Author Interviews, BMJ, Diabetes, Osteoporosis / 05.08.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stig Larsen
 PhD Professor Emeritus Controlled Clinical Research Methodology and Statistics Norwegian University of Life Sciences Oslo, Norway

MedicalResearch.com:? What are the main findings?

Response: Osteoporosis is a major problem among elderly and malnourished people. Calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin K are beneficial for bone health. Vitamin D stimulates calcium absorption and studies have shown that poor Vitamin K status intake is linked to low bone mass. Osteocalcin (OC) is a protein hormone found in the blood in activated and inactivated form. The activated form of Osteocalcin (cOC) binds calcium to bone tissue and plays an important role in regulating the metabolism. In addition, low levels of cOC are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. It is desirable to have largest possible uOC, and vitamin K2 central in this process. The most important vitamin K2 variants in Jarlsberg® are the long-chain MK-7, -8, -9 and -9(4H), where lactic acid bacteria produce the first three, while MK-9(4H) is produced by Propionibacterium freudenreichii. The latter bacterium also produces the substance "1,4-dihydroxy-2- naphthoic acid" (DHNA), which has previously been shown to increase bone density in experimental mice. Two previous studies related to Jarlsberg® intake have been published:

  • The first study showed that cOC in the blood increased with increasing Jarlsberg® dose up to a daily intake of 57 grams of Jarlsberg®. Even more startling was that the total OC (tOC) level increased significantly, and that triglycerides and cholesterol were significantly reduced.1
  • The second study reproduced the findings from the first study and demonstrated additionally that the Jarlsberg dose of 57g/day could be reduced to 45 grams after 6 weeks without reducing the achieved level of tOC and vitamin K2.2

The BMJ-study3: The central variables measured in this study were the serum bone turnover markers (BTM); tOC and cOC, procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide (PINP) and serum cross-linked C- telopeptide type I collagen (CTX). Additionally, Vitamin K2 and Vitamin K status, serum calcium and serum magnesium were recorded together with the development in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), lipids and protein turnover. The participants in the study were randomly divided into two groups. One group of 41 healthy volunteer women of childbearing age ate 57 grams of Jarlsberg® per day and the other group of 25 women ate 50 grams of Camembert for 6 weeks. The Camembert was manufactured with a starting culture not producing Vitamin K2. The fat, protein, and energy content of the daily consumption of Jarlsberg® and Camembert is approximately the same. After 6 weeks, Camembert was replaced with 57 grams of Jarlsberg® per day for another 6 weeks. (more…)

Author Interviews, BMJ, Infections / 01.08.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Aatish Patel Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this case series?    Response: This case series was based on observations we made whilst treating patients with monkeypox, and the request of many of these patients for better public health messaging surrounding signs and symptoms to be aware of. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Education, Health Care Systems, Sleep Disorders / 20.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Matthew D Weaver M.P.H., Ph.D. Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Departments of Medicine and Neurology Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The name “resident” stems from the historical practice of resident-physicians residing in hospitals as part of their training. Even after that practice abated, it was common for resident physicians to work 36 consecutive hours followed by 12 or fewer hours of rest. In 1989, the state of New York restricted resident physicians to work no more than 24 consecutive hours and no more than 80 hours per week as part of collective intervention to improve patient safety. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) then followed in 2003 by limiting work hours to an average of 80 per week over a month and no more than 30 consecutive hours of work. Evidence accumulated demonstrating an association between shifts lasting ≥24 hours and adverse resident and patient safety. As a result, the Institute of Medicine convened a review and report on the issue, ultimately concluding that no resident should work more than 16 consecutive hours without sleep. This recommendation, combined with evidence following the 2003 rules, led the ACGME to issue new rules in 2011 that limited first-year resident physicians to work no more than 16 consecutive hours. Our study compares resident-reported patient safety outcomes before and after this 2011 policy change. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, BMJ, Gastrointestinal Disease, Pancreatic / 09.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ece Kartal, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Saez-Rodriguez Group Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg Institute for Computational Biomedicine Heidelberg MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer: although incidence rates are relatively low (only few people develop pancreatic cancer in their lifetimes), it has a high lethality, with a five year survival rate of less than ~5%. Pancreatic cancer symptoms are generally unspecific so that the disease is usually detected very late which further  limits therapeutic options. In light of this, earlier detection of pancreatic cancer could dramatically improve prognosis, but there are currently no affordable and non-invasive tests available in the clinic. For pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC),the most common form of pancreatic cancer, it was previously found that the oral, gut and pancreatic microbiome are risk factors and may affect prognosis . (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Orthopedics / 20.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Matthew Costa Professor of Orthopaedic Trauma University of Oxford Honorary Consultant Trauma Surgeon, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Fixation with metal implants provides reliable functional outcomes for patients after a manipulation of a displaced fracture of the distal radius, but such surgery carries risk for the patient and is expensive. A moulded plaster cast is a safer and cheaper intervention but may not provide the same functional outcome. It is not known which of these treatments is superior. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cognitive Issues, Exercise - Fitness / 30.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wee Shiou Liang, PhD Associate Professor | Health and Social Sciences, Singapore Institute of Technology Faculty | Geriatric Education and Research Institute Singapore MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was funded by Singapore’s Ministry of Health Geriatric Education and Research Institute. We randomly recruited 500+ adults aged 21-90+ from the residential town of Yishun. We performed detailed assessments of physical and cognitive performance, body composition using DEXA, and participants also provided information on their levels and frequencies of physical activities (PA) including recreational PA/exercise, commuting, housework and other occupational related PA. The demographics of the sample of participants is the same as that of Singapore in terms of age and ethnic composition. Comparing the results of those aged 21-<65 and those >=65 years, only around a third (36%; 90) of those in the younger group and only around half (48%;116) of those in the older age group, met guidelines recommended physical activity quota exclusively from recreational PA/exercise. But nearly two thirds (61% younger; 152 and 66% older; 159) met this target exclusively through housework. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Respiratory / 02.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer Hunter, B.Med., M.Sc.P.H., Ph.D. Adjunct Associate Professor NICM Health Research Institute Western Sydney University Associate Professor Jennifer Hunter is an academic general practitioner with a clinical interest in integrative medicine, has received payment for providing expert advice about traditional, complementary and integrative medicine, including nutraceuticals, to industry, government bodies and non-government organisations, and spoken at workshops, seminars and conferences for which registration, travel and/or accommodation has been paid for by the organisers.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We decided to review the evidence for zinc in response to calls for rapid evidence reviews to inform self-care and clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Laboratory studies have found that zinc can inhibit the replication of many respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses. Zinc plays a key role in immunity, inflammation, tissue injury, ACE-2 receptor activity, and also in tissue responses to a lack of oxygen. Low zinc status may be a risk factor for severe SARS-CoV-2 illness. Additionally, there was some indirect evidence suggesting zinc might be effective for other respiratory tract infections such as the common cold and we wanted to verify this. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, BMJ, Cognitive Issues, Occupational Health / 24.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Mika Kivimaki PhD Director, Whitehall II Study Dept. of Epidemiology University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Lancet 2020 Commission on Dementia Prevention, which is the most comprehensive and up-to-date review on the evidence in this field, did not list cognitive stimulation in adulthood as a protective factor against dementia. This was because trials results are inconsistent and observational studies suggest that leisure time cognitive activity does not reduce risk of dementia. However, it was unclear whether the reason for modest findings is that the decrease in brain plasticity with age prevents cognitive activities across adult life from conferring protection against dementia, or, in the case of interventions, that the cognitive stimulation studied has not been intensive or engaging enough to preserve cognitive function. To address this question, we decided to focus on cognitive stimulation at work rather than leisure time cognitive activity or cognitive interventions. We thought that this approach would allow us to detect an effect, if there is one, because exposure to cognitive stimulation at work typically lasts considerably longer than cognitively stimulating hobbies or cognitive interventions. We contacted 13 cohort studies in Europe which had data on cognitive stimulation at work. Seven had also a dementia follow-up and were selected to our analyses, a total of 107 896 dementia-free participants from the UK, France, Sweden and Finland. Follow-up of incident dementia varied between 13.7 to 30.1 years depending on the cohort. 1143 people developed dementia during this follow-up. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Circadian Rhythm, JAMA, Occupational Health / 27.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Tapio Räihä Center for Life Course Health Research University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? sleep-work-occupational-chronotypeResponse: In ageing societies, understanding risk factors for pre-term disability pensions and poor work ability is an important research priority. We studied whether individual-level chronotype could contribute to these.  Previous research has shown that evening chronotypes (E-types) have poorer health compared with morning chronotypes (M-types), and that E-types may have difficulties to function during standard morning working hours. This study was the first population-level study with register linkage to find out whether eveningness would be associated with poor work ability and disability pensions, too. We surveyed chronotype (with the Morningness–Eveningness Questionnaire) among 5831 non-retired Finns born in 1966 when they were at age 46 years, and compared it with their current perceived work ability. We then followed the emergence of new registered disability pensions during the next 4 years. Multivariate logistic and Cox regression analyses of the associations between chronotype and the outcomes were separately adjusted for sleep, health and behaviours, sociodemographic and economic factors, or working times  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gout, Rheumatology / 03.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Rene Oliveira Department of Internal Medicine Ribeirao Preto Medical School University of Sao Paulo Ribeirao Preto, Brazil  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As rheumatologists our background for testing colchicine for COVID-19 was the effect of the drug on gout, Behçet's disease and familial Mediterranean fever. For these diseases, the drug is able to reduce systemic inflammation by acting in some cytokine pathways which the first reports in COVID-19 suggested being the same. We found that colchicine was able to reduce systemic inflammation and diminish the length of need for supplemental oxygen and hospitalisation. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cannabis, Opiods, Yale / 29.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Balázs Kovács PhD Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior Yale School of Management MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study looks at the association between the prevalence of legal cannabis stores, called “dispensaries”, and opioid-related mortality rates in the U.S.  We find that higher cannabis dispensary counts are associated with reduced opioid-related mortality rates.   We find this relationship holds for both medical dispensaries, which only serve patients who have a state-approved medical card or doctor’s recommendation, as well as for recreational dispensaries, which sell to adults 21 years and older.  The statistical associations we find appears most pronounced with the class of opioids that includes fentanyl and its analogs.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Fertility, OBGYNE / 19.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer Yland Doctoral Student in Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Worldwide, about 22% of reproductive-aged women used hormonal contraception last year. Long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods, which include intrauterine devices (IUDs), implants, patches, and injectable contraceptives, have become increasingly popular. However, little is known about the return to fertility after use of different contraceptives, particularly LARC methods. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Radiation Therapy / 10.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jayant S Vaidya MBBS MS DNB FRCS PhD Professor of Surgery and Oncology University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What type of single dose radiation is used?  Response: The findings of the large international randomised trial (TARGIT-A trial), published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2020;370:m2836), confirm the long-term effectiveness of Targeted Intraoperative Radiotherapy (TARGIT-IORT): a breast cancer treatment which is increasingly available throughout the world. For most women with early breast cancer, a single dose of targeted radiotherapy during surgery is just as effective as conventional radiotherapy, which requires several visits to hospital after surgery. Conventional external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is delivered from outside the body via a radiotherapy machine (linear accelerator), and consists of a daily treatment session (known as fractions) to the whole breast, over a period between three to six weeks. Each of these treatments is given over a few minutes, but requires 15 to 30 hospital visits, which could be a significant distance from where the patient lives. TARGIT-IORT is delivered immediately after lumpectomy (tumour removal), via a small ball-shaped device placed inside the breast, directly where the cancer had been. The single-dose treatment lasts for around 20 to 30 minutes and replaces the need for extra hospital visits, benefiting both patient safety and well-being. The device used is called INTRABEAM. More details are described on the BMJ and UCL webpages: https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/single-dose-radiotherapy-as-good-as-conventional-radiotherapy-for-most-women-with-early-breast-cancer/ https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2020/aug/single-dose-radiotherapy-effective-treating-breast-cancer https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/08/20/targeted-intraoperative-radiotherapy-for-early-breast-cancer-new-evidence/ (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, BMJ, Osteoporosis / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christos Chalitsios B.Sc, M.Sc PhD student Funded by British Medical Association (BMA) School of Medicine Division of Respiratory Medicine University of Nottingham City Hospital,Nottingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Inhaled (ICS) and oral (OCS) corticosteroids play a crucial role in the control of airway inflammation in asthma. Given that the use of ICS in asthma is likely to increase with the recent change in GINA guidance recommending combined long-acting-β2-agonists with ICS at step 1 and the upward trend in prescribing of OCS, we sought to clarify the link between steroids, osteoporosis and FF in patients with asthma, stratifying the risk by dose, number of courses and type of steroids. The prevalence of patients receiving at least one bisphosphonate was also calculated. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Surgical Research / 15.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sebastian Straube, BM BCh, MA (Oxon), DPhil Professor and Director, Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine University of Alberta Zone Section Chief, Occupational Medicine Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services Director, Foundation Course in Occupational Medicine surgery-aerosols-covid-19MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical procedures that generate aerosols require a higher grade of personal protective equipment, typically including filtering facepiece respirators (e.g. N95 masks). We wanted to know which procedures were aerosol-generating and would require such enhanced precautions. MedicalResearch.com: How did you approach that question? Response: We conducted a systematic review of the literature and aimed to find those procedures for which there is widespread agreement that they are aerosol-generating. We assembled a team of researchers with expertise in the subject matter as well as in systematic review methodology, and we searched widely for relevant guidelines, policy documents, and academic papers. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, BMJ, Exercise - Fitness / 08.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ulrik Wisløff Professor and Head of CERG and K.G. Jebsen Centre for Exercise in Medicine of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences NTNU-Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Generation 100 study followed more than 1500 women and men in their 70s for five years. The aim was to find out if exercise gives older adults a longer and healthier life, and we also compare the effect of moderate and high-intensity exercise. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Overall survival was high in all three groups, compared to what’s expected in this age group. There was a clear trend towards greater survival in the high-intensity compared to the moderate intensity exercise group. High-intensity interval training also had the greatest effect on cardiorespiratory fitness and health-related quality of life. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 23.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joon Seo Lim, PhD, ELS Clinical Research Center Asan Institute for Life Sciences Asan Medical Center, Songpa-gu Seoul, Republic of Korea MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to spread at an alarming rate in all parts of the world, and screening individuals based on symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, anosmia) does not seem to be effective in sufficiently curbing the transmission of the disease. This suggests that asymptomatic individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 may be a driving force of the ongoing pandemic, but empirical evidence on this issue has been lacking because asymptomatic individuals are likely to go unnoticed unless subjected to systematic contact tracing. A large-sized outbreak of COVID-19 from a single religious group in South Korea enabled us to identify and test a large number of asymptomatic individuals with SARS-CoV-2 alongside symptomatic patients from the same cluster.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: corona virus-Covid19Dr. Francesco Venturelli Servizio di Epidemiologia Direzione Sanitaria - Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia Padiglione Ziccardi, Via Amendola MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Contact tracing and isolation for people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 are two of the main strategies to limit the viral spread and contain the current pandemic. Long persistence of viral RNA detected by RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs is commonly reported, while its correlation to virus viability is still debated. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: The study showed that in people with COVID-19, the median time between symptoms onset and viral clearance at RT-PCR was 36 days. Moreover, an overall 20% risk of “false negative” results at RT-PCR was observed, decreasing with time from diagnosis.     (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, BMJ, Dermatology, Technology / 13.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jon Deeks PhD, CStat Institute of Applied Health Research Professor of Biostatistics College of Medical and Dental Sciences University of Birmingham, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, and the incidence is increasing. In 2003, the World Health Organization estimated that between two and three million skin cancers occur globally each year, 80% of which are basal cell carcinoma, 16% cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, and 4% melanoma. The potential for melanoma to metastasise to other parts of the body means that it is responsible for up to 75% of skin cancer deaths. Five year survival can be as high as 91-95% for melanoma if it is identified early, which makes early detection and treatment key to improving survival. Early detection of melanoma is reliant on people with new or changing moles seeking early advice from medical professionals. Skin cancer smartphone applications (“apps”) provide a technological approach to assist people with suspicious lesions to decide whether they should seek further medical attention. Of increasing interest are smartphone apps that use inbuilt algorithms (or “artificial intelligence”) that catalogue and classify images of lesions into high or low risk for skin cancer (usually melanoma). Apps with inbuilt algorithms that make a medical claim are now classified as medical devices that require regulatory approval. These apps could be harmful if recommendations are erroneous, particularly if false reassurance leads to delays in people obtaining medical assessment.  CE (Conformit Europenne) marking has been applied to allow distribution of two algorithm based apps in Europe (SkinScan and SkinVision), one of which is also available in Australia and New Zealand. However, no apps currently have United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to allow their distribution in the US and Canada. We have completed a systematic review of studies that examine the accuracy of all apps that use inbuilt algorithms to identify skin cancer in users of smartphones.  We report on the scope, findings, and validity of the evidence. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Nutrition, Weight Research / 24.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Deirdre K Tobias, ScD Associate Epidemiologist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School nuts-nutrition-weight-obesityMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What types of nuts are helpful? Peanuts included?  Response: We did not have the granularity in our study to evaluate too many individual nut types, and did not perform head-to-head comparisons between types of nuts. All seemed to be better for long-term weight control compared with the snacks like potato chips that we know are not great for us on a regular basis. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, Infections / 13.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Kai-feng Pan Director. Department of Cancer Epidemiology Peking University School of Oncology Beijing Cancer Hospital & Institute Peking University Cancer Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Based on a high-risk population in China, we have conducted a large randomized factorial-designed intervention trial (Shandong Intervention Trial) to examine the effect of short-term Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) treatment and 7.3-year vitamin and garlic supplementation on gastric cancer. During 14.7-years’ follow-up in the trial, 2-week treatment for H. pylori resulted in statistically significant reduction in gastric cancer incidence. Results for gastric cancer mortality and for the effects of garlic and vitamin supplementation, though promising, were not statistically significant. Longer follow-up was needed to determine whether the reductions in gastric cancer incidence from H. pylori treatment would persist and lead to a demonstrable reduction in gastric cancer mortality. It also remained unknown whether vitamin and garlic supplementation would yield a statistically significant reduction in gastric cancer incidence and mortality with additionally extended follow-up. In addition, the entire spectrum of effects of these interventions needs to be understood.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Sleep Disorders / 10.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Nadine Häusler Department of Medicine, Internal Medicine University Hospital of Lausanne Lausanne, Switzerland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There are controversial results regarding the effect of napping on cardiovascular disease (CVD) exist i.e. some studies report adverse effects of napping whereas other find beneficial effects of napping on CVD. Most studies compare nappers to non-nappers or study nap duration but neglect to take the frequency of napping into account. Moreover, studies measure naps in a different way, study different populations and include different confounders, which makes it hard to compare the results. Thus, we aimed to study the association between CVD and napping as a more holistic behavior i.e. not just the duration but also the frequency of napping. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Red Meat, Stroke, Vegetarians / 10.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Tammy Y N Tong PhD Cancer Epidemiology Unit Nuffield Department of Population Health University of Oxford, Oxford, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Vegetarian and vegan diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, partly due to the perceived health benefits, but also concerns about the environment and animal welfare. However, the full extent of the potential health benefits and hazards of these diets is not well understood. Previous studies have suggested that vegetarians have a lower risk of coronary heart disease than non-vegetarians, but data from large studies are limited, and little has been reported on the difference in risk of stroke. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Exercise - Fitness / 23.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Ulf Ekelund PhD Professor in Physical Activity and Health Department of Sport Medicine Norwegian School of Sport Sciences Oslo, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that physical activity of a moderate or vigorous intensity (such as brisk walking) is good for your health. More recently, it has also been shown that prolonged sitting is also linked to an increased risk for many chronic diseases and premature death. Current physical activity recommendations suggest that all adults should participate in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity and that prolonged sitting should be avoided. However, how much sitting is too much? This is not specified and is widely debated. In addition, are levels of physical activity below those recommended still beneficial for health and does light intensity physical activity still count? Answering these questions have huge relevance for health promotion. We therefore performed a study analysing data from eight studies in which physical activity was assessed precisely with an activity monitor in about 36000 individuals followed for about six years during which more than 2500 died.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Diabetes, Lipids, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 23.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lee Hooper PhD, RD Reader in Research Synthesis, Nutrition & Hydration Norwich Medical School University of East Anglia England, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The World Health Organization asked us to carry out a set of studies (systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials) assessing health effects of omega-3 and omega-6, which are polyunsaturated fats. This is because the WHO are planning to update their dietary guidance on fats in the near future. Worries about effects of long chain omega-3 on control of diabetes have long existed, and some experimental studies have suggested that omega-3 supplementation and diets high in PUFA and omega-3 raise fasting glucose. Pollutants such as methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyl levels exceeding recommended thresholds are rarer now, but have been reported in seafoods and fish oil supplements; elevated mercury levels interrupt insulin signalling, raising fasting glucose, in mouse models. Body concentrations of organic pollutants are correlated with prevalence of diabetes in the US, but other cross sectional studies have suggested either no association with or benefits of eating fish on glycaemic control. Systematic reviews of observational studies have suggested both positive and negative associations with glucose metabolism, but strong evidence shows that omega-3 supplements reduce raised triglycerides and have little or no effect on body weight. Theories suggest that omega-3 and omega-6 fats compete in some metabolic pathways so that the omega-3/omega-6 ratio is more important than absolute intakes of either.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Environmental Risks, Ophthalmology / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Suh-Hang Hank Ju, PhD Kaohsiung Medical University Taiwan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) are 2 major traffic pollutants, which have been shown to increase a risk for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. We previously showed that chronic exposure of NO2 is also associated with dementia. age-related macula degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness. Given the increase of traffic pollutants in many urbanized cities, we investigated whether these two traffic pollutants are associated with the development of age-related macula degeneration in Taiwan. (more…)
BMJ, Gender Differences / 25.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Crystal Lee BMedSc(Hons), MIPH, PhD, MBiostat Senior Research Fellow School of Psychology and Public Health La Trobe University Honorary Research Fellow The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders The University of Sydney Adjunct Senior Research Fellow School of Public Health | Curtin University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Primary care has been shown to play an important role in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Yet, studies in Australia and elsewhere from as far back as two decades ago identified gaps in the management of CHD patients in primary care. We analysed records of 130,926 patients with a history of CHD from 438 general practices across Australia to determine whether sex disparities exist in the management of CHD according to current clinical guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Diabetes, Prostate, Urology / 24.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Ruth Andrew PhD Chair of Pharmaceutical Endocrinology University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science Queen's Medical Research Institute University of Edinburgh  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our research group has been interested for a number of years in how stress hormones (called glucocorticoids) influence the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Glucocorticoids help us control stress and regulate how the body handles its fuel, for example the carbohydrate and fat we eat. However exposure to high levels of glucocorticoids, can increase the risk of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. We studied men with prostate disease who took 5α-reductase inhibitors, because over and above the beneficial actions of these drugs in the prostate, they also slow down inactivation of glucocorticoids. We had carried out some short term studies with the drugs in humans and found that they reduced the ability of insulin to regulate blood glucose. Therefore in the study we have just published in the BMJ, we examined how patients receiving these drugs long-term responded and particularly we were able to show that over an 11 year period that there was a small additional risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the type of disease common in older people, compared with other types of treatments. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute / 11.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Huan Song, PhD Center of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) presents a group of diseases that are common and sometimes fatal in general population. The possible role of stress-related disorders in the development of CVD has been reported. However, the main body of the preceding evidence was derived from male samples (veterans or active-duty military personnel) focusing mainly on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or self-reported PTSD symptoms. Data on the role of stress-related disorders in CVD in women were, until now, limited. Although incomplete control for familial factors and co-occurring psychiatric disorder, as well as the sample size restriction, limit the solid inference on this association, especially for subtypes of CVD. (more…)