Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 26.09.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Allison Witman PhD Assistant Professor of Economics Economics & Finance Cameron School of Business University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Yu Wang PhD Assistant Professor Congdon School of Supply Chain, Business Analytics, & Information Systems Cameron School of Business University of North Carolina Wilmington David Cho PhD Assistant Professor of Management California State University, Fullerton

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic placed tremendous financial pressure on hospitals. Beginning in March of 2020, hospitals cancelled outpatient and elective procedures to accommodate surges in demand from COVID-19 patients. As these procedures account for more than 60% of an average hospital’s revenue, cancellation posed serious challenges to the financial health of hospitals. Revenue from COVID-19 patients may have partially offset these effects, but the American Hospital Association estimated a total loss of $202.6 billion by American hospitals between March and June 2020. In response, the U.S. government created large federal assistance programs aimed to stabilize hospitals’ financial situation as their ability to maintain operations was critical to the health of the nation. Due to differences in hospital characteristics, certain hospitals such as rural hospitals and those serving a higher share of Medicaid and uninsured patients (e.g., safety net hospitals) may have been more financially susceptible to the effects of the pandemic. These hospitals that serve vulnerable patient populations historically have had lower profit margins and were candidates for targeted COVID relief funding (e.g., Safety Net Hospitals Payments, a $10 billion component of the Provider Relief Fund). (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 03.08.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa A. Cosimi, MD Division of Infectious Diseases Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Response: Current CDC COVID-19 isolation guidance allows for ending isolation after day 5 for non-immunocompromised individuals if they are afebrile and with improving symptoms, or if the individual is asymptomatic from the start. It has been proposed that rapid antigen tests (RATs) may assist in determining when individuals are no longer infectious. Specifically, a negative test would be potentially reassuring for an individual not being transmissible, while a positive test could be suggestive of continued infectiousness.  However, there is little data about use of RATs in this particular setting and how they may correlate with ongoing risk of transmission as they were developed to be used during the initial diagnosis of infection, not in the later phase. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 02.08.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Emma Wall Senior Clinical Research Fellow, UCLH-Crick Legacy study Consultant Infectious Diseases UCLH MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Since April 2022, both the UK and US have changed their COVID-19 isolation and testing policies. The impact these changes in the guidance and vaccination on community-acquired COVID-19 caused by recent SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) has not been fully tested, including infections with BA.2. We aimed to characterise both symptoms and viral loads over the course of COVID-19 infection in otherwise-healthy, vaccinated, non-hospitalised adults, to assess whether current guidance remains justified. All participants were included in the UCLH-Crick Legacy study, a prospective, observational cohort study of otherwise healthy adults who have been taking part in regular workplace testing for SARS-CoV-2 in London We sent swabs by same-day courier every other day to all adults who reported a positive PCR or lateral flow test to the study team up to day 10 after the start of each infection. We confirmed which variant caused the infection by PCR and sequencing. All participants completed linked symptom diaries. We compared symptoms and changes in the amount of virus detected in the nose and throat during infection between study participants reporting COVID-19 caused by VOCs Delta and Omicron BA.1 and BA.2. We then analysed how many of our participants would meet current UK/US isolation guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 23.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: SCOTT DRYDEN-PETERSON, MD Assistant Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School Research Affiliate, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health Associate Physician, Medicine, Infectious Diseases Brigham And Women's Hospital Research Associate, Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The combination of the antiviral medicine nirmatrelvir and ritonavir (Paxlovid) which boosts antiviral levels was found to reduce the need for hospitalization by nearly 90% among unvaccinated people. Whether nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir can also help vaccinated people was uncertain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lung Cancer, Surgical Research / 21.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emanuela Taioli, MD, PhD Director, Institute for Translational Epidemiology Professor, Population Health Science and Policy Professor, Thoracic Surgery Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: NYC experienced a halt on all elective care from March 22 to June 8, 2020, provoking reduced cancer screening rates, and delayed cancer care and treatment. We wanted to quantify the effect of the “pause” on cancer stage at diagnosis using lung cancer as an example of a condition where early diagnosis can dramatically modify survival. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 15.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hiam Souheil Chemaitelly Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Research in Population Health Sciences Population Health Sciences Weill Cornell Medical College   MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: The Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants resulted in a large wave of infections. The level of protection provided by prior infection or vaccination with Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines or a combination of both against infection with Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants was unknown. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NYU / 08.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katherine Garcia MD NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Studies on cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown a decrease in new diagnoses, delays in care, and a shift to later stage disease presentations. Considering that NY has been an epicenter for COVID-19 in the U.S., we investigated its impact on new cancer diagnoses at the two campuses of NYU’s Perlmutter Cancer Center and hypothesized that there would be a decrease in presentations during the peak outbreaks in NY. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Mental Health Research, Rheumatology / 07.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly Gavigan, MPH Director, Data Management and Analytics Global Healthy Living Foundation MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: COVID-19 is of particular concern for people living with autoimmune and rheumatic disease, not only because they have an increased risk of infection but also because of the heightened sense of isolation due to strict social distancing protocols that many patients continue to follow through today. As a result, we wanted to better understand if symptoms among the autoimmune and rheumatic disease patients in our ArthritisPower research registry were impacted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We previously conducted and reported on an analysis of patient reported outcome data from the ArthritisPower registry between the months of January 2020 to April 2021 at the American College of Rheumatology Convergence in 2021. We conducted a follow-up analysis between May and December 2021, which is our area of focus in this particular abstract. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 04.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Archelle Georgiou, MD Chief Health Officer for Starkey Starkey Hearing Technologies Eden Prairie, Minnesota MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: In August 2021, Starkey introduced a vaccination incentive program for employees in the U.S. to provide education on COVID-19 and encourage vaccinations. The program encouraged employees to watch and acknowledge online educational information and report their vaccination status. Those fully vaccinated and who submitted proof of vaccination by September 2021, including employees who were vaccinated prior to the incentive announcement, received $1,000.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 22.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashley Otter, PhD Research scientist within Diagnostic Support for the rare/imported pathogens laboratory (RIPL) Public Health England (PHE) MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The SIREN study is a national research project covering all four nations of the United Kingdom. Almost 45,000 healthcare workers from across the UK were enrolled midway through 2020, each providing monthly samples for antibody testing and fortnightly PCR testing. Using samples from participants from this project, we were able to take a snapshot of ~6,000 participants at different stages after they received their vaccination to see how different factors affect their antibody responses. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 13.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cheng-Ying Ho, MD, PhD Associate Professor Department of Pathology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Smell loss is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 infection. The mechanism of COVID-19-related smell loss is unclear. Previous studies mainly focused on the effect of the viral infection on the lining of the nasal cavity. We went a step beyond to examine the olfactory bulb, a region that transmits smell-related signals to the brain.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lancet / 12.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Kollengode Ramanathan MD Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit National University Heart Centre National University Hospital Singapore MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Globally, more than 10 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered as of March 2022. While most side-effects of the vaccine are mild and self-limiting, myopericarditis ( inflammation of the heart) is increasingly being reported after COVID-19 vaccination. Thus far it has only been linked only to smallpox vaccination. However, several studies have suggested that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines significantly increase the risk of myocarditis, particularly in males and in people aged 16-39 years. We reviewed the literature comparing the incidence of myopericarditis following COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 vaccination.   (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Nature, Neurological Disorders / 07.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tracy Fischer, PhD Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Tulane National Primate Research Center    MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Response: We investigated multiple regions of the brain from SARS-CoV-2 infected Rhesus macaques and African green monkeys for the presence of inflammation and other pathology that may result from COVID-19. Most animals were infected for approximately one month before our investigation, however, two of the African green monkeys developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) prior to the study endpoint. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Diabetes / 17.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Wolfgang Rathmann MSPH Prof. of Epidemiology Deputy Director, Institute for Biometrics and Epidemiology, German Diabetes Center, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Diabetes is associated with a poor prognosis of COVID-19. There have been raised concerns about a bidirectional relationship between diabetes and COVID-19. Recent studies raised the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 can cause diabetes. However, there is a lack of studies investigating the incidence of diabetes after recovery from COVID-19 in mild cases. To provide more evidence, we analyzed electronic health records from 1,171 general and internal medicine practices across Germany between March 2020 and January 2021. This included 35,865 patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19. The incidence of diabetes after COVID-19 was compared with patients, who were diagnosed with an acute upper respiratory tract infection (AURI), matched for sex, age, and comorbidities including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, and stroke.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 16.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: https://vipstarnetwork.com/Johonniuss Chemweno CEO of VIPStarNetwork MedicalResearch.com:  What is the mission of VIP StarNetwork?  Response: VIP StarNetwork’s mission is to expand access to healthcare services and information, especially in underserved and underprivileged communities. Our comprehensive group of health experts, leading physicians, and healthcare executives are working to create a meaningful and safe environment to ensure that patients have equitable and streamlined access to vaccines and other forms of care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 15.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy School of Public Health University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Response: In 2020, most insurers waived the cost of COVID-19 hospitalization for patients. In early 2021, many major insurers started to abandon those waivers. By August 2021, the vast majority of insurers had started billing patients for COVID-19 hospitalizations again. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 10.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carmit Cohen, PhD, MDV – Laboratory manager Infection Prevention and Control UNIT Sheba Medical Center MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: We, Professor Regev-Yochay research group, began this study when the first COVID-19 patients were diagnosed in Israel. We followed humoral immune response kinetics of recoverees in the first year of the pandemic for a year (before the introduction of the Delta variant) and compared them to a matched cohort of two doses Pfizer vaccinated that was followed for up to eight month (until they received the third dose). (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Vaccine Studies / 04.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bianca V. Sanchez Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the study? Response: Hispanic populations have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as evident by their increased rate of infection with the virus, hospitalizations, and mortality. Previous literature has indicated that many of these individuals demonstrate increased rates of vaccine hesitancy, subsequently increasing their risk for infection. This study aimed to characterize the reasoning behind vaccine hesitancy in Hispanic populations in the hopes of addressing their concerns through targeted educational interventions. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, NYU / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea B. Troxel, ScD (she/her/hers) Professor and Director, Division of Biostatistics Department of Population Health NYU Grossman School of Medicine NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: This study represents an international collaboration across four continents and six countries, to pool information from studies in different patient populations to generate robust information about the possible benefits of convalescent plasma in treating COVID-19. Because the study was so large and the methods so rigorous, we were able to show that while CP doesn’t benefit all patients, it may have positive effects in certain subgroups. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Technology / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael J. Mahan Ph.D Professor Dept of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9625 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: A critical need exists in resource-poor settings for low-cost, low-tech, yet highly reliable and scalable testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus that is robust against circulating variants.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics, Respiratory, Yale / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas Murray MD PhD Associate Professor, Yale School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Infectious Disease and Global Health Associate Medical Director, Infection Prevention Yale New Haven Children's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: This study was performed by Yale- CARES (Children and Adults Research in Early Education Study Team) a multidisciplinary group of researchers that are interested in learning how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted early child care programs in the US including the effects on both the children and those who care for them in this setting. This is important because when child care programs close it becomes very difficult for working families to find safe, affordable alternative care. We surveyed over 6000 child care workers from across the US in May/June 2020 with a follow up survey in May/June 2021. This includes both center based and home based child care programs. One question we were interested in was what things they were doing in their programs to reduce the risk of COVID-19. We then asked whether their program closed at any time in that year because of COVID-19. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 28.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eva Petkova, PhD Professor, NYU School of Medicine Department of Population Health Division of Biostatistics Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York, NY 10016 Senior Scientist, Nathan Kline Institute of Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY 10962 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: The COMPILE study is based on real-time collection of individual patient data from 8 international completed, terminated early and ongoing randomized clinical trials testing the efficacy of convalescent plasma for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Recruitment covered the period from March 2020 to March 2021 in Asia, Europe, North and South America. Total of 2369 patients were enrolled and data from 2341 patients were used in the analysis. COMPILE, the largest study of convalescent plasma for hospitalized COVID-19 patients to date, provided robust information on a diverse patient population, which allowed rigorous evaluation of questions related to convalescent plasma efficacy. The main findings are that convalescent plasma might have only a moderate efficacy on average, but that there is a huge heterogeneity in the benefits for individual patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 26.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tasleem J. Padamsee, PhD Co-Leader  C3-REACH -- Committed to Communities Collaborative: Research and Engagement to Advance beyond COVID to Health EquityPrincipal Investigator The Daughter Sister Mother Project: Empowering Women and their Healthcare Providers to Fight Familial Cancer Lead Qualitative Investigator WOW Project: Washington & Ohio Workers Study Assistant Professor Division of Health Services Management & Policy, College of Public Health Faculty Affiliate, James Comprehensive Cancer Center The Ohio State University MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: This is a study about COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United States. Although there has been a lot of discussion about vaccine hesitancy as a barrier to achieving high rates of COVID-19 vaccination, there have been few studies of changes in hesitancy - or how it might vary across groups. As COVID-19 vaccines were becoming available in the US there was a lot of discussion about worrisome rates of vaccine hesitancy, particularly among communities of color. Our team suspected, however, that these high rates might be short-lived, and that Black Americans in particular might become willing to use COVID-19 vaccines after a short period of time - as they became reassured that they would be safe, effective, and protect communities. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Emory, Heart Disease, JAMA / 25.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Oster, MD, MPH CDC COVID-19 Response CDC Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities Pediatric Cardiologist, Sibley Heart Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Emory University School of Medicine Emory University Rollins School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: More than 192 million people ages 12 years and older in the U.S. received at least one dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from December 2020 through August 2021. From this population, VAERS (the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) received 1,991 reports of myocarditis,  1,626 of which met the case definition of myocarditis. Rates of myocarditis were highest following the second dose of an mRNA vaccine among males aged 12–15 years (70.7 per million doses of Pfizer), 16-17 years (105.9 per million doses of Pfizer), and 18–47 years (52.4 and 56.3 per million doses of Pfizer and Moderna, respectively). Of those with myocarditis, the median age was 21 years and the median time from vaccination to symptom onset was two days. Males accounted for 82% of patients for whom sex was known. Approximately 96% were hospitalized, 87% of whose symptoms had gone away by the time they were discharged from the hospital. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (589/676, 87%) were the most common treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks, Technology / 13.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Krystal Pollitt, PhD, P.Eng. Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health Sciences) Assistant Professor in Chemical and Environmental Engineering Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health Yale School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: People infected with COVID-19 can release SARS-CoV-2 virus in aerosol and droplets when they exhale. This can be from coughing or sneezing but also when they speaker or just breathe. While the larger droplets can settle to the ground quickly (seconds to minutes), smaller aerosol can remain in the air in longer periods (minutes to hours). SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted by inhaling aerosol or droplets containing infectious virus. The Fresh Air Clip enables detection of droplet and aerosol containing virus. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics / 11.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen Freedman MDCM, MSc Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Professor in Child Health and Wellness Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Cumming School of Medicine University of Calgary MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the early stages of the global 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, children represented fewer than 5% of reported cases.  However, children now represent a significant percent of all new COVID-19 cases.  Similarly, pediatric hospitalizations due to COVID-19, are now at an all-time high.  Although COVID-19 is generally mild in children, severe outcomes and death do occur.  The risk of severe outcomes among SARS-CoV-2 infected children is poorly understood with estimates varying considerably between study designs, settings, and regions.  Studies generally include large administrative databases (i.e. community based), hospitalized populations, and children admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Identified risk factors for severe COVID-19 in children have included young (i.e. 1-3 months) or old (15-18 years) pediatric age group, male sex, and pre-existing medical condition.  However, data from large prospective cohort studies which include children with early or mild stages of disease seeking emergency department (ED) care are lacking. To address this knowledge gap we sought to quantify the frequency of and risk factors for severe outcomes in SARS-CoV-2 infected children enrolled in a prospective ED-based cohort study.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics / 06.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dani Dumitriu, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (in Psychiatry) The Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology Columbia University, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A lot of research has focused on the effects of COVID-19 in various vulnerable populations, such as elderly individuals, immunocompromised patients, and individuals with severe comorbidities. However, one vulnerable population that has remained relatively understudied are the infants exposed to maternal COVID-19 disease during pregnancy. While early on in the pandemic we and other groups showed reassuring data on low risk of vertical transmission, meaning the passing of the virus from mother-to-infant is rare, this does not necessarily mean that these infants wouldn't experience long-term consequences related to the maternal infection through other means. We know from other viral illness that maternal illness, most commonly through the activation of her immune system, can lead to a cascade of events that affect fetal development. This is why a large number of physicians and researchers at Columbia University spearheaded the COVID-19 Mother Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Initiative -- to look at potential long-term health effects on both infants and mothers. (more…)