Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Liliana Sanchez-Gonzalez MD, MPH Medical Epidemiologist Dengue Branch – Division of Vector Borne Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention San Juan, PR MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the significance of prion disease? Response: Prion diseases are neurodegenerative diseases that occur in animals and humans. These diseases are caused by an infectious agent known as a prion. While the accuracy of diagnostic tests using cerebrospinal fluid or brain imaging from living patients has improved greatly in recent years, analysis of brain tissue is still necessary to confirm the diagnosis of these diseases. Human prion disease cases are rare, but always fatal. There have been around 500 reported cases annually in the US in recent years. A very small percentage of human prion disease cases are acquired, meaning they are caused by an exposure to the infectious agent from an external source. The most well-known acquired human prion disease is variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which was first described in the United Kingdom in 1996 and linked to consumption of contaminated beef from cattle with the animal prion disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow” disease). The only US state where classic BSE has been reported is Washington, where an infected dairy cow was imported from Canada in 2003. Beef from the slaughtered cow was processed for human consumption, and beef from cattle slaughtered the same day at the involved slaughter plant was recalled. After this incident, the Washington State Department of Health, in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center (NPDPSC), implemented enhanced human prion disease surveillance. All patients with positive results from tests conducted at the NPDPSC are investigated. We present the results of 12 years of human prion disease surveillance, from 2006 to 2017, plus results of surveillance for vCJD through July 2020. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Social Issues / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aaron Baum, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health System Design & Global Health Economist, Arnhold Institute for Global Health Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: To what degree are geographic health disparities in the leading risk factors for morbidity and mortality in the United States – including elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, obesity, and poor mental health – driven by the place where people live versus by characteristics of the people who live in different places? For example, male adults in Mississippi are 33% more likely to have uncontrolled blood pressure and 54% more likely to be obese than male adults in Colorado. One explanation is that male adults who live in Mississippi are different is many other ways from male adults in Colorado, some of which can't be directly measured and adjusted for, and that those unobserved differences cause the health disparity. Another possibility is that the place where a person lives actually contributes to the health disparity. Using national electronic health records from the Veterans Health Administration, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of 5 million adults, including 1 million who moved zip codes exactly once between 2008-2018. Our goal was to isolate how a movers' likelihood of uncontrolled blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity and depression changed in response to changes in the prevalence of each outcome in his or her environment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Tobacco Research / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isabella Lanza, PhD Associate Professor of Human Development California State University, Long Beach   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is the first study to examine both nicotine vaping and cannabis vaping trajectories across adolescence and young adulthood, which allowed us to assess whether poly-substance vaping is common among adolescents and young adults. Poly-substance vaping (nicotine and cannabis vaping) was reported among a significant proportion of participants in the study (25% were identified as poly-substance vapers). For those that either escalated to frequent nicotine vaping use in adolescence or initiated frequent nicotine vaping use in young adulthood, the probability of engaging in cannabis vaping was very high (85%+).    (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Parkinson's / 01.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wenquan Zou, MD/PhD, Professor Department of Pathology Associate Director National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Cleveland, Ohio 44106 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder. It is characterized by the accumulation of pathologically misfolded α-synuclein (αSynP) aggregates in the brain. Currently, a definite diagnosis relies on the detection of αSynP-containing Lewy bodies in the brain of PD patients. Development of a reliable and sensitive assay for αSynP in easily accessible peripheral tissue specimens is critical for early or differential diagnosis, determination of disease severity, and evaluation of therapeutic efficacy in clinical trials. Previous studies have revealed that the pathologically phosphorylated α-synuclein is detectable with traditional immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF) microscopy but the sensitivity with IHC/IF is highly variable and inconsistent. Also the prion-like aggregation seeding activity of αSynP is detected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of Parkinson’s disease patients with highly sensitive real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) and protein misfolding cyclic amplification assays (PMCA). But the lumbar puncture to collect CSF is more invasive compared to skin punch biopsy. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Social Issues / 01.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Madhur Garg, MD MBA Clinical director, Radiation Oncology Montefiore Health System and Professor Departments of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery - and Urology Albert Einstein College of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: ​The Bronx was hit particularly hard with Covid-19 - making up one of the highest per capita cases and deaths in the country. Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, care for a large population of ethnic minorities (non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic individuals make up 65% of our patient population). (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA / 30.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Pollard, Ph.D. Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School Senior Sociologist RAND Corporation Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are ample anecdotal jokes and stories about increased alcohol use during COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders. Our study provides robust longitudinal evidence that people drank more frequently, and for women in particular, more heavily, and with more negative consequences, during the initial stages of COVID-19 compared to their own behaviors from a year earlier (May/June 2020 compared to May/June 2019). Women’s alcohol consumption was most significantly changed, with a 17% increase in number of days drinking, and a 41% increase in days of binge drinking (when they had four or more drinks in a couple of hours). This means that, nationally, one in five women drank heavily one more day a month than the same time in 2019, on average. Women also reported a 39% increase in alcohol-related problems, such as “I took foolish risks” or “I failed to do what was expected of me” because of drinking alcohol. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Pain Research / 29.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Nagata, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although prior research has identified disparities in migraine by race and sex, little was previously known about disparities in migraine by sexual orientation.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: In a national sample of nearly 10,000 adults in the USA, we found that nearly one third of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals have experienced a migraine. Overall, we found that lesbian, gay, or bisexual individuals had 58% higher odds of experiencing a migraine compared to heterosexual individuals. We also found that individuals who identified as mostly heterosexual but with some same-sex attractions were more likely to experience a migraine compared to those who identified as exclusively heterosexual. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Sugar, Weight Research / 29.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kimber L. Stanhope PhD RD Department of Molecular Biosciences School of Veterinary Medicine University of California Dr. Bettina Hieronimus PhD Institute of Child Nutrition Max Rubner-Institut, Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food Karlsruhe MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Sugar consumption is associated with increased body weight and other metabolic diseases. Fructose in particular seems to be detrimental to health as it causes higher increases in blood lipids compared to glucose. Our study assessed the effects of sugar consumption on cardiometabolic risk factors. We compared the effects of consuming glucose, two different doses of fructose or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with a non-caloric sweetener. Our subjects were healthy young individuals who drank three sweetened beverages per day over the course of two weeks. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 25.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah E. Paul, BA , Graduate Student and Ryan Bogdan, PhD, Associate Professor BRAIN Lab Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 63130 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Sarah Paul: This study was motivated by several trends in cannabis use, its legal landscape, and people's perception of risk. As more states legalize recreational cannabis use, cannabis has become more accessible as well as more potent. Over the past couple of decades, the percentage of adolescents and adults who think that cannabis use is risky or harmful has fallen substantially. Cannabis dispensaries have been reported to actually recommend cannabis to pregnant women for the treatment of pregnancy-related nausea. And finally, between 2002/2003 and 2016/2017, the percentage of women reporting cannabis use during their pregnancies rose 106%. Given these trends and the mixed literature regarding the potential consequences associated with prenatal cannabis exposure, we aimed to comprehensively examine a range of outcomes in a large, representative sample while accounting for a host of important potentially confounding covariates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA / 25.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Gabriela Figueiro Longo, MD, MSc Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School, Boston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Transcranial low-level light therapy (3LT) has been shown to be effective in animal models of traumatic brain injury. Our goal was to assess the 3LT in humans with acute TBI. We tested (1) safety, and (2) any effect in the brain in a measurable way. We found positive results for both - there was no event adverse during the trial related to the 3LT; and we found some differences in the brain MRI diffusivity parameters in the patients who received light therapy compared to the sham group. The study was not powered for clinical evaluation, although there was a trend towards lower symptom burden in the treated group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Sleep Disorders / 21.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wuxiang Xie, PhD Peking University Clinical Research Institute Peking University First Hospital Beijing, China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dementia is one of the most common and serious disorders in later life. A strong relationship between sleep and cognitive function had been previously reported, while the relationship between sleep duration and the trajectory of cognitive decline remains unclear.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Emory, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 21.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David H. Howard, PhD Professor, Health Policy and Management Rollins School of Public Health Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Application of the False Claims Act (FCA) to medically unnecessary care is controversial, both in the courts and in the Department of Justice. Although there haven’t been many FCA suits against hospitals and physicians for performing unnecessary percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs), the suits that have occurred have been against some of the highest-volume hospitals and physicians. Some cardiologists have been sentenced to prison. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA / 16.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Rowell MD, MBA, MCR Associate Professor, Department of Surgery Division of Trauma, Acute & Critical Care Surgery Duke University School of Medicine Durham, NC 27710 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Tranexamic acid (TXA) has been increasingly used in trauma patients since publication of the CRASH-2 trial in 2010 demonstrated a survival benefit for patients at risk for traumatic hemorrhage. Subsequently, it was shown that the earlier TXA was administered, the better the outcome. There had been several small studies suggesting that TXA may also be beneficial in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), however, an adequate prospective randomized trial was needed. In this trial we randomized over 1000 patients with moderate and severe TBI as early as possible after injury (by paramedics in the prehospital setting an average of 42 minutes after injury) to either a 1-gram TXA bolus followed by a 1-gram 8-hour TXA infusion (the dose typically used for trauma patients), a 2-gram TXA bolus only (a logistically easier route of administration requiring no maintenance infusion), or placebo only. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, HIV, JAMA, Sexual Health / 14.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gordon Mansergh, PhD Senior Behavioral Scientist CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What would you say is the take home message from the study? Response: A small but notable subgroup of gay and bisexual men are sharing their PrEP medication with others. As PrEP continues to be more commonly used, it is important to better understand and address the context of PrEP sharing, and to emphasize messaging about provider monitoring of medication use over time for health and safety reasons. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Hospital Acquired, Infections, JAMA / 10.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chanu Rhee MD MPH Associate Hospital Epidemiologist Attending Physician, Infectious Diseases and Critical Care Medicine Assistant Professor of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Many patients have been avoiding essential care during the COVID-19 pandemic due to fear of contracting SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings. Little is known, however about the adequacy of infection control practices in preventing nosocomial COVID-19 in U.S. acute care hospitals. We therefore conducted this observational study to determine the incidence of nosocomial COVID-19 in patients hospitalized at a large academic medical center in Boston (Brigham and Women’s Hospital) during the first 12 weeks of the surge in Massachusetts.    (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Tobacco Research / 10.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Funmi (Abiru) Obisesan, MD, MPH Postdoctoral Fellow Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Postdoctoral Fellow Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: E-cigarettes are conceived by many individuals to be less harmful than combustible cigarettes, resulting in their use among young individuals and other vulnerable subpopulations. The recent outbreak of EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping, product-use associated lung injuries) which was directly associated with e-cigarette use, and the rapidly evolving e-cigarette market, as well as regulations concerning them necessitates the need for up-to-date analyses of e-cigarette use trends.  (more…)
Author Interviews, ENT, JAMA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders, Surgical Research / 09.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:   Prof Stuart MacKay BSc (Med) MB BS (Hons) FRACS Honorary Clinical Professor Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Clinical Professor at University of Wollongong Graduate School of Medicine Adjunct Professor Faculty of Health Sciences   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  1. Sleep Apnea is common and impairs daytime function and carries health risk.
  2. Many patients have difficulty with CPAP, the main treatment.
  3. Surgery offers an alternative, and we tested this at a very high level in this clinical study.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 
  1. Surgery creates marked improvement in stoppages (apnea) and droppages (hypopnea) in airflow.
  2. Surgery significantly improves patient reports of daytime sleepiness.
  3. Many other outcomes related to quality of life, snoring and general well being improve with surgery.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, JAMA / 09.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kenton J. Johnston, PhD Associate Professor Dept of Health Management & Policy Dept of Health & Clinical Outcomes Research Saint Louis University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Consolidation of physician practices into larger health systems comprised of hospitals and other group practices has been occurring rapidly in the U.S. market over the past 10 years. During this same period, Medicare has been gradually increasing the use of “pay for performance,” or “value-based payment” programs. 2019 was the first year that nearly all physicians in the U.S. were paid under Medicare’s new mandatory Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). We conducted a study to see whether physicians who were affiliated with health systems performed better under the MIPS than those not affiliated with health systems. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics / 08.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Xiaoyan Song, PhD, MBBS, CIC Director, Office of Infection Control/Epidemiology Children's National Hospital Professor of Pediatrics George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science Washington, D.C. 20010 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As soon as SARS-COV-2 virus began spreading in early January and raising concerns for a potential pandemic, both the public and healthcare providers have wondered how this new virus is compared to influenza, a virus that human has known for a century and has become much more familiar with its spread pattern, disease characteristics, and treatment. In contrast, we have very little knowledge about SARS-COV-2 and are still getting to know it little by little.  At Children’s National, we always maintain high vigilance on emerging infectious diseases and have excellent surveillance programs for influenza and other respiratory viral diseases.  Therefore, driven by 1) Our curiosity to know if SARS-COV-2 is indeed similar or different from influenza, and 2) Availability of both SARS-COV-2 and influenza data, we conducted this retrospective study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 08.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yaa-Hui Dong PhD Faculty of Pharmacy National Yang-Ming University Taipei, Taiwan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous observational studies found that fluoroquinolones may be associated with more than 2-fold increased risk of aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection (AA/AD). However, these studies might not well address the influence of concurrent infection, which is also a suggested risk factor for AA. Moreover, most of these studies compared fluoroquinolone use versus no fluoroquinolone use, which might overestimate the risk with fluoroquinolones as patients on fluoroquinolones may have more severe infection versus those not on fluoroquinolones. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Emergency Care, JAMA, Surgical Research / 01.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarabeth Spitzer, MD Co-Chair of Board, Scrubs Addressing the Firearm Epidemic (SAFE) Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Firearm injury is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, resulting in almost 40,000 deaths annually in the United States, but very little is known about the epidemiology of nonfatal firearm injuries. Nonfatal firearm injuries can have significant long-term morbidity and are associated with significant cost. We found that there were over 81,000 nonfatal firearm injuries in California over the study period. Over the period, there was a decrease in nonfatal firearm injuries by 38.1%, driven primarily by a decrease in assault injuries.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Pediatrics / 31.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jessica Shoaff, MPH, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Susan A. Korrick, MD Pulmonary and Critical Care Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Harvard Medical School · Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Brigham and Women's Hospital Channing Laboratory Boston, MA 02115   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study posed the question:  Do teenagers’ exposures to chemicals that are often found in consumer products increase behaviors that are common among individuals diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Our results suggest that teenagers exposed to chemicals often found in consumer products (particularly phthalates) may have increased behaviors that are common among individuals diagnosed with ADHD.  However, we did not study the diagnosis of ADHD (most of our study teens did not have ADHD).  This means our results cannot answer the question of whether these chemical exposures increase the likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD. Also, in our study design, chemical exposures and ADHD-related behaviors were measured at the same time, so it is not possible to know with certainty whether the chemical exposures altered behavior or behavior altered chemical exposures.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Sexual Health, USPSTF / 28.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melissa A. Simon, M.D., M.P.H. George H. Gardner Professor of Clinical Gynecology Vice Chair of Clinical Research Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Professor of Preventive Medicine and Medical Social Sciences Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise across the country, with approximately 20 million new cases in the U.S. each year. If untreated, STIs can lead to serious health complications including infertility, AIDS, and cancer. The good news is that effective behavioral counseling has the potential to reduce STI rates by approximately a third. The Task Force continues to recommend behavioral counseling for all sexually active teens and for adults who are at increased risk for STIs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 28.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cameron C. Wick, MD Assistant Professor, Otology/Neurotology Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO MedicalResearch.com: What do you see as the primary message of your findings for the general public? Response:  Older adults not satisfied with their hearing aids achieved clinically meaningful improvement in both hearing and quality of life with a cochlear implant compared to an optimized bilateral hearing aid condition. MedicalResearch.com: Do you see your findings as changing the way older adults with hearing loss are managed? Response:   Yes and partially because this study is unique in its design and the outcomes that were measured. Specifically  the study is a prospective, multicenter clinical trial conducted at 13 locations across the United States. All patients were setup with a 30-day optimized hearing aid experience before cochlear implantation (context: sometimes hearing aids are not appropriately optimized so baseline testing may not reflect the "best" that hearing aids can do). This study assesses both hearing data as well as quality of life data before and 6-months after cochlear implantation. After implantation patients were tested in both the unilateral (cochlear implant alone) and bimodal (cochlear implant plus hearing aid in the opposite ear) conditions.  My paper is a subanalysis of adults 65 years and older (range 65 - 91 years) enrolled in the clinical trial. The principal investigator of the clinical trial is Dr. Craig Buchman. Dr. Buchman and myself are at Washington University in St. Louis which was the lead center for the clinical trial. The findings of the study are meaningful because they demonstrate clear superiority of cochlear implants over hearing aids in many key areas, such as understanding speech, hearing in background noise, and ability to communicate. Hearing loss, which becomes more prevalent as we age, can negatively impact communication leading to social isolation, depression, frustration, and possibly cognitive decline. This study highlights that if patients are not satisfied with their hearing aid performance then they should be referred to a center that can evaluate for cochlear implantation. Cochlear implant indications have evolved considerably since they were first FDA approved in 1984. This study emphasizes that patients do not have to be profoundly deaf to experience significant hearing and social benefits from cochlear implants. Also, it demonstrates that cochlear implant surgery is well tolerated even as adults age and acquire other health ailments.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Pediatrics / 24.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kaleab Baye PhD Center for Food Science and Nutrition Addis Ababa University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Reducing child stunting is one of the most important objectives of the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the World Health Assembly (WHA). Progress is routinely measured using anthropometric indices such as height-for-age z score that compare child height to the World Health Organization (WHO) growth standards. Such comparisons rely on the assumption that children living in ideal home environment that promotes adequate growth have the same growth potential, irrespective of their genetic make-up. This assumption was confirmed by the Multicenter Growth Reference Study (MGRS), which was the origin of the development of the growth standards. However, the MGRS excluded sites above 1500 m above sea level (asl); hence, it remains unclear whether the widely adopted WHO growth standards are applicable to populations above the 1500 m asl threshold. This study investigated the association between altitude and linear growth faltering and evaluated whether the prescriptive WHO growth standards can apply to children residing at higher altitudes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 21.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: First Author Dhruv Mahtta, DO, MBA Cardiovascular Disease Fellow Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX Senior & Corresponding Author Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA, FASPC Professor, Section of Cardiovascular Research Director, Cardiology Fellowship Training Program Baylor College of Medicine Staff Cardiologist, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Co-Director, VA Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research & Development Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The incidence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease among young patients has been on the rise. These patients with premature and extremely premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease experience similar rates of mortality compared to older adults. Additionally, these young patients have a greater accrued rate of life-time morbidity. Therefore, secondary prevention measures such as use of guideline concordant statin therapy and aspirin therapy are paramount in this population.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Social Issues / 21.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Monik Carmen Jimenez, Sc.D Assistant Professor of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We wanted to get a comprehensive picture of the epidemiology of COVID-19 in carceral facilities that included jails and was not restricted solely to prisons. We utilized publicly available data collected in Massachusetts, pursuant to a court order. These data included prison and jail systems and were used to calculate rates of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and testing rates among incarcerated individuals. We were also able to compare those to changes in the population size within each system. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Flu - Influenza, JAMA / 19.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeremy Samuel Faust, M.D., M.S., M.A., FACEP Brigham & Women's Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine Division of Health Policy and Public Health Instructor, Harvard Medical School President, Roomful of Teeth Vocal Arts Project (www.roomfulofteeth.org)  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We sought to compare the initial covid-19 outbreak in NYC to the peak of the 1918 H1N1 pandemic in that same city. We found that the covid-19 pandemic was associated with more than 70% as many deaths per capita (monthly) as 1918 H1N1 was. But because baseline mortality rates are about 1/2 of what they were a century ago, death rates were over 400% of usual rates in March and April of this year compared to recent years, while 1918 was "merely" over 280% of usual death rates from prior years leading up to it. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 17.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pinar Karaca-Mandic, PhD Professor, Finance Department Arthur Williams Jr. Professor of Healthcare Risk Management Academic Director, Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI) Carlson School of Management University of Minnesota MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several studies have highlighted disparities in COVID-19 infection rates and deaths. Less is known about disparities in hospitalizations. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control showed that in the nation overall, non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanics and American Indian Alaska Native persons have substantially higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalization. Our study extends this work by providing a state-by-state analysis of race/ethnic prevalence of cumulative COVID-19 hospitalizations and comparing this prevalence to ethnic/racial composition of each state’s population. Through our University of Minnesota Covid-19 hospitalization tracking project (https://carlsonschool.umn.edu/mili-misrc-covid19-tracking-project) we collect data every day from state department of health websites, and we started collecting information on race/ethnicity breakdown of the hospitalizations as soon as states started reporting such data. During our study period, between April 30 and June 24, 12 states reported cumulative hospitalizations by race/ethnicity. By the end of our study, our data from these 12 states represented almost 50,000 hospitalizations.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA / 14.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maryam M. Asgari, MD MPH Professor Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors used for?  Response: Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) are FDA approved for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (though they are used off-label to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions of the skin, including psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis).  There are currently two drugs available – tacrolimus and pimecrolimus – both of which carry a black box label warning users about the potential for increased skin cancer risk.  The risk associated with keratinocyte carcinoma, the most common cancer (defined as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), remains poorly defined because findings from large-scale post-marketing surveillance studies are lacking.  (more…)