Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, OBGYNE / 28.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jean Guglielminotti MD,PhD Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology Columbia University Irving Medical Center New York 10032  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: An old study (2004-2006) conducted in France suggested that epidural analgesia during childbirth resulted in a decreased risk of postpartum hemorrhage, the first cause of preventable maternal morbidity and mortality. We believed it was important to replicate this study in the United States, because of the advances in obstetric and anesthesia care practices during the last 15 years, and because of the marked differences in the health care systems between the United States and France. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, NYU / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea B. Troxel, ScD (she/her/hers) Professor and Director, Division of Biostatistics Department of Population Health NYU Grossman School of Medicine NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: This study represents an international collaboration across four continents and six countries, to pool information from studies in different patient populations to generate robust information about the possible benefits of convalescent plasma in treating COVID-19. Because the study was so large and the methods so rigorous, we were able to show that while CP doesn’t benefit all patients, it may have positive effects in certain subgroups. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics, Respiratory, Yale / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas Murray MD PhD Associate Professor, Yale School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Infectious Disease and Global Health Associate Medical Director, Infection Prevention Yale New Haven Children's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: This study was performed by Yale- CARES (Children and Adults Research in Early Education Study Team) a multidisciplinary group of researchers that are interested in learning how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted early child care programs in the US including the effects on both the children and those who care for them in this setting. This is important because when child care programs close it becomes very difficult for working families to find safe, affordable alternative care. We surveyed over 6000 child care workers from across the US in May/June 2020 with a follow up survey in May/June 2021. This includes both center based and home based child care programs. One question we were interested in was what things they were doing in their programs to reduce the risk of COVID-19. We then asked whether their program closed at any time in that year because of COVID-19. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Social Issues, UCSD / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Natalie Golaszewski, PhD Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Social isolation and loneliness are growing public health concerns as they are associated with health conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease including obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, NYU, USPSTF / 02.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH Dr. Adolph & Margaret Berger Professor of Population Health Director, Division of Health & Behavior Director Center for Healthful Behavior Change Department of Population Health NYU Langone Health NYU School of Medicine Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and a major risk factor for stroke, and it often goes undetected. For this recommendation, the Task Force evaluated whether screening adults over the age of 50 who do not have any signs or symptoms of AFib can help prevent strokes. In its evidence review, Task Force expanded its scope to include a search for studies on portable and wearable devices such as smartphones and fitness trackers in addition to electrocardiography (ECG). Despite this consideration, the Task Force found insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening for AFib. This is consistent with the Task Force’s 2018 recommendation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Emory, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 27.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Howa Yeung, MD MScHe/him/his Assistant Professor of Dermatology Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA 30322 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the United States but are underrepresented in health research. Existing research often categorize Asian Americans into a single racial category, which may mask differences in health behaviors and outcomes subgroups. We sought to examine potential differences in skin cancer-related risk factors and screening among Asian Americans in a large, nationally representative study. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Emory, Heart Disease, JAMA / 25.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Oster, MD, MPH CDC COVID-19 Response CDC Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities Pediatric Cardiologist, Sibley Heart Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Emory University School of Medicine Emory University Rollins School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: More than 192 million people ages 12 years and older in the U.S. received at least one dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from December 2020 through August 2021. From this population, VAERS (the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) received 1,991 reports of myocarditis,  1,626 of which met the case definition of myocarditis. Rates of myocarditis were highest following the second dose of an mRNA vaccine among males aged 12–15 years (70.7 per million doses of Pfizer), 16-17 years (105.9 per million doses of Pfizer), and 18–47 years (52.4 and 56.3 per million doses of Pfizer and Moderna, respectively). Of those with myocarditis, the median age was 21 years and the median time from vaccination to symptom onset was two days. Males accounted for 82% of patients for whom sex was known. Approximately 96% were hospitalized, 87% of whose symptoms had gone away by the time they were discharged from the hospital. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (589/676, 87%) were the most common treatment. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Dental Research, Geriatrics, NYU / 23.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bei Wu, PhD Dean's Professor in Global Health Vice Dean for Research Rory Meyers College of Nursing Affiliated Professor, College of Dentistry Co-Director, NYU Aging Incubator New York University New York, NY 10010 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Social isolation and loneliness are global public health concerns. Social isolation is the lack of social contacts and having few people to have regular interactions; while loneliness is the distressing feeling of being alone or separated. Approximately 24% of community-dwelling older adults aged 65 and above are considered to be socially isolated in the United States, and 43% adults aged over 60 years old report feeling lonely. Increasing evidence suggests that social isolation and loneliness are risk factors for older adults’ health outcomes, such as depression, comorbidities, cognitive impairment and dementia, and premature mortality. However, one key limitation in the literature is that only a few studies have examined the impact of social isolation and loneliness on oral health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Gastrointestinal Disease, Nature, Sugar / 17.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Rupprecht, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Kelly L Buchanan The Laboratory of Gut Brain Neurobiology Duke Medicine – GI Diego V. Bohórquez PhD Associate Professor in Medicine Duke Institute for Brain Sciences Durham, NC MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: In 2018, my laboratory discovered that a cell type in the gut epithelium synapses with the vagus nerve, the nerve which connects the gut and the brain. These gut cells are called neuropod cells. Neuropod cells transduce sugar within milliseconds using the neurotransmitter glutamate. Since then, we have been interested in defining how this rapid communication between neuropod cells and the brain regulates behavior. – Diego Bohórquez Over a decade ago, it was shown that the gut is the key site for discerning sugar and non-caloric sweetener. But the specific cell in the gut that underlies this effect was unknown. – Kelly Buchanan   (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Infections, Multiple Sclerosis, Science / 15.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kassandra L. Munger Sc.D. Senior Research Scientist Alberto Ascherio MD Dr.P.H. Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: An infectious cause of MS has been hypothesized for decades. Research over the past 20 years conducted by our group and others has strongly suggested a role for EBV infection including that EBV-negative individuals have a near zero risk of developing MS, having a history of infectious mononucleosis (caused by EBV infection) increases the risk of MS 2-fold, and healthy individuals have higher risks of MS with higher antibody levels against EBV antigens.  Ideally, to prove causality a randomized clinical controlled trial would be conducted; however, this not a feasible approach in this case. Given that nearly 95% of the adult population is infected with EBV and MS is a rare disease, we utilized the Department of Defense Serum Repository which stores over 60 million serum samples from over 10 million US Military active duty personnel. From this large resource, we were able to identify a cohort who were EBV negative when they joined the military and we followed them for whether they had a primary infection with EBV and then for who developed MS. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics / 06.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dani Dumitriu, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (in Psychiatry) The Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology Columbia University, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A lot of research has focused on the effects of COVID-19 in various vulnerable populations, such as elderly individuals, immunocompromised patients, and individuals with severe comorbidities. However, one vulnerable population that has remained relatively understudied are the infants exposed to maternal COVID-19 disease during pregnancy. While early on in the pandemic we and other groups showed reassuring data on low risk of vertical transmission, meaning the passing of the virus from mother-to-infant is rare, this does not necessarily mean that these infants wouldn't experience long-term consequences related to the maternal infection through other means. We know from other viral illness that maternal illness, most commonly through the activation of her immune system, can lead to a cascade of events that affect fetal development. This is why a large number of physicians and researchers at Columbia University spearheaded the COVID-19 Mother Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Initiative -- to look at potential long-term health effects on both infants and mothers. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCLA / 03.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ting Martin Ma, MD, PhD Resident Physician Amar U. Kishan, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology Vice-Chair of Clinical and Translational Research Department of Radiation Oncology at UCLA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know from epidemiologic studies that  Black men are more likely to be diagnosed with and die of prostate cancer than White men. Recent studies hinted that Black men had better oncological outcome (such as prostate cancer specific mortality and overall survival) responding to systemic therapy for advanced prostate cancer (e.g. cancer that has spread or metastasized to other parts of the body). The question we were trying to answer in this study is: is there a difference in outcomes between Black and White men with localized prostate cancer (cancer that has not spread) receiving definitive radiotherapy enrolled in clinical trials?  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, University of Pennsylvania / 20.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lauren A. Eberly, MD, MPH Clinical Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine Perelman School of Medicine Cardiovascular Division, Perelman School of Medicine Center for Cardiovascular Outcomes, Quality, and Evaluative Research, Cardiovascular Center for Health Equity and Social Justice, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Racial inequities are pervasive in our country, and cardiovascular therapeutics with proven benefit have been shown to be underutilized among Black and Latinx patients. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), a recommended treatment option for glycemic control in patients with diabetes, have recently emerged as a cardioprotective therapy as multiple large randomized clinical trials have shown they prevent cardiovascular events among patients with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), particularly patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Given this, they are now recommended therapy for patients with diabetes and established or high risk of ASCVD. Given the known inequitable utilization of other therapies, along with the known higher burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among Black patients, the aim of this study was to evaluate the uptake of GLP-1 RA as well as for inequities in utilization. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Genetic Research, Hematology, NEJM / 16.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Markus Y Mapara, MD Professor of Medicine Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Sickle cell disease is caused by a point mutation in the beta-globin gene of hemoglobin  resulting in the production of abnormal hemoglobin which leads to formation of sickle-shaped RBC under conditions of low oxygen. Sickle cell disease affects about 100,000 patients in the US which are predominantly African  American. The only curative approach is to perform an allogeneic bone marrow transplant which is however fraught with significant treatment-related risks if a matched sibling donor is not available. The current study describes the successful application of a novel gene therapy  to treat patients with sickle cell disease. The strategy is based on a gene-addition approach to introduce the genetic information for a Hemoglobin F-like molecule termed HgAT87Q into hematopoietic stem cells. The expression of this novel  hemoglobin prevents polymerization of HgbS  and has now been demonstrated to prevent the occurrence of vaso-occlusive pain crises in sickle cell disease patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, University of Pennsylvania / 14.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashish Thakrar, MD Internal Medicine & Addiction Medicine National Clinician Scholars Program University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: About 1.8 million Americans are currently incarcerated, more than any other country in the world per capita. Of those 1.8 million, about 1 in 7 suffers from opioid addiction, putting them at high risk of overdose and death, particularly in the weeks following release. Opioid use disorder is a treatable condition, particularly with the medications buprenorphine or methadone, but historically, prisons and jails have not offered treatment. Over the past five years, a few states and municipalities have enacted policies to provide access for OUD treatment. We examined whether these policies were actually improving access to treatment.  (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, NEJM, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease, Vanderbilt / 08.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leonard B. Bacharier, MD Janie Robinson and John Moore Lee Chair in Pediatrics Professor of Pediatrics Director - Center for Pediatric Asthma Research Scientific Director - Center for Clinical and Translational Research Section Chief - Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Division of Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Is Dupilumab used for other atopic conditions, ie eczema/atopic dermatitis?   Response: Many children with moderate-severe asthma continue to experience asthma exacerbations and poor asthma control despite use of controller therapies.  Dupilumab has been shown to reduce asthma exacerbations in adolescents and adults, as well as to improve atopic dermatitis in children and adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Circadian Rhythm, Diabetes, Occupational Health, Science, Weight Research / 06.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah L. Chellappa, MD PhD Medical Chronobiology Program Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Departments of Medicine and Neurology Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA Department of Nuclear Medicine Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Frank A.J.L. Scheer, M.Sc., Ph.D. Professor of Medicine. Medical Chronobiology Program Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Departments of Medicine and Neurology Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you explain the difference between the central circadian ‘clock’ and endogenous circadian glucose rhythms?  Response: Night work increases diabetes risk. This increased risk is not fully explained by differences in lifestyle, family history, and/or socioeconomic status, thus other mechanisms are likely involved. Laboratory studies in humans have shown glucose intolerance in both non-shift workers and shift workers exposed to simulated night work. Animal experimental data suggests that this may be in part due to a misalignment between central and peripheral rhythms. Central circadian rhythms (e.g., body temperature) are primarily modulated by the central circadian “clock”, which is located in the brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus and is responsible for synchronizing our physiology and behavior with the 24-hour cycle. Peripheral rhythms, including endogenous circadian glucose rhythms, are likely modulated by peripheral “clocks” across the body that play an integral role in modulating the circadian expression of physiology, including metabolic functions. These central and peripheral clocks share a common molecular mechanism underlying their circadian rhythm generating capacity, including transcription-translation feedback loops of circadian “clock” genes.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 02.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Barbra Dickerman, PhD CAUSALab investigator and instructor Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Early randomized trials showed that the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccines were both remarkably effective at preventing symptomatic disease, when comparing each vaccine with no vaccine. However, head-to-head comparisons of these vaccines have been lacking, leaving open the question of which vaccine is more effective.  In this study, we analyzed the VA’s high-quality databases in a way that emulated the design of the hypothetical trial that would have answered this question. Specifically, we used the findings from the original trials to benchmark our methods and then extended them to provide novel evidence for the comparative effectiveness of these two vaccines in a real-world setting and across diverse subgroups and different time periods. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dermatology, UCSF / 27.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carina M. Woodruff, MD Department of Dermatolog University of California, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Rigorous hand hygiene has been an important component of the CDC's COVID-19 guidelines. With millions of Americans now using hand sanitizers regularly, we are seeing many more cases of hand dermatitis. Our study evaluated the key product features and most common allergens in the top-reviewed, commercial hand sanitizers sold by major US retailers. We found that the most common potential allergens were tocopherol, fragrance, propylene glycol and phenoxyethanol. Our study also showed that nearly 1 in 5 marketing claims on these products was misleading. For example, 70% of sanitizers with the marketing claim "hypoallergenic" included at least one common allergen in its formulation. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Weight Research / 25.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alejandra Ellison-Barnes, MD MPH General Internal Medicine Johns Hopkins Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Emerging adulthood is a unique period of development that ultimately leads to the formation of adult identity, but how this stage contributes to obesity is relatively understudied. The prevalence of obesity has been increasing in the United States population as a whole, and we wanted to know how mean body mass index and the prevalence of obesity have changed over the past several decades specifically among emerging adults. We found that among emerging adults aged 18 through 25, mean BMI has increased from 23.1 kg/m2 in 1976-1980 to 27.7 kg/m2 in 2017-2018. In the same period, the prevalence of obesity increased from 6.2% to 32.7%. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mayo Clinic, Race/Ethnic Diversity, USPSTF / 20.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chyke A. Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H. Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force since 2017 Director, the Mayo Clinic Center Health Equity and Community Engagement Research Department of Family Medicine Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: People who experience systemic racism generally have shorter life expectancies and experience more health problems. Racism can increase the chances of getting preventable conditions, limit access to health information, and restrict access to actual preventive care. To confront these issues and promote antiracism and health equity, the Task Force commissioned a review of the evidence around how systemic racism currently undermines preventive healthcare. Based on that review, the Task Force has developed an initial set of strategies to reduce the effects of systemic racism, which includes prioritizing topics that are likely to advance health equity, assessing the Task Force’s language to ensure it is culturally appropriate, and calling for more research in people of color.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, University of Pennsylvania / 18.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashwin Nathan, MD, MSHP Assistant Professor, Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine Interventional Cardiologist Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and at the Corporal Michael C. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia Penn Cardiovascular Outcomes, Quality & Evaluative Research Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We found that the rates of TAVR were lower in areas with higher proportions of Black, Hispanic and socioeconomically disadvantaged patients. Inequities in access in areas with higher proportions of Black and Hispanic patients existed despite adjusting for socioeconomic status. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 16.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicholas A. Marston, MD, MPH Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Study Group Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has been recent debate about how much of lipid-associated cardiovascular risk is from LDL cholesterol versus triglycerides. However, genetic studies suggest that apolipoprotein B is actually the primary driver of atherosclerotic risk. Since there is exactly one apoB lipoprotein on each lipid particle (LDL, IDL, VLDL), its measurement is a surrgate for the total number of apoB-containing lipoproteins. So in this study, we asked the question: Do common measures of cholesterol concentration, triglyceride concentration, or their ratio carry predictive value for cardiovascular risk beyond the number of apo-B containing lipoproteins? (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Science, UCSF / 10.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Art Wallace, M.D., Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Anesthesia School of Medicine, UCSF Chief of the Anesthesia Service Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: I have spent the last 30 years working on perioperative risk reduction, developing medications and approaches to risk reduction. Part of this work utilized epidemiologic analysis of medication patterns of use to test if they are associated with reductions in morbidity and mortality. This work analyzed data in the VA Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) which provides access to the VA, best in the world electronic health care record system, VISTA.  With the COVID-19 pandemic I realized that the analytic techniques we had utilized for perioperative cardiac risk reduction could be used to search for medications to reduce the risks for acute COVID-19 infection. We identified four classes of medications that reduced the risk of death in acute COVID-19 infection. We then turned our attention to medications to reduce the incidence, severity, and duration of long-term sequelae of COVID-19 infection also known as Long COVID or COVID Long Hauler Syndrome. One of the questions that people were asking was what was the effect of vaccination on Long COVID? We began that work by looking at the effect of vaccination on COVID infections and found the dramatic decrease in efficacy of vaccines with the spread of the Delta Variant. We published this work to notify the public and public health community of the decreased efficacy of the vaccines in the face of the Delta variant and reiterate the need for secondary public health prevention measures such as masks, social distancing, vaccination, and boosters. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Surgical Research / 27.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joel S. Weissman, PhD Deputy Director/Chief Scientific Officer Center for Surgery and Public Health Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School Professor of Surgery (Health Policy) Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over time, the military health system has been shifting care for its soldiers and their families away from big military treatment facilities (MTFs), allowing soldiers and their families to get care from civilian hospitals.  But this has had an unintended consequence.  Unfortunately, it means that military surgeons are getting fewer cases, and they are worried about maintaining their skills as surgeons.  But some surgeries count more than others to help prepare the surgeon for battlefield casualties.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Lung Cancer, Stanford, USPSTF / 24.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Summer S Han, PhD Assistant Professor Quantitative Sciences Unit Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research (BMIR) Neurosurgery and Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA 94304  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued their 2021 recommendation on lung cancer screening lowering the start age from 55 to 50 years and the minimum pack-year criterion from 30 to 20, relative to the 2013 recommendations. Although costs are expected to increase with the expanded screening eligibility, it is unknown if the new guidelines for lung cancer screening are cost-effective. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Pulmonary Disease, University of Pittsburgh / 22.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen Chan, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Medicine Director of the Vascular Medicine Institute at Pitt and UPMC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a type of high blood pressure that occurs in the vessels that transport blood from the heart to the lungs. As the disease progresses and the heart must strain harder against these high pressures, it can lead to heart failure, multi-organ dysfunction and death. PH affects people of all ages but hits young women more often than men. Pulmonary hypertension is an example of a rare disease where there is an unmet need for new treatments, given its devastating consequences. Repurposing drugs that are already in use for other purposes can dramatically cut down the time and cost of developing treatments for rare diseases like PH. But a pipeline to predict and test for drugs in this way for PH and other rare diseases has not been described. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 20.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anita Katharina Wagner, PharmD, MPH, DrPH Associate Professor of Population Medicine Director, Ethics Program, Point32Health (parent company of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan) Co-Director, HMS Fellowship in Health Policy and Insurance Research Co-Director, Center for Cancer Policy and Program Evaluation (CarPE) Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The expectation for new cancer drugs is that they help patients live better longer. Increasingly more cancer drugs are approved without documented quality of life or overall survival benefits.   At the same time, cancer drug prices are rising.  We studied use of and spending on selected new cancer drugs among patients with employer-sponsored health insurance. We found that among 37348 patients who received one or more of 44 oral targeted cancer drugs, the proportion of patients who received a drug without documented overall survival benefit increased from 13% in 2011 to 59% in 2018.  By 2018, spending on drugs without documented overall survival benefit accounted for 52% of the $3.5 million spend on the 44 drugs since 2011. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lyme, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCLA / 18.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dan P. Ly M.D., Ph.D., M.P.P. Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles, CA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lyme disease presents first on the skin with the classic “bull’s-eye” rash. But such rashes in Black patients aren’t well-represented in medical textbooks. This may lead to physicians not recognizing such rashes in Black patients. As a result, Black patients are more likely to present with later complications of Lyme disease when first diagnosed such as neurologic complications.   (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Infections, Vanderbilt / 02.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachael Pellegrino, MD Vanderbilt University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that HIV care and outcomes have dramatically improved over the last 20 years, but disparities still exist at each step of the HIV care continuum, which can ultimately lead to differences in mortality rates. In addition to assessing trends and disparities in mortality, we wanted to look at differences in premature mortality, which has not been widely studied in the HIV population in the US. This concept serves to emphasize and quantify the time lost by death at an early age as an important measurement of the impact of diseases and can expose disparities that are not apparent in the mortality rates alone. (more…)