Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA / 21.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Liu, MPhil Rhodes Scholar,MPhil in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation. Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past few decades, research has shown that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals have worse health outcomes and face unique challenges related to their experiences and costs of care. These disparities are driven by “minority stress” associated with belonging to a marginalized group. Such stressors erode health through a range of structural and interpersonal forces, including employment discrimination, family rejection, and internalized stigma One early analysis established national baseline estimates for LGB health outcomes using 2013-2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data. Since then, there have been substantial shifts in social policy and public opinion that may have differentially affected sexual minority subgroups. The US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges guaranteed the constitutional right to same-sex marriage across all states. Over the last decade, states have expanded rights and protections for LGB populations related to employment and housing discrimination, sexual orientation conversion efforts, HIV criminalization, and religious exemptions. Public support for LGB-related issues has also been increasing with more representation in media, uptake of LGB-affirming policies, and advocacy efforts. No studies have assessed national trends in health status or healthcare access among specific sexual minority subgroups amid the rapidly shifting sociocultural and policy landscape. Thus, we sought out to evaluate if and how health status and healthcare access have changed between 2013 and 2018 in the US among LGB adults, and whether differences relative to their heterosexual counterparts have changed over time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 21.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shinobu Itagaki, MD, MSc Assistant Professor Cardiovascular Surgery Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Were the transplants from a single donor? Response: The heart transplantation is the gold standard therapy for end-stage heart failure patients. As the kidney is affected by the heart function, it is common that the heart transplant candidates have some degree of kidney dysfunction as well. In these cases, the candidates are considered for simultaneous heart and kidney transplantation from a same donor. Unlike isolated heart transplantation, where the indication and benefits have been well established, simultaneous heart and kidney transplantation has less clear indication and benefits. This uncertainty is also complicated by the competing interest with isolated kidney transplantation candidates who in general wait longer on the waiting list. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, NIH, Pediatrics / 20.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Natalie Shaw, M.D., MMSc. Principal Investigator Head of the Pediatric Neuroendocrinology Group Dr. Shaw holds a secondary appointment in NIEHS Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory.   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe the two affected conditions? Dr. Shaw: Congenital arhinia is a rare congenital malformation characterized by the complete absence of an external nose and internal olfactory (smell) structures.  It is frequently associated with eye and reproductive defects.  Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) type 2 is a form of muscular dystrophy that presents in young adulthood.  Both conditions are caused by mutations in the gene SMCHD1.  In FSHD type 2, we know that loss of SMCHD1 activity leads to expression of a toxic protein called DUX4 in muscle.  The cause of arhinia was unknown. (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Sleep Disorders / 16.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael RSchutz, Ph.D. Professor of Music Cognition/Percussion at McMaster University Founding director of the MAPLE Lab and Core member of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind. Prof. Schutz is also a professional musician and directs McMaster’s percussion ensemble.   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hospitals around the world are filled with devices generating aconstant stream of tones conveying information to medical staff.overburdened healthcare professionals, and contributes to burnout inmedical staff.  The Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI) regularlyincludes problems with auditory alarms in their list of "Top 10 HealthTechnology Hazards" and they  are so problematic an FDA surveyimplicated them in hundreds of patient deaths.While there is currently a lot of interest in how to improve alarmmanagement protocols, this study is different in that it looks atimproving the quality of the alarm sounds themselves.  For historicalreasons many default to simplistic "beeps" which are generallyannoying.  While annoying is useful for critical alarms requiringimmediate action, the vast majority of these messages are merelyintended to update medical staff of changes (i.e. blood pressure isrising) or indicate other situations that do not require immediateaction. Unfortunately, many machines use the same simplistic andannoying "beeps" regardless of whether the messages are urgent ornon-urgent.  This constant flood of annoying beeps negatively affectsboth patients (extending recovery time due to interrupted rest) andstaff (who can develop "alarm fatigue" from the constant cacophony). (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Genetic Research, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 15.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Sara Mahdavi, PhD Clinical Scientist and Clinical Instructor Research Appointment in the Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto Toronto, ON MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This was a long-term study spanning 16 years and began with a population of young adults who were medically assessed on a regular basis. It was remarkable to see just how striking the effects of coffee were in the group that had the susceptible genetic variant, what we termed “slow caffeine metabolizers” yet no effect whatsoever in those who did not were termed “fast metabolizers”. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, Nature / 14.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melanie Balbach PhD Postdoctoral Associate in Pharmacology Weill Cornell Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: For men, the only two options for birth control currently available are condoms and vasectomy. Additional contraceptive methods are required to more equally distribute the burden of contraception between men and women. We aim to develop an on-demand contraceptive pill for men where sperm motility and thereby fertility is only blocked for multiple hours. The idea is that men take our contraceptive shortly before intercourse and regain fertility about 24 hours later. (more…)
Author Interviews, Case Western, Stroke / 13.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amrou Sarraj, MD FAHAProfessor of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University School of MedicineGeorge M. Humphrey II Endowed Chair, University Hospitals Neurological Institute Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center and Stroke Systems, University Hospitals MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Endovascular thrombectomy was proven safe and effective in patients with acute ischemic, stroke, neurologist, occlusion presenting up to 24 hours from last known well in multiple clinical trials. Patients with large ischemic changes were largely excluded from those trials, and thus limited randomized evidence of thrombectomy in this patient population exists. Our study found that thrombectomy improved the odds of achieving better functional outcomes by 1.5 times in patients with large ischemic changes on non-contrast CT or perfusion imaging. Proportion of patients achieving functional independence (mRS 0-2) and Independent ambulation (mRS 0-3) were also significantly higher with thrombectomy. Symptomatic hemorrhage occurred in very few patients and was not higher with thrombectomy. Results from analyses of subgroup based on clinical and imaging characteristics were also largely similar to those of primary analysis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, JAMA / 13.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David A. Hyman, JD, MD The Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Health Law & Policy Georgetown University Law Center Washington, DC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many doctors believe medical malpractice claiming is effectively random — meaning good doctors are equally likely as bad doctors to end up being the target of a malpractice claim.  Past research has studied whether physicians with 2 paid claims are likely to have another claim than doctors with 1 paid claim. We study whether physicians with 1 paid claim are more likely to have another paid claim, compared to physicians with zero paid claims.  We also compare the pattern of observed claims with what we would expect to find if claiming were truly random (by running a simulation). (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Vaccine Studies / 10.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kenya Colvin, MBS Department of Medical Education Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Vaccine hesitancy is a major driver of COVID-19 vaccination disparities between minority and non-Hispanic White communities. Our goal was to understand what factors influenced vaccine hesitancy among individuals in Eastern Pennsylvania to identify more effective ways to promote vaccine uptake within minority communities. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, NEJM / 09.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian S Kim, MD, MTR Sol and Clara Kest Professor Vice Chair of Research | Site Chair, Mount Sinai West and Morningside Director, Mark Lebwohl Center for Neuroinflammation and Sensation The Kimberly and Eric J. Waldman Department of Dermatology Precision Immunology Institute | Friedman Brain Institute Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We generated preliminary data in mice that difelikefalin suppresses itch robustly with very little to no effect on inflammation in a model of atopic dermatitis. This led us to hypothesize that the primary mode of action of difelikefalin must be by direct modulation of sensory neurons to suppress itch and thus would be best suited for a neuropathic itch condition. These are conditions in which itch occurs relatively independently of skin inflammation as in atopic dermatitis due to hyperactive nerves. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, JAMA, Pediatrics, UCSD / 08.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karen Pierce, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Neurosciences, UCSD Co-Director, Autism Center of Excellence, UCSD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The mean age of ASD diagnosis and eventual treatment remains at ~52 months in the United States1 - years beyond the disorder’s prenatal origins2, and beyond the age when it can be reliably diagnosed in many cases3. Currently the only way to determine if a child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is to receive a developmental evaluation from an experienced clinician (usually a licensed clinical psychologist). There are often long waiting lists, and only a small number of clinicians have the experience required to make early-age (i.e., between 12-36 months) diagnoses of ASD. Thus, there are many places in the country as well as world wide wherein children wait months or years to receive a formal diagnosis due to a lack of available expertise. Moreover, diagnostic evaluations are expensive and usually cost the parent and/or insurance approximately ~$2,000 or more per evaluation.  Finally, clinical evaluations usually take between 2-3 hours to complete and result in fatigue for both the parent and toddler. Eye-tracking, which generates biologically-relevant, objective, and quantifiable metrics of both visual and auditory preference profiles in babies and toddlers in just minutes, is a technology that can dramatically change how ASD is diagnosed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Mental Health Research / 08.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yuan, Zhongshang PhD Department of Biostatistics School of Public Health Shandong University Jinan, Shandong, China What is the background for this study? Response: Comorbidities and genetic correlations between gastrointestinal tract diseases and psychiatric disorders have been widely reported, with the gut-brain axis (GBA) hypothesized as a potential biological basis. However, it is unclear the degree to which the shared genetic determinants contribute to these associations underlying GBA. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Opiods / 07.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian Piper, PhD MS Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Center for Pharmacy Innovation & Outcomes Geisinger School of Graduate Education MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Methadone is an evidence-based treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and pain. However, this Schedule II opioid can also cause respiratory depression, which can result in lethality. The need for supervised administration is a long-standing source of frustration in the U.S. for many opioid use disorder (OUD) methadone patients. However, there was an accommodation in early 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. This involved extending the take-home supply to up to 28-days for stable patients and 14 days for less stable patients. Prior research found that the implementation of supervised administration in England greatly reduced methadone overdoses [1]. The primary objective of this study [2] from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine was to determine if the relaxation of the take-home rules resulted in more methadone overdoses. (more…)
Author Interviews / 03.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tom Arild TorstensenTom Arild Torstensen Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society Division of Physiotherapy, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden and Holten Institute, Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: People suffering from pain due to knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a major and increasing problem. There there is today good scientific evidence for different forms of exercise therapy, but there is no agreement regarding what type of exercises and what dose of exercise therapy is best. Thus, we wanted to investigate if high dose medical exercise therapy is superior to low dose. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, NEJM, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 02.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manuel García Cenoz MD,  PhDInstituto de Salud Pública de Navarra - IdiSNA, Pamplona, SpainCIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Madrid MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of severe disease in infants and children. After the introduction of serogroup C vaccines, serogroup B meningococcus has become the main cause of invasive meningococcal disease in Europe. The multicomponent protein-based meningococcal B vaccine (4CMenB, Bexsero, GSK) was licensed in the European Union in 2013. Its authorization was based on immunogenicity studies. Although some countries have introduced the 4CMenB vaccine into the publicly-funded infant immunization programs, the low incidence of the disease has limited the conduct of post-commercialization studies of effectiveness.Meningococcal B vaccine began to be used in Spain in children in 2014, recommended by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, and paid by their families as it was not publicly-funded. We have conducted a nationwide study including all confirmed cases of invasive meningococcal disease in Spain between October 2015 and September 2019 in children aged two months to five years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Weight Research / 31.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa Dinkler, Ph.D. | Postdoctoral researcher Center for Eating Disorders Innovation (CEDI) Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a relatively recently defined eating disorder. Affected people severely restrict their food intake in terms of total amount or variety. This leads to serious physical, psychological, and social consequences such as weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, and social isolation. Compared to people with other eating disorders – such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder – food restriction in people with ARFID is not driven by body dissatisfaction or the desire to lose weight. Despite how serious ARFID is, we still know very little about what causes it – making it difficult to develop effective treatments. We do know that genetic factors contribute significantly to the development of other eating disorders (so-called heritability), but we did not yet know to which degree genetic factors play a role in the development of ARFID. We therefore conducted the first twin study of ARFID, using a sample of ~34,000 Swedish twins including ~700 children with ARFID. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JCEM, Pharmacology / 28.01.2023

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle, MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tingting Geng PhD Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene Hubei Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety Ministry of Education Key Lab of Environment and Health State Key Laboratory of Environment Health (Incubating) School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College Huazhong University of Science and Technology Wuhan, China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous studies have suggested that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may lead to an increase in cardiovascular events due to the drug-drug interactions between PPIs and clopidogrel and gut microbiota dysbiosis. Patients with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) are at more than three times higher prevalence of using PPIs, and two- to fourfold higher risk of developing cardiovascular complications and premature death than general populations. However, evidence regarding the influence of PPI use on subsequent risks of cardiovascular disease and mortality among patients with T2D is scarce. We conducted a prospective study using the UK Biobank study to examine the association of PPI use with risks of coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure, stroke and mortality among patients with T2D. Using multivariable-adjusted Cox regression models and a propensity score-matched cohort, researchers found robust results that PPIs use was associated with a higher risk of coronary artery disease (adjusted HR=1.27), myocardial infarction (adjusted HR=1.34), heart failure (adjusted HR=1.35), and mortality (adjusted HR=1.30). (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Gender Differences, Kidney Disease, NEJM, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 26.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. dr. Hans Pottel KU Leuven Kulak Department of Public Health and Primary Care Belgium MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is used to diagnose patients with chronic kidney disease and is also used to adjust the dose of drugs that are eliminated by the kidneys. An accurate estimation of GFR is considered of importance in the management of kidney health in patients. In 2021 we published a new serum creatinine based equation, called the European Kidney Function Consortium (EKFC) equation (Pottel H. et al, Development and Validation of a Modified Full Age Spectrum Creatinine-Based Equation to Estimate Glomerular Filtration Rate : A Cross-sectional Analysis of Pooled Data. Ann Intern Med (2021) 174: 183-191): EKFC-eGFR = 107.3 / [Biomarker/Q]a x [0.990(Age – 40) if age > 40 years] With a = 0.322 if Biomarker/Q is less than 1, and a = 1.132 if Biomarker/Q is 1 or more. The equation can easily be interpreted: the leading coefficient equals the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 107.3 mL/min/1.73m², which is the average GFR in healthy children (aged > 2 years), adolescents and young adults. The average healthy GFR remains constant until the age of 40 years, and starts decreasing beyond that age. The GFR is inversely related to the ‘rescaled’ biomarker. The rescaling factor (Q) is the average biomarker value for healthy people of a specific population (e.g. children, adult men, adult women, white people, black people, …). Biomarker/Q equals ‘1’ for the average healthy person, corresponding with eGFR = 107.3 mL/min/1.73m² (up to 40 years of age). It should be noted that for serum creatinine, the Q-value depends on sex and race. Our hypothesis was that the above equation is valid for any renal biomarker, on the condition that the biomarker is appropriately scaled. We showed that the same equation was able to estimate GFR from 2 years to oldest ages. In the current study we tested and validated our hypothesis by applying the above formula for appropriately ‘rescaled’ cystatin C. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 22.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Grandahl, Associate Professor, PhD, Senior lecturer Director of Education in Nursing and Midwifery programs Uppsala University Department of Women’s and Children’s Health on behalf of authors: Dr Jenny Stern, Dr Eva-Lotta Funkquist and Dr Maria Grandahl MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Conflicting advice and non-evidence-based recommendations have a negative effect on breastfeeding. Since 2011, the National Food Agency in Sweden has informed parents that they can introduce tiny tastings (1 mL of solid food, i.e. other sources of nutrition than breastmilk/formula) to infants from four months of age. It is unknown how national recommendations, which differ from the Word Health Organization’s recommendation, affect breastfeeding. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Pharmaceutical Companies, Yale / 22.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Neeraj Patel Medical Student (MS-2), Yale School of Medicine New Haven, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising has been increasing in popularity for the past two decades or so, particularly via television. But it’s highly controversial. Only two high-income countries (the U.S. and New Zealand) widely permit this type of advertising for prescription drugs. Critics have pointed to a growing body of literature that suggests that direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs can be misleading, lead to inappropriate prescribing, and inflate healthcare costs. Proponents have argued that it improves public health by promoting clinically beneficial prescribing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hip Fractures, Lipids / 20.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Monira Hussain Senior Research Fellow & ECF Clinical Research Australian Fellow Public Health and Preventive Medicine Monash University Melbourne VIC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  25% of males and 44% of females aged 60 years or over experience minimal trauma fractures. Minimal trauma fractures are a clinical outcome of osteoporosis and may occur following little or no trauma i.e. fractures following a fall from standing height or less. Minimal trauma fractures are silent, people may not notice that they are at high risk of the disease until a bone is broken. I was aware of previous studies reporting that high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was elevated in patients with osteoporosis. Two animal studies showing that HDL-C reduces bone mineral density by reducing osteoblast number and function provide a plausible explanation for why high HDL-C may increase the risk of fractures. Our study, the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE), and the ASPREE fracture substudy provide unique data that could determine whether these findings might apply to fracture risk in healthy older adults. The study collected data including HDL-C levels and fractures from more than 16,000 community-dwelling older adults. These participants were followed-up for a median of 4 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, MRSA, NIH / 18.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Otto PhD Senior Investigator Laboratory of Bacteriology Chief of the Pathogen Molecular Genetics Section NIAID, NIH Bethesda, MD 20814 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Staphylococcus aureus is one the of the most important causes of infectious diseases worldwide. It is known mostly for causing skin infections in the community and as a hospital-associated pathogen. It is in fact the most frequent cause of infections patients acquire in the hospital when they are weakened by underlying diseases or immune-suppressing therapy. The type of infections Staph can cause in these situations are diverse – comprising bone, lung, and blood infections (sepsis) - and can be quite severe and often fatal. Except for moderately severe skin infections that may not require antibiotic treatment, treatment of Staph infections is by antibiotics. S. aureus has naturally been very responsive to penicillin-type antibiotics, but already in the mid of the last century, resistance to penicillin spread worldwide. Then, methicillin was invented to overcome this resistance, but nowadays there also is considerable spread of methicillin-resistant strains (MRSA). The current situation is difficult for two reasons:
  • First, S. aureus has become increasingly resistant to many antibiotics, and
  • Second, the alternatives to methicillin are often by far not as efficient as penicillin/methicillin against Staph.
Researchers have therefore been searching for alternatives to antibiotics to treat Staph infections. Unfortunately, vaccines that work against Staph have not yet been produced despite intensive efforts for decades. Other modern approaches of treatment, like virulence-targeted drugs or phages are still only at the early investigational level. As with many diseases, an alternative to treatment is prevention. In the case of S. aureus, a type of preventative strategy that has often been proposed and tested is decolonization. This is based on the fact that ~ 1/3 of the population is naturally colonized with S. aureus (asymptomatically), and these colonized people have an increased risk of being infected. In other words, Staph infections stem from the Staph you carry on your body and which only under certain conditions causes infection. Thus, eliminating the colonizing Staph would reduce the risk for infection, which is the basis for Staph decolonization-based infection prevention strategies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, JAMA, Sleep Disorders, Yale / 18.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: César Caraballo-Cordovez, MD Postdoctoral Associate Yale/YNHH Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) New Haven, CT 06511 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our group has been interested in how patients’ experience during hospitalization impacts their recovery and their health for a while. In 2013, Dr. Harlan Krumholz (senior author of the current study) identified that patients who were recently hospitalized experienced a period of generalized risk for myriad adverse health events, a condition that he named ‘post-hospital syndrome’. One of the possible explanations for this observation is that the stress from being hospitalized negatively impacts patients’ health during their stay in the hospital and after being discharged. The stress in a hospital may come from different sources–including sleep deprivation. Sleep is fundamental for recovery, and there are many challenges for patients to have adequate sleep while being hospitalized. Among the many sources of sleep interruption are early morning blood draws. Blood draws are often performed in the early morning in order to have recent lab tests results available during morning medical rounds. However, this common practice may disrupt patients’ recovery by interrupting their sleep. We were interested in determining to what extent blood draws contribute to early morning sleep disruptions and whether there has been recent progress in reducing them. We used data from Yale New Haven Hospital from 2016 to 2019 and found that nearly 4 in 10 of total daily blood draws were collected between 4:00am and 7:00am–a proportion that was persistently high over the 3 years we studied. Importantly, we found that this occurred across patients with different sociodemographic characteristics, including older individuals who are at highest risk of adverse health events from sleep deprivation. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 13.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Casey Hribar Fourth-year medical student University of North Carolina MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several great pieces of literature already exist about patient perception of doctors wearing white coats, formal attire, business attire, and the like. But recently, scrubs are garnering favor, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there has been some interest in what is worn over scrubs (jackets, vests, name tags, etc.), to our knowledge, there has not been any investigation into scrub color. Scrubs are a highly variable article of clothing, from fit, to pockets, pattern, and color, and it makes sense that these variations could have their own associated perceptions. Our study served as a way to open up the conversation around scrubs and the potential impact of their color on patients. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, BMJ, Immunotherapy, Pediatrics / 13.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: A/Prof Luke GrzeskowiakPhD | BPharm(Hons) | GCertClinEpid | AdvPracPharm | FSHP Associate Professor (Practitioner Fellow) Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation Fellow in Medicines Use and Safety College of Medicine & Public Health Flinders University Affiliate Research Fellow – South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) Specialist Pharmacist – Flinders Women & Children, Flinders Medical Centre Adjunct Research Fellow – Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University Adjunct Research Fellow – Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Peanut allergy affects 1-3% of children in Western countries, making it the most common food-related allergen. Only a small percentage (20%) of children grow out of their peanut allergy, with allergen avoidance and provision of rescue medications for the management of allergic reactions being the recognised mainstay of treatment for many years. However, avoidance of peanuts provides many challenges for children and their caregivers and requires children and caregivers to be hypervigilant regarding peanut ingestion, creating a significant burden. This burden can have a real impact on quality of life for children and their families. In more recent years there has been emerging interest in what is referred to as oral immunotherapy as an active preventive treatment to reduce the risk of accidental peanut exposure. Oral immunotherapy involves exposing children to an extremely small dose of peanut, typically in the form of peanut flour, and then gradually increasing that dose over time to build tolerance. We have been looking at opportunities for making oral immunotherapy safer, which would then make it more suitable for more people. Our previous research showed that boiling peanuts alters its protein structure and allergic properties, meaning they were less likely to cause a severe allergic reaction, but were still able to improve tolerance to peanut allergens. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Melanoma, Vitamin C / 10.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Editors' note:  Please consult your health care provider before initiating any vitamin supplementation, including Vitamin D as potentially serious side effects are possible. MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Ilkka T Harvima Department of Dermatology University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital Kuopio, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The North Savo Skin Cancer Program in Eastern Finland was launched in 2017, and it aims at reducing the incidence, morbidity and mortality caused by skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. A part of this program constituted a follow-up project of patients with an assessed risk of skin cancer. There are also several other parts, such as analysis of skin cancer material reposited in the Biobank of Eastern Finland (see the enclosed BMC Cancer 2021 reference), public information, education of general physicians and medical students etc. In 2021, we published the article in BMC Cancer (enclosed), where we attempted to clarify the reasons for the relatively high melanoma mortality in relation to its incidence in this region (North Savo) of the country. By using the biobank material we also published an article in 2022 showing that melanoma and melanoma in situ associate with keratinocytic premalignant lesions and keratinocyte skin carcinomas (Suhonen V, Siiskonen H, Suni M, Rummukainen J, Mannermaa A, Harvima IT. Malignant and in situ subtypes of melanoma are associated with basal and squamous cell carcinoma and its precancerous lesions. Eur J Dermatol 2022 Apr 1;32(2):187-194. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2022.4221.). The follow-up study of about 500 subjects is ongoing (COVID-19 caused pretty much trouble for the recruitment). This is focused on finding risk factors and biomarkers for skin cancers and carcinogenesis. The first study on these follow-up patients was published in 2021 (Komulainen J, Siiskonen H, Harvima IT. Association of elevated serum tryptase with cutaneous photodamage and skin cancers. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2021;182(11):1135-1142. doi: 10.1159/000517287.). The article on vitamin D just recently published in Melanoma Research on Dec 28, 2022, is the second one. The third work in pipeline deals with the association of atopic disorders with skin cancers, and the manuscript is under revision. So, these provide with some background for the article in Melanoma Research. Actually, we thought that vitamin D use might associate with skin photoaging, actinic keratoses and carcinogenesis, but the only, though very important, finding was its association with melanoma. We have not focused our research just on vitamin D only, but it looks like we need to go further. (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, JAMA, Johns Hopkins / 10.01.2023

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle,   MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alison R. Huang, PhD MPH Senior Research Associate Cochlear Center for Hearing & Public Health Department of Epidemiology Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hearing loss is a critical public health issue affecting two-thirds of older adults over 70 years old. There is growing understanding of a strong link between hearing loss and dementia, which impacts millions of Americans. Our main findings are that in a nationally representative sample of older adults in the United States from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, every 10 decibel increase in hearing loss was associated with 16% greater prevalence of dementia, such that prevalence of dementia in older adults with moderate or greater hearing loss was 61% higher than prevalence in those with normal hearing. We also found that in older adults with moderate or greater hearing loss, hearing aid use was associated with a 32% lower prevalence of dementia. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods / 29.12.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alden MiletoAlden Mileto, BA Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The drug buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, originally developed in the 1960s as an alternative to the stronger full opioid mu receptor agonists like morphine. Today, the drug is sometimes used for pain, but is more often used as a treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Since the 2002 federal approval for buprenorphine use in treatment of OUD, there has been an increase in buprenorphine prescription across all states. However recent studies have showed a disproportionate increase in buprenorphine prescriptions to rural/ less populated areas in comparison to urban/densely populated areas. The objective of this study [1] was to analyze the trends in buprenorphine distribution, overall and by three-digit zip codes, in Pennsylvania from 2010-2020. (more…)