Patients’ Trust in Medical Profession Declined After Open Payments

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Genevieve Kanter, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Health Management and Policy Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Genevieve Kanter


Genevieve P. Kanter, PhD

Assistant Professor (Research) of Medicine
Medical Ethics and Health Policy
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA  19104-6021

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

 

Response: Physicians frequently have financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device firms, but only recently has information on these financial ties been made available to the public. The Open Payments program, created by the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, has made this industry payments information available through a public website since 2014.

Because transparent institutions are believed to engender greater public trust, public disclosure of industry payments could increase public trust in the medical profession, which may have been weakened by physicians’ relationships with industry. On the other hand, Open Payments may have decreased public trust because of the focus of media reporting on physicians receiving the largest sums of money.

We sought to investigate how Open Payments and the public disclosure of industry payments affected public trust in physicians and in the medical profession. We compared changes in trust among patients who lived in states where payments information had, by state statute, previously been made available, to changes in trust among patients who lived in states where this information became newly available through Open Payments.

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Suboptimal Physical Activity in Women Associated With Increased Healthcare Spending

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Erin D. Michos, MD, MHS, FACC, FAHA, FASE
Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Associate Director of Preventive Cardiology
Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Victor Okunrintemi, MD, MPH
Department of Internal Medicine
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Women are less physically active than men on average, and the lack of regular physical activity has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and poorer health outcomes. Although recommendations encouraging regular physical activity has been in place for decades, we do not know how much of these recommendations are met, particularly among high risk women with established cardiovascular disease for secondary prevention.

This study was therefore designed with the aim of describing the 10-year trends for the proportion of women with cardiovascular disease who do not meet these recommend physical activity levels, overall and by key sociodemographic groups, and the associated cost implications.

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Bacteria in Intestinal Microbiome Freely Transfer Genes To Each Other

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kyung Mo Kim

Senior research scientist
Korea Polar Research Institute.
Professor Gustavo Caetano-Anollés
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
University of Illinois
Arshan Nasir
Distinguished Fellow
Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Horizontal gene transfer is the process by which unrelated microorganisms can exchange genes. The famous examples would be transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among bacteria that renders many commercially expensive antibiotics useless. From an evolutionary point of view, it complicates our understanding of how bacteria are related since even distantly-related bacteria can share genes and then cluster together on evolutionary trees. Thus better understanding horizontal evolution is important for both public health and our basic understanding of microbial taxonomy and evolution.

There are some excellent existing methods of HGT detection that compare DNA features (e.g. GC%, codon usage) or statistical similarity between genomes to identify foreign genes. However, these methods work better to identify recently transferred genes. Transfers that happened millions or billions of years ago cannot be reliably detected since DNA sequences evolve over time during which foreign DNA can become more host-like. That is why we focused our attention on utilizing approaches that are based on sound evolutionary principles.

If a gene is horizontally acquired, then a phylogenetic tree of that gene will be different from the reference or known tree of the organisms. The true phylogenetic tree of organisms describes how organisms have descended from a common ancestor through inheritance of genes. If a gene is acquired from a source outside the parents or from an unrelated organism, then there will be a conflict between gene tree and the reference/known species tree. This conflict can be indication of HGT. Continue reading

Brain Aging Impacted by Modifiable Risk Factors

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Carla R. Schubert, MS

Researcher,  EpiSense Research Program
Dept. of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
School of Medicine and Public Health
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI  53726-2336 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Mildlife is an important time-period for health later in life and also when declines in sensory and cognitive functions may begin to occur. Hearing, vision and smell impairments have been associated with cognitive impairments in older adults and with worse cognitive function in middle-aged adults.  These associations may be reflecting the close integration of sensory and cognitive systems as both require good brain function.

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Growth in Rural Emergency Department Visits Outpace Urban Increases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Margaret B. Greenwood-Ericksen MD, MScDepartment of Emergency MedicineUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerque, NM 87109

Dr. Greenwood-Ericksen

Margaret B. Greenwood-Ericksen MD, MSc
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87109

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: I’m an emergency physician, so I see first-hand how emergency department use patterns provide a lens into the status of health care delivery in the communities they serve. Troubling declines in the health of rural Americans coupled with rising rural hospital closures – with little access to alternative sites of care like urgent care – all led me to hypothesize that rural populations may be engaging with the health care system differently than their urban counterparts.

Understanding the health care use of individuals in rural areas may yield insights into addressing rural health disparities. Further, this information may help healthcare systems and policymakers to make data-driven decisions informing new models of healthcare delivery for rural communities.

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Surgical Outcomes Found to be Better at ‘Brand Name’ than Affiliate Cancer Hospitals

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Daniel J. Boffa, MDAssociate Professor of Thoracic SurgeryYale School of Medicine

Dr. Boffa

Daniel J. Boffa, MD
Associate Professor of Thoracic Surgery
Yale School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Prominent cancer hospitals have been sharing their brands with smaller hospitals in the community.  We conducted a series of nationally representative surveys and found that a significant proportion of the U.S. public assumes that the safety of care is the same at all hospitals that share the same respected brand.  In an effort to determine if safety was in fact the same, we examined complex surgical procedures in the Medicare database.

We compared the chance of dying within 90 days of surgery between top-ranked hospitals, and the affiliate hospitals that share their brands.  When taking into account differences in patient age, health, and type of procedure, Medicare patients were 1.4 times more likely to die after surgery at the affiliate hospitals, compared to those having surgery at the top-ranked cancer hospitals.

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Epilepsy: Genetic Testing Should Include Parental Sampling

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Ahmad Abou Tayoun, PhDClinical Molecular GeneticistDirector of the Genetics LaboratoryAl Jalila Children’sUnited Arab Emirates

Dr. Abou Tayoun

Dr. Ahmad Abou Tayoun, PhD
Clinical Molecular Geneticist
Director of the Genetics Laboratory
Al Jalila Children’s
United Arab Emirates

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: In this study, we provide data in favor of using an exome-based testing approach, where parental samples can be readily accessible, for early onset epilepsy patients. The exome test includes all coding genes in the human genome. Although we perform exome sequencing on those patients, we demonstrate that a first tier analysis should include targeted interpretation of ~100 genes strongly associated with the disease. This analysis provides diagnoses in ~11% of the patients. Follow up parental testing on a limited number of patients (n=15) that had inconclusive results, revealed de novo (new mutations) variant status, leading to upgrade to positive reports in 7 patients and adding ~5% to the overall diagnostic yield.

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TRAP: Traffic Related Air Pollution Linked to Millions of Pediatric Asthma Cases Worldwide

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ploy Pattanun Achakulwisut, PhD
Postdoctoral Scientist in Climate change, Air pollution, and Public Health
Milken Institute School of Public Health (Anenberg Group
The George Washington University, D.C 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Dozens of epidemiological studies have found positive and generally statistically significant associations between long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) and asthma development in children. The evidence is most robust for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a major component of and commonly used surrogate for the complex TRAP mixture. Recent reviews conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada concluded that there is “likely a causal relationship” between long-term NO2 exposure and pediatric asthma development.

Using NO2 as a proxy for TRAP, our study provides the first global estimate of the number of new asthma cases among children that are attributable to traffic pollution, using fine spatial-scale global datasets that can resolve within-city and near-roadway NO2 exposures.

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Lead in Topsoil Linked to Cognitive Difficulties in 5 Year Old Boys

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Edson R. Severnini PhDAssistant Professor Of Economics And Public PolicyCarnegie Mellon University

Dr. Severnini

Edson R. Severnini PhD
Assistant Professor Of Economics And Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Although lead has been banned from gasoline, paint, and other substances in the United States and many other countries around the world, the legacy of lead use is a critical environmental and public health issue. Surface soil contamination, in particular, has been long recognized as an important pathway of human lead exposure, and is now a worldwide health concern.

This study estimates the causal effects of exposure to lead in topsoil on cognitive ability among 5-year-old children. We draw on individual level data from the 2000 U.S. Census, and USGS data on lead in topsoil covering a broad set of counties across the United States.

We find that higher lead in topsoil increases considerably the probability of 5-year-old boys experiencing cognitive difficulties such as learning, remembering, concentrating, or making decisions. Living in counties with topsoil lead concentration above the national median roughly doubles the probability of 5-year-old boys having cognitive difficulties. This harmful effect does not seem to extend to 5-year-old girls, potentially due to the natural protection of estrogen.  Continue reading

How Many Cancer Patients Use Complementary or Alternative Medicine Treatments?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nina Niu Sanford, M.D. Assistant ProfessorUT Southwestern Department of Radiation OncologyDallas TX 75390

Dr. Niu Sanford

Nina Niu Sanford, M.D.
Assistant Professor
UT Southwestern Department of Radiation Oncology
Dallas TX 75390

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: There has been increasing interest in use of complementary and alternative medicine in the oncology population – both in terms of its potential efficacy and harms.

The main finding of this study is that approximately 1/3 of cancer patients and survivors self-reported using complementary or alternative medicine over the past year, the most common being herbal supplements.

Of these patients, approximately 1/3 did not disclose to their physicians that they were doing so.

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Stress from Traumatic Events Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Huan Song Associated Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet

Huan Song

Huan Song, PhD
Center of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine,
University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) presents a group of diseases that are common and sometimes fatal in general population. The possible role of stress-related disorders in the development of CVD has been reported. However, the main body of the preceding evidence was derived from male samples (veterans or active-duty military personnel) focusing mainly on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or self-reported PTSD symptoms. Data on the role of stress-related disorders in CVD in women were, until now, limited. Although incomplete control for familial factors and co-occurring psychiatric disorder, as well as the sample size restriction, limit the solid inference on this association, especially for subtypes of CVD.

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New Probiotic Targets Harmful Intestinal Biofilm in Crohn’s Disese

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, PhDDirector of the Center for Medical MycologyCase Western Reserve School of Medicine and UH

Dr. Ghannoum

Professor Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, PhD
Director of the Center for Medical Mycology
Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and UH

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: The driving force for this study was our finding that patients with Crohn’s disease had a significantly high level (or abundance) of pathogenic fungi (called Candida tropicalis) as well as bacteria (Escherichia coli, and Serratia Marcescens) compared to their non-diseased first-degree relatives. Not only were their levels high, but these organisms cooperated to form polymicrobial digestive plaque (or digestive biofilms) that aggravated the inflammatory symptoms in these patients.

Based on this we wanted to develop a probiotic that targeted these organisms and the biofilms they form. Our efforts led to the design of the novel Biohm probiotic which we tested and the results were described in our publication.

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Sunshine Act Has Not Increased Number of Patients Who Know Whether Their Own Physician Receives Industry Payments

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Genevieve P. Kanter, PhDAssistant Professor (Research) of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health PolicyUniversity of Pennsylvania Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphia, PA  19104-6021

Dr. Kanter

Genevieve P. Kanter, PhD
Assistant Professor (Research) of Medicine
Medical Ethics and Health Policy
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: In 2010, the US Congress—concerned about the adverse influence of financial relationships between physicians and drug and device firms, and the lack of transparency surrounding these relationships—enacted the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. This legislation required pharmaceutical and medical device firms to report, for public reporting through the Open Payments program, the payments that these firms make to physicians.

We sought to evaluate the effect of Open Payments’ public disclosure of industry payments information on US adults’ awareness of the issue of industry payments and knowledge of whether their physicians’ had received industry payments.  Continue reading

Collagen Biomarker Associated With Atrial Fibrillation and Heart Failure Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Susana Ravassa PhD

Program of Cardiovascular Diseases, CIMA
University of Navarra, and IdiSNA
Navarra Institute for Health Research
Pamplona, Spain 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an evolving epidemic responsible for substantial morbidity, mortality and health-care expenditure. In particular, when AF and heart failure (HF) occur in combination, clinical evolution is particularly poor. Left atrial (LA) myocardial interstitial fibrosis (MIF) is the main structural lesion in AF and considered as the main factor responsible for the perpetuation of this pathology. In addition, it is known that MIF is associated with a lower effectiveness of the treatment of AF by pulmonary vein isolation with catheter ablation. Therefore, the identification of biomarkers related to MIF, as an affordable and minimally invasive approach, is of great interest to detect patients at risk of AF, as well as to monitor their response to the LA ablation therapy.

We had previously demonstrated that the deleterious impact of MIF in the heart is due to alterations in both the quality (i.e., extent of cross-linking among collagen fibrils and type of collagen fibers that determine their rigidity and resistance to degradation [collagen cross-linking or CCL]) and the quantity (i.e., extent of collagen fibers that occupy the myocardial tissue [collagen deposition or CD]) of fibrotic tissue. We have shown that certain circulating biomarkers related to collagen type I metabolism are associated with CCL and CD. On the one hand, the serum carboxy-terminal propeptide of procollagen type I (PICP), released during the conversion of procollagen type I into fibril-forming mature collagen type I, is directly correlated with myocardial CD.

On the other hand, the ratio of serum carboxy-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I to serum matrix metalloproteinase-1 (serum CITP:MMP-1 ratio) is inversely correlated with myocardial CCL, as the higher is the cross-linking among collagen type I fibrils the lower will be the cleavage of CITP by MMP-1 during the process of degradation of the fiber. Interestingly, we have previously reported that the combination of these biomarkers identifies patients with heart failure presenting with a complex pattern of MIF characterized by both increased CCL and CD (CCL+CD+) showing a higher risk of adverse clinical evolution as compared with heart failure  patients without this combination of biomarkers. As both increased CCL and CD have been found in the left atrial myocardium in patients with AF, we designed this investigation to explore whether the CCL+CD+ combination of biomarkers is associated with AF. Continue reading

Verubecestat Failed to Slow Progression of Early Alzheimer’s Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michael F. Egan, MDVice President,  NeuroscienceGlobal Clinical DevelopmentMerck Research LaboratoriesNorth Wales, PAMichael F. Egan, MD
Vice President,  Neuroscience
Global Clinical Development
Merck Research Laboratories
North Wales, PA 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) appears to be due to the gradual accumulation of amyloid over many years (the “amyloid hypothesis”). At some point, it is thought that amyloid triggers abnormalities in tau, which then forms deposits within neurons and leads to progressive neurodegeneration.

Amyloid is made up of  a small, sticky peptide, Abeta, which is produced when the enzyme BACE cleaves a large protein called APP.  In our trial, we tested whether a potent BACE inhibitor, verubecestat, could slow disease progression in subjects with early AD (or prodromal AD) by blocking formation of Abeta.  A previous trial in subjects with dementia due to AD failed to find evidence of efficacy.

One possible reason for this failure is that subjects had too much amyloid in their brain already.

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Parkinson’s Disease: Mindfulness Yoga and Stretching To Reduce Anxiety and Depression

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Jojo Kwok  R.N., BN(Hons), MPH, Ph.D.
School of Nursing, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
The University of Hong Kong

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Before the study, we knew that mind-body exercises such as yoga and stretching improves the physical health of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), however the benefits to their mental health was not known. This study concludes that mindfulness yoga alleviates psychological distress, improves spiritual well-being and quality of life, not to mention motor symptoms and mobility. When it comes to managing the stress and symptoms of Parkinson Disease, what is exciting, is that yoga has now been proven to be a better strategy than just stretching.

Yoga draws together body, mind and spirit through mindful practice of

1) yoga posture,
2) breathing and
3) meditation.

These form the three core components of our Mindfulness Yoga Program. Mindfulness is non-judgemental awareness of the present moment – of one’s physical sensations and thoughts, be they positive or negative.

By adopting a mind-body approach, patients are much better positioned to reframe their illness journey than through physical training alone. By learning to relate non-judgmentally to their physical symptoms and emotions, they develop new coping skills that cultivate openness, acceptance and resilience to these symptoms. They feel better.  Continue reading

Does Vitamin D Supplementation Impact Relapse-Free Survival in GI Cancers?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mitsuyoshi Urashima MD, PhD, MPH
Professor of Molecular Epidemiology
Jikei University School of Medicine
Tokyo, JAPAN

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Serum levels of vitamin D, increase in response to exposure to sunlight, a vitamin D-rich diet, or vitamin D supplementation. In 1989, the risk of colon cancer was estimated to be 70% lower in people with serum vitamin D levels ≥ 20 ng/mL, compared with those < 20 ng/mL.

In a cohort study, higher vitamin D levels were associated with lower total cancer incidence and lower total cancer mortality, particularly digestive system cancer mortality. However, because of the studies’ observational nature, whether lower levels of vitamin D is merely a precursor to relapse and death or causally related to shorter survival cannot be determined.

To clarify this, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using vitamin D supplement was performed in patients with digestive tract cancer from esophagus to rectum; this is the first trial designed to evaluate the effect of vitamin D on survival of these patients.  Continue reading

Waivers to Allow PAs and NPs to Prescribe Buprenorphine Vary by State

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Joanne Spetz, PhDProfessorPhilip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy StudiesSan Francisco, CA 94143-0936

Dr. Spetz

Joanne Spetz, PhD
Professor
Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies
San Francisco, CA 94143-0936 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Medication treatment is an important component of treatment for opioid use disorder. Buprenorphine has been the focus of policies designed to increase access to treatment and is the most widely-used medication due to well-established evidence of its efficacy and its accessibility outside licensed narcotics treatment programs. The most common brand name for this medication is Suboxone.

There is a shortage of providers authorized to prescribe it, in part because only physicians were permitted to obtain waivers from the Drug Enforcement Agency to prescribe it outside of licensed narcotics treatment programs until the opioid bill of 2016. That bill granted nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) the ability to apply for waivers. However, in states that require NPs and/or PAs to be supervised by or collaborate with a physician, there are additional requirements regarding the training of the physician before the NP or PA can apply for a waiver. This affects nearly half of states for NPs, and all states for PAs.

We found that the average percentage of NPs with waivers was 5.6% in states that do not require physician supervision, but only 2.4% in more restrictive states. Even after adjusting for other factors, we found that the percentage of NPs with waivers was 75% higher when physician oversight is not required. We didn’t find a similar result for PAs, probably because they must have physician oversight in all states.  Continue reading

Racial Disparities in Kidney Transplants Persist Despite New Allocation System

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sanjay Kulkarni, MD MHCM FACSAssociate Professor of Surgery & MedicineSurgical Director – Kidney Transplant ProgramMedical Director – Center for Living Organ DonorsScientific Director – Yale Transplant ResearchNew Haven, CT 06410

Dr. Kulkarni

Sanjay Kulkarni, MD MHCM FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery & Medicine
Surgical Director – Kidney Transplant Program
Medical Director – Center for Living Organ Donors
Scientific Director – Yale Transplant Research
New Haven, CT 06410

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The kidney allocation system changed in December of 2014.

The aim of the new system was to increase transplant in patients who were highly sensitized (difficult matches based on reactive antibodies) and to improve access to underserved populations. Continue reading

Same Autistic Trait Can Be Helpful or Hindering, Depending on Context

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ginny Russell, PhDCollege of Medicine and Health, University of Exeter Medical SchoolUniversity of Exeter, College HouseExeter United Kingdom

Dr. Russell

Ginny Russell, PhD
College of Medicine and Health, University of Exeter Medical School
University of Exeter
Exeter United Kingdom 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The study was done to find out what autistic adults could tell us about their own abilities. They told us about their abilities and how these abilities had helped them in their everyday lives: at work, in their relationships with other people, and at home.

Hyper focus, attention to detail, and the ability to remember were the abilities that autistic people said benefitted them most often. But autistic adults who were interviewed said although their autistic traits were sometimes helpful, at other times they hindered their progress. So the same trait might be useful in some circumstances and unhelpful in other situations. For example, hypersensitivity led one person to enjoy nature, but was difficult to cope with in crowded streets. The study highlights this interchangeability.

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Lack of HPV Vaccination in Young Minority Men Is Not a Matter of Access

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Perry N Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH
Dean and Professor
Department of Urban-Global Public Health
Rutgers Public Health 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: The rate of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is high among young minority gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men despite the availability of a vaccine that can prevent the infection, a Rutgers School of Public Health study found.

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Majority of Surveyed Hospitals Prohibit Physician Participation in End of Life Option Act

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Cindy L. Cain, PhDAssistant ProfessorDepartment of SociologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham, AL 35233 

Dr. Cain

Cindy L. Cain, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL 35233  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The End of Life Option Act permits terminally ill Californians to request a prescription for medications that would hasten death, providing they meet all requirements of the law and follow the steps outlined by their health care provider.

However, the law also allows health care providers and organizations to opt out of participating. Until now, we did not know how common it was for entire health care organizations to opt out.

In this study, we found that 61% of the surveyed hospitals prohibited physician participation in the End of Life Option Act. Thirty-nine percent of hospitals did allow participation in the law; these participating hospitals were less likely to be religiously affiliated and more likely to be nonprofit.

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Is There a Link Between Benzodiazepines During Pregnancy and Childhood ADHD?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Angela Lupattelli, PhDSchool of PharmacyUniversity of Oslo

Dr. Lupattelli

Dr. Angela Lupattelli, PhD
School of Pharmacy
University of Oslo

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Between 1-4% of pregnant women take at least once a benzodiazepine and/or a z-hypnotic medication during the course of gestation. These medications are generally used intermittently in pregnancy, mainly for treatment of anxiety disorders and sleeping problems, which are not uncommon conditions among pregnant women.

However, data regarding the safety of benzodiazepine and/or a z-hypnotic in pregnancy on child longer-term development are sparse. For instance, studies on child motor skills are only available up to toddler age, and little is known in relation to other child developmental domains. So, there is an urgent need to better understand whether prenatal use of benzodiazepine and/or a z-hypnotic medication may pose detrimental longer-term child risks. Continue reading

Integrated Approach to Laboratory Measurements to Identify Acute Kidney Diseases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Matthew T James MD, PhDAssistant ProfessorUniversity of Calgary

Dr. James

Matthew T James MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Calgary 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: The Acute Kidney Disease and Disorders (AKD) criteria from the KDIGO Acute Kidney Injury guidelines identified many patients who do not meet existing criteria for Chronic Kidney Disease or Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), and the majority of AKD events occured in the community rather than hospital setting.

This study characterized the frequency and outcome for patients with AKD (without  AKI) as well as AKD with CKD from among over 1.1 million adults  residing in Alberta Canada who received  kidney function testing and were followed for up to 8 years.

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Tracing Extrachromosomal DNA Inheritance Patterns in Glioblastoma Using CRISPR

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Eunhee Yi, Ph.D.Postdoctoral AssociateThe Jackson Laboratory

Dr. Yi

Eunhee Yi, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate
The Jackson Laboratory

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Recurrence after therapy for glioblastoma (GBM) is unavoidable. There are substantial differences among the cells of GBM tumors in the abundance and types of genetic materials. This heterogeneity is a major driver of therapy failure and disease progression. We previously reported that extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) elements, which reside outside the linear genome and represent a mechanism to amplify and activate oncogenes, is a potential cause of the increasing genetic diversity in GBM. Our current study is focused on the development of a novel cytogenetic tool to visualize ecDNA to visualize the behavior of these elements in live cells. We have leveraged the unique properties of ecDNA to develop a CRISPR-based “ecDNA tracing toolbox (EDTB)”.  Continue reading