AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Nutrition, Vegetarians / 22.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_51018" align="alignleft" width="173"]Megu Baden, MD, PhD Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA02115 Dr. Baden[/caption] Megu Baden, MD, PhD Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA02115  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you give an example of healthful vs non-healthful plantbased diet? Response: Plant-based diets are recommended for health and recently also for their environmental benefits. However, most previous studies defined it as either vegetarian or non-vegetarian, and importantly, without differentiation for the quality of plant foods. As you know, not all plant foods are equally good to our health. Therefore, to capture the quality of plant-based diets, we established overall, healthful and unhealthful plant-based diet indices. A higher score on the overall plant based diet index indicates greater intake of all types of plant foods and less of animal foods. A higher score on the healthful plant based diet index indicates greater intake of only healthy plant foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, tea/coffee), and less of less healthy plant foods (fruit juices, refined grains, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets/desserts) and animal foods. A higher score on the unhealthful plant based diet index indicates greater intake of only less healthy plant foods, and less of healthy plant foods and animal foods. In this study, we used these plant-based diet indices and investigated the associations between 12-year changes in plant-based diet quality and subsequent total and cause-specific mortality in two large US cohorts.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Global Health, Infections, Lancet, Pediatrics / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_51012" align="alignleft" width="150"]Tori Cowger, MPH Ph.D Student | Population Health Sciences Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Tori Cowger[/caption] Tori Cowger, MPH Ph.D Student | Population Health Sciences Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Globally, approximately one million cases of tuberculosis disease (TB) and 233,000 TB-related deaths occurred among children aged younger than 15 years during 2018. TB in children and adolescents is clinically and epidemiologically heterogeneous, making diagnosis, care, and prevention challenging. Understanding this heterogeneity can inform TB care and prevention efforts, and efforts to eliminate disparities in TB incidence and mortality in these groups. In this study, we describe the epidemiology of TB among children and adolescents in the United States, and report TB incidence rates for US territories and freely associated states and by parental country of birth, which have not been previously described.
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, University of Michigan, Vitamin D / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_51001" align="alignleft" width="135"]Eduardo Villamor, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H. Professor, Epidemiology School of Public Health University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan Dr. Villamor[/caption] Eduardo Villamor, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H. Professor, Epidemiology School of Public Health University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Vitamin D deficiency has been related to adverse mental health outcomes, including depression and schizophrenia, in adults.  Some studies have suggested a potential role of vitamin D status prenatally on other neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood.  However, few studies had extended into adolescence which is the life period when certain mental health issues that predict disease later in life, namely behavioral problems, first appear. 
Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Imperial College / 20.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50964" align="alignleft" width="149"]Georgios Giamas, (Dr. Biol. Hum.) Professor of Cancer Cell Signalling Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange University of Sussex -School of Life Sciences Visiting Professor, Imperial College, Londo Prof. Georgios Giamas[/caption] Georgios Giamas, (Dr. Biol. Hum.) Professor of Cancer Cell Signalling Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange University of Sussex -School of Life Sciences Visiting Professor, Imperial College, London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study focuses on Glioblastoma (GBM), which is one of the most aggressive solid tumours for which treatment options and biomarkers are limited. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? - Glioblastoma cells produce nanosized vesicles (aka: extracellular vesicles) that contain specific protein signatures, which can indicate the behaviour and phenotype of the respective cells of origin. -We have identified and described certain vesicle-associated biomarkers that correspond to the most aggressive brain cancers. -Our results can provide insights for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods as well as personalized treatment strategies
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, NIH, Pediatrics / 19.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50940" align="alignleft" width="150"]Kenneth S. Korach, Ph.D. Senior Principal Investigator Chief, Receptor Biology Section Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory NIEHS/NIH Dr. Kenneth Korach[/caption] Kenneth S. Korach, Ph.D. Senior Principal Investigator Chief, Receptor Biology Section Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory NIEHS/NIH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lavender oil is among the most popular essential oils used today. Our society deems essential oils and other homeopathic remedies as safe alternatives for medical treatment, personal hygiene commodities, aromatherapy, and cleaning products; however, there are many natural products that have effects on the human body, similar to potent synthetic drugs.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Genetic Research / 19.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tengteng Wang, PhD, MSPH, MBBS Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Channing Division of Network Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Chronic inflammation is a key player in the development of multiple cancer types, including breast cancer. Aspirin is one of the major non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which clearly has anti-inflammatory properties. Given this, substantial evidence from laboratory and population studies suggests that taking aspirin may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. However, the association of aspirin use with death outcomes following breast cancer diagnosis remains inconclusive and inconsistent across studies. Therefore, we choose to focus on mortality outcomes in this paper and we hypothesized that the inconsistent results for aspirin in relation to mortality could be due to differences in the association by patients’ biological profiles, specifically DNA methylation profiles here. 
Author Interviews, Bayer, FDA, Prostate Cancer / 16.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50898" align="alignleft" width="133"]Neal D. Shore, MD, FACS Director, CPI, Carolina Urologic Research Center Atlantic Urology Clinics Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Dr. Shore[/caption] Neal D. Shore, MD, FACS Director, CPI, Carolina Urologic Research Center Atlantic Urology Clinics Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Neal D. Shore, MD, FACS is the Medical Director for the Carolina Urologic Research Center. He practices with Atlantic Urology Clinics in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dr. Shore discusses the recent announcement that the FDA has approved Nubeqa®(darolutamide),  for the treatment of patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer..  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does NUBEQA®(darolutamide) differ from other treatments for nmCRPC?  Response: In 2017, patients did not have an approved therapy for non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, or nmCRPC. If untreated, patients with this diagnosis will go on to develop metastases, or progression of the cancer throughout the body. NUBEQA® (darolutamide) became the third and most recently approved treatment for nmCRPC, demonstrating a benefit of metastasis-free survival, or MFS. NUBEQA is different due to its adverse event and safety profile reported in the Phase III ARAMIS trial. In that study, there were no significant findings of falls and fractures as well as other adverse events reported from the earlier Phase III trials. 
Author Interviews, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research, University of Michigan / 15.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50705" align="alignleft" width="160"]Kyle Sheetz, MD, MSc Research Fellow Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy University of Michigan Dr. Sheetz[/caption] Kyle Sheetz, MD, MSc Research Fellow Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Various patient safety organizations and clinical societies continue to advocate for volume thresholds as a means to improve the short-term safety and overall effectiveness of high risk cancer surgeries in the United States. We asked two questions with this study: 1) What proportion of U.S. hospitals meet discretionary volume standards? 2) Do these standards differentiate hospitals based on short-term safety outcomes (mortality and complications)? We found that a relatively low proportion of hospitals meet even modest volume standards put forth by the Leapfrog Group. These standards did not differentiate hospitals based on outcomes for 3 of 4 high risk cancer operations reported by the Leapfrog Group. However, using higher thresholds, we were able to demonstrate a significant relationship between higher hospital volume and better outcomes, which has been reported numerous times.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cleveland Clinic, Weight Research / 15.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50721" align="alignleft" width="150"]Siran M. Koroukian, PhD Associate Professor Case Western Reserve University Dr. Koroukian[/caption] Siran M. Koroukian, PhD Director, Population Cancer Analytics Shared Resource Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Director, Population Health and Outcomes Research Core Associate Professor Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences School of Medicine Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have shown that obesity-associated cancers (OACs) have been increasing in younger people. Using data from over 6 million cancer cases from 2000-2016, we identified the specific age/sex/race-ethnicity groups that were most affected by increases in OACs. We found a substantial shift of obesity-associated cancers to younger age groups, with the most notable increases occurring to the 50-64 age group. In addition, we observed the greatest percentage increase in the number of OAC cases during the study period in Hispanic men and women, as well as for cancers of the thyroid, gallbladder, liver and intrabiliary duct.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, FDA, Vaccine Studies / 14.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50871" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr. Graca Dores (left) and Dr. Perez-Vilar (senior author) Dr. Graca Dores (left) and Dr. Perez-Vilar (senior author)[/caption] Dr. Graca Dores MD MPH US Food and Drug Administration Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Office of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Division of Epidemiology Silver Spring, Maryland Oklahoma City, OK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what Sipuleucel-T is used for?  Response: Sipuleucel-T was the first therapeutic vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010.  It is indicated for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC; prostate cancer that spreads while an individual is on hormone-blocking therapy).  During the preparation of this product, the patient’s cells are collected (leukapheresis), sent for processing to generate a dose of patient-specific vaccine, and then administered intravenously back to the patient.  This process is repeated approximately every two weeks for a total of three doses. Except for the pre-marketing clinical trials that were reviewed during the sipuleucel-T approval process, post-marketing studies that have evaluated the safety profile of sipuleucel-T are scarce. Therefore, we used the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database to summarize the adverse events reported to FDA by industry, medical professionals, and consumers.  We also assessed whether sipuleucel-T and specific adverse events (product-event pairs) were reported more than expected compared to all other drug/biologic-adverse event pairs in the FAERS database.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mayo Clinic, Pancreatic, USPSTF / 14.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50834" align="alignleft" width="138"]Dr. Chyke A. Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H. Dr. Doubeni is a family physician and The inaugural director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research Dr. Doubeni[/caption] Dr. Chyke A. Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H. Dr. Doubeni is a family physician and The inaugural director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force uses systematic review of existing research to make recommendations on clinical preventive services that are delivered in primary care, with the goal to promote and improve health for all Americans. Although pancreatic cancer is an uncommon condition in the general population, it is often deadly. Pancreatic cancer is now the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States, and could become the second leading cause if current trends continue. The vast majority of people with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed at a late stage and, unfortunately, even when caught early enough when surgery could be most effective, only a little over one-third of patients survive beyond five years.
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Duke, Heart Disease, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 14.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50729" align="alignleft" width="200"]Yuichiro Yano MD Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health Duke University  Dr. Yano[/caption] Yuichiro Yano MD Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health Duke University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: African Americans are disproportionally affected by hypertension-related cardiovascular disease compared with other racial/ethnic groups in the United States and have higher blood pressure levels inside and outside the clinic than whites and Asians. However, little is known, among African Americans, regarding whether higher mean blood pressure measured outside of the clinic setting on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease events, independent of blood pressure measured in the clinic setting.
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, NIH, Pulmonary Disease / 13.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50697" align="alignleft" width="150"]Joel Kaufman, MD, MPH, Professor   Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Medicine, and Epidemiology University of Washington Prof. Kaufman[/caption] Joel Kaufman, MD, MPH, Professor   Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Medicine, and Epidemiology University of Washington  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Increasingly, it is recognized that chronic lung diseases like emphysema occur in nonsmokers and rates of these diseases are continuing to increase.  We really need to understand what’s causing chronic lung disease. Air pollutants are known to make disease worse in people with prior lung disease, but little is known about whether long-term exposure to air pollutants can cause chronic lung disease. We found that higher residential concentrations of air pollutants—especially ozone and traffic-related air pollutants—are associated with changes in the lung—emphysema-like changes in the lung.  The associations were strong and suggest that air pollution may be an important contributor to chronic lung disease. 
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, UCLA / 12.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50709" align="alignleft" width="200"]Joann G. Elmore, MD, MPH Professor of Medicine, Director of the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Dr. Elmore[/caption] Joann G. Elmore, MD, MPH Professor of Medicine, Director of the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • A pathologist makes the diagnosis of breast cancer versus non-cancer after reviewing the biopsy specimen. Breast biopsies are performed on millions of women each year and It is critical to get a correct diagnosis so that we can guide patients to the most effective treatments.
  • Our prior work (Elmore et al. 2015 JAMA) found significant levels of disagreement among pathologists when they interpreted the same breast biopsy specimen. We also found that pathologists would disagree with their own interpretations of breast biopsies when they where shown the same biopsy specimen a year later.
  • In this study, 240 breast biopsy images were fed into a computer, training it to recognize patterns associated with several types of breast lesions, ranging from benign (noncancerous) to invasive breast cancer. We compared the computer readings to independent diagnoses made by 87 practicing U.S. pathologists and found that while our artificial intelligence program came close to performing as well as human doctors in differentiating cancer from non-cancer, the AI program outperformed doctors when differentiating ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) from atypia, which is considered the greatest diagnostic challenge.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Medicare, UCLA / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50628" align="alignleft" width="154"]Auyon Siddiq PhD Assistant Professor/INFORMS Member Decisions, Operations & Technology Management  UCLA Anderson School of Management Dr. Siddiq[/caption] Auyon Siddiq PhD Assistant Professor/INFORMS Member Decisions, Operations & Technology Management UCLA Anderson School of Management MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) was created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to control escalating Medicare spending by incentivizing providers to deliver healthcare more efficiently. Medicare providers that enroll in the MSSP earn bonus payments for reducing spending to below a risk-adjusted financial benchmark that depends on the provider's historical spending. To generate savings, a provider must invest to improve efficiency, which is a cost that is absorbed entirely by the provider under the current contract. This has proven to be challenging for the MSSP, with a majority of participating providers unable to generate savings due to the associated costs. This study presents a predictive analytics approach to redesigning the MSSP contract, with the goal of better aligning incentives and improving financial outcomes from the MSSP. We build our model from data containing the financial performance of providers enrolled in the MSSP, which together accounted for 7 million beneficiaries and over $70 billion in Medicare spending.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, NIH / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50622" align="alignleft" width="126"]Co-First author: Jamie J. Lo, MPH PhD student, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health National University of Singapore, Singapore Jamie Lo[/caption] Co-First author: Jamie J. Lo, MPH PhD student, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health National University of Singapore, Singapore [caption id="attachment_50623" align="alignleft" width="100"]Co-First author & Co-Senior author: Yong-Moon (“Mark”) Park, MD, PhD Dr. Park[/caption] Co-First author & Co-Senior author: Yong-Moon (“Mark”) Park, MD, PhD Postdoctoral fellow, Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health [caption id="attachment_50624" align="alignleft" width="100"]Co-First author & Co-Senior author: Yong-Moon (“Mark”) Park, MD, PhD Dr. Sandler[/caption] Senior author: Dale P. Sandler, PhD Chief, Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We were interested, generally, in the association between meat consumption and breast cancer risk. Epidemiological studies of red meat consumption and risk of breast cancer are still inconsistent, although red meat has been identified as a probable carcinogen. In addition, there is not much evidence on the association between poultry consumption and breast cancer risk. We studied around 42,000 women ages 35-74 from across the US who are enrolled in the Sister Study cohort. Women provided self-reported information on meat consumption at baseline and were followed for 7.6 years on average.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Opiods / 06.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50561" align="alignleft" width="141"]Lauren A. Hoffman, Ph.D. Research Fellow Recovery Research Institute Center for Addiction Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Dr. Hoffman[/caption] Lauren A. Hoffman, Ph.D. Research Fellow Recovery Research Institute Center for Addiction Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: In 2017, an estimated 11.4 million Americans reported past-year opioid misuse1 and opioid-related overdose accounted for more than 47,000 deaths2. Prior research has helped further our understanding of the prevalence and consequences of opioid misuse, but we know substantially less about recovery from opioid use problems. Recovery-focused research conducted to-date has largely focused on alcohol use disorder, the most common type of substance use disorder. Characterizing recovery from opioid use problems and the pathways that individuals take to resolve such problems can ultimately help identify effective ways to address opioid misuse. Using data from the first national probability-based sample of US adults who have resolved a significant substance use problem (National Recovery Survey3), we provide the first national prevalence estimate of opioid recovery, and characterize treatment/recovery service use and psychological well-being in individuals who resolved a primary problem with opioids, relative to individuals who resolved a primary alcohol problem. We focused our cross-sectional investigation of service use and well-being on 2 time-horizons associated with continued vulnerability: <1 year since problem resolution (early-recovery) and 1 – 5 years since problem resolution (mid-recovery).
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 05.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50551" align="alignleft" width="200"]Muhammad Ali Chaudhary, MD Research Scientist | Center for Surgery and Public Health Department of Surgery | Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School | Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Dr. Chaudhary[/caption] Muhammad Ali Chaudhary, MD Research Scientist Center for Surgery and Public Health Department of Surgery Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many studies have documented disparities in cardiovascular care for minorities, specifically African Americans compared to white patients. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a common procedure in the United States, and the outcomes and post-surgical care for African Americans tend to be worse. We examined whether patients insured through TRICARE — a universal insurance and equal-access integrated healthcare system that covers more than 9 million active-duty members, veterans and their families — experienced these disparities. We found no racial disparities in quality-of-care outcomes, providing insights about the potential impacts of universal insurance and an equal-access health care system. The study included 8,183 TRICARE patients, aged 18-64, who had undergone CABG. The study took its data from TRICARE health care claims from the Military Health System Data Repository for the years of 2006 to 2014.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lancet, Mayo Clinic, Technology / 02.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50536" align="alignleft" width="166"]Paul Friedman, M.D. Professor of Medicine Norman Blane & Billie Jean Harty Chair Mayo Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine Honoring Robert L. Frye, M.D. Dr. Friedman[/caption] Paul Friedman, M.D. Professor of Medicine Norman Blane & Billie Jean Harty Chair Mayo Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine Honoring Robert L. Frye, M.D. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that is often intermittent and asymptomatic.  It is estimated to affect 2.7–6.1 million people in the United States, and is associated with increased risk of stroke, heart failure and mortality. It is difficult to detect and often goes undiagnosed. After an unexplained stroke, it is important to accurately detect atrial fibrillation so that patients with it are given anticoagulation treatment to reduce the risk of recurring stroke, and other patients (who may be harmed by this treatment) are not. Currently, detection in this situation requires monitoring for weeks to years, sometimes with an implanted device, potentially leaving patients at risk of recurrent stroke as current methods do not always accurately detect atrial fibrillation, or take too long. We hypothesized that we could train a neural network to identify the subtle findings present in a standard 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) acquired during normal sinus rhythm that are due to structural changes associated with a history of (or impending) atrial fibrillation.   Such an AI enhanced ECG (AI ECG) would be inexpensive, widely available, noninvasive, performed in 10 seconds, and immensely useful following embolic stroke of unknown source to guide therapy. To test this hypothesis, we trained, validated, and tested a deep convolutional neural network using a large cohort of patients from the Mayo Clinic Digital Data Vault.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, NYU, Ophthalmology, Pharmaceutical Companies / 02.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50532" align="alignleft" width="150"] Dr. Thiel[/caption] Cassandra L. Thiel, PhD Assistant Professor NYU Langone School of Medicine Department of Population Health NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service NYU Tandon School of Engineering MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most healthcare professionals and researchers are aware that the healthcare sector makes up about 18% of the US Gross Domestic Product. What many do not realize is that all of that economic activity results in sizable resource consumption and environmental emissions. The healthcare industry is responsible for 10% of the US’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 9% of air pollutants.1 Sustainability in healthcare is a developing field of research and practice, and my lab offers data and information by quantifying resource use and emissions of healthcare delivery. We started looking at cataract surgery a few years ago, in part because operating rooms (ORs) typically represent the largest portion of spending and garbage generation in a hospital.2,3 Cataract surgeries are interesting because they are one of the most common surgeries performed in the world. In the US, we spend $6.8 billion on them each year. Any changes we can make to individual cases would have much larger, global impacts. I studied cataract surgeries at a world-renowned, high-volume eye surgery center in India and helped validate that clinical care could be designed in a way that was effective, cost-efficient, and resource efficient. Compared to the same procedure in the UK, this surgery center generates only 5% of the carbon emissions (with the same outcomes).2 This site’s standard policy is to multi-dose their eye drops, or use them on multiple patients until the bottle was empty. As such, the site generated very little waste. Returning to the US, I observed cataract cases and heard the complaints of OR staff that they had to throw out many partially used or unused pharmaceuticals. In reviewing the literature, we could not find a study that quantified how much we were throwing away and what it cost us to do so. We, therefore, set up a study to look at this particular issue.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 01.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50514" align="alignleft" width="163"] Dr. Hwang[/caption] Daejoon Alex Hwang, PhD Instructor in Ophthalmology Investigator, Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Yellow night driving glasses are sold with promises to reduce headlight glare from oncoming traffic and help aging individuals see better at night. Despite a 1997 ruling by the Federal Trade Commission against one company’s claims, the products still remain popular online. We tested three commercially available yellow lens night driving glasses and compare their effectiveness with clear lens glasses on our novel headlight glare simulator in the driving simulator.
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, PNAS, Psychological Science, University Texas / 31.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50498" align="alignleft" width="190"]John M. Griffin PhD James A. Elkins Centennial Chair in Finance McCombs School of Business The University of Texas Dr. Griffin[/caption] John M. Griffin PhD James A. Elkins Centennial Chair in Finance McCombs School of Business The University of Texas  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The importance of personal traits compared to context for predicting behavior is a long-standing issue in psychology. Yet, we have limited evidence of how predictive personal conduct, such as marital infidelity, is for professional conduct. We use data on usage of a marital infidelity website as a measure of marital infidelity and find that it is strongly correlated with professional conduct in four different professional settings.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease / 26.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50454" align="alignleft" width="159"]Dermot Phelan, MD, PhD Director of the Sports Cardiology Center Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio Dr. Phelan[/caption] Dermot Phelan, MD, PhD Director of the Sports Cardiology Center Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is well recognized that long-term elite endurance athletes are at higher risk of atrial fibrillation.  We wished to evaluate whether this held true for primarily strength-type athletes. We had the opportunity to screen almost 500 former NFL athletes.  It became clear that we were seeing more atrial fibrillation than one would expect during the screenings.
Author Interviews, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research, Yale / 26.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50450" align="alignleft" width="200"]Abigail S. Friedman, Ph.D.     Assistant Professor Department of Health Policy and Management Yale School of Public Health  Dr. Friedman[/caption] Abigail S. Friedman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Health Policy and Management Yale School of Public Health   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Smoking is responsible for approximately 1 in 5 deaths in the United States each year. Despite the fact that all US states ban tobacco sales to minors, the vast majority of smokers begin this habit as adolescents. As of July 25, 2019, 18 states and over 450 localities have passed laws banning tobacco sales to those under age-21. The laws are commonly referred to as “tobacco-21” laws. Concurrently, 16 states without state-level tobacco-21 laws prohibit counties and municipalities from raising their legal sales age for tobacco products above the state-mandated age; typically, 18. If local tobacco-21 laws reduce youth smoking, then preemption policies impede population health. To consider this, we estimated the impact of county- and municipality-level tobacco-21 policies on smoking among 18 to 20 year-olds residing in MMSAs (metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas). Specifically, regression analyses compared smoking among 18-20 year-olds in areas with more vs. less tobacco-21 coverage, before vs. after these policies were adopted.
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, NYU, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 26.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50440" align="alignleft" width="200"]Melanie Jacobson, PhD, MPH Research Scientist at World Trade Center Health Registry New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene NYU School of Medicine in New York, N.Y. Dr. Jacobson[/caption] Melanie Jacobson, PhD, MPH NYU School of Medicine New York, N.Y.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study was about exposure to bisphenols, which are synthetic chemicals found in aluminum can linings, plastics, thermal paper receipts and other consumer products, and their association with obesity among a nationally representative sample of US children and adolescents. We found that children who had greater levels of these chemicals in their urine were more likely to be obese compared with children with lower levels.
Author Interviews, JAMA, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 25.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50397" align="alignleft" width="200"]Lan N. Đoàn, MPH CPH PhD Candidate, School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences College of College of Public Health and Human Sciences Oregon State University, Corvallis Lan N. Doan[/caption] Lan N. Đoàn, MPH CPH PhD Candidate, School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences College of College of Public Health and Human Sciences Oregon State University, Corvallis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a prevailing stereotype that Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA/NHPI) populations are a model minority group - healthier than all other racial/ethnic groups. As a result, health researchers often consider AA/NHPI so similar that their data is typically grouped together which masks their cultural and health differences. However, AA/NHPI populations represent more than 50 countries or cultures of origin and 100 different languages and have unique health needs and cultural preferences. Prior research has found minimal financial investments in AA/NHPI populations by federal agencies and philanthropy, even though AA/NHPI individuals represent more than 5.0% of the total US population and are the fastest-growing racial/ethnic group in the United States. The purpose of study was to conduct a review of clinical research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for AA/NHPI populations and to determine the level of NIH investment in serving these populations. We queried the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditures and Results (RePORTER) system for extramural AA/NHPI focused clinical research projects conducted in the United States from January 1, 1992, to December 31, 2018. We included clinical research funded under research project grants, centers, cooperative awards, research career awards, training grants, and fellowships was included, with an advanced text search for AA/NHPI countries and cultures of origin. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, ENT, Surgical Research / 25.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50402" align="alignleft" width="133"]Vinay K. Rathi, MD Otolaryngology Resident | Massachusetts Eye and Ear Project Manager | Partners Ambulatory Care MBA Candidate | Harvard Business School Dr. Rathi[/caption] Vinay K. Rathi, MD Otolaryngology Resident | Massachusetts Eye and Ear Project Manager | Partners Ambulatory Care MBA Candidate | Harvard Business School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: This study is a secondary subgroup analysis that follows on the heels of a recently published study in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) examining physician reimbursement for surgical procedures in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), which both public and private insurers use to determine payment rates for clinician services. Although it is widely understood that physician time (i.e., the amount of physician time required to perform a procedure) is perhaps the most important factor used to determine payment rates, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has historically relied upon limited and potentially biased survey data to estimate physician time. Leveraging time data from American College of Surgeons National Quality Improvement Program, the authors of the recent NEJM study demonstrated that CMS does not appear to systematically misestimate intraoperative times, but there are substantial discrepancies that may result in over- or undercompensation for certain procedures and specialties.
Annals Thoracic Surgery, Author Interviews, Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Geriatrics, Heart Disease, Primary Care / 23.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50354" align="alignleft" width="140"]Christina C. Wee, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Director , Obesity Research Program Division of General Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Program, BIDMC Deputy Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine Dr. Wee[/caption] Christina C. Wee, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Director , Obesity Research Program Division of General Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Program, BIDMC Deputy Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: New research is showing that for many people without diagnosed heart disease, the risk of bleeding may outweigh the benefits of taking a daily aspirin particularly in adults over 70 years of age.  The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recently updated their guidelines and now explicitly recommend against aspirin use among those over the age of 70 who do not have existing heart disease or stroke. Our study found that in 2017,  a quarter of adults aged 40 years or older without cardiovascular disease – approximately 29 million people – reported taking daily aspirin for prevention of heart disease. Of these, some 6.6. million people did so without a physician's recommendation.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Nutrition, Weight Research / 22.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50363" align="alignleft" width="128"]Frank Qian, MPH Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts Frank Qian[/caption] Frank Qian, MPH Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Plant-based diets have really grown in popularity in the last several years, particularly among the younger generation in the United States, many of whom are adopting a plant-based or vegetarian/vegan diet. However, the quality of such a diet can vary drastically. While many prior studies have demonstrated beneficial associations for risk of type 2 diabetes with healthful plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, whole grains, and legumes, the opposite is true for less healthful plant-based foods such as potatoes and refined grains such as white rice. In addition, some animal-based foods, such as dairy and fish, have shown protective associations against the development of type 2 diabetes, so strict vegetarian diets which exclude these foods may miss out on the potential benefits. Given these divergent findings, we sought to pool all the available data from prior cohort studies to analyze whether the overall association of a diet which emphasizes plant-based foods (both healthful and unhealthful) are related to risk of type 2 diabetes.