Tonsillectomy Often Done When Not Indicated (and vice versa!)

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

A pair of tonsils after surgical removal Wikipedia image

A pair of tonsils after surgical removal
Wikipedia image

Tom Marshall, MSc, PhD, MRCGP, FFPH
Professor of public health and primary care
Institute of Applied Health Research
University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

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

Response: Tonsillectomy is one of the most common childhood surgical procedures. There are two main indications: recurrent sore throat and sleep-related breathing problems (including obstructive sleep apnoea).

Jack Paradise’s 1984 study made clear tonsillectomy is modestly effective in children with frequent, severe sore throats: seven in one year, or five yearly in two successive years, or three yearly in three successive years. Sore throats must have symptoms: fever, pus seen on tonsils, lymphadenopathy or confirmed Streptococcal infection. With surgery, children average two sore throats in the next year, without surgery, three. Two years later there is no difference. Further research shows the benefits are too tiny to justify surgery in children with less frequent, less severe or undocumented sore throats. Subsequent randomised controlled trials have not changed the evidence. There isn’t enough good evidence to support surgery in children with obstructive sleep apnoea or sleep related breathing problems.

Tonsillectomy is not a trivial procedure, about 2% are readmitted with haemorrhage and about 1 in 40,000 dies. Childhood tonsillectomy is linked to risk of adult autoimmune diseases. It is important to be sure tonsillectomy is only undertaken in children where there are evidence-based indications.

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Female Genital Mutilation of Young Girls Declines in Africa, Not in Western Asia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala Professor of Biostatistics Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering Northumbria University, UKProfessor Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala

Professor of Biostatistics
Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Northumbria University, UK

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

Response: The background “UNICEF (2014) estimates that worldwide more than two hundred million women have undergone some form of FGM/C, and approximately 3.3 million girls are cut each year. Recent estimates show that if FGM/C practices continue at current, 68 million girls will be cut between 2015 and 2030 in 25 countries where FGM is routinely practiced and more recent data are available (UNJP, 2018).”

Main findings: The prevalence of FGM/C among children varied greatly between countries and regions and also within countries over the survey periods. We found evidence of significant decline in the prevalence of FGM/C in the last three decades among children aged 0–14 years in most of the countries and regions, particularly in East, North and West Africa. We show that the picture looks different in Western Asia, where the practice remains and affects the same age group.

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Antibiotics and Acid Suppressants May Be Risk Factor For Pediatric Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"babies (365-222)" by Robert Couse-Baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Christopher M Stark
Department of Pediatrics
William Beaumont Army Medical Center
El Paso, Texas
Department of Pediatrics
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Bethesda, Maryland

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

Response: Rates of pediatric obesity have increased over the past decade, which has led researchers to search for modifiable risk factors that may explain this increase. Recent studies have identified an association between native gut bacteria alterations and the development of obesity. Several population-based studies have evaluated whether or not there is an association between antibiotic exposure and the development of obesity, with mixed results.

No studies have previously evaluated if acid suppressing medications are associated with developing obesity.

We found that young children prescribed antibiotics, acid suppressants, and combinations of these medications in the first two years of life are more likely to develop obesity after two years of age.

Our study represents the largest study to evaluate pediatric antibiotic prescriptions and obesity risk, with nearly ten times as many patients as the next largest study.

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Genetic Locus Linked to Migraine Risk in African American Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"DNA model" by Caroline Davis2010 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Hakon Hakonarson, MD, PhD
Corresponding Author
Xiao Chang, PhD
Lead Author
The Center for Applied Genomics
Children’s Hospital Philadelphia
PhiladelphiaPennsylvania

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

Response: Migraine is a genetic disorder characterized by recurrent and intense headaches often accompanied by visual disturbances. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) are a powerful hypothesis-free tool for investigating the genetic architecture of human disease. Currently, multiple GWASs have been conducted on European adults with migraine that have successfully identified several migraine susceptibility genes involved in neuronal and vascular functions.

Considering the prevalence of migraines varies across ethnicities, the genetic risk factors may be different in patients of African ancestries and European ancestries. In addition, if migraine presents at an early age (childhood), it may reflect elevated biological predisposition from genetic factors or increased susceptibility to environmental risk factors.

We performed the first GWAS to investigate the susceptibility genes associated with migraine in African-American children. The main out come was that common variants at the 5q33.1 locus in the human genome are associated with migraine risk in African-American children. The genetic underpinnings at this locus responsible for this finding are less relevant in patients of European ancestry.  Continue reading

SMArT Work: Stand More AT Work Increased Work Engagement and Quality of Life

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Office Chair Jumble" by Gavin St. Ours is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Fehmidah Munir CPsychol, AFBPsS

Reader in Health Psychology
Athena SWAN School Champion
School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences
National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine
Loughborough University 

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

Response: Given the evidence of the harmful effects of high levels of sitting time on health and the high proportion of time the majority of adults spend in this behaviour, particularly in the workplace, methods to reduce overall and prolonged sitting were needed.

Our SMArT Work (Stand More AT Work) programme was delivered to NHS office workers and involved brief education about the impact of sitting on health and benefits of reducing sitting, feedback on sitting behaviour, providing staff with a height-adjustable desk to enable them to work either standing up or sitting down, motivational posters and brief chats with a researcher to see how they were getting on. They received this programme over 12 months.

We found that office workers in our study spent nearly 10 hours/day sitting down, which can be bad for health, but we’ve shown that those office workers who received our SMArT Work programme had lower sitting time by around 80mins per day after 12 months compared to those who didn’t receive our programme. Those who received SMArT Work also reported an increase in work engagement, job performance and quality of life and less musculoskeletal issues such as back and neck pain, they felt less tired after a day at work, had less feelings of anxiety and lower sickness presenteeism (working whilst sick). We didn’t find any differences in the number of days absent at work though. Continue reading

Combination Oral Contraceptives Associated With Reduced Ovarian Cancer Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Lisa Iversen PhD; MSc Epidemiology Research Fellow Academic Primary Care Institute of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen

Dr. Iversen

Dr Lisa Iversen PhD; MSc Epidemiology
Research Fellow
Academic Primary Care
Institute of Applied Health Sciences
University of Aberdeen

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

Response: Everyday at least 100 million women worldwide use hormonal contraception. Previous research has found a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women using combined oral contraceptives but this evidence related to older products. It is important for users of contemporary combined oral contraceptives to know whether they are likely to experience the same patterns of reduction in risk of ovarian cancer and whether the benefit is specific to a particular formulation. Users of other hormonal contraceptives such as those with non-oral routes of administration and progestogen-only products should also know whether they have a reduced risk of ovarian cancer.

We investigated the influence of all contemporary hormonal contraceptives on ovarian cancer risk in over 1.8 million women in Denmark aged 15-49 years, over a 20 year period from 1995-2014.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: Compared to never users, current or recent users of hormonal contraceptives and former users had a reduced risk of ovarian cancer. The reduced risk became stronger the longer time period hormonal contraceptives were used and the protection remained several years after stopping. We found most of the hormonal contraceptive use was of combined oral contraceptives. There was little evidence of important differences between products containing different progestogens. The reduced risk of ovarian cancer for combined products was seen for most ovarian cancer types. There was no firm evidence to suggest any protective effect among women who had used progestogen-only products but few women exclusively used these contraceptives so their limited data might not be powerful enough. We estimate that hormonal contraception prevented 21% of ovarian cancers in our study

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our findings are reassuring to women of reproductive age, contemporary combined oral contraceptives (which generally contain lower doses of oestrogen and newer progestogens) are still associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: It is still to be established how long the protective effects associated with contemporary combined oral contraceptives persist. We were unable to investigate this as our study examined contemporary products and did not include older women. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Although our observational study is unable to draw conclusions about cause and effect, it is noteworthy that our findings are consistent with studies of older products.

All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form and declare Professor Lidegaard reports grants from Novo Nordisk Foundation, during the conduct of the study; and has been an expert witness in two legal cases in the US on hormonal contraception and venous thrombosis for the plaintiff in 2011 and 2012. Dr Mørch reports grants from Novo Nordisk Foundation, during the conduct of the study. Professor Hannaford and Drs Iversen, Fielding and Skovlund have nothing to disclose.

Citation:

Association between contemporary hormonal contraception and ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age in Denmark: prospective, nationwide cohort study

BMJ 2018362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3609 (Published 26 September 2018)Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3609

Oct 1, 2018 @ 2:44 pm 

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Study Links Mitral Valve Prolapse with Risk of Sudden Death

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Prash Sanders Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders NHMRC Practitioner Fellow, Knapman-NHF Chair of Cardiology Research, University of Adelaide | SAHMRI Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology & Pacing, Royal Adelaide Hospital

Prof. Sanders

Professor Prash Sanders
Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders
NHMRC Practitioner Fellow,
Knapman-NHF Chair of Cardiology Research,
University of Adelaide | SAHMRI
Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology & Pacing,
Royal Adelaide Hospital

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

Response: CLINICALLY WE HAVE HAD SOME PATIENTS WHO HAVE SURVIVED SUDDEN DEATH EPISODES AND HAVE NOTED THAT THEY HAD MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE. THIS STIMULATED US TO UNDERTAKE A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE.

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Overlapping Regulations Can Impede Transparency in Medical Research Trials

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Trudo Lemmens (LicJur, LLM bioethics, DCL) Professor and Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy Faculty of Law, University of Toronto Toronto Ontario, Canada

Prof. Lemmens

Trudo Lemmens (LicJur, LLM bioethics, DCL)
Professor and Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy
Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
Toronto Ontario, Canada 

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

Response: The study is part of a series of articles organized in collaboration between the BMJ and the Pan American Health Organization, with particular involvement of members of PAHO’s Advisory Committee on Health Research.

The goal of the series is to highlight some of the key accomplishments in the PAHO region in the last decades following PAHO’s 2009 regional policy on research for health, the first WHO regional policy that aimed at contributing to WHOs Stragegy on Research for Health.

One of the issues that have been identified in the last decades as an important challenge, particularly for research related to pharmaceutical product and medical device development, is the lack of transparency of clinical trials data. This has been associated with problems of hiding and misrepresentation of research results, duplication of research, and misleading or even outright fraudulent presentations of findings in medical publications.

Various remedies have been proposed to address these problems, from trial registration, to results reporting, to broader data sharing that enables independent researchers to verify and challenge research results. I have been involved through PAHO and in my own research in the promotion of transparency measures at the national and international level. PAHO has been playing a leading role in this in the region, so it seemed more than fitting to have an article in the series on what has been accomplished and what challenges remain.

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Diabetes: Switching to Sulfonylureas from Metformin Linked to Increased Side Effects

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Samy Suissa, PhD Director, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute Professor, Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and of Medicine McGill University

Dr. Suissa

Samy Suissa, PhD
Director, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute
Professor, Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and of Medicine
McGill University 

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

Response: Sulfonylureas are widely used oral antidiabetic drugs that are recommended as second-line treatments after first-line metformin to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. While their safety has been studied extensively, studies in patients with poorly controlled diabetes in need of pharmacotherapy escalation have been sparse and limited. Our study evaluated whether adding or switching to sulfonylureas after initiating metformin treatment is associated with increased cardiovascular or hypoglycaemic risks, compared with remaining on metformin monotherapy.

Using a large cohort of over 77,000 patients initiating treatment with metformin monotherapy, we found that adding or switching to sulfonylureas is associated with modest increases of 26% in the risk of myocardial infarction and 28% in the risk of death, as well as an over 7-fold major increase in the risk of severe hypoglycaemia leading to hospitalisation.

In particular, we found that switching from metformin to sulfonylureas was associated with higher risks of myocardial infarction and death, compared with adding sulfonylureas to metformin.  Continue reading

Study Finds Direct Oral AntiCoagulants (DOACs) Safe in A Fib

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Yana Vinogradova, PhD, Research Fellow Division of Primary Care, School of Medicine University of Nottingham Nottingham

Dr. Vinogradova

Yana Vinogradova, PhD, Research Fellow
Division of Primary Care, School of Medicine
University of Nottingham
Nottingham

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

Response: Anticoagulants are prescribed for treatment and prevention of thrombosis and stroke but may lead to major bleeding.  Unlike the older drug warfarin, newer direct oral anticoagulants do not require regular blood tests but their safety was shown only in selected patients and in trial conditions.

The study found that Direct Oral AntiCoagulants (DOACs) are safer than warfarin in terms of bleeding risks with apixaban being the safest. 

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Greater Risk of Diabetes in Women With Longer Work Week

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mahée Gilbert-Ouimet, PhD Postdoctoral fellow/Chercheure postdoctorale Institute for Work & Health Hôpital du St-Sacrement,  Québec 

Dr. Gilbert-Ouimet

Mahée Gilbert-Ouimet, PhD
Postdoctoral fellow/Chercheure postdoctorale
Institute for Work & Health
Hôpital du St-Sacrement,  Québec 

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

Response: Diabetes is one of the primary causes of death worldwide, in addition to being a major risk factor for several other chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases. Considering the rapid and substantial increase of diabetes prevalence, identifying modifiable risk factors is of major importance. In this regard, long work hours have recently been linked with diabetes, but more high-quality prospective studies are needed. Our study evaluated the relationship between long work hours and the incidence of diabetes among 7065 workers over a 12-year period in Ontario, Canada.

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Does Preloading With a Nicotine Patch Help Smokers Quit?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Day 1 of nicotine patch, just stuffed my face with lunch at work and do NOT even want a cigarette” by David Bruce Jr. is licensed under CC BY 2.0Paul Aveyard
Professor of Behavioural Medicine
Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
University of Oxford
Radcliffe Primary Care Building
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter
Oxford

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

Response: Tobacco addiction occurs because of repeated pairings of the act and sensation of smoking with binding of nicotine in the midbrain leading to release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. These repeated pairings create associative learning and, when brain nicotine concentrations fall, this produces a compulsion to keep using tobacco. In theory, blocking the actions of nicotine released while smoking ought to reverse this learning. One way to do this is to use a nicotine patch which provides a steady state high concentration of nicotine that desensitises the nicotinic receptors in the midbrain, making them unresponsive to nicotine from a smoked cigarette. This is the theory behind nicotine preloading.

The clinical trial evidence that preloading works is equivocal, with some trials suggesting a very large therapeutic effect and others no benefit at all. In the light of both the promise and the uncertainty, we aimed to complete the largest trial to date of nicotine preloading to examine its effectiveness, safety, and tolerability.

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Long Term Antidepressants Associated With Sustained Weight Gain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Rafael Gafoor
Research Associate
Kings College London 

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

Response: Obesity and weight gain are global public health problems, with approximately 60% of UK adults currently overweight or obese. Depression is common in people who are severely obese and the rate of antidepressant prescribing is increasing, which could have potential impact on public health. However, little research has been reported on the impact of widespread antidepressant treatment on weight gain. So a UK based research team, led by Rafael Gafoor at King’s College London, set out to investigate the association between the use of antidepressants and weight gain. The researchers analysed body weight and body mass measurement data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) for over 300,000 adults with an average age of 51, whose body mass index (BMI) had been recorded three or more times during GP consultations from 2004-2014. Participants were grouped according to their BMI (from normal weight to severely obese) and whether or not they had been prescribed an antidepressant in a given year. Participants were then monitored for a total of 10 years.

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Does Exercise Slow Dementia?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Sarah E Lamb,  MSc, MA, MCSP, Grad Dip Statistics, DPhil Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Centre for Statistics in Medicine Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford

Prof. Lamb

Prof. Sarah E Lamb,  MSc, MA, MCSP, Grad Dip Statistics, DPhil
Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Centre for Statistics in Medicine
Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences
Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford

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

Response: Scientists and clinicians have considered the possibility that higher intensity aerobic and muscle strength training might have a beneficial effect in preventing dementia or slowing the progression of cognitive impairment in those who have dementia.

The hypothesis has come mostly from animal research.

The main findings of our research which used a large sample and high quality methods was that higher intensity exercise, whilst possible, did not slow cognitive impairment. Neither did it have an impact on the functional and behavioural outcomes for people with dementia. It was a substantial commitment for people to participate in the programmes, although many enjoyed the experience and their physical fitness improved.

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Men Receive Triple Amount of Cancer Research Funding

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Faecal Coliforms analysis” by SuSanA Secretariat is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Mahiben Maruthappu

Public Health Registrar

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

Response: Gender disparities in the fields of science and technology have been documented, and  it becomes increasingly apparent at higher levels of seniority. In this analysis, we found a quantifiable difference in cancer research funding awarded to female principle investigators compared to male principle investigators (PIs).

Across all cancer research funding grants that we identified, male PIs received 3.6 times the total investment value, and 1.6 times the average award value compared with their female counterparts.  Continue reading

How Many Diseases Should Newborns Be Screened For?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Newborn” by Brad Carroll is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Sian Taylor-Phillips MPhys, PhD
Associate Professor Screening and Test Evaluation /
NIHR Career Development Fellow
Division of Health Sciences
Warwick Medical School
University of Warwick Coventry

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

Response: In newborn blood spot screening a small amount of blood is taken from newborn babies heels, and this is tested for a range of rare diseases. The idea is to detect each disease earlier when it is more treatable. However, it would be better not to test for some diseases, for example if the test is inaccurate so worries parents that their baby may have a serious illness when they do not. Some countries test for as few as 5 diseases and others as many as 50. In this study we investigated how different countries choose which diseases to test for.

We found that many national recommendations on whether to screen newborn babies for rare diseases do not assess the evidence on the key benefits and harms of screening. Evidence about the accuracy of the test was not considered in 42% of recommendations, evidence about whether early detection at screening has health benefits was not consulted in 30% of recommendations, and evidence around the potential harm of overdiagnosis where babies have variants of the disease that would never have caused any symptoms or ill effects was not considered in 76% of recommendations.

We also found through meta-analysis that when a systematic review was used to bring together the evidence then countries were less likely to recommend screening for the disease.

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How Much US Life is Lost to Police Violence?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“police” by istolethetv is licensed under CC BY 2.0Anthony L. Bui, MPH

M.D. Candidate, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Matthew M. Coates, MPH
Associate, Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine
Ellicott C. Matthay, MPH
Ph.D. Candidate, Division of Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health

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

Response: Protests after recent deaths from encounters with law enforcement, the Black Lives Matter movement, and activism over social media platforms have raised the profile of the problem of police violence. Several studies have suggested that the public health community has a duty to address these deaths as a public health problem. These studies have also pointed out that although there is a lack of officially reported statistics on police violence, other journalistic and crowd-sourced efforts such as “The Counted” from The Guardian, FatalEncounters.org, U.S. Police Shootings Database, KilledbyPolice.net, and Mapping Police Violence have relatively complete documentation of deaths from police violence.

To help frame the issue as a public health problem, we calculated years of life lost (YLLs) attributed to deaths from encounters with law enforcement. YLLs are, a metric that measures premature deaths, by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. To do this, we followed established methods, subtracting the age of each death from a corresponding standard life expectancy. For example, if an individual who died at age 25 had a life expectancy of 75, their YLL would be 50.  Continue reading

Artificial Pancreas Reduces Hypoglycemia in Type 1 Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Apostolos Tsapas

Dr. Tsapas

Apostolos Tsapas, MD PhD MSc(Oxon)
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director of the Second Medical Department | Aristotle University Thessalonik
Cruddas Link Fellow
Harris Manchester College
University of Oxford  

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

Response: Artificial pancreas treatment, also referred to as closed loop glucose control, is an emerging treatment option combining a pump and continuous glucose monitoring with a control algorithm to deliver insulin (and potentially glucagon) in a glucose responsive manner. Compared with insulin pumps or sensor augmented pumps, artificial pancreas use can reduce the burden for patients by automatically adjusting the amount of insulin entering the body on the basis of sensor glucose levels. The US Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the first artificial pancreas system for use by people with type 1 diabetes over 14 years of age, based on a safety outpatient study.

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Severely Malnourished Children May Benefit From Vitamin D Supplement

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Javeria Saleem PhD

Department of Public Health, Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Queen Mary University of London
London, United Kingdom

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

Response: Severe acute malnutrition is the most extreme and visible form of undernutrition. Affected children have very low weight for their height and severe muscle wasting; they may also have swollen feet, face and limbs. Around 20 million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition worldwide of whom an estimated 1.4 million live in Pakistan. The condition is a major cause of death in children under 5 in Asia and Africa. The standard treatment is to give a high-energy, micronutrient enhanced paste called ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF).

Vitamin D deficiency has been reported to be a risk factor for severe wasting in children with severe acute malnutrition Ready-to-use therapeutic food contains relatively modest amounts of vitamin D. However, the effects of adding high-dose vitamin D to this standard treatment have not previously been evaluated.

We therefore did a clinical trial to assess whether high-dose vitamin D hastened recovery in 185 children aged 6-58 months who were receiving standard treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Southern Punjab, Pakistan. The 93 children in the active arm of the study received two doses of 5 mg vitamin D by mouth, while the 92 children in the control arm received placebo (a dummy medicine containing no vitamin D).

Our findings were very striking: after 2 months of treatment, the children who received high-dose vitamin D in addition to standard therapy had significantly better weight gain, and significantly better motor and language development, than those who received standard treatment alone.

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For Your Surgeon, Do You Want Younger Hands or More Experience?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Untitled” by Marcin Wichary is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Yusuke Tsugawa, MD, MPH, PhD
Assistant professor
Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCL
Los Angeles, CA 

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

Response: We studied whether patients’ mortality rate differ based on age and sex of surgeons who performed surgical procedures. Using a nationally representative data of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65-99 years who underwent one of 20 major non-elective surgeries, we found that patients treated by older surgeons have lower mortality than those cared for by younger surgeons, whereas there was no difference in patient mortality between male and female surgeons. When we studied age and sex together, we found that female surgeons at their 50s had the lowest patient mortality across all groups.

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Some Depression and Overactive Bladder Drugs Linked to Dementia

Medicalresearch.com Interview with:

Professor Phyo Kyaw Myint Chair in Old Age Medicine University of Aberdeen

Prof. Myint

Professor Phyo Kyaw Myint
Chair in Old Age Medicine
University of Aberdeen

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

Response: We have previously studied the potential harmful effects of a group of medications called anticholinergics. They can have side effects on central as well peripheral systems. The link between use of these drugs and dementia is less well understood due to limitations of previous studies.

We used large GP practices data from the UK with long term follow up and examined this association using robust statistical methods.

Medicalresearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Key findings are:

  • Drugs with anticholinergic properties which are used to treat depression, urological conditions (e.g. for overactive bladder) and Parkinsonism are linked to development of dementia.
  • Drugs with similar properties which are used to treat gut disorders and heart conditions are not found to be linked to dementia
  • Drugs with low level of anticholinergic effect are not linked to dementia

Medicalresearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Clinicians should use the drugs with high level of anticholinergic burden cautiously. Also attempts should be made whenever appropriate to reduce or replace with similar drugs but without such properties.

Medicalresearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We need to ensure confounding effects are minimised by conducting carefully designed prospective studies. Further clinical trial evidence of benefit of deprescribing of these medications (when possible) in at risk populations is also urgently warranted.

Medicalresearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?

Response: In the absence of trial evidence, this study provides best available evidence using robust statistical methods in the largest study of its kind and will help clinicians in making treatment choices for the benefit of the patients.

Citation:

Anticholinergic drugs and risk of dementia: case-control study

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1315 (Published 25 April 2018)Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1315

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

 

 

 

Migraine Linked To Increased Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Islam Elgendy MD Division of Cardiovascular Medicine University of Florida  

Dr. Elgendy

Islam Elgendy MD
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
University of Florida  

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

Response: Migraine headache is a prevalent medical condition, often being chronic and debilitating to many. Previous studies have shown that migraine, particularly migraine with aura, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. Recently, a number of these studies have reported long-term follow up data. To better understand the long-term morbidity that is associated with migraines, we performed a systematic evaluation to study the link between migraine and risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events.

This study demonstrated that migraine is associated with an increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, which was driven by an increased long-term risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. This effect was predominantly observed in migraineurs who have aura.  Continue reading

Tai Chi At Least As Beneficial As Standard Therapy For Fibromyalgia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“tai chi 11.4.09” by Luigi Scorcia is licensed under CC BY 2.0Chenchen Wang MD, MSc
Professor of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine
Director, Center For Complementary And Integrative Medicine
Division of Rheumatology
Tufts Medical Center Boston, MA 02111 

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

Response: Patients with chronic widespread pain often try many different types of pain medications, anti-depressants, physical therapy, and other approaches, and commonly find that none of these therapies work for them. Finding safe, effective approaches for pain management is an urgent priority. Previous evidence suggested that Tai Chi, a multi-dimensional mind-body practice that integrates physical, psychosocial, and behavioral elements, may be especially suited to address both chronic pain and associated psychological and somatic symptoms. In our most recent study published in the BMJ, we directly compared the effectiveness of Tai Chi versus aerobic exercise, which is a standard care non-drug treatment for fibromyalgia. Continue reading

School Based Healthy Lifestyle Program Did Not Bend Childhood Obesity Curve

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Lt. Governor Brown Visits Hamilton Elem_Mid School to Highlight Summer Meals Program” by Maryland GovPics is licensed under CC BY 2.0Peymané Adab, MD

University of Birmingham in England

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

Response: Childhood obesity is an increasing problem worldwide. In the UK, the proportion of children who are very overweight doubles during the primary school years. Furthermore during this period inequalities emerge. At school entry there is little difference in the likelihood of being overweight between groups. However on leaving primary school, children from minority ethnic groups and those from more deprived, compared to more affluent backgrounds are more likely to be overweight. Excess weight in children is linked with multiple health, emotional and social problems.  As children spend a lot of time at school, it seems intuitive that they are an ideal setting for prevention interventions.

Although a number of studies have investigated the evidence for school obesity prevention programmes, the results have been mixed and methodological weaknesses have prevented recommendations being made. As a result we undertook a major high quality trial to evaluate an intervention that had been developed in consultation with parents, teachers and the relevant community. The 12 month programme  had four components. Teachers at participating schools were trained to provide opportunities for regular bursts of physical activity for children, building up to an additional 30 minutes each school day. There was also a workshop each term, where parents came in to cook a healthy meal (breakfast, lunch of dinner) with their children. In conjunction with a local football club, Aston Villa, children participated in a six-week healthy eating and physical activity programme. Finally, parents were provided with information about local family physical activity opportunities.

We involved around 1500 year 1 children (aged 5-6 years) from 54 state run primary schools in the West Midlands. At the start of the study, we measured their height and weight and other measures of body fat, asked the children to complete a questionnaire about their wellbeing, to note everything they ate for 24 hours, and to wear an activity monitor that recorded how active they were. After this, the schools were randomised to either receive the programme or not. We then repeated the measures 15 and 30 months later.

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Patients With Multiple Chronic Diseases Incur High Out-of-Pocket Expenses

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Grace Sum Chi-En National University of Singapore

Dr Grace Sum    Chi-En

Dr Grace Sum Chi-En
National University of Singapore

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

Response: Chronic diseases are conditions that are not infectious and are usually long-term, such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, chronic lung disease, asthma, arthritis, stroke, obesity, and depression. They are also known as non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Multimorbidity, is a term we use in our field, to mean the presence of two or more NCDs. Multimorbidity is a costly and complex challenge for health systems globally. With the ageing population, more people in the world will suffer from multiple chronic diseases.

Patients with multimorbidity tend to need many medicines, and this incurs high levels of out-of-pocket expenditures, simply known as cost not covered by insurance. Even the United Nations and World Health organisation are recognising NCDs as being an important issue.

Governments will meet in New York for the United Nations 3rd high-level meeting on chronic diseases in 2018. Global leaders need to work towards reducing the burden of having multiple chronic conditions and providing financial protection to those suffering multimorbidity.

Our research aimed to conduct a high-quality systematic review on multimorbidity and out-of-pocket expenditure on medicines.  Continue reading