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, Gender Differences, PLoS, Social Issues / 04.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carlota Batres, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Department of PsychologyDirector, Preferences Lab PreferencesLab.comFranklin and Marshall College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Makeup is commonly attributed with increasing attractiveness in female faces, but this effect has not been investigated in male faces. We therefore sought to examine whether the positive effect of makeup on attractiveness can be extended to male faces. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, JACC, Surgical Research / 06.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mario F.L. Gaudino, M.D. PhD Attending Cardiac SurgeonDepartment of Cardiothoracic Surgery Antonino Di Franco, MD Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery Weill Cornell Medicine   MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What is the aim of this review?  Response: Biological and socio-cultural differences between men and women are complex and likely account for most of the variations in the epidemiology and treatment outcomes of coronary artery disease (CAD) between the two sexes. Despite the growing recognition of sex-specific determinants of outcomes, representation of women in clinical studies remains low, and sex-specific management strategies are generally not provided in guidelines. We summarized the current evidence on sex-related differences in patients with CAD, focusing on the differential outcomes following medical therapy, percutaneous coronary interventions, and coronary artery bypass surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA / 09.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher J. D. Wallis, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Division of Urology University of Toronto Urologic Oncologist, Division of Urology Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous research has shown that female and male physicians communicate differently with patients. Further, there is evidence that female physicians, including surgeons, spend more time with patients. This, coupled with evidence that female patients may experience disparities in the management of their pain, led us to consider that communication differences may underpin differences in surgical outcomes previously noted (eg. Wallis et al, BMJ 2017) between male and female physicians. We postulated that there may be a differential association between surgeon sex and patient sex in behaviours that would translate into clinically important outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Gender Differences, Mental Health Research / 13.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martina Svensson Experimental Neuroinflammation Laboratory Department of Experimental Medical Science Lund University, Lund, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We followed almost 200,000 long-distance skiers for up to two decades and investigated how many of these skiers were diagnosed with anxiety disorders compared to people of the same sex and age in the general population. In total, the study included almost 400,000 people. (Previous studies have shown that Vasaloppet skiers are significantly more physically active than the general population.) (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Gender Differences, JAMA / 17.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anjali Sergeant McMaster Medicine Class of 2022 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This collaborative study from the University of Toronto and McMaster University found that inpatients in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) cared for by female physicians had lower mortality rates compared to those cared for by male physicians. Specifically, a 0.47% difference in patient deaths was reported, which is significant in the context of thousands of deaths in Ontario hospitals each year. This supports similar findings from an American study (Tsugawa et. al) published in 2017. Our study also examined gender-based differences in medical practice, including lab and imaging tests ordered, and medications prescribed. Female doctors ordered significantly more imaging tests for their patients but this factor did not explain their lower patient death rates. The mortality difference shrank when accounting for the number of years that doctors were in practice. This suggests that patients of female doctors may have better outcomes partially because more women make up newer medical grads in Canada, who may be more up-to-date on clinical guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 12.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nosheen Reza, MD, FACC, FHFSA Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Penn Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Section of Advanced Heart Failure, Transplantation, and Mechanical Support Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania & the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In academic internal medicine in the United States, gender disparities in salary and promotion have been researched and documented for over 20 years. Despite this, in recent years, the number of women pursuing careers in medicine has increased, and now, more women than men are enrolled in U.S. medical schools. We wanted to take a contemporary look at the composition of the U.S. academic internal medicine physician workforce and evaluate the relationships between the representation of women in each internal medicine specialty with their salaries and academic rank. We hypothesized that even though there may be more women physicians practicing in these specialties compared with prior years, the disparities in academic rank and salary, as compared with men, would still exist. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, CDC, Emory, Gender Differences, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 08.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Farhad Islami, MD PHD Scientific Director, Cancer Disparity Research American Cancer Society MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) have collaborated annually since 1998 to provide updated information about cancer occurrence and trends by cancer type, sex, age group, and racial/ethnic group in the United States. In this year’s report, we focus on national cancer statistics and highlight trends in stage-specific survival for melanoma of the skin, the first cancer for which effective immune checkpoint inhibitors were developed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Pancreatic, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly Herremans, MD Lead researcher on the study Surgical research fellow University of Florida College of Medicine Gainesville MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pancreatic cancer is a deadly malignancy with an estimated 5-year survival rate of only 9%. Significant racial and ethnic disparities exist in pancreatic cancer. Underrepresentation in the clinical trials that determine safety and efficacy may contribute to these disparate outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, NYU, Women's Heart Health / 11.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Darcy Banco, MD, MPH Internal Medicine Resident NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We became interested in this question because of recent epidemiological data showing that despite improvements in the number of heart attacks in overall population, that number is rising among young adults (<= 55 years old) and in particular, young women. Compared to young men, young women with heart attack experience more delays in care and have higher mortality and poorer quality of life after heart attack. Despite these findings, there was also a study that asked young adults who had experienced heart attack: “When you first went for help, did the health care providers think that you were having a problem with your heart?” Women were more likely to answer no to this question. Therefore, our study asked: Are young women evaluated and treated differently than men when presenting to the emergency room with symptoms of chest pain? (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Surgical Research / 28.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anthony Almazan MD Candidate Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Gender-affirming surgeries are procedures offered to alleviate psychological distress and affirm the gender identities of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people. Requests for these surgeries have been increasing in the United States over the past decade. However, the mental health benefits of these procedures have remained controversial due to the limited evidence base on this subject. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gender Differences, HPV, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 27.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michelle M. Chen, MD/MHS Clinical Lecturer Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and associated with several malignancies including oropharyngeal, cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile, and anal cancers. In 2020, the FDA expanded the indications for HPV vaccination to include the prevention of oropharyngeal cancer, which is the most common HPV-associated malignancy and about 80% of oropharyngeal cancer patients are male. HPV vaccination rates are closely tracked for adolescents but less is known about vaccination rates for young adults. The goal of our study was to understand HPV vaccinations for young adult men and women, ages 18-21.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, JAMA / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: First Author Michelle Lee, MD, PharmD Fellow-in-training, Health Services Research & Development Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX   Senior & Corresponding Author Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA, FASPC Professor, Section of Cardiovascular Research Director, Cardiology Fellowship Training Program Baylor College of Medicine Staff Cardiologist, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Co-Director, VA Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research & Development Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX Investigator, Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center HSR&D Center of Innovation Houston, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), defined as ischemic heart disease (IHD), ischemic cerebrovascular disease (ICVD), or peripheral arterial disease (PAD), is the leading cause of death globally. Particularly in young ASCVD patients, secondary prevention with antiplatelet therapy and statins are extremely important in reducing disease burden. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Menopause, Urology / 15.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lin Yang, PhD Research Scientist/Epidemiologist Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Cancer Care Alberta | Alberta Health Services | Canada Adjunct Assistant Professor Departments of Oncology and Community Health Sciences University of Calgary | Canada  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Urinary incontinence disproportionately affects women. Urinary incontinence results in significant physical, social, and psychological adverse consequences that impair women’s quality of life and contribute to considerable healthcare costs. At the moment, the contemporary prevalence and recent trends in urinary incontinence in US women are unknown. More importantly, there is a growing awareness that urinary incontinence is not part of normal aging, but very little information is available to inform prevention strategies. Therefore, we were also interested in exploring correlates of urinary incontinence in a population-based sample of US women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Dermatology, Gender Differences, JAMA, Medicare, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 18.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lauren A. V. Orenstein, MD | She/her/hers Assistant Professor of Dermatology Robert A. Swerlick, MD Professor and Alicia Leizman Stonecipher Chair of Dermatology Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA 30322 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Financial incentives have the potential to drive provider behavior, even unintentionally. The aim of this study was to evaluate differences in clinic “productivity” measures that occur in outpatient dermatology encounters. Specifically, we used data from 2016-2020 at one academic dermatology practice to evaluate differences in work relative value units (wRVUs, a measure of clinical productivity) and financial reimbursement by patient race, sex, and age. 66,463 encounters were included in this study, among which 70.1% of encounters were for white patients, 59.6% were for females, and the mean age was 55.9 years old. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, Gender Differences, Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania / 30.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christina L. Master, MD, FAAP, CAQSM, FACSM Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Co-Director, Minds Matter Concussion Program Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine, Division of Pediatric Orthopedics Attending Physician, Care Network - Karabots Center The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 19104 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There have been multiple studies investigating potential sex differences in outcomes from concussion which have sometimes had conflicting results with some studies indicating that females take longer to recover than males and some studies reporting no difference in recovery between females and males, with most of these studies being conducted either retrospectively or prospectively in smaller cohorts. This large-scale multi-center prospective study in collegiate athletes provided an opportunity to compare females and males across comparable sports to examine both potential intrinsic or biologic factors (sex differences) or extrinsic (environmental or gender differences) that contribute to outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gender Differences, PNAS / 18.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paola Profeta, PhD Professor of Public Economics, Department of Social and Political Sciences Bocconi University Director, Msc Politics and Policy Analysis, Bocconi University Coordinator, Dondena Gender Initiative, Dondena Research Center President, European Public Choice Society MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We interview more than 20000 men and women in 8 OECD countries in two periods during the lockdown. Using two waves from 8 OECD countries, we find that women are more likely to perceive the pandemic as a very serious health problem, to agree with restraining measures and to comply with public health rules, such as using facemasks. This gender differences are less strong for married individuals and for individuals who have been directly exposed to COVID, for instance by knowing someone who was infected.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Surgical Research / 14.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cassandra M. Kelleher, MD, FACS Surgical Director, Fetal Care Program Surgical Director, NICU Quality and Safety Chair, Pediatric Surgery MGH eCare Clinical Informaticist Pediatric Surgery MassGeneral Hospital for Children Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Only about one in five surgeons practicing in U.S. is female. Unemployment is virtually nonexistent among surgeons, but many female surgeons, as well as professional women in other fields, experience underemployment—the underuse of skills—according to the Federal Reserve Bank. Women in surgery talk among themselves about how they may be perceived as less confident or competent, and for those reasons they may have less opportunity to do exciting and challenging cases. We wondered if this was true, and if so, why? (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA / 30.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Pollard, Ph.D. Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School Senior Sociologist RAND Corporation Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are ample anecdotal jokes and stories about increased alcohol use during COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders. Our study provides robust longitudinal evidence that people drank more frequently, and for women in particular, more heavily, and with more negative consequences, during the initial stages of COVID-19 compared to their own behaviors from a year earlier (May/June 2020 compared to May/June 2019). Women’s alcohol consumption was most significantly changed, with a 17% increase in number of days drinking, and a 41% increase in days of binge drinking (when they had four or more drinks in a couple of hours). This means that, nationally, one in five women drank heavily one more day a month than the same time in 2019, on average. Women also reported a 39% increase in alcohol-related problems, such as “I took foolish risks” or “I failed to do what was expected of me” because of drinking alcohol. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Pain Research / 29.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Nagata, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although prior research has identified disparities in migraine by race and sex, little was previously known about disparities in migraine by sexual orientation.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: In a national sample of nearly 10,000 adults in the USA, we found that nearly one third of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals have experienced a migraine. Overall, we found that lesbian, gay, or bisexual individuals had 58% higher odds of experiencing a migraine compared to heterosexual individuals. We also found that individuals who identified as mostly heterosexual but with some same-sex attractions were more likely to experience a migraine compared to those who identified as exclusively heterosexual. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Infections / 10.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sabrina Annick Assoumou, MD, MPH Assistant Professor, Medicine Infectious Diseases at Boston Medical Center Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the opioid epidemic there has been an increase in the number of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections due to transmission among persons who inject drugs (PWID). Federally qualified health centers (FQHC) provide care to an underserved and diverse patient population with a high proportion of both injection drug use and HCV. These health care facilities could provide opportunities to enhance HCV testing and treatment, especially at a time when recent data show that the United States is not on the list of high-income nations expected to achieve the World Health Organization’s goal of eliminating HCV by 2030. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Diabetes, Gender Differences, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 29.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giuseppina Imperatore, MD, PHD CDC, Atlanta MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The lifetime risk of diabetes (LRD), a probability of developing diabetes during a person’s lifespan, is a measure of future disease burden that reflects the impact of incidence (occurrence of new cases per year) and mortality. The years of potential life lost to diabetes (YPLLD) is the number of life-years lost due to diabetes, calculated as the difference between the life expectancy of a person without diabetes and a person with diabetes at the age of diagnosis. For example, the number of life-years lost for a person diagnosed at age 20 years is the difference in life expectancy of a person who died without developing diabetes and a person who was diagnosed with diabetes at 20 years of age.  Both incidence and mortality of diabetes have been decreasing for more than a decade. The effects of those changes on lifetime risk of diabetes and years of potential life lost to diabetes are not known. In this study, we used nationally representative diabetes surveillance data to provide updated estimates for the lifetime probability of development of diabetes, and to assess changes in incidence and mortality on lifetime risk and life-years lost due to diabetes in the USA. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Gender Differences / 21.05.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Francesca Filbey, PhD Associate Provost and Professor of Cognition and Neuroscience Bert Moore Chair The University of Texas at Dallas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Studies have reported differences in how males and females respond to cannabis and how they develop problems related to cannabis use.  We sought to determine whether craving may underlie this difference in male and female cannabis users. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Surgical Research, University of Pittsburgh / 21.05.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sara P. Myers, M.D., Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Compared to other fields, medicine, and especially academic surgery and its subspecialties, trail with respect to gender diversity. Considering that these fields were traditionally male-dominated, two issues that may present ongoing challenges to the retention and promotion of women are pro-male bias and negative stereotypes about women. Training specific to pursuing a surgical career begins in residency, so it is important to understand how these issues affect motivation and achievement during this formative period. In our study we first evaluated the association between pro-male bias and research-related career engagement using a survey methodology, and then looked at whether evoking negative stereotypes about women was associated with reduced performance on a simulated technical skill assessment called the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) assessment.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Gender Differences, Genetic Research, Nature / 13.05.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nolan Kamitaki PhD Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous work from our lab found that the strongest common genetic association to schizophrenia is driven in part by copy number variation of the C4 genes.  Given that lupus and Sjogren's syndrome, two autoimmune disorders, have association patterns that span the same region of the human genome, we wondered if part of the signal for these diseases may also arise from variation of C4 given that both have hypocomplementemia as a characterizing trait.   The other main finding is that these associations appear to be sex-biased, where the protection from each additional copy of the C4 gene was greater in men than in women.  When we went back to the data used in the previous study from our lab association C4 variation to schizophrenia, we found that the effect was stronger in men there as well.  Although the expression of C4 at the RNA level does not appear to differ between men and women, we saw that men had more C4 protein in both cerebrospinal fluid and blood plasma, suggesting that this may explain the greater genetic association in men. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Opiods, PNAS / 18.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mikko Myrskylä PhD Executive Director, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research Professorial Research Fellow, London School of Economics Professor of Social Statistics University of Helsinki MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Life expectancy in the U.S. increased at a phenomenal pace throughout the twentieth century, by nearly two years per decade. After 2010, however, U.S. life expectancy growth stalled and has most recently been declining. A critical question for American health policy is how to return U.S. life expectancy to its pre-2010 growth rate. Researchers and policy makers have focused on rising drug-related deaths in their search for the explanations for the stalling and declining life expectancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Gender Differences, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Yale / 24.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katherine A. Hill, BA, BS Yale School of Medicine New Haven, Connecticut MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous studies have shown that mistreatment is a common and damaging experience for medical students. However, there is little research on whether the prevalence of medical student mistreatment varies by demographic factors such as student sex, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Gender Differences, Genetic Research, Science / 22.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lawrence C. Layman, M.D. Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Endocrinology Professor & Chief Section of Reproductive Endocrinology, Infertility, & Genetics Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Director, REI Fellowship Program Co-Director, MD/PhD Program Department of Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine Department of Physiology Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: I have taken care of many transgender patients over the past 20 years. We think there is a biological basis for transgender identity rather than choice. Animal models suggest that exposure to estrogen or testosterone at a critical time during development will render an animal of either sex to behave as male with aggressive behavior and they will mount females. If this pathway is blocked, then the end result is more receptive, female sexual behavior. We thought that variants in genes involved in metabolizing these hormones in the brain could play some role in transgender identity. Because the cost of sequencing all genes was similar to the cost of looking for changes in just these genes, we performed whole exome sequencing (sequencing the protein coding regions of genes) on about 30 transgender patients. (more…)