Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 09.03.2017 Interview with: Elizabeth C. Matsui, MD MHS Professor of Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Environmental Health Sciences Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 21287 What is the background for this study? Response: We designed this study after our previous work indicated that mouse allergy was common among low-income children living in some urban neighborhoods in the US, that these children also had high levels of mouse allergen exposure in their homes, and that children who are both allergic to mice and exposed to high levels of mouse allergen are at greater risk of asthma symptoms, emergency room visits and hospitalization.   Given this background, we designed a randomized clinical trial to determine if an intensive professionally delivered mouse intervention was better than education about mouse control in reducing asthma symptoms and lowering home mouse allergen levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Sugar / 08.03.2017 Interview with: Marlene B. Schwartz PhD Director, Rudd Center for Obesity & Food Policy (Principal Investigator) Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies University of Connecticut Hartford, CT 06103 What is the background for this study?  Response: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a community-wide campaign to reduce consumption of sugary beverages in Howard County, Maryland. We measured the retail sales of sugary drinks in supermarkets in the target community and a set of matched control supermarkets in another state. The campaign included multiple components over three years, including television advertising, digital marketing, direct mail, outdoor advertising, social media and earned media, creating 17 million impressions. The community partners successfully advocated for public policies to encourage healthy beverage consumption in schools, child care, health care and government settings. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research, Stroke / 08.03.2017 Interview with: Alessandro Pezzini, MD, FESO Professore Associato di Neurologia Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Sperimentali Clinica Neurologica Università degli Studi di Brescia Italia What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Scarce reports have suggested that a relation might exist between migraine and cervical artery dissection (CEAD), the most frequent cause of ischemic stroke in young adults in Western countries. However, data available so far were obtained from few studies conducted on small cohorts of patients, which limits the generalizability of their findings. In our study we analysed the data from the Italian Project on Stroke in Young Adults (IPSYS) project, one of the largest registries of young ischemic stroke patients, and observed that migraine, especially the subtype without aura was strongly and independently associated to CEAD. This seems particularly true for men and for people younger than 39 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Melanoma / 07.03.2017 Interview with: Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH Senior Health Economist Division of Unintentional Injury CDC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The incidence of skin cancer is increasing in the United States, and individuals who indoor tan are at an increased risk of skin cancer. Treating skin cancer costs $8.1 billion annually. The number of high school students who indoor tan dropped by half from 2009 to 2015. In 2015, 1.2 million high school students indoor tanned, down from 2.5 million in 2009. This is a much bigger decrease than we have seen in the past and is an encouraging finding. We also found that 82% of indoor tanners reported sunburn in the past year compared with 54% of those who did not engage in indoor tanning. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Global Health, JAMA / 07.03.2017 Interview with: Chante Karimkhani, MD University Hospitals Case Western Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio now with Department of Dermatology University of Colorado, Denver What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Ranging from benign inflammatory to infectious, autoimmune, and malignant conditions, skin diseases cause significant disfigurement, pain, and psychological morbidity. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2013 is a large-scale epidemiological assessment of burden from 306 diseases in 195 countries, both sexes, and 14 age groups. Disease burden is measured by combining morbidity and mortality into a single metric of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), where one DALY is equivalent to one year of healthy life lost. Skin diseases contributed 1.79% of the total global burden from all diseases. The skin diseases arranged in order of decreasing global DALYs are: dermatitis (atopic, contact, seborrheic), acne vulgaris, urticaria, psoriasis, viral skin diseases, fungal skin diseases, fungal skin diseases, scabies, melanoma, pyoderma, cellulitis, keratinocyte carcinoma (basal and squamous cell carcinomas), decubitus ulcer, and alopecia areata. Younger populations had the greatest burden from infectious skin conditions, while acne caused the greatest burden in the second and third decades of life. Elderly populations had the greatest DALY rates from melanoma and keratinocyte carcinoma. Skin conditions also exhibit distinct geographical patterns of disease burden. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Yale / 06.03.2017 Interview with: Dowin Boatright, MD, MBA Department of Emergency Medicine Yale School of Medicine New Haven, Connecticut Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program Veterans Affairs Scholar What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Studies have demonstrated racial and ethnic inequities in medicine, including disparities in the receipt of awards, research funding, and promotions. Yet few studies have examined the link between race and ethnicity and opportunities for medical school students. Our results show that black and Asian medical school students are less likely to be selected for membership in a prestigious medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA), than white medical school students. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Gender Differences, JAMA, UCLA / 06.03.2017 Interview with: Julie R. Boiko, MD, MS Resident Physician, PGY1 Department of Pediatrics University of California, San Francisco What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Grand rounds is an over 100-year-old tradition in US medical school clinical departments of recurring, expert-delivered lectures to update physicians and physicians-in-training on recent advances in relevant medicine. We wanted to determine whether gender representation of speakers at grand rounds aligns with the gender distribution of people typically represented in grand rounds audiences -- faculty, residents, and medical students -- by clinical specialty according to national academic medical trainee and workforce statistics. We chose to focus on grand rounds speakers as visible representations of women in academic medicine. This is important because, despite women and men entering medicine at comparable rates, women are much more likely to depart academic medical careers. As current and recent medical students, we considered that consistent exposure to successful female role models in grand rounds speaking venues may positively reinforce women trainees’ desires to continue in academic medical careers. We found that the people at the podiums do not resemble the people in the audience. Only 26% of grand rounds speakers are women. Even accounting that some clinical specialties contain few women faculty and residents, grand rounds speakers in most specialties we studied were statistically less likely to be women as compared to faculty and residents. Across the specialties, grand rounds speakers are 44% less likely than medical students, 39% less likely than residents, and 21% less likely than faculty to be women. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, JAMA, Johns Hopkins / 06.03.2017 Interview with: Dr. Adele Gorman PhD Johns Hopkins Center on Aging & Health The Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland What is the background for this study? Response: Hearing loss affects many people, especially older adults. We have previously estimated how common hearing loss is across different age groups and how many adults have hearing loss today. However, we did not know the number of people that are expected to have hearing loss in the coming decades. This is important to know in order to appropriately plan for future hearing health care needs. Recently the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine highlighted the crucial need to address hearing loss and made recommendations to improve hearing health care services. However, these recommendations should be considered by policy makers in the context of the number of adults with hearing loss in the coming years. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders / 04.03.2017 Interview with: Dr. Simone Baiardi MD Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna What is the background for this study? Response: Drug-induced sleep endoscopy (DISE) is an useful tool for studying the upper airway dynamic in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), and it’s crucial for the therapeutic choice (especially for non ventilatory treatment, such as surgery). The main limits of DISE are the lack of standardization of procedure and the low inter-observer reliability among non-experienced ENT surgeons. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 02.03.2017 Interview with: Dr. Yashashwi Pokharel MD, MSCR Department of Cardiovascular Research Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute Kansas City, Missouri and Salim S. Virani, MD PhD, FACC, FAHA Associate Professor, Section of Cardiovascular Research Associate Director for Research, Cardiology Fellowship Training Program Baylor College of Medicine Investigator, Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center HSR&D Center of Innovation Staff Cardiologist, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Houston, TX What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Unlike the previous cholesterol management guideline that recommended use of either statin and non-statin therapy to achieve low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) target, the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association cholesterol management guideline made a major paradigm shift by recommending statin focused treatment in 4 specific patient groups and replaced LDL-C target with fixed statin intensity treatment (moderate to high intensity statin therapy). With this change, it was speculated that a large number of patients would be eligible for statin treatment (in one study, up to 11.1% additional patients were expected to be eligible for statin therapy). Our study provided the real world trends in the use of statin and non-statin lipid lowering therapy (LLT) from a national sample of cardiology practices in 1.1 million patients 14 months before and 14 months after the release of the 2013 guideline. We found a modest, but significant increasing trend in the use of statin therapy in only 1 of the 4 patient groups eligible for statin therapy (i.e., 4.3% increase in the use of moderate to high intensity statin therapy in patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease). We did not find any significant change in non-statin LLT use. Importantly, about a third to half of patients in statin eligible groups were not receiving moderate to high intensity statin therapy even after the publication of the 2013 guideline. (more…)
Author Interviews, ENT, JAMA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders, UT Southwestern / 02.03.2017 Interview with: Ron B. Mitchell, MD Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery William Beckner Distinguished Chair in Otolaryngology Chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology UT Southwestern and Children's Medical Center Dallas Dallas, TX 75207 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has not been widely studies in adolescents. This is one of a few studies that was targeted at 12-17 year olds who were referred for a sleep study for possible OSA. The study included 224 adolescents (53% male). aged 12 to 17 years. The mean BMI was 33.4 and most were either Hispanic or African American (85.3%). A total of 148 (66.1%) were obese. Most adolescents referred for a sleep study (68%), had  Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Normal-weight adolescents were least likely to have OSA at 48%, while obese children were most likely at 77%. Severe OSA was most likely in obese males with tonsillar hypertrophy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 01.03.2017 Interview with: Thomas Engstrøm  MD, PhD The Heart Center | Rigshospitalet | University of Copenhagen | Denmark Professor in cardiology | University of Lund | Sweden Adjunct professor in cardiology | University of Aalborg | Denmark What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Timely reperfusion by primary angioplasty (primary PCI) in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction is mandatory. However reperfusion it self can harm the myocardium - so called reperfusion injury. During a number of years ischemic postconditioning (iPOST) by repetitive interruptions of blood flow after reperfusion has been a promising technique to address reperfusion damage. The trial investigated the effect of iPOST in 1200 patients treated with primary PCI and in addition either iPOST or conventional angioplasty. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety / 01.03.2017 Interview with: Alisa Khan, MD, MPH Staff Physician Instructor in Pediatrics Boston Children's Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: ​Medical errors are known to be a leading cause of death in the United States. However, the true rate at which errors and adverse events occur in medicine is believed to be even higher than what has been found through the most rigorous patient safety studies. Families are typically excluded from safety surveillance efforts, both in research and operationally in hospitals. We found that including families in safety reporting at four pediatric hospitals led to significantly higher error/adverse event detection rates, compared to the safety surveillance methodology typically considered most rigorous and highest yield in safety research. In addition, families reported errors/adverse events at similar rates as providers and at several-fold higher rates than the hospital incident reports which typically form the basis of operational hospital safety surveillance. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Pediatrics, Radiation Therapy / 01.03.2017 Interview with: Lucie Turcotte, MD, MPH University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Assistant Professor Minneapolis, MN 55455 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have observed dramatic improvements in the number of survivors of childhood cancer over the last 60 years. As more children are surviving, we have identified many important late health consequences of cancer therapy. One of the most devastating of these late health consequences is the diagnosis of a second cancer. As we have identified late effects, such as second cancers, we have modified therapy in an effort to prevent long-term sequelae of therapy, while still maintaining superior survival rates. For this study, we utilized data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), which is a cohort of more than 23,000 survivors of childhood cancer from multiple centers in North America, who were initially diagnosed between 1970 and 1999. Our analysis focused on elucidating whether survivors diagnosed more recently were experiencing fewer second cancers, and determining whether a reduction in second cancers could be associated with treatment modifications. The most important finding from this study is that the reductions in therapeutic radiation exposure that occurred between 1970-1999 resulted in a significant reduction in the second cancers experienced by survivors of childhood cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Pediatrics / 28.02.2017 Interview with: Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD Conrad M. Riley Professor of Epidemiology and Pediatrics Director, Lifecourse Epidemiology of Adiposity and Diabetes (LEAD) Center University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Aurora, CO 80045 What is the background for this study? Response: These recent increasing trends in type 1 and 2 diabetes diagnosed in young individuals raise the question of whether the pattern of complications differs by diabetes type at similar ages and diabetes duration. The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Stud, looked at five health complications and co-morbidities of diabetes, including: retinopathy, diabetic kidney disease, peripheral, arterial stiffness and high blood pressure. The researchers studied 1,746 adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes and 272 with type 2 diabetes diagnosed when < 20 years, with a similar average duration of 7.9 years and at a similar age of 21 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 25.02.2017 Interview with: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The incidence of subdural hematoma (SDH; a bleed located within the skull, but outside the brain) has been reported to be on the increase. Previous studies have shown an association between use of antithrombotic drugs and SDH. However, studies with updated estimates of this risk and with focus on current more complex and aggressive regimens of antithrombotic treatment are scarce. We therefore performed this study, where we identified 10,010 patients aged 20-89 years that were admitted with SDH in Denmark in 2000 through 2015. Preadmission use of antithrombotic drugs (low-dose aspirin, clopidogrel, vitamin K antagonist, e.g. warfarin, and direct oral anticoagulants) of these cases was compared to that of 400,380 individuals from the general population with no history of SDH (controls). We found that use of antithrombotic drugs was associated with an increased risk of subdural hematoma . The magnitude of this risk varied by type of antithrombotic, and was, e.g., low for use of low-dose aspirin, and highest for warfarin. Further, with a single exception (low-dose aspirin and dipyridamole), concurrent use of more than one antithrombotic drug was associated with higher risk of SDH, particularly if warfarin was taken along with an antiplatelet drug, e.g., low-dose aspirin or clopidogrel. Increasing use of antithrombotic drugs was observed in the study period. The incidence of subdural hematomas in the Danish population also increased markedly in the years 2000-2015, particularly among those aged 75+ years. Our study indicates that this increased incidence, can, at least partly, be explained by increased use of antithrombotic drugs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Stroke / 25.02.2017 Interview with: Peter Brønnum Nielsen MD PhD Aalborg Thrombosis Research Unit Department of Clinical Medicine Faculty of Health Department of Cardiology, Atrial Fibrillation Study Group Aalborg University Hospital Aalborg, Denmark What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:   Patients who sustain an intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) event are often excluded from randomized trials investigating stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF) by use of oral anticoagulant treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Heart Disease, JAMA / 24.02.2017 Interview with: Philip C. Haycock, PhD MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit University of Bristol Bristol, England What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The direction and causal nature of the association of telomere length with risk of cancer and other diseases is uncertain. In a Mendelian randomization study of 83 non-communicable diseases, including 420,081 cases and 1,093,105 controls, we found that longer telomeres were associated with increased risk for several cancers but reduced risk for some other diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Orthopedics, Osteoporosis, Testosterone / 23.02.2017 Interview with: Tony M. Keaveny, Ph.D. Professor, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering; Co-Director, Berkeley BioMechanics Laboratory University of California Berkeley, CA 94720-1740 What is the background for this study? Response: As men age, they experience decreased serum testosterone concentrations, decreased bone mineral density (BMD) and increased risk of fracture. While prior studies have been performed to determine the effect of testosterone treatment on bone in older men, for various reasons those studies have been inconclusive. The goal of this study was to overcome past limitations in study design and determine if testosterone treatment — versus a placebo — in older men with low testosterone would improve the bone. Specifically, we used 3D quantitative CT scanning to measure changes in BMD and engineering “finite element analysis” to measure changes in the estimated bone strength, both at the spine and hip. The study was performed on over 200 older men (> age 65) who had confirmed low levels of serum testosterone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Pharmacology, Yale / 23.02.2017 Interview with: Adam Chekroud PhD Candidate Human Neuroscience Lab Department of Psychology Yale University What is the background for this study? Response: We know that depression includes a wide range of symptoms, from low mood and feeling worthless, to problems sleeping, slowed thinking, and suicidal ideation. We wanted to know whether antidepressants work well in treating all of these symptoms, or whether they are primarily effective on certain kinds of symptoms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Testosterone, UCLA / 23.02.2017 Interview with: Ronald S. Swerdloff, MD Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine and Director of a World Health Organization Collaborative Center in Reproduction a Mellon Foundation Center for Contraceptive Development and a NIH Contraceptive Clinical Trial Center Director of the Harbor-UCLA Reproductive Program LA BioMed Lead Researcher David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA Health What is the background for this study? Response: While we have long known that testosterone levels decrease as men age, very little was known about the effects of testosterone treatment in older men with low testosterone until last year. Our team of researchers from LA BioMed and 12 other medical centers in the U.S., in partnership with the National Institute on Aging, conducted a coordinated group of seven trials known as The Testosterone Trials (TTrials). We studied the effects of testosterone treatment for one year as compared to placebo for men 65 and older with low testosterone. The TTrials are now the largest trials to examine the efficacy of testosterone treatment in men 65 and older whose testosterone levels are low due seemingly to age alone. The first published research from the TTrials last year reported on some of the benefits to testosterone treatment. We have now published four additional studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and JAMA Internal Medicine that found additional benefits and one potential drawback. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Telemedicine / 23.02.2017 Interview with: Eirini Karyotaki, MSc Department of Clinical Psychology and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Amsterdam, the Netherlands What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Depression is broadly acknowledged as a major health issue associated with a great risk of mortality and morbidity. Nevertheless, help-seeking rates are low among individuals with depression. Some of the barriers that impede help seeking are the limited availability of trained clinicians, the fear of stigmatisation and the cost of treatment. Self-guided Internet based Cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) has the potential to overcome many of these treatment barriers. However, recent randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have produced mixed evidence regarding the effects of self-guided iCBT in treating adults with depressive symptoms. To gain more insight in the effectiveness of self-guided iCBT, an Individual Participant Data meta-analysis was performed. 3876 individual participant data across 13 RCTs were collected and analysed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Testosterone / 21.02.2017 Interview with: T. Craig Cheetham, PharmD, MS Southern California Permanente Medical Group Department of Research & Evaluation Pasadena, CA 91101 What is the background for this study? Response: Concerns have been raised about the cardiovascular safety of testosterone replacement therapy. Patient selection criteria may have been a factor in the findings from studies reporting an increased cardiovascular risk with testosterone replacement therapy. Many men who were receiving testosterone replacement therapy don’t fall into the categories of ‘frail elderly’ or ‘high cardiovascular risk’. We therefore studied testosterone replacement therapy in a population of androgen deficient men within Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 21.02.2017 Interview with: Julia R.G. Raifman, ScD Post-doctoral fellow Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health What is the background for this study? Response: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 years old in the United States. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents have elevated rates of suicide attempts. In our study, we found that 29% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents reported attempting suicide in the past year relative to 6% of heterosexual adolescents. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Prostate Cancer / 20.02.2017 Interview with: Neeraj Agarwal, MD Associate Professor, Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine University of Utah School of Medicine What is the background for this study? Response: Biomarkers predicting response to cancer therapy help guide physicians personalize medicine. Significant advances have been made in the development of therapeutic biomarkers in various malignancies, but not in prostate cancer. Dr. Nima Sharifi’s group at the Cleveland Clinic recently discovered that a germline inherited polymorphic variant (1245A→C) in the HSD3B1 gene correlates with shorter duration of response to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in hormone sensitive prostate cancer (HSPC). HSD3B1 gene encodes the enzyme 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-1 (3βHSD1), which catalyzes adrenal androgen precursors into dihydrotestosterone, the most potent androgen. The authors found that the variant allele of HSD3B1 led to decreased progression-free survival in a dose-dependent manner in post-prostatectomy biochemical recurrence and metastatic HSPC (mHSPC). These results needed external validation before application in the clinic. In our study, we sought to provide the first independent validation of these results in patients with mHSPC. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurology / 18.02.2017 Interview with: Linard Filli, PhD Gait Research Lab Department of Neurology University Hospital Zurich Zürich What is the background for this study? Response: Gait dysfunction is common in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and is perceived as the most restricting of symptoms. Fampridine (4-aminopyridine, dalfampridine), a blocker of voltage-gated potassium channels, is currently the only approved medication for the symptomatic treatment of walking disorders in patients in both the early and late phases of  multiple sclerosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA / 17.02.2017 Interview with: James E. Udelson, MD Chief, Division of Cardiology Director, Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are millions of stress tests done every year in the United States and many of them are normal,” said James Udelson, MD, Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Tufts Medical Center and the senior investigator on the study. “We thought that if we could predict the outcome of these tests by using information we already had from the patient before the test, we could potentially save the health care system money and save our patients time and worry.”   We were able to get a strong prediction of the possibility of having entirely normal testing and no clinical events such as a heart attack, by developing a risk prediction tool using ten clinical variables that are commonly available to a physician during an evaluation” (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 17.02.2017 Interview with: Brian J. F. Wong, MD, PhD Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic Department of Biomedical Engineering University of California, Irvine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Research in facial attractiveness is difficult because of the inherent subjectivity of rating. Most people can look at a face and instinctively tell you whether that face is attractive or not, by subconsciously picking up on biologic cues like fertility, coloration, and proportions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, OBGYNE / 17.02.2017 Interview with: Lisa Underwood, PhD Research Fellow| Centre for Longitudinal Research Growing Up in New Zealand | Who are Today’s Dads? School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences University of Auckland  Auckland What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study is part of the contemporary, longitudinal study Growing Up in New Zealand, which is tracking the development of more than 6000 children born in 2009 and 2010. In previous reports we investigated antenatal and postnatal depression symptoms among the mothers of our cohort children. In this study we looked at the partners of those mothers to explore whether men and women have different risks for depression in each perinatal period. Our main findings were that expectant fathers were at risk if they felt stressed or were in poor health. Elevated depression symptoms following their child’s birth, were also linked to social and relationship problems. The strongest predictor of postnatal paternal depression was no longer being in a relationship with the child’s mother. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Immunotherapy, Imperial College, JAMA / 16.02.2017 Interview with: Stephen R. Durham, MD Imperial College, London, and Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust London, United Kingdom What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Allergic rhinitis affects 1 in 4 the UK population and may compromise sleep and work/school performance and be associated with bronchial asthma. When nasal steroids and antihistamines do not work or cause side effects, allergen immunotherapy is an alternative. Immunotherapy using high doses of grass pollen allergen as monthly injections or daily tablets under the tongue are highly effective. Treatment for 3 years not only gives sustained improvement on treatment but also long-term benefits and disease remission for at least 2-3 years after stopping treatment. This single centre study at Imperial College London and Royal Brompton Hospital London included 106 adults with severe Hayfever followed up for 3 years, 2 years on treatment and 1 year after stopping treatment. In this double-blind trial, 3 randomised groups took sublingual immunotherapy, subcutaneous immunotherapy and placebo treatment. 92 completed the trial. Results showed that 2 years treatment with both modalities did not result in persistent benefit at year 3, although the researchers found that both treatments were effective compared to placebo during years 1 and 2. (more…)