Author Interviews, BMJ, Depression / 08.12.2015

[caption id="attachment_19913" align="alignleft" width="200"]Halle Amick, research associate Sheps Center for Health Services Research University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC Halle Amick[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Halle Amick, research associate Sheps Center for Health Services Research University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects more than 32 million Americans and millions more worldwide. Many patients first seek care from a primary care provider, and the most common treatment initiated in that setting is medication. Although there is an evidence base that shows certain psychotherapies to be effective treatments, primary care providers may not be familiar enough with psychotherapy to present it as a treatment option. We conducted a full review of clinical trials that compared antidepressant medication—specifically second-generation antidepressants (SGAs)—with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). We found that symptom improvement and rate of remission were similar between SGAs and CBT, whether they were used alone or in combination with each other. We also found no difference in the rates of withdrawal from the clinical trials either overall or due to adverse events.
Author Interviews, BMC, BMJ, Genetic Research / 03.12.2015

[caption id="attachment_19791" align="alignleft" width="180"]Hatem A. Azim MD PhD Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory Institut Jules Bordet Université Libre de Bruxelles Brussels, Belgium Dr. Azim[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hatem A. Azim MD PhD Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory Institut Jules Bordet Université Libre de Bruxelles Brussels, Belgium Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Azim: As at breast cancer diagnosis is known to impact prognosis, with young patients having worse outcome. On the other hand, elderly patients are less studies in general and little is known on their tumor characteristics. In this study, we aimed to define the pattern of genomic aberrations in different age groups. This can result in identifying if key potentially targetable genomic alterations are more specific to particular age groups and thus could open the door to design particular studies targeting these aberrations in these age groups. We found that  age is associated with unique biological features at the DNA level, independent of tumor stage, histology and breast cancer molecular subtype. Of particular mention, the higher prevalence of GATA3 mutation in younger patient, a known driver mutation associated with endocrine resistance. In addition, age at diagnosis appears to impact the tumor transcriptome confirming previous observations, but also highlighting novel findings, of particular relevance the higher expression of stem cell related genes in young patients.
ADHD, Author Interviews, BMJ, Pharmacology / 26.11.2015

[caption id="attachment_19655" align="alignleft" width="160"]Dr. Ole Jakob Storebø Region Zealand, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Department, Roskilde Region Zealand Psychiatry, Psychiatric Research Unit, Slagelse University of Southern Denmark, Department of Psychology Faculty of Health Science, Odense Denmark Dr. Storebø[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ole Jakob Storebø Region Zealand, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Department, Roskilde Region Zealand Psychiatry Psychiatric Research Unit, Slagelse University of Southern Denmark Department of Psychology Faculty of Health Science, Odense Denmark Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Storebø: Despite widespread use of methylphenidate for the treatment of children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a comprehensive systematic review of its benefits and harms has not yet been conducted. Over the past 15 years, several reviews investigating the efficacy of methylphenidate for ADHD (with or without meta-analyses) have been published. Each of these reviews, however, has several shortcomings and these are described in detail in the review. The most important concerns are that none of these reviews are based on a pre-published protocol, and most assessed neither the risk of bias (systematic errors) of included trials nor adverse events. Moreover, none of these reviews considered the risk of random errors. Therefore, their interpretation of findings is unlikely to have taken into account the poor reporting of adverse events, the impact of combining data from small trial samples, or the impact of risk of bias on their analyses; information about adverse events is also missing from several RCTs. Because of this it is our opinion that these previous reviews might have overestimated the true treatment effect. We found that Methylphenidate may improve ADHD symptoms, general behaviour and quality of life in children and adolescents aged 18 years and younger with ADHD. We rated the evidence to be of very low quality and, as a result, we cannot be certain about the magnitude of the effects from the meta-analyses. The evidence is limited by serious risk of bias in the included trials, under-reporting of relevant outcome data, and a high level of statistical variation between the results. We found no evidence for serious adverse events, but a lot of non-serious adverse events. Most of these are well known but the number of adverse events might even be higher than the number we found due to underreporting of adverse events. We know very little about the long term effects or harms as most of the trials in our review did not measure outcomes beyond 6 months. The risk of rare, serious adverse events seem low over the short duration of follow-up of the trials that reported on harms, but in general there was inadequate reporting of adverse events in many trials.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Diabetes / 12.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Julia Hippisley-Cox PhD Professor of Clinical Epidemiology & General Practice Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences The University of Nottingham  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? ProfHippisley-Cox:          Patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of blindness and amputation but generally do not have an accurate assessment of the magnitude of their individual risk. There are currently no tools available to calculate risk of other complications such as amputation or blindness. This is important since these are the complications which patients with diabetes fear most and which most impair quality of life. They are also the complications for which patients are most likely to over-estimate their risk and over-estimate the benefits of intensive treatment.          We have developed and externally validated new risk prediction algorithms which calculates absolute risk of developing these complications over a 10 year period in patients with diabetes, taking account of their individual risk factors.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Dental Research, Pediatrics, Smoking / 22.10.2015

[caption id="attachment_18683" align="alignleft" width="95"]Dental Cavity Wikipedia Dental Cavity
Wikipedia[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Koji Kawakami, MD, PhD Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Research Management Graduate School of Medicine and Public Health Director, Science for Innovation Policy Unit, Center for Promotion of Interdisciplinary Education and Research Kyoto University Kyoto city Kyoto Japan Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kawakami: The prevalence of caries in deciduous teeth in developed countries remains high, while established measures for caries prevention in young children is limited to sugar restriction, oral fluoride supplementation and fluoride varnish. In this study of 76920 children in Japan, exposure to tobacco smoke at 4 months of age, which was experienced by half of all children of that age, was associated with an increased risk of caries in deciduous teeth by approximately 2-fold. Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Dr. Kawakami: Our findings would support extending public health and clinical interventions to reduce secondhand smoke. For example, the chance of education on the harm of secondhand smoke would increase if dentists become aware of the caries risk due to secondhand smoke as well as tobacco smoking of their patients.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, Occupational Health / 21.10.2015

[caption id="attachment_18543" align="alignleft" width="95"]David Richardson PhD Associate Professor Epidemiology Gillings School of Global Public Health UNC Dr. David Richardson[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, David Richardson PhD Associate Professor Epidemiology Gillings School of Global Public Health UNC Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Richardson:  The International Nuclear Workers Study (INWORKS) combines three cohorts from France, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. INWORKS follows on from an earlier 15-Country Study but focuses on the three countries that provided the majority of the most informative data on early nuclear workers (1940’s onward). The use of data from just 3 countries, instead of 15, reduces the organisational requirements – and therefore financial burden – associated with the greater number of countries but the cohort selection (of the three main contributing countries) means that the power of the INWORKS study is not a concern. INWORKS uses information from the French, UK and US cohorts that has been updated since the 15-Country study was published. The overall purpose of the study is to improve the understanding of health risks associated with protracted, low-level exposure to ionising radiation.
Author Interviews, Baylor University Medical Center Dallas, Biomarkers, BMJ, Cancer Research / 20.10.2015

Ajay Goel, Ph.D. Investigator/Professor Director, Center for Gastrointestinal Research Director, Center for Epigenetics, Cancer Prevention and Cancer Genomics Baylor Research Institute and Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center Baylor University Medical Center Dallas, TX 75246MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ajay Goel, Ph.D. Investigator/Professor Director, Center for Gastrointestinal Research Director, Center for Epigenetics, Cancer Prevention and Cancer Genomics Baylor Research Institute and Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center Baylor University Medical Center Dallas, TX 75246 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Goel: Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains one of the most common and lethal malignancies worldwide, and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Although there are some improvements in cancer treatments, such as development of novel chemotherapeutic drugs and technical advances in invasive treatment for metastatic lesion, there is a clear need for prognostic biomarkers that can identify high-risk patients, who can benefit from intensive post-treatment surveillance protocols for early detection of recurrence. Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are one of the largest groups of single-stranded small ncRNAs, and in the past, snoRNAs were recognized for housekeeping functions due to their roles in rRNA maturation, while causing a relatively low impact on cellular homeostasis. However, recent evidence has revealed a new and previously unrecognized role of snoRNAs in the control of cell fate and oncogenesis in various cancers. The main finding of this study is to firstly demonstrate the clinical impact of snoRNA expression as a predictive biomarker of recurrence and poor prognosis in patients with Colorectal cancer. This study for the first time showed that higher levels of SNORA42 were associated with overall and disease-free survival, and emerged as a risk factor for the return of cancer in another part of the body. It was also correlated with high risk of recurrence and shorter survival in a smaller sample of bowel cancer patients in early stages of their disease.
Author Interviews, BMJ, End of Life Care / 19.10.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Barbara Gomes BSc MSc PhD  Research Fellow King's College London, Cicely Saunders Institute Dept Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation London UK Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Gomes: We knew from our previous research that most patients with advanced cancer would prefer to die at home, but many do not achieve this. In many countries, an undesired hospital death is still the most common. We wondered whether this was because the quality of death was better in hospital than at home, so we examined the existing evidence and found out that the studies contradicted each other; some suggested that dying in hospital was better than at home and some found it was worse. Therefore, we decided to examine three things:
  • Whether people who died at home experienced more or less pain and peace than those who died in hospital;
  • whether the family carers of people who died at home experienced more or less grief;
  • The factors needed to enable death at home.
We wanted to find ways to improve care for patients and families facing serious life limiting illness, to more closely meet their preferences and needs and to empower them. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Gomes: We found that patients who died at home experienced more peace in their last week of life than those who died in hospital. There was no difference in pain levels. And grief was less intense for relatives of patients who died at home, both around the time of death and at questionnaire completion (which was about 4-10 months after the patient died). We also developed a model that explained well why some patients die at home whilst others die in hospital. Four factors are almost essential; they were present in more than 91% of home deaths:
  1. Home death preference by the patient;
  2. Home death preference by their relative;
  3. Receipt of home palliative care in the last three months of life;
  4. Receipt of district/community nursing in the last three months of life.
In addition, patients who died in hospital were less likely to have had Marie Curie nursing (these nurses care for people at home in the last few months or weeks of their lives, with the core service being one-to-one overnight nursing); only seven patients who received care from these nurses died in hospital. Importantly, patients who discuss preferences, have home visits from their GP and whose relatives take more days off work also had greater odds of dying at home. The study shows these elements of support need to be in place in order to meet patient preference and ensure the best possible outcomes.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Lipids / 16.10.2015

[caption id="attachment_18498" align="alignleft" width="164"]Jamie Gaida, PhD Assistant Professor Discipline of Physiotherapy University of Canberra Dr. Jamie Gaida[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jamie Gaida, PhD Assistant Professor Discipline of Physiotherapy University of Canberra Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gaida: Cholesterol is essential for life but having too much circulating in your blood increases cardiovascular disease risk. A growing collection of evidence indicates that metabolic health (i.e. cholesterol and diabetes) is linked to musculoskeletal injuries. Tendons connect muscle to bone, and tendinopathy is condition where a person feels pain when using their tendons. People with Achilles tendinopathy experience pain when walking or when running, which limits their ability to be physically active. Tendinopathy also affects other tendons throughout the body, such as the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulder. This research identified all published research on the link between cholesterol levels and tendinopathy. We used a statistical technique called meta-analysis to combine these studies, which showed that cholesterol levels are linked to tendinopathy. However, the most interesting finding was that the pattern of cholesterol changes seen with tendinopathy matched the pattern of cholesterol changes that increase cardiovascular disease risk. It seems that what is bad for you heart is bad for your tendons.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Exercise - Fitness, OBGYNE / 12.10.2015

Katrine M. Owe PhD Department of Psychosomatics and Health Behaviour Norwegian Institute of Public Health Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Women's Health Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet OSLO, NorwayMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katrine M. Owe PhD Department of Psychosomatics and Health Behaviour Norwegian Institute of Public Health Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Women's Health Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet OSLO, Norway  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Owe: Pelvic girdle pain affects 20-45% of all pregnancies and may lead to functional disability, higher levels of depression, reduced quality of life and higher prevalence of sick leave during pregnancy. Many women with pelvic girdle pain often have difficulties performing daily life activities such as walking, standing, sitting and turning over in bed. The aetiology and pathogenesis of pelvic girdle pain are still unknown but some modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors have been identified. Our results showed that women who exercised before they became pregnant with their first child, had the lowest risk of developing pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy. Even those women who reported low frequencies of exercise had a reduced risk of pelvic girdle pain compared with non-exercisers. Exercising up to five times weekly before pregnancy was protective against pelvic girdle pain and no further benefits were reached with higher frequencies of exercise. It seems that women who are running, jogging, playing ballgames/netball, doing high impact aerobics or orienteering before pregnancy, has the lowest risk of pelvic girdle pain.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research / 07.10.2015

Dr. Madeleine M A Tilanus-Linthorst PhD Department of Surgery Erasmus University Medical Centre - Cancer Institute Rotterdam, NetherlandsMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Madeleine M A Tilanus-Linthorst PhD Department of Surgery Erasmus University Medical Centre - Cancer Institute Rotterdam, Netherlands  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Medical Research: Why is this study important? Response: This prospective nationwide study  investigates whether  tumor stage (size and axillary nodal involvement)  still has impact on survival of breast cancer in modern times with more effective end more widely used additional systemic therapy . We  take tumour biology, age and the different therapies into account and compare results with our nationwide results from 1999-2005.   
  1. Mortality increased with increasing tumour size and independently with nodal involvement, correcting for age, tumour biology and therapy.
  2. Five year relative survival (this is compared with women without breast cancer of the same ages) was 96% for all 93.569 Dutch breast cancer patients between 2006-2012 and 100% in cancers ≤ 1cm.3.     In 2006-2012 in the Dutch population 65% of the breast cancers were detected ≤2cm.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
  1. First, the general prospect of a woman diagnosed with breast cancer currently in the Western world is very good.
  2. Catching breast cancer early is still highly important.
  3. Surgery is the cornerstone of therapy and maybe breast conserving therapy is even a bit better for survival than mastectomy and certainly not worse. Breast cancer in the other breast did not impact on survival and preventive contralateral mastectomy seems only well advised in high risk gene mutation carriers.
  4. Both additional hormonal therapy and targeted therapy (usual against epidermal growth factor her2neu) are, if indicated by tumour stage and receptor status, beneficial for survival.
  5. Further also patients diagnosed late with large tumors of 5cm and above experienced an improvement in outcome. In the earlier group such patients had a 70% five-year relative survival, while in the recent cohort this increased to 81%. This may be a comforting result for some patients.
  6. Finally our results are informative when considering breast  screening.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Bone Density, Calcium, Mineral Metabolism, Orthopedics / 03.10.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Mark J Bolland Associate professor of medicine Department of Medicine University of Auckland Auckland New Zealand Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Bolland: Many guidelines advise older people to take at least 1000-1200 mg/day of calcium to improve bone density and prevent fractures. The average calcium intake in most countries is a lot less than these recommendations, and so many people take calcium supplements to increase their calcium intake. However, recent concerns about the safety of calcium supplements have led experts to recommend increasing calcium intake through food rather than by taking supplements, even though the effect of increasing dietary calcium intake on bone health had not been clearly established. Our study was designed to fill this evidence gap. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Bolland: Firstly, we found that increasing calcium intake either from the diet or by taking calcium supplements led to similar, small, one-off increases in bone density of 1-2%. These increases do not build up over time and are too small to produce significant reductions in the chance of having a fracture. Secondly, the level of dietary calcium intake is not associated with the risk of having a fracture. Thirdly, in clinical trials, calcium supplements have only small, inconsistent benefits on preventing fractures, with no effect on fractures seen in the highest quality trials
Author Interviews, BMJ, Weight Research / 01.10.2015

Dr Jonas Minet Kinge PhD Researcher, Department of Health Statistics, Norwegian Institute of Public Health Associate professor, Department of Health Management and Health Economics University of Oslo Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo, NorwayMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jonas Minet Kinge PhD Researcher, Department of Health Statistics, Norwegian Institute of Public Health Associate professor, Department of Health Management and Health Economics University of Oslo Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo, Norway Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have shown that the number of people with obesity increases with the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country. Previous research has also indicated that education can be an important factor in this context. The aim of this new study was to explore the assumption from previous studies that obesity is linked to GDP and education, and to include new data from several different countries. The results from this study confirm that there is an association between obesity, education and GDP. The prevalence of obesity increases with rising GDP, but only among individuals with lower levels of education. There is no significant increase in obesity among those with higher education. This means that:
  • In countries with low GDP there is more obesity among those with high education.
  • In countries with high GDP there is more obesity among those with low education.
  • The study also found that the relationship was somewhat more marked among women than among men.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cost of Health Care, Education, Health Care Systems, University of Pittsburgh / 30.09.2015

Timothy Anderson, M.D. Chief medical resident University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Internal MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Timothy Anderson, M.D. Chief medical resident Department of Internal Medicine University of Pittsburgh Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Anderson: My coauthors and I analyzed the public disclosures of all publicly traded U.S. health care companies listed on the NASDAQ exchange and New York Stock Exchange in January 2014 that specialized in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical equipment and providing health care services.  Of the 442 companies with publicly accessible disclosures on boards of directors, 180 – or 41 percent – had one or more academically affiliated directors in 2013. These individuals included chief executive officers, vice presidents, presidents, provosts, chancellors, medical school deans, professors and trustees from 85 non-profit academic research and health care institutions. These individuals received compensation and stock shares from companies which far exceeds payment for other relationships such as consulting. In some cases compensation approaches or exceeds average professor and physician salaries.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Mediterranean Diet, Microbiome, Nutrition, Vegetarians / 29.09.2015

Prof. Danilo Ercolini, PhD Department of Agricultural Sciences University of Naples Federico II Portici - ItalyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Danilo Ercolini, PhD Department of Agricultural Sciences University of Naples Federico II Portici - Italy Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Ercolini: There is a thick body of literature showing that diet can significantly impact the gut microbiota and metabolome. In a recent study, negligible differences in gut microbiota and feca lshort-chain fatty acids (SCFA) were reported between habitual omnivores and vegans in the USA. In addition, Mediterranean diet is a recognized healthy dietary pattern but has not previously been related to the composition of the gut microbiota and related metabolome. That’s the background in short. Here we show how habitual vegetarian and vegan diets promote enrichment of fibre-degrading bacteria in the gut. Subjects who consume a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit, legumes and vegetables have higher levels of fecal short chain fatty acids, regardless of the diet type. Low adherence to the Mediterranean diet corresponds to an increase in urinary trimethylamine oxide levels, a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Exercise - Fitness / 21.09.2015

Yi-Wen Chen PhD Candidate, and Darlene Reid, BMR(PT), PhD Professor and Chair Department of Physical Therapy University of Toronto Toronto, OntarioMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yi-Wen Chen PhD Candidate, and Darlene Reid, BMR(PT), PhD Professor and Chair Department of Physical Therapy University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Tai Chi is a time-honored exercise in China, developed during the Sung Dynasty, which has gained increased popularity in Western society. Most styles of Tai Chi consist of slow rhythmic movements that often emphasize typical attributes of exercise including range of motion, strengthening, balance, and postural alignment. In addition, there are spiritual aspects of Tai Chi that focus on relaxation, breath control, and cultivating internal energy. Several studies have demonstrated its multifaceted benefits in the elderly and in people living with chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disorders and arthritis. If you were interested in seeing videos of beginner practices, check out some tai chi online to better clarify the motions previously described. Many individuals that require increased exercise and physical fitness also have one or more comorbidities; 9 out 10 Canadians live with more than one chronic condition and this proportion increases to 98% in adults over the age of 65 years. Increased fitness can increase quality of life and decrease risk of mortality and morbidity in older persons and in many chronic conditions. However, treatment, including exercise is often prescribed within a single specialty. Rarely is information provided to health professionals that integrates therapeutic approaches across several common chronic disorders. Accordingly, we performed a systematic review to determine if Tai Chi is an effective physical activity that improves symptoms, physical function, quality of life and depression in cancer, osteoarthritis (OA), heart failure (HF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)? We also examined if Tai Chi had similar effects for the same outcome measures across different chronic conditions?
Author Interviews, BMJ, Hearing Loss, Heart Disease, Occupational Health / 20.09.2015

Wenqi Gan, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health University of Kentucky College of Public Health Lexington, KY 40536MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wenqi Gan, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health University of Kentucky College of Public Health Lexington, KY 40536 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Wenqi Gan: In epidemiologic studies on health effects of noise exposure, community noise is typically assessed using noise prediction models, occupational noise is assessed using self-reports or historical records. These methods are able to estimate community noise exposure in residential areas and occupational noise exposure in the workplace; however, these methods are not able to accurately reflect actual personal noise exposure in the home and workplace. The lack of personal noise exposure information is a major limitation of previous studies, which could cause underestimations of the true health effects of noise exposure. Bilateral high-frequency hearing loss, an objective indicator for long-term exposure to loud noise, may be used to investigate health effects of noise exposure. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Wenqi Gan: This study includes 5223 people aged 20-69 years who participated in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004. Compared with people with normal high-frequency hearing, people with bilateral high-frequency hearing loss were approximately two times more likely to have coronary heart disease. This association was particularly striking for people who were chronically exposed to loud noise in the workplace or leisure time. For example, for currently employed workers with occupational noise exposure history, the possibility of having coronary heart disease increased more than four times. This study confirms that chronic exposure to loud noise is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Outcomes & Safety / 18.09.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Daniel Boden Emergency Medicine Consultant Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Boden: The overall objective was to evaluate whether there is an association between an intervention to reduce medical bed occupancy and both performance on the 4-hour target and hospital mortality. We undertook a before-and-after study in Derby teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (a large UK District General Hospital) over a 32 month period. A range of interventions were undertaken to reduce medical bed occupancy within the Trust. Performance on the four-hour target and hospital mortality (HSMR, SHMI and Crude Mortality) were compared before, and after, intervention. Daily data on medical bed occupancy and percentage of patients meeting the four-hour target was collected from hospital records. Segmented regression analysis of interrupted time-series method was used to estimate the changes in levels and trends in average medical bed occupancy, monthly performance on the target and monthly mortality measures (HSMR, SHMI and crude mortality) that followed the intervention. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Boden:
  • Mean medical bed occupancy decreased significantly from 93.7% to 90.2% (p=0.02).
  • The trend change in 95% target performance, when comparing pre- and post-intervention, revealed a significant improvement (p=0.019). The intervention was associated with a mean reduction in all markers of mortality (range 4.5% - 4.8%). SHMI (p=0.02) and Crude Mortality (p=0.018) showed significant trend changes after intervention.
  • Our conclusion is that lowering medical bed occupancy is associated with reduced patient mortality and improved ability of the acute Trust to achieve the 95% four hour target. Whole system transformation is required to create lower average medical bed occupancy.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Nursing / 16.09.2015

Chiara Dall'Ora MSc Nursing and Midwifery Sciences University of SouthamptonMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chiara Dall'Ora MSc Nursing and Midwifery Sciences University of Southampton  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is a trend for healthcare employers to adopt longer shifts, typically 2 shifts per day each lasting 12 hours. This allows nurses to work fewer shifts each week. Changes are driven by perceived efficiencies for the employer, and anecdotal reports of improved work life balance for employees because they work fewer days per week. However, it is unclear whether these longer shits adversely affect nurses' wellbeing, in terms of burnout, job dissatisfaction, dissatisfaction with work schedule flexibility and intention to leave the job. We found that when nurses work 12 h shifts or longer they are more likely to experience high burnout, dissatisfaction with work schedule flexibility and intention to leave their job, compared to nurses working 8 h or less. All shifts longer than 8 hours are associated with nurses' job dissatisfaction.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Depression, Fish / 12.09.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Fang Li Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, The Medical College of Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong Province, People's Republic of China Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Fish, rich in multiple beneficial nutrients, including  n-3 polyunsaturated fattyacids, high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, have been hypothesized to protect against chronic diseases generally , such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Depression is a common mental health disorder,with an estimated 350 million people affected. We hypothesis that fish consumption may be benefical in depression prevention. Several epidemiological studies have investigated associations between fish intake and depression risk, but the findings are inconsistent. Therefore we conducted a meta-analysis to expect to find this association. A total of 26 studies involving 150 278 participants were included in the present meta-analysis.The pooled relative risk of depression for the highest versus lowest consumption of fish was 0.83 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.93). The findings remained significant in the cohort studies.This meta-analysis indicates that high-fish consumption can reduce the risk of depression.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Depression, Nutrition / 03.09.2015

Dr. Mila Kingsbury PhD Senior Research Associate at Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine University of Ottawa MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Mila Kingsbury PhD Senior Research Associate at Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine University of Ottawa   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Kingsbury: Eating a healthy diet, including enough fruits and vegetables, is good for physical health, and some evidence suggests that it may be good for mental health, too. Specifically, intake of fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower risk of depression. However, there are very few longitudinal studies on this topic. Most studies haven’t accounted for the effects of other related lifestyle factors such as smoking and exercise, nor for the fact that the links between lifestyle and mental health are bidirectional (i.e., depression can also hinder our ability to engage in healthy behaviours). Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Kingsbury: While we found an association between fruit and vegetable consumption and psychological distress and depression two years later, depression and distress also predicted future fruit and vegetable consumption. Importantly, these associations became non-significant when we controlled for lifestyle factors like smoking and exercise.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Nutrition, Weight Research / 28.08.2015

Dr Aseem Malhotra MBChB, MRCP Honorary Consultant Cardiologist - Frimley Park Hospital Consultant Clinical Associate to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Science Director- Action on Sugar Saving Londoners Lives - External Advisory Board MemberMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Aseem Malhotra MBChB, MRCP Honorary Consultant Cardiologist - Frimley Park Hospital Consultant Clinical Associate to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Science Director- Action on Sugar Saving Londoners Lives - External Advisory Board Member   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Malhotra: It is a review of all the research up to date on what is the impact of diet on health. What type of diet has the most robust evidence for weight and health and how this can be translated into policy to rapidly reduce the burden of chronic disease. Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Dr. Malhotra:
  • That "low fat" diets to do not improve health outcomes and the public should stop counting calories.
  • That a high fat Mediterranean diet is more powerful in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke than any medical treatment.
  • That it's effect is independent of cholesterol lowering.
  • That rapid weight loss through calorie counting combined with exercise doesn't only not improve health outcomes in the long term for diabetics but can also be potentially harmful by increasing CVD risk.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Outcomes & Safety / 26.08.2015

Alicia A. Bergman, Ph.D. Research Health Scientist VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy North Hills, CA 91343MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alicia A. Bergman, Ph.D. Research Health Scientist VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy North Hills, CA 91343  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bergman: The impetus for this study comes from several sources but most notably the IOM report of 2002 entitled, Crossing the Quality Chasm in which the IOM estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 lives are lost each year due to preventable medical errors in the hospital.  The IOM further reported that 80% of all adverse outcomes in the hospital can be traced back to breakdowns in communication during handoffs and transfers of care.  A 2005 study by our VA research team found that only 7% of medical schools in the US teach the handoff as part of the formal curriculum. As such, handoffs represent a vulnerable gap in the quality and safety of patient care. We were interested to know how end of shift handoffs in medicine, nursing, and surgery were enacted and audio and videotaped them in a single VA hospital. We found that there was a great deal of variation in how the handoffs were conducted and similar variations in the ways in which language was used to characterize technical and interpersonal aspects of care. We were especially interested in what we term “anticipatory management communication” and its functions during handoffs. While much technical information can easily be conveyed in the electronic medical record, some types of psychological or social information that are more informal in nature, such as “Mr. Smith’s been our problem child today,” do not lend themselves to being transmitted in the electronic medical record. However, such ‘heads up’ information and communication is often critical to understanding a patient’s context, course, and outcome of care. We also found that indirect anticipatory management communication was used among all dyads but more commonly among nurse dyads, with instructions and tasks implied and often inferential. We conclude that contextually sensitive information about anticipated events is best communicated directly (and ideally face-to-face), and that talk-backs and more explicit use of language can improve handoff quality, making them safer for patients.
Alcohol, Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research / 19.08.2015

Dr. Yin Cao MPH, ScD Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public HealthMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Yin Cao MPH, ScD Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Cao: Light-to-moderate drinking, defined as up to 1 drink (roughly corresponds to a 355ml bottle of beer, or a small [118-148 ml] glass of wine or 44ml of liquor) for women and up to 2 drinks for men, is prevalent in many western countries. It is believed that light-to-moderate drinking may be healthy for the heart. However, the influence of light-to-moderate drinking on risk of overall cancer is less clear, although it is well known that heavy alcohol intake increases risk of several cancers, including cancers of colorectum, female breast, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, liver, and esophagus. Also because drinkers are more likely to be smokers, and smoking is the major risk factor for all of the alcohol-related cancers (mentioned above) except breast cancer, it is thus difficult to tease out the influence of alcohol on cancer in studies among a mixed population of ever and never smokers. In particular, it is important to know how light and moderate drinking would affect cancer risk particularly among never smokers, who now make up the majority of the population in many western countries. Our main findings are that, light-to-moderate drinking minimally increases risk of overall cancerFor men, the association with alcohol related cancers was primarily observed among smokers, and light to moderate drinking did not appreciably increase risk in never smokers. Among women, even consumption of up to one drink per day was associated with increased risk of alcohol-related cancers (mainly breast cancer) for both never and ever smokers.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Fertility, Nursing, Occupational Health / 08.08.2015

Dr. Audrey J Gaskins Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MAMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Audrey J Gaskins Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gaskins: Previous studies have linked shift work, long working hours, and physical factors to an increased risk of menstrual cycle disturbances, spontaneous abortion, preterm birth, and low birth weight; however the association with fecundity is inconsistent. Several papers have also reviewed the occupational exposures of health care workers and concluded that reproductive health issues are a concern. Therefore we sought to determine the extent to which work schedules and physical factors were associated with fecundity in a large cohort of nurses. Women who work in an industry that requires them to work from a height or even lift heavy objects requires them to undertake training which guides them though the effective stages on how to work safely at heights. Without the right training, this sort of work can become very dangerous. Our main findings were that that working >40 hours per week and moving or lifting a heavy load >15 times per day (including repositioning or transferring patients) were associated with reduced fecundity in our cohort of female nurses planning pregnancy. However, all other factors such as frequency of night work, duration of rotating and non-rotating night shifts, and time spent walking or standing at work were not significantly associated with fecundity in this cohort.
Aging, Author Interviews, BMJ, Exercise - Fitness / 05.08.2015

Dr David Hupin CHU Saint-Etienne, Hôpital Nord Service de Physiologie Clinique et de l'Exercice, Centre VISAS Cedex 2, FranceMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr David Hupin CHU Saint-Etienne, Hôpital Nord Service de Physiologie Clinique et de l'Exercice, Centre VISAS Cedex 2, France Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Hupin: Today, over 95% of the world’s population has health problems, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study published recently in The Lancet. The proportion of healthy years lost due to disease rapidly increased with age. There is no medical treatment that can influence as many diseases in a positive manner as can physical activity. It is well established that regular physical activity is an efficient strategy for successful aging. The 2008 Physical Activity guidelines for Americans recommend a minimum of 150 min of moderate-intensity (>3 MET) or 75 min of vigorous-intensity (≥6 MET) physical activity per week or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA). A Metabolic Equivalent or MET is a unit useful for describing the energy expenditure of a specific physical activity. However, less than 50% of older adults are able to achieve the current recommendations of physical activity. Thus, the prescription of physical activity for older adults needs to be clarified, i.e., what "dose" of physical activity is required. Medical Research: What is the design of your study? Dr. Hupin: Within the dynamic Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology of University Hospital of St-Etienne, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. Out of at total of 835 relevant studies, nine were suitable for analysis. These involved a total of 122, 417 participants, monitored for an average of around 10 years, during which time 18,122 died.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Nutrition, Weight Research / 20.07.2015

Fumiaki Imamura Ph.D. MRC Epidemiology Unit University of CambridgeMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Fumiaki Imamura Ph.D. MRC Epidemiology Unit University of Cambridge Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Imamura: Soft drink consumption is associated with risk of diabetes, but whether or not the association persists after controlling for obesity status is not known. Diet drinks and fruit juice may be good alternatives to soft drinks. However, while obese individuals may consume diet drinks or fruit juice instead of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, evidence was weak to determine whether or not consuming these beverages is associated with risk of diabetes.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Clots - Coagulation / 17.07.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Byung-Joo Park, MD, MPH, PhD Professor Department of Preventive Medicine Seoul National University College of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Antidepressants and NSAIDs are each thought to increase the risk of abnormal bleeding.  However, previous studies found neither antidepressants nor NSAIDs alone to be associated with an increased risk of intracranial haemorrhage.  Our research found that combined use of NSADIs in antidepressant users showed the increased relative risk of intracranial haemorrhage risk within the initial 30-days of combined use.