Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Mediterranean Diet, NIH / 21.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Y. Chew, M.D. Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications Deputy Clinical Director at the National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institutes of Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dementia is a common disorder that was estimated to have a worldwide prevalence of 44 million in 2016 and is projected to hit 115 million by 2050. Many phase 3 trials of various therapies have failed and we have no treatment currently available for the prevention or reduction of the course of dementia. A slow neurocognitive decline throughout life is part of the normal process of aging. However, there is a subset of individuals who may have accelerated aging and is at high risk of development dementia. If the course of such accelerated decline could be altered in any way, it would be important to evaluate. The role of diet with biologic aging has been studied and diet has been also found to be associated with age-related conditions linked to dementia, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We were interested in the cognitive function of our participants who had another neurodegenerative disease, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We had conducted two randomized controlled clinical trials designed to evaluate the role of oral supplements for the treatment of AMD. We also studied cognitive function in both clinical trials of nearly 8,000 participants who were followed for 10 years. We also evaluated the dietary habits of the participants with food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) at baseline. Cognitive function testing was conducted in the first study, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) near the end of the clinical trial while the AREDS2, the second study, evaluated cognitive function testing at baseline and every 2 years until year 6. AREDS study evaluated cognitive function with in-clinic study visits while AREDS2 was conducted using telephone interviews. Our aim was to determine whether closer adherence to the alternative Mediterranean diet (aMED) was associated with impaired cognitive function these two studies. We were interested in the particular components of the Mediterranean diet that may be important. We also evaluated the interaction of genetics with the diet.    (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, UT Southwestern / 15.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: DaiWai Olson, PhD, RN Professor of Neurology and Neurotheraputics UT Southwestern Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study resonates across nursing. Kat Siaron is a Neuroscience nurse who had questions about the ‘best’ location for checking blood pressure. Like so many studies this started with a clinical question: “does it make a difference where you check the blood pressure?” She applied for a nursing research fellowship and was one of 6 nurses selected. She spent about 3 months reading articles on blood pressure and looking to see if there are any similar studies. After confirming that this has not been done, she submitted her study for approval from the Institutional Review Board and started data collection. (more…)
Addiction, Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, NIH, Opiods / 10.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nora D. Volkow, MD Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does vaping, hookah use, inhaled marijuana, smoking etc impact the risk of coronavirus infection?  Could these activities account for some the risks and infections in younger individuals?   Response: Apart from older age, having underlying cardiopulmonary conditions is a known risk factor for the worst clinical course and outcomes of COVID-19, and many of those conditions are known to be caused or exacerbated by smoking. While evidence continues to emerge about how smoking might interact with COVID-19, it is a reasonable assumption that smoking could contribute to risk even in younger individuals. We still don’t know how vaping—whether of nicotine or marijuana or just flavorings—contributes to the risk of infection or illness severity with the virus that causes COVID-19, but there are a number of reasons to be concerned. We have already seen lung illnesses caused by some vaping products, and evidence suggests vaping may disrupt lung epithelial cell function, which in turn increases viral susceptibility and may put individuals at increased risk of infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 or with more severe disease outcomes. Vaping is a relatively new technology, and as such, there are many unknowns. The rapid increases in vaping by young people over the last few years make this an area of concern, and thus an area where more research is urgently needed. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections, University of Michigan / 08.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arnold S. Monto, M.D. Professor, Epidemiology Professor, Global Public Health Thomas Francis, Jr. Collegiate Professor of Public Health University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This is part of a continuing study in families first designed to examine how influenza vaccine is working in the community  We have expanded it to look broadly at all respiratory viruses There are 4 coronaviruses which are known to cause respiratory illnesses each year and we had these data ready to go when the pandemic started. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Pediatrics / 07.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Johnathon P. Ehsani, PhD Assistant Professor Johns Hopkins School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Car crashes are the leading cause of death and disability for young people. So, what can parents do during the learner stage of licensing to reduce their teenagers’ crash risk during independent driving? The learner stage is a brief window of opportunity to influence the safety of their teenager. This is when teenagers are required to practice driving under the supervision of a licensed adult – typically mom or dad. Once teenagers get their license to start driving on their own, their crash risk increases - but parents have fewer chances to intervene at that point.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Stanford / 07.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melissa Bondy, PhD Chair, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health Stanford University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Faculty researchers in Stanford’s Department of Epidemiology & Population Health and collaborators from Baylor College of Medicine and Stanford’s Department of Dermatology developed an online survey aimed at rapidly assessing public concerns about the COVID-19 crisis. This survey, which was posted on 3 social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and Nextdoor) on March 14, 2020, collected invaluable data about COVID-19, including symptoms, concerns, and individual actions taken by respondents. Twitter and Facebook posts were sharable to facilitate snowball sampling. The survey was comprised of 21 (multiple-choice, single-choice, numeric, and open-ended) questions, which were designed to collect data concerning respondent demographics and recent cold and flu-like illnesses (if any), as well as information about participants’ concerns and any lifestyle changes that occurred as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. All questions were optional, so response rates were variable.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NYU, Technology / 02.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Anasse Bari PhD Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science Department, New York University, New York, and Megan Coffee MD PhD Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Department of Medicine New York University, Department of Population and Family Health Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Coffee and Bari:  This work is led by NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, in partnership with Wenzhou Central Hospital and Cangnan People's Hospital, both in Wenzhou, China. This is a multi-disciplinary team with backgrounds in clinical infectious disease as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science. There is a critical need to better understand COVID-19. Doctors learn from collective and individual clinical experiences. Here, no clinician has years of experience. All are learning as they go, having to make important decisions about clinical management with stretched resources. The goal here is to augment clinical learning with machine learning. In particular, the goal is to allow clinicians to identify early who from the many infected will need close medical attention. Most patients will first develop mild symptoms, yet some 5-8 days later will develop critical illness. It is hard to know who these people are who will need to be admitted and may need to be intubated until they become ill. Knowing this earlier would allow more attention and resources to be spent on those patients with worse prognoses. If there were ever treatments in the future that could be used early in the course of illness, it would be important to identify who would most benefit We present in this study a first step in building an artificial intelligence (AI) framework, with predictive analytics (PA) capabilities applied to real patient data, to provide rapid clinical decision-making support. It is at this point a proof of concept that it could be possible to identify future severity based on initial presentation in COVID-19. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM, Stanford / 31.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David J. Maron, MD, FACC, FAHA Clinical Professor of Medicine Chief, Stanford Prevention Research Center Director, Preventive Cardiology Stanford University School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Among patients with stable coronary disease and moderate or severe ischemia, whether clinical outcomes are better in those who receive an invasive intervention plus medical therapy than in those who receive medical therapy alone is uncertain. The goals of treating patients with stable coronary disease are to reduce their risk of death and ischemic events and to improve their quality of life. All patients with coronary disease should be treated with guideline-based medical therapy (GBMT) to achieve these objectives. Before the widespread availability of drug-eluting stents, strategy trials that tested the incremental effect of revascularization added to medical therapy did not show a reduction in the incidence of death or myocardial infarction. In one trial, fractional flow reserve–guided percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with drug-eluting stents, added to medical therapy, decreased the incidence of urgent revascularization but not the incidence of death from any cause or myocardial infarction at a mean of 7 months, whereas the 5-year follow-up showed marginal evidence of a decrease in the incidence of myocardial infarction. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Duke / 27.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rupesh Agrawal, MD Associate Professor Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Wasn't Dr Li Wenliang, the Chinese physician who first alerted his community of coronavirus an opthalmologist, with possible exposure to tears from this surgical work with glaucoma patients? Response: Since the start of the pandemic, there have been multiple reports which suggested the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via ocular fluids. As ophthalmologists, we come into close contact with tears on a daily basis during our clinical examination. Furthermore, many equipment in the clinic like the Goldman tonometer come into direct contact with such ocular fluids, providing a channel for viral transmission. The evidence, as of date, were mainly anecdotal reports included in newspaper articles and media interviews. We wanted to know if the virus can truly be found in tears, so we decided to embark on this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Johns Hopkins / 26.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Olive Tang, MD/PhD Student Johns Hopkins School of Medicine   Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH Professor of Epidemiology & Medicine Director, Cardiovascular and Clinical Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The best approach to diabetes management in older adults is unclear. A new blood test called high-sensitivity troponin can detect damage to the heart, even in people without any signs or symptoms of heart disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Melanoma, NYU / 25.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Polsky, MD, PhD Professor of Dermatology and Pathology Alfred W. Kopf MD, Professor of Dermatologic Oncology Director, Pigmented Lesion Section The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology New York University Grossman School of Medicine Perlmutter Cancer Center Joan and Joel Smilow Research Center New York, NY 10016 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background for the study was to determine the extent to which new treatments for metastatic melanoma were impacting melanoma mortality rates for the United States population. Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated that several new agents were highly effective at prolonging survival. These treatments belong to two different groups of medications: those targeting the biological pathway activated by mutation in the BRAF oncogene, which occurs in just under 50% of metastatic melanomas; and those targeting the immune system, called checkpoint inhibitors. These drugs prevent melanomas from suppressing the immune response to the tumors. Ten treatments were approved beginning in 2011, including six treatments between 2011 and 2014. We examined mortality rates between 1986 and 2016, prior to and after FDA approval of these agents. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Nature, Prostate Cancer, Vanderbilt / 24.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeffrey R. Smith, MD PhD Department of Medicine, Division of Genetic Medicine Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and Vanderbilt Genetics Institute Vanderbilt University Medical Center Medical Research Service Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Veterans Administration Nashville, TN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Roughly 20% of men with prostate cancer have a family history of the disease, and 5% meet criteria for hereditary prostate cancer. Although prostate cancer has the greatest heritability of all common cancers (twice that of breast cancer), extensive heterogeneity of its inherited causes has presented a considerable obstacle for traditional pedigree-based genetic investigative approaches. Inherited causes across, as well as within families are diverse. This study introduced a new familial case-control study design that uses extent of family history as a proxy for genetic burden. It compared a large number of men with prostate cancer, each from a separate family with a strong history of the disease, to screened men with no personal or family history. The study comprehensively deconstructs how the 8q24 chromosomal region impacts risk of hereditary prostate cancer, introducing several new analytical approaches. The locus had been known to alter risk of prostate, breast, colon, ovarian, and numerous additional cancers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Erectile Dysfunction, JAMA, Karolinski Institute / 23.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexander Stridh, MSc Department of Clinical Neuroscience Karolinska Institute Solna, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: ​We wanted to investigate how large the effect size is in the placebo arm of clinical trials with PDE5Is for erectile dysfunction. The major findings in this study is that there is a placebo response in general in ED, though it is hard to tell if this is a genuine placebo effect rather than normal fluctuations in symptom severity among patients. Another interesting finding was that the placebo response seems largely more important when the cause of ED is mainly due to psychogenic factors, as in post traumatic stress disorder. Lastly there was an important finding that there was no difference between placebo and active drug with daily treatment of PDE5Is  for long term recovery of erectile function after prostate cancer treatment, a practice which is common in some places and seems to be questionable.  (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Yale / 19.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua D. Wallach, MS, PhD Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health Sciences) Yale School of Public Health New Haven, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past few years, there has been growing interest in the potential health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound in cannabis. Although only one CBD-derived prescription drug has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of epilepsy, I recently started seeing products containing CBD advertised and sold across the US (e.g. CBD in foods, beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetics). I noticed that many of these products were being marketed with unproven claims to prevent, cure, and treat various conditions, and became interested in learning more about the research supporting the use of CBD, the potential for misleading claims, and impact that the CBD-industry may be having on research that is being generated and disseminated to the public. Research funding sources and other author conflicts of interests (e.g. consulting fees, honoraria, travel expenses) can influence the way that research is designed, conducted, and reported. Previous studies have consistently demonstrated associations between authors' conflicts of interest and proindustry conclusions in clinical research. Given the growing number of companies invested in CBD's commercial success, we decided to analyze the disclosed funding sources, conflicts of interest statements, author employment details, and CBD-related conclusions in a large sample of published articles on the characteristics, use, and therapeutic effects of cannabidiol. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Opiods, PNAS / 18.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mikko Myrskylä PhD Executive Director, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research Professorial Research Fellow, London School of Economics Professor of Social Statistics University of Helsinki MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Life expectancy in the U.S. increased at a phenomenal pace throughout the twentieth century, by nearly two years per decade. After 2010, however, U.S. life expectancy growth stalled and has most recently been declining. A critical question for American health policy is how to return U.S. life expectancy to its pre-2010 growth rate. Researchers and policy makers have focused on rising drug-related deaths in their search for the explanations for the stalling and declining life expectancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Heart Disease, Mediterranean Diet, Women's Heart Health / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Riddhi Shah, PhD AHA SFRN Postdoctoral Research Fellow Division of Cardiology Columbia University Medical Center New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Mediterranean Diet, characterized by higher intakes of plant foods including plant proteins, monounsaturated fat, fish, and lower consumption of animal products and saturated fat, has long been associated with reduced cardiovascular risk and greater longevity, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these associations have not been fully elucidated. We evaluated associations of an Alternate Mediterranean Diet Score, reflective of adherence to this diet pattern and adapted for US populations, and its components with markers of endothelial inflammation directly measured in endothelial cells harvested from women, including oxidative stress, nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene expression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, NIH, Social Issues / 12.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Adan Z. Becerra PhD Senior Epidemiologist for the  NIH Social and Scientific Systems Washington, District Of Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous studies have shown that disparities in insurance coverage by immigration status exist in the United States such that immigrants compared to nonimmigrants are less likely to have insurance. However, most studies have been cross sectional with few studies investigating long term trajectories of insurance coverage over time. We addressed this gap in the literature by following a cohort of adults for 24 years from before until after reaching Medicare age-eligibility. (more…)
Author Interviews, Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, Geriatrics, JAMA, Medicare / 12.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rishi KWadhera, MD Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians Cardiovasular Diseases Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the U.S., income inequality has steadily increased over the last several decades. Given widening inequities, there has been significant concern about the health outcomes of older Americans who experience poverty, particularly because prior studies have shown a strong link between socioeconomic status and health. In this study, we evaluated how health outcomes for low-income older adults who are dually enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid have changed since the early 2000’s, and whether disparities have narrowed or widened over time compared with more affluent older adults who are solely enrolled in Medicare (non-dually enrolled). (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Genetic Research, JAMA, Stanford / 12.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison W. Kurian, M.D., M.Sc. Associate Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and of Epidemiology and Population Health Director, Women’s Clinical Cancer Genetics Program Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA 94305-5405 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Genetic testing is increasingly relevant for the care of cancer patients. However, little was known about the prevalence of inherited mutations in cancer susceptibility genes among the most common group of women with breast cancer: those diagnosed after menopause and without a strong family history of cancer.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Columbia, OBGYNE / 11.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew ESpotnitzMDMPH Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Obstetrics and Gynecology Columbia University Medical Center Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics, and Medical Informatics Services New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our take home message is that copper and hormonal IUDs may have different physiological effects on the female genitourinary system. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard / 11.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John F. KellyPh.D., ABPP. Recovery Research Institute Elizabeth R. Spallin Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine Harvard Medical School   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alcohol use disorder is one of the leading causes of disease, disability, and preventable death worldwide. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a widespread international recovery support organization designed to address it. While it has remained popular and influential for many decades, until recently the quantity and quality of the research on AA and clinical treatments designed to stimulate AA involvement – Twelve-Step Facilitation (TSF) treatments – had not been evaluated adequately. This systematic review and meta-analysis used the rigor of the Cochrane review system to subject AA/TSF to the same scientific standards as other clinical interventions.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Lung Cancer, Stanford / 09.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Dr. Andreas Keller Stanford University School of Medicine Office Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences Chair for Clinical Bioinformatics Saarbrücken, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lung cancer is among the three most common cancers and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The overall low survival rate of patients with lung cancer calls for improved detection tools to enable better treatment options and improved patients’ outcomes. To detect lung tumors, liquid biopsy-based strategies are increasingly explored, that are biomarkers, which are identifiable in body fluids such as human blood. The clinical application of biomarkers is, however, largely hampered by the relatively small numbers of cases that have been analyzed in the majority of the preclinical studies including the studies on lung cancer.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Nutrition, Social Issues / 09.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alon Peltz, MD MBA MHS  Department of Population Medicine Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Thank you for taking an interest in our study. This study represented a collaboration between investigators from Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine. SNAP is an important U.S. federal aid program that serves nearly 40 million persons annually with well-established health, nutrition, and financial benefits. Families can be eligible for the SNAP program under “federal” rules or “categorical eligibility” rules that extend SNAP support to otherwise ineligible families who receive benefits under certain social assistance programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. In July 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed new SNAP policies that would limit qualifications via the categorical eligibility route. Although these new policies have not been finalized, it is estimated that 1 in 10 U.S. families currently participating in SNAP may lose their benefits. We wanted to investigate the potential ramifications of these changes to help inform policymakers of the vulnerabilities of the families who receive SNAP benefits and may be at risk for disenrollment if the proposed policies are implemented. (more…)
Author Interviews, Compliance, Electronic Records, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 05.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexander C. Fanaroff, MD, MHS Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This is a secondary analysis of the ARTEMIS, a cluster randomized trial of copayment assistance for P2Y12 inhibitors in patients that had myocardial infarction. One of the primary endpoints of ARTEMIS was persistence with P2Y12 inhibitors: Did the patient continue to take a P2Y12 inhibitor over the entire 1 year following MI? In ARTEMIS, we captured persistence data in two ways, patient report and pharmacy fill records. What we did in this study was to look at the agreement between persistence as measured by these two methods. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Nutrition / 05.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier, RD PhD Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, Université Laval Researcher, NUTRISS Center of INAF, Université Laval Visiting Scientist, Department of Nutrition Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death worldwide. Eggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol, but they are also an affordable source of high-quality protein, iron, unsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids, and carotenoids. However, because of the cholesterol content in eggs, the association between egg intake and CVD risk has been a topic of intense debate in the past decades. Many prospective studies on the association between egg intake and cardiovascular disease risk have provided conflicting findings. The aim of our study was to prospectively examine the association between egg consumption and risk of CVD in three cohorts of US men and women, and to conduct a systematic review and a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies on eggs and CVD.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, University of Pittsburgh / 04.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Inmaculada Hernandez, PharmD, PhD Assistant Professor of Pharmacy and Therapeutics University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior research found that list prices of drugs more than doubled in the last decade. However, because prior research was based on list prices, it did not account for manufacturer discounts, which have also increased in the past few years. We leveraged net pricing data from the investment firm SSR health to estimate increases in drug prices after accounting for discounts. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Pediatrics / 03.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hooman Azad First author and a 3rd year medical student Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University Eric Fleegler, MD MPH FAAP Senior author and Pediatric Emergency Physician Boston Children’s Hospital Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pediatric firearm violence is a public health crisis. The firearm fatality rate has increased by >50% over the past 10 years. Over our 26-year study period (1991-2016), 13,697 children under the age of 15 died at the hands of a firearm. Laws have been employed to try to reduce these deaths, and Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws, which aim to hold parents liable for the safe storage of their firearms, were passed in 25 states between 1989-2000. No new state passed a CAP laws after the year 2000. Child Access Prevention laws come in two flavors – recklessness laws that hold firearm owners liable for directly providing firearms to a minor, and negligence laws that hold the firearm owner liable for the unsafe storage of firearms with variability in how storage is defined and what penalties are imposed. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Yale / 27.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lajos Pusztai, M.D, D.Phil. Professor of Medicine Director, Breast Cancer Translational Research Co-Director, Yale Cancer Center Genetics and Genomics Program Yale Cancer Center Yale School of Medicine New Haven, CT 05620  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We analyzed breast cancer tissues obtained before any therapy and the same cancers after 20 weeks of chemotherapy. This setting is ideal to find out what genomic changes have occurred in cancers that survived therapy. Due to the paucity of such specimens few other studies exist in this space. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cognitive Issues, Social Issues / 27.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nancy J. Donovan, M.D. Chief, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry Brigham and Women’s Hospital Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior research has shown that widowed older adults are more likely to experience cognitive decline than those who are married. However, there have been no prior studies of widowhood as a risk factor for cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of severe cognitive impairment. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Mammograms / 25.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Xabier Garcia-De-Albeniz MD PhD Research Associate Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Mongan Institute for Health Policy Massachusetts General Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The goal of breast cancer screening is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by finding breast cancer at early, more treatable stages. The main way to screen for breast cancer is periodic mammography, which is an x-ray of the breast that can show tumors before they are large enough to feel. High-quality studies called clinical trials have shown that screening women in their 50s and 60s decreases breast cancer deaths. However, the point at which women can safely stop screening because it no longer decreases breast cancer deaths has not been studied. More than half of women in the United States continue screening mammography after age 75 years.  (more…)