Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Karolinski Institute, Social Issues / 14.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Karin Modig, PhD Institute of Environmental Medicine,Epidemiology Karolinska Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background to the study was that even though it is established that parents live longer than non-parents the underlying mechanisms are not clear. And it was not known how the association changed with the age of the parents. We hypothesize that if social support is one mechanism – the association between having children and the death risk of parents-non-parents would increase with age of the parents, when health starts to deteriorate and the need of support increases. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Flu - Influenza, Karolinski Institute, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Pharmacology / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Sophie Graner Department of Women's and Childrens Health Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pregnant women are at increased risks of severe disease and death due to influensa infection, as well as hospitalization. Also influenza and fever increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes for their infants such as intrauterine death and preterm birth. Due to this, the regulatory agencies in Europe and the US recommended post exposure prophylaxis and treatment for pregnant women with neuraminidase inhibitors during the last influenza pandemic 2009-10. Despite the recommendations, the knowledge on the effect of neuraminidase inhibitors on the infant has been limited. Previously published studies have not shown any increased risk, but they have had limited power to assess specific neonatal outcomes such as stillbirth, neonatal mortality, preterm birth, low Agar score, neonatal morbidity and congenital malformations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Outcomes & Safety / 25.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lars H. Lund, MD Phd, Assoc. Prof., FESC Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, and Department of Cardiology, Karolinska University Hospital Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Registries are accepted for quality reporting but it is actually unknown whether in heart failure they directly improve outcomes. Here, enrollment in SwedeHF was strongly associated with reduced mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research, PLoS / 11.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: soccer; creative commons imageTorbjörn Vestberg Licensed Psychologist & Researcher Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The aim of our research is to study the importance of executive functions for successful behaviour. In our first study published in 2012 (Executive Functions Predict the Success of Top-Soccer Players) we showed that the level of elite soccer players’ higher executive functions was in general 2 standard deviations above the normal population. It was the same for both men and women. Moreover, we also found a strong correlation between the capacities of higher executive functions and the number of goals and assists the player made after two and a half year. In our new study we were interested in how the situation is at a younger age, from twelve to nineteen years of age. Because of the maturation of the brain, higher executive functions do not reach their full capacity before nineteen years of age. On basis of this, our question was whether there were other parts of the executive functions that correlated with success in soccer. In this new study, we focused on core executive functions like the working memory, as it reaches its full capacity in the early teens. We found that there was a moderate correlation with the accuracy of the working memory and the number of goals the junior elite players made during a period of two years. When we made a composite measurement of both the demanding working memory and the test for the capacity of the higher executive functions, we found a strong correlation between these results and the number of goals that the players made during the two years of time. When we measured IQ and physical features, like length, we found out that those did not influence the results. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Hematology, Karolinski Institute / 21.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Märit Halmin, MD, PhD student Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet,  Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During recent years the possible negative effects among recipients of stored red blood cells have been investigated.  Despite a large number of studies, including four randomized trials, no consensus exists. We therefore performed the hitherto largest register based cohort study of transfused patients, assessing the association between length of storage of red blood cells and mortality. Our design allowed for detection of small but still clinically significant effect, if such exists. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy, JAMA, Karolinski Institute / 09.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonas Bergh M.D, Ph.D. F.R.C.P. (London, UK) Professor of Oncology (Mimi Althainz´donation) Director Strategic Research Program in Cancer Karolinska Institutet Radiumhemmet, Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, Swede MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Present standard dosing of chemotherapy is aiming at a similar dose for each individual (similar effects and side-effects) , by calculating the dose per mg/m2 based on a formula originally established by du Bois (1916), based on body surface calculations by measuring height and weight. As I recall it, this was done on nine individuals… However, the body surface has very little to do with how you cytotoxic drugs are metabolized and excreted… in practice this means that chemotherapy dosing based on body surface area will result in under- or overdosing of quite a proposition of the patients… Please Google/run a PubMed research on H. Gurney in Australia, he and other have really expressed their concerns with our present chemotherapy dosing strategies. In our prospective adjuvant chemotherapy study of high risk breast cancer patients we tested a very well established standard chemotherapy regimen given every third week (FEC100 mg/m2 x 3+ docetaxel 100 mg/m2 x3) vs. our experimental arm given very second week in a dose dense fashion. We also tried to optimize the dosing, aiming at avoiding overdosing some patients at the first course and increase the dose for those without predefined toxicities. Therapy duration was similar in both groups, 15 weeks. Please see the end of the discussion in JAMA for the shortcomings with our study. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research / 01.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zheng Chang PhD Dept. of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet and Seena Fazel MD Department of Psychiatry Warneford Hospital University of Oxford, Oxford, England MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There were more than 10 million prisoners worldwide in 2015, with approximately 2.2 million in the United States alone. Despite reported decreases in violence in many countries, reoffending rates remain high. From 2005 through 2010, more than one-third of released prisoners in the United States and the United Kingdom were reconvicted of a new crime within 2 years. Most programs to reduce reoffending focus on psychosocial interventions, but their effect sizes are weak to moderate. As psychiatric and substance use disorders, which increase reoffending rates, are overrepresented among jail and prison populations. This study investigated the main psychotropic medication classes prescribed to prisoners using longitudinal Swedish population registers and examined the association between prescription of psychotropic medication and risk of violent reoffending. We found that three classes of psychotropic medications were associated with substantial reductions in violent reoffending: antipsychotics, a 42% reduction; psychostimulants, 38%; and drugs used in addictive disorders, a 52% reduction. The magnitudes of these associations were as strong as and possibly stronger than those for widely disseminated psychological programs in prison. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research / 05.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gustaf Brander Department of Clinical Neuroscience Karolinska Institutet MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is believed to be caused by a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Whereas genetic studies are well underway, the research on environmental factors has been lagging behind. As they explain a significant portion of the variance, are potentially malleable, and are essential for understanding how the genetic component works, this area of research is of great importance. (more…)
Author Interviews, Karolinski Institute, Stem Cells, Tobacco / 05.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lukasz Antoniewicz MD, PhD candidate Karolinska Institutet Department of Clinical Sciences Danderyd University Hospital Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Electronic cigarette sales increase exponentially on a global scale without knowledge about possible negative effects on human health. We performed an exposure study in young healthy volunteers and analyzed blood samples for endothelial progenitor cells and microvesicles. Increase in those markers may reflect vascular injury, inflammation and platelet activation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Karolinski Institute, PLoS / 26.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maléne Lindholm, PhD Karolinska Institutet Dept. of Physiology & Pharmacology Stockholm Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is well known that exercise training provides marked health benefits and can prevent and treat a broad set of diseases. Therefore, a deeper understanding and characterization of the molecular processes behind training adaptation is essential for human health. This study aimed at exploring the effects of endurance training on the human skeletal muscle transcriptome (activity of all genes) and investigate the possible presence of a muscle memory of training. To do this, the healthy volunteers in this study first trained only one leg, 4 times per week for 3 months. After 9 months of detraining, the subjects then came back and trained both legs in the same way as during the first training period, thus one leg was then previously well-trained and one previously untrained. This meant that each individual was their own control, as both legs have the same genome, experience the same stress, diet etc. Only the training status differed. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, Karolinski Institute / 02.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Qing Shen, PhD student Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Injury, either iatrogenic (for example, complications from medical procedures and drug treatment) or non-iatrogenic (for instance, suicidal behavior and accidents), is one of the leading causes of non-cancer mortality for patients diagnosed with cancer. Iatrogenic injuries are common in those with cancer and have been shown to increase mortality in some cancer patients. Increased risks of suicide and accidental death after diagnosis have been reported, and the diagnostic process of cancer has been recognized highly stressful. It is, however, unknown whether the risk of injuries is also increased during the time period before receiving the diagnosis. Actually confirming a diagnosis can often be difficult due to patients sometimes concealing information. This is why Motivational Interviewing is important. Anyway, we analysed the risks of injuries during the weeks before and after diagnosis using a nationwide study sample in Sweden. (more…)
Author Interviews, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research / 20.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lorena Fernández de la Cruz | Assistant Professor Department of Clinical Neuroscience | Karolinska Institutet Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Research Center Stockholm MedicalResearch.com: What is OCD? Response: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders. OCD has a lifetime prevalence of about two per cent in the general population, generally runs a chronic course, and is often associated with a significantly reduced quality of life. Despite this, the risk of suicide in OCD has traditionally been considered low, probably due the particular personality profile of this patient group, typically described as “harm avoidant”. However, we have seen that the risk of suicide is higher than previously thought. (more…)
Author Interviews, Journal Clinical Oncology, Karolinski Institute, Leukemia / 22.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hannah Bower, MSc Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previously, if left untreated or with symptomatic treatment (up to the 1970’s), the median survival time of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) ranged between two and three years. Later, interferon alpha and allogeneic stem cell transplantation were introduced. However, improvements in survival were mainly seen in younger patients. Treatment with the tyrosine-kinase inhibitor (TKI) imatinib-mesylate (Glivec®, Gleevec®) began in Sweden in the early 2000 resulting in major survival improvements, with the exception of the old/very elderly. We investigated if these improvements continued to 2013 and if improvements are now observed in the elderly via the life expectancy and the loss in expectation of life; the latter of these quantifies the change in the life expectancy due to a diagnosis of CML. The great improvements in life expectancy, especially in the youngest patients, translate into great reductions in the loss in expectation of life. The major factor contributing to the improvement in the elderly is likely the increasing use of TKIs. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Leukemia / 15.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Torsten Dahlén MD Centre for Hematology Karolinska University Hospital Solna Stockholm Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Dr. Dahlén: Patients diagnosed with CML have had a dramatic increase in life-expectancy since the widespread introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) in 2001. However, treatment is today regarded as life-long. We thus need to observe for late-effects of continuous TKI exposure. Recent reports have demonstrated a linkage between TKI treatment, especially more potent 2nd and 3rd generation drugs, and to the occurrence of peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD). This study aimed to use real-world data utilizing Swedish population based registries together with the dedicated Swedish CML registry which contains data and follow-up on more than 98% of all CML patients diagnosed in Sweden since 2002. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research / 28.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donghao Lu MD, PhD candidate Department of Medical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet Stockholm MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Lu: Psychiatric comorbidities are common among cancer patients. However, whether or not there is already increased risk of psychiatric disorders during the diagnostic workup leading to a cancer diagnosis was largely unknown. We found that, among cancer patients, the risks for several common and potentially stress-related mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, somatoform/conversion disorder and stress reaction/adjustment disorder started to increase from ten months before cancer diagnosis, peaked during the first week after diagnosis, compared to cancer-free individuals in Sweden. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Karolinski Institute, Social Issues / 15.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zheng Chang, PhD Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet Stockholm Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Chang: More than 30 million people are released from prison worldwide every year. Despite reported decreases in violence in many countries, repeat offending remains high across many high-income and middle-income countries. Because there is considerable inconsistency and inefficiency in identifying those who are at high risk of reoffending and most in need of interventions, we developed and validated a clinical prediction rule to determine this risk in released prisoners. We did a cohort study of 47 326 prisoners released in Sweden between 2001 and 2009. We developed a 14-item model to predict violent reoffending, which includes modifiable risk factors and has been externally validated. The model showed good measures of discrimination and calibration. The study uses the methods to develop the prediction model on the basis of TRIPOD guidelines, and it is a brief, easy to use, and scalable tool. This tool has also been translated into a freely available web application (OxRec). (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Fertility, Gender Differences, Karolinski Institute, Mammograms, Radiology / 14.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frida Lundberg | PhD Student Dept. of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Fertility treatments involve stimulation with potent hormonal drugs that increase the amount of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones have been linked to breast cancer risk. Further, as these treatments are relatively new, most women who have gone through them are still below the age at which breast cancer is usually diagnosed. Therefore we wanted to investigate if infertility and fertility treatments influences mammographic breast density, a strong marker for breast cancer risk that is also hormone-responsive. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: We found that women with a history of infertility had higher absolute dense volume than other women. Among the infertile women, those who had gone through controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) had the highest absolute dense volume. The results from our study indicate that infertile women, especially those who undergo COS, might represent a group with an increased risk of breast cancer. However, the observed difference in dense volume was relatively small and has only been linked to a modest increase in breast cancer risk in previous studies.  As the infertility type could influence what treatment the couples undergo, the association might also be due to the underlying infertility rather than the treatment per se. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research, Schizophrenia / 16.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna-Clara Hollander PhD Division of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The humanitarian crises in Europe, the Middle East, north Africa, and central Asia have led to more displaced people, asylum seekers, and refugees worldwide than at any time since the second world war. Refugees are known to be at an increased risk of mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and other common mental disorders, compared to non-refugee migrants, but little is known about their risk of psychosis. The aim of the study was to determine the risk of schizophrenia and other non-affective psychotic disorders among refugees, compared to non-refugee migrants, and the general Swedish population. We used a linked national register data to examine more than 1.3 million people in Sweden, and tracked diagnoses of non-affective psychotic disorders among the population. The cohort included people born to two Swedish-born parents, refugees, and non-refugee migrants from the four major refugee generating regions: the Middle East and north Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia. Results showed 3,704 cases of non-affective psychotic disorders during the 8.9 million person years of follow up. Refugees granted asylum were on average 66% more likely to develop schizophrenia or another non-affective psychotic disorder than non-refugee migrants. In addition, they were up to 3.6 times more likely to do so than the Swedish-born population. Incidence rates for non-affective psychosis were 385 per million in those born in Sweden, 804 per million in non-refugee migrants, and 1264 per million in refugees. The increased rate in refugees was significant for all areas of origin except sub-Saharan Africa, for whom rates in both groups were similarly high relative to the Swedish-born population. One possible explanation is that a larger proportion of sub-Saharan Africa immigrants will have been exposed to deleterious psychosocial adversities before emigration, irrespective of refugee status. Alternatively post-migratory factors, such as discrimination, racism, and social exclusion may explain these high rates. Overall, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that increased risk of non-affective psychotic disorders among immigrants is due to a higher frequency of exposure to social adversity before migration, including the effects of war, violence, or persecution. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Coffee, Karolinski Institute, Multiple Sclerosis / 04.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna Hedström PhD student Karolinski Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies on the influence of coffee consumption on multiple sclerosis (MS) risk have yielded inconclusive results, perhaps largely due to statistical power problems since these studies comprised few cases. Caffeine consumption has a protective effect on neuroinflammation and demyelination in animal models of MS. We therefore aimed to investigate whether coffee consumption is associated with MS risk, using two large population-based case-control studies (a Swedish study comprising 1620 cases and 2788 controls, and a United States study comprising 1159 cases and 1172 controls). The risk of multiple sclerosis was reduced by approximately 30% among those who reported a high coffee consumption, around six cups daily, compared to those who reported no coffee consumption. The risk of multiple sclerosis decreased with increasing coffee consumption. Potentially important influential factors were taken into consideration, such as smoking and adolescent obesity. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research, Psychological Science, Technology / 06.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jesper Enander Department of Clinical Neuroscience Karolinska Institutet MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Enander: Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a common anxiety disorder affecting about 2% of the general population, and is associated with hospitalization, substance dependence and suicidality. The disorder is characterized by a intense preoccupation with perceived defects in physical appearance, despite looking perfectly normal. It is common for people with BDD to seek non-psychiatric care, such as dermatological treatment or plastic surgery, however, such treatments rarely work, and can even lead to a deterioration of symptoms. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK recommends that patients with Body dysmorphic disorder should be offered cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), however, there is a gap between supply and demand of CBT. One way of increasing access to CBT is to deliver it using the Internet. In this randomized clinical trial we tested the efficacy of a Internet based CBT program for Body dysmorphic disorder called BDD-NET and compared it to supportive therapy. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Dr. Enander: Our study shows that BDD-NET was associated with large and significant improvements in  Body dysmorphic disorder symptom severity. 56% of those receiving BDD-NET were responders (defined as at least a 30% reduction in symptoms), compared to 13% of those receiving supportive therapy. At the six months follow-up, 39% of those who received BDD-NET no longer met diagnostic criteria for Body dysmorphic disorder. No serious adverse events were reported, and most participants were satisfied with BDD-NET, despite no face-to-face contact with a therapist, and deemed the treatment as highly acceptable. (more…)
Author Interviews, Eating Disorders, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research / 17.01.2016

More on Eating Disorders from MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shuyang Yao, MSc Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Suicide risk is much higher in individuals with eating disorders than individuals without the disorders. The mechanism underlying the high suicide risk in eating disorders (i.e., why?) is not clear. Large studies and genetically informative designs can help us understand the nature of the association between suicide attempts and eating disorders. Medical Research: What are the main findings? 1) Eating disorders are associated with increased risk of suicide attempts and death by suicide. 2) Increased risk of suicide attempts is also found in relatives of individuals with eating disorders. 3) Some, but not all of the increased risk for suicide in individuals with eating disorders is accounted for by the presence of comorbid major depressive, anxiety, and substance use disorders. (more…)
Author Interviews, Karolinski Institute, Lancet, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 03.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Sven Cnattingius Professor in reproductive epidemiology Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine Karolinska University Hospital Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Prof. Cnattingius: Maternal overweight and obesity are associated with increased risks of stillbirth and infant mortality. Weight gain between pregnancies increases risks of other obesity-related complications, including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and preterm birth. Weight gain appear to increase these risks especially in women who start off with normal weight. As these complications increases risks of stillbirth and infant mortality, we wanted to study the associations between weight change between successive pregnancies and risks of stillbirth and infant mortality (deaths during the first year of life). Medical Research: What are the main findings? Prof. Cnattingius: The main findings include:
  • Weight gain increases risk of stillbirth in a dose-response manner.
  • In women starting off with normal weight (BMI <25), weight gain  increases risk of infant mortality in a dose-response manner.
  • In women starting off with overweight or obesity (BMI >25), weight loss reduces the risk of neonatal mortality (deaths during the first four weeks of life).
(more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Nutrition, Stroke / 27.09.2015

Susanna C. Larsson | PhD, Associate Professor Associate professor, Nutritional Epidemiology Institute of Environmental Medicine Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, SwedenMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susanna C. Larsson  PhD, Associate Professor Associate professor, Nutritional Epidemiology Institute of Environmental Medicine Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Larsson: A high dietary cholesterol intake has been postulated to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Egg is a rich source of dietary cholesterol and has been positively associated with risk of heart failure in previous prospective studies. High consumption of eggs has also been associated with a higher risk of myocardial infarction in diabetic patients. Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Larsson:  We investigated the association between egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular diseases in two population-based prospective cohort studies of approximately 38,000 Swedish men and 33,000 Swedish women. Findings from our study indicate that egg consumption does not increase the risk of myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, or hemorrhagic stroke. High egg consumption (one or more times per day) was associated with an elevated risk of heart failure in men but not in women. Egg consumption was not associated with an increased risk of heart failure, myocardial infarction, or stroke in individuals with diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Kidney Disease / 12.09.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Daniel Hertzberg M.D., Ph.D. Student Department of Medicine, Solna Karolinska University Hospital Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Hertzberg: Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is a common complication in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. It is associated with increased short and long-term mortality, myocardial infarction, heart failure and chronic kidney disease. Diabetes is often considered as a risk factor for AKI. However, when we searched the literature we did not find any studies which specifically studied diabetes as a risk factor for AKI. In addition, in observational studies, it is uncommon that diabetes is subtyped into type 1 or type 2 even though they have different etiologies and thus may have different impact on risk of adverse outcomes. Thus, we designed this study in order to study the association between the two subtypes of diabetes and risk of AKI. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, NEJM, Technology / 11.06.2015

Jacob Hollenberg M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Cardiologist Head of Research, Centre for Resuscitation Science Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, SwedenMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jacob Hollenberg M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Cardiologist Head of Research, Centre for Resuscitation Science Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Editor’s note: Dr. Hollenberg and colleagues published two articles in the NEJM this week discussing CPR performed by bystanders in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. MedicalResearch: What is the background for the first study? Dr. Hollenberg: There are 10,000 cases of cardiac arrest annually in Sweden. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) has been taught to almost a third of Sweden’s population of 9.7 million. In recent years the value of bystander CPR has been debated, largely due to a lack of a randomized trial demonstrating that bystander CPR is lifesaving. In this study, which included all cases of emergency medical services (EMS) treated and bystander-witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests recorded in the Swedish Cardiac Arrest Registry from January 1, 1990, through December 31, 2011, our primary aim was to assess whether CPR initiated before the arrival of EMS was associated with an increase in the 30-day survival rate. MedicalResearch: What were the main findings? Dr. Hollenberg: Early CPR prior to arrival of an ambulance more than doubled the chance of survival. (30-day survival rate was 10.5% among patients who underwent CPR before EMS arrival, as compared with 4.0% among those who did not (P<0.001).) This association held up in all subgroups regardless of sex, age, cause of cardiac arrest, place of arrest, EKG findings or time period (year analyzed). MedicalResearch: How did the patients who survived cardiac arrest do from a disability standpoint? Dr. Hollenberg: We had cerebral performance scores from 474 patients who survived for 30 days after cardiac arrest. (higher scores indicate greater disability). At the time of discharge from the hospital, 81% of these patients had a score of category of 1. Less than 2% had category scores of 4 or 5. MedicalResearch: What should patients and providers take away from this report? Dr. Hollenberg:
  • For patients with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, CPR performed by bystanders before the arrival of emergency medical personnel, saves lives. This has been validated by both the size of this study and the consistency of the results over three decades.
  • CPR education needs to continue and to increase. In Sweden about one-third of the population has been taught CPR.       Legislation has recently been passed that mandates CPR be taught to all teenagers in school which should allow an entire generation to become familiar with this lifesaving technique.
  • The willingness of the public to become involved also needs to increase. We need new ways of educating lay people to recognize cardiac arrest and to motivate them to perform it. The knowledge that bystander CPR saves lives may enhance that motivation.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Karolinski Institute, Nature, Neurological Disorders / 11.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristina Bečanovič Ph.D. Department of Clinical Neuroscience Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Bečanović: While the symptoms normally debut in middle-age, there is wide individual variation in how Huntington disease manifests itself, and even though two people carry the exact same genetic mutation that codes for the huntingtin protein, there can be up to a 20-year difference in onset of motor symptoms. This suggests that genetic variants, transcription factors and environmental factors could contribute to the observed differences in disease expressivity. As the identification of regulatory factors of the huntingtin gene would be targets for therapeutic intervention, we set out to study the regulation of the huntingtin gene as it has not been well-known which factors regulate the expression levels. We were interested in identifying both genetic variants and transcription factors that are of importance for gene regulation. We therefore used DNA from Huntington disease patients to study the regulation of the huntingtin gene promoter in cells. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Karolinski Institute, Lancet / 13.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Miia Kivipelto MD, PhD, Professor Deputy Head, Senior Geriatrician Aging Research Center and Alzheimer Disease Research Center Karolinska Institutet Clinical Trials Unit, Memory Clinic Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, Sweden Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kivipelto: Epidemiological studies have linked several modifiable risk factors to cognitive impairment and dementia but evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCT) has been lacking showing the efficacy of the interventions. Because cognitive impairment, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are complex, multi-factorial disorders, multidomain interventions targeting several risk factors and disease mechanisms simultaneously could be needed for optimum preventive effect. The FINGER study is the first large, long-term RCT indicating that multi-domain intervention can improve and maintain cognitive functioning in at risk elderly people from the general population. We observed a significant intervention effects on the primary outcome (overall cognition), main secondary outcomes (executive functioning and processing speed) as well as on complex memory tasks and risk of cognitive decline. The multidomain lifestyle intervention was feasible and safe. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Karolinski Institute, NEJM, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 27.02.2015

Kari Johansson, Phd Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet Clinical Epidemiology Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, SwedenMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kari Johansson, PhD Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet Clinical Epidemiology Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, Sweden   MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Johannson: The number of women who are obese in early pregnancy has increased dramatically over the last decades. Consequently, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of women becoming pregnant after bariatric surgery. In Sweden the number of births of women with a history of bariatric surgery has increased from 150 (≈0.15%) to more than 500 (0.5%) per year between 2006 and 2011. The positive effects of bariatric surgery on health outcomes, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are reasonably well-studied, but less is known about the effects on pregnancy and perinatal outcomes. We therefore conducted a population-based study, using data from nationwide Swedish registers. The main findings are that women who had a history of bariatric surgery were much less likely to develop gestational diabetes (2% compared to 7%; P<0.001) and give birth to large-for-gestational age babies (9% vs 22%; P<0.001). On the other hand, the operated women were twice as likely to give birth to babies who were small for gestational age (16% vs 8%), and have pregnancies of shorter duration (273 vs 277.5; P<0.001).  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Karolinski Institute / 18.02.2015

Karolina Szummer, MD, PhD Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Karolinska Institutet Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karolina Szummer, MD, PhD Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Karolinska Institutet Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, Sweden Please note: This work is comparing the anticoagulant fondaparinux with low-molecular-weight heparin (not heparin). Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Szummer: Since the publication of the OASIS-5 trial in 2006, many hospitals chose to change their medical practice and start using fondaparinux instead of low-molecular-weight heparin in the treatment of myocardial infarctions. In this study from the nation-wide near-complete myocardial infarction registry we were able to follow how the use of fondaparinux instead of low-molecular-weight heparin translated in clinical life was associated to a reduction in bleeding events and death. It is a very satisfying study, that confirms that the randomized clinical trial results are transferred with improvements in outcome to the treated patients. (more…)