Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA / 26.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ola Landgren, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine Chief, Myeloma Service Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Meta-analysis show that minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity is a strong predictor of longer progression-free survival (PFS). Emerging data show that an increasing proportion of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients obtain MRD negativity after modern combination therapy, even in the absence of bone marrow transplant. The first generation of 3-drug combination therapy (RVd) was associated with quite high rates of peripheral neuropathy which may be life-long. The current study was designed to define the rates of peripheral neuropathy in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma treated with the second generation of 3-drug combination therapy (KRd), and per default delayed transplant (i.e. collection of stem cells which were stored for potential future use). This single arm, phase 2 study found no cases of grade 3 peripheral neuropathy. The rates of MRD negativity wereunprecedented; 28 of 45 patients achieved MRD-negative CR (62%). The durability of MRD-negative CR has been observed up to 70 months (median duration 52.4 months). Patients who achieved MRD negativity by the end of cycle 8 had a 78% reduced risk of progression. The results were regardless of age or cytogenetic risk category. The results from this second generation of 3-drug combination therapy (KRd) without transplant,  compare favorably to first generation of 3-drug combination therapy (RVd) followed by stem cell transplant. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health, Nutrition / 26.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ravi B. Patel, MD Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, Illinois MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The digital attention of scientific articles can be readily quantified using the Altmetric score. The Altmetric score is a weighted measure, incorporating a variety of media platforms. We aimed to characterize the Top 10% of articles by Altmetric score among 4 major cardiovascular journals (Circulation, European Heart Journal, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and JAMA Cardiology) in 2017. Our primary findings were: 1) nearly half of the most disseminated articles were not original research investigations, 2) the most common article topic was nutrition/lifestyle, and 3) there was a weak but significant correlation between Altmetric scores and citation number.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA / 26.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Tarun Narang MD MNAMS Department of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Chandigarh, India MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Acne is one of the most common dermatological problem for which the patients seek medical care. Post acne scarring is a complication of acne, resulting in long lasting physical disfigurement and low self esteem in the affected individuals. Even though there are various methods like microneedling, chemical peeling, cryorolling and ablative lasers to address the post acne atrophic scarring, these procedures are office based hence physician dependent. A home based treatment modality that can treat post acne atrophic scarring with a comparable efficacy to the procedural modalities of treatment will be beneficial to the patient. Our study was done to assess the efficacy of a topical modality of treatment, tazarotene gel, 0.1% in the management of post acne atrophic scarring in comparison to an established method, the microneedling. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Melanoma / 24.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Reza Ghiasvand, PhD Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology Faculty of Medicne University of Oslo Oslo, Norway  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It is estimated that about 288,000 individuals will be diagnosed and about 61,000 will die from it in 2018, with the majority of patients in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America. Ultraviolet (UV) exposure (from both the sun and tanning beds) is the most important preventable risk factor for melanoma. However, the association between UV exposure and melanoma is complex and does not accord with a simple model in which risk increases directly with exposure. An individual risk of melanoma also depends on personal characteristics such as skin color and skin sensitivity to the UV exposure, hair color, number of moles, and age. It has been hypothesized that the pattern of UV exposure may play a role in melanoma development in different body sites. For example, melanoma on the trunk (chest and back) has been linked to the recreational UV exposure such as sunbathing and frequent sunburns in people with high number of moles on their body. In contrast, melanomas on the head and neck have been linked to constant sun exposure such as occupational UV exposure, mainly in older people. Epidemiologic and molecular evidence in support of this hypothesis has been published based on analyses of small datasets. Also, melanoma on legs and arms is less studied under this hypothesis. In our study, we examined UV exposure (sunbathing, sunburn and sunbed use) and pigmentary factors (skin, eye, and hair color, freckling, and number of moles), and risk of melanoma on different body sites. We used information from the Norwegian Women and Cancer Study, a population-based cohort study that started in 1991, and includes more than 161,000 Norwegian women followed for an average of 18 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health / 24.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily N Ussery, PhD Epidemiologist LT, US Public Health Service Physical Activity and Health Branch National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sitting for too long and being physically inactive can have negative health consequences, and it is important to understand how common these behaviors are among US adults. This study describes sitting time and leisure-time physical activity reported by US adults in a national survey. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Schizophrenia, University of Pittsburgh / 22.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hayley D. Germack PHD, MHS, RN Assistant Professor, School of Nursing University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As nurse scientists, we repeatedly witness the impact of having a serious mental illness (i.e. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression disorder) on patients’ inpatient and discharge experience. As health services researchers, we know how to make use of large secondary data to illuminate our firsthand observations. In 2016, Dr. Hanrahan and colleagues (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163834316301347) published findings of a secondary data analysis from a large urban hospital system that found 1.5 to 2.4 greater odds of readmission for patients with an  serious mental illness diagnosis compared to those without. We decided to make use of the AHRQ’s HCUP National Readmissions Database to illuminate the magnitude of this relationship using nationally representative data. We found that even after controlling for clinical, demographic, and hospital factors, that patients with SMI have nearly 2 times greater odds of 30-day readmission.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Weight Research / 22.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ching-Ti Liu, PhD Department of Biostatistics Boston University School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Being overweight and obese are increasing worldwide and this obesity epidemic threatens to reverse the gains in life expectancy achieved over the past century. However, many investigators have observed, paradoxically, that overweight individuals are associated with a lower mortality risk. These results may suffer from a potential confounding due to illness or reverse causality in which preexisting conditions may alter both body weight and the risk of death.  Recently published studies have tried to mitigate this reverse causal bias by implementing sample exclusion and they came to a different conclusion: between BMI and all-cause mortality there is an increased risk of death for the entire range of weights that are in the overweight and obesity ranges. However, the elimination strategies may lead to the loss of generalizability or precision due to over-adjustment. In addition, the traditional investigations have only utilized a subject’s weight at a single point in time, which makes it difficult to adequately address bias associated with reverse causality. Currently, the idea incorporating a subject’s weight history has been proposed to deal with the concern of reverse causality, but the existing works had been based on a subject’s recall or self-reported data, which may lead to misclassification and, therefore, result in overestimating the risk of mortality. To help assess the relevance of being overweight or obese to the risk of death in the general population, we conducted a prospective study, using an individuals’ maximum BMI before the beginning of survival follow-up instead of their weight status at a single point in time, using data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS). We observed increasing risk of mortality across various BMI categories (overweight < obese I < obese II) relative to normal weight using maximum BMI over 24 years of weight history. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Primary Care, USPSTF / 20.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Carol Mangione M.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.P Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Division Chief of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research Professor of Medicine. Barbara A. Levey, MD, and Gerald S. Levey, MD Endowed chair in medicine David Geffen School of Medicine University of California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Unhealthy alcohol use is relatively common and is increasing among U.S. adults. Alcohol use is the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and contributes to more than 88,000 deaths per year. In pregnancy, it also leads to birth defects and developmental problems in children. The Task Force found that screening tests and brief counseling interventions can help detect and reduce unhealthy alcohol use among adults, and in turn help prevent negative consequences related to alcohol use. For adolescents ages 12 to 17, clinicians should use their best judgment when deciding whether or not to screen and refer their patients to counseling, until we have better studies available. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, Weight Research / 19.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Obesity runs rampant in Indiana." by Steve Baker is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0Haris Riaz MD (Cardiology Fellow Haitham Ahmed MD, MPH , Preventive Cardiologist, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Elevated cholesterol (specially low density lipoprotein) has been causally linked to the development of coronary artery disease whereas the causal relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease has remained controversial. This is important because of increasing epidemic of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Mendelian randomization studies provide one way of determining a causal association where we can look at the outcomes of individuals stratified by the presence or absence of a particular allele. Since these alleles are randomly distributed in the population of interest, this is "nature's randomized trial" in that the particular allele is naturally distributed and hence minimal risk of bias. In other words, lets say that I hypothesize that a particular gene "A" is linked with coronary artery disease. If the given gene is indeed causally linked with coronary artery disease, patients with activation of that gene should have significantly greater risk of developing coronary artery disease. Based on these principles, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available evidence and found that the risk of developing coronary artery disease and diabetes is significantly increased with obesity. Although hypothesis generating, we think that these findings may suggest a causal association between obesity and cardiovascular disease.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA / 19.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "A neonate with Down's?" by Sadasiv Swain is licensed under CC BY 2.0Rosalyn Hithersay LonDowns Kings College, London  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In our research group, we have been following a large group of adults with Down syndrome in the UK to track changes with ageing in their health and cognitive function. It has been known for some time now that people with Down syndrome are at high risk for developing dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. This new study has shown the huge impact that this risk has on mortality for these adults. We found that dementia is now the likely underlying cause of death in more than 70% of adults with Down syndrome aged over 35 years. This is a much bigger proportion of deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease compared to the general population: in England and Wales only 17.5% of deaths past the age of 65 would be related to dementia of any kind.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics / 19.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "i have a lazy eye but it's a good thing" by jessica mullen is licensed under CC BY 2.0Eileen E. Birch, PhD Director, Crystal Charity Ball Pediatric Vision Evaluation Center Retina Foundation of the Southwest Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology UT Southwestern Medical Center   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: We previously reported that amblyopia, but not nonamblyopic strabismus or anisometropia, is associated with slower reading speed (Kelly et al  Journal of AAPOS 2015) and that this is related to abnormal eye movements and unstable fixation associated with amblyopia (Kelly et al 2017).  We have also shown that amblyopic children are slower at completing Scantron answer sheets (JAMA Ophthalmology 2018).  We thought that these difficulties experiences in school-age children with amblyopia might affect their self-perception. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, University of Michigan / 17.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Renuka Tipirneni, MD, MSc Assistant Professor Holder of the Grace H. Elta MD Department of Internal Medicine Early Career Endowment Award 2019-2024 University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine, Divisions of General Medicine and Hospital Medicine, and Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation Ann Arbor, MI 48109Renuka Tipirneni, MD, MSc Assistant Professor Holder of the Grace H. Elta MD Department of Internal Medicine Early Career Endowment Award 2019-2024 University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine Divisions of General Medicine and Hospital Medicine, and Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation Ann Arbor, MI 48109 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Navigating health insurance and health care choices is challenging and requires significant health insurance literacy (knowledge and application of health insurance concepts). We looked at the association between U.S. adults' health insurance literacy and avoidance of health care services due to perceived cost. We found that 30% of people we surveyed reported delayed or foregone care because of perceived cost, and that those with lower health insurance literacy reported significantly greater avoidance of both preventive and nonpreventive health care services. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Heart Disease, JAMA, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 17.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marcelo G. Cardarelli, MD Inova Children’s Hospita Fairfax, Falls Church, Virginia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Global Humanitarian Medical efforts consume a large amount of resources (nearly $38B in 2016) and donors (Countries, International organizations, WHO, Individuals) make the decisions as to where their funds should be allocated based on cost-effectiveness studies. Most resources go to prevent/treat infectious diseases, sanitation efforts and maternal/child care issues. An insignificant amount of resources is directed to satisfy the surgical needs of the populations in low and middle income countries (LMICs). The idea behind our project was to find out if it was cost-effective to perform a tertiary surgical specialty (pediatric cardiac surgery) in this context and the answer (at $171 per DALY averted) was an overwhelming yes! But most importantly, we believe, as many others do, that judging the cost/effectiveness of an intervention in order to decide resources allocation is valid for diseases that can be prevented, but not relevant when it comes to surgical problems that are not preventable. Instead, we propose the use of another measure of effectiveness, what we call "The Humanitarian Footprint". The Humanitarian Footprint represents the long term benefits, as measured by changes in the life expectancy, extra years of schooling and potential lifetime earnings of patients treated surgically during humanitarian interventions. To our surprise and based on the results, the effects on society of at least this particular surgical intervention were greater than we expected. We suspect this measure can be used in many other surgical humanitarian interventions as well.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology, Immunotherapy, JAMA / 17.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher S. Lee, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, FHFSA Professor and Associate Dean for Research Boston College William F. Connell School of Nursing Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although the efficacy of omalizumab (i.e. can it work?) in the treatment of chronic idiopathic (spontaneous) urticaria has been established in clinical trials, the effectiveness of omalziumab (i.e. does it work?) in the real-world management is less well established. The purpose of this study was to synthesize what is known about the benefits and harms of omalizumab as used in real-world treatment of Chronic Idiopathic (Spontaneous) Urticaria. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Testosterone / 16.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Andreas Walther PhD Department of Biological Psychology, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland Task Force on Men’s Mental Health of the World Federation of the Societies of Biological Psychiatry MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study situation with regard to endogenous testosterone level and depressive symptoms in men is currently very mixed. There are studies that show no association, but other studies show that low testosterone levels are associated with increased depressive symptoms. That is why several studies have tried to administer testosterone in men to treat depressive symptomatology among other conditions (e.g. erectile dysfunction, cognitive decline). However, no clear conclusions could be drawn from the studies to date, as some studies reported positive results, while others did not show any effects. Likewise, some studies showed better results in certain subgroups of men such as dysthymic men, treatment resistant, men with low testosterone, which raised the question of relevant moderators. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy, Surgical Research / 16.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anthony Victor D'Amico, MD, PhD Professor and Chief, Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study investigated whether surgery followed by the use of adjuvant low dose radiation and short course hormonal therapy as compared to high dose radiation and hormonal therapy could provide an equivalent low risk of death from prostate cancer amongst men presenting with aggressive and not infrequently fatal Gleason score 9 or 10 prostate cancer. It has been shown previously (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2673969) and validated in the current study that surgery alone in such cases leads to a more then 2.5-fold increase in the risk of death from prostate cancer as compared to high dose radiation and hormonal therapy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Pediatrics / 16.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Cairo Air Pollution with less smog - Pyramids1" by Nina Hale is licensed under CC BY 2.0Lief Pagalan, MSc Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University Research Trainee, Centre for Hip Health and Mobility Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pregnant women more heavily exposed to air pollution had higher chances of having children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The causes of ASD are not fully understood, but this study adds to the growing evidence that environmental risk factors have a role to play. Our study found an association between autism spectrum disorder in the children of women more heavily exposed to air pollution. We observed these results using well-defined cases of ASD and in Vancouver, Canada, which typically has lower air pollution. These findings are consistent with studies done in the U.S., Israel, and Taiwan, which have also found an increased risk of ASD from exposure to air pollution.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Pharmacology / 14.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Talia Puzantian,  PharmD, BCPP Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Keck Graduate Institute   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Naloxone has been used in hospitals and emergency rooms since the early 1970s. Distribution to laypersons began in the mid-1990s with harm reduction programs such as clean needle exchange programs providing it, along with education, to mostly heroin users. In the years between 1996-2014, 152,000 naloxone kits were distributed in this way with more than 26,000 overdoses reversed (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6423a2.htm). We have data showing that counties in which there was greater naloxone distribution among laypeople, there were lower opioid death rates (Walley AY et al BMJ 2013). However, not all opioid users at risk for overdose will interface with harm reduction programs, particularly prescription opioid users, hence more recent efforts to increase access to laypersons through pharmacists. Naloxone access laws have been enacted in all 50 states but very little has been published about how they’ve been adopted by pharmacists thus far. One small study (264 pharmacies) from Indiana (Meyerson BE et al Drug Alcohol Depend 2018) showed that 58.1% of pharmacies stocked naloxone, only 23.6% provided it without prescription, and that large chain pharmacies were more likely to do so. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, JAMA, Pharmacology / 14.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cara Tannenbaum, MD, MSc Director | Directrice Canadian Deprescribing NetworkCara Tannenbaum, MD, MSc Director | Directrice Canadian Deprescribing Network MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The D-Prescribe trial was driven by the need to show that seniors can cut down on their medication in a safe and effective manner. Pharmacists intervened in a proactive way to flag patients who were on potentially risky meds such as sleeping pills, NSAIDs and glyburide and to inform them of the risks, using an educational brochure. Pharmacists also communicated with their physician using an evidence-based pharmaceutical opinion to spark conversations about deprescribing. As a result, 43% of patients succeeded in discontinuing at least one medication over the next 6 months.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Frailty, Geriatrics, JAMA / 13.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "COUCHair for physical therapy" by ewa garniec is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0Mikel Izquierdo PhD Head and Full professor Department of Health Sciences Public University Navarra, Spain  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Acute hospital admissions are a major contributor to disability in the elderly. Despite resolution of the reason for hospitalization, patients (especially those who are frail) are often discharged with a new major disability. This is a problem that providers of health care and policy makers should prioritize given the expectations of further growth of the population segment composed by old people.  Traditional models of acute hospitalization for older adults seldom include a comprehensive approach to prevent hospitalization-associated impairment in functional and cognitive capacity. In contrast, exercise and early rehabilitation protocols applied during acute hospitalization can prevent functional and cognitive decline in older patients and are associated with a reduced length of stay and lower costs. Yet, patients with cognitive impairment or multimorbidity at baseline are commonly excluded from exercise intervention trials and only ‘conservative’ or ‘traditional’ programs (i.e., focusing on light walking while avoiding resistance training) have been typically applied to elders who are acutely hospitalized. Our intervention proved safe and effective to reverse the aforementioned impairment. We therefore propose that an individualized prescription of multicomponent exercise should become an inherent part of the routine management of hospitalized older adults.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE / 13.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joel Ray MD, MSc, FRCPC Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto, Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many women who die within childbirth or soon thereafter experience rapid onset of morbidity/illness before succumbing. Thus, severe maternal morbidity (SMM) offers a detectable (or set of detectable) conditions that might be dealt with before they progress to a fatality. Even so, severe maternal morbidity alone can be non-fatal, but create disability for a new mother (e.g., a stroke), or prolong separation of mother and newborn. So, we showed that, as the number of severe maternal morbidity indicators rises, so does the probability of maternal death. This relation was exponential in nature.   (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Sexual Health / 11.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Sex in stone" by Nagarjun Kandukuru is licensed under CC BY 2.0Janna A Dickenson, PhD Doug Braun-Harvey Postdoctoral Fellow Program in Human Sexuality Department of Family Medicine University of Minnesota Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Researchers and clinicians have contested the term “sex addiction” in favor of alternative definitions and symptom presentations. Recently, the ICD-11 has characterized compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) as a persistent pattern that involves failing to control intense sexual urges or sexual behaviors that results in significant levels of distress and/or impairment in one’s functioning.
Researchers estimate that CSBD affects 2-6% of the population and is much more common among cisgender men than cisgender. Using a randomized national sample, we assessed the prevalence of a key feature of CSBD that researchers and clinicians agree upon: distress and impairment associated with difficulty controlling sexual feelings, urges, and behaviors.
We performed this assessment with a screening tool called the Compulsive Sexual Behavior Inventory (CSBI). Of the 2,325 adults, 8.6 percent overall (10.3 percent of individuals who identified as men and 7 percent of individuals who identified as women) met the clinical threshold of the CSBI; meaning that 8.6% of people expressed difficulty controlling their sexual feelings, urges and behaviors and experienced distress and/or impairment as a result. To be clear, this does not mean the 8.6% of the sample endorsed CSBD, but that 8.6% of our sample exhibited significant distress or impairment related to difficulty controlling one's sexual behaviors.
(more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 11.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Loughrey PhD Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health Global Brain Health Institute DeafHear Research Partner NEIL Programme Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The World Organisation (WHO) estimate that one-third of older adults aged 65 and over have a disabling hearing loss. Increasingly, research is finding that age-related hearing loss (ARHL) may be associated with other negative health outcomes, including dementia which currently affects 50 million people worldwide. A study recently published in The Lancet reported that of nine possible modifiable risk factors, addressing age-related hearing loss (ARHL) could potentially lead to the largest reduction in the prevalence of dementia globally. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 09.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer P. Craig, Associate Professor Department of Ophthalmology New Zealand National Eye Centre Auckland, New Zealand MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dry eye disease is a complex multi-factorial condition, which affects between 5% to 50% of the adult population in different parts of the world. The condition can have profound effects on the ocular comfort, visual function, and quality of life of sufferers. In both clinical practice and academic research settings, validated questionnaires are frequently used to screen for dry eye symptomology, before clinical assessment of tear film homeostatic markers is conducted to make an overall diagnosis of dry eye disease. Although a large number of validated symptomology questionnaires has previously been developed, the recently convened Tear Film and Ocular Surface Dry Eye Workshop II (TFOS DEWS II) identified that the considerable heterogeneities in the study populations, methodologies, and reference standards used in earlier diagnostic accuracy studies introduced significant challenges when trying to compare the diagnostic performance of these screening instruments. The current study is the first to offer a direct comparison of five commonly used validated questionnaires within the same study population, and uses the global consensus criteria for tear film homeostatic disturbance developed by the TFOS DEWS II as the reference standard. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Duke, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA / 08.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicholas S. Reed, AuD Assistant Professor | Department of Otolaryngology-Head/Neck Surgery Core Faculty | Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was a true team effort. It was funded by AARP and AARP Services, INC and the research was a collaboration of representatives from Johns Hopkins University, OptumLabs, University of California – San Francisco, and AARP Services, INC. Given all of the resent research on downstream effects of hearing loss on important health outcomes such as cognitive decline, falls, and dementia, the aim was to explore how persons with hearing loss interacted with the healthcare system in terms of cost and utilization. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Over a 10 year period, untreated hearing loss (hearing aid users were excluded from this study as they are difficult to capture in the claims database) was associated with higher healthcare spending and utilization. Specifically, over 10 years, persons with untreated hearing loss spent 46.5% more, on average, on healthcare (to the tune of approximately $22000 more) than those without evidence of hearing loss. Furthermore, persons with untreated hearing loss had 44% and 17% higher risk for 30-day readmission and emergency department visit, respectively. Similar relationships were seen across other measures where persons with untreated hearing loss were more likely to be hospitalized and spent longer in the hospital compared to those without evidence of hearing loss. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 08.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Anesthesia" by Liran Szeiman is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0James D. O’Leary, MD Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Child Health Evaluative Sciences The Hospital for Sick Children Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is substantial evidence from laboratory studies that the developing brain is susceptible to injury from general anesthetic drugs, which culminated in the US Food Drug Administration issuing a safety communication in 2017 stating that the use of general anaesthetic drugs “for lengthy periods of time or over multiple surgeries or procedures may negatively affect brain development in children younger than 3 years”. Considering the substantial number of children who require general anesthesia every year (almost 3 million in the US annually) even small differences in child development outcomes after surgical procedures that require general anesthesia may have significant public health implications. Undertaking studies of anesthesia-related neurotoxicity in humans is difficult as adverse child development is a function of the complex interaction between many risk and protective factors. By examining differences between biological siblings in Ontario, Canada, this study seeks to mitigate differences in risk from biological vulnerability and environmental factors, to provide a more accurate estimate of the adverse effects of anesthesia and surgery on child development. In the current study, young children who had surgical procedures that require general anesthesia were not found to be at increased risk of adverse child development outcomes compared to their biological siblings who did not have surgery. These findings further support that exposure to anesthesia and surgery in early childhood is not associated with detectable adverse child development outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Surgical Research, University of Michigan / 07.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joceline Vu, MD Resident, PGY-5 Department of Surgery University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: This study examined how much opioid patients use after surgery, and looked at factors that might predispose some patients to use more or less. Patient opioid use after surgery is an interesting question that’s gained a lot of attention recently, because it’s different from other uses for opioids. If you have chronic pain, you’re probably going to use all of your prescription. But if you have surgery, you may not take all of your pills, and this leaves people with leftover pills that can be dangerous later. From this study, we found that patients only use, on average, about quarter of their prescription, meaning that a lot of them are left with leftover pills. Moreover, we found that the biggest determinant of how much they used wasn’t how much pain they reported, or any other factor—it was how big their original prescription was. What this means is that opioid use after surgery isn’t just determined by pain, but also by what surgeons prescribe. It’s important to keep this in mind as we try to reduce unnecessary opioid prescribing after surgical procedures.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 07.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jean Philippe Empana, MD, PhD Research Director, INSERM U970 Paris Cardiovascular Research Center (PARCC) Team 4 Cardiovascular Epidemiology & Sudden Death Paris Descartes University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: In 2010, the American Heart Association (AHA) has emphasized the primary importance of the Primordial prevention concept, i.e. preventing the development of risk factors before they emerge, as a complementary prevention strategy for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Accordingly, the AHA has developed a simple 7-item tool, including 4 behavioral (nonsmoking, and ideal levels of body weight, physical activity and diet) and 3 biological metrics (ideal levels of untreated blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and total cholesterol) for promoting an optimal cardiovascular health (CVH). The relevance of the concept and of the tool has been several times reported by individual studies and meta-analyses (combining the results of several studies) showing substantial and graded benefit for cardiovascular disease but also mortality, quality of life and even cancer risk with higher level of CVH. However, most studies relied on one measure of  cardiovascular health. In the present work, using serial examinations from the well-known Whitehall Study II, we described change in CVH over time and then quantified the association of change in cardiovascular health over 10 years with subsequent incident cardiovascular disease and mortality. This analysis is based on 9256 UK men and women aged 30 to 55 in 1985-88, and thereafter examined every 5 years on average during 30 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Duke, Heart Disease, JAMA / 06.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yuichiro Yano MD PhD Assistant Professor in Community and Family Medicine Duke University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: New blood pressure guidelines, issued in 2017 in the US, lowered the blood pressure thresholds for hypertension from systolic blood pressure/diastolic ≥140/90 mm Hg to systolic/diastolic ≥130/80 mm Hg. This change increased the prevalence of hypertension two- to three-fold among young adults. The guidelines also newly defined elevated blood pressure as, 120-129 mmHg systolic blood pressure over 80 mmHg diastolic or less. However, no study investigated that high blood pressure, as defined by the new criteria, is something that younger people should be concerned about as a potential precursor to serious problems. Our study is among the first to report that people younger than age 40 who have elevated blood pressure or hypertension are at increased risk of heart failure, strokes and blood vessel blockages as they age. (more…)