Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Nutrition, UCLA / 27.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adam Ford, BS Research fellow with Dr. April Armstrong Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our psoriasis patients have long asked us about the role of diet on psoriasis. Previously, there was a lack of evidence synthesis on the relationship between psoriasis and diet. As such, providers were mostly unable to address their patients questions on the role of diet on psoriasis. This pivotal effort from the National Psoriasis Foundation has been a few years in the making. We looked at the role of diet on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis based on a careful synthesis of the scientific studies available to us currently. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, JAMA / 26.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bishal Gyawali, MD, PhD Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: PD-1 inhibitors are an interesting class of cancer drugs with atypical response patterns in clinical trials. There is a lot of debate over cancer drugs that improve progression-free survival (PFS) – a surrogate measure of clinical benefit– without affecting patients’ overall survival (OS), but in some studies, PD-1 inhibitors appears to improve overall survival (OS) without affecting PFS. We therefore conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials of PD-1 inhibitors (nivolumab and pembrolizumab) to assess the effect of these drugs on OS versus PFS. We showed that PD-1 inhibitors do appear to improve OS more than PFS.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, Health Care Systems, JAMA / 26.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: A Jay Holmgren Doctoral Student, Health Policy and Management Harvard Business School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Post-acute care, care that is delivered following an acute care hospitalization, is one of the largest drivers of variation in US health care spending. To address this, Medicare has created several payment reform systems targeting post-acute care, including a voluntary bundled payment program known as the Model 3 of the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) Initiative for post-acute care providers such as skilled nursing facilities, long-term care hospitals, or inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Participants are given a target price for an episode of care which is then reconciled against actual spending; providers who spend under the target price retain some of the savings, while those who spend more must reimburse Medicare for some of the difference. Our study sought to evaluate the level of participation in this program and identify what providers were more likely to participate. We found that fewer than 4% of eligible post-acute care providers ever participated in the program, and over 40% of those who did participate dropped out. The providers more likely to remain in the program were skilled nursing facilities that were higher quality, for-profit, and were part of a multi-facility organization. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, University of Pittsburgh / 25.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Inmaculada Hernandez, PharmD, PhD Assistant Professor of Pharmacy and Therapeutics University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Pittsburgh, PA 15261 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior research has found that taking opioids and benzodiazepines simultaneously increases the risk of overdose by 2 to 3 fold, when compared to opioid-use only. However, prior to our study, it was unclear how the risk of overdose changes over time with the concurrent use of opioids and benzodiazepines. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Neurology / 25.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul Foster BMedSci(Hons) BMBS PhD FRCS(Ed) FRCOphth FRCS(Eng) Professor of Glaucoma Studies & Ophthalmic Epidemiology Research Theme Lead Integrative Epidemiology & Visual Function UCL Institute of Ophthalmology & Moorfields Eye Hospital London  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response:  Dementia is the medical challenge of the moment – increasingly common, adversely impacting quality of life for millions, and a great worry for all. Efforts to identify treatments or interventions rely on being able to identify those people at greatest risk. Our motivation was to help identify those people, primarily to aid in the development of treatments through clinical trials. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 25.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Michael Barry MD Director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital Physician at Massachusetts General Hospit Professor of Medicine,Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which can lead to heart attack and stroke, causes 1 in 3 deaths among adults in the United States. The Task Force reviewed the latest research on whether adding an electrocardiogram—or ECG, which is a test that records a person's heart activity—to the standard ways we measure CVD risk can help prevent heart attack and stroke in people who do not have symptoms and are generally healthy, as well as people who are already at risk for these conditions. The evidence shows that adding screening with ECG to the ways we already measure CVD risk is unlikely to help prevent heart attack or stroke in people at low risk. It can also cause harms—such as those from follow-on procedures like angiography and angioplasty, which can lead to heart attack, kidney failure, and even death. As a result, the Task Force recommends against screening with ECG for this group. For those who might benefit the most—people who are already at medium or high risk of CVD—there is not enough evidence to say whether or not adding screening with an ECG to standard care helps prevent heart attack and stroke. This is an area where we need more research.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 21.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Stephen Burgess PhD Programme Leader at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Lipoprotein(a) is a lipoprotein subclass, and an important biomarker for coronary heart disease. As a clinical biomarker, it has a similar story to LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol), in that it is thought to be a causal risk factor for coronary heart disease, and so is a potential target for drug development. However, while drugs that lower LDL-cholesterol, such as statins, have been successful in reducing coronary heart disease risk, drugs that lower lipoprotein(a) have not as yet been successful. New drugs are currently in development that specifically target lipoprotein(a) and can lower lipoprotein(a) concentrations by 80-90%. We performed this study to investigate whether these drugs are likely to be successful in reducing coronary heart disease risk. We compared individuals with naturally-occurring genetic variants that predispose them to a higher or lower lifetime concentration of lipoprotein(a) as a way of mimicking a randomized controlled trial. This approach has previously been undertaken for other biomarkers, including LDL-cholesterol. We found that having 10mg/dL lower genetically-predicted concentration of lipoprotein(a) was associated with a 5.8% reduction in coronary heart disease risk. However, associations between genetically-predicted LDL-cholesterol and coronary heart disease risk are quantitatively much stronger than the proportional effect of LDL-cholesterol lowering on coronary heart disease risk as estimated by statin trials. This is because differences in genetic variants reflect lifelong changes in LDL-cholesterol, whereas statin trials only lower LDL-cholesterol for a few years. Hence, using the ratio between the genetic and trial estimates for LDL-cholesterol, we estimate that lowering lipoprotein(a) by 10mg/dL in a short-term clinical trial would only reduce coronary heart disease risk by 2.7%. To obtain the same reduction in coronary heart disease risk of around 20% as observed in statin trials, lipoprotein(a) would have to be lowered by around 100mg/dL. This explains why previous trials of less specific and less potent lipoprotein(a)-lowering drugs have failed to demonstrate benefit. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research, PTSD, Rheumatology / 21.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Huan Song Associated Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Earlier findings from our group (e.g. Fang et al., NEJM 2012; Arnberg et al., Lancet Psychiatry 2015; Lu et al., JAMA Oncol 2016; Shen et al., BMJ 2016; Zhu et al., Ann Oncol 2017) have identified pathways through which stressful events contribute to deterioration in human health. With strong animal models and human data supporting a role of stress in immune dysregulation, the hypothesis linking mental distress with autoimmune is indeed plausible. However, the evidence is as yet limited to clinical observations and a few larger observational studies on US veterans, most of them on men only, and some of which have cross-sectional designs and various other methodological shortcomings. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, NIH, Weight Research / 20.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD, MRP Chief, NHANES Analysis Branch Epidemiologist, NCHS/CDC Hyattsville, MD 20782 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: 40% of adults and over 18% of youth in the US have obesity. Disparities in obesity have been reported by demographics and urbanization. We looked at the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity by demographics and by level of urbanization – rural, small/medium metro and large urban. We also looked at trends over time in urban and rural areas. Obesity and severe obesity rates were higher in rural areas than large urban areas among adults. Among youth, severe obesity rates were higher in rural areas compared to large urban areas. Differences in age, smoking, education or race/ethnicity between urban and rural areas did not explain the differences we found between urban and rural areas. Between 2001-2004 and 2013-2016 severe obesity among men in rural areas more than tripled and among women more than doubled. Increases in severe obesity also occurred in urban areas in men and women but they were not nearly as large. (more…)
AHA Journals, Allergies, Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 17.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Lone Star Tick” by Katja Schulz is licensed under CC BY 2.0Jeffrey Wilson, MD, PhD Research Fellow, Allergy & Immunology University of Virginia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-Gal) represents an oligosaccharide that is present in mammalian products and is the causal allergen in a syndrome of delayed red meat allergy (commonly called α-Gal syndrome). Sensitization to this allergen has been linked to tick bites, specifically the lone star tick in the United States. Thus, sensitization to α-Gal (and the prevalence of subjects with symptomatic red meat allergy) is relatively common where the lone star tick is common, i.e- the southeast. For a variety of reasons we hypothesized that specific immune sensitization (which relates to IgE antibody production) to α-Gal would be a risk factor for coronary artery disease. To address this possibility we measured IgE specific to α-Gal in 118 adults subjects from central Virginia who had undergone advanced cardiac imaging with a technique called intravascular ultrasound. Out of the cohort 26% of the subjects in the study had the sensitivity to α-Gal. The main finding was that subjects with the IgE sensitization to α-Gal had greater amounts of atherosclerosis, as well as atherosclerotic plaques with more unstable characteristics. This association was significant when controlled for traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and lipids levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, JAMA, UCSD / 15.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Aaron Goodman, MD Hematologist/Medical Oncologist Assistant Professor of Medicine UC San Diego Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Response rates to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade in solid tumors are reported at 10-20%.  Remarkably, response rates of 65% to 87% have been reported in patients with refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma treated with checkpoint inhibitors. In nodular sclerosing Hodgkin lymphoma, amplification of the chromosomal region 9p24.1, which contains the genes PD-L1 (CD274)PDCD1LG2 (PD-L2)and JAK2, is directly correlated with increased expression of these proteins on Reed–Sternberg cells. Overall, 105 of 108 (97%) biopsies from patients with newly diagnosed classical Hodgkin lymphoma have increased PD-L1 and PDCD1LG2 copy numbers.  The prevalence and utility of PD-L1amplification as a response biomarker to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade is unknown in other tumors. We sought to determine the prevalence and utility of PD-L1 amplification as a response biomarker to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade in solid tumors.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Statins / 14.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael G. Nanna, MD Fellow, Division of Cardiology Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that African Americans are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease than white patients. We also know that African American individuals have been less likely to receive statin therapy compared to white individuals in the past. However, the reasons underlying these racial differences in statin treatment are poorly understood. We set out to determine if African American individuals in contemporary practice are treated less aggressively than whites and, if so, we wanted to investigate potential reasons why this might be the case. (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Infections, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety / 13.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah L. Krein, PhD, RN Research Career Scientist VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Ann Arbor, MI  Sarah L. Krein, PhD, RN Research Career Scientist VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Ann Arbor, MI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We conducted this study to better understand the challenges faced by health care personnel when trying to follow transmission based precaution practices while providing care for hospitalized patients.  We already know from other studies that there are breaches in practice but our team was interested in better understanding why and how those breaches (or failures) occur so we can develop better strategies to ensure the safety of patients and health care personnel. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE / 12.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Björn Pasternak, MD, PhD Associate Professor,Clinical Epidemiology Division Department of Medicine Solna Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: To summarize the background for this study, there have been animal studies suggesting that oral fluconazole may give rise to fetal death. Given this background and the paucity of controlled human studies, we previously conducted a nationwide register-based study in Denmark, which was published in JAMA in 2016. In that study, we observed an increased risk of spontaneous abortion associated with fluconazole use in pregnancy. This prompted the European Medicines Agency to update the European label of fluconazole, warning about this potential adverse event. Further, findings in that study indicated that there could be an increased risk of stillbirth. We wanted to investigate this outcome further, in an independent data material, and also to investigate the outcome of neonatal death. Here, we report the results of a bi-national study conducted on the basis of nationwide health care registers in Sweden and Norway. From a background cohort of close to 1.5 million deliveries, we identified more than 10,000 pregnancies exposed to oral fluconazole and matched these to more than 100,000 unexposed pregnancies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, OBGYNE / 12.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman, MPH Lead Research Analyst Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute Landmark Center Boston, MA 02215  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Caesarean delivery rates remain high and variable across hospitals, regions, and countries. Caesarean delivery may be a risk factor for childhood obesity, possibly because delivery route can influence the intestinal microbiomes, which may influence energy regulation. Previously reported associations of caesarean delivery with childhood obesity may be confounded by maternal BMI and sociocultural factors. To address this possibility, we studied sibling pairs from the Linked CENTURY Study, a longitudinal clinical database of well-child visits in Massachusetts linked to each child’s birth certificate, to isolate the effect of caesarean delivery from most other factors. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Medical Imaging, Memory / 12.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arno de Wilde, MD / PhD candidate Department of Neurology & Alzheimer Center Amsterdam Neuroscience VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies assessing the clinical utility of amyloid imaging used very selected research populations, limiting the translatability to clinical practice. In contrast, we used an unselected memory clinic cohort, offering amyloid PET to ALL patients visiting our memory clinic, and for the purpose of this study, we implemented amyloid PET in our routine diagnostic work-up. Our results demonstrate that amyloid PET has important consequences, in terms of diagnosis and treatment changes, for a significant number of patients within a situation that closely resembles clinical practice. I think that these results are an important step in 'bridging the gap' between using amyloid PET in a research setting versus daily clinical practice. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, MRI, Prostate Cancer / 11.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lars Boesen MD PhD Department of Urology Herlev Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The current standard of care in prostate cancer diagnosis includes untargeted transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsies for all biopsy-naïve men with clinically suspicion of prostate cancer. However, this strategy that practically has remained unchanged for decades has limited diagnostic accuracy as significant cancers are missed or under-graded and insignificant cancers are unintendedly detected by the random sampling leading to possible overtreatment. Multiparametric MRI in the diagnosis of prostate cancer has been studied extensively in recent years and has improved detection, localization, staging and risk stratification. It has been suggested that if multiparametric MRIs were used as a triage test prior to biopsies, a significant proportion of men might safely avoid prostate biopsies and the diagnostic ratio of significant vs. insignificant cancer could be improved compared to performing standard biopsies in all men. However, multiparametric MRIs are generally time-consuming (~40 min scan time), expensive and include intravenous contrast media. This reduces its feasibility for widespread clinical implementation in larger patient populations in the western community with its high PCa prevalence. The development of a simpler and faster (~15 min) biparametric MRI protocol using less scan sequences and circumvents intravenous contrast-media seems to preserve adequate diagnostic accuracy in a detection setting and could facilitate dissemination of prostate MRI as a triage test before any biopsy. Here we present a large prospective study that assesses the diagnostic accuracy of a novel biparametric MRI to rule out significant prostate cancer in N=1020 biopsy-naive men with clinically suspicion of prostate cancer. We found that a low suspicion biparametric MRI had a very high negative predictive value (97%) for ruling out significant cancer on confirmatory biopsies. Furthermore, bpMRI suspicion scores were strongly associated with prostate cancer detection rates and restricting biopsies (targeted plus standard) to men with suspicious biparametric MRIs meant 30% could avoid prostate biopsies, improved significant prostate cancer diagnosis by 11%, and reduced insignificant prostate cancer diagnosis by 40% compared to our current diagnostic approach – standard biopsies for all men with clinically suspicion of prostate cancer.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Autism, JAMA, Pediatrics / 10.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wei Bao, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Epidemiology College of Public Health University of Iowa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies indicated a possible link between immunologic dysfunction and autism. The current study, based on nationally representative large-scale surveys, showed that food allergy, respiratory allergy, and skin allergy, all relevant to immunological dysfunction, were associated with autism spectrum disorder among US children. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, MD Anderson / 08.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Naoto Tada Ueno, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P. Executive Director, Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Program and Clinic Section Chief, Section of Translational Breast Cancer Research, Department of Breast Medical Oncology Division of Cancer Medicine The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TXNaoto Tada Ueno, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P. Executive Director, Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Program and Clinic Section Chief, Section of Translational Breast Cancer Research, Department of Breast Medical Oncology Division of Cancer Medicine The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The best outcome of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is dependent on achieving a pathological completed response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy for primary inflammatory breast cancer, which is the most aggressive type of breast cancer. We have conducted extensive preclinical work, which showed that EGFR is a potential therapeutic targets of IBC. Based on this preclinical data, we have conducted a phase II study to determine the pathological complete response rate of panitumumab plus neoadjuvant chemotherapy for HER2 negative primary inflammatory breast cancer.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 08.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Blood Pressure” by Bernard Goldbach is licensed under CC BY 2.0Ali Khashan, PhD Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology School of Public Health & INFANT Centre University College Cork Cork, Ireland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is some evidence to suggest an increased likelihood of neurodevelopmental disorders in relation to hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, however consensus is lacking. Considering hypertensive disorders in pregnancy are among the most common prenatal complication, we decided to synthesise the published literature on this topic by conducting a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis. Our main findings suggest that hypertensive disorders in pregnancy are associated with about 30% increase in the likelihood of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and ADHD in the offspring, compared to offspring not exposed to hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 06.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Randall C. Swaim, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist and Director Linda R. Stanley, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research Department of Psychology Colorado State University                           MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: American Indian adolescents consistently report the highest levels of substance use compared with other US racial/ethnic groups. The harm associated with these high rates of use include higher risk of developing a substance use disorder, more alcohol-related problems, including alcohol-attributable death, and other negative outcomes such as school failure. These findings point to the importance of continuing to monitor this group, particularly given changing trends in perceived harmfulness of illicit substances as new statutes alter access to medical and recreational use of cannabis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy, JAMA / 05.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Guy Jerusalem, MD, PhD CHU Sart Tilman Liege and Liege University Liege, Belgium MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: BOLERO-6 was conducted to fulfill postapproval regulatory commitments to the FDA and EMA to estimate treatment benefit with EVE + EXE vs EVE alone or CAP for ER+, HER2− ABC that had progressed on an NSAI. Everolimus plus exemestane has not previously been compared with everolimus alone or capecitabine in a randomized setting.Data describing everolimus alone are limited to a single phase 2 study of just 19 patients. Thus, the FDA deemed it important to ascertain the efficacy of everolimus alone for ER+ breast cancer, and to determine the contribution of exemestane to combination therapy with everolimus. Capecitabine is often the first chemotherapeutic agent given for ER+ breast cancer that has progressed on anti-estrogen therapy. It has a reported PFS of 4.1–7.9 months among patients with HER2-negative advanced breast cancer. However, it has a different safety profile to everolimus or exemestane, and a comparison of endocrine-based combination therapy with single-agent chemotherapy was yet to be conducted. The median PFS with EVE + EXE (8.4 months) was consistent with BOLERO-2 (7.8 months), and compared to EVE alone here (6.8 months) corresponded to an estimated 26% reduction of risk of disease progression or death (HR 0.74). A numerical median PFS difference was observed for CAP over EVE + EXE (9.6 vs 8.4 months), which may be attributed to various baseline characteristics favoring CAP and potential informative censoring. The median PFS with capacitabine was longer than expected based on previous trials. Interpretation of the results of BOLERO-6 must consider the limited sample size and open-label design.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA / 04.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kathleen M. Finn MD, MPhil Christiana Iyasere MD, MBA Division of General Internal Medicine Department of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While the relationship between resident work hours and patient safety has been extensively studied, little research evaluates the role of attending supervision on patient safety. Beginning with the Bell Commission there have been increased calls for enhanced resident supervision due to patient safety concerns. At the same time, with the growth of the hospitalist movement more faculty physicians join daily resident work rounds under the assumption that increased supervision is better for patient safety and resident education. However, we know that supervision is a complex balancing act, so we wanted to study whether these assumptions were true. On the one hand patient safety is important, but on the other adult learning theory argues residents need to be challenged to work beyond their comfort level. Importantly, being pushed beyond your comfort level often requires appropriate space between teacher and learner. To investigate the role of attending supervision on patient safety and resident learning we studied the impact of two levels of physician supervision on an inpatient general medical team. Twenty-two teaching faculty were randomized to either direct supervision of resident teams for patients previously known to the team vs usual care where they did not join rounds but rather discussed the patients later with the team. Faculty participated in both arms of the study, after completing the first arm they then crossed over to the other arm; each faculty member participated in the study for a total of 4 weeks. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JAMA / 02.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jiang He, MD, PhD Joseph S. Copes Chair of Epidemiology, Professor School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Tulane University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?   Response: The 2017 American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association hypertension guideline recommended lower blood pressure cut points for initiating antihypertensive medication and treatment goals than the previous hypertension guideline. We estimated the prevalence of hypertension and the proportion of the US adult population recommended for antihypertensive treatment according to the 2017 hypertension guideline. More importantly, we estimated the risk reductions of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, as well as increases in adverse events, assuming the entire US adult population achieved the 2017 guideline-recommended systolic blood pressure treatment goals of less than 130 mmHg. Our study indicated the prevalence of hypertension was 45.4%, representing 105 million US adults with hypertension, according to the 2017 hypertension guideline. In addition, the proportion of individuals recommended for antihypertensive treatment was 35.9% or 83 million US adults. Based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, antihypertensive clinical trials, and US population-based cohort studies, we estimated 610 thousand cardiovascular disease events and 334 thousand total deaths could be prevented annually in the US population if the 2017 hypertension guideline systolic blood pressure treatment goals were achieved in the entire US population. Compared to full implementation of the previous hypertension guideline, we estimated the 2017 hypertension guideline recommendations would reduce an additional 340 thousand cardiovascular disease events and 156 thousand deaths per year in the US. Implementing the 2017 hypertension guideline was estimated to increase 62 thousand hypotension, 32 thousand syncope, 31 thousand electrolyte abnormality, and 79 thousand acute kidney injury or kidney failure events. These analyses indicated implementing the 2017 hypertension guideline would significantly increase the proportion of US adults recommended for antihypertensive treatment and further reduce cardiovascular disease events and all-cause mortality, but might increase the number of adverse events in the US population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Education, Heart Disease, JAMA / 01.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, FASE, FAHA Ursula Geller Professor of Research in Cardiovascular Disease Duke University School of Medicine Durham, NC 27715     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For any profession to succeed, it needs to attract top talent. We surveyed internal medicine residents to find out what they valued most in their professional development, how they perceived cardiology as field and how these two areas are associated with  their choosing a career in cardiology or another specialty. We found that trainees were seeking careers that had stable hours, were family friendly and female friendly, while they perceived cardiology to  have adverse work conditions, interfere with family life and to not be diverse. We were able to predict career choice with 89-97% accuracy from these responses; the predictors are mix of things that attract to cardiology and those that are deterrents. For men, the attractors outnumber the deterrents, for women its just the opposite. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 01.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harindra C. Wijeysundera MD PhD FRCPC FCCS FAHA Director of Research, Division of Cardiology, Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Senior Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) Associate Professor, Dept. of Medicine & Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto Adjunct Senior Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Toronto, ON, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: One of the most common complications post TAVR is the need for a permanent pacemaker.  It is unclear if the need for a pacemaker is associated with long term adverse outcomes. Using a population level registry of all TAVR procedures in ontario, canada, we found that pacemakers were required in ~15% of cases.  Requiring a pacemaker was associated with worse long term outcomes, including death, readmission to hospital and emergency room visits.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Thromboembolism, University of Michigan / 31.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul Grant, MD Associate Professor of Medicine Associate Chief Medical Information Officer Director, Perioperative and Consultative Medicine Division of Hospital Medicine Department of Internal Medicine Michigan Medicine University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is well known that hospitalized medical patients are at risk for venous thromboembolism VTE, but the severity of patient risk can vary significantly. National guidelines have consistently stated that low-risk patients should not receive VTE prophylaxis beyond early ambulation. In this retrospective cohort study, we analyzed data from 52 hospitals participating in the Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety consortium. Trained medical record abstractors at each hospital collected data from 44,775 medical patients including VTE risk factors, type of VTE prophylaxis administered, and contraindications to pharmacologic prophylaxis. Individual patient risk of VTE was determined using the Padua risk assessment model. Of the 32,549 low-risk patients, 77.9% received excess venous thromboembolism prophylaxis as either pharmacologic prophylaxis (30.6%), mechanical prophylaxis (20.8%), or both (26.5%). In the 12,226 high-risk patients, VTE prophylaxis was underused in 22% of patients. The rates of inappropriate prophylaxis varied considerably by hospital.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Neurological Disorders, Zika / 31.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Emilio Dirlikov, PhD Office of Epidemiology and Research, Puerto Rico Department of Health Epidemic Intelligence Service Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: After reporting local Zika transmission in December 2015, the Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDH), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and University of Puerto Rico began identifying cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), testing specimens, and conducting follow-up telephone interviews after patients left the hospital. Through these efforts, we were able to characterize acute clinical features and long-term disability of GBS associated with Zika infection by analyzing data from GBS patients with and without evidence of Zika infection. This investigation increases scientific and medical understanding of Guillain-Barré syndrome following Zika infection, provides insight into the disease processes involved in GBS following Zika infection, and adds to growing evidence of a causal association between Zika and GBS.  (more…)