyles (e.g., family size, diet, lack of exposure to indoor pets) known to affect asthma risk. However, their farming practices differ. The Amish have retained traditional methods, live on single-family dairy farms and rely on horses for fieldwork and transportation. In contrast, the Hutterites live on large communal farms and use modern, industrialized farm machinery. This distances young Hutterite children from the constant daily exposure to farm animals.
Asthma, Author Interviews / 26.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26488" align="alignleft" width="167"]Hans Michael Haitchi, MD, MMed (INT), PhD, PD, FHEA, PGcert Associate Professor in Respiratory Medicine Clinical and Experimental Sciences Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton United Kingdom Dr. Hans Michael Haitchi[/caption] Hans Michael Haitchi, MD, MMed (INT) PhD, PD, FHEA, PGcert Associate Professor in Respiratory Medicine Clinical and Experimental Sciences Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is estimated that 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma with 1 in 10/11 (USA/UK) children and 1 in 12 (USA & UK) adults suffering from the disorder. In children asthma is the most common long-term medical condition. ADAM33 is an asthma gene. Small changes in the gene have been associated with increased twitchiness of the airways (bronchial hyperresponsiveness), loss of lung function in children and decline in lung function in the general population. ADAM33 makes an enzyme, which is attached to cells in the airway muscles. When the enzyme loses its anchor to the cell surface, it is prone to going rogue around the lung causing poorer lung function in people who have asthma. Our research, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) Insight, analysed human tissue samples and mice. Our experiments suggest that the human rogue ADAM33 protein is increased and enzymatically active in asthma. Furthermore, ADAM33 protein initiates airway remodelling (more muscle and blood vessels around the airways) without causing any inflammation in early life. However, when we switch off ADAM33 or prevent it from going rouge, the features of asthma - airway remodelling (more muscle and blood vessels around the airways), twitchiness and inflammation - will be reversed or reduced. These findings identify ADAM33 as a novel target for disease modifying therapy in asthma.
Asthma, Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA / 18.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26221" align="alignleft" width="200"]Sara Rasmussen PhD Student Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health Sciences Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Baltimore, Maryland Sara Rasmussen[/caption] Sara Rasmussen PhD Student Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health Sciences Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Baltimore, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Residents of communities undergoing unconventional natural gas development (the “fracking” industry) and those nearby can be exposed to noise, light, vibration, heavy truck traffic, air pollution, social disruption, and anxiety related to rapid industrial development of one’s community. In Pennsylvania, development began in the mid-2000s and by 2012, 6,253 wells were drilled. In our study, we found increased odds of asthma hospitalizations, asthma emergency department visits, and asthma oral corticosteroid medication orders (a medication used for asthma exacerbations) among asthma patients residing near bigger or larger numbers of active unconventional natural gas wells compared to those residing farther away.
Asthma, Author Interviews, Environmental Risks / 11.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_25994" align="alignleft" width="127"]Jamie T Mullins PhD Environmental Economics and Applied Microeconomic Department of Resource Economics University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA 01003 Dr. Jamie Mullins[/caption] Jamie T Mullins PhD Environmental Economics and Applied Microeconomic Department of Resource Economics University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA 01003 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Episodic triggers of asthma are widely known, but the root causes of the condition still aren’t well understood. There is also very limited evidence on the long-term impacts of exposure to air pollution. Speaking to both issues, we find evidence linking the development of asthma to exposure to a significant air pollution event early in life. The 1952 London Smog provides a natural experiment for studying the underlying cause of asthma and the long-term effects of air pollution exposure, while limiting threats from statistical confounding. The London Smog (also called the “Great Smog”) dramatically increased concentrations of air pollution across the city in December of 1952. We compare the incidence of asthma among those exposed to the Great Smog in utero or the first year of life to those in relevant comparison groups, including those conceived after the incident and those residing outside the affected area at the time of the Smog.
Asthma, Author Interviews, NEJM, NIH, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease / 18.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24442" align="alignleft" width="106"]Dr. James P. Kiley Ph.D National Institutes of Health Bethesda Maryland Dr. James Kiley[/caption] Dr. James P. Kiley Ph.D National Institutes of Health Bethesda Maryland  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kiley: While a higher proportion of children have asthma compared to adults, the disease is limited to childhood for many individuals who appear to be unaffected as adults. Regardless of whether asthma continues into adulthood or reoccurs during adulthood, the impact of childhood asthma on lung function later in life is unclear. This study demonstrated that in children with chronic persistent asthma at the age of 5-12 years who continued to be followed through their early twenties, 75% of them had some abnormality in the pattern of their lung growth. The study examined the trajectory of lung growth, and the decline from maximum growth, in a large cohort of persons who had persistent, mild-to-moderate asthma in childhood and determined the demographic and clinical factors associated with abnormal patterns of lung growth and decline.
Asthma, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, NEJM, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease / 15.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24191" align="alignleft" width="150"]Michael McGeachie, PhD Instructor in Medicine Harvard Medical School Channing Division of Network Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Dr. Michael McGeachie[/caption] Michael McGeachie, PhD Instructor in Medicine Harvard Medical School Channing Division of Network Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. McGeachie: In asthma, and in general but particularly in asthma, a person’s level of lung function has a big impact on his or her quality of life, level of respiratory symptoms and complications, and general morbidity. In asthma, low lung function leads to greater severity and frequency of asthma symptoms. Asthma is a common childhood illness, affecting 9-10% of children. Many children grow out of asthma as they become adults, but other asthmatics remain effected through adulthood, which can lead to a lifetime of respiratory symptoms and chronic airway obstruction, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If you consider lung function longitudinally, throughout development, plateau, and decline, different people and different asthmatics tend to exhibit different patterns of lung function. Healthy, non-asthmatic people tend to have a period of rapid lung function increase in adolescence, a plateau of lung function level in their late teens and early 20s, and starting around 25 or so a slow, gradual decline of lung function that continues throughout old age. We call this Normal Growth of lung function. However, some people exhibit Reduced Growth, where they don’t reach their expected maximum lung function for a person of the same age, sex, height, and race. Others can show Early Decline, who might reach a normal maximum but then begin to decline immediately without a plateau or with a truncated plateau. We hypothesized that these patterns, Reduced Growth and Early Decline, might have different baseline indicators, precursors, outcomes, and risk of developing COPD.
Asthma, Author Interviews, JAMA / 28.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23860" align="alignleft" width="101"]Prof Dr. med. J. Christian Virchow, FRCP, FCCP, FAAAA University of Rostock, Germany Prof. Christian Virchow[/caption] Prof Dr. med. J. Christian Virchow, FRCP, FCCP, FAAAA University of Rostock, Germany What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Virchow: House Dust mite related allergic asthma is a very frequent chronic disease. Allergen Immunotherapy (AIT) for this condition in asthma has not been well studied and subcutaneous treatment has been associated with (systemic, potentially serious) side effects. Aim of the study was to investigate, if sublingual AIT can improve a patient relevant endpoint, namely reduce the frequency of exacerbations (primary endpoint: time to first exacerbation compared to placebo) .
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pulmonary Disease / 05.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anick Bérard PhD FISPE Research chair FRQ-S on Medications and Pregnancy and Director Réseau Québécois de recherche sur le médicament (RQRM) and Professor, Research Chair on Medications, Pregnancy and Lactation Faculty of Pharmacy,University of Montreal and Director, Research Unit on Medications and Pregnancy Research Center CHU Ste-Justine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Intranasal corticosteroid (Nasacort) use during pregnancy for the treatment of seasonal allergies has increased over the past decade. Nasacort is now available over the counter since October 2013 in the US and January 2015 in Canada. Given that seasonal allergies are prevalent during pregnancy and that a medication available over-the-counter is likely to be used frequently, we aimed to study the risk of using Nasacort during gestation. Furthermore, given the potential public health impact, the objectives of our study were to assess the safety of intranasal triamcinolone exposure during pregnancy on the occurrence of major congenital malformations, small-for-gestational-age (SGA) newborn, and spontaneous abortions. Use of intranasal triamcinolone during the first trimester of pregnancy was not significantly associated with the risk of overall congenital malformations (OR 0.88, 95%CI 0.60-1.28; 31 exposed cases) compared to non-exposure; it was however associated with the risk of respiratory defects (OR 2.71, 95%CI 1.11-6.64; 5 exposed cases). This is important given that a medication given for the treatment of respiratory diseases is associated with respiratory defects in newborns. Pregnancy exposure to intranasal triamcinolone was not significantly associated with the risk of spontaneous abortions (OR 1.04, 95%CI 0.76-1.43; 50 exposed cases). No association was found between 2nd or 3rd trimester exposure to intranasal triamcinolone and the risk of SGA (OR 1.06, 95%CI 0.79-1.43; 50 exposed cases).
Asthma, Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 02.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Anju Joham (MBBS (Hons), FRACP, PhD) Endocrinologist, Monash Health Post doctoral Research Fellow Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation – MCHRI School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Monash University – in partnership with Monash Healtj MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Johan: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition affecting reproductive-aged women. Recent research suggests that asthma may be more commonly seen in women with PCOS; however, there are very limited studies that have examined this relationship. It will be helpful to understand if there is a relationship with PCOS and asthma. Women were randomly selected from the national health insurance database (Medicare) in Australia. Data was available for 8612 women. We found that in women aged 28 to 33 years, PCOS prevalence was 5.8% (95% CI: 5.3%-6.4%). The prevalence of asthma was 15.2% in women reporting PCOS and 10.6% in women not reporting PCOS respectively. PCOS was associated with 34% increased odds of asthma after adjusting for weight. In addition, weight in the overweight and obese range were associated with increased odds of asthma.
Asthma, Author Interviews, Education, Pediatrics / 25.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22192" align="alignleft" width="130"]Joy Hsu, MD, MS Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects National Center for Environmental Health CDC Atlanta GA 30341 Dr. Joy Hsu[/caption] Joy Hsu, MD, MS Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects National Center for Environmental Health CDC Atlanta GA 30341 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Hsu: Asthma is a leading cause of missed school days related to chronic illness. This study is based on survey data from 2006 to 2010 on children aged 17 years and younger with asthma from 35 states and the District of Columbia. 
AHA Journals, Asthma, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease / 15.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21625" align="alignleft" width="300"]Guo-Ping Shi, DSc and Dr. Cong-Lin Liu Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA Guo-Ping Shi, DSc and Dr. Cong-Lin Liu
Cardiovascular Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, MA[/caption] Guo-Ping Shi, DSc and Dr. Cong-Lin Liu Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Abdominal aortic aneurysm (commonly called AAA) is an aortic disease that affects 1~5% men above 50, depending on the countries and regions. There is currently no effective medication or prevention besides surgical repair. Fast growth or unstable AAA often leads to aortic rupture and sudden death. Although ultrasound can be used to monitor the size and growth of AAA, our current annual health examination system in the US does not include this service. We report that mast cells are essential to AAA (J Clin Invest. 2007;117:3359-68). These cells are predominant immune cells in allergic asthmatic lungs from humans and experimental animals. Plasma immunoglobulin E (IgE) level elevation is also a signature of allergic asthma. We report that IgE contributes to experimental AAA by activating mast cells, as well as other immune cells such as macrophages and T cells (EMBO Mol Med. 2014;6:952-69). Direct evidence from our recent study demonstrates that production of allergic asthma in mice doubles the AAA sizes in experimental mice (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2016;36:69-77). All these prior studies suggest a role of allergic asthma to the pathogenesis of AAA. In this human population-based nationwide case-control study (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2016 Feb 11. [Epub ahead of print]), we reported two major findings: First, among 15,942 Danish AAA patients selected from 1996 to 2012, compared to those who did not have asthma, patients who had hospital-diagnosed asthma within the past 12 months had 60% more risk to experience aortic rupture, and those who had hospital-diagnosed asthma within the past 6 months had greater than 100% more risk to experience aortic rupture. Further, patients who received anti-asthmatic treatment, as evidence of asthma, also had 20~50% more risk of experiencing aortic rupture than those who did not have record of anti-asthmatic treatment, depending on how recent the patients received the treatments. Second, among a general men population aged from 65 to 74, patients who used bronchodilating drugs to treat asthma or reversible obstructive pulmonary disease had 45% more risk to have AAA compared with those who never used bronchodilators. This risk was not affected by smoking or other major AAA risk factors.
Asthma, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 12.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21542" align="alignleft" width="133"]Maria C. Magnus Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo Norway Maria C. Magnus[/caption] Maria C. Magnus Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo Norway  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Researchers have found that developing asthma can be linked to pregnant women and infants being exposed to paracetamol, (acetaminophen) by testing that the association was not simply linked to the complaint for which the person is taking paracetamol. The findings were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology Using data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, researchers in Norway compared associations between several conditions during pregnancy (with and without the use of paracetamol) and asthma developing in the 114,500 children in the study. They examined asthma outcomes at ages three and seven and evaluated the likelihood of the association being as a result of the three most common uses of paracetamol in pregnancy: pain, fever, and influenza. The results showed that 5.7 per cent of the children had current asthma at age three, and 5.1 per cent had asthma at age seven. The research found that there was a strong link between children who had asthma at age three who had been exposed to paracetamol as during pregnancy or infancy. The strongest association was seen if the mother used paracetamol during pregnancy for more than one complaint with a child having asthma at three years old.
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease / 09.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21421" align="alignleft" width="180"]Dr. Meghan B. Azad PhD Assistant Professor Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Community Health Sciences University of Manitoba Associate Investigator, Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD Dr. Meghan Azad[/caption] Dr. Meghan B. Azad PhD Assistant Professor Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Community Health Sciences University of Manitoba and Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba Associate Investigator, Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Azad: Asthma is the most common reason for children to miss school or be admitted to hospital, and accounts for over 30% of Canadian healthcare billings for children. Although many treatments exist to manage asthma symptoms, it is a lifelong disease and there is no cure.  Prevention is the best approach to reduce the global burden of asthma, and our study provides important new information to inform asthma prevention strategies.   Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Azad: Wheezing is common in babies and young children.  Our study looked at the long-term implications of wheezing in early life, using data from the Canadian Asthma Primary Prevention Study (CAPPS). We followed 320 children from Winnipeg and Vancouver from before birth until adolescence, and found that specific patterns of early wheezing (from age 0 to 7) were associated with decreased lung function and increased risk for asthma by age 15. By age 15, children who wheezed consistently through infancy and early childhood had the worst lung function (9% lower compared to non-wheezers) and the highest asthma risk (11 times higher). Even children with “transient early wheeze” (those who wheezed as babies but not as young children) had reduced lung function (5% lower) and increased asthma risk (4 times higher) as teenagers.
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, JAMA / 04.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21055" align="alignleft" width="124"]Prof Dr. Dr. h.c. Claus Bachert Head Upper Airways Research Laboratory (URL) Chief of Clinics ENT-Department University Hospital Ghent Ghent, Belgium Prof. Claus Bachert[/caption] Prof Dr. Dr. h.c. Claus Bachert Head Upper Airways Research Laboratory (URL) Chief of Clinics ENT-Department University Hospital Ghent Ghent, Belgium Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Bachert: Chronic sinusitis with nasal polyposis represents mucosal inflammation, and polyps in the nasal cavity and sinuses, which result in long-term symptoms of nasal obstruction and congestion, reduction in or loss of sense of smell, and loss of quality of life. Patients with nasal obstruction or congestion have a two-fold higher risk of sleep dysfunction, increased fatigue, and decreased work productivity. About 40 percent of chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps patients develop asthma, which often is non-allergic late-onset disease. Treatment options consist of nasal and systemic glucocorticosteroids; long-term or repeated treatment with oral GCS carries a great risk of side effects in these patients. Surgery of the sinuses is another option, but recurrence of polyps is frequent. Further treatment options are highly needed. About 85% of nasal polyps represent a type 2 inflammation, with increased eosinophils and IgE formation. Dupilumab is an investigational therapy that inhibits signaling of IL-4 and IL-13, two key cytokines required for type 2 (Th2) immune responses. Dupilumab has been successfully administered in patients with asthma and atopic dermatitis. The current randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled group study enrolled 60 adult patients with chronic sinusitis with nasal polyposis refractory to intranasal corticosteroids at 13 sites in the United States and Europe. Following four weeks of mometasone furoate nasal spray (MFNS) run-in, patients in the study received 300 milligrams (mg) of dupilumab or placebo once per week subcutaneously for 16 weeks, after an initial loading dose of 600 mg. All patients in the study continued to receive daily MFNS. Eligible patients had bilateral nasal polyposis and showed chronic symptoms of sinusitis, despite treatment with an intranasal corticosteroid for at least two months. Fifty-eight percent of patients in the study had received prior nasal surgery for their condition.  ​ We found that dupilumab treatment was associated with significant improvements in endoscopic, clinical, radiographic, and pharmacodynamic end points after 16 weeks. Significant improvements in quality of life and in major symptoms, such as sense of smell, nasal congestion, and nocturnal awakenings,were reported. In those patients with asthma, also lung function and asthma control were significantly better with Dupilumab compared to placebo. Dupilumab was generally well tolerated, and no serious adverse events were considered to be related to dupilumab.​
Asthma, Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Vitamin D / 27.01.2016

More on Asthma on MedicalResearch.com [caption id="attachment_19464" align="alignleft" width="133"]Professor of Pediatrics Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Prof. Bisgaard[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc Professor of Pediatrics The Faculty of Health Sciences University of Copenhagen Head of the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood University  of Copenhagen and Naestved Hospital MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bisgaard: Vitamin D deficiency has become a common health problem in westernized societies, possibly caused by a more sedentary indoor lifestyle and decreased intake of vitamin D containing foods. Vitamin D possesses a range of immune regulatory properties, and it has been speculated that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may affect fetal immune programming and contribute to asthma pathogenesis. Asthma often begins in early childhood and is the most common chronic childhood disorder. Observational studies have suggested that increased dietary vitamin D intake during pregnancy may protect against wheezing in the offspring, but the preventive effect of vitamin D supplementation to pregnant women is unknown. In our double-blind, single-center, randomized clinical trial conducted within the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood 2010 cohort we supplemented 2800 IU/d of vitamin D3 during the third trimester of pregnancy compared with 400 IU/d in the control group. Although the maternal supplementation did not result in a statistically significant reduction of risk of persistent wheeze in the offspring through age 3 years, the interpretation of the study is limited by a wide confidence interval that includes a clinically important protective effect.
Asthma, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Vitamin D / 26.01.2016

[caption id="attachment_20929" align="alignleft" width="120"]Augusto A. Litonjua, MD, MPH Associate Professor Channing Division of Network Medicine and Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115 USA Dr. Augusto Litonjua[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Augusto A. Litonjua, MD, MPH Associate Professor Channing Division of Network Medicine and Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115 USA  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Vitamin D deficiency has been hypothesized to contribute to the asthma and allergy epidemic.  Vitamin D has been shown to affect lung development in utero. However, observational studies have shown mixed results when studying asthma development in young children. Since most asthma cases start out as wheezing illnesses in very young children, we hypothesized that vitamin D supplementation in pregnant mothers might prevent the development of asthma and wheezing illnesses in their offspring.  We randomly assigned 881 pregnant women at 10 to 18 weeks' gestation and at high risk of having children with asthma to receive daily 4,000 IU vitamin D plus a prenatal vitamin containing 400 IU vitamin D (n = 440), or a placebo plus a prenatal vitamin containing 400 IU vitamin D (n = 436). Eight hundred ten infants were born during the study period, and 806 were included in the analyses for the 3-year outcomes. The children born to mothers in the 4,400 IU group had a 20% reduction in the development of asthma or recurrent wheeze compared to the children born to mothers in the 400 IU group (24% vs 30%, respectively; an absolute reduction of 6%).  However, this reduction did not reach statistical significance (p=0.051).
Asthma, Author Interviews, Lancet, Pharmacology / 20.01.2016

[caption id="attachment_19464" align="alignleft" width="133"]Professor of Pediatrics Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Prof. Bisgaard[/caption] More on Asthma on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc Professor of Pediatrics The Faculty of Health Sciences University of Copenhagen Head of the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood University  of Copenhagen and Naestved Hospital Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Bisgaard: Childhood asthma is often preceded by recurrent asthma-like symptoms in relation to airway infections in the first years of life. Bacteria and viruses are equally associated with the risk of episodes of asthma-like symptoms in these children, suggesting antibiotics as a potential treatment for such episodes. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Bisgaard: Our study demonstrates a clinically significant shortening of symptom duration by 63% after intervention. The effect size increased with early initiation of treatment, showing a reduction in episode duration of 83% if treatment was initiated before day 6 of the episode. Azithromycin was effective in shortening the episodes even though no pathogenic bacteria was detected. This study is, to our knowledge, the first randomized trial of azithromycin treatment of acute episodes of asthma-like symptoms in young children with a history of recurrent episodes.
Asthma, Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 01.12.2015

[caption id="attachment_19639" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr Mairead Black MBChB, MRCOG, MSc Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust Clinical Lecturer, Obstetrics and Gynaecology School of Medicine and Dentistry, Division of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Cornhill Road Aberdeen AB25 2ZD Dr. Mairead Black[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Mairead Black MBChB, MRCOG, MSc Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust Clinical Lecturer, Obstetrics and Gynaecology School of Medicine and Dentistry, Division of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Cornhill Road Aberdeen AB25 2ZD  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Black: The current thinking is, if a baby is exposed to labour, then it is also exposed to ‘good bacteria’ that mothers pass on during the birth, and they are also exposed to a degree of natural stress at the time of birth that might make them more resistant to developing future illnesses. The World Health Organisation formerly recommended that no more than 15 percent of deliveries should be C-sections. However rates in some countries have soared – China and Brazil have rates in excess of 50%, whilst in the UK the figure is 26% with almost half of these being planned in advance. The main purpose of this study was to explore whether health outcomes in children up to very early adulthood differ according to how they are delivered and whether avoiding labour entirely, i.e. via a planned C-section, could put children at a disadvantage compared to those delivered vaginally or by emergency C-section, where most will have been exposed to labour. The study analysed data from over 300,000 births between 1993 and 2007 across Scotland, using routinely collected data from seven linked databases.
Annals Internal Medicine, Asthma, Author Interviews, Pharmacology / 16.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Miligkos, MD, MS Laboratory of Biomathematics, University of Thessaly School of Medicine Larissa, Greece Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Miligkos: Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases with and has considerable social and economic burdens. Although inhaled corticosteroids constitute the current gold standard of maintenance treatment, leukotriene-receptor antagonists (LTRAs) have the advantages of oral once- or twice- daily dosing and, apparent avoidance of the adverse effects associated with long-term corticosteroid therapy. In addition, their mechanisms of action theoretically predicts a good response in patients with specific asthma “phenotypes”. This systematic review investigated the use of all marketed LTRAs in usual licensed doses as asthma controller medications compared with placebo and found that administration of a LTRA to adults and adolescents with asthma significantly reduced the risk for an exacerbation. In trials of LTRA monotherapy, LTRAs significantly improved asthma control compared with placebo, whereas only some measures of asthma control were significantly improved in trials of LTRAs used as add-on use therapy to ICSs.