Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 06.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laurie Miller Brotman, PhD Bezos Family Foundation Professor of Early Childhood Development Director, Center for Early Childhood Health and Development Department of Population Health NYU Langone Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Children attending high-poverty schools are often exposed to an accumulation of stressors and adverse childhood experiences that can interfere with optimal mental health and learning. This study examines mental health and academic outcomes through second grade in nearly 800 Black and Latino children who participated in a randomized controlled trial of ParentCorps--a family-centered, school-based intervention in pre-kindergarten. In the original trial, elementary schools with pre-k programs serving primarily Black and Latino children from low-income families were randomized to receive ParentCorps or standard pre-k programming. ParentCorps includes professional development for pre-k and kindergarten teachers on family engagement, social-emotional learning, and behavioral regulation, and a program for families and pre-k students provided over four months at the school by specially trained pre-k teachers and mental health professionals. ParentCorps creates a space for families to come together, reflect on their cultural values and beliefs, and set goals for their children. Parents learn a set of evidence-based strategies and choose which ones fit for their families—such as helping children solve problems and manage strong feelings, reinforcing positive behavior, setting clear rules and expectations, and providing effective consequences for misbehavior. Teachers and parents help children learn social, emotional and behavioral regulation skills such as identifying feeling sad, mad, or scared, calming bodies during stressful situations, paying attention, and solving problems together. This three year follow-up study finds that ParentCorps as an enhancement to pre-k programming in high-poverty schools results in fewer mental health problems (behavioral and emotional problems) and better academic performance through second grade. (more…)
Author Interviews, Bone Density, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Mineral Metabolism, Pediatrics / 06.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexis Jamie Feuer MD Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Weill Cornell Medical College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Osteoporosis is a debilitating disorder characterized by low bone density and increased risk of fractures. Adolescence and young adulthood are critically important times for accruing peak bone density and failure to obtain adequate bone mass by early adulthood may result in future osteoporosis. In children, the use of certain medications can lead to a decrement in the acquisition of bone mass. Past studies have shown that stimulant medications, such as those used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), may slow the rate of linear growth in children. To date, little research has been done to see what effects stimulant use may have on bone density and bone accrual in children. Stimulants exert their effects via activation of the sympathetic nervous system, and as there is mounting evidence that indicates the sympathetic nervous system plays a critical role in the acquisition of bone density, we sought to determine if there is any association between stimulant medication use and bone mass in the pediatric population. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research / 05.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gustaf Brander Department of Clinical Neuroscience Karolinska Institutet MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is believed to be caused by a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Whereas genetic studies are well underway, the research on environmental factors has been lagging behind. As they explain a significant portion of the variance, are potentially malleable, and are essential for understanding how the genetic component works, this area of research is of great importance. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, JAMA, Surgical Research, Thromboembolism / 03.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charles A. Karcutskie IV, MD, MA Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Surgery Divisions of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, and Burns MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our research group at the Ryder Trauma Center have recently done several studies showing various differences in outcomes and risk based on mechanism of injury. Additionally, venous thromboembolism (VTE) is another topic that our group has focused on in the past several years. Because trauma patients are inherently at a higher risk for VTE due to the nature of their injury, we questioned whether the most important risk factors for VTE were different after blunt or penetrating trauma. At our institution, we assess VTE risk with the Greenfield Risk Assessment Profile, which is a list of several risk factors that each have weight toward an overall risk score. We took these risk factors and analyzed them individually based on mechanism of injury. We found that the factors that contribute to the VTE risk are different based on injury mechanism: After blunt trauma, transfusion status, neurologic status, and pelvic fracture contributed most. After penetrating trauma, vascular injury, severe abdominal injury, and age 40-59 years contributed most. This tells us that mechanism of injury may need to be incorporated into the risk assessment in order to discover the highest risk patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA / 03.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Saeid Shahraz Assistant Professor of Medicine Tufts Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: American Diabetes Association (ADA) has set up a lower cut point for diagnosing prediabetes ( those with Impaired Fasting  Glucose   100 mg/dL) compared to the World Health Organization's cut point, which is 110 mg/dL. This arbitrariness in cut point definition triples the number of cases labeled as prediabetes. Along with lowering the diagnostic threshold by the ADA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the ADA endorsed and advertised a web-based risk model to define high-risk population for prediabetes. The risk engine asks a few questions ( age, sex, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, physical activity and weight) and outputs a score that defines if the person is at risk for prediabetes. We suspected that the risk engine might overestimate the risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, End of Life Care, JAMA / 03.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua R. Lakin, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Dana Farber Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Research has increasingly shown the benefits of early palliative care interventions, especially in those around communication about patient goals and preferences in serious illness. These benefits include improved quality of life and psychological outcomes for patients as well as eased bereavement and decision making for loved ones. We have a large gap to fill in initiating early goals and values conversations with our patients and there are a myriad of systems failures and clinician barriers that do not allow us to do this work in a timely and effective way. Doing so with limited resources, both in specialty palliative care and in the many frontline clinicians doing this work, requires targeting our resources carefully. Doing these conversations earlier means identifying patients upstream, before they are in the last days of life. The Surprise Question – “Would you be surprised if this patient died in the next year?” – has emerged as an attractive option for screening for early palliative care interventions. It has been studied primarily in dialysis and cancer patients and has been demonstrated to have a strong association with risk of death. We set out to test it in a more diverse primary care population. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA / 28.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kanu Okike MD MPH Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center Honolulu, Hawaii MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many journals in the social sciences practice double-blind review, in which reviewers and authors are both blinded to each others' identities. In medicine, on the other hand, most journals practice single-blind review, in which authors' identities are known to reviewers. Concerns have been raised that this could lead to biased reviews, however, especially in the case of well-known authors. In our study, we composed a fabricated test manuscript and randomized reviewers for an orthopaedic journal to receive single-blind (prestigious authors listed) or double-blind (no authors listed) versions. In our study, the reviewers who were under the impression that the manuscript was written by prestigious authors (single-blind review) awarded higher marks and also recommended acceptance more often, in spite of the fact that the manuscripts were otherwise identical. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Stroke / 27.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Michael Hill, MSc, MD, FRCPC Professor for the Departments of Clinical Neurosciences, Community Health Sciences, Medicine and Radiology University of Calgary Director of the Stroke Unit Calgary Stroke Program Alberta Health Services MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The HERMES collaboration is a pooled individual patient meta-analysis of recent endovascular ischemic stroke trials. The current analysis assesses the role of time to treatment and outcome. We show that there is a clear relationship between time from onset-to-treatment and outcome, with treatment gradually becoming less effective as time elapses from stroke onset. Treatment was still effect, on average, out to just beyond 7 hours from stroke onset. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 27.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erik Berg, MD Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care University of Bergen Bergen, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Parents regularly express concern about long term health outcomes for children born with oral cleft. In this study we used population-based long-term follow-up data from multiple national registries to focus on the future health outcomes of cleft cases without additional chronic medical conditions or congenital anomalies. The study cohort consisted of all individuals born in Norway between 1967 and 1992. All patients treated for clefts in Norway during the study period were invited to participate. 2 337 cases with isolated clefts and 1 413 819 unaffected individuals were followed until 2010. The main outcome variables were conditions diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood, need for social security benefits, and risk of death. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Brain Injury, Depression, JAMA / 26.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ricardo E. Jorge  MD Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Director Houston Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders Senior Scientist  Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Division of Neuropsychiatry Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center Baylor College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Depressive disorders affect between one-third and one-half of patients with traumatic brain injury. Once established, these disorders are difficult to treat and frequently follow a chronic and refractory course. Depression has a deleterious effect on TBI outcomes, particularly affecting the community reintegration of TBI patients. In this randomized clinical trial that included 94 adult patients with TBI, the hazards for developing depression for participants receiving placebo were about 4 times the hazards of participants receiving sertraline treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, NIH, OBGYNE / 26.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stefanie N. Hinkle, Ph.D. Staff Scientist | Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Thank you for the interest in our research. Nausea and vomiting are very common early in pregnancy and these symptoms can be difficult for women. Before we began this study there was very limited high-quality data on the implications of these difficult symptoms in pregnancy. Our study is unique because we asked women to report their symptoms continuously throughout their pregnancy before they may or may not have gone on to have a loss. We found that among women with 1 or 2 prior pregnancy losses, women who have nausea, and particularly nausea with vomiting, were less likely to have a pregnancy loss. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, JAMA, NIH, Parkinson's / 26.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yong Cheng, PhD, post-doc fellow Section on Cellular Neurobiology Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Parkinson’s disease is the second most neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. The symptoms of the disease are typically movement related. However, the nonmotor features in PD are increasingly recognized. Evidence suggests that inflammation may play a role in the development of AD, and a substantial number of studies have demonstrated altered levels of peripheral blood inflammatory cytokines in patients with  Parkinson’s disease, but findings have been inconsistent for individual cytokines and between studies. Therefore, we undertook a systematic review of the scientific literature, using a meta-analysis to quantitatively summarize clinical data on blood cytokine levels in patients with PD, compared with healthy controls. (more…)
Author Interviews, Epilepsy, JAMA, Mayo Clinic, Neurological Disorders / 23.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian Nils Lundstrom, MD, PhD Department of Neurology Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: About as many people have drug-resistant focal epilepsy as have multiple sclerosis, and treatment options are limited. This study describes an alternative treatment option that has proven very helpful for the majority of participants. Electrical stimulation is delivered continuously via implanted electrodes to the region of brain where seizures start. The electrical stimulation decreases the seizure-related discharges from the brain, and for about 40% of patients their disabling seizures were completely stopped. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pharmacology, Rheumatology / 23.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jacques-Eric Gottenberg, MD, PhD Department of Rheumatology National Reference Center for Systemic Autoimmune Diseases Strasbourg University Hospital, Université de Strasbourg Strasbourg, FranceJacques-Eric Gottenberg, MD, PhD Department of Rheumatology National Reference Center for Systemic Autoimmune Diseases Strasbourg University Hospital, Université de Strasbourg Strasbourg, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is no recommendation for the choice of the second biologic in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and insufficient response to a first anti-TNF, which is a common situation in our daily practice (approximately one third of patients treated with anti-TNF). We therefore conducted the first randomized trial to date to investigate the best strategy in such a setting. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bradley D. Stein, MD, MPH, PhD RAND Corporation University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The United States is in the midst of a serious opioid abuse epidemic and we know that medically assisted treatment is one of the best ways to help people with addiction to opioids. The drug buprenorphine has advantages over methadone, the historic medical treatment, because it can be prescribed by physicians in the community who receive a waiver allowing them to prescribe it after undergoing eight hours of training.. Methadone is dispensed at special clinics that many people with opioid addition may be unable to get to with the frequency required by effective treatment. To better understand patterns of the use of buprenorphine, we examined treatment patterns in the states with the most buprenorphine-waivered physicians (California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas). Our data came from a prescription records that account for over 80 percent of the retail pharmacies in the nation. We examined use patterns among 3,200 physicians who treated 250,000 patients. We had two surprising findings:  First, the median length of treatment with buprenorphine was 53 days, which is much shorter than the duration that most individuals are likely to need for optimal results. Second, despite concerns that federal limits on the number of patients and waivered physician can treat being a significant barrier for many individuals obtaining treatment, we found that most physicians were treating far fewer patients than would be allowed by the patient limits. In fact, 22 percent of the physicians treated an average of 3 patients per month and just 9 percent treated 75 or more patients per month. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Brain Injury, Depression, JAMA / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ricardo E. Jorge MD Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Director Houston Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders Senior Scientist Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Division of Neuropsychiatry Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center Baylor College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Depressive disorders affect between one-third and one-half of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Once established, these disorders are difficult to treat and frequently follow a chronic and refractory course. Depression has a deleterious effect on TBI outcomes, particularly affecting the community reintegration of TBI patients. In this randomized clinical trial that included 94 adult patients with TBI, the hazards for developing depression for participants receiving placebo were about 4 times the hazards of participants receiving sertraline treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Depression, JAMA, Pediatrics / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura P. Richardson, MD, MPH Interim Chief | Division of Adolescent Medicine Director | UW Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Program Professor | UW Department of Pediatrics Seattle Children's | University of Washington MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adolescent depression is one of the most common mental health conditions during adolescence. Up to one in five adolescents experience an episode of major depression by age 18. Depressed youth are at greater risk of suicide, dropping out of school and poor long-term health. Treatments, including medications and psychotherapy, have been proven to be effective but most depressed teens don’t receive any treatment. Two years ago, we showed that the Reaching Out to Adolescents in Distress (ROAD) collaborative care model (a.k.a. Reach Out 4 Teens) designed to increase support and the delivery of evidence-based treatments in primary care was effective in treating depression in teens, significantly improving outcomes. We ran a randomized clinical trial at nine of Group Health’s primary care clinics and reported effectiveness results in JAMA. The current paper represents the next step in this work, examining the cost-effectiveness of collaborative care for adolescent depression in our intervention sample of 101 adolescents with depression, ages 13-17 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Mayo Clinic, Outcomes & Safety / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Victor M. Montori, MD MSc Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit in Endocrinology Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hypoglycemia can acutely disrupt patients’ lives through symptoms ranging from bothersome to life-threatening; worsen quality of life; and hinder medication adherence and glycemic control. Hypoglycemia is now known to increase risk of mortality, cognitive impairment, and cardiovascular events. In order to improve the quality of diabetes care, healthcare organizations use publicly reported performance measures for quality measurement and improvement, and pay-for-performance initiatives. The degree to which existing performance measures are aligned with guidelines, particularly in regard to hypoglycemia avoidance, is uncertain. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Robert Boyle Senior lecturer in paediatric allergy honorary consultant, Paediatric allergist Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?   Editors' note: Please discuss food introduction with your child's pediatrician before embarking on any new foods. Response: Food allergy is a common problem which may be getting more common. We have known for over 100 years that feeding egg to animals such as guinea pigs can prevent egg allergy. However randomised trials of allergenic food introduction for preventing food allergy in human infants have not been done until the past 5 years, and have so far yielded mixed results. One trial for peanut allergy was positive, with less peanut allergy in infants who were fed the food from early in life compared with infants who avoided it for 5 years. Other trials have yielded null findings, but may have been too small to yield a conclusive result. We used a technique called meta-analysis to combine the results of all previous trials of timing of allergenic food introduction and risk of food allergy. We also evaluated other allergic and autoimmune diseases. Our analysis yielded conclusive results for both egg and peanut – that early introduction of these foods into an infant’s diet might reduce their risk of egg and peanut allergy by around 40-70%. We were surprised to see null findings in our meta-analysis of timing of gluten or wheat introduction and risk of coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) which is a different type of allergy to egg and peanut allergy. This suggests that early introduction of allergenic foods does not reduce risk of all types of food allergy. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Nutrition, Social Issues / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa Harnack, DrPH, RD | Professor and Director Nutrition Coordinating Center Division of Epidemiology and Community Health School of Public Health, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 55454-1087 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is interest in considering ways to reshape SNAP so that it better meets meet its objective to help families buy the food they need for good health. Prohibiting the purchase of foods such as soft drinks with SNAP benefits is one of the proposed program changes. Offering an incentive for the purchase of fruits and vegetables is another program change that is being discussed. Little is known about the effects of prohibitions and restrictions on food purchasing and consumption. Consequently, we carried out an experimental trial to evaluate effects. In our study we found that a food benefit program that includes both prohibitions on the purchase of less nutritious foods and incentives for purchasing nutritious foods may lead to a number of favorable changes in diet. To elaborate, we found those enrolled in a food benefit program that prohibited the purchase of sugar sweetened beverages, sweet bakes goods, and candies with food program benefits and provided a 30% financial incentive for fruit and vegetable purchases had a number of favorable dietary changes that were significantly different from changes among those enrolled in a food benefit program that had neither prohibitions or incentives. These favorable changes included reduced consumption of calories, sugar sweetened beverages, sweet baked goods, and candies; and increased consumption of fruit. The overall nutritional quality of the diet also improved. Fewer nutritional improvements were observed among those enrolled in food benefit programs that included prohibitions or incentives only. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Biomarkers, JAMA, NIH, Pediatrics / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Yong Cheng, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow NIH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders which affect about 1 in 68 children in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an important moderator in neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity, and studies have suggested the involvement of BDNF in ASD. Although some clinical studies show abnormal expression of BDNF in children with ASD, findings have been inconsistent. Therefore, we undertook a systematic review of the scientific literature, using a meta-analysis to quantitatively summarize clinical data on blood BDNF levels in children with ASD, compared with healthy peers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 19.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nish Patel, MD and Nileshkumar J. Patel, MD University of Miami Miller School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is estimated to affect approximately 300,000 people in the United States annually. Pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF) contributes 23-54% of OHCA patients, with the median values at the lower end of this range. Coronary artery disease is thought to be responsible for up to 70% of these OHCA cases. It has been suggested that urgent coronary intervention in unconscious patients after cardiac arrest may improve survival. In the 2015 American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines, coronary angiography is recommended in patients with OHCA patients with a suspected cardiac etiology and ST elevations (STE) on ECG (Class of recommendation I, Level of evidence B), and it should be considered in patients after cardiac arrest presenting without STE but with suspected cardiac etiology of cardiac arrest (Class of recommendation II a, Level of evidence B). However, there is paucity of information about the use of coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and its potential benefit for the VT/VF OHCA patient population. Therefore, we reviewed the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), to examine temporal trends of coronary angiography and PCI in VT/VF OHCA in the United States, for patients with and without STE. We also studied the temporal trends of survival to discharge in these patient populations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Infections, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 17.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Daria Van Tyne, PhD The Gilmore Lab Department of Ophthalmology Harvard Medical School Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A specific clone of E. coli, type ST131, which produces an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL – an enzyme that inactivates many penicillin-type antibiotics), has rapidly spread around the globe to become the leading cause of multidrug-resistant, non-intestinal E. coli infection. Despite this, E. coli is a rare cause of infection of the cornea. A patient was recently seen at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary with a severe E. coli infection of the cornea, and the large number of antibiotic resistances of this strain tipped us off to the possibility that it might be the highly virulent ST131 ESBL type. By sequencing the DNA of its genome, we found that it was indeed ST131 ESBL E. coli. Moreover, we discovered a new mutation in this strain that allows it to produce a slimy outer coating on its surface. This slime layer, or capsule, makes the bacteria more resistant to removal by phagocytic cells of the immune system. The slime layer also makes these particular colonies appear different on a special type of agar that contains the dye Congo Red. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA, Stanford / 16.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ilana B. Richman, MD Palo Alto VA Health Care System, Palo Alto, California Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research/Center for Health Policy Department of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In November of 2015, researchers published results from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). This large, NIH-funded study compared a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mm Hg vs 140 mm Hg among hypertensive, nondiabetic patients at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. SPRINT reported a 25% reduction in the rate of cardiovascular disease and death among those treated to a lower target. Those treated to a lower target blood pressure, though, experienced certain adverse events more frequently. Our cost effectiveness analysis asked two questions: given the potential risks and benefits described in SPRINT, does achieving a lower systolic blood pressure result in net benefit over the course of a lifetime? And if it does, how much would it cost, compared to standard treatment? We found that achieving a lower blood pressure target does result in a net benefit, with a gain of about 0.9 years of life (quality adjusted) among those treated to a lower target compared to those treated to a standard target. This gain, though, required some investment. We found that treating to a lower blood pressure target cost $23,777 per quality-adjusted life year gained. Compared to other commonly used interventions here in the US, this would be considered an excellent value. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, JAMA, Menopause / 15.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Taulant Muka, MD, MPH, PhD Postdoctoral Researcher Erasmus University, Rotterdam MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Menopause marks a major life transition for women, resulting in the loss of ovarian follicle development. Although menopause is a universal phenomenon among women, the timing of the final menstrual period differ greatly between women, and is considered a marker of aging. By quantifying data of nearly 310,329 non-overlapping women, we found that women who experienced an early menopause (i.e. younger than 45 years) have an excess risk of CHD, CVD-mortality and all-cause mortality. Furthermore, being 45-49 years at menopause compared to ≥50 years was associated with increased risk of carotid atherosclerosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA / 15.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tehillah S. Menes, MD Department of Surgery Tel Aviv-Sourasky Medical Center Tel Aviv, Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) is a known risk factor for breast cancer. The diagnosis is made by a biopsy showing a uniform proliferation of cells lining the ducts of the breast. These cells have monomorphic round nuclei and characteristically fill only part of the involved duct. Women diagnosed with ADH are recommended to undergo increased surveillance and offered chemoprevention (i.e. Tamoxifen) for risk reduction. Most studies reporting on the risk of subsequent breast cancer in women with ADH were done prior to the wide use of screening mammography and percutaneous needle biopsy. Our study examined 10-year risk of invasive breast cancer in women diagnosed with ADH (by needle biopsy or excisional biopsy), using data collected by the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Health Care Systems, JAMA / 14.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gillian D. Sanders-Schmidler Ph.D. Professor of Medicine Duke Evidence Synthesis Group, Director Duke Evidence-based Practice Center, Director Duke Clinical Research Institute Duke University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 1996, the original panel on cost effectiveness in health and medicine published recommendations for the use of cost effectiveness analysis. During the 20 years since the original panel’s report, the field of cost-effectiveness analysis has advanced in important ways and the need to deliver health care efficiently has only grown. In 2012 the Second Panel on Cost Effectiveness in health and Medicine was formed with a goal of reviewing and updating the recommendations. This paper summarizes those recommendations. This process provided an opportunity for the Panel to reflect on the evolution of cost-effectiveness analysis and to provide guidance for the next generation of practitioners and consumers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics / 14.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Johanna M. Uitti, MD Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Turku University Hospital Turku, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: According to several national guidelines, close follow-up is required if initial observation without antimicrobial agents is chosen for the management of acute otitis media (AOM) in children. The aim of this study was to examine whether close follow-up with reexamination is needed for children with AOM initially managed without antimicrobial agents who have symptomatic improvement during the first week after diagnosis, as assessed by their parents. Of the 104 children with symptomatic improvement, 3 (2.9%) developed worse signs or perforation of the tympanic membrane as seen on otoscopy. In contrast, of the 54 children with symptomatic failure, 16 (29.6%) developed worse signs or perforation of the tympanic membrane as seen on otoscopy. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Orthopedics / 12.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: R. Grant Steen, PhD Medical Affairs, Bioventus LLC Durham, North Carolina MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: When we started this research, it was really only guesswork as to how big a problem fracture nonunion really is. What we've done is to work with an enormous database of patient health claims, with two goals. First, we wanted to characterize how common fracture nonunion is among patients across a wide age range. Second, we wanted to identify risk factors that make a patient more likely to have problems healing. We've now succeeded in both aims. We know that roughly 5% of fracture patients will go to nonunion, and we know a whole host of risk factors that predispose them to do so. Most of the risk factors that we've identified—with a few exceptions—would not be a surprise to physicians who treat fracture patients. However, what we've done is to put all of these risk factors in a broader context, so that we know which risk factors are most important and which are less so. For example, it has been known for a long time that smoking is a risk factor for nonunion. What we've shown is that, in the scheme of things, it's not all that important. Let me be more precise here, because this is an important point. If all you know about a patient is that they smoke, we've shown that smoking is associated with a 62% increase in risk of nonunion. That's a lot. But, as you learn more about that patient and can factor that new knowledge into a risk prediction, it turns out that smoking, all by itself, increases the risk of nonunion by only about 20%. However, smoking is a surrogate marker for a range of other risk factors that also increase risk, including male gender, cardiovascular disease, obesity, vitamin D deficiency, alcoholism, and so on. Once you factor these separate risk factors into your new nonunion prediction, you have a much more nuanced—and probably much more accurate—prediction of nonunion risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Social Issues, UCSF / 12.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura M. Gottlieb, MD, MPH Department of Family and Community Medicine, 2Center for Health and Community University of California, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Numerous studies have demonstrated that childhood exposures to social adversities, like family financial insecurity, food insecurity, and housing instability, lead to poorer health outcomes across the life course. These social adversities disproportionately affect low-income and racial minority populations. In response to this evidence there have been calls to address social needs in pediatric clinical care settings. For example, recently the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Task Force on Childhood Poverty endorsed the promotion of evidenced-based strategies to reduce the negative health effects of poverty on low-income children, including by increasing the availability of clinic-based interventions addressing social risks. In response to these calls to action, a growing number of pediatric health care organizations are screening for and address families’ social needs. There is a critical need for more evidence on the effectiveness of these types of interventions. Many of the studies conducted so far have focused primarily on assessing program process outcomes or impacts on families’ social needs, but have not evaluated actual health outcomes resulting from program participation. To our knowledge, this study was the first randomized clinical trial evaluating the impacts of a pediatric social needs navigation program on child health. The reported number of social needs identified at baseline ranged from 0 to 11 out of 14 possible items, with a mean [SD] of 2.7[2.2] needs identified by participating families. Family participation in the navigation program intervention significantly decreased families’ reports of social needs by a mean (SE) of .39(0.13) vs. an increase of a mean (SE) of .22(0.13) in the active control arm. Participation in the navigation program also significantly improved parent-reported overall child health, with a mean (SE) change of -.036(0.05), compared to the active control arm with a mean (SE) change of -0.12(0.05). At 4 months post enrollment, the number of social needs reported by those that participated in the navigation program decreased by a mean (SE) of .39(0.13). (more…)