Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 02.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Malini B. DeSilva, MD, MPH Clinician Investigator HealthPartners Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is a retrospective study of more than 324,000 live births at seven Vaccine Safety Datalink sites between 2007 and 2013 which showed that the Tdap vaccine in pregnant mothers was not associated with increased risk for microcephaly or other major birth defects in their offspring. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research / 01.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zheng Chang PhD Dept. of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet and Seena Fazel MD Department of Psychiatry Warneford Hospital University of Oxford, Oxford, England MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There were more than 10 million prisoners worldwide in 2015, with approximately 2.2 million in the United States alone. Despite reported decreases in violence in many countries, reoffending rates remain high. From 2005 through 2010, more than one-third of released prisoners in the United States and the United Kingdom were reconvicted of a new crime within 2 years. Most programs to reduce reoffending focus on psychosocial interventions, but their effect sizes are weak to moderate. As psychiatric and substance use disorders, which increase reoffending rates, are overrepresented among jail and prison populations. This study investigated the main psychotropic medication classes prescribed to prisoners using longitudinal Swedish population registers and examined the association between prescription of psychotropic medication and risk of violent reoffending. We found that three classes of psychotropic medications were associated with substantial reductions in violent reoffending: antipsychotics, a 42% reduction; psychostimulants, 38%; and drugs used in addictive disorders, a 52% reduction. The magnitudes of these associations were as strong as and possibly stronger than those for widely disseminated psychological programs in prison. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders, Technology / 01.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Ben Carter PhD Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics Statistics Editor for the Cochrane Skin Group (Honorary Associate Professor, Nottingham University) Institute of Primary Care and Public Health Cardiff University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study leads from the growing use of mobile and media device use in children. We report the impact of devices leads to poorer sleep outcomes. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Using or even merely access to your mobile and media device should be restricted 90 minutes prior to bedtime. (more…)
Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, JAMA / 30.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fausto Petrelli, MD Oncology Unit, Oncology Department Treviglio ,Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This meta-analysis evaluated if side (excluding rectum site) represents an independent prognostic factor for survival in patients with stages 1-4 colon cancer. This variable is in fact associated with an adverse outcome with a reduced risk of death by 20% if patients are affected by a left colon cancer compared to those with right colon cancers. Implications are enormous: for prognosis first but also for follow-up, stratification into clinical trials and treatment (for both medical and surgical therapies). The power of the study is relevant: it enclosed 66 studies with more than 1 million of patients retrospectively or prospectively analyzed for survival according to common variables known to be prognostic in colorectal cancer (age, sex, stage, race, adjuvant CT..etc) in multivariate analysis. Side is significantly associated with survival independent of other covariates analyzed. The question of the side is old and partially known, but no study systematically explored the published literature to confirm this suggestion. Recent large randomized trials in metastatic disease showed different results according to the site of disease with right colon cancers usually less responsive to anti-EGFR treatment due to a different molecular behavior and conversely left colon cancers which attained the greater benefit from cetuximab and panitumumab due to less BRAF mutations in their tissue. Also, a less extensive and radical lymphadenectomy in right-sided cancers, without a complete mesocolon excision during surgery, could hamper their cure rate, as our colorectal surgeon's team lead by Prof. Giovanni Sgroi and Luca Turati MD, suggested in the discussion. It is also well known the leads term bias with a later diagnosis of right cancers due to clinical and anatomic reasons. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Nutrition, Urinary Tract Infections, Yale / 27.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manisha Juthani-Mehta, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA Associate Professor, Section of Infectious Diseases Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Director Yale University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: One of the first studies that showed that cranberry juice was effective in older women living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities was published in 1994. Since that time, there have been multiple conflicting studies as to the effect of cranberry juice or capsules. We started our study in 2012. Shortly thereafter, a Cochrane review suggested that the vast body of evidence did not suggest that cranberry products work for UTI prevention, but questions still existed as to whether the appropriate dose of cranberry was being tested. Since cranberry juice is hard for older women to drink (taste, sugar load, volume), capsules at a high dose of the active ingredient (72mg type A proanthocyanidin [PAC}) was worthwhile to test. This study was a clinical trial of two cranberry capsules with a total of 72mg of proanthocyanidin (pac) vs two placebo capsules to prevent bacteria in the urine of older women who live in nursing homes. Unfortunately, it didn't work. It also didn't reduce the number of hospitalizations, deaths, antibiotics used, or antibiotic resistant bugs in the urine. (more…)
Author Interviews, Compliance, Dermatology, JAMA / 27.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adewole S. Adamson, MD, MPP Department of Dermatology The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As the United States has moved to increasing levels of electronic medical record keeping, electronic prescribing has become an important part of improving the quality of care and patient experience. E-prescribing increases co-ordination between pharmacist and physician and decreases prescription errors. However, it is less certain whether e-prescribing affects patient primary adherence to medications, meaning whether or not a patient will fill and pick up their medication at the pharmacy. Although it may seem intuitive that primary adherence would increase by removing the patient from the prescription-to-pharmacy routing process, there have been few studies directly comparing primary adherence of patients given traditional paper prescriptions versus e-prescriptions. (more…)
ALS, Antioxidants, Author Interviews, Columbia, Inflammation, JAMA, Nutrition / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jeri Nieves PhD Director of bone density testing New York's Helen Hayes Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating severe neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive muscle atrophy, paralyses, and eventual respiratory failure. Our objective was to evaluate the associations between nutrition and severity of ALS around the time of diagnosis. This was a cross-sectional analysis of data from a multicenter cohort of 302 patients with ALS. We assessed nutrient intake using a modified Block Food Frequency Questionnaire. The outcomes were respiratory function (measured using percentage forced vital capacity; FVC%) and functional performance measured by ALS Functional Rating Scale–Revised (ALSFRS-R), both considered important indicators of the severity of ALS. Results of the regression analysis were that higher intakes of antioxidants and carotenes from vegetable intake were associated with higher ALSFRS-R scores or better %FVC. We used a novel analysis to evaluate the diet as a whole and found that higher intakes of antioxidants, fiber from grains, vegetables, fruit, eggs, fish, and poultry were all associated with higher function in patients with ALS. However, milk and lunch meats were associated with lower measures of function. These consistent results from two different statistical analyses indicate that diet may help minimize the severity of ALS. Perhaps these findings point to the role of oxidative stress in ALS severity. In summary, increased consumption of antioxidant nutrients, foods high in carotenoids and fiber, vegetables and fruits, poultry and fish are associated with better function around the time of ALS diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aaron S. Farberg, MD Department of Dermatology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Regular sunscreen use is a critical component of sun protection and has been shown to reduce skin cancer risk. However, there have often been conflicting sunscreen messages (sometimes without scientific support) that have led to confusion by the public. Controversy has also emerged surrounding the safety and possibility of adverse effects from various sunscreen ingredients. The purpose of this study was to determine US dermatologists’ actual sunscreen perceptions, potential safety concerns as well as their recommendations and personal usage. Some people are so affected by the sun that they require a brand of Custom Sunscreens to help protect them from the sun. Our study found that dermatologists have an overall positive view of sunscreen. 97% of dermatologists agree that regular sunscreen use helps lower skin cancer risk, 100% agree that it reduces subsequent photoaging, and 99% recommend their family/friends use sunscreen. Nearly all (96%) consider FDA approved sunscreens currently available in the US to be safe and (99%) believe their patients generally under-apply sunscreen. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Smoking / 24.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joannie Lortet-Tieulent MSc Senior Epidemiologist American Cancer Society, Inc. Atlanta, GA 30303 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many tobacco control policies are decided at state level. We have known for some times that some states have pioneered tobacco control, or have implemented strong tobacco control or programs. Meanwhile, in other states, tobacco control and programs can be weaker. Also, some states have large populations with low socioeconomic status, among which smoking prevalence is higher. We were interested in how those state-level differences impact people’s health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 24.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna D. Sinaiko, PhD, MPP Research Scientist Department of Health Policy & Management Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: One strategy for reducing health care spending in the U.S. is to increase transparency in health care pricing for patients. The idea is that patients can learn about and anticipate the prices they would pay for health care before they receive care, and incorporate that information into their choices about whether and where to receive care. When patients incorporate price information into their decisions, it gives providers an incentive to compete on price and quality. There has been a dramatic increase in the availability of health care price information over the last few years for patients who have commercial health insurance, primarily through web-based tools. In this study, we examined the impact of this information on patient choice of health care facility. We find that a small number of enrollees with commercial health insurance through Aetna, 3% overall, accessed price information through their transparency tool. Among users of the tool, patients who viewed price information for imaging services and for sleep studies before they had the service chose facilities with lower prices, and incurred lower spending (of 12%) for imaging services. We found no effect on patient choices for patients who viewed price information for 6 other health care services (carpal tunnel release, cataract/lens procedures, colonoscopy, echocardiogram, mammograms, and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA, Pediatrics / 24.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roger Zemek, MD, FRCPC Associate Professor, Dept of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Clinical Research Chair in Pediatric Concussion University of Ottawa Director, Clinical Research Unit Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Ottawa, ON MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Concussion remains a major public health concern in children. Approximately 30% of affected children experience persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) for at least one month post-injury. These symptoms may negatively impact their health related quality of life. Examples may include cognition, memory and attention affecting school attendance and performance, mood and social engagement, as well as physical performance. Prior to this study, there was little evidence that examined the relationship between PPCS and quality of life following concussion. This was important to better understand in order to provide appropriate interventions, expectation management and ultimately a better standard of care to affected patients and their families. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, OBGYNE, Stroke / 24.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eliza Miller, M.D. Vascular Neurology Fellow New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center We collaborated with researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital and with the New York State Department of Health. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior research has found that older women of childbearing age are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and postpartum than younger women. We hypothesized that their increased stroke risk might not be due to pregnancy-related factors, but just due to the fact that stroke risk increases with age for all people. We used billing data from New York State hospitals to calculate incidence risk ratios for four age groups: 12-24, 25-34, 35-44 and 45-55. In each age group, we compared the incidence of stroke in women who were pregnant or postpartum to the incidence of stroke in women of the same age who were not pregnant. As in prior studies, we found that the incidence of pregnancy-associated stroke was higher in older women compared to younger women (about 47/100,000 deliveries in the oldest group, versus 14/100,000 deliveries in the youngest group). However, the incidence ratios showed that pregnancy increased stroke risk significantly in women under 35, but did not appear to increase stroke risk in women over 35. In the youngest group (age 12-24), pregnancy more than doubled the risk of stroke, and in the 25-34 age group, pregnancy increased stroke risk by 60%. In women aged 35 and older, pregnancy did not increase stroke risk. Women who had pregnancy-related strokes tended to have fewer traditional vascular risk factors like hypertension and diabetes, compared to same-aged women with non-pregnancy related strokes. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 21.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thue Bisgaard, M.D., D.M.Sc Professor of Surgery, Hvidovre Hospital Hvidovre Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The complete spectrum for the benefits and risks of mesh used to reinforce hernia repair is not known because there are very few clinical trial data reporting hernia outcomes as they pertain to mesh utilization. Generally, there is evidence that mesh is beneficial in terms of less risk of reoperation for recurrence after incisional hernia repair compared with sutured repair. The present study confirmed this for the first time in nationwide analysis with a long-term follow-up of 5 years up. From earlier studies from our group (Ann Surg 2012) it is known that reoperation rate for recurrence severely underestimates overall (clinical) risk of recurrence making differences between mesh vs. sutured repair even much bigger. Although rare (5%) the incidence of mesh-related complications was progressively increasing throughout the study period suggesting that mesh-related complications rate may continue to accrue with even longer follow-up. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Neurological Disorders / 20.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr David Lynch MB, MRCPI Leonard Wolfson Clinical Fellow UCL Institute of Neurology Queen Square, London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2011 it was discovered that mutations in a gene called CSF1R cause a rare syndrome of early onset dementia often accompanied by movement disorders, spasticity and seizures, which is named adult onset leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids (ALSP). The hallmarks of ALSP are a characteristic appearance on MRI imaging and findings in brain pathological specimens - axonal swellings or 'spheroids'. We manage a multidisciplinary group with expertise in leukoencephalopathies and have previously identified patients with mutations in CSF1R. However, we also found patients with a syndrome typical of ALSP who did not carry mutations in CSF1R. In this study, we showed that some of these patients carry recessive mutations in a different gene, AARS2. This included a patient with characteristic axonal spheroids in brain tissue and typical ALSP clinical and imaging features. (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Heart Disease, JAMA / 17.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luis E. Rohde, MD, ScD Postgraduate Program in Health Science: Cardiology and Cardiovascular Sciences, Medical School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Cardiovascular Division, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Caffeine-rich beverages have been implicated as a common cause of several cardiac-related symptoms, such as palpitations, tachycardia, or irregular heartbeats. Because of this “intuitive” assumption, counseling to reduce or avoid caffeine consumption is still widely recommended in clinical practice by most physicians for patients with any heart disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety / 17.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Michael Levine M.D.,M.A. Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: About a decade ago, researchers showed that Americans only received half of recommended health care. Since then, national, regional, and local initiatives have attempted to improve quality and patient experience, but there is incomplete information about whether such efforts have been successful. We found that over the past decade the quality of outpatient care has not consistently improved, while patient experience has improved. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Hormone Therapy, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, University of Pennsylvania / 15.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kevin T. Nead, MD, MPhil Resident, Radiation Oncology Perelman School of Medicine Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Androgen deprivation therapy is a primary treatment for prostate cancer and works by lowering testosterone levels. There is a strong body of research suggesting that low testosterone can negatively impact neurovascular health and function. We were therefore interested in whether androgen deprivation therapy is associated with dementia through an adverse impact on underlying neurovascular function. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Schizophrenia / 14.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Panagiotis (Panos) Roussos, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and Department of Psychiatry Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology Friedman Brain Institute Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai The Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine New York, NY 10029 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Schizophrenia is a complex neuropsychiatric illness and multiple genetic risk factors contribute to the disease. However, it is unclear how these genetic risk factors act and which molecular functions are affected in brain cells of patients with schizophrenia. In this study, we used neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells of patients with schizophrenia and control samples with no history of neuropsychiatric disease. We identified changes related to the way DNA transcribes (a.k.a. gene expression) in schizophrenia compared to controls during activation of the neurons. These changes affect genes that have been genetically associated with schizophrenia. Our study provides evidence that multiple genetic risk factors might lead to schizophrenia because of a damaging effect on the activity of neurons. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 13.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alan S. Brown, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology Columbia University Medical Center Director, Program in Birth Cohort Studies, Division of Epidemiology New York State Psychiatric Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Maternal use of antidepressants during pregnancy has been increasing.  A previous study from a team that I led in a national birth cohort in Finland showed that mother’s use of a serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant is related to an increased risk of depression in offspring.  We sought to evaluate whether these medications also increased risk of speech/language, scholastic, and motor outcomes in offspring.  We found an increased risk (37% higher risk) of speech/language disorders in offspring of mothers exposed to SSRIs in pregnancy compared to mothers who were depressed during pregnancy but did not take an SSRI during pregnancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Heart Disease, JAMA / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Husam Abdel-Qadir, MD, FRCPC, DABIM (Cardiology and Internal Medicine) Graduate student, Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research Elliot Philipson Clinician Scientist Training Program University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among North American women. The successes of screening and treatment have led to a marked increase in the number of breast cancer survivors, whose cardiovascular health is becoming of prime concern. Many recent publications have raised alarm about the incidence of cardiovascular abnormalities after breast cancer treatment. However, there is a paucity of data about the frequency of death from cardiovascular disease rather than breast cancer. Contemporary estimates of the incidence of competing risks like cardiovascular disease are important to guide discussions about prognosis, subsequent follow-up, and survivorship plans. It is important that such incidence estimates are generated using methodology that appropriately accounts for competing risks to avoid providing results that are biased upwards. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Dermatology, JAMA, NYU / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hao Feng, M.D., M.H.S. Resident, Department of Dermatology NYU Langone Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recently, there has been an increased scrutiny on industry-physician interactions and emphasis on disclosures of interactions. While we know about the types of interaction between dermatologists and industry, we wanted to understand that relationship more in depth by probing the Open Payment database. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Technology / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ateev Mehrotra, M.D. Associate Professor Department of Health Care Policy Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior research has highlighted that physicians make diagnostic errors roughly 10 to 15 percent of the time. Over the last two decades, computer-based checklists and other “fail-safe” digital apps have been increasingly used to reduce medication errors or streamline infection-prevention protocols. Lately, experts have wondered whether computers might also help reduce diagnostic errors. In the study, 234 internal medicine physicians were asked to evaluate 45 clinical cases, involving both common and uncommon conditions with varying degrees of severity. For each case, physicians had to identify the most likely diagnosis along with two additional possible diagnoses. Each clinical vignette was solved by at least 20 physicians. The same cases were also evaluated using 19 symptom checkers, websites or apps that use computers that help patients determine potential diagnoses for what is wrong based on their symptoms. The physicians vastly outperformed the symptom-checker apps, listing the correct diagnosis 72 percent of the time, compared with 34 percent of the time for the digital platforms. Eighty-four percent of clinicians listed the correct diagnosis in the top three possibilities, compared with 51 percent for the digital symptom-checkers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Pharmacology / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Sham Mailankody, MBBS Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The high price of older drugs has been increasingly criticized in part because of recent dramatic price hikes. There are some well known examples like pyrimethamine and more recently EpiPen. Whether and to what degree examples like pyrimethamine represent a common problem or exceptional cases remains unknown. Using Medicare data available for Part B, we sought to analyze the change in average sales price of cancer drugs between January 2010 and January 2015, and whether older drugs were more likely to undergo price increases than newer drugs. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Columbia, Hospital Acquired, JAMA / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Daniel E. Freedberg MD MS Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases Columbia University Medical Center New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We conducted this study because previous studies indicate that the gastrointestinal microbiome is easily shared between people who co-occupy a given space (such as a hospital room).  We wondered if antibiotics might exert an effect on the local microbial environment. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, End of Life Care, Geriatrics, JAMA / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joan M. Teno, MD, MS Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence University of Washington Medicine Seattle, Washington MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: An important challenge for our health care system is effectively caring for persons that high-need, high-cost — persons afflicted with advanced dementia and severe functional impairment are among these persons, with substantial need and if hospitalized in the ICU and mechanically ventilated are high cost patients, who are unlikely to benefit from this level of care and our best evidence suggest the vast majority of persons would not want this care. In a previous study, we interviewed families of advance dementia with 96% starting the goals of care are to focus comfort. Mechanical ventilation in some cases may be life saving, but in cases such as those with advanced dementia and severe functional impairment, they may result in suffering without an improvement in survival. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Soren Gantt MD, PhD, MPH Investigator, BC Children's Hospital Associate Professor, Department of Infectious and Immunological Diseases (Pediatrics) Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that is usually transmitted through bodily fluids such as saliva, urine, blood, and breast milk, but it can also cause congenital infection (from a pregnant woman to her fetus). While it doesn’t usually cause problems for most children or adults, congenital CMV often causes serious problems. Congenital CMV causes 25 per cent of all childhood hearing loss and it’s the second most common cause of intellectual disability. Without screening, most infected newborns are not diagnosed in time to treat them with antivirals or provide other care that can make a big difference to improving their life-long outcomes. Our study showed that screening programs for congenital CMV infection are cost-effective. We found that the cost of identifying one case of congenital CMV ranges from US$2000 to US$10,000 through universal screening, or US$566 to $2833 through a targeted screening approach. Our model showed that screening programs resulted in a net savings for the health care system of approximately USD$21 to $32 per newborn for universal screening or USD$11-$27 per newborn for targeted screening by reducing lifetime costs for therapies and lost productivity due to CMV-related health problems. This finding addresses a major barrier to implementing CMV screening programs, as costs have often been viewed as an issue. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Supplements / 11.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth D. Kantor, PhD MPH Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center NY, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior studies show that use of supplements increased between the 1980s and mid-2000s, and despite much research conducted on the health effects of supplements, we know little about recent trends in use. Given this gap, we decided to create an up-to-date, comprehensive resource on the prevalence and trends of supplement use among US adults using nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Data were collected over seven continuous cycles (from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety / 10.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jared Conley, MD, PhD, MPH Department of Emergency Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As the U.S. healthcare system seeks to improve the health of populations and individual patients, there is increasing interest to better align healthcare needs of patients with the most appropriate setting of care—particularly as it relates to hospital-based care (accounting for 1/3 of total U.S. healthcare costs). Avoiding hospitalization—as long as safety and quality are not compromised—is often preferred by patients and the added benefit of potentially making care more affordable further promotes such care redesign efforts. There is a growing body of research studying alternative management strategies to hospitalization; we sought to comprehensively review and analyze this work. Alternative management strategies reviewed include outpatient management, quick diagnostic units, observation units, and hospital-at-home. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 10.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Tamara Shiner MD PhD Specialist in Neurology Neurology Division Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although in the past believed to be sporadic, there is much emerging evidence for a significant genetic contribution to Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Hetrozygosity for common mutations in the GBA gene have been shown to be more frequent among DLB patients and Parkinson's disease patients than in the general population. We found that GBA mutations are in fact exceptionally frequent among Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) patients with Dementia with Lewy bodies. Our results indicate that one in three of all Ashkenazi DLB patients carry mutations in this specific gene (compared to approximately 6% in the general Ashkenazi Jewish population). We also found that those who carry these mutations have a more severe disease phenotype. (more…)