Is Low-Dose Aspirin Protective After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Charlotte Skriver, PhD student, MSc
Danish Cancer Society Research Center
Statistics & Pharmacoepidemiology
Danish Cancer Society
Copenhagen 

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

Response: The drug aspirin is widely used due to its established protection against cardiovascular diseases. Increasing evidence also supports an effect of aspirin use on reducing the risk of and mortality from colorectal cancer and possibly other cancer types. Recent studies have suggested that aspirin use after a diagnosis of prostate cancer may improve the prognosis.

We examined whether use of low-dose aspirin was associated with survival after prostate cancer in a nationwide study of prostate cancer patients in Denmark.

Continue reading

Equation Predicts Bleeding Risk of Aspirin for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Vanessa Selak, MBChB, MPH, PhD, FAFPHM, FNZCPHMSenior Lecturer, Section of Epidemiology & BiostatisticsSchool of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health SciencesUniversity of Auckland

Dr. Selak

Dr Vanessa Selak, MBChB, MPH, PhD, FAFPHM, FNZCPHM
Senior Lecturer, Section of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
School of Population Health
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
University of Auckland

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

Response: In order to determine the balance of benefits and harms of aspirin in primary prevention there’s a need to know an individual’s risk of CVD and their risk of a major bleed without aspirin.

We have lots of equations that can be used to determine, among people considering aspirin for primary prevention, an individual’s risk of CVD, but few bleeding risk equations that can be used to determine their risk of a major bleed.

We sought to develop a bleeding risk equation that can be used to determine the risk of a major bleed among people in whom aspirin is being considered for the primary prevention of CVD. Continue reading

Poor Fitness and Obesity in Early Life Linked to Greater Disability as Adult

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Pontus Henriksson | PhD and Registered Dietitian Postdoctoral Researcher | SFO-V Fellow Department of Biosciences and Nutrition Karolinska Institutet

Dr. Henriksson

Pontus Henriksson | PhD and Registered Dietitian
Postdoctoral Researcher | SFO-V Fellow
Department of Biosciences and Nutrition
Karolinska Institutet 

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

Response: In many countries, disability pensions are granted to working-aged persons who are likely to never work full-time again because of a chronic disease or injury diagnosed by a physician. In addition to serving as an important indicator of chronic disease, disability pensions are associated with high societal costs.

Hence, we examined whether cardiorespiratory fitness and obesity (two potentially modifiable factors) were associated with disability pension later in life.

Our main findings were that low physical fitness and/or obesity during adolescence, were strongly associated with disability pension later in life due to a wide range of diseases and causes.  Continue reading

Validation of MEESSI Score for Acute Heart Failure Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Desiree Nadine Wussler MD
Cardiovascular Research Institute
Universitätsspital Basel

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

Response: Acute heart failure is the most common cause of hospitalization in patients 50 years or older with more than 2 millions of hospitalizations annually in both Europe and the United States.

As most patients with  acute heart failure present to the emergency department, an early risk stratification is of crucial importance in order to decide whether to hospitalize a patient or even treat him in an intensive care unit setting.

Recently, the MEESSI Acute heart failure risk score was developed to predict 30-day mortality in patients presenting with acute heart failure to emergency departments in Spain.  However, it was unknown whether it also performs well in other countries. When externally validating the MEESSI-Score in unselected AHF patients treated in another European country, we report the following major findings.

  1. After stratifying patients into the original MEESSI-AHF Score risk groups, a pronounced difference in 30-day mortality was found.
  2. The MEESSI-Score showed excellent discrimination for every applied model.
  3. In patients assigned to low and intermediate risk of 30-day mortality, the MEESSI-score showed near ideal calibration.
  4. After recalibration there was also a high concordance of the predicted 30-day mortality according to the MEESSI Score and the observed mortality in patients stratified to high and very high-risk.

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

Response: The MEESSI Score seems to be a highly promising tool for stratifying patients presenting to the emergency department with acute heart failure according to their risk. However, recalibration may be needed when introducing the score to new populations. Furthermore, recalibration could also be important when outcome frequencies change due to novel therapies and consecutive improved outcomes. To the best of our knowledge, except for the MEESSI-Score there is no other heart failure risk score which could be adapted to changed outcome frequencies that easily. 

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

Response: In my opinion the next step would be a clinical trial. In such a study, patients should be either randomized to a control group in which risk stratification and the following further treatment are left to the discretion of the attending physician or to the intervention group in which patients are stratified into different risk groups according to their MEESSI Score. In this setting the clinical implications and additional application areas of the MEESSI Score could be further characterized. 

Citation:

Wussler D, Kozhuharov N, Sabti Z, Walter J, Strebel I, Scholl L, et al. External Validation of the MEESSI Acute Heart Failure Risk ScoreA Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med. [Epub ahead of print ] doi: 10.7326/M18-1967

 

Feb 1, 2019 @ 11:48 am

 

 

 

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Mental Illness Risk Increased in Young Onset Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Juliana CN Chan MD Chair Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics Head, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics Director, Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity Director, Clinical Research Management Office Faculty of Medicine The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dr. Chan

Juliana CN Chan MD
Chair Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics
Head, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics
Director, Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity
Director, Clinical Research Management Office
Faculty of Medicine
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

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

Response: The prevalence of young onset diabetes (YOD) is increasing world-wide with doubling of its prevalence in the last 10 years in many developed nations. Using the Hong Kong Diabetes Register established since 1995, we first reported that 1 in 5 Chinese adults with diabetes were diagnosed before the age of 40 years. These young patients had poor control of multiple risk factors with 1.5 fold higher risk of premature death and cardiovascular-renal complications compared to patients with usual onset of diabetes after the age of 40 (Chan JC et al AJM 2014, Luk A et al Diabetes Care 2014). Due to the multisystem nature of diabetes, we asked the question whether these young patients might have recurrent hospitalizations during their 3-4 decades of complex clinical course.

Using a territory-wide diabetes database involving 0.42 million people followed up between 2002 and 2014, we compared the hospitalization rates accrued till the age of 75 years and found that patients with young onset diabetes had the highest hospitalization rates by attained age. Compared to patients with usual onset of diabetes, patients with YOD had 1.8- 6.7 higher risk of hospitalizations due to all-causes, notably renal disease compared to those with usual onset of disease.

Amongst patients with young onset diabetes, over one-third of the bed-days were due to mental illness before the age of 40 years. We used mathematical modeling and estimated that intensified risk factor control in YOD can reduce the cumulative bed-days by 30% which can be further reduced by delaying the onset of diabetes. These original data is a wakening call to the community regarding the complex nature of YOD involving interactions amongst environment, lifestyles and personal factors (e.g. genetics, education and socioeconomic status) and the biomedical-psychological-behavioral needs of these high risk population, which if undiagnosed, untreated or suboptimally managed, can have huge economic impacts on health care system and loss of societal productivity, leaving personal suffering aside. Continue reading

What Price Would Make Alirocumab (Praluent) Cost Effective for Lipid Control?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dhruv S. Kazi, MD, MSc, MS Associate Directo Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research Boston MA 02215 Associate Director Cardiac Critical Care Unit Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Dr. Kazi

Dhruv S. Kazi, MD, MSc, MS
Associate Director
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research
Boston MA 02215
Associate Director
Cardiac Critical Care Unit
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 

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

Response: The ODYSSEY Outcomes trial found that addition of alirocumab to statin therapy reduces the incidence of a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke among patients with a recent history of a myocardial infarction and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

We modeled the cost-effectiveness of alirocumab and found that, at the March 2018 price of the drug, it would not be cost-effective (either relative to statin alone or statin + ezetimibe) for this indication. We found that a large price-reduction would be required to meet the cost-effectiveness threshold of $100,000 per quality-adjusted life year. Shortly after the preliminary findings of this study were released, both manufacturers of PCSK9 inhibitors announced large price reductions in order to improve access to these drugs.

Continue reading

Marked Increase in Infected Heart Valves Due to Injected Opioids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Asher Schranz, MD Division of Infectious Disease Department of Medicine UNC School of Medicine

Dr. Schranz

Asher Schranz, MD
Division of Infectious Disease
Department of Medicine
UNC School of Medicine

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

Response: The opioid crisis has led to several major infectious diseases concerns, including HIV and Hepatitis C.

Drug use-associated infective endocarditis (DUA-IE) is a less commonly discussed consequence of the opioid epidemic. DUA-IE is an infection of one or more heart valves that occurs from injecting drugs. It can be a severe, life-threatening infection and requires a long course of intravenous antibiotics as well as, in some cases, open heart surgery to replace an infected heart valve. Several studies over the past few years have shown that DUA-IE has been increasing.

Our study examined hospital discharges in North Carolina statewide from 2007 to 2017. We sought to update trends in DUA-IE and describe how much heart valve surgery was being performed for DUA-IE. We also aimed to report the demographics of persons who are undergoing heart valve surgery for DUA-IE and the charges, lengths of stay and outcomes of these hospitalizations.  Continue reading

Age, Gender and Drug Should Factor Into Statin Recommendation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Dr. Milo Puhan Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute University of Zurich

Prof. Puhan

Prof. Dr. Milo Puhan
Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute
University of Zurich

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

Response: The use of statins for primary cardiovascular prevention is controversial and there is a debate at what risks statins provide more benefits than harms.

Current guidelines recommend statins if the 10 year risk for cardiovascular events is above 7.5 to 10% and they do not distinguish between men and women, different age groups and different statins.

We found in our study that the benefits of statins exceeds the harms if the 10 year risk for cardiovascular events is above 14% for middle aged mean (40-44 years) but even higher for older age groups, and women.

In addition, the benefit harm balance varies substantially between different statins with atorvastatin providing the best benefit harm balance.

Continue reading

Genome Analysis Can Overestimate Incidence of Chronic Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hila Milo Rasoul, PhD Postdoctoral research scientist Ali Gharavi Lab Columbia University

Dr. Milo Rasouly

Hila Milo Rasouly, PhD
Postdoctoral research scientist
Ali Gharavi Lab
Columbia University

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

Response: Genome sequencing is increasingly used in clinical medicine to help make a clinical diagnosis and make predictions about potential future complications. The diagnostic yield and limitations for different indications are still being worked out.  We are interested in studying the applications of genome sequencing for chronic kidney diseases. It is estimated that 10% of adults have chronic kidney disease (CKD), and amongst them, 10% are caused by single-gene (Mendelian) forms of disease.

The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics developed guidelines on how to interpret genetic variants in order to make a genetic diagnosis. Our lab has been engaged in studying the yield and impact of genetic testing for  CKD, and in the course of our research, we realized that a very large number of individuals have genetic variants that may be classified as pathogenic based on automated application of the guidelines. However, in majority of these cases, the genetic variant was much too frequent in the population to be plausibly disease-causing or did not match up well with the clinical diagnosis. This led us to wonder about the risk of false-positive genetic diagnosis. To analyze this risk for false-positive genetic diagnosis, we analyzed the genome sequence of 7,974 self-reported healthy adults.

Continue reading

Electronic Decision Support Facilitates Home Discharge of Some PE Patients From ER

Dr-David R Vinson

Dr. Vinson

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
David R. Vinson, MD
Department of Emergency Medicine
Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center Sacramento, CA

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

Response: At least one-third of emergency department (ED) patients with acute blood clots in the lung, or pulmonary embolism (PE), are eligible for expedited discharged to home, either directly from the ED or after a short (<24 hour) period of observation. Yet in in most hospitals in the U.S. and around the world nearly all ED patients with acute PE are hospitalized. These unnecessary hospitalizations are a poor use of health care resources, tie up inpatient beds, and expose patients to the cost, inconvenience, and risk of inpatient care. The better-performing medical centers have two characteristics in common: they help their physicians identify which PE patients are candidates for outpatient care and they facilitate timely post-discharge follow-up. At Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), we have had the follow-up system in place for some time, but didn’t have a way to help our physicians sort out which patients with acute PE would benefit from home management.

To correct this, we designed a secure, web-based clinical decision support system that was integrated with the electronic health record. When activated, it presented to the emergency physician the validated PE Severity Index, which uses patient demographics, vital signs, examination findings, and past medical history to classify patients into different risk strata, correlated with eligibility for home care. To make use of the PE Severity Index easier and more streamlined for the physician, the tool drew in information from the patient’s comprehensive medical records to accurately auto-populate the PE Severity Index. The tool then calculated for the physician the patient’s risk score and estimated 30-day mortality, and also offered a site-of-care recommendation, for example, “outpatient management is often possible.” The tool also reminded the physician of relative contraindications to outpatient management. At the time, only 10 EDs in KPNC had an on-site physician researcher, who for this study served as physician educator, study promotor, and enrollment auditor to provide physician-specific feedback. These 10 EDs functioned as the intervention sites, while the other 11 EDs within KPNC served as concurrent controls. Our primary outcome was the percentage of eligible ED patients with acute PE who had an expedited discharge to home, as defined above.

During the 16-month study period (8-month pre-intervention and 8-months post-intervention), we cared for 1,703 eligible ED patients with acute PE. Adjusted home discharge increased at intervention sites from 17% to 28%, a greater than 60% relative increase. There were no changes in home discharge observed at the control sites (about 15% throughout the 16-month study). The increase in home discharge was not associated with an increase in short-term return visits or major complications.  Continue reading

Disparities Remain But Blacks Experience Greatest All-Cause Mortality Reductions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Katie Hastings MPH Stanford Medicine 

Kate Hastings

Katie Hastings MPH
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford, California

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

Response: Heart disease has been the leading cause of death since the early 1900s, but recent data has suggested cancer will surpass heart disease in the upcoming decades. To date, this is the first study to examine the transition from heart disease to cancer mortality as the leading cause of death by U.S. county and sociodemographic characteristics using national mortality records from 2003 to 2015.

Our main findings are:

  • Epidemiologic transition is occurring earlier in high compared to low income U.S. counties, and occurs earlier for Asian Americans, Hispanics, and NHWs compared to blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives.
  • Data may suggest that this shift arises from larger reductions in heart disease than cancer mortality over the study period, particularly in the highest income counties.
  • Continued disparities in heart disease and cancer mortality between blacks and other racial/ethnic groups, even in the highest income quintiles. While blacks continue to have the highest overall mortality than any other group, we do show this population experienced the greatest overall improvements in mortality (i.e. mortality rate reductions over time) for all-cause, heart disease, and cancer compared to all other racial/ethnic groups (except for heart disease in Hispanics). 

Continue reading

Biomarkers Suggest Intensive Blood Pressure Treatment Does Not Cause True Kidney Damage in CKD Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael G. Shlipak, MD, MPH Scientific Director , Kidney Health Research Collaborative (khrc.ucsf.edu/) Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics University of California, San Francisco Associate Chief of Medicine for Research Development San Francisco VA Medical Center

Dr. Shlipak

Michael G. Shlipak, MD, MPH
Scientific Director , Kidney Health Research Collaborative (khrc.ucsf.edu)
Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
University of California, San Francisco
Associate Chief of Medicine for Research Development
San Francisco VA Medical Center

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

  • Our study represents major advancements in our understanding of whether kidney tissue damage accompanies the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease during hypertension therapy.
  • The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) was a landmark clinical trial that demonstrated that more intensive systolic blood pressure management (target <120 mmHg) reduced rates of major cardiovascular events and mortality compared with standard therapy (<140 mmHg). A recent announcement indicated that the lower systolic blood pressure target also slowed the rate of cognitive decline and dementia incidence.
  • The major concern with intensive blood pressure lowering in SPRINT is the 3-fold incidence of chronic kidney disease, as defined using the clinical standard of serum creatinine levels. This detrimental impact on the kidney was surprising because hypertension is a predominant risk factor for kidney disease, and hypertension therapy should reduce CKD risk.
  • Given the lower blood pressure targets in the recently-updated national hypertension guidelines, there has been substantial concern that guideline implementation of blood pressure targets could cause an epidemic of CKD and the attendant suffering from its downstream consequences of cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and kidney failure.
  • In our study, we compared SPRINT participants who developed CKD with matched controls, using a panel of validated urinary biomarkers of kidney damage. These urine tests can measure actual kidney damage, rather than relying on the creatinine which is an indirect reflection of the kidney’s filtering function.
  • In the group undergoing intensive blood pressure lowering in SPRINT, we found that the new cases of CKD had an overall lowering of the kidney damage biomarkers compared with the controls, contrary to what would have been expected if they were developing “real” CKD.
  • In contrast, the new CKD cases that developed in the standard treatment group did have overall elevations in the urinary biomarkers of kidney damage; 5 of the 9 biomarkers significantly increased relative to the CKD cases in the intensive treatment group. 

Continue reading

Opioid Prescriptions Drop After 2016 CDC Guidelines Released

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH Senior Health Economist Division of Unintentional Injury CDC

Dr. Gery Guy

Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH
Senior Health Economist
Division of Unintentional Injury
CDC

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

Response: In response to the increasing harms and adverse outcomes from prescription opioids, the CDC released the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain in March 2016. The CDC Guideline recommends evidence-based practices for opioid use for patients age 18 years and older in primary care settings in treating chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care.

This report analyzed the temporal changes in opioid prescribing following the release of the CDC Guideline.

Continue reading

Pregabalin Linked To Increased Risk for Opioid-Related Deaths

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tara Gomes, MHSc Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital, The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tara Gomes

Tara Gomes, MHSc
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital,
The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

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

Response: Pregabalin is a medication increasingly being prescribed to manage pain, however there is emerging evidence that this drug may increase one’s risk of opioid overdose when prescribed with opioids.

Continue reading

Diabetes: Microvascular Complications Markedly Decreased After Bariatric Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David Arterburn, MD, MPH Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Seattle, WA 

Dr. Arterburn

David Arterburn, MD, MPH
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Seattle, WA

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

Response: More than 9 percent of adult Americans—about 30 million people—are estimated to have type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. The disease tends to worsen over time, with blood sugar levels rising along with the risks of developing large blood vessel (macrovascular) complications like heart attack and stroke, as well as small blood vessel (microvascular) complications affecting the nerves of the feet and hands (neuropathy), kidneys (nephropathy), and eyes (retinopathy).

Among more than 4000 patients who underwent bariatric surgery, the 5-year incidence of microvascular disease — including neuropathy, nephropathy, and retinopathy — was nearly 60% lower than that of 11,000 matched nonsurgical control patients receiving usual diabetes care.  Continue reading

Hepatitis C Treatment After Kidney Transplant May Extend Lives and Decrease Costs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mark H. Eckman, MD Posey Professor of Clinical Medicine Director, Division of General Internal Medicine Director, Center for Clinical Effectiveness University of Cincinnati Medical Center Cincinnati, OH

Dr. Eckman

Mark H. Eckman, MD
Posey Professor of Clinical Medicine
Director, Division of General Internal Medicine
Director, Center for Clinical Effectiveness
University of Cincinnati Medical Center
Cincinnati, OH 

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

Response: People who are infected with hepatitis C virus and have kidney failure need a kidney transplant.

Recent studies have found that it is possible to transplant kidneys from donors who are infected with hepatitis C virus into patients who need a transplant and are already infected with the virus. In addition, drugs are available to cure most patients of hepatitis C virus, including those who have kidney failure. Infected patients who need a kidney transplant have 2 options. One option is to receive an infected kidney and then use drugs after the transplant to cure themselves and the transplanted kidney of the virus. Another option is to use the drugs first to get rid of the virus and then to receive a kidney from a donor who does not have hepatitis C virus infection.

For the more than 500,000 patients receiving dialysis for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), less than 4% receive kidney transplants. Because of the limited organ availability, hemodialysis is the final treatment for most patients with ESRD. Of the 10% or so of U.S. patients receiving dialysis who are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), some are willing to accept HCV-infected kidneys, in part, because the wait times for such kidneys are shorter than those for HCV-uninfected kidneys. Because the yearly mortality rate for patients receiving hemodialysis is so high, between 4% and 16%, reducing the time to kidney transplant can have a dramatic effect on both survival and quality of life.

Because it may not be possible to do this type of research with actual people, we created a model that allowed us to estimate possible outcomes without using actual people.

The model was a computer program that combined the best available information to approximate what might happen to participants in a real-world clinical trial. Continue reading

Cardiovascular Risks of Hormone Therapy in Transgender Individuals

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael Goodman, MD, MPH Professor of Epidemiology Director, MD/MPH program Emory University School of Public Health Atlanta, GA  30322

Dr. Goodman

Michael Goodman, MD, MPH
Professor of Epidemiology
Director, MD/MPH program
Emory University School of Public Health
Atlanta, GA  30322

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

Response: There is a concern that hormone therapy may be associated with higher risk of certain cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks, stroke and formation of blood clots (“venous thromboembolism”).

To study this concern we examined data on 4,960 transgender and gender non-conforming people enrolled in Kaiser Permanente health systems in Georgia, Northern California, and Southern California. They were matched to 48,686 cisgender men and 48,775 cisgender women.  Below are the main findings

  • Rates of venous thromboembolism in all transwomen were approximately twice as high as the rates among cisgender men or cisgender women. The data for stroke and myocardial infarction demonstrated little difference between transwomen and cisgender men, but 80% to 90% higher rates among transwomen compared to cisgender women.
  • When the analyses focused specifically on transwomen who started therapy with female hormone estrogen at Kaiser Permanente, the incidence of both venous thromboembolism and stroke was more clearly elevated relative to either reference group.  There was evidence that incidence of both of these conditions among transwomen was particularly increased two to six years after estrogen initiation. By contrast, the association between estrogen therapy and myocardial infarction was less evident due to relatively few observed events.
  • Transmen did not appear to have significantly higher rates of venous thromboembolism, ischemic stroke, or myocardial infarction than their non-transgender counterparts, but this group was rather young and included a relatively small proportion of participants who initiated their hormone therapy during the study.

Continue reading

Women With History of Preeclampsia or Gestational Hypertension Have Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jennifer J. Stuart, ScD Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Reproductive & Cardiovascular Epidemiology  Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  Division of Women's Health Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Dr. Stuart

Jennifer J. Stuart, ScD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Reproductive & Cardiovascular Epidemiology
Department of Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Division of Women’s Health
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

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

Response: Preeclampsia and gestational hypertension are common pregnancy complications involving high blood pressure that develops for the first time during pregnancy and returns to normal after delivery. Approximately 10 to 15% of all women who have given birth have a history of either preeclampsia or gestational hypertension. Previous studies have shown that women with a history of high blood pressure in pregnancy are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease events like heart attack and stroke later in life when compared to women with normal blood pressure in pregnancy. However, what is less clear is to what extent these women are more likely to develop chronic hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol and when these risk factors begin to emerge after pregnancy.

We examined this question in a cohort of nearly 60,000 American women who we were able to follow for up to 50 years after their first pregnancy. Previous studies have been limited by small numbers, short follow-up, or a lack of information on shared risk factors, such as pre-pregnancy body mass index, smoking, and family history. This research was conducted within the Nurses’ Health Study II, which collected data on these pre-pregnancy factors in tens of thousands of women over several decades.

Continue reading

Small Renal Cancers: For Select Older Patients, Percutaneous Ablation May Be As Effective and Safer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Adam Talenfeld, M.D Assistant Professor of Radiology Weill Cornell Medical College Assistant Attending Radiologist New York-Presbyterian Hospital. 

Dr. Talenfeld

Adam Talenfeld, M.D
Assistant Professor of Radiology
Weill Cornell Medical College
Assistant Attending Radiologist
New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

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

Response: We know that renal function decreases as we age, and we know that decreased renal function is independently associated with increased mortality. This is why medical society guidelines recommend partial nephrectomy, which preserves kidney tissue and function, over radical nephrectomy for the treatment of the smallest kidney cancers, stage T1a tumors, which are under 4 cm diameter. Paradoxically, though, we know older patients are more likely than younger patients to receive radical nephrectomy for these smallest tumors, probably because it’s a simpler surgery than partial nephrectomy.

Percutaneous ablation, focal tissue destruction using heat or cold emanating from the tip of a needle, is a newer, image-guided, minimally-invasive, tissue-sparing treatment for solid organ tumors. We wanted to test how well percutaneous ablation would compare to partial nephrectomy and radical nephrectomy for these smallest kidney cancers.

We found that percutaneous ablation was associated with similar 5-year overall and cancer-specific survival compared to radical nephrectomy. At the same time, ablation was associated with significantly lower rates of new-onset chronic renal insufficiency and one-fifth as many serious non-urological complications than radical nephrectomy within 30 days of treatment. These were complications, such as deep venous thrombosis or pneumonia, that resulted in emergency department visits or new hospital admissions. The outcomes of percutaneous ablation compared with partial nephrectomy were somewhat less clear, though ablation was again associated with fewer perioperative complications. Continue reading

Most Patients Who Survive Overdose Do Not Receive FDA Approved Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Marc R. Larochelle, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Boston University School of Medicine Boston MA

Dr. Larochelle


Marc R. Larochelle, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston MD 

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

Response: In this study we examined more than 17,000 individuals who survived an opioid overdose in Massachusetts between 2012 and 2014.

We were interested in identifying how many went on to receive one of the three FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), and whether or not they were associated with mortality.

We found that only 3 in 10 received MOUD and that receipt of buprenorphine and methadone were associated with 40-60% reduction in all-cause and opioid-related mortality.

We found no association between naltrexone and mortality though the confidence of this conclusion is limited by the small number who received naltrexone in this cohort.

Continue reading

Long Term HIV Viral Suppression Reduces But Does Not Eliminate Elevated Cancer Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lesley S. Park, PhD, MPH Instructor, Medicine- Primary Care and Population Health BioStanford Center for Population Health Sciences (PHS) Associate Director, Research and Data Strategy; Director, PHS Postdoctoral Fellowship Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) Cancer Core Co-Director

Dr. Lesley Park

Lesley S. Park, PhD, MPH
Instructor, Medicine- Primary Care and Population Health
BioStanford Center for Population Health Sciences (PHS) Associate Director, Research and Data Strategy; Director, PHS Postdoctoral Fellowship
Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) Cancer Core Co-Director

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

Response: As the population of persons living with HIV/AIDS is aging, the overall burden of cancer is substantial and increasing; however, we have much to learn about the potential cancer prevention benefits of antiretroviral treatment (ART).

Our study is the first to examine the effects of prolonged periods of viral suppression and potential cancer prevention benefits. While prior randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and observational studies have examined viral suppression and cancer risk, they mostly were limited to small numbers of cancer outcomes or were only focused on few specific cancer types.

Our study demonstrated a benefit of the prevention of cancer development in AIDS-defining cancers (non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Kaposi sarcoma), which was expected, but also in some non-AIDS-defining cancer types (lung, larynx, melanoma, leukemia).  Continue reading

Physician MOC Status Linked To Better Diabetes Performance Measure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Bradley Gray, PhD
Senior Health Services Researcher
American Board of Internal Medicine

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

Response: This study is part of an ongoing effort to improve and validate ABIM’s MOC process through the use of real data that is ongoing here at ABIM.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: The paper examines the association between MOC status and a set of HEDIS process quality measures for internists twenty years past the time they initially certified. An example of one HEDIS performance measure we looked at was percentage of patients with diabetes that had twice annual HbA1c testing. The key findings of the paper are that physicians who maintained their certification had better scores on 5 of 6 HEDIS performance measures than similar physicians who did not maintain their certification.

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Lack of Dialysis Access for Undocumented Immigrants Stresses Patients and Providers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lilia Cervantes, M.D. Internal Medicine, Hospitalist Denver Health and Hospital Authority Assistant Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine Founder, Healthcare Interest Program and Health Equity Lecture Series at Denver Health University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Dr. Cervantes

Lilia Cervantes, M.D.
Internal Medicine, Hospitalist
Denver Health and Hospital Authority
Assistant Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine
Founder, Healthcare Interest Program and Health Equity Lecture Series
at Denver Health
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

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

Response:  For most undocumented immigrants with kidney failure in the U.S., access to hemodialysis is limited and they can only receive it when they are critically ill and near-death.  This type of “emergency-only” hemodialysis is already known to be nearly 4-fold more costly, has 14-fold higher mortality rate, and leads to debilitating physical and psychosocial distress for these patients compared to those receiving regular hemodialysis.

This study shows that clinicians who are forced to provide this substandard care are also harmed.  They experience moral distress, emotional exhaustion, and several other drives of professional burnout due to witnessing needless suffering and high mortality.  Continue reading

Amyloid Biomarker Predictive of Mortality in Non-STEMI Heart Attack

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Dr. med. Konstantinos Stellos,MD, FAHA, FESC Cardiovascular Research Centre, Institute of Genetic Medicine Newcastle upon Tyne United Kingdom

Prof. Stellos

Prof. Dr. med. Konstantinos Stellos,MD, FAHA, FESC
Cardiovascular Research Centre, Institute of Genetic Medicine
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

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

 

Response: Risk stratification of patients with a non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) remains a major challenge in clinical cardiology. Risk stratification is important to identify patients at high risk, to whom an early coronary intervention with optimal adjunctive medical therapy shall be applied to reduce that risk. Conversely, it is equally important to identify patients at low risk, to whom a potentially hazardous invasive therapy or a multi-drug administration shall be avoided. Current ACC/AHA and ESC guidelines agree in a standardized approach that uses Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) score, a well validated scoring system, to calculate a patient’s risk and guide triage and management decisions.

Amyloid-β (Aβ) 1-40 and 1-42 peptides (Aβ40 and Aβ42), are proteolytic fragments of a larger protein, the amyloid precursor protein (APP) cleaved by β- and γ-secretases, found in typical brain amyloid deposits in Alzheimer’s disease. Many lines of evidence support a role of Aβ40 in cardiovascular disease as a peptide with pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic properties. Most cardiovascular risk factors seem to affect APP metabolism and thus, Aβ production and its soluble circulating APP770 isoform are elevated in patients with ACS_ENREF_15, suggesting a role for Aβ40 in the triggering and outcome of ACS in stable CAD patients. Although vascular inflammation is considered as a hallmark in the pathophysiologic pathways of coronary artery disease (CAD) and novel mechanisms are continuously recognized in its pathogenesis, no inflammatory marker is currently recommended for risk stratification of patients with NSTE-ACS individually or as a component of the GRACE score. This may partly explain the moderate discriminative ability of GRACE score in some studies, especially in older patients and those after early percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

In this retrospective study, we used data from two independent prospective cohorts, the Heidelberg study (n=1,145) and the validation multicenter international APACE (Advantageous Predictors of Acute Coronary Syndrome Evaluation, n=734) study and determined the clinical prognostic and reclassification value of baseline circulating Aβ40 levels in the prediction of mortality over the GRACE risk score in patients with NSTE-ACS across a median follow-up of 21.9 ( Heidelberg cohort) and 24.9 months (APACE cohort), respectively.

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Double-Edge Sword of Drug Epidemic

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Christine Marie Durand, M.D
.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Johns Hopkins Medicine 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study

Response: Most Americans know that the United States faces an epidemic of deaths due to drug overdose.  And many are also aware that there is a critical shortage of organs available for transplant.  Perhaps less widely known is that today, more than 1 in every 8 deceased organ donors died from a drug overdose.  The objective of our study was to look at the outcomes of patients who received transplants with organs donated after an overdose.

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