AHA Journals, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Stanford / 19.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine Palo Alto, CA 94304 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified existing racial/ethnic disparities in the United States. The goal of this study was to leverage new data collected from the American Heart Association’s COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Registry to understand racial/ethnic differences in presentation and outcomes for hospitalized patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease / 17.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin D. Horne, PhD Cardiovascular and Genetic Epidemiologist Intermoumtain Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Intermountain Mortality Risk Score (IMRS) is a risk prediction tool developed in 2009 and repeatedly validated over the last decade to predict death, major adverse health events such as heart attack and stroke, and the onset of major chronic diseases. IMRS is computed using sex-specific weightings of parameters from the complete blood count (CBC) and basic metabolic profile (BMP), and age. The CBC and BMP are commonly-ordered clinical laboratory panels that include hemoglobin, white blood cell count, glucose, creatinine, sodium, calcium, and other factors whose testing is standardized and the results are objective and quantitative with no need to know what diagnoses a patient may have. IMRS is known to be a superior predictor of death compared to comorbidity-based risk scores and has been found to predict health outcomes in people with no chronic disease diagnoses as well as patients with coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, and various other diagnoses. IMRS has not been evaluated as a predictor of health outcomes for people with COVID-19, but if it does it could be useful for people to use to evaluate their own risk of poor outcomes if they are infected with SARS-CoV-2, for clinical personnel to guide the care of patients with COVID-19, and for public health professionals to use to determine who among those never diagnosed with COVID-19 is at higher risk of poor health outcomes and should be the first to receive a COVID-19 immunization.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Occupational Health / 16.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Barrett, PhD Associate Professor Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Rutgers School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We started this study in the very early stages of the pandemic to look at SARS-CoV-2 viral transmission and disease severity in health care workers as compared to non-health care workers.  There was a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty about the virus and the early anecdotal reports coming out of China and Italy highlighted the plight of many frontline health care workers who had been infected on the job. We knew that our U.S. health care workers would soon be facing this tremendous challenge. We started this study to examine risks of infection in our vulnerable frontline health care workers and a comparison group of non-health care workers. Our results are from the early stages of the U.S. pandemic in March-April 2020. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 12.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brunella Posteranno PhD Associate Professor of Microbiology Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences Rome, Italy MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: This study arises from an attempt to clarify some recent evidences of positive real-time PCR (RT-PCR) test results among patients who recovered from COVID-19 with prior negative results. Retesting positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, in the absence of any symptoms suggestive of new infection, poses questions regarding not only the SARS-CoV-2 infection course but also, most importantly, the infectivity status of recovered COVID-19 patients. In other words, it is unknown whether such patients are infectious and whether they should be quarantined. Detecting genetic sequences (i.e., RNA) of SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory samples (e.g., nasal/oropharyngeal swab samples) by RT-PCR assays enable us to identify persons suffering from COVID-19 along with those who have been exposed and able to transmit virus to others even if they are asymptomatic. It is not hyperbole to say that without RT-PCR testing an effective fight against the virus would be impossible. However, RT-PCR assays are not a viral culture and do not allow to determine whether the virus is viable and, consequently, transmissible. In this study, we investigated RT-PCR retested positive nasal/oropharyngeal swab (NOS) samples from recovered COVID-19 patients for the presence of replicative SARS-CoV-2 RNA to assess active virus replication.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Depression, Mental Health Research, Occupational Health, Pediatrics, UCSF / 11.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kyle T. Ganson, PhD, MSW Assistant Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work University of Toronto Toronto, Canada   Jason Nagata, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California, USA     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A quarter of young adults in the US have reported being unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Young adults may be especially affected by employment loss as they often work in industries most adversely affected by social distancing. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Among a sample of nearly 5,000 young adults age 18 to 26 in the US, we found that since March 2020, young adults who lost their job or were part of a household that experienced employment loss were more likely than those with secure employment to experience four common symptoms of anxiety and depression. This was also true of young adults who expected an employment loss in the next four weeks. The study also found that symptoms of anxiety and depression were common among the sample of young adults. In the seven days prior to the survey, 75% reported being nervous, anxious or on edge, 68% reported not being able to stop or control worrying, 67% reported having little interest or pleasure in doing things, and 64% reported feeling down, depressed, or hopeless. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Nutrition, Pediatrics, UCSF / 11.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason M Nagata M.D., M.Sc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity is expected to rise given economic uncertainty and job losses. Vulnerable and marginalized populations are disproportionately affected by both COVID-19 and food insecurity.   (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Rheumatology, UCSF / 07.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Milena Gianfrancesco, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor. Education Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine University of California, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study utilized data from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance Provider Survey, which launched on March 25th. To date, it has collected information on over 6,000 patients with rheumatic disease diagnosed with COVID-19 from over 40 countries worldwide. As COVID-19 spread across the world in the spring, and especially within the United States, it became clear that the disease was impacting certain groups more than others. Growing attention and research began to illustrate the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 among racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. We know that racial and ethnic minorities experience a higher burden of rheumatic disease risk and severity; therefore, our group was interested in examining whether the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 also affected this susceptible population. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Hearing Loss / 06.11.2020


MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Eldré Beukes PhD Clinical Scientist in Audiology Clinical Audiologist: Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital Associate lecturer: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by tinnitus? Response: Tinnitus is characterised by hearing unwanted sounds, such as a ringing or buzzing, without a corresponding sound in the environment. It is one of the most frequently occurring chronic conditions, affecting 1 in 8 adults worldwide. People with tinnitus are found to be at higher risk of lower emotional wellbeing, depression and anxiety. This led our team to realise that tinnitus may be more problematic as a result of the added stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic. As such, we initiated an exploratory study to examine changes in tinnitus during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 05.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Duane Wesemann, MD, PhD Div. of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02115 Wesemann Lab   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a lot of variability in how long antibodies to pathogens are produced in humans.  Some infections and vaccinations like measles induce high levels of antibodies that can be produced for a lifetime.  Other infections or vaccinations induce only short lived antibody responses. Also, some people make longer lasting antibodies compared to others.   We wanted to ask what the antibody durability dynamics looked like after COVID-19 and if we could tease out any insights—both with regard to COVID-19 as well as in general.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Occupational Health / 03.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fan-Yun Lan, MD, MS PhD candidate in Population Health Sciences | Environmental Health Graduate School of Arts and Sciences & T.H. Chan School of Public Health Harvard University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Existing evidence has indicated that essential workers are heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they are not able to benefit from mitigation policies. Their occupational exposures increase their own risk to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and increase the risk of secondary transmissions to their colleagues, families and communities. Research, however, has largely focused on healthcare workers with relatively limited literature investigating non-healthcare essential workers. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 02.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Darpun D. Sachdev, M.D. Case investigation and Contact tracing Branch Chief SFDPH Covid Command Center San Francisco Department of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The ultimate goal of contact tracing is to rapidly identify and isolate contacts who are COVID-19 positive before they have time to transmit to others. As mentioned in the published research letter by SFDPH, through JAMA, during early shelter-in-place (from April to June 2020), our contact tracing program successfully reached greater than 80% of cases and contacts within a median timeframe of 6 days from the onset of their case’s symptoms. Approximately 10% of named contacts were newly diagnosed with COVID-19 (compared to 2% positivity during this time period). Household contacts made up approximately 80% of all identified contacts, but 90% of contacts who tested positive lived in the same household as the case. Secondary cases (contacts who were found to be newly diagnosed with COVID-19) were traced and quarantined within 6 days of the case’s symptom onset. With that said, the 6-day time difference between symptom onset and contact notification raises concern regarding the overall effectiveness of tracing in preventing onward transmission by infected contacts. We are working with community-based organizations to scale up access to testing and culturally competent tracing and wraparound services. Currently, we have now decreased the time difference to 5 days. Moreover, given that the majority of contacts resided in the same household, transmission could have occurred presymptomatically such that by the time infected contacts were identified, they might have already transmitted the virus. Hence, why SFDPH, on May 5, 2020, implemented the recommendation of universal testing for COVID-19 contacts, regardless of symptoms. We recommend that testing should be offered to all contacts regardless of symptoms and encourage local health departments to adopt novel ways of increasing testing access for contacts.    (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gastrointestinal Disease / 01.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Darbaz Adna​n, MBChB Lab Research Assistant Department of Internal Medicine - Section of Gastroenterology Rush University Medical Center Chicago, Illinois 60612 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: - We have conducted a large study of over 1000 patients at a major COVID-19 response center in Chicago at Rush University Medical Center, to assess for the frequency of initial GI symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain) and evaluate whether these symptoms in adult COVID-19 positive could predict the disease course. Overall, 22.4% of our patients reported at least one GI symptom at the onset of their infection, with nausea/vomiting being the most common complaint. GI symptoms in COVID-19 patients were associated with worse outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Insomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders / 29.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Salma Batool-Anwar, MBBS, MPH Instructor, Harvard Medical School Pulmonary and Critical CareSleep Medicine Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A well functioning sleep-wake cycle is vital to our health and prevention of chronic diseases. During previous disaters sleep disturbances have been reported. When Massachusetts governor declared a state of emergency in March’20, we hypothesized that sleep duration would be adversely affected by covid-19 related lockdown and stress. The study was approved by the institutional review board and information was collected retrospectively using the electronic medical records.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Health Care Systems, JAMA, Technology / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shira H. Fischer, MD, PhD RAND Corporation Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Before the COVID-19 outbreak, telehealth was talked about a lot, but it wasn’t widely available and wasn’t used that often. We wanted to know who was using telehealth, what the barriers to use were, and whether people would be willing to do so if it were available to them. We conducted a survey of over 2,500 Americans across the country and asked them about these topics.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Health Care Systems / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steve Olin Chief Product Officer Rally Health, Inc., part of the Optum business of UnitedHealth Grou MedicalResearch.com: Can you please elaborate on Rally Health’s mission? Mr. Olin: Our founding mission 10 years ago and still to this day is to put health in the hands of the individual. As a digital health company, we live this mission through our focus in three key areas: 1) Providing digital-first access to care by giving individuals easy-to-use digital tools and support to navigate their health care and take full advantage of their health benefits; 2) Engaging people in their daily health by creating experiences that people enjoy and that inspire them to perform healthy actions, and by giving them access to resources that help them achieve their health goals; 3) Saving people time and money by providing digital tools that help them understand health care costs and guide them to lower-cost, high-quality care options. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs / 24.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Mazzeffi MD MPH MSc Associate Professor of Anesthesiology Division Chief Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine Medical Director Rapid Response Team MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have known for some time that COVID19 is characterized by hypercoagulability or excess blood clotting.  In fact, the incidence of blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary emboli) is as high 20% and is two to three times more common in COVID19 than in severe influenza.  Further, autopsies of patients who died from COVID19 have shown that endothelial cells (cells that line the blood vessels) are damaged and that "micro clots" form in multiple organs.  Together, these findings strongly suggest that excess blood clotting and endothelial cell dysfunction are defining features of severe COVID19. For several months, my colleagues and I have been interested in whether aspirin might improve outcomes in patients with severe COVID19.  In prior observational research studies, aspirin was found to be protective in patients with severe lung injury.  The general idea is that aspirin reduces platelet aggregates in the lung and this improves outcome.  Unfortunately, in a prior randomized controlled study (LIPS-A) aspirin was not shown to reduce the incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome.  Nevertheless, COVID19 has unique features that make aspirin more likely to be effective.  Mainly COVID19 is associated with hypercoagulability to a greater degree than in other viral illnesses.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Inflammation, JAMA / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David E. Leaf, MD, MMSc, FASN Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Director of Clinical and Translational Research in Acute Kidney Injury Division of Renal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The data for this study were derived from a multicenter cohort study of over 4,000 critically ill patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICUs at 68 sites across the US, as part of the Study of the Treatment and Outcomes in Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19 (STOP-COVID). STOP-COVID was initiated by David E. Leaf, MD, MMSc and Shruti Gupta, MD, MPH, from the Division of Renal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. It was initiated in March, 2020 as an unfunded, grassroots network, and now includes over 400 collaborators from 68 sites across the US. Using this data, we used a ‘target trial emulation’ approach to examine whether early administration of the monoclonal antibody, tocilizumab, reduces mortality in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Target trial emulation, a novel method of analyzing observational data, is the idea of simulating a randomized control trial to reduce bias.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dental Research / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Craig Meyers, PhD Department of Microbiology and Immunology Pennsylvania State College of Medicine Hershey, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As nasal and oral cavities are major points of entry and transmission for human coronaviruses our team of physicians and scientists (Craig Meyers, Janice Milici, Samina Alam, David Quillen, David Goldenberg and Rena Kass of Penn State College of Medicine and Richard Robison of Brigham Young University) were interested in testing common over-the-counter oral antiseptics and mouthwashes for their efficacy to inactivate infectious human coronavirus, which is structurally similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. While we wait for a vaccine for COVID-19 to be developed, methods to reduce transmission are needed. We chose products that are readily available and often already part of people’s daily routines. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, Vaccine Studies / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Douglas L. Kriner, PhD The Clinton Rossiter Professor in American Institutions Department of Government Cornell University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 reaches the market, the world will not change overnight.  Rather, government and public health individuals will have to develop a comprehensive plan to distribute the vaccine and to convince potentially wary Americans to take it. Our study examined the influence of both specific vaccine characteristics and the politics surrounding it on public willingness to vaccinate.  Both matter in important ways.  For example, efficacy is unsurprisingly a major driver of public opinion; Americans are more willing to take a vaccine that is more efficacious. (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, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 16.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shane Riddell MSc CSIRO—Australian Animal Health Laboratory Geelong, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: While it is generally considered that SARS-CoV-2 is spread via aerosol and respiratory droplets, we still need to investigate how much of a role fomites play in transmission. Understanding the risk first requires you to know how long the virus can survive on a surface. We therefore wanted to assess how long the virus would remain viable on various common surfaces such as stainless steel, glass and banknotes. We found that, under controlled conditions, we could recover infectious virus at 28 days for all non-porous surfaces at 20 degrees Celsius. When the temperature was raised to 40 degrees Celsius, SARS-CoV-2 only remained viable for 24hrs on most surfaces. (more…)
COVID -19 Coronavirus, Mental Health Research / 14.10.2020

Around 8% of the population in America experiences sleep bruxism - a disorder characterized by teeth grinding and jaw clenching that leads to headaches, the wearing stress-pandemic-bruxism-covid-19down of teeth, and jaw pain - to mention just a few effects. A new market research report called COVID-19 Impact on Sleeping Bruxism Treatment Market Overview and Forecast 2020 to 2026 has found that the current health crisis has led to a spike in bruxism. The report forecasts a big rise in the need for treatment of the effects of bruxism owing to currently high levels of stress across the globe.

Why Is Bruxism On The Rise?

It is a stressful time in many ways, and this increases the likelihood of teeth grinding and jaw clenching at night. A study published in the journal Head & Face Medicine showed that nightly gnashing of teeth was especially prevalent among those who tried to cope with stress by escaping from difficult situations. Bruxism can lead to everything from tooth sensitivity to pain in the muscles of the jaw responsible for chewing. While there are many exercises to soothe tight jaw muscles, this is just one approach that should be considered. Because bruxism can actually lead to tooth loss, it should be taken seriously, and if stress is the cause, then this separate issue should also be tackled proactively.

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Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Nutrition, Social Issues / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Nagata, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California, USA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity is expected to rise given economic uncertainty and job losses. Vulnerable and marginalized populations are disproportionately affected by both COVID-19 and food insecurity. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: In this perspective, we argue that food insecurity and COVID-19 can exacerbate one another via bidirectional links. Experiencing food insecurity can lead to nutritional deficiencies and weakened host defenses, increasing susceptibility to COVID-19 infection. Food insecurity is also associated with chronic medical conditions which may lead to a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Conversely, people with COVID-19 may not be able to work, generate income, or procure food while quarantined, which may worsen food insecurity. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Emory, NEJM, NIH, Vaccine Studies / 04.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Evan J. Anderson, MD Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics Emory University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Older adults have suffered a disproportionate number of the hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19. A vaccine is clearly needed for older adults.  For a number of vaccines, the immune response and efficacy of vaccines decreases with increasing age. A prime example would be influenza and the need for high dose influenza vaccine in the elderly. We had previously conducted a Phase I study in 18 – 55 year old adults of mRNA-1273 vaccine – published in NEJM 2020 with Lisa Jackson as the lead author. This phase I study was expanded to include older adults in 2 separate cohorts (56 – 70, >70 years of age) and 2 different doses. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Social Issues / 01.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Madhur Garg, MD MBA Clinical director, Radiation Oncology Montefiore Health System and Professor Departments of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery - and Urology Albert Einstein College of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: ​The Bronx was hit particularly hard with Covid-19 - making up one of the highest per capita cases and deaths in the country. Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, care for a large population of ethnic minorities (non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic individuals make up 65% of our patient population). (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 29.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Stephen Poole BRC Clinical Research Fellow from the Southampton Southampton, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our understanding of how the emergence of COVID 19 (SARS-CoV-2) has effected existing seasonal respiratory viruses, like influenza or common cold viruses, is limited. Many labs stopped or reduced their testing for these other respiratory viruses during the first epidemic peak as healthcare providers were trying to save resources for COVID-19 testing. We know that the viruses in circulation prior to COVID caused a lot of exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but it is unclear whether this is the case with SARS-CoV-2. The aims of our study were to measure the impact of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 on other respiratory viruses and to compare the patterns of illness. Our group in Southampton, UK led by Dr Tristan Clark were uniquely positioned to be able to do this. We have run 3 large trials in the last 5 winters which have tested for a wide range of respiratory viruses all in the same group of patients: adults arriving in hospital with a recent onset respiratory illness. We use this to compare the proportion of tests which were positive in the height of the COVID pandemic (March-May) with the same time period in previous years. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 29.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gizem Kilic MSc, PhD Candidate} Radboud University Medical Center Department of Internal Medicine Laboratory of Experimental Internal Medicine Nijmegen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Having emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019, novel coronavirus infection 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) has become a major health crisis affecting worldwide. Although the disease symptoms are mild in most of the cases, it is known that advanced age and co-morbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases increase the risk of disease severity. Moreover, epidemiological data from different countries indicated that the mortality rate is higher in males compared to females. There are reports suggesting that some viral and bacterial infection are sex-biased; however, why males are more susceptible to develop severe COVID-19 infection has not been fully understood yet.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Kidney Stones, Lancet, Stanford / 26.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shuchi Anand M.D. M.S. Director of the Center for Tubulointerstitial Kidney Disease Stanford University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Seroprevalence (or presence of antibodies in response to SARS CoV-2) is considered by many experts to be the most complete to track the spread of COVID19 in communities. However seroprevalence studies are hard to conduct, because they require going into communities and underdoing random blood draws. Many people—especially racial and ethnic minorities, or people with underlying health conditions, or people with language barriers—may be hard to reach for these types of surveys. Plus outreach into communities is very difficult in light of the COVID19 pandemic. To mitigate this problem we worked with a random sample of 28,503 patients on hemodialysis, the vast majority of whom are covered by Medicare. They get their blood drawn monthly, as part of their routine care. Furthermore even though we used a random sample, we know that patients on dialysis are more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities, and more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lipids, Statins, UCSD / 26.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lori B. Daniels, MD, MAS, FACC, FAHA Professor of Medicine Director, Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit UCSD Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center La Jolla, CA 92037-7411  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The purpose of our study was to investigate whether there is an association between the use of statin medications and COVID-19 morbidity and mortality among patients hospitalized for COVID-19. Our study investigated all patients hospitalized for treatment of COVID at a major US academic medical center during the study period. We studied patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19, and compared those who had been taking statins for at least 30 days prior to admission, with those not on statins.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, FASEB, Genetic Research / 25.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Gurwitz, PhD Associate Professor Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry Sackler Faculty of Medicine Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We closely followed the news on COVID-19 epidemiology since it was declared a pandemic, and were puzzled by the low fatality rates reported in nearly all East Asian countries, even that clearly this was in part due to fast response; for example, Taiwan remains the best example for combatting the pandemic. My past research on serpins (serine protease inhibitors) made me wonder if ethnic differences in some of them are in part related to the relatively low COVID-19 morbidities and fatalities, as serine proteases, in particular TMPPRSS2, are strongly implicated in the SARS-CoV-2 respiratory track cell entry and infection. Additionally, serine proteases such as neutrophil elastase are highly implicated in inflammatory tissue damage. Guy Shapira, a graduate student of my colleague Professor Noam Shomron, examined mutation records in different ethnic groups for the entire human serpin gene family. He came up with the findings we report regarding a close correlation between national records of the frequencies of the two mutations PiZ and PiS, underlying alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, in 67 countries on the global scale, and the current COVID-19 fatalities in the same 67 countries.  (more…)